This 7-chapter fat loss guide is here to help put you on the right path and give you the tools you need to make an informed decision. Ultimately how you go about fat loss is up to you but there are routes that are high risk and tend to repeat themselves with poor results.
Fat Burners Guide introduction
This guide looks into fat burners, fad diets, cheat days, macronutrient breakdown and many other aspects. You can skip any chapter to the one you desire. Below is the breakdown of the 7 chapters, any questions comment below and we will get right back to you.
Chapter 1: Basic Fat Loss Principles
Chapter 2: Realistic Goal Setting
Chapter 3: Fad Diets
Chapter 4: Fad Supplements
Chapter 5: Sustainable Dieting
Chapter 6: Supplements That Work
Chapter 7: Recommended Resources
Chapter 1 Basic Fat Loss Principles
Whether it’s the Atkins diet or a low-fat diet, there are hundreds of eating plans out there, which claim to make you lose weight and get the body you want. But do they really work?
Ultimately, most diets don’t work. Quick fix diets might help you to lose weight quickly, but they simply aren't sustainable. They are too extreme.
When it comes to getting leaner, your main focus should be on sustainable fat loss.
The focus should be fat loss rather than weight loss. Whether you are a rugby player looking to lower your body fat percentage, or a fitness enthusiast who would just like to get leaner, focusing on fat loss is ideal.
Unfortunately, when people think of getting leaner, they think of losing weight. But when you lose general weight, you don’t only lose fat, but you lose muscle too.
So, if you want to reach your ideal fat percentage, then you need to make sure you are following a diet plan that is sustainable and backed by science.
So what are the basic principles for fat loss?
Stop the diet/binge cycle
According to Dr. Layne Norton, a natural bodybuilder and powerlifter with a PhD in Nutritional Sciences, the first step to successful fat loss is to realise that trying to eat clean constantly, as many diets suggest, only leads to the diet/binge cycle.
He claims that by constantly limiting the foods you eat, you will slip up and when you do, as your diet is so restrictive, you will binge. That’s why other, more flexible diet options, which allow you to eat what you want, are better.
Consider your Minimum Caloric Intake
One the most basic, but most important fat loss principles is to establish your fat-loss calorie requirements. You need to figure out how many calories you need to consume each day in order to lose weight.
According to Lyle McDonald, creating an imbalance between calorie/energy intake and energy expenditure is the only way to make your body call on body fat for stored energy.
So, essentially, the most basic fat loss principle is to consume less energy, in the form of calories from food, than you expend. There are many tools that you can find online, which help you to determine your recommended daily calories for fat loss, like MyFitnessPal.
Focus on Sustainability
Most diets are too restrictive to be sustainable in the long term. When you first begin a diet, you might feel motivated and focused. But, after a week of eating nothing but chicken and rice or no carbs or fat free foods, you will be sick of your diet. You will slip up.
This is completely normal. In fact, statistics show that 95% of diets fail. That’s because restricting yourself of the foods you really want is not sustainable. A diet should be something that you follow for a long time, for fat loss and weight maintenance. It should not be something you follow for a week as a quick fix.
That’s why one of the most important, basic fat loss principles is to make sure that the diet plan you follow is flexible enough to be sustainable.
Macronutrient Breakdown of The Food Itself Is Important
A diet that is both flexible and sustainable is the If It Fits your Macros or IIFYM diet. Many athletes, like Dr Layne Norton, highly promote focusing on macros, rather than restricting foods by constantly eating clean or cutting out food groups.
The If It Fits your Macros diet, focuses on giving yourself a slight calorie deficit, and breaking down the calories you do eat, into groups. So, this means that you are able to eat all foods, from all food groups.
You don’t have to cut out carbs and you don’t have to cut out fat. In fact, you don’t have to cut out anything at all, as long as it fits your macros. It’s important to note that you should try and eat whole foods that are dense in micronutrients. Consuming a diet full of junk that still comes under your caloric maintenance will mean you will lose weight but there may be health risks.
Eating Clean Should Still Be a Focus
According to Layne Norton, while making sure that you are getting the right macronutrient composition from your diet is important, eating clean is still important when it comes to fat loss. He states that getting enough protein, fibre and other vital nutrients is important, and that this can’t be done by only eating “cheat” foods.
However, he is quick to point out that once you are covered in terms of nutrients by eating clean foods, it’s okay to consume some “cheat” or “bad” foods, as long as it’s in moderation. Norton states that as long as you are counting macros, and you’re getting your nutrients, it’s not going to hurt you to have a pop tart now and then.
Don’t Restrict Yourself Too Much
Continuing from the point above, Layne Norton states that he does not have cheat days. He says that by following the IIFYM diet, you don’t need them. If you want to eat something “bad”, as long as it fits into your macros, you can and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. He states that by allowing yourself to eat bad foods in moderation, rather than restricting yourself, you won’t feel the urge to binge.
