How many reps to build muscle and lose fat?

When trying to figure out how many reps to build muscle and lose fat, for any given set you need to learn the simple concept of 1 Rep Max. 

But first, let’s learn what a rep or a repetition is.

A repetition is a complete movement through a particular exercise.

Now let’s discuss:

One Rep Max. 

One rep max is the maximum amount of weight a trainee can lift for any given movement for one rep.

If you can lift 300 pounds on a deadlift for just one rep no matter how hard you try, your one rep max for deadlift is 300 pounds. 

Now, I don’t recommend you go out there on the gym floor and figure out your one-rep max, especially if you don’t have any experience in lifting weights or are still a beginner. It’s not advisable as it may lead to injury, fortunately, there is an easy way out to figure out your one rep max. 

Go to your web browser now, and type in this url: http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax.html)


Now type in 30kg for 8 reps. Let’s say this is the weight you lift on your Incline Chest Press.

Now, roll your eyes towards the right side: Different weights have come up in different boxes and the subsequent reps are being given. 

For example, if you lift 26kg you can do close to 10-12 reps [See 70% intensity in the table below].

If you pick up, 31 kg, the intensity increases and the number of reps decreases to 5-6 reps [See 85% intensity in the table below]:

The relationship is very clear: If the amount of weight you lift increases the number of reps decreases. 

And using the above table is a brilliant way to figure out at what intensity which is shown in percentage of your 1 rep max is shown. 

Lower the intensity, higher the number of reps. Just remember this for now as we shall use this knowledge in just a moment. 

Ok, now the question is:

Just how many reps should we perform for each set?

Should we go all out, i.e. focus on one rep max, by lifting super heavyweights, close to 100% intensity, or should we go light and focus on lifting, 15 reps which have an intensity of 15 reps or more?

This will require to briefly discuss (another) concept.

Concept Number 2. 

Once we have an idea about the relationship between the intensity level and the number of reps, we need to know eventually at what intensity should we lift. i.e. should we lift light weight and focus on higher reps like 12, 15 or more, or should we focus on low reps like 10 or less? 

When trying to build an ideal male physique, you should know that building muscle is a major part of it (besides of course fat loss).

Contrary to what you think or believe, building muscle is a slow process and especially for people like me who are ectomorphs and have skinny fat genes, it’s even more painfully slow.

Ladies, for you it’s very very slow….!

My point that I am trying to make here is that it’s a very BIG myth that lifting weights, will make you look bulky. It does not.

So when trying to figure out our rep range we need to pick an intensity level that helps us:

To build muscle and lose fat in the most effective manner. 

To build muscles you need to lift weights between 70 – 85 percent of your 1 rep max, which creates the greatest hypertrophy (a fancy term used when referring to muscle size). If you notice in the above table, this means you would do 5 – 12 repetitions for every set.

A meta-analysis of 140 studies was done in 2003 in relation to strength training, and the researchers concluded that “training with a mean intensity of 60 percent (15 reps) of one repetition maximum elicits maximal gains in untrained individuals, whereas 80 percent (6 – 7 reps) is most effective in those who are trained.”  

Now, some fitness experts swear by the low rep range (3 – 5), whereas others advocate a more moderate range (7 – 12). Which is the best for optimal hypertrophy? To answer this question, we need to figure out what exactly muscle hypertrophy is and what types exist.

Muscle hypertrophy is an increase in the size of skeletal muscles.

Hypertrophy is of two types:

Myofibrillar hypertrophy

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy

Myofibrillar hypertrophy is an increase in the size and number of the myofibril contractile proteins actin and myosin. When they grow in number within a muscle fibre, the amount of force that can be produced goes up too. Heavy lifting (80-100% of 1 rep max) induces this type of hypertrophy. Focusing on this kind of hypertrophy gives you rock hard, dense muscles.

On the other hand, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is an increase in non-contractile components (collagen, glycogen, water, etc.) in the muscle cell. This type of hypertrophy may result in greater muscle bulk without increases in strength. Moderate weights (70 – 80 percent of 1 rep max) induces this type of hypertrophy. Focusing on this kind of hypertrophy gives you those puffy bodybuilder muscles. 

So keep this in mind: 

Myofibrillar hypertrophy: Heavy Lifting: Above 80% intensity: 6 reps or less

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy: Moderate Lifting: 70-80% intensity: 7 reps to 12 reps. 

The former is a more permanent type of muscle growth whereas the latter is somewhat temporary.

You’ll be happy to know that building muscle is like learning how to drive a car.

Once you have learned how to drive a car, you really don’t forget it even when you drive after a year of gap, same thing with muscle building. Once you have reached a good level of muscle mass, and you take a break, your muscle really never goes away…sure there is a loss of glycogen stores, water loss, and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, so size does decrease, but the size and number of myofibril does not decrease.

But do note this is not for life, and the point that I am trying to make here is that its possible to maintain your muscle mass with very little maintenance work, although the same cannot be said about gaining fat as when you stop gyming, fat gain is very prominent.

So after analyzing scores of studies, and from my own experience of over a decade in the fitness and muscle building field, I can say that:

The optimal rep range for muscle growth is 5 – 7 reps.

A nice mix of both types of hypertrophy. 

Our main focus will be to get as strong as possible with this rep range (which is good enough for some sarcoplasmic hypertrophy as well).

Now, in my experience, working out with a rep range of 5 – 7 throughout the year is close to impossible for most trainees and can be very mentally challenging (especially for beginners and intermediates), and that’s the reason some kind of periodization is essential. 

The variety of a higher rep scheme (8 – 10 reps) will add an element of enjoyment and fun and can be a nice break from all that heavy lifting. 

The bottom line is lifting moderate weight is fun, whereas lifting heavier weight is tough. Most trainees focus on the former and end up with a mediocre physique. Over the long term, your muscle growth will depend on how strong you have gotten.

What do you think about this post? What rep range you do most time of the year? Have any doubts/queries? Let me know in the comments below!

3 Morning Detox and Fat Loss Drink for Weight Loss

Hey, Akash here at Fabulousbody.com. In this video, I am going to take you through a step by step process of how I start my morning with these 3 best morning weight loss drinks for weight loss.

The moment I wake up I drink at least 500ml water.

# 1 Morning Detox and Fat Loss Drink for Weight Loss

WATER

This one is pretty obvious right. We all know water is amazing and that 70 percent of our body is made up of water, and it delivers nutrients and take out waste material out of our cells, and we can stay without food for few weeks, but cannot survive without water for just a few days, yet no one drinks enough water.

7 out of 10 people worldwide are dehydrated.

If you have chapped lips, and dry mouth, my friend you are already dehydrated.

If your urine colour is dark yellow you are dehydrated.

If you can extract just one important message from this video, then extract this.

Start drinking at least 8-9 glasses of water every day. You’ll be doing yourself a HUGE favour and your health will drastically improve as a result of doing this simple practice.

Ideal, water intake is 1 litre/20 kg of your body weight.

Start by drinking a lot of water first thing in the morning.

Drink water before, during and after your workouts, that is of course if you do them in the first place.

Keep a water bottle with you at your desk at all times. So what if you need to frequent the restroom often, its ok, you can use the break and save yourself from chronic sitting. See drinking water has some indirect benefits too:)

Ok, sorry I just get carried away, its just it amazes me how people research for some weird connotations that are going to melt off the belly fat in like 2 days, yet they don’t even drill down on the fundamentals. Water is and will always be the number one fat loss and detox drink.

