Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle – Book Review

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This book covers four basic principles: Nutrition, Cardio, Weight Training and Mentality. Each topic is covered well, but pitched at a very low level for someone like myself (Sports Science graduate). What this book does cover in more detail than its competitors is the macro-nutrients and strategies for eating the right foods. If you are new to counting calories and learning about protein, carbs and fat, this book will suit you well. If you want a more practical guide to muscle gain and fat loss, read Bigger Leaner Stronger.

Book nine is …

Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle by Tom Venuto


PRO TIP: Take notes! When you read a book, use a blank sheet of paper as a bookmark. Write down any interesting facts and information from the book. This condenses a whole book into 3-4 pages of key notes that are important and relevant to you.

My Notes

  • Every failed low calorie diet leaves you FATTER. Severe calorie restriction reduces muscle mass, so when you return to your original weight you will have a higher % body fat.
  • Instead of leaving a void by removing a bad habit, start a good habit that will force it out.
  • Individual differences in Basal Metabolic Rate, the number of Fat Cells and Carbohydrate Tolerance determine the difficulty with which someone loses weight. Genetics play a big role too.
  • Body types can be classified as Endomorph (short & stocky), Mesomorph (athletic build) and Ectomorph (naturally skinny). You can tailor your training to work best for your body type.
  • Try to avoid negative thoughts as they become self-fulfilling, such as “I’ll never lose weight”.
  • Train for muscle gain or for fat loss, not both. You don’t have to go as far as “bulking” and “cutting”, but stay in either a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus.
  • Find an emotional reason to fix to your goals and you are much more likely to succeed.
  • See Page 98 for good tips on Goal Setting. N.B: I don’t want to reproduce too much of Tom’s content in the review.
  • Use visualisation or a picture of the desired physique you want. Pin it on the fridge or set it as your mobile phone background.
  • Aim to eat 25 grams or more of Protein at every meal. Don’t go above 45 grams too often in a single meal.
  • Macro-nutrients should be roughly 30% Protein, 50% Carbs, 20% Fat. Due to calories per gram this would be 150g protein, 250g carbs and 45g fat for a 2000 calorie diet.
  • Switching from predominantly carbohydrates as fuel to fatty acids is known as “bonking”. This is seen in marathon runners who “hit the wall” after a certain time.
  • Try to eat 25-30 grams of Protein in the meals before and after your workouts.
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  • Pages 214-215 contain a pretty comprehensive list of the best foods to eat (If you want to see it, Buy The Book!).
  • Cardio 3 to 4 times a week is good for maintenance, and 5 to 7 times a week for fat loss.
  • Make cardio sessions 30-45 mins, possibly shorter if they are high intensity.


As I mentioned, there is a lot of content which I haven’t made notes on because I covered it in my degree. The notes I did make are more on the authors personal preferences in regards to getting in shape. If phrases like “Basal Metabolic Rate” and “Endomorph” are unfamiliar to you, then this book is well suited to your level of experience. If you have a basic understanding of nutrition then there’s likely very little to be gained from reading this book.

About Fraser_9to5 202 Articles
Site owner. I'm a graduate in Sports Science and have an MSc in Sports Biomechanics. I set up 9to5strength in 2015 as a resource for people interested in strength training, nutrition and fitness. I consider myself a fitness blogger and enjoy creating YouTube videos and trying out workout programs.