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5 Rules you Must Follow to Get Lean (10% Body Fat)

Follow these to transform your body.

These are the 5 rules you must follow to get lean, as low as 10% body fat, according to Mario Tomic.

In his quest for physique enhancement spanning over a remarkable 12-year journey, Mario Tomic has undertaken numerous lean bulking phases and maintenance periods. Recently, he concluded his most extended lean bulking phase to date, spanning approximately a year and a half. At present, he has officially embarked on another phase—an ardent pursuit to reduce body fat to a mere 10%.

During this intricate cutting phase, Mario is adhering to five fundamental rules meticulously designed to ensure utmost efficiency, channelling his unwavering effort in the most fruitful direction.

5 Rules You Must Follow to Get Lean (10% Body Fat)

The first and foremost rule guiding Mario’s fat loss journey is to shed body fat while consuming the highest sustainable calorie intake. Mario posits that not all calorie deficits are created equal in terms of difficulty. To illustrate this, he presents two hypothetical scenarios involving individuals named Joe and Charlie, both with the shared goal of fat loss. Joe opts for a daily calorie intake of 1800 while expending 2300 calories per day. In contrast, Charlie consumes 2300 calories daily but burns 2800 calories daily.

Both scenarios appear to maintain a 500-calorie daily deficit and a weekly deficit of 3500 calories, translating to approximately one pound of weight loss per week. However, a crucial distinction lies in their daily calorie turnovers. Joe’s daily turnover stands at 4100 calories, whereas Charlie boasts a higher daily turnover of 5100 calories. Drawing from his extensive experience and interactions with numerous individuals pursuing leanness, Mario emphasizes the significance of this concept—higher daily calorie turnover often leads to superior results. It is a concept less commonly recognized but profoundly impactful. This rationale aligns with Mario’s personal practice of maintaining an average daily step count exceeding 10,000 steps during fat loss phases. This strategy not only permits him to consume more calories but also affords him increased energy, reduced hunger, enhanced productivity, more social flexibility, and crucially, sustains his ability to train intensively without compromising strength or muscle mass. It culminates in a superior body composition by the end of the fat loss phase.

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Furthermore, Mario acknowledges the phenomenon of metabolic adaptation that transpires during fat loss. In circumstances where one is already subsisting on an 1800-calorie diet, further reductions become increasingly unsustainable. Learning from his own experiences, Mario highlights the importance of maintaining elevated energy expenditure by walking more, seizing opportunities to move, lifting weights, and adopting a high-protein diet, which directly elevates metabolism due to its higher thermic effect. Collectively, these practices enable individuals to stay within a calorie deficit while still enjoying a more comfortable fat loss journey and ultimately attaining superior results.

Meal Prep done for health and fitnessSource: Ella Olsson on Unsplash

The second rule in Mario’s arsenal is encapsulated in the phrase, “Boring equals good.” Early in his fitness journey, he discovered a penchant for indulgent eating—a tendency to consume food for pleasure rather than necessity, often transcending hunger. He candidly acknowledges that he possesses a robust appetite, a trait not unique to him. In practice, this implies that a diet teeming with delectable and exciting meals becomes arduous to control in terms of calorie intake. To combat this, Mario endorses a seemingly contrarian approach.

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While many advocate for “anabolic” recipes and meals utilizing artificial sweeteners to craft enticing, macro-friendly dishes, Mario opts for simplicity and consistency. He places such meals in the category of indulgences, accounting for only 10-20% of his dietary intake. The bulk—80-90%—comprises whole, healthy, unprocessed foods consumed for sustenance rather than pleasure. This demarcation permits Mario to adhere to a routine-based approach during fat loss phases. His meals, typically consisting of three to four straightforward ingredients, are easy to prepare within a daily timeframe of 25-30 minutes.

This approach minimizes mental and emotional engagement with food, fostering consistency and lessening the cognitive load associated with dietary decisions. As an ardent advocate for this approach, Mario asserts that it minimizes food-related contemplation, allowing days and weeks to flow seamlessly.