Keep it simple and keep it real!

Moving on, let’s talk about one of my favourite fat loss and detox drink Apple cider Vinegar [with the mother].

# 2 Morning Detox and Fat Loss Drink for Weight Loss

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Here the ‘Mother’ is referred to as a collection of beneficial bacteria that seems to have a lot of health benefits.

Always buy unrefined, unpasteurized vinegar with the mother. The good ones will have this murky appearance whereas the refined ones will be clear and have no benefits.

The biggest advantage of ACV is that it lowers your insulin levels and lowers the risk of heart disease.

Head over to the link to an article I have given if you want to know the details of how ACV helps your body.

How much ACV should you drink every day?

10-15ml 2-3 times a day is the maximal limit.

There is no time restriction and you can drink it in the morning, before your meals, after your meals, before bed, I sometimes carry it to my gym and sip it during my workout.

# 3 Morning Detox and Fat Loss Drink for Weight Loss

LEMON JUICE WITH RAW HONEY

Drinking Lemon Juice mixed with unprocessed honey is something that no expert will argue about.

Why?

It fucking works….

The benefits are fabulous.

This is a must drink like the one above as the benefits are simply awesome.

-It supports liver function and it cleanses your liver from the toxin buildup.

-Helps with your digestion

-Natural energy booster and literally wakes you up..without having to start your day with caffeine.

-Acts as an antibacterial and collagen-booster for the skin, in short, it makes your skin glow

-High potassium content relives you of any anxiety and keeps your brain sharp.

-Lastly, it also revs up your metabolism so that you can burn more fat.

Adding unprocessed honey, that is raw honey, can further help with digestive issues, soothes a sore throat, it’s anti-bacterial and antifungal and a good source of antioxidant.

A very common question is that, should you use warm water or cold water?

Bhaiya, koi pharak nahi patdta! (Does not matter!)

Doing it every day is more important than getting the temperature of water right.

Although, the honey mixes well with warm water.

And then, instead of throwing away the lemons I just throw it in my water jug….and make full use of it….

Hope you enjoyed this video.

What are your detox and fat loss drinks you consume every day?

Share it with me and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!

Hrithik Roshan Body Transformation| Hrithik Roshan Workout & Diet

Image Source: Time of India

Hrithik already had done the hard work building up his muscle mass. Starting from his first movie ‘Kaho Na Pyaar Hai’ [Yr 2000] he already had a decent physique with one of the best arms I had seen.

So building muscle mass was not a problem for him in his before picture.

Over the past decade, he has seemed to suffer many injuries mostly related to his spine.

He gained weight because he was bedridden for few months from slip disc. He let go off completely this time and was enjoying cupcakes and brownies.

He was also smoking 3 packs of cigarettes!!

But one day he decided that this should stop.

He was scheduled to shoot for his upcoming movie Krish-2 in which he was playing a super-hero.

That kept him going and he started looking for mentors. Fortunately, he found one in Kris Gethin. He was also happy about the fact that his upcoming movie Krish-2 had his trainer’s first name.

I personally would have considered it a good omen and I guess seeing his transformation, it was indeed:)

Hrithik Roshan’s Bodybuilding Routine

He lost 22 lbs in 10 weeks. That’s 2.2 lbs a week.

He lost 6.5 inches off his waist. I generally equate 1 inch of waist to 2kg of fat. That’s 28.6 pounds lost.

Well, I could guess that he may have gained 4–5 pounds of lean muscle during the 10 weeks (this would probably be due to muscle memory as during his down phase he would have lost some lean mass), resulting in a net loss of 22 lbs.

Hrithik Roshan Workout Routine:

Hrithik relied on Crossfit,  Weight Training and Cardio Training.

Cardio: 40 min, 5 times a week

Crossfit: Time not mentioned…I guess not more than 2 hours a week split into few sessions.

Hrithik Roshan Workout Routine Weekly Time Commitment: 8–9 hours /week (Average Estimate)

Weight training:

Mon: Chest Back Calves

Tue: Legs

Wed: Rest

Thr: Shoulder Abs Calves

Fri: Arms

Hrithik Roshan Diet

He mainly got his protein from whey, fish, steak, egg whites.

Carbs from rice, oats, pasta, and fibrous vegetables like spinach, broccoli

Supplements

Too many to list here. I will give you the link to this information. You can read it there.

Analysis:

Although I cannot guess the exact details of what is listed on the net, I guess Hrithik was doing weight training 4 times a week.

The total volume [sets*reps] seems pretty decent and very reasonable. Also since he is focussing on the rep range of 8–10, the weights he lifted were not super heavy.

I guess his workout would not take longer than 30 min (excluding warm up cool down and ab work)

Cardio was done in 2 sessions, 20 minutes in morning and 20 minutes post workout in the evening.

If he did this for 5 times, it would come out to 3.3 hours a week. Which I feel is quite a lot.

I would shave off at least 1 hr of cardio work here. 2 hours is the maximum one should go for.

Too much cardio along with weights and CrossFit and being in a caloric deficit releases lot of cortisol that can result in muscle mass loss.

But I guess in case of Hrithik, for 10 weeks he was completely focussed on his transformation.

He would have rested and slept good enough time, had extremely nutritious meals and boatloads of supplements, so probably the recovery would have been faster.

He was also doing CrossFit. Although details are not mentioned about the length and frequency of these sessions, I would like to think they would be for 20 minutes few times a week.

Anyone who has done CrossFitsfit, they know it can be intense training. Coupled with weight training, it can seriously be taxing on the body especially one’s nervous system which recovers much slower than your muscular system.

Movie stars like Hrithik have limited time period in which they need to make transformations, so I guess they push extra hard in those times.

I highly discourage individuals like you and me to follow his routine as there are high chances of injury, burnout, and probably lose of lean mass.

Hrithik although has pretty weak genetics and is a true ectomorph, but with master guidance from Kris Gethin and his team of fitness experts, I guess he would have endured this regime.

I also strictly advise against wasting so much money on the supplements that he was consuming.

Kris was the editor-in-chief of Bodybuilding.com – Huge Online Supplement Store & Fitness Community! at that time and that site is mainly about selling a lot of supplements. That’s their priority (although they do provide lot of free information as well, which is good)

Not much detail is also given of his diet plan, including his caloric intake, which probably would have been manipulated daily based on his progress.

I was amazed to see no mention of healthy fats as I feel at least 25% calories should come from coconut oil, avocados, nuts, chia seeds etc.

Although he was having fish and omega-3 supplements.

Last but not the least, as Hrithik mentioned in one of his interviews, he is pretty sporadic with his fitness regime.

He gets super motivated when he has a target and a purpose to achieve and workouts out 2–3 hours a day, almost every day of the week.

But other times, he is pretty relaxed about it.

Details of this answer procured from this link.

Final Note

I admire Hrithik a lot. I feel he is not only an amazing actor but also a fabulous human being.

But when talking about blindly following the exact fitness regime mentioned and ingesting the supplementing list mentioned, thinking that you will build similar physique in 10–12 weeks is absurd.

There is a lot of things that go into play when trying to make this kind of transformation.

