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Jim Stoppani’s Six-Week Shortcut To Shred: Nutrition Overview

Shortcut to Shred includes a precise, three-phase nutrition plan engineered to help you build muscle and burn fat for six solid weeks. Start your shred in the kitchen.

Six weeks is plenty of time to drop significant body fat, build muscle, and even gain strength if you combine a well-designed training program with a smart nutrition and supplement plan. It doesn't get much smarter than the Shortcut to Shred. The workout, diet, and supplement regimens are based on real science and made for real-world application.

I rely heavily on published nutrition research. To ensure the research is effective outside the lab, I test it on my own physique before delivering it to my clients. With all that data, I am able to create science-backed nutrition plans that deliver stellar results. Shortcut to Shred may be my best program yet.

Nutrition Overview: Jim Stoppani's Shortcut To Shred!

Watch The Video - 18:43




The Shortcut to Shred nutrition program is built on three distinct phases. Each phase has unique macronutrient nutrient requirements to help you build maximum muscle and torch as much body fat as possible. As Shortcut to Shred progresses, the nutrition plan changes to ensure you recover from your workouts and shred for six solid weeks without a plateau.

Mighty Macronutrients

The three macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Before we break into the Shortcut to Shred nutrition plan specifics, let me explain what each macronutrient does and why it's important.

All-Powerful Protein ///

Protein is the most critical macronutrient on the Shortcut to Shred program. Muscle is made out of protein, which is essential for muscle growth, repair, and recovery. It's also a critical fuel source. Your body can break protein down and use amino acids as a muscular energy source.

Research suggests that high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets work well for fat loss. This is particularly true for those trying to maintain or build lean muscle at the same time.

It is difficult for the body to take protein and convert it into body fat. It's not impossible, but out of the three macronutrients, the body has to work hardest to convert protein into body fat. It's either going to use protein to synthesize tissue, or break it down for energy. Protein is a home run when it comes to dropping body fat, building muscle, and gaining strength.

Protein Sources ///

Anyone who is training intensely needs at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Research suggests that eating as much as 1.5 g of protein per pound of bodyweight is very effective at promoting muscle growth and strength gains. You will eat 1.5 g of protein per pound of bodyweight throughout Shortcut to Shred. Research supports this quantity of protein, as do the results of my own clients.

Fat And Happy ///

Fat is not the enemy. Eating fat doesn't necessarily make you fat, but certain fats are better than others. Fat is the second-most critical macronutrient in Shortcut to Shred for several reasons.

As you progress through Shortcut to Shred and your carb intake decreases, you'll eat more fats. Let's dig into some fat facts.

Omega-3 Fats ///

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential polyunsaturated fat. They're called "essential" because your body can't produce them on its own. They also offer a wide range of health benefits. For example, they've been shown to enhance fat loss by turning on genes that increase fat burning. They also help decrease fat storage.

Omega-3 fats produce beneficial prostaglandins that decrease inflammation. They've been found to increase muscle recovery and growth, and they support skin, vision, and brain health.

Omega-3s are found in fatty fish, like salmon and tuna. If you eat canned tuna, choose white albacore over chunk light. Even sardines fit the profile.

Saturated Fats ///

Saturated fat is not the enemy. It is critical when you're training intensely as you will during Shortcut to Shred. Saturated fat promotes healthy testosterone levels and is especially important to men. You want to maintain your test levels to build muscle and strength, train harder, recover better, and lose more fat.

Whole eggs are a great source of saturated fat. One study revealed that people who ate three egg yolks per day gained twice as much muscle as subjects who only ate egg whites. Egg yolks contain protein, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol, which you need to help maintain the integrity of muscle cell membranes.

Monounsaturated Fats ///

When combined with saturated fats, monounsaturated fats have been found to promote healthy testosterone levels.

They also function as an energy source during hardcore workout sessions. Peanut butter is a terrific source of monounsaturated fat.

Trans-Fatty Acids ///

Trans fats are the only fats you should absolutely avoid. Trans fats have been altered in the lab to give products a longer shelf life. The body doesn't recognize this altered fat molecule or know how to process it, so the trans fat molecule gets into your cells and causes havoc. Trans fats may even increase the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Fat Calories ///

People fear and monitor fats because fat is calorically dense. There are more than twice as many calories in a gram of fat than in a gram of protein or carbohydrates.

Calories per Gram:

  • Protein = 4
  • Carbs = 4
  • Fats = 9

Because they're calorie-dense, fats can push you over your calorie limit. You will eat roughly 0.5 grams of fat per pound of bodyweight during Shortcut to Shred. You have to be cautious of how much fat you eat, but if you stick to the nutrition plan, your calories will stay in check.

