Featured story April 4, 2014
Make no mistake, it’s by no means coincidence that the first three letters of the word “diet” indicate just how miserable the process can be. Constantly being hungry, having to forgo satisfying carbs in favor of vegetables, eating smaller portions of bland-tasting foods. Yet to get really lean - the kind of shape that’ll have you eagerly pulling off your T-shirt - doesn’t have to mean total self-sacrifice for the sake of a six-pack. Tailoring the right nutrition plan, will have you muscular and ripped in as few as four weeks.
Remember this: You don’t have to be in a calorie deficit all the time to drop bodyfat. That’s right. In fact, moving from a deficit - when calories are restricted - to a diet in which calories are slightly above deficit levels can yield greater muscle definition.
How so? First, remaining on a low-calorie diet can backfire. The body adapts to calorie restrictions - eating less - by slowing its calorie-burning engine called metabolism. Second, low-calorie diets sometimes compromise anabolism, or your ability to maintain muscle mass.
Therefore, the ideal nutrition plan encompasses both attributes: lower-calorie dieting coupled with a very brief period when you’re allowed to eat! Hey, getting cut just became a bit easier - and more pleasant.
Here are the highlights of the four-week diet plan:
Put the calculator away. To get ripped, you don’t need to add up the calories in each and every morsel of food that goes into your mouth. Instead, you simply need to get a handle on portion control. Doing so is easy, especially when you get the hang of it. First, this diet is extremely low in fat; no butter, no oils, no nuts or fatty cuts of meat, so there’s not much to count in this department.
Determining your carbohydrate intake is straightforward: You’ll eat carb foods with:
Keep in mind, a “serving” yields about 40-50 grams of carbohydrates, so the three meals with carbs using Diet A (meals 1-3) would provide roughly 150 grams of carbs.
Protein is the nutrient that offers muscle support. Not only does it help build mass, but it also helps preserve muscle tissue when calories from carbohydrates and fat are really low. For this reason, you’ll keep protein at a minimum of 200 grams a day - 40 grams at each of your five daily meals. Again, you don’t have to actually count the grams of protein you eat every day, just follow the menus outlined and you’ll hit the mark.
Give it four weeks and not only will you have severely cleaned up your eating but you’ll be leaner and have more energy than if you followed another diet. You know, the ones in which you feel like you’re about to die.
Use this chart to compute meal plans and number of carb meals.
|Day||Bodyparts Trained||Meal Plan # of Carb Meals|
|1||Chest, shoulders, triceps||A||3|
|4||Chest, shoulders, triceps||A||3|
|8||Chest, shoulders, triceps||A||3|
|11||Chest, shoulders, triceps||A||3|
By following the simple meal plans, the typical 180-pound male can shed fat, maintain his mass and keep his metabolic rate from stalling. That said, we realize that no single nutrition strategy, no matter how well-planned and -devised, fits every 180-pounder, let alone someone who weighs more, say, 220 pounds. People are different and respond slightly differently to the very same diet plans. With that in mind, here are some key points to consider to better customize the plan to every stubborn twist and turn your body may put up.
Taking each food listed below individually, here’s what one serving of 40-50 grams of carbohydrate looks like:
Taking each food listed below individually, here’s what roughly 40 grams of protein amounts to:
These foods can be considered “free” because they yield so few calories that you’d have to eat mounds of each to add any significant caloric value to your diet. These low-cal veggies are great to use on both Diet A and Diet B.