Movie stars are almost short on time and put superhuman effort which for folks like you and me is not an easy task.

This transformation is possible by stretching the time period to about 16–18 weeks or so.

Provided that you have enough muscle mass, losing up to 6–7 inches off your waist is realistic and possible without too many supplement use.

For convenience (I would assume you have a full-time job), whey proteins help, multivitamins and fish oils are more than enough to assist you.

The diet can also be vegetarian and without buying any exotic or expensive ingredients you can manage your diet and nutrition quite well.

Last but not the least, sleeping for 8 hours is mandatory including frequent rest period during the day.

Let me know if you have any comments or doubts about this. I have also written about Aamir Khan’s transformation, you can read it here:

Aamir Khan’s Transformation: What you need to know?

Healthy Diet Plans—3 Fabulous Diet Plans to Choose From

In this post, I will give you three healthiest diet plan (s) to lose weight and/or build muscle.

Here they are:

  1. 1200 Calorie Indian Veg Diet Plan
  2. 1500 Caloric Continental Non-Veg Diet Plan
  3. 1800 Caloric Indian Veg Diet Plan

But simply providing you with some diet plans will not work. You need to know the guidelines that will tell you how to make the following diets truly personalized.

However helping you to perfectly personalize your diet here would be very tough, unless I know your stats like height, weight, and other biomarkers, but the following specific guidelines will surely help.

Based on your fitness goals, you need to select the total calories that you should eat every day.

For fat loss, you should eat 10-30% less than your TDEE.

To build muscle you should eat 5-10% more than your TDEE.

Go through this Ten Step Process to creating the perfect diet plan for fat loss/muscle building. 

Coming back to the main topic:

What really constitutes a healthy diet plan?

  • A diet plan should have all 13 essential vitamins and all trace minerals.
  • A diet plan should have enough fiber. Men need roughly 35-40g per day, whereas females need 25g daily.
  • A diet plan should have food sources which are in sync with one’s cultural preferences.

Not everyone can eat tuna out of a can, right?

  • A diet plan should be flexible enough to match one’s schedule and lifestyle.
  • A diet plan should be allowed at least a few hundred calories from one’s favourite food items like ice-creams, alcohol and other junk foods.

If a diet plan has all of the above, then there is a very high probability that a person will stick to it in the long run:)

With that thought in mind here are 3 diet plans.

Note: 1200 calories is ONLY for females. For any man, it would be considered a starvation diet and they should focus on eating at least 1500 calories daily no matter what their height/weight is.

1200 calorie diet plan

1500 calorie diet plan

1800 calorie Indian veg diet

Diet Planning Mastery | A 7-Step Process

Diet Planning is essential if you want good results.

Nutrition and Diet is literally 70% of your results, so let’s take out a pen and paper and get going, shall we?

In this article, I will give you a 7 Step Process that will allow you to create a personalized fat loss/muscle building diet plan for you.

Step 1: Goal Setting

Decide how much you want to lose/gain and by when

When planning your meals, if your goals are not clear you would not be able to figure out if you want to create a diet plan to build muscle or lose fat.

More than 95% of people (according to a pooled data of more than one thousands gym members at my gym) start a fitness regime to look and feel good.

Most of you reading this would have their body fat percentage in the range of 20-24% (for men) and 30-34% (for women).

And if you bring it down to less than 15% (for men) and less than 25% (for women) you will not only look super amazing but also optimize your health.

Here is a snapshot of me at various body fat percentages:

Akash Body Fat Percentage

Related Post:

Body Fat Percentage Chart For Men & Women (with Pictures)

It’s also a good idea to have a written statement of your goals

Having a goal is not enough. It’s simply wishful thinking. Millions of people join a gym around New Years Time and quit after a few weeks.

Why?

Because they have not crystallized their goals into writing.

I want you to get a step ahead of everyone and be a Fabian (A term I coined for people who want to build a fabulous body…hehe)

Take a print out of this and paste it where you can see it every day (I stole this from my course Diet Planning Mastery):

binding agreement

This practice may seem futile for few days up to 10 days, but if you are consistent and read out your statement 3 times a day loudly and really start to feel and mix emotions and really dig deep and get your emotions out, you will start to see the magic of this step.

This practice will shake your sub-conscious mind that your goal of losing weight/building muscle is a serious one and it’s not just a mere wish. It will allow you to stay focused especially when ‘going gets tough’ and trust me when I say this, it will.

Skip this step at your own risk!

Step 2: The ‘Approach’

Decide what approach suits you the best: Enjoyable | Realistic | Aggressive

Let me say this: You DO NOT have to give up your favorite foods to get fit or lose weight/build muscle. In my course, I have given three approaches that you can select based on how you would like to get results:

The Enjoyable Approach

This approach is ideal for people who:

-Party out a lot

-Are Big Foodies

-Have a strong inclination towards eating junk food/sweets etc

They want to lose weight/get fit but are NOT ready to give up their favorite foods or their lifestyle to get results.

I have provided videos to explain the estimated rate of fat loss/muscle gain based on this approach & other two approaches

i.e. Realistic | Aggressive

Life is too short to give-up Ice-Creams Anyways.:)

Now some of your fitness freaks–who probably eat a super-clean diet might be scoffing at this idea!

30% of calories from Junk Food!

Akash are you crazy!

As it is people are overweight/obese and you are giving people the freedom to eat around 600 calories per day (assuming the individual eats 2000 calories) from their favorite foods (ice-creams, pizzas, burgers, biscuits etc) ??

Yes.

This guy who lost 56 pounds eating nothing but Mc-Donalds. Click on the link and read the entire article. Nia has really nailed it down. You will love the articles epically if you simply cannot give up eating junk/

Nia has really nailed it down. You will love the article especially if you simply cannot give up eating junk/favourite foods to lose weight. I completely agree with her as she says: ” You gotta meet people where they are

Anyone who is not used to eating a single piece of vegetable or fruit and as a health coach you are asking them to eat 5-8 servings per day?

They will quit even before they start!

Start them off slowly by gradually reducing their calories from junk even if it takes longer for them to achieve their goals.

Nia’s Article of a teacher who lost weight on a Mc-Donald diet. 

Here is another example of a professor who lost 27 pounds in 2 months with the Twinkie diet.

The point that I am trying to make here is this: The most important rule when it comes to weight loss is to eat less than your Maintainance calories (TDEE).

This law is foolproof.

If you eat less than your body can burn (TDEE) you will lose weight. Even if most of the calories are coming from junk.

I obviously don’t recommend you start with a McDonald or a twinkie diet, but a 70/30 diet plan is something that literally anyone can follow and include in their lifestyle.

It’s best of both worlds.

Step 3: Calculate your TDEE—Use This Simplest Formula

TDEE—Total Daily Energy Expenditure: The number of calories you eat to maintain your weight. It’s a sum of your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and your Activity Level)

TDEE= BMR + Activity Level

Simplest Formula to Calculate Your TDEE:

Bodyweight (in pounds)

Note: To convert your weight from Kg to Pounds x by 2.2.

TDEE*:

BodyWeight (in lbs) x 12 (If you have a sedentary lifestyle)

BodyWeight (in lbs) x 14 (Moderately Active—you go to the gym 2-3 times a week and do 1–2 sessions of Cardio)

BodyWeight (in lbs) x 16 (Active—you go to the gym 3—5 times a week and do 3—5 sessions of Cardio plus add some walking in your lifestyle)10% of the calories

*10% of the calories are burned when you digest your food. That has been accounted for!

