Activities Sports & Athletics Bodybuilding Advice For Women: Using Bodybuilding To Lose Fat And Tone Up Lose Fat And Tone Up The Easy And Stress Free Way Using Bodybuilding Share PINTEREST Email Print Jamie Garbutt/Getty Images Sports & Athletics Bodybuilding Training & Routines Baseball Bicycling Billiards Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Hugo Rivera Hugo Rivera Hugo Rivera is a nationally ranked competitive bodybuilder. He has written several books on fitness and bodybuilding, including "The Body Sculpting Bible." Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 06/06/19 Contributed by Mercedes Khani, IFBB Figure Pro, CFT How to lose fat, without killing yourself in a tough diet... There are so many stories, so many tales. How do they do it? And who really knows the best way to do it, without it being too hard on you? We all have our jobs, a busy lifestyle and family to attend to. There is no time for a complicated diet added to your busy schedule. I understand it's hard to take the first step and get started if you don't know what to do. When you see someone who has done it, then you know this person must know the answer. Being a fitness model, a figure competitor and a personal trainer, I know how to do it and now I am telling you all to learn! Just follow the free schedules and titles below as guidance to your new lifestyle, to the new you. Are you ready to see the fat melting off, easy and stress-free? Let's go! Training As Little As 3 Times A Week You can train with weights as little as three times a week, just 45–60 minutes per session. After weight training I want you to do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise to burn off the fat even faster. You can also do up to 45 minutes of cardio if you're up for it, but no more than that. I will leave that up to you. Alternatively, you can do your cardio on your days off from the weights. The best time to do it, in this case, is as soon as you wake up on an empty stomach since research indicates that more body fat is burned when performed in a fasting state since glycogen (stored carbohydrates) levels are low. A walk outside or on a treadmill will get the job done but in reality, you can choose any machine you like. However, do not underestimate the power of walking on the pavement. There is no need to spend your life in the gym. That is what the commercials tell you on TV, to sell you their 'new innovative' product. But it's really not that hard; actually, you will find yourself enjoying doing the exercises. Time flies by as you're occupied and before you know it, you're done. You just need to get up and go. I promise that you'll feel great when you're done! Sample Training Schedule To spend only three days a week in the gym, and have significant results, here is a great sample schedule to do it. Follow this exact schedule if you like, or feel free to adjust it to your preference if you wish to train other body parts on different days. Monday: Legs and shoulders, calvesTuesday: Training offWednesday: Back and biceps, absThursday: Training offFriday: Chest and triceps, absSaturday: Training offSunday: Training off Number of Exercises, Sets, Reps Try to do 3 or 4 exercises per major muscle group (legs, back, chest, shoulders), and 2 or 3 exercises per minor muscle group (biceps, triceps). You can do 1 or 2 exercises for abs and calves. Go for 3–4 sets of about 15–20 reps per set as I have found this repetition range to be optimal for toning and fat loss. On training days, try to train not later than before the 4th meal, so that you have enough energy to train well during the day. Bodybuilding Diet Advice for Fat Loss and Toning Instead of talking about what you can not eat, let's talk about what you can eat. There are actually a lot of food items that you can include in your bodybuilding diet plan. I want you to have six 'meals' a day as eating more frequently will increase your metabolism which in turns helps you to lose fat and will also feed the muscle so that it gets that firm and toned look you are after. Don't worry, you won't have to spend your time in the kitchen cooking all day; some of the 'meals' will be a quick shake or a small snack. You will be eating every 3 hours so that your body becomes more efficient at burning all the calories faster. This is what we want to happen in order to lose that body fat. I made a great tasting diet schedule for you, which will help you get the results you are looking for. Each meal consists of carbs, proteins and fat sources as you can see in the diet plan below. Feel free to switch the foods from the sample diet below up with any of the other food sources from the same category. Just pick what you feel like having from the table, or follow my sample diet schedule and you will be well on your way to great results. It's easy as that! Food Preparation Preferably I want your vegetables to be steamed and I want you to use Pam fat-free cooking spray instead of olive oil or especially butter to cook your food. You can find calorie-free salad dressing in all flavors for a great tasting salad and delicious calorie-free marinades for chicken, beef or fish. You can also use fat-free mayonnaise, ketchup, sweeteners, herbs, and spices to enhance the taste of your food. Told you this diet would be good! The amount per food item is based on a 120–140-pound female who wishes to lose body fat and add some muscle at the same time to become more toned and firm looking. Add a little more amount per food item if your weight is higher and/or if you are very active during the day. Meal Timing I like to train after the 3rd meal and before my 4th meal, so I added some good fats in the meal before my training. If you want to train earlier, try to move your good fats (in this example the almonds) to the meal before your training. They will give you extra energy to train and will make you feel full, especially with a full glass of water to spread