Diet is by far the most important aspect of a fat loss program for getting lean. You can start reducing body fat by simply adjusting your diet (reduce calorie intake) even in the absence of a fat burning workout program. On the other hand, you could be using the best and most perfect workout program ever designed, if your diet is not structured properly in accordance with your goals you’ll most likely fail to get any results.
Controlling the rate of fat loss, improving health, maintaining muscle, increasing fitness and minimizing most of the bad effects that can be experienced during the course of long-term caloric restriction are also factors that can be impacted by your diet plan. That’s why it’s crucial to have a good diet/nutrition plan that includes all the right elements for reaching your fat loss goals. Keep reading to learn the rules of a good diet plan to get lean.
1. The Calorie Deficit Comes First
A calorie deficit is the most important factor for losing fat and your diet must be structured to make it happen. A calorie deficit happens when you burn more calories than you are consuming. Most fat loss programs call for reducing calorie intake combined with following a fat burning workout program to create the required calorie deficit for losing fat.
However, it’s possible also to create a calorie deficit by burning calories with a fat burning workout program while keeping your calorie intake at normal maintenance levels. Nonetheless, fat loss will happen much more efficiently when you create an initial deficit with your diet by simply reducing your calorie intake.
To create a calorie deficit with your diet, first, you have to find your calorie maintenance level or Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). If your calorie maintenance level is 3000 calories, consuming 2500 calories a day will give you a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories. That’s how simple the concept of creating a calorie deficit with your diet is for getting lean.
In order to burn 1 pound of fat, you have to burn approximately 3500 calories. If you have a deficit of 500 calories per day you’ll lose a pound of fat in 7 days time (1 week). It’s recommended to try losing about 1-2 pounds of fat per week to get lean. This fat loss rate will help prevent the negative effects that can be caused by prolonged caloric restriction. It is especially important for persons with low levels of body fat to lose smart at a slow to moderate rate.
2. Proper Balance Of Macronutrients (protein, carb and fat)
Your diet to get lean needs to have the proper balance of the three macronutrients: carbohydrate (carb), protein, and fat. Your daily calorie consumption should be divided into these three macronutrients to provide your body with the right amount of calories and nutrients that it needs. Your body needs a certain amount of all three of these macronutrients daily for optimal health and function.
Here’s a basic summary of how each macronutrient affects the process of getting lean.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrate is the body’s primary short-term fuel source. Your body needs carbs for fueling muscles to perform intense workouts and physical activities.
Proteins: Protein must be provided in the diet for muscle repair and growth. Also, consuming protein will keep you fuller for longer, so you’ll find it easier to stick to your calorie deficit each day. Protein has the highest thermic effect of the three macronutrients which means your body burns more calories when you eat and digest protein than when you digest either fats or carbs.
Fats: Consuming enough of the good fat will help with fat loss, muscle building, and recovery. Healthy fats also have myriad health benefits.
When you are aiming to get lean you have to balance the macronutrients properly to fit your specific goals and body type. Some people may get good results from a ratio of 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fat. But some other people may do better with a ratio of lower carb and higher protein. Remember, everyone is different and the same ratio of protein, carbohydrate and fat consumption would create different outcomes for different individuals. The idea is to find what combination(s) work best for you.
3. Avoid Unnecessary Restrictions You Do Not Like
You’ll always have to control your eating habits to lose fat, but it doesn’t mean that your diet cannot be satisfying and fitting to your personal eating preferences when trying to get lean. Many people, being misinformed about fat loss, often choose the wrong diet plan that unnecessarily restricts their food consumption and/or limits their food options. This usually leads to the dieter feeling miserable, becoming frustrated, relapsing (gaining fat back) and finally giving up on their efforts.
It’s important to have a satisfying eating plan as a means of helping with diet compliance and long-term fat loss success. All you need is a calorie deficit to lose fat and it doesn’t have to be extreme. So you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing food types and quantities when aiming to get lean.
While some foods are healthier than others and the body treats each macronutrient differently, there is no special type of food that will make you lose or gain fat. The fat loss process itself is determined by calories only: calories in vs calories out.
With that said, you do not have to completely give up any specific food type to get lean. The key to having a diet for optimal fat loss results and good health benefits is “proper balance and moderation of foods”.
4. Select The Right Food Sources For Each Macronutrient
As I stated above no food has to be completely avoided when trying to get lean because there is no specific type of food that cause or prevent fat loss. It’s only calories in vs calories out that determines fat loss. However, for improving health and optimizing your results to succeed in getting a lean body it’s important to minimize your intake of certain low-quality foods and ensure that certain high-quality foods are consumed in adequate amounts.
This is necessary to maintain good health by providing your body the right amount of quality nutrients it needs to function properly, which will also help optimize your results and success in getting lean.
For each one of the macronutrients: carb, protein and fat, there are some foods that are higher in nutritional value than others or will help with getting lean better than others. A lean muscular body must also be a healthy body, so it’s important to feed your body with calories and macronutrients from quality food sources.
If you want good health and ensure that your body functions optimally then reduce your intake of foods that are labeled as unhealthy or lack nutritional value such as trans fatty acids and refined sugars. Try to eat more unprocessed foods, plenty of fiber, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids.
5. Drink plenty of water
Most people know that drinking water is vital for life, but many people overlook the importance of water for losing weight. Water is a very important appetite suppressant, which means you will eat less food by drinking more water. Water has no calories you can drink as much water as you want and not worry about accumulating extra calories in your body.
Try drinking water in the place of processed drinks or sweet juices. Anytime you are experiencing hunger or cravings that could cause you to eat out of your diet plan, simply try drinking some pure water to feel full again.
6. Plan Your Meal Schedule In A Way That’s Best For You
The number of meals to eat per day in a fat loss diet plan is a much-debated subject. Some people believe it’s better to eat smaller meals more frequently (5-6 meals per day) and others believe the ideal meal schedule for fat loss is 3 meals per day.
The truth is, you are free to choose your meal frequency according to what fits you best. The important thing is making sure to stick to the planned calorie and macronutrients intake.
I hope these tips would help you get some good insights to have the right diet to get lean.