Step 4: Calculate Calories based on your Goals

Calculate the Exact Calories you plan to eat based on the method you decided to pursue —Enjoybale| Realistic | Aggressive

An enjoyable way to lose weight is to follow the 70/30 diet where 70% of the calories are coming from healthy foods whereas 30% of the calories are coming from your favorite cheat foods (pizzas, burgers, ice-cream alcohol and so forth)

Let me illustrate this point better with this table:

Junk unhealthy food table

The idea is simple. As a beginner (or someone who don’t have the motivation/habits to eat healthily), you work towards eating no more than 30% of calories from junk and gradually move towards the right side of the table.

If you simply cannot give up your foods or your habits/lifestyle/preferences won’t allow you, that’s fine too. You simply stay on the 70/30 diet for as long as you want and still lose weight.

Step 5: Decide your Macro Split

Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are your macronutrients (macros).

Let’s start with proteins.

Numerous high-quality studies support the fact that you need an active individual needs to consume between [1.2 to 1.8]g/Kilogram of body weight.

Eating more protein has also a satiety effect that makes you feel full for longer.

For example, when I eat this meal almost daily at around 11 am:

I don’t feel hungry until 7 pm.

For most of you, your protein will be around 25-30% of your total caloric intake.

Say you are 80kg and your total caloric intake is 1800 calories.

Your protein range will be between [96-144]grams per day.

Let’s move on to fats. Fats are good for you. Fats can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You just need to know which fats to eat.

Related articles:

saturated fat: good or bad?

Fat: The Ultimate Guide to the Most Misunderstood Macronutrient

At least 20% to 40% of calories should come from fat. You can go up to 70% (low carb/ketogenic diets)

Rest of the calories can come from carbohydrates.

Step 6: Decide Meal Combos

When we have limited options, it gives us clarity and allows us to be more consistent. We don’t have decision fatigue.

For example, for the past 20 years, I have been eating eggs & Oats for breakfast.

I know the exact calories that I get from the eggs, I know how much oil I use to cook the eggs and so forth. Same thing with oats. I eat roughly 80g which I know gives me 300 calories. Milk, fruits add another 300.

If we have decided that we are going to eat 1800 calories daily to achieve our goals, how are we going to be certain that we stick to it?

Simple. We choose only 3—6 meals combos for a given phase [a period of few months]

Step 8: Make a list of the core ingredients of the foods that you are going to eat and ensure they are stocked up.

Don’t be surprised you end up eating waffles/pancakes for breakfast if you don’t find eggs in your fridge in the morning! Eating waffles or cornflakes or something sugary will cause cravings after a short time and you won’t be able to resist the donut that is offered in your office as a mid-morning snack.

All this may spiral into a bad day of eating:(

So do ensure that you grocery shop one to two times per week and ensure all ingredients are stocked up!

Step 9: Cook your Food [Duh!]

I know many people are taking out a lot of time to plan their meals but when it comes to the action part i.e. cooking their meals they give up and instead order in or opt for some food service companies to deliver food.

Nothing wrong with that. Just ensure you stick within your calorie target and the company that you select are providing foods that are healthy and the macros are tailor-made according to your requirements.

Step 7: Monitoring and Staying on track

Final Note

Stop relying on their gym trainers/fitness pals/ to give you a One-approach Cookie-cutter diet plan which is NOT according to your cultural preferences, habits/behaviours, schedule, lifestyle, and goals.

Be smart and learn this process of creating a personalized diet plan for you or your family. My course Diet Planning Mastery all this in detail.

Which is the ‘BEST’ Fabulous Body Course for me?

Selecting the ‘right’ course may seem confusing for anyone.

In this article, let me break it down for you in easy steps. After reading it you will have a ‘CLEAR’ idea of which course you should go for.:)

Step 1: Figure out your Body Fat Percentage.

Really, this is the first step you should take. Contrary to what you think, you don’t need to figure out the ‘exact’ body fat percentage you are at.

Just know your range.

Check out this charts for I created for both Men and Women:

If you still having doubts, upload your picture in the comments below and I’ll help you out.:)

If you are a Man and have body fat percentage of more than 20 percent

Or you are a Female with a body fat percentage of more than 30 percent

than YOUR MAIN FOCUS should be to lose body fat.

Then you should Enrol in:

SHRED: The Ultimate Fat Loss Solution.

If you are a Skinny Man and have body fat percentage of less than 15 percent and if you are a Skinny Women and have a body fat percentage of less than 25 percent  —have hardly any muscles to show then go for:

MUSCULAR-The Ultimate Muscle Mass Solution.

Key Note: If you are thinking that you can gain a LOT of muscle with body weight training, let me be in your Face and tell you: That you cannot!

And, if you are Skinny Fat, then go for:

LEAN-The Ultimate Skinny Fat Solution. 

Note: A Skinny Fat male will typically be around 20-30% body fat percentage. If you are over 30%, then go for SHRED first and then opt for LEAN.

Similarly, A Skinny Fat Female will typically be around 25 to 35% body fat percentage. If you are over 35%, then go for SHRED first and then opt for LEAN.

What about those people who don’t have access to a gym (or a home gym)?

Opt for [0-20] The Complete 9 Week Body Transformation. You will only be required to buy a pair of dumbbells.

Note: If you have heavier weights you can build a decent amount of muscle with [0-20] also.

What about other courses like The 11-Day Fab Detox Diet?

This is one of my favourite course and I feel everyone should give pursue this Detox Diet every 3-4 months for 11-days.

Most people/experts will tell you that you don’t need to detox your body as your body naturally detoxes. Well, that’s only part of the truth. What they don’t realize is that only in the past 50 years more than 75,000 chemicals have been created by man and you are ingesting all these through air, water and food.

Over time, your liver, colon the main detox organs of your body becomes sluggish and overburdened and unless you provide the essential nutrients required for them to do their job properly you will suffer from toxic overload which will sabotage your health.

Learn more about The 11-Day Fab Detox Diet.

Hope this article helps you in selecting the right Fabulous Body course for you. If you are still confused let me know in the comments below!

How to Lose Belly Fat [2-3] Inches in less than 21 Days | A Step-By-Step Guide | Part-2

You can read Part-1 here if you still haven’t.

Time: 5pm to 7pm

Step 5: Danger Zone

The danger is not over yet. By the time, it’s 5 pm, you have used most of your willpower. Yeah, willpower is like a battery. You wake up with 100% and by the time evening comes you are only left with 20% or even less.

This is the time where most diets fail.

But I am not giving you a diet, I am giving you a lifestyle to follow, I am giving you guidelines. I am telling you something that you can follow for the rest of your life. (I saw that)

Here I will give you a treat. There is no point fighting an enemy as powerful as ‘SUGAR’

Before your mouth starts dripping saliva, you’ll only get a small piece. Don’t get your hopes too high!

100-150 calories allowed. Eat whatever you want!

Yeah, whatever your heart desires.

In return, you promise me that you will do this routine for me. This routine will burn the same calories as your sugary snack!

If you are a gymer, keep doing your weights, else do the above routine when you reach home.

The idea in these 21 days is to do 20-30 min of moderate activity daily.

