Almost anyone who spends any real time in the gym looks to drop body fat and improve their definition at one point or another. However, when they endeavor learn how to lean out, they often come across information that is incorrect, only provides temporary results, or is even downright dangerous. This article will give you a few tips on not only how to lean out the right way, but to do it safely and for your results to be long lasting.
How many times have you heard or read the latest weight loss supplement, class, or program claiming something like “lose 30lbs in 30 days”? Chances are you’ve seen it a lot. While these claims sound great, they’re often just not possible. Unless you’re significantly overweight (say 50-75lbs or more) and make some pretty drastic changes (going on a crash diet, doing multiple hours of cardio per day, etc.), the body simply just doesn’t lose fat that quickly.
Even if there is that radical of a change in bodyweight in such a short period of time, it’s highly likely due to the body retaining less water, starvation leading the body to breaking down its own muscle and tissues, or something else similar. None of these are healthy or long lasting.
When figuring how to lean out, the most important thing to know is your numbers – specifically your daily caloric intake and macros. Good general rules that work well are as follows:
Say you wanted to weigh 175lbs. Your daily caloric intake would then be 1750 (175 x 10) and protein intake would be 175g (175 x 1). Since protein contains 4 calories per gram, this would mean that you’re taking in 700 (175 x 4) calories per day from protein. This leaves you 1050 (1750 – 700) calories left per day to split between carbs and fats however you like. Just be sure to remember that carbs contain 4 calories per gram while fat contains 9 calories per gram.
Sticking to a plan like this, when combined with a workout program based on strength training and moderate cardio, will see your body fat dropping as rapidly as possible, while still doing so at a safe level. The only caveat to the above would be if you were more than 40-50lbs overweight. If you are, pick a bodyweight that has you losing 40-50lbs, base your calculations off that, then readjust for your ultimate goal bodyweight later on.
Most so-called “experts” trying to teach you how to lean out will say that the specific foods you eat, the combinations in which you eat them, and when you eat can all make crucial differences in your weight loss success. However, the fact is that this really just isn’t true. While they may play a minor role, the vast majority of your results will come from keeping your calories and macros within the recommended guidelines. This is what you should put most of your focus on.
Many who try to figure how to lean out will first think that they need a super-intense workout based on a lot of cardio, interval training, circuits, and the like. While these can definitely help, the problem with basing most of your fat loss success on your workout is that you’ll need to burn quite a high number of calories. Unless you’re training for multiple hours per day, it’s often simply just not going to burn enough calories. This is why diet is the most crucial aspect.
Instead, your primary focus should be on strength training. This will not only keep you strong, but preserve muscle while you’re in a long-term caloric deficit. If anything, by attempting to get stronger while keeping your protein intake high, you may even build muscle while losing fat. Some moderate cardio is good for added calorie burning and to help facilitate recovery. Just be careful as doing too much cardio can lead to increased hunger, which may cause you to want to eat more.
There are seemingly endless methods on how to lean out, but it’s really not that complicated – you just have to keep yourself in a long-term caloric deficit. Finding meal options that you not only enjoy eating but stick within the above calorie and macro recommendations will go a long way toward this. Combine that with a solid strength-based workout plan and your body fat will start consistently coming off.