Chapter 2 Realistic Goal Settings
According to statistics, 95% of diets fail. And there are a number of reasons why, with lack of sustainability being one of the main culprits. But, another main reason why diets fail is simply because people don’t set realistic goals.
Often, people set these huge goals, which are simply unrealistic. So, when they, understandably, don’t reach these massive goals, they feel like they aren’t seeing any results, and decide to give up on their diet.
For example, a 2001 study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania discovered the average goal set by overweight people was to lose 32% of their total body mass.
Aside from being an unrealistic weight loss goal for the average person, this percentage is also three times more than the amount they would actually need to lose to become healthier.
So, if you want to achieve your ideal weight, then you need to set realistic goals, but how do you do this?
Realise that Fad Diets Don’t Work
The first step is to realise that fad diets don’t work. Cutting out all carbs and all fat is not sustainable, and it’s not realistic either. Setting a goal to completely change your diet and restrict yourself of things that you are used to eating is not a good idea. You won’t be able to stick with it long term, meaning you won’t each your fat loss goal, and you’ll be left feeling disappointed. Instead, you need to follow a more flexible diet.
Make Small Goals
The key to setting realistic goals is to make smaller goals. So, if you have a big fat loss goal, break it down into smaller, more realistic goals. For example, if your body fat is 15% and you want to get it to 8%, then don’t make 8% your first goal.
Instead, break it down. Make a goal to get your body fat down to 13%, then 11% and so on. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, then break that down into smaller goals. Set a goal to lose 3 pounds and then once you lose that, set another goal.
By setting smaller goals, you’ll see results quicker, so you’ll feel like you are progressing more. This keeps you motivated and gives you a sense of achievement.
Remember that Habits Take Time to Form
It takes time to get into the habit of counting calories. Habits take time to form. According to a cosmetic surgeon from the 1950s, called Maxwell Maltz, habits take 21 days to form. He came to this conclusion after observing the behaviour of his patients and his own behaviour.
But those were just observations. Since then, more scientific research has been conducted and it has been discovered that habits may actually take much longer to form.
One study from the University of College London, which was led by Phillipa Lally, looked at the habits of 96 participants, over 12 weeks. The participants had to choose one habit and report each day on whether they did that behaviour and whether or not the behaviour felt automatic.
When the study period ended, the researchers looked at the data and discovered that the average time it took for a behaviour to become a habit was two months. But, researchers discovered that it varies from person to person, and that the time it takes for a behaviour to become automatic could range anywhere from 18 days to 254 days.
The researchers also discovered that skipping the behaviour, whether it was running for fifteen minutes a day or drinking a bottle of water at lunch, did not affect the habit formation process.
So, always remember that it can take time to get into the habit of counting calories and changing your dietary patterns. If you do have the occasional slip, don’t be too harsh on yourself. As long as you keep following your diet plan, it will eventually become a habit.
Chapter 3: Fad Diets
From low carb to detox diets, fad diets might seem like a quick fix solution to your weight problems, but ultimately, they fail. They aren’t sustainable and they certainly aren’t healthy either, often leading to dehydration and other problems.
Low Fat Diets
According to Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard School of Public Health, low fat diets simply don’t work for most people. When you cut out fat from your diet, it tends to be replaced with more refined carbohydrates, like white bread, which aren’t healthy. Not all fats are bad for you either.
Some fats, like saturated fats, aren’t great for your health, but others, like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are necessary for a healthy body. Fat is found in literally every cell in the human body, making it a vital nutrient for your health. So cutting it out completely can lead to nutrient deficiencies and health problems.
The Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial looked at 50,000 female participants between the ages of 50 and 79 years. Researchers randomly selected 19,541 women to follow a diet that was low in fat. 29,294 of the women were randomly selected to follow their regular diet.
After eight years, researchers discovered that the weight of the women on low fat diets remained essentially the same as the women that followed their regular diet. So low fat diets are not effective for weight loss.
Low Carb Diets
Low carbohydrates can lead to weight loss in the short term, but they are not healthy or sustainable. Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy, so cutting them out completely can leave you feeling very fatigued and it’s simply not good for your health.
According to research, low-carb diets, like the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet can cause a range of health problems, like cardiac function impairment, osteoporosis, kidney damage and increased cancer risk.
Aside from health problems, low carb diets are not more advantageous than regular calorie restricted diets, in terms of weight loss or weight maintenance. While in the short term, low carb diets might appear to make you lose weight, this is simply weight from water and glycogen stores, rather than fat stores.
