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Burn 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.

Tom himself 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 cat’s 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 do so.

The good thing about the book is it gives you the right conscience. After you’ve 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. That’s the honesty of the whole program.

If you are relatively new to training you will find the book most informative.

But personally 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 don’t really think I can blame Tom for that because I, too, believe that the real secrets to fat loss are fundamentals and hard work.

Burn The Fat - Feed The Muscle
Second Opinion

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 simple.

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" comes in.

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 away.

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 RIPPED.

  • 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 shouldn’t) 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 book!).

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...

It would 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 it’s 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.” Pearl’s 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 training...

  • Explain what weight training has to do with losing fat and why you can’t succeed without it.
  • Dispel all the myths and answer all the most frequently asked questions about weight training and fat loss.
  • Give you not one, but four levels of training programs from beginner to advanced.
  • Conclude with an extensive list of excellent sources for weight training information so you can research the subject even further.
Tom has 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.

Granted, 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 right path!There's 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 fat loss.


Articles By Tom Venuto

Here's your chance to check out the information and writing style of the author of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle...

Cortisol, Stress And Body Fat: Straight Answers To The Top 20 Questions About The Stress Hormone

Banking Calories - Eat Less Now To Pig Out Later?

Body Wraps and Waist Wraps: The Difference Between Losing Fat And Losing Inches

Brain Science And New Year's Resolutions

How To Repair A Damaged Metabolism

Everything You Need To Know About Loose Skin And Weight Loss

Count Down To Fitness Success And Keep Your Motivation Drive Alive

Protein Supplements Vs. Protein Foods?

Tom Venuto's Top 10 Travel Fitness Tips



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