Getting bulked up and gaining muscle mass is straightforward - train hard, lift heavy at the gym and follow a caloric surplus diet with adequate protein portions in every meal.
Whereas getting lean and being on a fat loss diet takes a lot of effort and is much more complicated. You don't just have to consume fewer calories than you burn, but also what you are eating. Your calorie deficit should be decent, and you also must be very particular about your daily protein intake to maintain those hard-earned muscles while bulking.
this article brings you a pyramid to show you the importance of three fundamental factors essential for fat lossPyramids, just like the foundation of a house, are built from the ground up. The bottom level is the most crucial because it must support everything above it. Therefore, get the bottom tier of the pyramid right, or all the work you do on top will end up for nothing.
The Fat Loss Pyramid
Level 1 - Nutrition
Follow a Caloric Deficit Diet
To lose body fat, you have to expend more energy than you take in. This is the universal law, and without abiding by it, you are not moving anywhere. Therefore, your first and foremost step to set up a diet that should determine how many calories a day would place you in a moderate deficit. Check out our Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator to find out your maintenance calories which is the calories required for minimal activity. After this you can deduce 300-500 calories from the figure to get going. This deficit will allow you to lose around 0.5-0.75kgs per week.
Make a habit of weighing yourself every morning on an empty stomach. Write down your daily observations, and if your average weight for the week is not reducing than the previous one, you're not in a deficit. However, if you drop a few kgs in the first couple of weeks, you're right where you want to be. Continue with this current plan until your weight begins to plateau. Once you plateau, further reduce your calories by 10-20 per cent to recreate a calorie deficit. Your goal should be to lose 0.5-1.0 per cent of your body weight per week. Losing weight any faster than this significantly increases your risk of muscle loss, and you will end up skinny rather than ripped.
Set Up Your Macros
Following the correct macro breakdown for your fat loss goals is just as important as being on a caloric deficit diet. If you're trying to get ripped, the goal is always to lose fat while maintaining muscle mass. Tracking your macros as well as your calories will ensure you're continuing to make progress.
Among the three macros, protein is the one that plays a significant role in fat loss. This is because protein helps to maintain your muscles and makes sure you lose only fat mass. Protein also helps in slowing down digestion and triggers the release of appetite-suppressing hormones, keeping your food cravings at bay. Research suggests consuming 1.8-2.2 grams of protein per kg of your body weight may be optimal for minimizing muscle loss during a diet, particularly during a low-calorie or prolonged diet. However, you need to remember that the additional bump in protein should not come at the expense of knocking yourself out of a caloric deficit. Instead, you must compensate by reducing carbs, fat, or a combination of both to maintain your deficit.
Level 2 - Workouts/Training
Once you’ve dialed in your nutrition to better suit fat loss, you need to do the same when it comes to training. Manipulate your training sessions to get the best fat loss results and maintain or build lean muscle mass. Refer to the below-mentioned steps and apply them in your training.
- Compound exercises are the key. It is pretty standard advice, and you must have heard many fitness trainers talking about it because there’s a good reason to do so. You recruit a more significant number of muscle groups when performing compound exercises and can push more weight. It helps in the muscle-building process, and you burn more fat simultaneously.
- Try lifting heavy weights under a rep range of 4 to 6. Research shows that training with heavier weight helps raise metabolism higher and for longer than using lighter loads. Lower rep range also helps you in building strength and moving more weights consistently.
- Spending more time in the gym doesn’t always translate to better results. Instead, try focusing on minimizing your rest time to a minimum and increasing your volume and intensity throughout the session.
- Apart from strength training, use LISS and HIIT as an arsenal to fasten your fat loss results. You will enjoy reading our other blog on HIIT, How Does it Work? What are The Benefits?
Level 3 - Supplementation
Being on a fat loss, you might start feeling tired, sleepy, low on energy and demotivated most of the time. It also gets really hard to recover, train well and meet your macros while on a cut. This is where using the right kind of supplements can help you get through it.
The Bottom Line
Sometimes its all about the basics too. So we would highly encourage you to read – 12 Main Reasons You are Not Losing Weight. Consider it a simple reminder of some dos and donts and start with a clean slate.
Fat loss requires implementing critical fundamental strategies, but your chances of success improve when you simultaneously address all levels of the fat-loss pyramid. Therefore, to get a lean, ripped physique, you must follow the steps outlined in this fat reduction pyramid.
Phillips, S. M., & van Loon, L. J. (2011). Dietary protein for athletes: From requirements to optimum adaptation. Journal of Sports Sciences, 29(sup1), S29–S38. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2011.619204
B??Rsheim, E., & Bahr, R. (2003). Effect of Exercise Intensity, Duration and Mode on Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. Sports Medicine, 33(14), 1037–1060. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200333140-00002
Helms, E. R., Aragon, A. A., & Fitschen, P. J. (2014). Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-11-20