Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:
The Best Diet For Fat-Loss!

Use this diet to lose fat as quick as humanly possible!

By: John Stamatopoulos

Hello again friends. ln my previous article, you learned what you have to do in order to get bigger. You have learned probably the best diet for mass available today. As l promised, what we will discuss today is what you have to do after your diet for mass is completed. Should you continue eating the same calories as you did at your 15th week or not? Also, if someone that does not have a hard time gaining weight but exactly the opposite, wants to lose some fat pounds what should they do? That's what I am going to discuss today.

As l said, this program is a continuation of my previous article, but for people that want to lose fat, they can start from here. The program remains simple for you. So either you have gained 10-20 pounds during the previous 15 weeks, (and you want to get rid of the unnecessary fat that you inevitably got and keep your hard earned muscles), or you have extra fat pounds already but you are interested in keeping the muscle that you have already but lose the fat. It's the same program. The only difference is the people that will start with this program, should again do some things, which are:

a) Estimate again how many calories you eat everyday. Forget all the guess work and guess estimations. You are doing absolutely nothing if you are not careful. lt's very important to know what you eat now!

b) Take 20 minutes from your life and find out how many calories you eat everyday. (This site has great info about food nutrients here).

c) And finally, don't forget to buy a cheap scale for food, in order to be precise. So here we go!

1) As l said in my previous article, in order to get bigger, you need to eat an additionally 300 calories per day every two weeks. But what happens when you want to lose weight? Of course you should not go from 4,500 cal to 1,500 cal per day. Since our bodies are extremely adapted machines, in a very short time you won't see any results. You will get stuck in the middle of nowhere, because you will know that you can not reduce your calories any further. On the contrary, you should increase them since you feel tired and frustrated all day. End result? Ninety-nine percent of you will skip your dieting phase.

So here is the most important part of the story! You should reduce your food consumption by 300 calories again, but not every 2 weeks, but every 10 days! Put great emphasis here. Our bodies have the unique ability to store food for the future. For thousands of years, people were eating no more than 1-2 times per day. Their bodies acquired the ability to easily store the food for energy later. They did not use it as a fuel to burn immediately. What does that means? Simply, since our bodies are used to storing fat, if you use the 14 days schedule that you did when you wanted to add pounds you will have worse results. The right time to reduce your calories is every 10 days. When they have to diet, our bodies are "understanding" the changes and they can adapt much faster than when you were feeding them with extra calories. But, again, the total process should be slow. Because we don't want to "alert" our bodies to say that "something is wrong", making them start their body defense mechanisms in order to keep the fat and lose your hard earned muscle.

It's not enough to only reduce your calories. Since you should spend more calories than you eat in order to lose weight you should also include some cardio training. Not only because you can lose extra pounds when you are spending time on the treadmill or on the stationary bicycle, but also cardio training makes your metabolism run hotter and more efficiently. Cardio training burns more calories and allows you to eat more food while you are losing body fat.

So how do you start? The best way to understand everything is to give you a good example:
Let's say you found that you have just finished your mass diet after 15 weeks, and you know the total calories that you eat every day is 4,000. (For people that they have finished the mass diet that l gave last week, they know exactly now how many calories they eat, they don't have to estimate anything). So from these 4,000 calories you don't have to make any complex estimation since l gave an equation the previous week (multiply your pounds by 23, 24 or 25), everyone more or less will belong to the "number 25" ratio since you are including some cardio on your training. So you will have to be active no matter what. (Simple is it not?)

But most of you will wonder: "Ok John, but how can we know the limited amount of calories that we should eat?" To answer that, l will say what l have learned after 10 years of bodybuilding experience, the LIMITED amount of calories that our bodies need in order to function properly, can go as low as 1000 cal, but for not for more than 10 days. (For women maybe up to 1 month).

Of course l am not saying that there are not people that eat lower, but the point is at what amount our bodies can function properly and for how long. If some friend says, "John that is too general, it can not be the same for a 300 pound guy and for a 150 pound guy." l will simply reply that most bodybuilders, big or not, are finishing their pre-contest diets around that number. (Just to give you a great example, Lou Ferrigno a 320 "monster" (the Incredible Hulk also), was eating as low as 1000 calories the last week before his contest, and so did Flavio Baccianini, whose weight was no more than 150 pounds). Remember, of course, that this is the LOWEST you can go, and for a period of no more than a couple of weeks. Anything less will put your body in danger. Having as a "minimum" number the 1000cal per day, it's much easier to know to what point you can go.