out the fibers in your tummy, which the almonds contain. You don't want the good fats in the meal after your training. Fat slows down the uptake and digestion of nutrients in your body and after training the body needs carbs and proteins as fast as possible in order to start the recovery process. By having a post-workout meal that does not include fats, the necessary carbs and protein nutrients will be taken up by the body faster after your training. Sample Diet Plan For Fat Loss and Toning Spread your calorie intake throughout the day. My recommended six meals are: Meal 1 is breakfast, Meal 2 is Mid-morning, Meal 3 is Lunch, Meal 4 is Mid-afternoon, Meal 5, Dinner, and Meal 6 is Pre-bedtime. Build your meals with one each of the following in combination: Carbohydrates ½ cup (cooked) brown rice3 rice cakes½ cup oatmeal2 slices whole wheat toast1 cup sweet potato Protein 4 oz. salmon (also contains good fat)6 egg whites, 1 yolk (yolk contains fat)4 oz. any fish3 oz. chicken breast3 oz. turkey breast4 oz. lean beef (top round)½ cup fat-free cottage cheese Good Fat Any fatty fish¼ avocado½ tbsp. olive oil1 full hand almonds or walnuts½ full hand peanuts or cashews Supplements for Fat Loss and Toning These are the best supplements, in my opinion, designed to give you all the energy and all the nutritional support you need in order to lose body fat and gain muscle for a beautifully toned body. As you can see, there are no magic potions or formulas, but simply some basic proven supplements that will greatly benefit your training and dieting efforts as well as your health. One 1000 mg vitamin C in the morning and one after training A good multivitamin and mineral formula One 400 mg vitamin E after training 5 gram L-Glutamine after training and 5 gram before bedtime (for great recovery) 5 gram Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) before training and 5 gram after training (for energy and great recovery) 2 servings of fish oil a day (to help you lose fat) 2 to 3 servings of HMB a day, depending on the brand (to help you lose fat and gain muscle) 2 servings CLA a day (to help you lose fat) S.O.S. Cravings What should you do when the cravings come up strong sometimes? Well, actually there are all kinds of treats to satisfy your cravings without eating something you're not supposed to.When you want to keep eating 'clean' during the week (so that you can have the weekends free to eat what you feel like in two meals) and you have a big craving somewhere during the week, don't worry. There is a way to jump over this hurdle. Try any of the cravings control tips below to cut your cravings: Have a celery stick dipped in calorie free dressing.Have a hand full of almonds/walnuts or ½ hand of peanuts/cashews with 1 glass of water.Have some cucumber or a small mixed salad.Have a green apple.Have some water, green tea, espresso or coffee (with fat-free creamer and/or sweetener).Watch TV or a movie.Go online to read some fitness articles for extra motivation.Go outside and take a walk.Go shopping. See how smaller sizes fit and look great on you!Meet up for social activities with friends, tell them about your new lifestyle. They will support you! Also, try this little trick; If you're craving something like chocolate, look at the label of the packet and see how many calories per serving (if you're going to have that suggested serving), you're about to take in. 300 calories equal 45 minutes of cardio. Do you really want to make it harder on you and slow down your progress? Imagine yourself in nice low-cut jeans with a pretty top, showing your abs. Besides, it's just a few more days until the weekend is here so let's just put that chocolate bar aside and wait until the weekend. Enjoy Food, Enjoy Life Ever see commercials on TV or in magazines of fit people living a happy lifestyle, eating breakfast in the peaceful garden, casually riding a bike or taking a relaxing walk on the beach? They are being portrayed as happy people who appreciate life. It's true for most fit people, and it could be true for everyone. You appreciate food, your bodies, and life so much more now that you focus more on appreciating yourselves instead of only living to eat. This is karma; you give and you take. The energy you put into appreciating and caring for yourself all comes back to you, in a good way. Appreciating whole foods for your body instead of stressor foods (unhealthy food), enjoying life and having fun attributes to maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle. It even attributes to a happy lifestyle. Be Patient To every action, there is a reaction. By now you've made a couple of changes in your life to have a great fit and toned body so now you are burning fat, although sometimes it takes a while for you to notice it. One, you may not see it at first until the results are greater, even though your friends and family will be complimenting you and telling you they see you've lost weight, and two, sometimes the fat has to become looser first inside until it starts coming off. This may not happen for the first few weeks, but soon before you know it, you will see the fat flying off at a rapid speed. You will be so happy with the results that you won't want to have it any other way. You will choose to keep this way of eating as a lifestyle, a healthy lifestyle that guarantees you having a fit and healthy body for the rest of your life. And you'll do it with pleasure too! I can't wait for you to have a fit and healthy lifestyle as well! Be sure to make before and after pictures for us all to see when you start this guide to lose your body fat and have a great toned body. Feel free to email them to me. I will be looking forward to seeing those awesome results on you! Enjoy! Yours in health,Mercedes KhaniAbout The AuthorMercedes Khani is an IFBB Pro Figure athlete, international fitness model, certified personal trainer, and writer. She is working on her first fitness book.