Many people approach fat-loss nutrition like it's the punishment they've earned for gaining fat in the first place. In other words, being miserable becomes their expectation—even their duty. They dial in their calories at a number way below what they're accustomed to, and they slash carbohydrates and fats to levels that leave them feeling awful. To make everything worse, their bodies usually respond by desperately clinging to fat reserves.
That's not how Kizzito Ejam does it. Remember, the Chiseled eight-week fat-loss trainer is meant to be a program you can repeat over and over again. Kizzito has been running it for years straight! If he was dieting that hard, there's no way he'd keep coming back over and over again—and we couldn't expect you too, either.
Over the next eight weeks, this program will arm you with the tools and knowledge to manipulate your training and nutrition to achieve the physique you've been seeking for so long. You'll know what it feels like to work hard in a slight caloric deficit, a slightly larger one, and a maintenance phase that will help you hold on to your new physique year-round. Sit back, take notes, and get ready to burn!
It All Starts With Calories
Food is life! It supplies your body with the energy needed to carry out essential functions, to perform at a high level both mentally and physically, and to recover from what you do in the gym. Yes, food is a source of joy and a crucial part of our communities and social lives, but ultimately, it is our source of fuel and energy first and foremost. That's the mindset you need as you embark on this program!
From a pure energy perspective, here's what food looks like:
|Protein||4 calories per gram|
|Carbohydrates||4 calories per gram|
|Fats||9 calories per gram|
|Alcohol||7 calories per gram|
These numbers are what dictate weight change. If you consistently consume more calories through food and fluid intake than you expend through exercise and activities of daily living, you will gain weight. Conversely, if you consistently consume fewer calories than you expend, you will lose weight. Too many people act like the story ends there, but it definitely doesn't!
After all, you're not just looking to lose weight, right? You're looking to change your body composition—to burn fat, and add muscle. This is where it's important to mention that a calorie is not a calorie. If you were to increase your daily caloric intake by 50 grams of protein versus 50 grams of carbohydrates, there would be significant differences observed in terms of physical performance and body composition. So yes, macros matter!
Kizzito's program is going to have you performing at a high intensity from day one. So even if you've been relatively inactive recently, enter "moderately active" for the activity level.
Over the next seven weeks, the goal is to keep you in a slight caloric deficit so that fat loss will indeed be induced gradually. Too drastic of a deficit will hinder muscle maintenance, and we don't want any of your hard-earned muscle mass to fade away! Your body's metabolism is dynamic, meaning that it will adapt quickly.
A caloric level that previously created weight loss will soon keep you right at weight maintenance. So it's important that we manipulate it strategically just like we would any other part of your overall fitness program.
How to Turn Calories Into Macros
Getting shredded isn't rocket science. It's more like basic calculator math, and lucky you, we've got the calculator that will let you know for all five phases of the Chiseled fat-loss trainer.
Should I track my weight during this trainer?
Yes, but not too much. Three times a week is about right.
Weigh yourself on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the same time of day, then average the numbers together. If your weight changes dramatically (+/-5 lbs./week), adjust by adding or subtracting 250 calories. And if you weren't consistent with your nutrition, get consistent!
Don't sweat any individual week too much. This is a long-term plan, so learn what you can and keep moving!
Want to eat to get shredded? Here's how you do it:
- Determine your daily calorie goal, to stay in a slight caloric deficit.
- Determine your protein intake (1.1-1.3 grams per pound of body weight).
- Determine your fat intake (0.4-0.5 grams per pound of body weight).
- Fill the remaining calories with carbohydrates.
Why carbs? This allows you the flexibility and freedom to determine what carb level helps you feel and perform your best. Remember, your total caloric intake is what ultimately dictates weight change, but if your low-carb diet is negatively impacting your workouts, it's probably worth the extra calories to add a few!
