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HD Abs: The Ab-Etching Diet – 4 Weeks Of Fat Burning

HD Abs: The Ab-Etching Diet – 4 Weeks Of Fat Burning

The weather is warming up. That means your abs don’t need that layer of fat insulation. Get rid of it, quick!

I'm sure you have heard there is a limit to the number of pounds you can lose in one week. Most docs will tell you that shedding 1-2 pounds per week is healthy weight loss.

Well, I have good news for you.

That is a lie.

My good friend and expert trainer Alwyn Cosgrove told me years ago that he saw fat loss as a thermostat: if you want to lose fat faster, turn up the dial and turn up the heat. In order to make your abs pop, your thermostat needs to be pegged in the red zone.

When you start talking about breaking the imaginary 2-pound-per-week weight-loss boundary, you'll hear a lot of people wondering if it's healthy. Unlike many diet gurus, I spent 5 years of my life studying the impact of nutrition on heart health in order to earn my Ph.D. in nutrition.

I place your health as a major priority. That's why, on this diet, you eat more vegetables and nutrient-rich foods than 80-to-90% of Americans.

Scientists have not discovered a physiological limit for pounds of fat lost in a 7- or 30-day period. No data or evidence shows that losing 2 pounds per week is any healthier than losing 4 pounds.

Four pounds lighter is healthier than just 2 pounds lighter. How you lose the weight is what makes your weight loss healthy or unhealthy.

Big Effort, Big Results

I'll show you how to take advantage of hard-wired biochemical pathways in your body to drip-feed stored body fat into your blood stream.

That way, you have a 24-hour continuous supply of energy, as well as a full day of fat burning. After four weeks, 15 pounds and newly-shredded abs, I'll say you were smart about your weight loss, not unhealthy.

These kinds of results are within your grasp, but it takes work. Ray Lewis once said that at the end of the day, a champion should be judged by effort. Effort doesn't care whether you have bad genetics or not.

Effort doesn't care if you don't have access to the best equipment at your gym. Big effort gets big results. You have all the diet and nutrition information you need in this article, you just need to provide the effort.

The Calorie Conundrum

Weight-loss is much more complex than calories in, calories out. Scientific research shows us that lowering the amount of carbs you consume changes your metabolism.

By eating fewer carbs, you can eat more calories and lose more weight than by following a traditional low-fat, higher-carb diet.

This phenomenon was highlighted in a recent study from the University of Connecticut. Study participants were separated into low-carb and high-carb groups.

The low-carb group was given instruction on how to eat a low
carb diet
, but they weren't told to restrict their calorie intake.

The high-carb group was told to eat a high-carb/low-fat diet and to restrict its calorie intake by counting calories. At the end of the study, the low-carb group lost more weight, although it ate more calories. This finding is common in low-carb diet research.

Because the ab-etching diet program is design to help you lose maximum weight in a short period of time, you cut fat with a double-edged sword that's low carb AND low calorie.

Your daily caloric intake is set at 11 calories per pound of body weight.

In other words, if you currently weigh 200 pounds, you'll start at 2,200 calories per day.

Don't worry too much if your daily calorie intake is slightly above or below your target. It will all even out.

As the weeks progress, and you get leaner, you may need to drop your calories down to 10 calories per pound of body weight in order to strong-arm your body into using the remaining fat coating your midsection for energy instead of insulation.

Protein Powered

Your daily protein intake will be at about 1 gram per pound of body weight, or at least 30% of your total calories. Don't be concerned about losing lean body mass.

If you follow the diet and training program exactly, your muscles will be well protected.

Your body frequently functions from an evolutionary/survival perspective. Historically, we would build muscle for survival reasons: moving stones, carrying trees, building huts, and hunting and gathering food.

If the human body needed muscle to survive, then it wouldn't break them down for fuel.

In order to mimic that "caveman" experience, do some heavy lifting. Sets of 8, 12, 15 or even 20 reps are good for stimulating your metabolism. But heavier sets of 4-6 reps give your body the message that if it doesn't keep the muscle, it'll be crushed.

Protein "costs" your body more energy just to digest it.

So it boosts your daily total calorie burn. The high protein intake in this diet will preserve your muscle and increase your metabolism.

Protein is also a hormonal fat-loss rock star. Eating protein causes the release of fat loss hormones CCK and glucagon.

CCK tells your brain to signal that you're full and satisfied, even if you're eating fewer calories.

Glucagon is a catabolic hormone that breaks down stored energy so it can be poured into your blood stream and used to fuel you throughout your day.

The Carbohydrate Factor

To maximize fat loss, you need to fuel your body during training sessions and also give it energy from stored body fat throughout the day. Giving your body easy access to burn stored body fat as fuel will also protect your muscle while you diet.

Carbohydrates are your body's preferred fuel source. By cutting them, your body is forced to find another source for energy: fat. Once you cut your carbs down to 40-60 grams per day (10-20% of your total calories), keep them there.