Calories are an important factor when you're trying to burn body fat, but calories aren't the only factor. Your macro choices are more critical.

Carbohydrates ///

Carbohydrates provide few benefits other than energy. Few people realize that, out of the three macronutrients, carbohydrates are the only ones that are not essential. There are essential amino acids and essential fats, which your body can't produce on its own, but there are no essential carbohydrates.

Your body can produce enough carbohydrates, mainly in your liver, from the protein and fat you consume. This doesn't mean that carbs are a demon, but if you're trying to lose body fat while building muscle and strength, you want to focus on eating protein and fat.

When you eat high-glycemic carbs, your body processes them rapidly, absorbs them in the intestines, and shoves them right into your bloodstream. This increases your blood glucose levels, which spikes insulin. An insulin spike can be useful after a workout, but it's not great at any other time of day.

You don't digest low-glycemic carbs as rapidly. They don't create the same sharp spike in blood glucose, so they offer a steadier supply of energy. Only eat high-glycemic carbs after training. Eat low-glycemic carbs at any other time of day.

Workout Fuel ///

During a workout, you burn carbohydrates as your primary fuel source. You store carbs in your muscles in the form of glycogen. As the workout proceeds, the muscles you use burn more and more glycogen.

On this program, after a workout you need to supplement with high-glycemic carbs to replenish glycogen. That way you'll have enough energy for your next workout. I recommend gummy bears and Wonka Pixy Stix because they are mainly made of glucose, which your body easily turns into glycogen.

These carbs will also quickly spike your insulin levels and drive nutrients into your hungry muscles. This helps with recovery, repair, and muscle growth. Another great and easy option is pure dextrose powder

Start the Shred

As mentioned, Shortcut to Shred is built on three distinct nutrition phases. Each phase calls for different amounts of carbohydrates and calories. Your protein and fat intake remains the same throughout Shortcut to Shred, but your carb intake gradually drops, which also drops your overall calories.

In Phases 1 and 2, your caloric intake is different on workout days and rest days, because on rest days you will not ingest a pre- or post-workout meal.

In Phase 3, you will have more calories on your rest days than on workout days. Why? When you drop your carb intake down to 0.5 grams per pound of body weight, your leptin levels may drop if you don't have enough calories. Leptin is a critical hormone for maintaining your metabolic rate. If leptin levels drop too low, your metabolic rate drops, too.

By giving your body a high-carb day, you can keep your leptin levels even, which helps you continue burning fat and get through the diet. A high-carb rest day will do wonders for your mind.

Diet Diversity ///

The foods listed below are merely examples. You don't have to eat the same thing every day during each phase of Shortcut to Shred. Refer to the alternative foods list for myriad foods you can use to replace the following sample choices so the diet doesn't become boring or bereft of nutrient diversity.

Jim Stoppani's Six-Week Shortcut To Shred Nutrition: Alternative Foods

Shortcut to Shred Nutrition: Alternative Foods

The Shortcut to Shred nutrition plan is hardcore, but it's anything but boring. Keep your diet diverse with this list of approved foods!

Sample Meal Plan

This meal plan is based on a 180-pound male, but will still work well for those between 160-200 pounds. If you weigh more or less than this range, adjust your calories and macros accordingly to the relative numbers I've provided.

Phase I ///
  • Protein: 1.5 grams per pound of body weight
  • Fats: 0.5 grams per pound
  • Carbs: 1.5 grams per pound
Wake-up supplements
Breakfast
Late-morning snack
Late-morning supplements
Lunch
Mid-day snack
Pre-workout Supplements
Workout Meal
Post-workout Meal
Dinner
Nighttime snack
Nutrition Info
Totals
Calories 3000
Total Fat90 g
Total Carb270 g
Protein285 g

Phase II /// Weeks 2-3
  • Protein: 1.5 grams per pound of body weight
  • Fats: 0.5 grams per pound
  • Carbs: 1 gram per pound

Like in Phase 1, on the one day of the week that you don't train, these numbers will be slightly lower since you skip the pre- and post-workout meals. Feel free to have your pre-workout shake as an extra snack on that rest day if you get hungry.

The sample meals are similar to Phase 1, but this does not mean you need to eat these exact foods and only these foods for all 3 weeks of the first 2 phases of this program. The foods are similar so you can see what I removed and changed to bring the carbs down without affecting protein and fat much.

Remember to refer to the alternative foods list for more food choices to keep the Shortcut to Shred diet diverse and interesting!