So here is what we have, based on my example, you found that you eat 4,000 cal per day.

Days 1-10 = 3,700 cal
Days 11-20= 3,400 cal
Days 21-30= 3,100 cal
Days 31-40= 2,800 cal
Days 41-50= 2,500 cal
Days 51-60= 2,200 cal
Days 61-70= 1,900 cal
Days 71-80= 1,600 cal
Days 81-90= 1,300 cal
Days 91-100=1,000 cal

Now remember something very important. lf you found out that you eat more calories every day, your dieting phase will take you more than 100 days. So generally, you will find out that you will spend almost the same time in your fat loss process as with your time spent when you wanted to add some serious mass.

Now for friends that find out they ate less calories, (let's say around 3,000), their diet process will take around 60 days. Just remember the whole process must take place slowly. lf you wonder what you can eat in order to eat so few calories every day, for your last 10 days of your dieting, l will give you a good sample as l did in my previous article. (lf you remember l gave you an example of a 200 pound guy who was "moderately" active, and found out that he was eating 2,400 cal per day and l was explaining on this last week, what he had to do in order to eat as high as 4,800 cal per day.)

Now l will give you exactly the opposite example. lf you know what you can eat if you go as low as 1,000 cal per day (remember for no more than 10 days), it will be much easier for you to estimate what you have to do in order to eat 2,000 or 1,500 cal per day. lf you want to see a nutritional profile for the foods that l will write here, go and read my previous article where l was explaining in detail the best 20 bodybuilding foods. (Cal/protein/carbs/fat).

Breakfast: One small bowl of "Protein Plus Cereal" (25gr or almost 1 oz), with 125 ml (4oz) of orange juice, and 3 egg whites.

Calories:200 Protein:22, Carbs:30, Fat:1 (At this time of the day, your body needs desperately some carbs, for proper functions since you have not eaten any carbs the last 10 hours. Your brain and your internal organs need to work properly so you have to eat simple carbs this time but don't worry you will burn them very soon).

Lunch: 100gr of turkey breasts (3 1/2 oz) with a small bowl of salad and 1 tsb of flaxseed oil added.

Calories:230 Protein:32, Carbs:5, Fat:8 (Flaxseed oil has 55 cal, 6gr of fat, but it is the Essential Fat that you must eat if you want to get thinner).

Pre workout meal: 65gr of chicken breasts (2 oz) with 50gr (1 oz) of rice.

Calories:180 Protein: 21, Carbs:15, Fat:2 (You need a high amount of protein and a sufficient amount of carbs. You can not go and train, having not eaten any carbs or fat. And as l said in my previous article, the best pre-workout meal should be based in a ratio of 1:1 between carbs and protein).

Post workout meal: 50gr of a high protein-low carb/fat powder mixed with 125ml (4oz) orange juice, and 125ml (4oz water).

Calories: (Approximately) 220, Protein:35, Carbs:20, Fat:0 lt would be wrong if you didn't eat a small amount of carbs after your cardio or weight training. The period following a workout is very crucial because your muscles are most receptive to storing glycogen (carbohydrates), and absorbing amino acids (protein). lnsulin sensitivity is therefore high and it's your metabolism's finest hour. More recent research discovered that a protein/carbohydrate supplement blend increased the rate of muscle-glycogen synthesis following exercise by 40% vs. carbohydrates or protein alone. So eat your carbs!)

Dinne: 65gr of tuna in water (2 oz), with a small bowl of salad, and half a tbs of safflower or soybean oil added.

Calories: 170, Protein:20, Carbs:5, Fat:6 {Safflower and soybean oil contain 120 per tbs, all of them based on EFA. 12gr} (You ate flaxseed oil at lunch, and flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. But you have to take also an adequate amount of omega-6 fatty acids. Safflower and soybean oil have the highest concentration of omega-6).

Before sleep: 25-30gr of very low carb protein drink with water.