Train your system to fuel itself with fat, not carbs. Once your body starts efficiently using fat as its primary fuel source, it will realize that it has an abundant amount of energy at the ready and will not as readily catabolize your muscle.

Carbohydrates trigger the release of the hormone insulin. Think of insulin as the "gatekeeper hormone" regarding fat loss and muscle growth. During the Ab Etching Diet, you will alter your carbohydrate intake to use insulin to your advantage while minimizing the negative effects it can have on fat loss.

Don't worry, the application is simple. You're going to modulate your carbohydrate intake in relation to your workouts.

  • Normal Carb = Carbohydrates are 10-15% of your total calories.
  • High Carb = Eat an additional 40-60g of carbs per day. Increase your carbohydrate intake to maximize the effort and recovery of your training sessions.
  • Low Carb/Calorie = One less meal on these days lowers your calorie and carb intake for the day.

Carb days follow this regimen:

  • Monday: High Carb
  • Tuesday: Normal Carb
  • Wednesday: High Carb
  • Thursday: Normal Carb
  • Friday: High Carb
  • Saturday: Normal Carb
  • Sunday: Low Carb/Calorie

Work out hard on those higher-carb days. Extra carbs fuel you to train harder, recover faster, and burn more calories. On Sundays, don't train at all. Your body doesn't have the same energy needs, so dropping a meal will help your body fuel itself through fat cells.

If you alter your training schedule, make sure to adjust your carb intake so high-carb days are training days, normal-carb days are cardio days, and low-carb/calorie days are recovery days.

Face The Fat

Fats make up the remainder of your calories. Eating sufficient fat and reducing your carbohydrate intake cues your body to shift toward the production of enzymes and optimize biochemical processes that support the use of fat as fuel and away from enzymes and processes that primarily use carbohydrates as fuel.

Don't skimp on fats. Your body needs to become accustomed to fueling itself with fat, not carbs.

Follow These 3 Rules:

  1. Eat a variety of fats. Eating different types of fat ensures you will get all your essential fatty acids, and also a variety of additional nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that come packaged with higher-fat foods like nuts, oils and avocados.
  2. Take supplemental fish oil every day.
  3. You can eat more solid fats than you normally would, so don't be scared to have a little butter or cheese.

    New research shows that reducing the amount of carbs in your diet changes how your body metabolizes fat; the risk of increasing cholesterol levels doesn't seem to hold true anymore.

Supp You Up

Your Supplement Stack
  • fish oil

    Fish Oil

    Take 2-3 grams of EPA+DHA per day.
    Read the label for proper use.

  • multivitamin

    Multivitamin

    There is no need to mega-dose any particular vitamin. Instead, choose a multivitamin that covers all your nutritional bases.

  • recovery drink

    Recovery Drink

    A recovery drink that has a 2:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio is an essential component of this plan.

  • bcaas

    Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)

    5-10 grams of BCAAs is all you need to maximize fat burning and fuel your cardio session.

7-Day Ab Etching Diet


Day 1 - Monday

Calories: 1943.09 | Fat: 113.25g | Carbs: 51.15g | Protein: 180.18g

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Day 2 - Tuesday

Calories: 2087.95 | Fat: 107.21 | Carbs: 91.60 | Protein: 193.82

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3: Post-workout
Meal 4
Meal 5
Day 3 - Wednesday

Calories: 1919.41 | Fat: 108.60 | Carbs: 49.11 | Protein: 181.96

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Day 4 - Thursday

Calories: 2025.46 | Fat: 98.61 | Carbs: 84.12 | Protein: 196.25

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3: Post-workout
Meal 4
Meal 5
Day 5 - Friday

Calories: 1980.33 | Fat: 114.89 | Carbs: 58.73 | Protein: 185.49

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Day 6 - Saturday

Calories: 2236.20 | Fat: 113.88 | Carbs: 100.39 | Protein: 204.75

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3: Post-workout
Meal 4
Meal 5
Day 7 - Sunday

Calories: 1455.05 | Fat: 86.69 | Carbs: 40.69 | Protein: 136.02

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3


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About The Author

Author, speaker, and nutritional consultant Mike Roussell, PhD is known for transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical habits...

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raysprad

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raysprad

Nice read, and didn't know you need to eat more fats. I've been dropping about 2.6lbs about a week. So, yeah you can easily lose more than 2lbs a week. Also eat more like 8 times a day as my days are around 18hrs long.

May 16, 2012 6:28pm | report
 
jwethall

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jwethall

Your liver can only metabolize 2.2 lbs of fat a week. So it actually sounds like you're on the right track.

Aug 3, 2012 10:55am | report
Vicario

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Vicario

That's what I'm trying to do. I way 254 and can't get past 250. Any tips?

Oct 7, 2012 9:10pm | report
Eugenij

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Eugenij

Awesome article. I didn't know about that. But now i will. Thanks for article!

May 17, 2012 1:59am | report
 
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'11"
  • wt: 160.94 lbs
  • bf: 16.0%
TRO17

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TRO17

You say 11 calories per lb of body weight, NOT lean body mass?? So if a 300lb obese guy did this diet he would be consuming 3,300 calories a day??

