The Fat - Feed The Muscle
By Tom Venuto - Review
Review by Rahul Alvares
All of three
hundred and forty pages, "Burn The Fat, Feed The
Muscle" (BFFM) is one of the most comprehensive books
I have read on fat loss. What I like most about Tom Venuto
is his honesty.
writes somewhere in the beginning of the book "I
am probably the only person in the world who will tell
you that fat loss is difficult!" There... the cats
out of the bag and its not going back in!
As the chapters
progress from "Goal Setting"to "Weight
Training For Fat Loss," Tom takes you through a most
interesting, informative and easily-explained story on
burning fat. BFFM is a lifestyle. It is not a thirty day
diet schedule with extreme measures for attaining unrealistic
goals, it is something that you could work with for the
rest of your life and stay in excellent health if you
The good thing
about the book is it gives you the right conscience. After
youve read the book you will feel guilty as Judas
when you touch a donut (if you even manage to do so in
the first place!). The chapters on nutrition are excellent.
Most of the book actually deals with effectively monitoring
your diet and calorie intake.
Like I said
nothing extreme. If you are looking for a secret formula
like the extract of some fungi found only in South America,
or a schedule that says thirty two minutes of cardio
and fourteen sets of tricep kickbacks then you are
going to be highly disappointed. Because BFFM is about
teaching you how to fish and not merely giving you the
fish when you are hungry.
Tom will teach
you how to diet, exercise and monitor your progress. He
will even give you the right motivation and make you set
very realistic goals. Kind of like walking you to the
door. Then comes your part of experimenting, finding out
what works for you and stepping back on track every time
you find yourself having drifted away. Thats the
honesty of the whole program.
If you are
relatively new to training you will find the book most
I think that for an advanced trainer it will be like reading
a lot of things that he/she already knows about. If you
already have a good knowledge of dieting then there are
few new things you might learn about in BFFM. BFFM is
very basic and broad in its approach. Although I dont
really think I can blame Tom for that because I, too,
believe that the real secrets to fat loss are fundamentals
and hard work.
The Fat - Feed The Muscle
When it comes to fat loss
information and programs, there are a LOT of choices...some
good, some bad.
We get constantly bombarded
with ads (even, and sometimes ESPECIALLY, in fitness and
bodybuilding magazines!) that tell you all you have to
do to get ripped is take the right pills.
Ah, if only it were that
The REAL key
is knowledge, not the latest "Hydroxyfuel" supplement
that lets you eat like crap while twitching off the pounds.
THIS is where Tom Venuto's
classic fat-loss book "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle"
And I'm not even going to
try and keep you in suspense about this one... :)
There's a reason this book
has been a top seller on the Internet for the past 8 years
- it's excellent, effective information that you can ACT
on and put to work in your own training and eating right
It's a book that takes you
by the hand and gives you all the information you need
to know when it comes to achieving permanent fat loss.
When you open up the book,
you'll notice that the primary focus is on nutrition (about
80% according to Tom) - what to eat, how much to eat and
WHY. And this is where the book really shines.
- If you've been around
the block training-wise but your nutrition knowledge
has always been a little weak, this book is going to
be a goldmine for you. It's practical info on how to
eat for fat loss. It's going to teach you how to get
- If you're a total
beginner, even better. You're going to learn how
to do things RIGHT from the start and that's HUGE. It'll
save you years of doing things wrong and maybe even
quitting all together!
Tom goes through all the
major nutritional aspects of fat loss that you need to
know in order to get results. Here are a few of the chapters
relating to nutrition:
- The law of calorie balance
and the mathematics of losing body fat
- Secrets of meal frequency
& timing: How to turbo charge your metabolism and
turn your body into a fat-burning machine!
- Macronutrient ratios:
The optimal combination of protein, carbohydrates and
fats for improving your muscle to fat ratio
- Good fats vs. bad fats:
How to speed up fat loss, boost muscle growth, increase
energy and rev up your metabolism by eating the right
fats in the right amounts at the right times
- Protein: The muscle builder
and metabolic activator How much you really need
- Clearing up carbohydrate
confusion: Are carbohydrates your friends or foes?
- How to get as lean as
a bodybuilder or fitness model using a new twist on
the old low carbohydrate diet
- Why water is essential
for fat loss, how much you need, and what else you should
(and shouldnt) drink
- The BFFM eating plan:
How to design your own effective and result producing
meals and menus.
Really good stuff here - nothing crazy...nothing "exotic"...just
good, solid information, backed by science and years of
"in the trenches" experience.
And believe me, this is
no "diet" book where exercise is an afterthought.
Tom is a natural bodybuilder and he is all about hard
training. The book gives plenty of information relating
to not only cardio but weight training as well.
He's included some sample
programs and training schedules to help you "feed
the muscle" (to blatant rip off the title of the
However, there is something
I noticed missing from this book (and it's something Tom
himself admits is missing) and that is detailed, deep
information about specific weight training exercises.
As he says it...
be far beyond the scope of this single volume to
teach you everything there is to know about weight
training. Case in point: Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote
a book about weight training called, The
Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding and its
736 pages long with 850 photographs! Former Mr.
Universe Bill Pearl also wrote a hefty volume on
the subject with 638 pages called, Keys to
the Inner Universe. Pearls book is so
detailed, it has 151 exercises for the biceps alone!
Weight training is a deep subject and it would take
another book (or two) to do the subject justice.
So here's what "Burn the
Fat, Feed the Muscle" WILL tell you about weight
what weight training has to do with losing fat and
why you cant succeed without it.
all the myths and answer all the most frequently
asked questions about weight training and fat loss.
you not one, but four levels of training programs
from beginner to advanced.
with an extensive list of excellent sources for
weight training information so you can research
the subject even further.
wisely decided to choose his battles with this book
and focusing primarily on nutrition while including
a decent amount of solid training information is a good
way to go.
One thing Tom and I part ways on is his focus on cardio
as a big part of fat-loss training.
cardio training (a.k.a. aerobic training) does have
it's place in some programs but I've found with the
right diet and a focus on volume-based weight training,
you achieve many of the same effects of cardio training
without the pain and boredom of sitting on a bike for
an hour a day. That
being said, Tom does go on to say that higher-intensity
cardio training WILL work better than low-intensity
cardio...provided you can keep it up long enough to
burn an appreciable number of calories.
Finally, we come to supplements...always
a big thing when it comes to fat loss.
And Tom and I are in
total agreement here. You don't actually NEED supplements
to succeed in your fat loss effots. That being said,
they CAN be more convenient than food sometimes AND
they can provide you with a "nutritional insurance"
policy, so you can be sure you're getting enough nutrients
while eating a reduced-calorie diet.The
supplements Tom recommends are primarily geared towards
filling in those nutritional gaps that can happen
with ANY diet, not just a fat-loss diet. He also backs
the basics that are proven like creatine.His
mantra: real food will ALWAYS beat supplements.
When it comes to fat
loss, Tom literally "wrote the book" here.
It's packed with excellent information that any level
of trainer can benefit from.If
you're a beginner, it'll set you on the right path...if
you're advanced, it might just bring you BACK to the
not many books I say this about but this one is definitely
a "must have" that should be
in your library. As I mentioned above, there is a
reason "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle" has
been a top seller for YEARS. It's going to give you
a great education on how to eat (and train) for optimal
By Tom Venuto
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The Fat, Feed The Muscle...