Key Note: Building habits is a priority. If you find 20-30 min of these bodyweight workouts too overwhelming, do the best you can. But do something.

Now, if you don’t feel like eating anything in this time zone, THAT’S FINE. I can sense that you have an ironclad will.

Congrats, you will achieve your goal of losing belly fat faster than others. Just skip this to go to the next time zone.

JUST ENSURE YOU DON’T CROSS 150 CALORIES WITH THIS CHEAT SNACK. USE A SOFTWARE TOOL TO TRACK THE CALORIES.

If you prefer to have something which is healthy, then, by all means, go ahead by choosing options from the time zone 10 am to 1 pm. This snack will or can also count as a pre-workout meal in case you go to the gym in the evening.

Time: 7 pm to 9 pm

Step 6: Dinner Time

Dinner is the heaviest meal for most people, especially Indians. You go to any Indian party, and the host doesn’t serve you food until about 11 pm. If he serves food early everyone will eat and go home.

Life is messy!

Don’t worry I will cover different lifestyle challenges and most common questions that would be bursting in your mind in the FAQ section of this article, for now, let’s assume you head over to your home, to have a good home-cooked dinner.

TOP 3 Dinner Options to go for, but first, let’s quickly calculate your EXACT CALORIES YOU WILL EAT BASED ON YOUR BODYWEIGHT.

Total Caloric Intake:

Men: 1500-1800 calories

Female: 1300-1500 calories

Calculate your TDEE here.

A simple formula to calculate TDEE is Bodyweight (in lbs) x 13 (if you are not active at all)

x 14 if you are moderately active

x 15 if you are active.

Always choose the lower option.

Now, you need to eat 30% Less than your TDEE.

30% of TDEE= Number of Calories you need to eat for 21 days.

Macro-Nutrient Distribution

Don’t go crazy about getting the exact ratios.

Here is an overall framework:

Protein: Stay in the range of 1.2 to 1.5g/kg of BW. If you are 70kg, 84 to 105g per day.

Fats: 25% of Total Caloric intake. Say you need to eat 1600 calories. 25% of 1600 is 400 calories (44g)

Carbs: Remaining of the calories.

For example:

Total caloric intake: 1600 calories

Protein: 90g or 360 calories

Fat: 44g or 400 calories

Carbs: 210g or 840 calories

Imp Note: For my Indian Brothers/Sisters, going low carb is super tough, especially if you are vegetarian. As most of the vegetarian protein sources like daal, rajma/chole (pulses/beans) are also high in carbohydrates.

However, if you are a non-vegetarian, things become much simpler.

Here it is:

Grilled chicken/fish with mashed potatoes and veggies

Rough Caloric intake: 500-800 calories

A great Low-Carb option for vegetarians is

Paneer Tikka 

Optional: Add a roti/romali roti with it to satisfy your cravings.

 

Very Important Note: Don’t have a second salad for dinner. Two salads in a day are not filling. You will end up completely giving up your diet.

Trust me on this one.

You need to satisfy your taste buds. And this means that you need the food to be delicious.

If your mom cooks for you great if your partner is a good cook, even better!

Now, in my case, my wife although a great cook, does not prefer to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. No complaints here (I hope she is not reading this…haha)

I have been cooking all my meals since I left my home when I was 17 years old and have continued this amazing practice up till now. I cannot invest a lot of time in cooking amazing lunches/dinner and have to find a quick and easy way to eat my meals, meals which are delicious or good enough to satisfy my cravings. So here are some more low carb dinner options that you can choose from:

Low Carb Dinner Options

In Part-1 I gave you three amazing breakfast options.

Now, who says you cannot have them for dinner?

If you had eggs for breakfast, then have oats for dinner and vice versa.

Do ensure that the ingredients I have given with oats, protein smoothies are super important as they make a bland food like oats bursting with sweetness (the good one) so that you are completely satisfied.

“SATISFIED” is the word.

Now, let’s head over to the FAQ & SUPER FAB TIPS.

FAQ’s

YOU: Akash how do I calculate the exact calories in the menu option you have given?

ME: Head over to cronometer.com. Sign up free and use this amazing software. The basic free version is good enough.

YOU: How do I weigh my food?

ME: Buy a food weigher, bro. Here.

YOU: I don’t have time to cook? What should I do?

ME:

Option 1: Marry a girl who is also a great cook.

Option 2: Stay with your mother all your life.

Option 3: Invest some time and money in learning how to cook

Option 4: Get used to eating basic meals and read a lot on how you can make them tasty enough (this is me, right here)

Option 5: Eat out a lot and remain overweight all your life

YOU: How often do I have to go to the grocery store to ensure that all the ingredients are stocked up?

ME: Good question. If you plan well, once a week, otherwise 2 times. Vegetables have a very short shelf life.

YOU: How much fat will I lose if I stick to this diet for 21 days?

ME: As I said earlier, this is not about how much weight, it’s about building habits. But still if you follow the exact protocols you can expect your belly fat to go down by 2-3 inches, you may lose up to 10-12lbs in 21 days.

This will vary. Some of you will lose less. This depends on how stubborn your hormones are.

YOU: Akash, I have few parties and get-together to attend to during these 21 days, how do I ensure that I stick this plan?

ME: You social animal! 1-2 get together won’t really hamper your results. Just eat something before you go to these parties. When temptation arises, eat a lot of salads, keep drinking water and avoid ALL carbs.

SOME SUPER-FAB TIPS

The aggressive way is always the best way to reduce belly fat. Realistically you can lose about 2-4 lbs /week on an average for first few weeks. A good percentage of that weight will be water weight as you are lowering your carb intake and carbs are attached with water.

Count calories, every calorie. Whey your food. Measure and track like a hawk. Do this and you’ll achieve solid results, I promise.

Clear your kitchen: This is sooooo important. I can tell about a person’s weight by looking at his kitchen and in his fridge. If it’s in front of you, you will eat it sooner or later, Period! And then you will guilty about eating it. But you will still eat it. And then you will eat some more, till you finally give up on your belly fat loss journey!

I know it can be tough, not to have chocolates and other sweet or salty items, especially when other members of your family prefer those items, but it needs to get done. So get it done.

Remove the temptation, before it removes YOU! (I am only half kidding here)

Announce your goals. Put Facebook to good use.

Partner up, with a friend, spouse, colleague. 

Motivate each other. Choose someone who is serious about losing weight. More serious than you.

Exercise. Include at least some movement daily. If you go to the gym, then great, you’ll get FABULOUS result with this lifestyle.

If you cannot seem to do anything, just buy a fitness band and aim to walk at least 5,000 steps daily. Wearing a monitoring device increase your step count by 27%, studies have shown.

Plan Ahead…Plan Ahead….Never second guess your meals. Don’t assume that it will have this many calories. You have every tool (all free) to figure out this one. Ensure that you have eggs in your fridge, ensure that you have the veggies and so forth.

Start your day well. wake up early to ensure you have your breakfasts the ones I have mentioned

Stay away from ‘miracle’ fat loss products. I strongly advise staying from such products, as they alter the delicate yet complex hormonal system which may lead to medical issues, sometimes very serious one!

If you have extra money to burn, support me, buy my courses. It helps me a lot and allows me to provide you with more free content like this.

belly fat challenge

And lastly, remember:

You are NOT fat, you have fat! It doesn’t define you!

