- Established: 2013
- Founder: Tom Venuto
- Accessibility: Book, online tools, members-only support group
- Diet Type: Body building, Balancing macronutrients
- Gender: Male, female
- Celebrity Endorsements: None
Do You Know the Best Diets of 2018?
Tom Venuto, a fitness industry veteran since 1989, begins his book Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by saying, “I was not always a bestselling author, personal trainer and fat-loss expert, getting written up in Men’s Fitness and O, The Oprah Magazine. I certainly wasn’t winning bodybuilding contests or doing photo shoots.”
No. All that came much later.
When Venuto was 14, he realized he had a tire around his middle and “the worst affliction a warm-blooded male teenager could have – ‘man boobs.’” Just like the millions of Americans suffering from a “spare tire” or “muffin top,” Venuto hated his body and lived with paralyzing self-consciousness, especially during shirts and skins basketball.
Conan the Barbarian, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, was Venuto’s inspiration to change his body and his life forever.
“It was the most awesome physique I’d ever seen. That was the moment I knew I wanted muscles,” Venuto said.
In Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, Venuto reveals secrets from the strongest, fittest and leanest people in the world, from body builders to fitness models. These athletes don’t diet, don’t lose muscle, and do break through physical plateaus. And Venuto’s “bible of fat loss” tells you how.
Venuto claims that Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle is the most powerful body transformation program ever developed. The program covers all four elements of the fat-burning equation through the L.E.A.N. Plan of Action (learn, eat, activate and new body).
LEARN refers to mental training, the most important element of the fat-burning equation. According to Venuto, you must train your mind by changing your thought process about weight loss before you can train your body. Many plans go awry due to neglecting to set realistic goals and thinking: “I can’t lose weight no matter what I do.” Venuto outlines several ways to phrase goals and think about your fat-loss progress.
EAT refers to nutrition, the second element. Venuto teaches you to understand calories and calculate your daily caloric needs depending on whether you want to lose fat or gain muscle.
Activate and New Body refer to cardio training and weight training, respectively. The high-intensity aerobic cardio training coupled with the targeted strength training of weight lifting are necessary parts of the fat-loss equation.
- Author is a 25-year veteran in the fitness industry, including years spent as a personal trainer and a lifetime as a body builder
- Completely outlines meals and meal plans
- Both cardio and weight training are encouraged for total body fitness
- Nutrition and exercise plans are based on body science and mathematics
- Provides different types of diets (low-carb, low-fat) to accelerate fat loss
- Free online tools at BurntheFatFeedtheMuscle.com and online support group available for users
- Appendices include a goal-setting worksheet, progress chart and calorie/macronutrient quick reference charts
- Targeted to people who want to be physique athletes, such as body builders and fitness models; does not necessarily point out that any person might benefit
- Meals can be adjusted according to food allergies or some personal preferences, but the meals outlined are not creative and could be considered bland
- Both cardio and weight training are highlighted, but weight training has greater emphasis, which makes it seem like cardio is not as important
- Weight training workouts require several types of equipment, which might require a gym membership or investment in equipment
- Available online support group at BurntheFatInnerCircle.com is members-only
Venuto bases the diet and nutrition program in Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle on the simple claim that diets do not work. Low-calorie diets, he warns, increase cravings, slow metabolic rate, and decrease energy, among other detrimental effects. In addition, low-calories diets are not sustainable so the likelihood that you will put the weight back on is greater than if you weren’t dieting.
In Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, Venuto walks you through how to determine your daily caloric needs based on your fat-loss goal as well as how to calculate several scientific equations that make up your body’s health measurements, such as body mass index.
The Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle meal planning system then incorporates your new calorie knowledge and Venuto’s guidelines for nutrition into an easy method of turning food into meals and meals into meal plans.
Venuto provides a template for you to use to develop each meal:
- Include a lean protein.
- Include a starchy carb.
- Include a fibrous carb.
- Add healthy fats into some meals as needed to reach your daily goal.
A typical breakfast following Venuto’s simple template looks like:
- Scrambled eggs (lean protein)
- Four-grain hot cereal with flax (starchy carb)
- Blueberries (fibrous carb or fruit)
In addition to this simple template, Venuto outlines which foods fit into which categories and food substitutions for people with food allergies or for picky eaters. More meal and meal planning templates are provided farther along in Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle.
Another reason people do not see lasting results when dieting is because dieting is all they do. Remember the four elements of the fat-burning equation? Cardio training and weight training are crucial elements three and four.
The Burn the Fat part of Venuto’s book first outlines the different types of cardio training available, such as walking, jogging and rowing, and then advises people how often and how long cardio training should occur.
For example, a beginner is recommended to train three times a week and build up to five-to-seven times a week. As for the duration of a cardio workout, Venuto recommends 20-30 minutes of high intensity cardio or 40-45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio. Again, beginners should start small and build up to higher intensity sessions.
Venuto outlines cardio plans for beginners, year-round fitness, maintenance, and fat loss. The book also provides a personal cardio planner for four weeks
Cardio training fulfills just one element of fitness in Venuto’s plan. Weight training completes the fat loss equation.
In Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, Venuto provides beginners with a muscle primer schedule, calling for three weight training sessions a week. More experienced weight lifters are encouraged to skip ahead to the TNB-28, a workout regimen that combines the principles of bodybuilding with the fitness goals of a regular guy or girl.
Unlike cardio training, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, provides more options for weight training.
- The Two-Day Split Routine, which breaks a workout into an upper body day and lower body plus abs day
- The Four-Day Weekly Workout Schedule
- The Three-Day Weekly Workout Schedule, adapted from the Four-Day Weekly Workout for people who feel they might need an extra day to recover
A typical workout includes barbell rows, chin-ups, lying triceps extension and incline dumbbell press, which requires a person following the plan to have a gym membership or a lot of equipment at home.
Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle not only provides advice and guidelines for fat loss, but it also provides the necessary science, equations, meal planning system and workout routines required for people to follow the advice and guidelines.
While some people might find Venuto’s approach to food as fuel and his scientific method of developing meals and meal plans bland, he steadfastly posits that by following his meal planning system, fat loss will occur (and he does allow for scheduled cheat days).
Venuto, a body builder and personal trainer, focuses heavily on weight training so much so that hitting the treadmill doesn’t seem as important as hitting the weight room. But he deftly argues both sides of the fitness equation, which requires both cardio and weight training.
Venuto developed his nutrition and fitness program for fat loss, not weight loss, and he made it sustainable so people could follow it for initial fat loss and maintain it for forever fitness.
If you’re interested in following the nutrition and fitness regimen outlined in Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, you should ensure that you are prepared to change more than your day-to-day diet and exercise routine. You should also discuss the intensity of the workouts recommended and the calorie maintenance required with a doctor before beginning the program.
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