You think too much. And most of the time, the answers to the questions that plague you are obvious. (No, she isn't enjoying that... Those pants are too short... And, yes, you really should have changed lanes before that guy in the Hyundai got in front of you.) But when it comes to fat-loss training, we can see how you get confused.
As you've probably discovered through trial and plenty of error, losing ab-covering flab is a bit more complicated than just eating less and exercising more. But that doesn't mean you need to dedicate the rest of your life to figuring out the exact science of it (and because summer is less than three months away, you don't have the time, anyway). Instead, we suggest you listen to us-two of the world's most respected authorities on nutrition and training-because we've got the formula for weight loss down pat.
FAT LOSS FOR DUMMIES Our exclusive program, previewed here for MF, is called Human Inferno, and it's designed to transform your body into a fat-burning furnace with flames hot enough to melt the blubber off your body in just 28 days. The program includes a complete exercise regimen and a sample meal plan for your first week (which, with a few adjustments that we'll explain on page 138, can be adapted for the whole month as well)- ensuring that you achieve maximal fat loss in a minimal amount of time.
All we ask is that you follow our directions to the letter. (So if you have a problem with authority, Maverick, this program may not work for you.) There's no need to wonder about when you should work out, how many carbs were in your last meal, or how much cardio you need to do-it's all been laid out in detail. See "Training Schedule" on page 130 for each day's training agenda and "Hot Meals" on page 138 for the weeklong eating guide (which includes recommendations regarding protein, fat, carbohydrate, and calorie content for each meal).
Although we're confident you'll see tremendous results in under a month, you're welcome to extend the program for up to 99 days for even greater leanness. You can purchase the remaining weeks' workouts and meal plans from us directly at HUMANINFERNO.COM.
CHEW ON THIS Most guys who do fine in the gym blow their fat-loss efforts at the kitchen table. Whether they cut calories too fast or from the wrong foods, poor nutrition causes them to plateau before their training does. To ensure that you're eating exactly the right number of calories to lose fat while supporting the muscle you build in the gym, you need to make the following calculations before you enter the inferno.
A. First, find your basal metabolic rate-the number of calories your body needs to consume just to stay alive. Use this formula: 66 + (6.23 x your weight in pounds) + (12.7 x your height in inches) - (6.8 x your age in years).
So, for example, a 28-year-old, 6'2", 215-pound man would need 2,155 calories just to maintain his weight.
Of course, this figure doesn't take into account daily activities (which burn more calories). See "The Activity Factor" at left to determine your activity level, and use the appropriate number to complete the next equation.
B. Multiply the calories you calculated in step A by your activity level.
Assuming the aforementioned man has an activity level of 1.4, he'd need 3,017 calories per day to maintain his current weight given his lifestyle.
C. Now you have enough information to calculate the calories needed to lose fat. Multiply the figure you got for step B by 0.20 (in our example, that comes to 603), and subtract that value fromthe value of B. (So, for our man, that would be 3,017 - 603 = 2,414.)
D. Round the number up or down to the nearest hundred-a value that will be simple to remember and won't require tedious calorie counting when you plan your meals. (The man in our example should focus on eating 2,400 calories a day to lose fat steadily.)
Now that you know how many calories to eat, follow our meal plan, which lists recommended foods and serving sizes for six meals a day for a whole week. Bear in mind, however, that the recommendations in our sample were made for the man in our example, so the totals come out to approximately 2,400 calories per day. Depending on what number you calculated for yourself, you'll have to adjust your serving sizes up or down accordingly. In other words, start reading labels on your food and be prepared to do some basic math.
The Activity Factor
Before you can lose weight, you've got to calculate the number of calories you actually burn each day
»If you've never worked out, or you're just getting back into it with this program, multiply the value you calculated for A (at right) by 1.2.
»If you work a desk job, and the only activity you get (other than your workouts) is taking a light walk during your lunch hour, multiply A by 1.4. (Note: Most people will fall into this category. Even if you're in pretty good shape and just want to lose a few pounds, if all your exercise up till now came from a few gym sessions a week, you're still considered fairly inactive.)
»If you work a desk job but make time to play sports after work or take brisk jogs in addition to your workouts, multiply the figure by 1.6.
»If you have a physical job (such as working construction or other manual labor) and still work out regularly, multiply the figure by 1.8.