This article is far from perfect. With your comments, suggestions, questions, it will get better each day.

So go on, ask me whatever notes you made in your diary so far. Let me know in the comments below!

All the best,

Yours in Health,

Akash

P.s Dont forget to enrol in this 8 course bundle which will give you the SHREDD Program and other goodies worth $111 for FREE

belly fat

How to Lose Belly Fat [2-3] Inches in less than 21 Days | A Step-By-Step Guide | Part-1

I am NOT going to give you a generic answer here. Instead, I will give you very effective & specific ways on how to lose belly fat by 2-3 inches in the next 21 days, but you are going to exactly as I tell you to do?

Deal? Great.

Since this post is going to be close to 5,000 words, I am going to divide it into 2 parts.

Part 1 will tell you exactly the lifestyle you need to follow for the first half of the day

Part 2 will focus on the second half.

Before you start reading, know this: At least 1-2 inches on your belly is a result of you being bloated and your intestines being inflamed. Maybe you have yeast overgrowth and/or maybe there is some undigested stuff lying down in your large intestine for days, weeks or maybe longer (yuck!).

I undergo a detox once every quarter and I strongly urge you to do the same. Sure our body naturally detoxes on its own, but only in the past few decades, there has been an avalanche of chemicals being created and dumped in our water, food.

These include xenobiotics, hormones that are fed to animals to fatten them up and so forth. Your liver which pretty much does all the work of filtering out these chemicals so that you essentially don’t die of chemical overload. But over time your liver starts to become sluggish and so does your colon.

11-Day Fab Detox Diet will help you immensely. You will lose 1-2 inches from your belly purely by getting relieved from bloating and inflammation. More inch loss will obviously come from losing belly fat.

burn belly fat

Before you think of doing anything in life, start by understanding your

WHY

I know belly fat sucks. It looks ugly especially when you recently bought a Slim fit Zara shirt and all you are trying to do is hold your breath at the recent get-together just to ensure that your chest looks bigger than your belly at all times.

Ohh… you don’t do that? Well, I used to do it, especially when I looked like this:

Now if you have similar genetics like me a.k.a Skinny Fat, you are more likely to store fat on your belly than on other parts of your body.

Related:

7 Skinny Fat Workout Tips (No #7 is my favorite)

5 Skinny Fat Diet Tips (and lifestyle tips)

Let’s see what Professor Jimmy Bell head of the molecular imaging group at the Medical Research Council’s center at Imperial College, London has to say about it:

Dr. Bell concludes that TOFI’s (yes he has even given a name for us Skinny Fat people; Thin on the outside and fat on the inside) need to worry more about their health than others.

In his own words:

“Tofis probably need to worry more about their health than others, because the fat deposits they carry are hidden in the white fat that lies around their vital organs, streaked through their underused muscles, and wrapped around the heart (see picture below) It is this fat that sends out the chemical signals which eventually lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart conditions, rather than the fat lying in dimples underneath the skin.”

You want your heart to look the one on the right (without the visceral fat):

Even though I was only overweight according to the BMI Index, but because my body has a tendency to store more belly fat than other folks, I am at a GREATER risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart problems, cholesterol and other chronic ailments (yes belly fat is linked with all of them.)

I didn’t know this back then (in fact many people who are in the regular BMI range but have belly fat are unaware of this danger).

I did it purely for aesthetic reasons because at that time I was running a health club and used to feel like a hypocrite carrying all that belly fat around and obviously sucking it in:)

Anyways, I managed quite a transformation and even after few years have been maintaining a waistline of 30 inches! (my Why was strong)

I lost almost 9inches from my belly and according to my calculations, 1 inch of belly fat has roughly 2kg fat which comes to around 18kg (40 lbs) of belly fat lost!

Related Posts:

How to Lose Face Fat Fast: 4 Effective Ways

Imagine the favour I did to my body getting rid of 18kg fat (mostly visceral, see the difference below) which potentially saved me getting chronic diseases down the line and thousands of medical bills.

 

My ‘Why’ was pretty clear and strong and so I did what I had to in order to get results.

What is your ‘Why’?

  • Is it to marry the women/man of your dreams?
  • Is it to rekindle your sex life? Yeah, losing belly fat is linked with increased libido
  • Is it to look sexy, toned and just fabulous in a Zara Slim fit?
  • Ladies, do you want to get into a bikini for your next beach destination which is just a few months away?
  • Or is it for medical reasons? Are you borderline diabetic or have high triglycerides and so forth.

Not trying to scare you anything like that, but did you know that 77 million Indians are pre-diabetic and most of them don’t even know (especially the ones who are Skinny Fat)?

So once you have figured out your ‘Why’ write it down somewhere where you can see it every day.

Here is a sample ‘Why’ of one of my personal coaching client:

I ___ have very high belly fat and my waist is 36 inches. I am not happy with it because _____list 2-3 strong reasons here….. For next 21 days, I will work very hard and consistently to lose 2-3 inches from my belly.

I will follow exactly what my coach tells me and I believe that I will get the results I want.

I will take each day as it comes and will try and enjoy the process instead of focusing too much on the end result.

I know this is kick starter, a booster plan, but in the end, if I desire a flat tummy (or even a six-pack) I need to build strong healthy habits and it usually takes 4-6 months (sometimes) even longer to do so.

I am willing for long-term lifestyle changes because I honestly feel its the fastest, most effective way to do so.

There is more to it, but you get an idea. I then ask them to sign it and paste it somewhere where they can see it every day.

Time: 5 am to 8 am

Step 1: Start your Morning Well. 

  • The time your alarm rings: Do 5 pushups. I am serious, do 5. Cannot do 5?

Just do 1.

In words of Leo from Zenhabits.net: “Make it so simple that you cannot say no

Exercise, Move before it falls off the list.

Want to take it further: Do this Beginners Workout Routine. It’s less than 10 minutes and burns more than 150 calories.

Note: This is not a transformation. We are not trying to achieve results in the fastest time, we are simply trying to build habits. Doing something every day is more than doing a lot in one day and then giving it up the next day! Please keep this message in mind.

  • Then drink Apple Cider Vinegar. Take 1 Tbs and mix it in 250ml water (warm/cool/normal does not matter)
  • After 10 minutes drink lemon juice (very little honey)
  • Then you can go for a treat: Black coffee, Tea or even milk coffee (cows milk+Tbs sugar, stevia is a better alternative). Avoid rusk, cookie or any biscuit. If you cannot absolutely do with a cookie, then choose the basic (non-cream/non-chocolate) one
  • Drink more water. Within 90 minutes of waking up, you should have gulped down at least 1-2 litres of water. This is mandatory
  • If you want you can copy my morning ritual here.

Time: 8 am to 10 am

Step 2: Breakfast.

What you have for your breakfast sets the tone of your day and actually determines how you are going to eat for the rest of your day.

If you have cereals with skim milk, or white bread (or even brown bread) with butter (which is not butter but margarine) you will experience a blood sugar drop within 2 hours of eating.

What happens then?

You start to feel jittery and agitated. The first thing that comes to your mind is food. Usually, it’s not broccoli your crave but doughnuts. And you promise yourself that if eat the doughnut you are going to run an extra mile which never happens anyway.:)

So my suggestion is very simple and effective:

Switch your breakfast with these TOP 3.