May 17, 2012 5:22am | report
 
JoshuahE

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JoshuahE

No it would be 2,300. Anything above 2000 calories is for bulking up.

May 17, 2012 8:45am | report
JoshuahE

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JoshuahE

Well except this case because your gonna keep dropping your calorie intake. You know what I mean. haha.

May 17, 2012 8:46am | report
josiah81

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josiah81

At around 200lbs. I eat 3,000 calories a day to maintain that size. If a 300ib guy eats 3,300 calories a day, it would work wonders for them. If you multiply your weight by 15 that number is your matinence calories to maintain your current size. Normally to cut weight you'd drop that by 500 calories, or to bulk add 500 calories. Be careful with these diets. Normally when you come off a prolonged low carb diet, your body is use to using fat as fuel and may store fat more than it did before for a short time until it starts properly burning carbs again.

May 17, 2012 9:44am | report
TRO17

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TRO17

I guess it really depends on the individual. Another point was that.... on training days up the carbs by 40-60g and include a carb:protein drink of 2:1. if you take in 30g of protein you need 60g of carbs which in my case is a bottle of Lucozade (Gatorade to you guys!) Not much room to play with here as I train at 7am and consume 30g of fast carbs for breakfast!!

May 18, 2012 5:17am | report
whisfit

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whisfit

I like the carb cycle method. I do low, medium, high but I also keep my fat intake around 50-60 grams a day.

May 17, 2012 8:50am | report
 
32MichaelG

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32MichaelG

That's a really smart idea! I'ma try that and see what kind of bulk I put on. thanx man

May 18, 2012 4:19pm | report
Arabesquemon

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Arabesquemon

50-60grams a day wow! Your results must be immediate; how long do you stay on this regime

Sep 9, 2012 1:26pm | report
Ripper209

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Ripper209

Great article! Changed my perspective on eating fats.

May 17, 2012 9:38am | report
 
tb479

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tb479

...Is it better to work-out in the morning or afternoon when on this diet?

May 17, 2012 10:47am | report
 
RoadToBeingFit

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RoadToBeingFit

In the morning, helps you recover better, recovering happen when you go to bed and sleep, 9-11 hours of sleep is great.

Jan 26, 2014 11:01pm | report
easeusjesus

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easeusjesus

The guy who wrote this article looks fat! Low carb diets suck ***!! I don't care if it's for only 4 weeks.

May 17, 2012 11:45am | report
 
toustic

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toustic

He has a PhD and is a nutritional consultant, i'm quite positive he knows what he's talking about in terms of biochemical response from you body, and that's what the article is about, not his own biased opinion..

What you just said is the equivalent of saying that Diego Maradona doesn't know s**** about Soccer

May 22, 2012 2:26pm | report
Veronikite

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Veronikite

Lol...nothing else to say

Mar 18, 2013 3:34am | report
Jaybo01

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Jaybo01

Great Article. It really gets you started. Just a comment for the military folks out there deployed. If you do a little research you won't get to discouraged by our sometimes uhh... well lack of decent meal items. There are a lot of foods you can order on line and also substitute from our limited chow hall resources. Sometimes you may have to "pocket" an item from breakfast to have it for lunch. Creativity equates to success for us desert pounders.

May 18, 2012 1:12am | report
 
clemccormick

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clemccormick

True story! Some days the chow halls out here are quite lacking i.e. no chicken OR fish! I keep packs of tuna in my RLB for those kind of days and fill my pockets with as much fruits as they will hold for my snacks later in the day! We do what we gotta do out here!

Jun 4, 2012 4:07am | report
groomys01

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groomys01

nice read :)seems so complicated, by putting more fats in diet risky ? im 180lb so id be eating 1980 cals a day? goal fatloss, can someone help me understand lol

May 18, 2012 5:53am | report
 
harrry100

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harrry100

fats are a big misconception, getting in the right types of fats are god for you, e.g. omega-3 fats are best. fats help your brain work and keep you fuller for longer. 1 gram of fat is 11 cals and 1 gram of protein and carbs are 4 cals, so really you're eating a little less food and getting more calories in it. I'm about 175lbs so i'd be on the same, and i honestly find it easier making my own diet plans, basing it on what i need and changing carbs on wether its a workout day or not. and then the less carbs you intake the more fats you intake to suppress the deficit.

i think I'm right in this so if anyone has something to add or change please let me know :)

May 23, 2012 2:59pm | report
Holly444

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Holly444

^ There's actually 9 calories in one gram of fat, not 11. :)

Jun 21, 2012 3:55pm | report
jwethall

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jwethall

also, fats don't feed your brain very efficiently. Fats will break down into ketone bodies and your brain does use them, but you feel kind of dumb and tired for the first 3 days or so. So be prepared to feel dumb on low carb days.

Aug 3, 2012 11:04am | report
Haasluv

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Haasluv

lets see what i can get by following this

May 18, 2012 1:46pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 156 Comments

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