Wake-up Supplements
Breakfast
Late-morning Snack
Late-morning Supplements
Lunch
Mid-day Snack
Pre-workout Supplements
Workout Meal
Post-workout Meal
Dinner
Nighttime Snack
Nutrition Facts
Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 2,600
Total Fat80g
Total Carbs180g
Protein280g

Phase III /// Weeks 4-6
  • Protein: 1.5 grams per pound
  • Fats: 0.5 grams per pound
  • Carbs: 0.5 grams per pound

Dropping calories and carbs again will cause your body to continue burning fat. Unlike in Phases 1 and 2, where you eat fewer calories and carbs on your rest day, the opposite holds true in Phase 3. You will eat more carbs and calories on your rest days.

On your rest days throughout Phase 3, you get to enjoy a high-carb, pig-out day. Since you go so low in carbs six days of the week, you will need this one high-carb day to prevent your metabolism from sputtering and slowing down to spare energy reserves (body fat). The high-carb day will help kickstart your metabolism again, keeping you in a fat-burning mode for the final phase.

High-Carb, Rest Day Macros:

  • Protein: 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight
  • Carbs: At least 2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight
  • Fat: 0.5 grams per pound of bodyweight

A high-carb pig-out day does not mean you'll eat pizza and drink beer all day. Sure, a couple beers or a glass of wine won't derail your progress, but your high-carb day isn't a full 24-hour chest session.

Shoot for low-fat carb sources. High-glycemic or fast-digesting carbs are fine during the first half of the day, as is fruit, but to prevent any of those carbs from being stored as body fat, focus on slow-digesting or low-glycemic carbs later in the day.

Workout Days:

Wake-up Supplements
Breakfast
Late-morning Snack
Late-morning Supplements
Lunch
Mid-day Snack
Pre-workout Supplements
Workout Meal
Post-workout Meal
Dinner
Nighttime Snack
Nutrition Facts
Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 2,200
Total Fat80g
Total Carbs80g
Protein280g

High-Carb Rest Days:

Wake-up Supplements
Breakfast
Late-morning Snack
  • whey

    Whey Protein

    1 scoop

  • Stoppani EZ Pizza

    Personal Whole-Wheat Cheese Pizza

    1 serving

Late-morning Supplements
Lunch
  • Subway Turkey and ham (double meat) on wheat

    Subway Turkey and ham (double meat) on wheat

    6-in

  • baked lays

    Baked Lays

    1 oz bag

  • soda

    Diet Soda

    1 large

Dinner
Nighttime Snack
Nutrition Facts
Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 3,100
Total Fat70g
Total Carbs360g
Protein260g


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About The Author

Jim holds a doctorate in exercise physiology and has been the personal nutrition and health consultant for numerous celebrity clients...

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jbragg10

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jbragg10

On your phase 1 meal plan, it is consuming 3,000 calories. My maintenance is around 2500 calories. That is obviously not ideal for cutting. Just curious where my calories should be around (500 below maintenance?)

Apr 5, 2013 12:18pm | report
 
wertz9

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wertz9

it's a sample plan. Your calorie intake will differ based on your weight. His may be higher. adjust your calories by the percentages of each macro he want you to hit.

Apr 5, 2013 12:23pm | report
hitonallsixes

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hitonallsixes

I second this question ! lol

My maintenance is a lot lower than 3000. Maybe we just adjust to what our maintenance is and drop from there?

Apr 5, 2013 12:31pm | report
jbragg10

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jbragg10

I saw that 1g protein & 1 g carb = 4 cal
and 1 g fat = 9 cal

With that said
(1.5g protein) = 940 calories
(.5g fat) = 702 calories
(1.5g carb) = 940 calories

That is 2,582 calories a day. My maintenance level is (just looked it up) 2,300 calories a day.

Something doesn't seem right.

Apr 5, 2013 12:40pm | report
simoxeh

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simoxeh

Depending on the amount of exercise and the cardio between sets you might work off a lot of it. I was scared too because I am cutting now at 1700 and barely loosing weight and he is asking for almost 1000 more calories.

Apr 5, 2013 1:02pm | report
Crunch Masta Chris

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Crunch Masta Chris

Wertz9 hit the nail on the head. Hit the recommended macronutrient amounts based on your current bodyweight, which will tailor the total calories per phase to your personal needs.

Remember that formulas for BMR and "maintenance" requirements differ. More importantly, they don't take into account the extreme amounts of energy these training sessions require. Six days per week of Jim's unique brand of metabolic resistance training--the combination of lifting and cardio acceleration--will burn through calories.

You create a deficit through training. You support recovery and muscle growth through nutrition. You'll also notice that total calories and carbs drop throughout the plan, thereby accelerating your fat loss after your body has somewhat adjusted to the intense demands of the training regimen.