3-4 Whole Egg Omelette made with coconut oil (cold pressed and extra virgin)

Note: If you don’t like the taste of coconut oil, then go for ghee. Vegetable oils are a big No, No!

300-500G of veggies are essential.

Optional: 1 Whole wheat bread [Medium]

Roughly Caloric Intake: 400-600 (depending on the size of eggs and bread)

Steel-Cut Oats made with Cows Milk 

Add Banana

Add 1 Tbs Honey

Optional but highly recommended: Frozen Blueberries and 2 scoops of Chocolate Whey Protein

Roughly Caloric Intake: 600-800 calories

Protein Smoothie 

500-750ml Cows Milk (I don’t usually recommend pasteurized milk that you get in the market, instead you should go for raw cows milk, it’s a superfood and it’s just plain fabulous)

2-3 Scoops of Whey Protein

1 Medium Frozen Banana

200G Frozen Blueberries (or any fruits, but frozen is important as it drastically improves the taste, and there is no need to add ice to the mixture)

Rough Caloric Intake: 600-800 calories

I can assure you that these breakfast options will keep you FULL & SATISFIED at least for 5 hours.

In case if there is any hunger, don’t be fooled.

They are simply cravings, your old bad habits, your old taste buds pulling you towards sugar.

Key Note before we progress in the day: Most of you reading this will fall into the 1300 to 2000 calorie bracket.

If you are a female you will need 1300-1600 calories per day to lose weight

If you are a man you will need 1500-1800 calories per day to lose weight

This is a LOT of food. The idea is to make sure that every calorie counts and are loaded with key nutrients that are required by your body. Usually, we eat empty calories and wonder why we still feel hungry even when we have crossed 2000 calories!!

Got it, great, let’s move ahead.

Time: 10 am to 1 pm

Step 3: Snack time

Hello, you just had a nice sumptuous breakfast. You have already consumed almost 40-50% of your calories for the day and you want more food? Shame on you….

As I mentioned earlier, you have cravings, don’t mistake it for hunger.

Whats the way out?

Lite snacks

Always carry these food items with you at all times: A piece of fruit. An apple or orange.

Related:

Enrol in SHREDD-The Ultimate Fat Loss Solution 100% FREE for a limited time. Click Here.

belly fat

Few more options: A sprout salad, another superfood, high in Vitamin C and very low on calories

5 pieces of Almonds (unsalted)

5 Walnuts (halves)

Have either one of these during this time.

Each of these snacks will give you 100-150 calories in total.

If cravings persist, keep drinking lemon water (without honey) or green tea, matcha tea is the best (it has some caffeine too).

You can also drink few small cups of black coffee (add stevia or very less sugar).

First few days will be tough but keep at it, stay focused on your work and you will reach lunch time.

Keynote before we proceed to the next phase: If you know about me and my work, I swear by intermittent fasting. My first meal is during this time i.e. between 11 am to 1 pm.

I fast before that. I have trained myself to include mini-fasts and survive on matcha tea and coffee. I skip my lunch and then have an early dinner at 7 pm (mostly before 8 pm).

This way of eating allows me 16 hours of fast every day (8 pm to 11 am until next day) with the feeding window of 11 am to 8 pm. You can follow this style of eating from Day-1 if you want to, else you can eat simply 3 main meals and 1-2 snacks like most people do.

Time: 1pm to 4pm

Step 4: Lunch Time

Take my advice and eat your lunch light. Preferably in the form of salads. But salads are not enough. Why?

Coz they don’t have proteins, you bimbo!

Prepare your salad the way you like it: Green leafy veggies like romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, etc. What is super important is the protein source you add to it: Ideal choices are grilled chicken/fish. If you are a vegetarian, add beans/peas/paneer/tofu.

Here are some healthy choices.

Note: Avoid salad dressings. 5ml of olive oil is good enough. Just ensure that your salad is no more than 300 calories.

However for some reason, if you prefer to keep your lunch heavy, there is no problem in doing that you can go ahead and eat up to 500 calories.

This obviously would mean that your dinner would be light, as THE most important thing to consider when trying to lose belly fat is your Total Caloric intake for the day (which I shall discuss later in Part-2).

Once you are through lunch, you are through eating for this time zone. Forget about food, forget about snacks, tea or coffee. Avoid anything except for water and that to drink only after 60 minutes of lunch.

Fab Tip: Take a nap. If you are your own boss or are fortunate enough to work in a company that allows this amazing practice, take advantage of this and take a nap. Anything up to 15 minutes will supercharge you for the rest of the day.

Whatever you do, don’t go near food. This your testing time, this is the time which will test your resolve.

Think about your reasons why you started this 21-day journey in the first place. If you have read so far, you WANT to change and change you will have if you follow and do exactly as I tell you to do.

Part-2: How to Lose Belly Fat [2-3] Inches in less than 21 Days | A Step-By-Step Guide |

Lean Body Mass Calculator: How to Calculate Your Lean Body Mass

In the picture above where I am wearing a Red T-Shirt, I was ~ 175 lbs ( 79.5 kg) at 20% body fat percentage. What is my lean body mass?

Come on take out your calculator and do this with me.

Step 1: Calculate your Fat Mass

Fat Mass: 175 lbs x 20% = 35 lbs.

My Fat Mass was 35 lbs.

Fat Mass is simply the adipose tissue in my body.

Subcutaneous fat (fat underneath my skin), Visceral fat (fat surrounding my organs like heart/liver etc) and intramuscular fat (fat surrounding the muscles).

Subcutaneous fat + Visceral Fat + Intramuscular Fat = 35 lbs ( 15.9kg)

Related:

Body Fat Percentage: 3 Ways To Measure It

Body Fat Percentage Chart For Men & Women (with Pictures)

Step 2: Lean Body Mass = Total Weight — Fat Mass.

Lean Body Mass: 175 lbs – 35 lbs = 140 lbs.

My Lean Body Mass was 140 lbs.

So what does Lean Body Mass comprise of?

Everything except for your fat mass.

What does ‘Everything‘ comprise of’?

  • Water. 70 percent of your body is water
  • Bone mass. Your skeleton or bone weight
  • Organ weight like heart, liver, stomach, kidneys etc
  • Skin Weight
  • Blood Weight
  • Anything else that is left EXCEPT for Fat Mass

Here is your homework.

Shaily is 130 lbs at 29% Body Fat percentage.

Calculate her Fat Mass.

Calculate her Lean Body Mass.

Let me know your answers below.

If you also have any comments, doubts or queries let me know below!

Body Fat Percentage: 3 Ways To Measure It

You want to read this article if you want to know THREE ways on how to measure body fat percentage and even track it.

There are some more ways which are more accurate than the ‘Three’ I discuss in this post but do note that they are very expensive and inconvenient. I leave it up to you to decide.

# 1 How to Measure Your Body Fat

Bioelectrical Impedance Devices

For about 8 years, I relied on this one method to measure and track body fat of thousands of clients who joined my gym.

I purchased 2 Omron Body Fat Monitors for INR 10,000 each almost a decade back and they have served me very well over the years considering the usage they went through. (They were used at least 50 times each day both in my gym and at marketing stalls).

How to use these devices

The process is very simple and takes less than a minute for the reading to display. Before a person steps on the machine (when using the full body scanner as opposed to a hand-to-hand as you can see in the above picture towards the right), her age, gender and height need to be fed in the machine.

