Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto Book Review

Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle
Genre: Fitness, Health
Authors: Tom Venuto

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A no-nonsense plan that has been proven and tested by more than 300,000 people in 154 countries. Whether you want to shed 10 pounds or 100, whether you want to build muscle or just look more toned, this book is the original “bible of fitness” that shows you how to get permanent results the safe, healthy, and natural way.


This is the most informed health book I've ever read. It might look overlong as compared to other 6 health books I've encountered so far but there never was a time that I felt tired reading it because it does help me understand things where other books had not. It's a riveting book, full of helpful information that reaches out to everybody without talking as if with uncomprehending jargon.

I'm a skinny fat person. I look thin but I have lots of fat storage on specific areas of my body. My arms are thin with my biceps conspicuous but I have not gotten rid of my pot belly even though I'm already in my mid-20s and worse, it looks like I'm culturing cellulites on my thighs.

I don't have a good self-image and I want to change that. I want to be the best-looking that I could ever be. I want to be able to wear fitted shirts and I can't do that unless I get rid of my paunch.

With my goal to achieve a fit and healthy body, I have to feed my mind with the right information before I go on jumping on diet fads and capitalist gimmicks. If you have the same goal as me, this book will be your right teacher.

This book acknowledges genetically-gifted individuals that the author affectionately calls "genetic freaks", who even without doing anything at all, will still burn fat. My younger brother is one of these people. He already had 4-pack abs when he was just 8 years old. His only problem is that while he's lean, he's very thin without that much muscles now that he's in his late teens.

This book emphasizes the goal of losing fat and not losing weight. It does no good if you lose a lot of weight and most of this loss comes from losing lean body weight or muscle. Lots of muscle in the body would mean burning fat even while at rest. So developing muscles should be one's primary goal. But like what the book says, it's hard to lose fat, much more so in losing fat and gaining muscles in the process.

Some things I learned early in the book:

In the 1930s, and 1940s, Dr. William H. Sheldon, a professor from Harvard, identified three basic body types: endomorphs, mesomorphs and ectomorphs.
Endomorphs are the "fat retainers." Characterized by roundness, excess body fat and large joints ("big bones"), endomorphs often have great difficulty in losing body fat. Mesomorphs are the "genetically gifted." They are lean, muscular and naturally athletic. Mesomorphs lose fat and gain muscle with ease. Ectomorphs are the lean, skinny types. They are usually very thin and bony, with fast metabolisms and extremely low body fat.

Pure body types are rare. Usually, people are a combination of the 3 body types. It's very important to know what body type you have as workout routines work differently with every individual. A kind of exercise routine might work on someone but might not work for you. Also, nothing is absolute. If a routine does not work for you, you haven't failed, you just need to change it. There's always hope for everybody, one just needs to work hard.
Weight training exercises that utilize large muscle groups like the back and legs are extremely effective for stimulating the metabolism and for stimulating the hormones that increase fat burning. High rep compound leg exercises (squats, lunges, leg presses, etc) are particularly effective for this purpose. Toning classes, yoga, pilates and similar activities have some fantastic benefits, but for the endomorph, this type of activity is NOT the ideal way to lower body fat. Participate in these activities as a supplement to your regular weights and cardio, but not by themselves.

This book also taught me not to fear carbohydrates with the fad that carbohydrate is the culprit for one's fatness. As an Asian, I could not separate myself from rice for each meal. I have to make my workout routine adaptable to my family's usual meal, still I must acknowledge the effects of eating too much carbohydrate more than my body could metabolize.

When it comes to meals, just like what I encounted in some fitness books, it's better to eat frequently with a measured meal. To lose fat better, one must eat 6 times a day with an elapse of 2.5 to 3 hours between each meal like a Hobbit.

This book will also teach you how to measure the calories you need for sustenance each day (and how to distribute these calories into 6 meals) and the ratio of the types of food (carbohydrate, protein, fat) you need to eat for a balanced diet while losing fat according to body types.
High protein, very low carb diet programs will work phenomenally well for carb-sensitive extreme endomorph body types, while causing other body types to lose their muscle and have their energy levels plummet.

There is so much to learn from this book including the role of different kinds of carbohydrates (simple, starchy complex, fibrous complex), proteins and fat in the body, how to do "Carbohydrate Tapering" or "Carbohydrate Cycling" in one's eating habits, the use of GI (glycemic index), thermic effects, and a whole lot more.
Your body is always burning a mixture of carbohydrate and fat for fuel. During low intensity, long duration exercise, most of your energy comes from body fat. Most of your energy also comes from fat while you are at rest (Although you don’t burn many calories worth of fat when you’re laying on the couch). During short bouts of high intensity exercise such as sprinting or weight lifting, glycogen (carbohydrate) is the main fuel source. Your primary fuel source also tends to change depending on which fuel is more readily available.

This book will teach you exactly what you need to do in order to lose fat and gain muscles according to your weight (must separate lean body mass from fat weight) and body type. It acknowledges one's individuality, that every person differs from another and therefore, whatever works for one might not work for another and will teach you how to overcome initial loss in the journey of losing fat.

With the broad knowledge that you could learn from this book, you'll be more motivated than ever to lose fat and achieve that great fit body (the highest potential you have) that you've been dreaming of.

I may be still on my 2nd week of the BFFM (Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle) program but I couldn't imagine a day without doing my daily routine exercise. This book has motivated and convinced me that I have the body type that needs a lifetime commitment of working out so I may lose fat and maintain a fit body when I do achieve it.

The road to a fit body is tiresome but all those hard work will be worth it when you get a satisfaction from having a good self-image and you reap the benefits of having a fit and healthy body.

And oh, sometimes people are not accustomed to the lifestyle changes you impose upon yourself in your quest to be the best you can be. Friends will question your new eating habits (and drinking habits, might miss your usual late night out with them), some family members will question changes in your schedule and even reprimand you for not accepting who you are (especially religious bigots). So just remember what this book has to say,
Ninety-five percent of the world doesn't care that you're working on improving yourself. The only ones who care are the other people who are trying to do the same for themselves. Remember, it's easier for a loser to reach up and try to drag you down, rather than to try and climb up and improve themselves.

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