Full bulk up meal planSource: Yaroslav Shuraev on Pexels

For the third rule, Mario delves into the realm of calorie planning, emphasizing its superiority over calorie tracking. He reflects on his initial experiences with food tracking apps, where he often logged meals reactively—consuming a meal and subsequently recording it. However, he discerned the potential for error in this method, leading to instances where he realized belatedly that he had fallen short of daily protein targets or inadvertently exceeded his calorie budget. His evolved approach is now one of using calorie tracking apps proactively for planning. To illustrate, he offers an example of planning a calorie allocation for a social event.

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He allocates 1200 calories to this dinner event out of his daily budget of 2000 calories during a fat loss phase. This leaves him with 800 calories to distribute between his first two meals. Prior to the event, Mario consults the restaurant menu, identifies suitable food options within his pre-allocated calorie limit, and logs those selections. Subsequently, he logs his first two meals to ensure that he remains within his daily targets. By adopting this method, Mario approaches the event with a predetermined solution, alleviating stress and uncertainty while ensuring adherence to his calorie goals. He underscores that this proactive approach nurtures the invaluable skill of adaptability, enabling individuals to modify meals and food choices effectively to stay on course. This approach substantially reduces the margin for errors, enhancing dietary consistency and, consequently, results.

The fourth rule, underscored by Mario, is a lesson in not placing undue significance on isolated daily fluctuations. He contends that making important decisions based on a single day’s outcome can be detrimental to one’s motivation and perspective. Mario cautions against attaching motivation to daily weigh-ins, particularly if the numbers on the scale do not align with expectations. He elucidates the multifaceted nature of daily weight fluctuations, attributing them to variables such as salt intake, carbohydrate consumption, food choices, exercise, sleep, hydration, and stress. Consequently, a singular daily weigh-in often provides an incomplete and inaccurate reflection of one’s overall progress.

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Instead, Mario advocates for a more comprehensive approach—a data-driven, patient one. He urges individuals to focus on daily actions, entrust the process, and refrain from drawing overarching conclusions from daily weigh-ins. He underscores the importance of assessing trends in weight over two to three weeks. By averaging these trends, individuals obtain more reliable and actionable data. If, for instance, the data reveals a lack of progress over several weeks, this signifies the need for adjustments in nutrition and training, thereby adhering to a more informed, trend-based approach to decision-making.

Source: Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

The fifth and final rule prescribed by Mario entails doubling down on one’s strengths. He posits that individuals should capitalize on their inherent inclinations and preferences when pursuing fitness goals. For instance, if one possesses a penchant for data analysis, they should fully immerse themselves in utilizing various tracking tools and spreadsheets to monitor workout and nutrition data. By doing so, they can harness their natural proclivities to heighten motivation and cultivate a deeper sense of control over their fitness journey. Conversely, those who thrive on challenges and intensity can opt for a phased approach to dieting, interspersing periods of high dedication with brief diet breaks, aligning with their disposition.

However, Mario also emphasizes that individuals inclined toward self-criticism and perfectionism should adopt a gradual, one-habit-at-a-time approach, steering clear of unnecessary haste. He underscores the uniqueness of every individual’s journey toward leanness, encouraging them to forge their distinctive paths. This entails an approach attuned to individual psychology, genetics, and bodily responses. In essence, Mario underscores the imperative of identifying and pursuing methods that resonate personally, ensuring a more comfortable and effective route to one’s fitness goals.

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Mario Tomic concludes by showcasing the importance of individualisation in the pursuit of leanness. Drawing from his decade-long experience maintaining a body fat percentage between 10% and 15%, he accentuates the need to discover and embrace an approach tailored to one’s distinct traits and preferences. A personalized approach, one that feels natural and sustainable, stands as the key to unlocking optimal results.

Watch his full video for a more detailed information on the 5 rules you must follow to get lean, down to 10% body fat.

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