The person then steps barefoot on the machine and also grips the handle with both his hands as shown in the picture:

How does bioelectrical impedance machine work

The Omron Full Body Sensor Body Composition Monitor and Scale estimates the body fat percentage by the Bioelectrical Impedance Method.

Muscles, blood, bones and body tissues with high water content conduct electricity easily. On the other hand, body fat does not store much water, therefore has little electric conductivity. The Omron Full Body Sensor Body Composition Monitor and Scale sends an extremely weak electrical current of 50 kHz and less than 500 μA through your body to determine the amount of water in each tissue. You will not notice or feel the electrical current.

The ratios of the water in your upper and lower body change throughout the day – as gravity pulls more water into your lower extremities. This means the electrical impedance of the body also varies – if more water is in your legs, other monitors such as foot-to-foot may show incorrect body fat readings.

The Omron Full Body Sensor Body Composition Monitor and Scale takes measurements from both hands and feet – which reduces the influence water movement makes on your body composition results.

That’s why if you want accurate readings you should buy the one where there are four electrodes, two for your legs, and two for your hands.

Lets quickly look at the ‘Key Numbers’ that Omron Bioelectrical Machines shows:

Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is found in the abdomen and surrounding vital organs. It is different from fat found directly underneath the skin, which is referred to as subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat can go largely unnoticed because it’s not visible to the naked eye.

Too much visceral fat is thought to be closely linked to increased levels of fat in the bloodstream, which may lead to conditions such as high cholesterol, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In order to prevent or improve these conditions, it is important to try to reduce the amount of visceral fat levels to an acceptable level.

Note: Visceral fat levels are relative and not absolute values.

Body Age

Body age is based on your resting metabolism. Body age is calculated by using your weight, body fat percentage and skeletal muscle percentage to produce a guide to whether your body age is above or below the average for your actual age.

For example, if a person who is 35 years of age, and have overall body fat at 25% and visceral fat at 17, then generally his metabolic age would show at least 10 years more.

It was a great marketing tool for our health club, as it used to scare people into thinking that they are ageing faster and they should start taking care of their workouts and diet to manage that.

And they were the happiest when after few weeks (or months) their body fat lowered and so did their metabolic age:)

Resting Metabolism

This is the number of calories you burn when you at rest. Calories required to support the beating of your heart, and other important functions required to keep you alive. Just imagine for 24 hours you simply sitting on a chair the whole day and doing nothing.

BMR is usually a person’s 60-70% of daily energy use. The rest of is through physical activity and diet induced thermogenesis.

You don’t need to buy this machine to calculate your resting metabolism. A very simple way you can do is by multiplying your body weight in pounds by 10.

If you are 170 lbs your resting metabolism is 170 x 10 = 1,700 calories.

Resting metabolism is also called BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).

Akash, then what the heck is TDEE that you keep talking about?

TDEE —Total Daily Energy Expenditure is a simply a sum of your BMR + Activity Level + Diet Induced Thermogenesis.

Read this short post to know more.

So is Bio-Electrical Impedance Machine accurate and it is worth buying?

No! Unless you are a health club owner and need a fancy way to measure your client’s body fat. In that case invest in the expensive one which I used, not the hand-held or the stand-on-one without the hand electrodes.

It’s important to note that there is a ‘recommended’ time during which you should use this machine.

Your numbers will be way off if you use the machine:

  • After vigorous exercise, after a bath, steam or sauna
  • After drinking alcohol or using any diuretics
  • Around meal timings

This is because these things cause huge fluctuations in the water content in your body.

Here is a chart by Omron showing the ‘recommended timings’ to use their machine:

There is obviously a much cheaper way to do that and it’s surprisingly more accurate than this one. See No # 3, but before that let’s check out my favourite method.

# 2 How to Measure Your Body Fat

Measuring your Waist & Clicking Progress Pictures

This one is my favorite way of keeping track of my body fat levels. I guide my online personal training clients to do the same.

Here is what you should do:

  • Wake up
  • Get fresh
  • Measure your waist from the navel.

Do this 7 days in a row.

  • Take out the average. That is your correct waist.

What about body fat? Forget about body fat percentage.

Just know this:

A clear visibility of your six pack will suggest you are less than 10%. Note if you have worked hard to make your abs blocky you can have a six pack at 10% otherwise, you need to do down to about 7-8%

Depending upon your genetics (wide/narrow waisted..determined by your skeleton structure), your waist will be between 29-32 inches at 8-10% Body Fat.

If you are wide waisted, you can only reach a minimal waist circumference of 31-32 inches.

If you are narrow-waisted (like me…usually ectomorphs are) you can reach 29 inches.

Here is a chart I created for you:

Although this might not 100% be accurate, I made this table when I went from 27% body fat with 38 inches waist down to 31 inches in less than 7 months:

Bloating, inflammation, gas, and food stuck in your intestines (yuck!) may cause some variations when trying to measure your waist.

That’s why I have asked you to take the 7-Day average. You won’t be inflamed or gassy or even bloated for the entire week, will you?

But most people do chronically suffer from these issues and to them I would recommend to check out my 11-Day Fab Detox Course. You can watch the promo video before you enroll.

#3 How to Measure Your Body Fat

Body Fat Calipers

I’ll be honest. After I got off the bioelectrical machine after using it on my clients and myself for about 8 years, I simply relied on measuring my waist and the mirror as a guide. I never felt the need to use body fat calipers.

I’ll still give you a brief idea of how it works, and if you want to give it a try, go ahead it only cost about $5!

If you want to use this method all by yourself (without anyone assisting you) then choose only one site to measure i.e. your abdomen. This is where most of your fat is stored.

Now pinch out the fat and use the tongue of the calipers to measure it. Note down the reading and use the chart that comes with the calipers to figure out your body fat percentage.

Always remember, test the same site (abdomen) in same conditions (first thing in the morning) over time to figure out whether you are losing/gaining fat.

There are other and very accurate methods (which are considered gold standards) when it comes to measuring body fat percentages, like DEXA Scans, Underwater weighing & Bod Pods, but they can be very expensive (upwards of $100 each time) and I feel is futile for most of you reading this post, as it’s only reserved for few (who have hundreds of dollars to spare each time).

Final Verdict- Which is the best method to measure your body fat percentage?

Check out the body fat percentage chart for men and women below:


Can you see where you fit in?

I am sure you can zero down one range. Still thinking whether you look like the women in red bikini (26-29)% or the one in black (30-33)%?

No problem, at least you have a range now: 26-33%

Now, if have a gym membership, chances are high that they have a bioelectrical impedance machine. Get yourself checked by following the recommended timings given above.

Note down the number.

This will make things a little bit clearer.

Now, go to Amazon and order a body fat caliper.

Figure out the reading that comes. Tally it with the previous two.

Hey, even if you don’t have the exact body fat percentage, it’s ok. Not even those expensive methods like DEXA etc are spot on!

Idea is to figure out a body fat percentage range, narrow it down & then use the same method in the same conditions over time to see if it’s going down or up.

If you still ask me, which is THE method to track and progress one’s body fat percentage, I’ll go with #3.

If you still having a tough time trying to figure out your body percentage I am here to help you. Upload your picture in the comments below and let me help you out.