Getting lean and muscular is no easy task. Getting shredded is even tougher. And while you may not plan to hit the stage with striated glutes, there are a few things you can do that will help drop some hard-to-lose fat while you continue to build rock-solid muscle.
I hate using the word diet because for many it has a negative connotation when it comes to eating. While it is true that if you want to get really lean, you need to restrict calories, part of successful dieting is making “healthy eating” a regular part of your lifestyle. So when you are ready to cut, it is much easier. To that end, if you are quite a bit overweight, a highly restricted diet is not your best choice. For a less restricted diet, refer to the plan in the Hyper Growth Bench and Squat Strength Program. But for those looking to show off your abs, define your muscles, and get the tightest physique you have ever had, then be prepared to dip into your discipline a little till you get the hang of what it takes to be in top shape.
There are no shortcuts, and while you can stray a little from your diet, if you go too far, you will lose ground. To that end, your food choices should be high in all three macronutrients (fats, carbs, and proteins), and snacks and smaller meals should be the same, just smaller in portion size. You need to ensure you maximize your workout capacity by taking a good pre- and post-workout supplement such as those provided in our super stack. Don’t starve yourself, but you need to get used to being hungry.
Nutrition Basics for Getting Lean and Muscular
Protein and Carbs. You need them. Both. Don’t skimp on either. The only big thing to remember is that you need to be careful eating too much too late in the evening, as your body slows down and so does your ability to utilize the fuel. In fact, I recommend starting big on carbs and cutting down as your day progresses. Regular eating is a must both to keep your energy levels primed but also to improve your metabolic rate and overall fat-burning capability. Shoot for smaller portion sizes, more frequently.
“Cheat” Meals and Snacks
In my mind, there is no such thing as a cheat, rather it is “necessary” to indulge and give your metabolism a boost, your body some needed energy, and your mind some reprieve. But remember, a slight diversion does not give you authority to trash your diet altogether and go crazy at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Instead, splurge a little by throwing in some fat, like a few French Fries, or some sugar, like gummy bears or even a cup of ice cream. If you splurge sensibly, then you are not cheating, rather you are entertaining.
A Sample Diet
Don’t you hate when sample diets come out and have specific serving sizes with no guidance to match your body type. Should a 200-pound person consume the same 4 oz chicken breast as the 150-pound person? Nope. So this nutrition plan will help you modify your plan accordingly. As a rule of thumb when it comes to gaining strength, you want to eat a little more, shooting for as much as 20 calories per pound of bodyweight per day. But for losing fat and maintaining muscle, you want to shoot for closer to 12 to 13 calories per pound unless you have a fast metabolism and know it, in which case you can jump that up. On workout days, you should add an extra 200 calories per day to that total. While this seems counterintuitive to losing weight, the worst thing you can do when dieting is to prevent your muscles from getting the nutrients they need to build themselves up. Don’t get caught up in cutting too much. And finally, if a day goes over your regular total calorie intake, it’s okay provided it is not way over. But then modify your next day eating by cutting a few extra calories. Again, don’t panic—your body takes time to balance out, so messing up a single day is not a bad thing.
Eat four to six meals per day, and EVERY meal should have carbs, protein, and fat. Ideally each meal would be equal in calories, but since it is likely you will do lunches and dinners for business/pleasure, the following plan is most recommended.
The General Goal is to consume around 35% protein, 50% carbs, and about 15% fat.
The Table is based on 15 calories per pound of bodyweight. If you have a faster metabolism, increase by 10% to 15%, and vice versa if you have a slower metabolism. For bodyweights that lie in between each 50-pound increment, divide through the nearest weight to calculate your ideal breakdown. Remember, this is not including the extra calories you may ingest on workout days.
Meal breakdown for a person weighing 150 pounds based on an 1,800-calorie diet.
Meal breakdown for a person weighing 200 pounds based on a 2,400-calorie diet.
Meal breakdown for a person weighing 250 pounds based on a 3,000-calorie diet.