Apr 5, 2013 1:04pm | report
BBlifestyleFTW

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BBlifestyleFTW

maybe with the amount of cardio you do you'll burn that of and with the raised metabolism, but thats only for the first week might be to accostom your body with it you lower it later on so it should be cool

Apr 5, 2013 2:03pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 160.94 lbs
  • bf: 13.0%
Kantrellk

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Kantrellk

I just put the values of protein/carbs/fat into a spreadsheet I use to calc my maintenance level and used a figure of 1.7 for my activity level against my BMR and the figures come out pretty much spot on as shown in the plan here.

The first week is close to maintenance and then it drops to about 10% deficit and then 25%

Im around 190lbs so the plans are virtually print and eat as shown for me :-)

Apr 5, 2013 3:16pm | report
deloachrd

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deloachrd

I agree 100% with BBlifestyleFTW. When I do cardio I have to eat more. My maintenance numbers are different when I am just doing weight training with no cardio vs. weight training and cardio.

Apr 7, 2013 11:50am | report
lookatthecut

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lookatthecut

3000 cal is for 200 pound man you are 160 so you do 80% which is 2400. 100 below your maintain or 700 cal deficit a week plus the cardio and you would lose a pound.

Apr 7, 2013 1:22pm | report
Jeddabrahh

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Jeddabrahh

You gotta factor in the energy expenditure too. The training in this burns an insane amount of cals.

Apr 7, 2013 10:35pm | report
kristophrase

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kristophrase

I'm a tiny little thing so if I ate this much it would be a disaster. I'm cutting all the meals in half and spreading them throughout the day, plus dropping the snacks. Comes out to about the same that I normally eat for maintenance, just less carbs. Stack these workouts on top and should be good.

Apr 9, 2013 9:09am | report
Spawn8214

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Spawn8214

It amazes me that people don't read or listen to what is said. The sample meal plan is based off of a 180lb person, so it's accurate for you if you are around that weight range. This is what it was said that you do on phase 1:

Protein = 1.5g/lb body weight
Fats = 0.5g/lb body weight
Carbs = 1.5g/lb body weight

So you 150lb people that keep saying "Omg it's 3000 calories, way too much!" and don't read anything, this means on phase 1 you will be eating:

Protein = 225g
Fats = 75g
Carbs = 225g
Calories = 2,475

Apr 13, 2013 1:46pm | report
dbman4

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dbman4

^ this guy gets it.. The basic multiplier for the 3000 calorie day is your bodyweight by 16 (3000/180= 16.66). For many this will be close to maintenance levels, but there most likely be fat loss because your eating a higher protein diet (has a higher thermogenic effect when eaten) as well as cardio in between sets

Apr 13, 2013 2:36pm | report
serge619

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serge619

to find your starting calories you do your body weight times 17 ex 180x17= 3060. this will keep my weight regular. then you calc in macros he wants you to hit staying around your calorie intake. The reason why he has you eating a high calorie high carb is for your body to have enough energy through this workout and to keep your metabolism high. the next week he lowers carb intake which will also lower your calories and the following phase he lowers the carbs again. the reason you should start at a higher calorie intake is because your body will store the energy and you will need the energy for the drops in calorie and the intensity of the program. you do not want to start the program with low calorie because sooner or later your fat loss will platoe so with taking away some calories your metabolism won't crash. example let say i start my calorie intake at 2500. 500 calorie deficiet right? I lose fat then lower the calorie intake again by another 500 to get a deficit again. I now have to make my macros work with 2000 calories. so lets say after those two weeks i lost 3% body fat. i have to make another deficit to lower my body fat again so now i am at 1500 cals. This is where my body might become catabolic to little calories and an intense workout. I have crashed my Metabolism and not losing any body fat because the body is saying to save that body fat because there is so little energy being taken in so now the body will loke for another energy source which will be the protein in your muscles. if you lower your calories to much you will break down muscle, yes you will lose weight but at the sacrifice of muscle.

Apr 15, 2013 12:06pm | report
boreonix

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boreonix

People, please read the whole article before assuming you have to eat the exact thing it says on the sample meal plan!!!!! If you are willing to commit to a 6 week plan the least you can do is read!!!!!!

Apr 15, 2013 12:09pm | report
Rjeezie

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Rjeezie

Want to make sure I'm calculating this right... I weigh 240ish (will weigh in tonight/morning for a more accurate weight), what should my macros & caloric intake look like on this program?