Calories: (Approximately) 90, Protein:20, Carbs:1, Fat:0

TOTAL: CALORIES:1,090 PROTEIN:150 GRAMS, CARBS:76 GRAMS, FAT:17 GRAMS

And let's see the ratio also which is: PROTEIN:56.8 % CARBS:28.8% FAT:14.4% (TOTAL 100%)

As you can see, it is possible to eat as low as 1000-1100 cal per day, and to keep your six meals per day, eating every 2-3 hours. The more experienced people have seen already that this is the perfect ratio when you reach the last few weeks before you finish your diet, because protein is double the amount of the carbs, and carbs are double the amount of fat. (Approximately 56-28-14). Also the amount of fat is not big at all, since 90% is based in Essential Fatty Acids.

Remember something very important. You won't start your diet based on such a high amount of protein and such a low amount of carbs. Everything should be in moderation. l mean if your current ratio between carbs-protein-fat is something like 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fat, you should try to keep your protein consumption high, when at the same time you will reduce your carb and fat consumption. So since you will try to keep your protein high the ratio will start changing slowly and it will become 45% protein, 35% carbs and 20% fat, and later 40% protein and 40% carbs. So keep your protein high and reduce your carbs, no matter what, the total ratio will start becoming higher for protein and lower for carbs. Of course you have to reduce your protein also, but not as fast as you will reduce your carbs. If you eat as low as 1,000 cal, you can not eat 1 or 1 1/2 gr of protein per pound of bodyweight at that time, since your general consumption can not be based only on protein. That is more than dangerous for your health.

So what it means is that you should never eat a smaller amount of carbs than 60-80gr per day for the last few weeks. (Of course the more weeks you are away from your final week, the more carbs you should consume.) Thus, depending of how much you weigh, you will eat from 0.7 to 1 gr of protein per body weight on the last 10 days of you diet. One final but very important note about your dieting: If you recall l said in my previous article that when you add 300 cal every second week, the extra 300 calories that you will eat should be consisted of 27.6 % of protein, 52.2 % of carbs and 20.2% of fat. Now since you want to REDUCE your calories, the total ratio WILL NOT be based on the ratio l wrote before. You don't want to increase dramatically your protein consumption, but to follow a slow process this time. So what do you have to do? Simply for every 300 cal that you would deduct, 50%-60% should be based on carbs, 10-20% on protein, and 10% on fat.

Just to give you an example. lf you eat daily 500gr of carbs (2000cal), 250gr of protein (1000cal), and 80gr of fat (720cal), in a total of 3720cal per day, after 10 days you will shoot for 460gr of carbs, (1840cal), 240gr of protein (960cal) and 70gr of fat (630gr), for a total of 3430cal per day. (So you reduce gradually 50%-60% of your carbs, 10%-20% of your protein, and 10% of your fat.) So you will start reducing your complex carbs (rice/potatoes/pasta), but you will never reduce your 2-3 servings of salads every day. (1gr of protein:4 cal, 1gr of carbs:4 cal, 1gr of fat:9 cal).

What about your cardio exercises? Well, your necessary cardio exercise consists of three factors. (l was one of the first ones on the Internet that wrote about these very important 3 factors that you should always be very careful of.) These are: a) Frequency b) Duration c) Intensity. What do l mean by that? Frequency has to do with how many times you want to spend every week doing cardio exercise. Duration has to do with how long time you want to stay "aerobically" active. lntensity has to do with how fast or how slow you will perform your favorite aerobic exercise. Of course the faster you do or the higher difficulty you have put into a cardio machine, the faster your heart beats. Your heart rate should be 220 minus your age. For example, if you are 20 years old, your maximum heart rate should be 220-20=200 heart beats per minute. (Your heart rate should not go faster than that number, and it's better to not even to be close to that). 60% Vo2Max (maximum oxygen consumption) means that your heartbeats are 200/60% intensity=120 heart beats per minute. The higher the intensity, the lower the duration of course.

So how can you add the precise cardio workouts to your program? Again remember you should not go too fast too soon. The best method is always to go slow. Your body can not get adapted very easily to any major change, so it's good to do the same for your cardio workouts. Increase them progressively. Again you will increase your cardio workouts, and your duration every second week. (Not every 10 days).

