T Nation

Most Effective Ways to Reduce Bodyfat Percentage?

Just curious what you guys do to help reduce you’re body fat? And how long it takes to lose a couple %?
I know different things work for different people and it all starts with diet and calorie intake but I’m struggling to get under 15% while still having energy to get through a 12 hour shift and work out properly as well. Iv reduced carbs before bed and am maintaining sufficient protein and fats during the day on roughly 2700 calories a day while cycling carbs as well.

Lower cals or burn more through exercise.

2700 is still high and could easily be dropped lower. 2700 of extremely clean food with lots of vegatebles should feel like a good days eating, maybe your food choices are poor.


Height and weight?

I’m 6’4" and 205-210ish and I’ve been cutting at 2300-2500 calories. 2700 seems high for 15% body fat unless you’re gigantic.

Your body comp is a product of nutrition. If you’re too tired to train then you need to train less. Don’t worry about “optimal” training; do what’s realistic for your circumstances.

Also, carbs aren’t the devil. I’ll use my own stats as an example.

At 210 lbs and still cutting I’ve been aiming for about 2500 calories, 200g protein, 250g carbs, and the rest is fat (about 78g).

This last week I’ve tried to increase my protein and drop the carbs but I haven’t really succeeded. I’m just curious how it’ll affect me.



(The post is in response to the nonsense about tea that will get deleted)



So I can lose weight without any of that messy diet or exercise!?!

That Is Amazing!


Here’s the recipe:

  1. Start to favor more explosive work (sprints, box jumps) over long, slow workouts (elliptical, slow jogs, medium intensity work).
  2. Start to eat to fuel your workouts. So, rather than having something “diet”-based before your training, eat what will allow you to perform your absolute best.
  3. Don’t fall for gimmicky diets, and gimmicky foods. Eat only real, whole foods and not nutrition bars, fat-free diary, or egg whites. Don’t worry about counting calories, but only eat real foods as minimally processed as possible.

or… just do the tea thing. I’m sure that works as well as Danny Carter claims. Nothing suspicious there.


I can attest to this. My tea worked great as well. The best part is how they got rid of the messy bags and leaves and replaced them with a convenient tablet. No more stray leaves stuck in my teeth haha


Ah, yes, another member of the super low calorie and no results clan…

I’m going to start selling a new diet plan. It’s called “The No Nuts Plan”.

I’ll prescribe a very reasonable diet plan that gradually changes over time (like my approach), and if you deviate from the plan then I will kick you in the junk. If you continue to deviate then I will continue to kick you in the junk.

You will either succeed or have no nuts. The choice is yours.

Sorry, ladies. This will probably only work for men.


Yeah I favor the moderate way too. I went down to 10% (my pic, last week) with around 2000 cal

1 Like

I have no issue eating clean or reducing calories just wasn’t sure how much to reduce without being too fatigued or losing muscle mass mainly.
I’m sure there aren’t many people doing 12 hour days of constant labour then trying to fit a reasonable workout in and get enough sleep. Also, I’m 6ft1 and 100kg and not %100 certain of bf % but it’s not over 15. I’m interested to try different methods and am also studying nutrition.
I have integrated cardio and sprints but struggle not to cramp up the following night and day so ive cut that back a bit and just focused on less carbs of an evening, more of a morning and less calories over all. 100g carbs 310g protein and 90g fat.
I’m pretty sure my maintenance level is 3300-3400, while when I was working less and training for martial arts competitions it was 3600 but my diet was inconsistent.
Correct me if I’m wrong. Have Tried a few things before but I think it’s been an inconsistent diet that’s the main problem.
What calorie and ratio would be preferred based on experience to maintain muscle and energy levels but reduce fat? Being reasonably active and my height and weight.

Sounds a bit counter-intuitive but some people may respond better to higher carbs during a diet because it helps to counteract excess cortisol (i.e. from excessive work volume that’s not being supported by diet). I don’t believe it’s purely related to just total calories - I’ve tried different variations (high protein/fat vs moderate carbs) all while on the same calorie intake and the higher carb diet wins every time for fat loss (for me personally).

Loads of people who’ve never done manual labour jobs simply don’t get it. I’ve done both office style work and manual labour; the latter totally wipes you out. To workout after mental exhaustion (e.g. office work) is actually a welcome change/relief that can give you more energy, whereas to pile more physical activity onto an already labour intensive week is a completely different ballgame. What’s worse is that being on low carbs while doing manual labour work is not sustainable and would likely negatively affect your results.

The trick to it is to rid redundant volume which only increases stress with no great return (i.e. do abbreviated workouts) . Forget slow paced cardio! H.I.I.T. 2x/week would be sufficient if you already have an active week. Forget carb tricks at this stage and just eat a moderate/balanced diet.

Get the training tuned in (i.e. good amount of intensity, no excess volume), reduce stress as much as possible and you may find you can eat more and lose more fat (due to balancing of hormones). At around 15% bodyfat it should be relatively straightforward/easy to lose fat.

