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Ripped Roundtable, Vol. 1: Fat-Loss Secrets

Need some fat loss guidance? These three fitness pros reveal what they do to stay lean. Their moderator? None other than our own Ripped Dude.

The school of fitness doesn't always provide simple "yes or no" answers. Some exercise experts give Olympic lifting the thumbs up; others say no way. Some authorities rail against cheat meals; others give them the green light.

Many health-and-fitness questions don't have simple answers. That's why The Ripped Dude has brought together fitness pros Joe Donnelly, Lauren Christine Frahn and Everette Henderson to share their fat-burning advice in a roundtable. They won't always give the same recommendations—which leaves you to do some thinking, experimenting and learning!

Q
What are your top four tips for fat loss?

Joe Donnelly:

  1. Be active every day for an hour.
  2. Cut dairy and cut fruit.
  3. Have slow digesting carbs before bed.
  4. Keep your body guessing—try not to do the same type of cardio every day! You need to constantly switch up your workouts to avoid plateaus.

Lauren Christine Frahn: The first tip is to lift heavy weights! Yes, even you ladies. By building lean muscle, you will burn more fat. Second, it's best not to neglect your cardio. I do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I feel that fasted cardio helps to burn fat faster and it helps me tremendously. The third tip: Make sure you get good sleep. Sleep is essential for muscle growth and muscle repair. The fourth tip: Drink lots of water! It's essential for fat burning.

Everette Henderson: Tip one is to plan ahead! Make sure you plan your meals and workout in an organized fashion. My second tip is choose a plan! Choose a diet and training plan that works for your body type; don't just pick something out of the air. Third, set small and realistic fitness goals for yourself. Shoot for a 3-pound loss this week and when you reach your goal, it will keep you motivated to hit the next one. Fourth tip: Love your foods. If what you eat doesn't taste good, then modify it or season it to make it enjoyable.

What is the best macronutrient ratio to get ripped?

Joe: I do not follow any typical macronutrient ratio. I just eat whatever works for my body.

Lauren: I have found that sticking with the basic split of 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat works the best for me. When I deplete my carbs below that range, I find that I significantly lack energy and stamina! I eat the majority of my carbs earlier in the day and then post-workout. I stick to non-processed carbs, no sugar or white flours! The majority of my fats are unsaturated, predominately from fish oils.

Everette: I usually start around 2,200 calories per day and work my way down based on how I look. I never get too technical in my macros because I don't want to become a slave to my Tupperware. I focus on ingesting about 300 grams of protein per day, and try to keep my carbs around 80-to-100 per day. I get more fats in on days I'm feeling drained and on days when I feel I can push the envelope in the gym.

What are the best fat-burning foods?

Joe: Proteins rich in Omega 3s: salmon, scrod, sole, mahi mahi, grouper and halibut. Any of those combined with raw oats, baby spinach, asparagus, broccoli and all green vegetables.

Everette: For me it's a toss-up between grapefruit, cashews, and ground flax seeds. Even leading up to a show or event, I eat at least one grapefruit each day because it's loaded with vitamin C and other nutrients to help shed fluids. Flax seeds are great because your body burns a ton of calories trying to process those bad boys. And they're loaded with healthy fats.

What is the best form of cardio for fat loss?

Joe: Sprinting is bar-none the best for fat burning. You can also run hills, bleachers or do ladders on the football field. You can burn upward of 2,000 calories in an hour of sprinting; or you can walk on a treadmill for six hours. It's an easy choice for me.

Lauren: My personal preference is to stay lean year-round; I don't need to do a tremendous amount of cardio because I keep my diet very strict. I do cardio about 2-to-3 times per week, focusing on higher-intensity plyometrics or stair climbing. Also, I make it a point to take very little rest between sets when weight training and I often superset to keep my heart rate up!

Everette: Usually steady-state cardio first thing on an empty stomach will get me down to the body fat percentage I need to be. I throw in some HIIT maybe twice per week to keep my body guessing. I've always found that when I push it too hard in the morning, I tend to overeat in the evening. You have to let the diet do what it's intended to do. Don't get caught up in the sweat equity game.

What are the best exercises for abs that pop?

Joe: Hanging upside down using gravity boots doing slow, controlled crunches. Or, reverse crunches with ankle straps attached to low pulley to target the lower abdominals.

Lauren: I truly feel that getting my abs to pop has much more to do with my clean diet than it does with the number of crunches that I do. However, my favorite exercises for abs are the cable crunch and the exercise ball crunch, which I do holding a plate or dumbbell, for added resistance! For lower abs, I like weighted reverse crunches.

Everette: I don't do a ton of dedicated abs training. I keep my abs tight and basically use them my entire cardio session, so my cardio becomes abs training. When I do traditional abdominal training, I usually do triple sets of weighted crunches, side oblique work and hanging leg raises to failure for four rotations. That's really it.

Do you eat cheat meals? If so, what's your favorite?