Detox diets have been very popular lately, but they aren’t good for your health, and they are simply not a long-term solution for fat loss and weight maintenance. Detox diets can lead to a wide range of health problems, like nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, bloating, diarrhoea and cramps. Aside from causing health issues, the aim of detox diets is essentially pointless, as your liver is what detoxes your body, not your diet.
Whether it’s a general fast diet or the 5:2 diet, fasting diets have been popular recently. But fasting diets aren’t a sustainable method of fat loss. They are far too restrictive, and the calorie reduction is simply too extreme.
According to a study conducted in 2014, dieters that followed an extremely calorie restricted diet increased their appetite, but significantly slowed their metabolism. This means that by restricting yourself too much, it can actually lead to weight gain. Fast diets also lead to fatigue and dehydration.
It is important to note that many people do find fasting a better way of keeping their calories in check. Intermittent fasting is very popular and some people do tend to be hungrier late at night than in the morning. This has led people to skip breakfast and consume the majority of their calories after work/late at night. If this is more sustainable for you then give it a go. Everyone is different but be aware of how long your body goes without food, whilst dieting the body is already under pressure. Make sure you refuel so that muscle loss doesn't occur.
Chapter 4: Fad Supplements and Ingredients
When it comes to weight loss, it’s tempting to want a magic pill or item that will help you to reach your fat loss goals. But, realistically, whether it is skinny wraps or weight loss pills, many of the supplements and ingredients available simply don’t work.
Proprietary Blend Supplements
Supplements that contain “proprietary blends” are more common than ever. You will see the term “proprietary blend” on a number of supplements for fat loss. But, this is an issue for a number of reasons.
The term proprietary blend simply refers to ingredients that have been bundled together. So, instead of stating specific ingredients and amounts of all the ingredients, the label simply states them all as one, under the term “proprietary blend”.
This means you don’t know exactly what’s in the supplement, or if it is hiding any potentially harmful ingredients. Also, all ingredients have an effective dose, confirmed by scientific research, but with a proprietary blend, you won’t know if it contains an effective dose. For example you need roughly 3.2mg of beta alanine for an effective dose, 5g of creatine (30 days to be saturated with creatine at this dose), 4-5g of leucine to spike maximum protein synthesis and so fourth. Research into the dosages needed and if companies tend to hide away from these then you can suspect the amount in their proprietary blend is below, not always but most likely.
Note: Some companies use proprietary blends to hide their formula for that supplements. They may have worked out a blend that is highly effective and do not want their competitors to figure it out. It's worth taking all these points into consideration and looking at reviews done on the supplement. Respectable companies will have the effective dose within their blends.
From Instagram to blog posts, skinny wraps seem to be everywhere at the moment. But wraps that claim to make you lose weight or detox your body simply don’t work. A body wrap, scientifically and medically speaking, does not have the ability to make you lose fat.
After you remove a slimming wrap, you might get the appearance of tightness, but this will be temporary. Aside from not being able to make you lose fat, wraps can’t detox you either. There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that wraps can remove toxins from the body.
Fat Loss Supplements
Many fat loss supplements don’t work, and many of them pose health risks too. One fad ingredient previously used in fat loss pills, called DNP, was discovered to pose significant health risks. Some shady supplement companies would use this dangerous drug in their fat burners. It works but is not meant for human consumption. It can turn your body into a furnace and there has been several reported deaths in the UK alone in 2015 due to the usage of DNP.
There are still many fat loss supplements on the market that contain ingredients, which don’t really work.
For example, guar gum, which is also known as Guarana or Paullinia cupana, is used in some fat loss supplements, but research has shown that it is not a fat burning compound. While this ingredient has been researched more than other fat loss ingredients, researchers still conclude that it is ineffective for fat loss.
Another commonly used ingredient in fat loss supplements is glucomannan. According to research, there is no substantial evidence to support the idea that glucomannan is effective for weight loss.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid, or CLA as it is also known, is another commonly used ingredient in fat loss supplements, even though it is not proven conclusively beneficial for weight loss. Some studies show some evidence it can work, some people report noticeable effects so it may be worth trying. In the grand scheme of things it should be used in conjunction with other proven ingredients for maximum effect.
According to a systematic review by researchers at the Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, CLA offers no advantage to people struggling with their weight, as it does not have a long-term effect on body composition.
Chapter 5: Sustainable Dieting
Flexibility and sustainably are two of the most important factors when it comes to dieting. If your diet is too restrictive and it doesn’t allow for any flexibility, like the paleo diet or the Atkins diet, it will not be sustainable, meaning you won’t meet your fat loss goals.
One of the most flexible and sustainable diets, is the If it Fits your Macros diet. IIFYM is a diet that is popular with many people from doctors to bodybuilders, like Layne Norton who just happens to be both.
So, whether you are an athlete looking to get your body fat percentage to single digits or a bodybuilder looking to get lean, the IIFYM diet could help you.