Now, because this is a fat-loss plan, you'll be progressively decreasing calories over the course of the eight weeks, just like you progress your workouts. Here's how you'll do that:
- Phase 2: 5 percent fewer calories than Phase 1, taken from carbs and fats
- Phase 3: 5 percent fewer calories than Phase 2, taken from carbs and fats
- Phase 4: 5 percent fewer calories than Phase 3, taken from carbs and fats
- Phase 5 (maintenance): 1-2 percent more calories than Phase 4, added to protein and carbs
If that all sounds like too much work, just plug your info into this calculator, and it'll give you your calories and macronutrients for the next eight weeks.
Phase 1 Total Calories
Phase 2 Total Calories
Phase 3 Total Calories
Phase 4 Total Calories
Phase 5 Total Calories
*Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation, moderate activity multiplier included
And one final secret: Over the course of the program, Kizzito gradually tapers down his intake of high-glycemic-index carbs, replacing them with low-glycemic-index carbs like vegetables, oats, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. His carb intake may stay the same over the course of a week, but how he gets it changes. That's the sort of smart nutrition that allows him to stay shredded for years on end!
RSP Chiseled Your Protein Primer
While this is a fat-loss trainer, you're also going to be building and maintaining muscle mass over the course of seven weeks and the maintenance phase. This means you need to get enough protein!
Aside from helping you build and hold on to muscle, a high-protein intake offers a couple of fat-fighting advantages:
- Protein is very satisfying.
- Your body burns more calories digesting protein than other macronutrients.
When choosing protein options, it's important that you choose foods that are low-fat, from an animal source if your diet allows it. Animal proteins generally have a higher percentage of the crucial amino acid leucine, which has the most direct influence on muscle repair and growth via muscle protein synthesis.
Plant sources of protein—think edamame, tofu, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds—are delicious and full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, so please still include them! Just pair them with an animal protein whenever possible to ensure you get enough of this crucial amino.
Here are your preferred sources of protein during the Chiseled trainer:
Egg whites, egg yolks, low-fat milk (skim or 1%), nonfat/low-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, chicken breast, turkey breast, pork loin, pork tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, filet mignon, beef jerky (93 or 97% fat-free) tilapia, salmon, tuna, white fish, herring, cod, shrimp.
RSP Chiseled Your Carbohydrate Primer
Carbohydrates are our brain's and muscle's preferred energy source. To optimize fat loss and aid in maximal performance and recovery, both the type of carbohydrate and timing of when you consume it will make a significant difference.
When seeking carbohydrates throughout the day, focus on those that are high in fiber. Fiber has numerous benefits in terms of immune and digestive health, as well as controlling blood glucose. Additionally, fiber helps to promote satiety and slow down digestion, ultimately allowing a steady release of energy throughout the day. Choosing carbohydrates high in fiber will provide you longer-lasting energy and a feeling of fullness. Aim to consume the majority of your carbohydrates from the sources listed below.
Vegetables, fruit (no sugar added), oatmeal, oat bran, whole-grain cereals, whole-grain breads/wraps/pasta (whole wheat, oat, bran, rye, barley, corn), fiber-rich tortillas, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes.
Over the course of the Chiseled trainer, there will times where a quicker-digesting carbohydrate is warranted—two-a-days, anyone? Pre- and post-workout are examples of when choosing a quick-digesting carbohydrate may be best, to supply a rapid delivery of energy to the working muscles.
Around training, aim for a low-fiber, quick-digesting option that minimizes any chance of feeling bloated and ensures rapid energy delivery. Liquids work great during training, as they are digested much more quickly than whole foods.
Sports drinks, sports chews/gels/beans, dried fruit (raisins, craisins, apricots, mangoes, berries, banana chips), pretzels, saltines, low-fiber cereal, dextrose.
RSP Chiseled Your Fats Primer
Too often, when individuals think "fat loss," they immediately think low-fat diets. What they fail to realize is that fat is essential in many ways! Fat aids in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K, aids in hormone synthesis—yes, including testosterone—cushions your organs and joints, assists in cell signaling, and of course, it provides an abundance of flavor!