Joe: I will not have a cheat meal within seven days of a shoot, but when I cheat outside that time window, it could be anything from a whole pizza, pasta, hamburgers to a 3-pound-bag of Sour Patch Kids. Hey, it happens!

Lauren: One of my favorite topics! I am a sucker for all things sugary, sweet and full of carbs! To satisfy my cravings, I typically allow myself a cheat meal once per week. It makes sticking to my diet plan much easier, which in turn allows me this guilty pleasure. But, I have a secret: I don't feel guilty one bit! Ha! I know that I work my butt off, so I just say, "You've earned this, girl!"

Everette: I cheat at least once per week! I love my cheat meals and live for them. My go-to cheat meal is ribs and cheese fries with some sort of chocolate cake or brownie and, to polish it all off, a Diet Coke. Ha ha!



Accelerate Your Fat Loss

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Known as ''The World Most Ripped Fitness Model,'' he's very passionate about educating people all over the world about health and fitness.

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robc217

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robc217

Great article by some really great people in the fitness industry. What I think would be good to see is Obi answering the same questions as these other pros.

I have not heard eat slow digesting carbs before bed before, I always thought it was a slow digesting protein.

A question for a future article, is what do you eat before bed as your last meal of the day. Something that you can consistently follow.

Aug 20, 2012 5:19pm | report
 
mecksoneo1

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mecksoneo1

There was actually an article a few months back that talked about foods you can eat before bed that won't promote fat gain.

Aug 20, 2012 8:46pm | report
toolman019

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toolman019

Right out of the anabolic cookbook : reese's style cottage cheese! mix up some cottage cheese with chocolate protein powder and natural peanut butter, I eat this without the peanut butter and still tastes great.

Aug 21, 2012 6:43am | report
robc217

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robc217

@toolman019--now that is what I am talking about. Awesome recommendation, I am going to try that tonight.

Any more ideas would be appreciated.

Aug 21, 2012 12:35pm | report
Holly444

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Holly444

I haven't tried it, but I read something about mixing a scoop of chocolate protein powder in a cup of greek yogurt along with a natural sweetener (like stevia) - if needed. Sounds yummy to me, and it'd be a great shot of pro right before bed. :)

Aug 24, 2012 3:24pm | report
jwethall

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jwethall

First thing, what's wrong with being a slave to your tupperware your majesty? lol.

Secondly, slow digesting carbs before bed I see as a problem for the following reason: it increases your insulin response late at night. Why is this bad? Because insulin does two things that hinder fat loss.
1) Insulin inactivates an enzyme called Hormone Sensitive Lipase that relases fat from fat stores.
2) Insulin blunts Growth Hormone response which, as you may or may not know, is also a key player in releasing fat stores and is excreted whilst you sleep.

I've done it both ways, and I've seen better fat loss results when I cut out my carbs after 7pm and stick to broccoli, asparagus, and other fibrous green vegetables.

Aug 21, 2012 8:55am | report
 
DangerWaffles

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DangerWaffles

My only question is what to truly eat before and after a workout for fat loss, especially for a cardio workout or a HIIT workout. My love handles stay and are hard to reduce, so I have determined I'm insulin sensitive and only eat carbs(besides veggies) after my workout, and a little before. I'm just wondering what and how much.

Aug 21, 2012 9:31am | report
 
A8P

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A8P

Good article, I will need to find out which one is best for me and stick with that.

Aug 21, 2012 12:47pm | report
 
outofmyhead

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outofmyhead

only thing u need is IF and caloric deficit thats it

Aug 21, 2012 2:39pm | report
 
dreamexecuter

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dreamexecuter

Good read

Aug 21, 2012 3:55pm | report
 
PropheticMuscle

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PropheticMuscle

great article!

Aug 21, 2012 6:09pm | report
 
mrlongisland1

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mrlongisland1

nice one...

Aug 28, 2012 1:40pm | report
 
iWantFitness

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iWantFitness

gosh talking about the cheat meals got me hungry. Still trying to figure out a way to not feel hungry during the day although eat 5 times a day!!

Sep 5, 2012 6:38am | report
 
StrongerThnEver

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StrongerThnEver

I've never heard of anyone recommending slow-digesting carbs before bed anywhere ever before... slow digesting protein such as casein protein, yes, that's recommended everywhere, but carbs before bed... that's contrary to any advice I've ever read in over 40 years of reading articles on bodybuilding anywhere. Sounds like someone either got confused or has come up with their own ideas on things... carbs can be eaten immediately or after workouts as they're used and reasbsorbed by muscles... but before bed? I'll stick with slow digesting protein to keep an an anabolic state while sleeping...

Aug 29, 2013 9:02pm | report
 
Spenc85

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Spenc85

What are slow digesting carbs? I usually only have a salad with cut up chicken breast for dinner

Jan 20, 2014 1:48am | report
 
Emagz44

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Emagz44

what's his body fat percentage?

Jul 11, 2014 12:55pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 16 of 16 Comments

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