Everyone knows getting shredded requires hard work in the gym but you won't see the results you want until you fuel your gains with the right nutrition. This guide is guaranteed to help you build the physique you've always wanted.
1. Watch Your Calories
Losing fat requires feeding your body with less energy than it burns. This negative energy balance (difference between what you eat and what you burn) is called a calorie deficit.
Use this calorie calculator to help you determine how many calories you should be eating everyday. Don't make the mistake of being in a caloric deficit for too long as this can slow down your fat loss and effect your body's ability to build and maintain muscle mass. I follow a calorie deficit for five or six days and then increase my calories to maintenance levels on the seventh day. Doing this keeps my metabolism fired up so I can keep losing body fat while building muscle mass.
2. Protein is Essential
You can't build muscle without protein. It's important to consume higher amounts of protein during your fat loss phase so that your body does not break down muscle for energy. It's also the only way to actually build more muscle mass while still losing fat. I recommend consuming about 1.2.-1.5g of protein per pound of body weight (2.6 - 3.3g of protein per kg of bodyweight). High quality protein sources include eggs, chicken, fish, lentils, beef and nuts.
Whey protein is the fastest digesting protein and has the highest net protein utilization of close to 90% which means almost all the protein is used and absorbed by your body. The most important time to drink a protein supplement is immediately after a workout to maximize muscle growth. Your muscles are damaged after a hard workout will absorb the amino acids quickly to begin the repair and growth process. Tiger Milk Lean Protein contains 24g of the purest whey protein with high levels of BCAAs and Glutamine to accelerate muscle repair. It's also low in calories, carbs and fat making it the perfect protein supplement for anyone trying to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass.
2. Eat Carbs
Don't fall for the ketogenic diet trend. I tried it and lost all my muscle mass. Follow a moderate to low carb diet in which 30-40% of your calories come from carbohydrates. Don't worry about distinguishing between the fat loss effects of simple v.s. complex carbs. Focus on your caloric intake and you'll still lose weight regardless of the types of carbs you're eating. I make sure 85-90% of my carbs come from healthy Low GI carbs such as oats, potatoes and rice because these foods keep me feeling fuller and provide a sustained release of energy. The remaining 10-15% of my carb intake comes from chocolates, desserts and treats. Find the right balance and make this lifestyle sustainable and most importantly - enjoyable for yourself.
3. Heavy Weight Training
When I first started out, I always thought getting lean meant I had to lift lighter weights and increase my reps. This was a huge mistake as I ended up looking skinny every time I tried to cut. Your muscles always need to be progressively overloaded in order to grow and get stronger. Progressive overload means to continually increasing the load (weight) over time and increasing the overall volume (reps) you do in a workout. Focus on lifting heavy and you'll keep making gains while dropping body fat.
4. Cardio to Boost Results
If you're following your calorie deficit consistently, you won't need to spend hours doing cardio. But if you had a cheat meal or just want to boost your fat loss, include 3-4 cardio sessions per week for 45-60 minutes per session. I do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and hit the weights in the evening. My cardio usually consists of steady state running, stair master or elliptical. I also add 1-2 sessions of high intensity interval sprints per week to boost my fat loss and improve my cardiovascular health.
5. Use BCAAs to Preserve and Build Muscle
Prevent muscle breakdown and take 1 scoop of Elixir BCAAs during your training. This will help fuel your muscles through hard workouts instead of your body breaking down muscle tissue for energy. BCAAs are perfect for low calorie diets because they enhance protein synthesis, resulting in improved recovery and increased muscle growth.
- Tiger Milk Lean Protein (post-workout)
- Blow Pre-workout (pre-workout)