Apr 16, 2013 7:57am | report
Rjeezie

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Rjeezie

Created a Body Group for this... Jim Stoppani's Shortcut To Shred.... join. Trying to get people to join who are doing the program so we can get answers and stuff

Apr 16, 2013 8:42am | report
sixted

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sixted

I have been training for about 6 months or so now and lost about 45lbs but thats without any focus on macros. My question is as im fairly new to this:
My current body weight is around 285lbs - if taking the advices from the comments and multiplying my weight with 17 -> 17*285 = 4850 calories a day
And if so then i would have to eat 1-1.5*285 grams of protein a day ~ 430grams.

Seems abit excessive, so is that really right or would anyone be able to clarify/help?

Apr 17, 2013 3:53pm | report
Spawn8214

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Spawn8214

sixted: READ ALL OF THIS

This program is macro based, not calorie based. What you are doing is trying to figure out your calories first and then basing your macros off of your calories. This is wrong for this program. For this program you want to make sure you hit your macros, so you base your calories off of your macros.

This is how you calculate calories from your macros.
Calories = (4*protein) (4*carbs) (9*fats)

Phase 1 (Week 1):
Protein = 1.5g / lb --> 285*1.5 = 428g
Fats = 0.5g / b --> 285*0.5 = 143g
Carbs = 1.5g / b --> 285*1.5 = 428g
Calories = 4,711

Phase 2 (Weeks 2 and 3):
*If your weight stayed the same
Protein = 1.5g / lb --> 285*1.5 = 428g
Fats = 0.5g / b --> 285*0.5 = 143g
Carbs = 1.0g / b --> 285*1.0 = 285g
Calories = 4,139

Phase 3 (Weeks 4, 5 and 6): Workout Days
*If your weight stayed the same
Protein = 1.5g / lb --> 285*1.5 = 428g
Fats = 0.5g / b --> 285*0.5 = 143g
Carbs = 0.5g / b --> 285*0.5 = 143g
Calories = 3,571

Phase 3 (Weeks 4, 5 and 6): Rest Day
*If your weight stayed the same
Protein = 1.5g / lb --> 285*1.5 = 428g
Fats = 0.5g / b --> 285*0.5 = 143g
Carbs = 2.0g / b --> 285*2.0 = 570g
Calories = 5,279

Yes, these calorie counts seem high, but remember, you are 285lbs. That means you burn a lot more calories just moving around than I would at 195. There is also the fact that you are training 6 days a week with cardio everyday in your workouts (VERY active) so you need more calories to stay anabolic.

Also, the first week is higher because it's meant to stabilize your metabolism before you begin cutting down carbs. You should follow that pretty closely because it will help to better your results than if you just started cutting out carbs right away. The only thing I would caution on is recalculate these macros every week based on your weight changes. If you ended up losing 15lbs one week for some reason, you obviously want to be taking in less because you aren't as big anymore (and won't be burning as many calories moving around).

I hope this helps you and anyone else who is still stuck on this question. Feel free to PM me on here with questions and I'll try my best to answer them.

Apr 19, 2013 11:23am | report
morgason2

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morgason2

I am using the macro guidlines per lb of lean body mass. I dont think that my fat needs to be fed lol.

May 14, 2013 9:49am | report
BorneoKid88

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BorneoKid88

well im assuming the calories are higher due to the high amount of calories being burnt during the session, id say easily 300-500 cals right? I bulked on 2300 and my cals for the program are 2454........

Nov 4, 2013 6:50am | report
homsy74

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homsy74

@Spawn8214
You seem to know what you're talking about. I'm starting the Shortcut to Shred on Feb 10 after my current 4 week plan is done. I noticed that the diet appears to be geared to an afternoon/afterwork workout.

I work out in the mornings - mostly because my gym is rammed. I was wondering if the diet as Jim has it laid out would be less effective for me if I followed it as is while working out in the mornings?

Would it be detrimental if I were to swap the times of the 'Wake up supps Breakfast Late morning snack Late morning supps' diet stack with the 'Pre-workout Supps Workout meal Post-workout meal' stack? Thoughts? If you have a better suggestion I would very much appreciate it.

Thanks!

Jan 30, 2014 4:56pm | report
Ben112

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Ben112

The menu program is an example - convert the amounts nutrients to your weight!
That easy, that effective

Apr 19, 2014 6:30am | report
edwindevaun

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edwindevaun

Phase one also only lasts a week. It's really just to get your body accustomed to the high amount of cardio at once. Which is why it only lasts a week. After that you drop your calories. Also it's really based on your weight. Just eat 1.5g carbs x body weight. 1.5g protein x body weight and .5g fat x body weight. The carbs will only be that high for one week(which is phase 1.) After that you start dropping your carbs

Apr 26, 2014 1:29pm | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 751 Comments

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