Based again on the "100 days" dieting, the numbers l give are based on the best cardio machine you can have in a gym and it is the treadmill. Since 90% or more of the gyms in the USA contain this machine l prefer, in order to be better understood, to base my numbers on that.

Week 1 = 2 workouts per week, for 30 min each, with 45% intensity.
Weeks 2& 3= 3 workouts per week, for 35 min each, with 50% intensity.
Weeks 4& 5= 3 workouts per week, for 40 min each, with 55% intensity.
Weeks 6& 7= 4 workouts per week, for 40 min each, with 55% intensity.
Weeks 8& 9= 4 workouts per week, for 45 min each, with 60% intensity.
Weeks 10&11=5 workouts per week, for 45 min each, with 60% intensity.
Weeks 12&13=5 workouts per week, for 50 min each, with 65% intensity.
Weeks 14&15=6 workouts per week, for 50 min each, with 65% intensity.

Now remember something: The intensity l gave is barely a "jogging" style. l personally prefer fast walking. What you can do in order to increase the intensity without having to run? Just increase the angle of the machine. So you can walk at the same pace but make the exercise much more difficult for you. (You can start from 0% angle and on the third week go for 5%). However, don't increase the angle even on your final weeks more than 10%-12%. Just remember that you should be extremely careful with your cardio exercise.

As you saw l did not want to increase your intensity very much as the weeks are passing. lt is much better to increase your frequency and duration, and to keep your intensity no more than 65%. (Only for your last 2 weeks.) Anything more than this is counterproductive. Also for one hour on the treadmill with moderate/high intensity you burn somewhere between 500-600 calories. The point for these 3-4 months that will follow after your mass diet is to keep as many muscle pounds and to reduce as many fat pounds as possible. Remember, after this long term phase, (that maybe will take you up to next May), you gained around 10 MUSCLE pounds, while at the same time your body fat level would have stayed the same!

Some important factors that you should always remember:

a) lt would be too easy to start claiming that it is possible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Unfortunately these are two totally different things that you can not do at the same time. (Have you ever seen any bodybuilder that was the same pounds 1-2 months before his contest, and he managed to maintain the same or more pounds at the day of his contest when he has reduced dramatically his body fat? No way friends).

So the process is slow but very worthwhile for you. You might need 3-4 months in order to get the right mass, and another 3-4 months in order to lose the fat that you had inevitably gained, but what will remain at the end will be only your muscle pounds. So better and slow but with 100% success than fast and counterproductive for you. Your body will thank you later.

b) When you finish your diet, you have to increase again your caloric consumption as l said. 1,000 cal for more than 10 days is hazardous for your health. Of course, don't go to the other side and start eating junk food 7 days per week. Just follow a slow approach and increase your protein and carb consumption. But be extremely careful with your carbs, because after the long time that you were decreasing them more and more, your body will now want to store it twice as much as fat, (if you start eating big amounts), as it used to do before you started your diet. Also reduce slowly your cardiovascular training. (No more 6 times per week).

c) You don't have to lift light even when you have reduced your calories and you have increased your cardio. Of course you will lose some power, and you will lift for less reps, or less pounds, and that's totally normal. Just try to lift as heavy as possible. (But always with a very good form. The last thing you want is to get injured.) Stay as close as possible to your maximum lift, train smart.

d) Remember to drink plenty of water. Since our bodies are 70% water and our muscles consist of 70% of water also, it's wise to drink as much water as possible. Also water is one of the best appetite suppressants, on your hard dieting days.

e) Don't forget to eat adequate fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient present in only some carbohydrate foods. Fiber's unsuspected role in dieting involves slowing down the emptying of food from the stomach and promoting steady blood sugar levels, avoiding the sugar cravings. For dramatic body shaping results, a basic ground rule is to eat mostly unrefined, fibrous carbohydrates in regular intervals with small low fat, high protein meals. Fibrous carbohydrates are basically all plant foods such as leafy veggies, legumes and sprouts. These foods are nutritious, very low in calories, high in fiber and biochemeically very difficult to store as fat. During their metabolism these foods also utilize a lot of energy.

