In this post, the second of my product review series, I’m going to be taking a look at natural bodybuilder and fitness writer Tom Venuto’s popular program Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle.
People may be wondering why I’m reviewing such a mainstream product, since I usually prefer to point out the products that fly under the radar. The reason is that people don’t give Mr. Venuto enough credit. I’ve seen those who look at the salespage of this program and toss it to the side saying it’s just another scam or just another hyped up fat loss product.
If you’ve adopted this mindset, you’re sorely mistaken.
Tom is a very good writer and communicator, and his work is easy to read and understand, and he works hard to ensure that the science is there to back it up.
So without further rambling, let’s get to the Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle review.
Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle Review – A Brief Overview
Right off the bat, Tom establishes the fact that he is against very-low calorie diets, as they cause the metabolism to slow and eventually halt fat loss progress permanently, and he ensures that Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle will bypass the problems of low-calorie diets.
Tom also stresses from the beginning that the program is not a one-size-fits-all, but it’s very individualized and easily customizable to fit your personal needs. Along with providing diet guidance, he also gives advice on exercise as well, which he considers essential to achieving and maintaining weight loss.
Without giving too much away, the idea behind the book is that your body doesn’t want to lose fat. From an evolutionary standpoint, losing fat is dangerous because it means we will have less stored energy to keep us alive during times in which food is scarce. Now for the most part, we don’t have the problem of food scarcity, and this is part of the problem.
People no longer have to work for their food, aside from getting off of the couch and walking towards the refrigerator. Again, from an evolutionary standpoint, while the body doesn’t want to lose fat, it has no problem putting it on. This is because stored fat was unlikely to be a negative for our ancestors who would have to survive off of that stored fat for long periods of time when food was unavailable.
So, Tom goes into great detail about the adaptations that occur when you begin dieting, often called the starvation response. Essentially, your body senses a lack of energy, and it slows metabolism, immune function, and digestion among other systems because the body’s main goal is to stay alive. While this was great for our ancestors, it’s terrible for those of us trying to lose fat.
Essentially, the diet is designed to bypass the metabolic slowdown that occurs during dieting to ensure that you can lose fat consistently while holding on to your hard-earned muscle tissue.
Let’s get to what I like about the program, and also what I don’t like.
What I Like About the Program
1. Tom establishes the importance of specific goal setting from the get-go. People know they want to lose fat, but they often neglect the importance of setting specific goals and specific timelines. Tom goes into the psychology behind goals setting among other thought-provoking ideas.
2. He stresses the importance of positive habit changes and lifestyle adjustments. Crash-dieting doesn’t work for most. People tend to lose 15 pounds quickly, only to put it back on and then some. Tom stresses that in order to make fat loss permanent, you have to make changes to your overall lifestyle habits.
3. The diet is highly customizable. Like I mentioned earlier, this is not a cookie-cutter program. Tom teaches you how to make adjustments based on your personal goals and how to fit the program to your needs.
4. The book is very inspiring and well-written. I can honestly say that this was one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read on the topic of diet (and I’ve read a lot). Tom’s writing style is very easy to follow, and his explanations are spot on.
What I Don’t Like About the Program
1. There is some talk about eating frequently to stoke the metabolism, which I disagree with overall. While eating frequently is certainly not a bad thing, it’s far from necessary and can cause the undue stress of having to constantly prepare meals. Not a big deal, just a minor point of contention.
2. The book can get a bit drawn out at times. Tom’s writing is excellent, but there are times when he goes on tangents that could have been written in one or two sentences.
3. Instead of decreasing food intake, he recommends upping cardio. Now, this is just my opinion against his, but it takes a lot of cardio to burn a few hundred calories. I really despise cardio, so this isn’t really a flaw in the program, it’s just my personal preference to decrease calories rather than upping cardio.
Overall, Tom’s program is outstanding. It’s extremely informative without being overly-complex, and it’s highly customizable without being vague and confusing. I also love that he gets into the psychology of fat loss and stresses the importance of positive thinking and goal setting, as I believe this plays a huge role in fat loss success of any kind.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone trying to lose fat, get ripped, or just learn more about diet in general, as Tom is a very experienced guy and he has the knowledge to back it up.
For more information on Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, click here.