IMO, you wouldn’t want to start drastically dropping calories below 2500/day (going by your stats) until in the lower levels of BF where it’s harder to drop fat (i.e. below 10%). Should be simple to drop lbs at your stage…


This is likely a hydration/ electrolytes concern, which is normal when you drop your carbs - your muscles are holding less glycogen and water than normal. Drink water and salt your food.

Dude… I thought you were cool. Egg whites and nutrigrain bars for life!!

Seriously, though, OP, I don’t see how this can even be a question: to lose weight, eat fewer calories than you burn. To lose that weight as fat, just keep lifting and eating protein.

As far as how low do you take the calories, it’s pretty much always lower than you want (sorry). The “lose muscle” piece is pretty overblown for those of us that aren’t eyeballing a stage in the next 4-6 weeks.

For me, I spend a week or two just getting comfortable being hungry, then I’m pretty much good to go and can manipulate my diet as needed.
Now if only I could get consistent with cardio, maybe my heart wouldn’t explode…

1 Like

If you can’t go under 15%, it’s quite significant percentage.This is really not a point, at which you should worry about “loosing muscles”. You can start worrying about it, when you want to go under 12%. Right now you have plenty of fat to loose, before it becomes any issue.

You mentioned you are struggling. So how long are you actually cutting and do you see no results at all or you just find them too slow?

You said you have properly set macros, proper calorie intake, you work out and do cardio and sleep relatively well. Yet you are struggling. Maybe you really aren’t? Maybe it’s jsut that you are disappointed with your results, while they are in fact what should be expected? Because according to you, you are doing everything right.

Btw. at your height and wieght 3300 maintenance is for really active indiviudal. Your BMR is actually somewhere around 2100, so everything else is what you have to burn throughout the day, including workouts and job. So if right now you have calories set to 2700 and you burn approximately 600 kcal through your labour job and your workouts, then you are at 0 in calories in versus calories out. While to loose fat you need a significant deficit. So think if you really burn that much - and if you do, if your deficit is considerable enough.

1 Like

I know you gotta bump protein when dieting down but I think that’s too much, and not enough carbs especially if you have a labour job. Try putting both at around 200-250 and see how it goes

1 Like

Appreciate the feedback everyone thanks heaps, its quite possibly just taking a little longer than I’m expecting and iv always been fairly thin so I was hesitant to cut too much too quick and frustrated when I couldn’t perform at my maximum.
Iv never really cared much about what iv eaten cause iv always trained hard and been under weight, always wanted abs but cant seem to get them cause iv always eaten high carbs to fuel my training. Was doing 10 hour days followed by an hour of strength training followed by 2.5 hours of boxing with the Australian institute of sport almost every day. Been eager to build some muscle and lose some fat for a while so it’s just been gradual changes with training and diet.

At 15% BF you should start seeing the outline of your abs and possibly have a 4 pack (the top 4 abs). 6’1" and 100kg is some significant mass, and I’m guessing you’re underestimating how much fat you’re carrying.

You need a realistic view of where you are now, and how to get to your goal. For reference, I’d guess I’m about 12% body fat in my profile pic and I just took that last week. I’m 6’4" and 210 lbs (~96 kg). My journey to this point taught me that I was fatter than I thought. Most of us are.

Back to your initial concerns, I think you need more carbs. I agree with @aldebaran’s suggestion of dropping protein as well. I followed CT’s guidelines in his Best Damn Nutrition article.

BW x 11 = 2420
Protein - 1g/lb if BW = 220g (880 cals)
Carbs - 40-60% of what’s left (154g - 231g)
Fat - whatever is left

If I were you then I’d go with at least 50% carbs. Make sure you eat them for lunch and a snack at you’re not depleted when you train. I’m guessing you’re not eating 60g of your slotted 100g of carbs before your workout so your body has to use stored fuel (fat) for your workouts. That’s great unless you actually want to feel good and perform well. If your workout was a brisk walk then I’d say “Keep it up!” But, it’s not.

Weight loss isn’t rocket surgery, but it takes a realistic outlook and consistency. So, lastly, fix this.

The goal is to lose 1-2 lbs per week. If you’re doing that with the calories I recommended then don’t change anything until you stall. If you stall then recalculate your calories by using your new BW x 11 or use BW x 10. Don’t go below BW x 10.

For training, don’t tax the same muscles you use at work. For example, if your back takes a beating from carrying stuff all day then don’t do squats or deadlifts.

1 Like

Yes we all failed for that at some point… In my pic I am 6’1 and 82 kgs so at 100 I would be easily 25%+


There’s no magic bullet. Lower your damn calories and increase your cardio. I’ve actually found that I am able to do more cardio when I’m cutting calories simply because I can see a difference faster and am then more motivated when doing cardio.

Easiest way to cut calories is Intermittent Fasting (ignore all BS claims on IF, its just a way to cut calories).