Using our recommendations, you can create an individual diet. The ultimate goal is to get rid of excess fat without losing muscle mass.
If you have made the decision to get rid of excess body fat while maintaining muscle mass, then this article is for you. We will show you how to create a phased diet plan to “dry” your body.
As you know, there should never be an equal sign between weight loss and fat loss. After all, weight loss is also associated with a decrease in water, glycogen and muscle mass, that is, a lean mass. In order to get rid of excess fat and avoid unwanted consequences, it is important to build a proper nutrition plan based on scientific principles. Low-calorie diets that are improperly formulated, instead of burning fat, lead to a decrease in muscle mass, and also increase the risk of metabolic tissue damage.
Step 1. Goal setting
So, we already mentioned that fat loss and weight loss – these are far from equivalent processes. It is for this reason that the results of control weighing cannot give an objective assessment of the true state of affairs.
You cannot hope for a quick result.
The goal is to reduce body fat without losing muscle mass.
Many diets for “drying” the body allegedly guarantee the achievement of the goal in 4–12 weeks. But if you are planning to lose more than 5 fat–10% from the total body weight, then the real term lies in the range from 12 to 20 or more weeks. The average speed with which our body can painlessly get rid of fat does not exceed 0.5–1% of body weight per week. For professionals, during the competition, the proportion of body fat is about 4–8% of total body weight for men and 8–12% for women. Our goals are a little more modest – reach indicators at 10–12% vs. 20–22% respectively. This is the ideal level to have a dry and athletic appearance.
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Step 2. Determine your calorie needs
The amount of calories our body needs to function is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR), or basal metabolic rate. This indicator gives an estimate of how many calories we burn if we are at rest during the day, without physical activity.
This is the minimum amount of energy required to maintain the body’s performance. It does not include calories burned during daily activity or exercise. Knowing our BMR is essential for determining the number of calories in a fat-burning diet.
The UBM formula is a mathematical model that takes into account our height, weight, age and gender. Two of the most common patterns – these are the formulas of Harris-Benedict and Mifflin-San Geor.
The Harris-Benedict formula is as follows:
- BMR for men = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)
- BMR for women = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)
A more modern Mifflin-San Geor formula is:
- BMR for men = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) + 5
- BMR for women = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) – 161
Step 3. Determining the level of activity
After the BMR is calculated, we can begin to calculate the number of calories needed to maintain energy expenditure, taking into account the degree of physical activity. At this stage, you should be completely honest with yourself and objectively assess your current level of activity. The odds reflect the different levels of activity throughout the week:
- 1.2 – with a sedentary lifestyle;
- 1,375 – with irregular training (from 1 to 3 per week);
- 1.55 – with an average training frequency (from 3 to 5 per week);
- 1,725 - with daily training (6-7 per week);
- 1.9 – with a high frequency of training (more than 7 times a week) and performing physically difficult work.
For example, for a 30-year-old man who is 188 cm tall and weighs 100 kg, who trains 3–5 times a week, the calculation of the calorie requirement will look like this:
- UBM according to the Harris-Benedict formula = 2030 kcal
- UBM (2030 kcal) x 1.55 (activity coefficient) = 3146.5 kcal
In practice, this means that he must consume 3146.5 kcal per day to maintain his previous body weight, taking into account his current physical condition and training frequency.
Step 4. Determining the calorie deficit
It should be understood that a calorie deficit also leads to an energy deficit, which directly affects our efficiency, productivity, ability to recover, etc.
With a lack of calories, our body begins to look for an alternative source of energy. In order to use fat as the main source, you should not focus on the high level of calorie deficit created. Otherwise, to compensate for the lack of energy, muscle mass will also be affected.
To lose 0.4 kg of fat per week, you need to create a deficit of ≈3500 kcal, or ≈500 kcal per day. This is a safe and reasonable rate of fat loss, which over time will lead to positive changes in physical condition without compromising muscle mass.
Thus, we take the calorie …