f) You can have one day per week as your junk day. Of course l realize that very few people could follow a strict program like that for 15 weeks in a row. (Except for friends that are ready for a contest.) So it's ok if for one day per week you eat whatever you want in order to praise yourself that you did everything right the previous 6 days. Now if it happens that the previous day or the day that you will want to add the junk food, is the 10th day that you have to make the appropriate adjustments, it's totally fine. lt's better to have one day per week off, than to go nuts for 3-4 months in a row and then stop your diet after a few weeks extremely frustrated because you can not stand it anymore.

g) When you start your cardio, it's better to do it on different days than your weight training. (Most preferably first thing in the morning and before you eat your breakfast because your body will have nothing but body fat to use as a fuel at that time). Now when you will have cardio and training at the same day, the ideal would be to do your cardio again first thing in the morning and your weight training late at the afternoon. But since 80% of readers either work, or go to college, that sounds almost impossible.

In that case, when you can not do anything else but weight training and cardio at the same time, do your cardio always AFTER your weight training. The reason is at that time your natural body temperature is much more than 98.6 F (36.6 C), so you will start burning fat much sooner than if you were starting with cardio. (And by the way if you lose your energy in cardio first, you won't be able to lift heavy later).

h) Except of your protein powders, you should take some additional help from other supplements, such as L-Glutamine, Creatine, and Multivitamin/mineral formulas. For more info on what each one of them is doing, read my previous article where l was talking specifically about them.

i) And last but not least, you may also need fat-loss supplements in order to have an even better performance and better results of course. For what fat burners are the best and what they do, feel free to read about them in my previous article with the name "The Best Fat-loss Supplements".

This was my 6th article dear readers. l hope you understood what you need in order to have a successful mass diet, and what you have to do in order to have a successful fat-loss diet. But most of you, would wonder that since the right training, supplementation and recuperation has to do with only 50% of the total program, what about the other 50% that has to do with the right bodybuilding training itself?

That's what I'm going to discuss in detail next week. You will learn the best exercises for serious mass, and many different split programs in order to fit you and your limited free time. (Hint. You can have perfect workouts even if you train only 2-3 times per week)! Stay tuned!

Till next week, take care all.

The Best Diet For Fat-Loss!
giannis@bodybuilders.com

Back To John Stamatopoulos's Main Page

Back To The Articles Main Page.

Related Articles
How To Build Muscle Without Adding Fat
Eat Like A Beast! Brandan Fokken's Bulking Meal Plan
Eat For Anabolism: Pre- And Post-Workout Nutrition For Muscle Growth



RATE THIS ARTICLE
POOR
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
EXCELLENT
OVERALL RATING
N/A

Out of 10

0 Ratings

5

Comments

Showing 1 - 5 of 5 Comments

(5 characters minimum)

      • notify me when users reply to my comment
MontanaRedHead

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
MontanaRedHead

This is a great article, and I wished I read it three and a half weeks ago! I immediately reduced my calories to 1200/day. So where does one go from here? Do I increase? Decrease by 50 calories every ten days?

Jan 28, 2013 8:31pm | report
 
sandygothes

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
sandygothes

You need to increase the intensity. There is a better way to get fast results.

http://bodybuilding-blog.org/

Jan 29, 2013 11:24pm | report
 
Go4hot

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Go4hot

Amazing article!
I have started dieting last week and went right into the 1500 ccal (and my regular intake was around 2400 before) and intense exercise so at the end of exactly 10 days I went crazy and started eating like crazy.Now I understand why.Well,that is what happens when you want it all right NOW!
I was planning to start my weight loss and exercise plan and I am very happy I stumbled upon this article.Starting tomorrow exactly how you recommended.
Hopefully one day when I step on stage I will be able to say that your regime was the "miracle maker" :)

Oct 27, 2013 6:32pm | report
 
AestheticHunter

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
AestheticHunter

Very insightful ;) Thanks for such a wonderful article

Nov 11, 2013 1:26pm | report
 
dms775

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
dms775

Hi John! Great tips.
I'll do this plan of diet, but i have a question.

I dont' want to eat carbs post 6 pm, and, want to follow this diet that you said, its Ok? or i have to eat carbs at night?
Thank You!

Nov 12, 2013 3:20pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 Comments

Featured Product

Give Us Feedback:
Report A Problem
Site Feedback
Follow Us:
Twitter
Facebook
RSS Feeds
Bodybuilding.com Newsletter

Receive exciting features,
news & special offers from Bodybuilding.com