The majority of your fat intake should come from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids to aid satiety, recovery, and optimal health. Additionally, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as those found in coconut oil are worth considering. MCTs are 6-12 carbon unit fatty acids that rapidly enter the blood stream and are used as fuel by the body. Coconut oil and coconut butter are two great examples of saturated fats that are high in MCTs. Additionally, MCTs may actually help to increase fat oxidation and spare muscle glycogen stores.
To determine your optimal fat intake each day, simply multiply your body weight by 0.4-0.5 grams per pound of body weight. Find an ideal amount within this range that enables you to feel energized inside and outside of the gym, and stick with it! For a 185-pound male, that would be between 74-93 grams per day.
Olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, natural peanut butter and other nut butters, avocados, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seed (ground), chia seeds, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna, egg yolks.
RSP Chiseled Meal timing
To get in all of your calories and meet your macros on this plan, you'll probably need to eat every 3-4 hours. This is long enough to let your body's muscle protein synthesis system "reset" between meals, so that MPS can be fully stimulated again. It's also long enough for you to not feel like you're eating all the time, and so that you can eat a decent-sized meal again.
Don't feel like you need to be locked into traditional breakfast, lunch, or dinner, though. If you want eggs and oatmeal at dinner, do it! Or feel free to have chicken breast for breakfast! Don't be afraid to be different. View each meal and snack as an opportunity to fuel for optimal performance, recovery, and fat loss, rather than feeling like you have to eat certain foods at certain times just because social culture dictates that is how it should be.
Here's an example of how you could split your macros across four meals a day in this plan:
Greek yogurt: 4 oz.
Whey protein: 1 scoop (~30 g protein)
Natural peanut butter: 3 tbsp
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
Broccoli: 2 cups
Water: 16 oz.
Turkey breast: 6 oz.
Spinach: 1 cup
Hummus: 2 tbsp
Whole-wheat tortilla: 2
Apple: 1 large
Water: 16 oz.
RSP Whey protein: 1-1/4 scoop (~40 g protein)
Oatmeal: 1 cup
Raisins: 1/4 cup
Water: 16 oz.
Chicken breast: 6 oz.
Sweet potato: 15 oz.
Sugar snap peas: 2 cups, steamed
Bagged popcorn: 100-calorie bag
Low-fat milk: 1 cup
Water: 16 oz.
Now here's the same basic macronutrient structure, but spread across five meals a day instead of four, and for someone who works out in the morning before work:
RSP Whey protein: 1 scoop
Pretzels: 1-1/2 servings
Water: 16 oz.
Oatmeal: 1 cup
Egg whites: 1-1/4 cup
Strawberries: 200 g
Banana: 100 g (1 medium)
Water: 16 oz.
Apple: 200 g (1 large)
Chicken breast: 5.5 oz.
Brown rice: 350 g
Coconut oil: 1/2 tbsp
Carrot: 6 oz.
Red bell pepper: 150 g
Italian dressing: 2 tbsp
Water: 16 oz.
Salmon: 5.5 oz.
Black beans: 1/2 cup
Diced tomatoes: 1/2 cup
Broccoli and cauliflower: 2 cups, steamed
Avocado: 140 g
Water: 16 oz.
RSP Whey protein: 1 serving (~30 g)
Low-fat Greek yogurt: 4 oz.
Natural peanut butter: 2 tbsp
Water: 16 oz.
A Better Shred Starts Here
It'll take practice to dial in the precise measurements that go along with your macros in this program, so be patient and allow yourself to mess up along the way. Every meal and every day is an opportunity to learn about how to better fuel the high-performance machine you're building in the Chiseled trainer!
Be sure to watch the Phase 1-5 overview videos, which go into more detail about the training and supplementation that will accompany the nutrition plan laid out here.