What is If it Fits your Macros (IIFYM)
IIFYM is more of philosophy than a diet. It doesn’t require you to cut anything out or to restrict yourself. People that promote IIFYM argue that eating the same food over and over is not only boring and an unsustainable way to diet, but that it doesn’t give you any better results than eating a variety of foods. IIFYM allows you to eat whatever you want, within reason, as long as it fits in with your macros.
So, what exactly are Macros?
The term “macros” refers to three macronutrients, which are proteins, fats and carbohydrates (including fibre).
How Do you Calculate your Macros?
As mentioned in chapter one, the best way to lose fat is to create an imbalance between your energy in and your energy out. So, by now, you should have determined what type of calorie deficit you need to lose fat.
So, for the purpose of this example, let’s just say that your daily calorific intake for fat loss is 2000. The classic way to break down your macros is by following a 40/40/20 plan. This means that if you are eating 2000 calories per day, you will eat 800 calories worth of protein, 800 calories worth of carbohydrates and 400 calories worth of fat per day.
You will need to convert the calories into grams to determine how many grams you need of each macro per day. There are four calories in one gram of carbohydrates, there are four calories in one gram of protein and there are nine calories in a gram of fat. So, on a 2000 calories per day diet, you would need 200 grams of protein, 200 grams of carbohydrates and 44 grams of fat.
On the IIFYM diet, you don’t have to cut anything out. So, if you go out for a meal with your spouse and you want to order the chocolate cake, then do so, as long as it fits your macros. So, it’s a much more sustainable form of dieting. It would just require you to re-adjust your meals for the day if you did end up having a naughty snack. It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. A few minutes out of your day to keep track of your macronutrients and you will find yourself getting better long-term results.
Tools that can help you out:
MyFitnessPal (App for iPhone and Android)
Chapter 6: Supplements That Work
When it comes to fat loss, flexible dieting using the If it Fits your Macros philosophy can be highly beneficial. But, it can also be a good idea to use a fat loss supplement, which contains ingredients that actually work, rather than fad ingredients.
So what ingredients do work when it comes to fat loss?
According to a number of studies, green tea can aid fat loss. Green tea contains compounds called catechins, which have benefits on lipid oxidation and fat-burning. The polyphenols found in green tea, combined with caffeine, improve weight maintenance. Green tea is an excellent supplement for people looking to burn fat, without losing muscle.
Caffeine is an effective compound for fat loss. According to one study by Yoshida T, et al, for 30 minutes after taking an oral dose of caffeine, obese women saw a metabolic spike.
When combined with a calorie-restricted diet, this spike reduced bodyweight. Other research has shown that caffeine could suppress appetite, making it an all-round, efficient ingredient for fat loss. Caffeine is also an excellent compound for improving performance during exercise.
A popular form of caffeine used in fat loss supplements is called caffeine anhydrous. This is a very potent form of caffeine, which contains essentially no water.
Note: Check out our fat burners guide here
Capsicum is a compound from the chili plant, which is highly beneficial for fat loss, for a number of reasons. It can increase your metabolic rate, so it can help you to burn more fat, even when you are at rest. According to research, it can increase your metabolism for thirty minutes after a meal. Capsicum also increases satiety, while reducing appetite.
Green Coffee Extract
Green Coffee Extract is derived from coffee beans that aren’t roasted. It contains a much higher level of a compound known as chlorogenic acid than roasted coffee beans. Chlorogenic acid can promote weight loss.
There are other ingredients and supplements that are proven to work but it would mean this guide would get too long and complicated. For simplifictk reasons we believe in keeping it simple here at BodybuildingWarehouse. Just like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson does, a few capsules of caffeine before his morning cardio and he’s on track. There are no magic pills but shedding the last few pounds of fat can be tough. Proven fat burners can help you cross that finish line. examine.com is a great source for bias-free studies on ingredients.
Warrior Blaze Reborn
One particularly effective supplement, which contains all of these effective fat loss ingredients, is warrior blaze reborn. Warrior Blaze combines effective ingredients to deliver a fat loss supplement that truly gives results. This supplement contains science-supported fat loss ingredients, at optimal doses. It’s ideal for gym-goers and athletes alike.
Fat loss takes time. Losing weight too quickly is not healthy or sustainable. By following a flexible and sustainable diet plant, like the IIFYM diet, and taking supplements that work, you can make sure that you lose weight the right way.
Chapter 7: Recommended Resources
Biolayne.com - If It Fits Your Macros and Progressive Overload Training
BodyRecomposition.com - Dieting Tools and Information
Alan Aragon Research Review -Monthly Up-to-date Research Data
Christian Guzman Youtube - Motivation and IIFYM In Action
3DMJ.com | 3DMJ Youtube - Contest Prep (Alberto Nunez)
Other notable mentions: