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What Is The Best 8-Week Diet Plan For A Summer Ready Body?

What is the best 8-week diet plan for a summer ready body? Our forum members have put together a comprehensive formula for fat loss before summer. This includes 8-week diet plans, comprehensive details on carbs, protein, supplements and much more!

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TOPIC: What Is The Best 8-Week Diet Plan For A Summer Ready Body?

The Question:

The summer is steadily approaching and now is the time to start getting ready for those three beautiful months when everyone will want to have their tops off.

What is the best 8-week diet plan for a summer ready body?

What supplements would work best for this 8 week plan for a summer ready body?

What are the benefits of this plan? Would it work for everyone?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

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1st Place - Mtguy8787
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Most people know that an effective diet is key to getting into lean shape. And most people know that in order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. But that is about as much as many people know. Even many bodybuilders make many mistakes which hinder their progress.

Some people are lucky enough to get decent results with sub-optimal diets. Many others get no results at all when using similar diet protocols. This article will help you to avoid many of the common mistakes made, and get the best possible results for a summer-ready body.


Diet
What Is The Best 8-Week Diet Plan For A Summer Ready Body?

Before getting to the actual diet, there are many things that need to be covered. The mechanisms behind successful fat loss are just as important as the diet itself. By understanding these, you will be able to tell which diet plans will work well, and why other diet plans which seem to be good, are not really that great at all.

As there is no single diet that is best for everyone, you will be better able to adjust a diet plan after reading these things.


Some Fundamental Principles & Concepts

Common Mistakes:

    There are many common mistakes that can hinder fat loss results. Some of them are a result of poor information. Others are simply a result of negligence; it is easy to make some of these mistakes without even realizing it. I myself have made some of them, and did not realize it until they began to cause problems.

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    1. Not Eating Enough:

      Not consuming enough food, or enough of the right foods will hinder your fat loss goals in many ways. The fewer calories you consume, the more efficient your metabolism becomes. In most cases, efficiency is a good thing. In this case, it is not.

      A more efficient metabolism basically means that your body burns fewer total calories, and less total fat as a result. If calories levels are too low, your muscle tissue stands a much bigger chance of being burned for energy. Decreased calories can also significantly reduce performance in the gym.

    2. Eating Too Much:

      Eating too many calories, or too much of the wrong foods is just as bad. On one hand, eating more will cause your body to burn more total calories, and will make your metabolism more inefficient. However, this is a tool which must be used intelligently; it does not mean you can eat as much as you want.

    3. Not Eating Frequently Enough:

      Nearly every bodybuilder understands on some level that eating smaller, more frequent meals is important. There are some that know it is helpful, but are unaware of just how important it really is. Even worse, there are some who stubbornly believe that it does not matter.

      The first, and most well known reason is to provide the body with a steady supply of protein. Maintaining a supply of protein is crucial for building muscle, and it is very important for fat loss & preventing muscle loss as well. The body cannot store protein for future use, so providing a steady stream of amino acids is extremely important.

      The next reason involves hourly energy balance. Too many people think in terms of daily energy balance. They think of calorie per day, or grams of protein per day, which is plain silly. Why not count in calories per 2 and half days, or grams of protein per week? It makes just as little sense. Eating frequently is important for providing your body with just enough nutrients it needs at that given moment.

    4. Thinking In Terms Of 24-Hour Energy Balance:

      Too many people think in calories per day, total carbs per day, or grams of protein per day. Your body however, does not share this same though process. When you consume food at any time, your body will use what it can, and store the rest as fat. Amazingly, many people who know this still pay little attention to moment-to-moment energy balance.

      Imagine that someone needs 300 grams of carbohydrates per day, and is trying to lose weight. They consume a large part of those during the time of day when they are less needed.

      A large portion of those ends up being stored as fat. Later on, when their body needs, and can use carbohydrates, less are consumed. Glycogen stores do not get replenished to the same degree. Some protein ends up being burned as energy, because sufficient carbs were not available at that moment.

      At the end of the day, weight was lost, because calories burned exceeded calories eaten. However, extra muscle tissue was lost, and less fat was burned. Possibly little to no fat may have been burned. Moment-to-moment, or hourly energy balance is much more important that daily energy balance.

      Some people say that this is not necessary. Their reasoning behind this is that 'lots of people' 'get results', by only eating 2-3 meals per day. This is ridiculous, and is like saying that because some people can score decent grades on tests without studying, that studying is not important for doing well.

    5. Not Paying Attention To Meal & Nutrient Timing:

      As mentioned before, the amount of food consumed at any particular time is an important concept. Similar to calorie needs at any given moment, the body has specific needs for certain macronutrients at any given movement. There are times when carbohydrates are more ideal, and there are times when fats are more ideal.

      Protein is needed just about all the time, but there are times when even more of it is needed. Not paying attention to this, and thinking that you are good to go just because you met your macro. Quotas, is another mistake.

    6. Consuming Too Few Carbohydrates:

      Very low carb, or ketogenic diets are a fairly popular method of weight loss. While people do get results with these types of diets, they are neither necessary, nor ideal for fat loss. Again, something may 'work' for some people.

      A few people may even get better than average results. But that does not mean it is ideal, or without serious drawbacks. Carbohydrates are crucial for ideal performance in the gym. Having optimum performance is very important for losing fat. Having a certain level of carbohydrates in the body is also important for sparing muscle tissue from catabolism.

      A slight reduction of carbs can be beneficial. Carb cycling can be an excellent method, if used intelligently. But drastically reducing carbs yields many more drawbacks than possible benefits.

    7. Not Consuming Enough Fats:

      Even people who understand the importance of fats in the diet sometimes unknowingly reduce fats way too much when cutting. Therefore, it is important to pay special attention to fat intake to ensure that you are getting the optimal quantity and types of fat.

      Fats are essential for the production of nearly every hormone, including testosterone. They are important for metabolic function, skin health, immune health, and many other things. Essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids, are largely responsible for many of these benefits.

      Fish oil, which contains the omega-3 acids DHA and EPA, can provide some outstanding benefits for anyone trying to get the best possible body for summertime. More information on that will be given later.

        View Fish Oil Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

    8. Not Drinking Enough Water:

      It would be hard to find a bodybuilder who did not know the importance of consuming sufficient amounts of water. However, it would be rather easy to find one who did not actually consume enough.

      When effort is not made to drink enough water, it is easy to fall far short of the optimal amount. The biggest reason this happens comes from relying on thirst. In many people, the thirst mechanism is not a reliable measure of when water is needed.

      I have had this happen to me in the past, and did not notice until my performance began to drastically drop, and I lost over 8 pounds. As a general rule, your urine should stay clear or a very light yellow. If it starts to significantly darken, it could be a sign of dehydration.

      Water:

The Macronutrients:

    Here we will briefly cover the macronutrients, their role in the body, and basic consumption guidelines.

    Protein:

      Proteins are made up of amino acids, and are used to build nearly every tissue in the body, including muscle. There are 20 main amino acids, 10 of which are essential amino acids.

      Essential aminos are ones that cannot be synthesized from other amino acids, and must be supplied in the diet. Therefore, if you are lacking in just 1 essential amino acids, results can be hindered. To ensure that you get all necessary amino acids, consume a variety of protein sources, ideally with one of those being from meat.

      Approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is plenty for nearly everyone. For a 200 lb person, this is 200 grams of protein. With proper nutrient timing, muscle mass can often be built with less. However, slightly higher protein intake offers further benefits for fat loss, including hormonal benefits, increased thermic effect, and better maintenance of muscle mass while on a diet.

    PROTEIN CALCULATOR
    Weight
    Results
    Protein

      Good Protein Sources:

      • Eggs
      • Fish
      • Lean red meats
      • Poultry
      • Low-fat
      • Fat-free or raw milk
      • Whey
      • Casein

    Carbohydrates:

      Carbohydrates are the prime source of fuel for exercise, as well as for the brain and nervous system. Carbohydrates are used to replenish glycogen stores, which is important for providing the body with a store of glucose.

1 of 3: The Central Nervous System (CNS):

CNS
The human central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. These lie in the midline of the body and are protected by the skull and vertebrae respectively.

This collection of billions of neurons is arguably the most complex object known.

The central nervous system along with the peripheral nervous system comprise a primary division of controls that command all physical activities of a human.

Neurons of the central nervous system affect consciousness and mental activity while spinal extensions of central nervous system neuron pathways affect skeletal muscles and organs in the body.


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      Optimally maintaining glycogen stores are important for sparing muscle proteins from breakdown, as well as optimizing performance in the gym. Aim to consume 30%-50% of your calories from carbohydrates.

      Good Carbohydrate Sources:

      • Whole grains
      • Oats
      • Fruits
      • Fibrous vegetables
      • Starchy vegetables
      • Whole grain pastas or breads
      • Sprouted breads

    Fats:

      Fatty acids are an essential nutrient in the body. With regards to fat loss, they are especially important for hormonal production, including testosterone and thyroid hormones. They also play roles in protein synthesis, immune system health, skin health, joint health, and much more.

      Ideally, one should consume most of their fats from certain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated sources. Some of the fats can come from saturated sources, but ideally limit this to one-third or less of total fat intake. Aim to consume 20-30% of calories from fats, most of which are non-animal sources.

      Good Fat Sources:

      • Fish oil
      • Flax seeds & oil
      • Olive oil
      • Fish
      • Nuts
      • Coconut oil
      • Avocados
      • It can be hard to consume all of your fats from these sources. Eggs & lean meats are ok as a source of fat, but make sure that these make up the smaller, rather than the larger share of your fat intake.

Hormones That Influence Fat Loss:

    Testosterone:

      Testosterone levels are important for building & maintaining muscle, as well as influencing fat loss. You can help to maintain ideal levels by consuming sufficient fats, getting enough rest, and by using certain nutritional supplements which will be discussed later.

    Insulin:

      Insulin is a double-edged sword. It is essential for protein synthesis and facilitating the uptake up nutrients into muscle cells, among many other things. High levels at certain times are desirable. A low/moderate, constant level is desirable most of the time.

      On the other hand, high levels at the wrong times can lead to increased fat storage. Nutrient timing is key to having optimal levels of insulin at the right times.

    Cortisol:

      Cortisol is a catabolic hormone which helps to break down fat and muscle into glucose. High levels trigger muscle breakdown much more than fat. Certain levels are necessary for health & balance.

      High levels can be triggered by physical stress (after intense exercise), or by psychological stress.

    Glucagon:

      Glucagon is a catabolic hormone which triggers liver glycogen breakdown, and in come cases, protein breakdown. It can also stimulate the breakdown of lipolysis (fat breakdown). The regular consumption of protein can raise glucagon levels. Maintaining glycogen stores is an important part of minimizing protein conversion into glucose.

Nutrient & Meal Timing:

    The body has greater needs for certain nutrients at certain times. In a nutshell, carbs are most beneficial after exercise, while fats are best consumed well before exercise, or several hours after. Protein is important throughout the entire day, but there is an increased need for it after a workout, certain amino acids in particular.

    Carbohydrates:

      When carbohydrates are consumed, they can either be stored as glycogen or as fat, or burned as energy. The majority of them will either be stored as glycogen or fat. Obviously, we want them to be stored as glycogen, and not as fat. The timing of carb consumption can make a huge difference.

      After a workout, muscle sensitivity to carbohydrates is greatly increased. During other times of the day, the muscle cells are less sensitive to carbs, and the fat cells are more sensitive. Therefore, the optimal time to consume carbohydrates is immediately afterwards, all the way up to 6 hours after.

      Fast absorbing carbohydrates mixed with a little bit of protein taken 15-30 minutes before a workout can also help to boost performance and reduce the amount of muscle protein that is broken down.

      During the rest of the day, it is best to eat starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, spinach, etc.) and fruits rather than lots of starchy carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, etc.) Do not eliminate them, though. You still need them, just not as much.

    Protein:

      It is important to consume protein regularly throughout the day. However, there is increased need for it after a workout. Glutamine, and branched chain amino acids (leucine, iso-leucine, and valine) are particularly important.

      These amino acids are the most commonly burned during exercise, and as such, are the most depleted. Leucine in particular, when taken after a workout, can further boost protein synthesis.

    Fats:

      Fats are very important, but it is also important to eat them at the right time. As a general rule, avoid fats close to the workout period, both before and after. Avoid them 1 hour or so before exercise, and for 2 hours after exercise.

Post Workout Nutrition:

    Post workout nutrition is perhaps the most important meal of the day. The timing of it is very important as well. Delaying post workout nutrition by even 30 minutes can significantly reduce its benefits. It is important to consume both carbohydrates and protein as soon as possible after a workout.

    Insulin Sensitivity:

      After a workout, muscle sensitivity to insulin is greatly heightened. If post workout nutrition is delayed, the muscles can start to become resistant in as little as 30-45 minutes.

      However, if post workout nutrition is taken immediately, sensitivity can be maintained for several hours afterwards. This goes hand in hand with glucose uptake & glycogen re-synthesis. Although high levels of insulin can trigger more fat storage, moderate levels to not impede fat oxidation due to an increased metabolic rate.

    Protein Synthesis:

      Protein Synthesis is greatly increased by immediate post workout nutrition. In fact, it can be increased immensely vs. a meal eaten 1-2 hours later. This is not only important for bulking, but also for maintaining muscle mass while cutting.

    Glucose Uptake & Glycogen Synthesis:

      This goes hand in hand with insulin sensitivity. Getting immediate post workout nutrition can increase glucose uptake by as much as 6 times compared to a meal eaten 1-2 hours later. Efficiently re-synthesizing glycogen will effect recovery, as well as the next day's workout performance.

Post-workout Nutrition Components:

    As you can see, it is important that the nutrient get to the muscle cells as soon as possible. So obviously, we want fast absorbing & fast digesting nutrients. For this reason, liquid meals are ideal. Fast absorbing carbohydrates are also ideal.

    Maltodextrin is probably the best source, as it is absorbed by the stomach faster than sucrose or dextrose. Whey is the ideal choice for a protein source. 1-2 grams of extra glutamine and BCAA's are also very beneficial. Aim to consume about 30 grams of protein, and 60-80 grams of carbohydrate, or .25 g/lb of protein, and .5 -.75 g/lb of carbohydrate.

PROTEIN CALCULATOR
Weight
Results
Protein
Carbs

    Before Bed Nutrition:

      While this is more important for building muscle, it is also important for a fat loss diet, as it will greatly help to reduce possible muscle loss. Pre-bed meals should be mostly protein, with a very small amount of carbohydrate, and possibly a very small amount of fat.

      The protein source should be a mix of fast absorbing & slow absorbing protein. Whey powder mixed with casein and skim milk is perfect for a bedtime shake. This shake should be lower in overall calories than a post workout shake.

Eat More To Burn More:

    When most people calculate their cutting diet, they subtract a certain amount from what they think is their maintenance level of calories. This is correct, however, choosing an arbitrary number as your 'maintenance level' can be a mistake.

    The body's metabolic rate constantly changes. When you eat more, especially when those foods are ideal food choices & eaten at the right times, the body's metabolism greatly increases.

    The body becomes more inefficient, and wastes more calories as heat with all of its metabolic processes. The thermic effect of food is also boosted. This is a large part of a fairly new concept known as the 'metabolic flux'.

    This metabolic flux is discussed in many of Dr. John Berardi's books and articles. Eating a lot of low-calorie fruits and vegetables is a great way to boost this. By eating more, you burn more total calories, and more fat is burned as a result.

    All Calories Are Not Equal:

      You must eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight. That is a basic rule. However, that little phrase, 'calories than you burn', is highly modifiable. Most people make the mistake of setting a fixed number as their 'maintenance' point, and counting all calories towards a set number that a bit below it.

      As discussed before, when you eat more, you burn more total calories, largely to the metabolism becoming more inefficient. There is also an increased thermic effect of food. Not all foods are equal when it comes to this important concept. In fact, the difference between some types of calories is huge.

      Most proteins have a very high thermogenic effect. Generally speaking, protein has a thermic effect of approximately 30%. This means that if you consume 1000 calories of protein, the body must burn 300 calories just to digest that. In an ideal case, those 1000 calories would then go to feed your muscle tissue, and you have burned an extra 300 calories.

    Making Use Of Fruits & Vegetables:

      Low-calorie fruits and vegetables such as citrus, watermelon, berries, carrots, etc. also have a very high thermogenic effect. In fact, some types may even cause the body to burn more calories in the digestion than the food itself contains! This is known as the "negative-calorie" effect.

      There is a bit of controversy on this, but it really does not matter. Either way, many fruits & vegetables are highly thermogenic. Combine that with the concept of increasing metabolic flux (eat more to burn more), and you have an outstanding food to boost fat loss.

Fat Burns In A Carbohydrate Flame:

    Carbohydrates are the fuel for fat burning performance. Having full glycogen stores also sends triggers that directly & indirectly result in greater fat oxidation. By eating more, and exercising more, you can burn more total fat.

    So before you say to yourself, "My maintenance levels are 2853 calories per day," ask yourself how you can make your body burn more overall calories. You still need to eat less than you take in, and you still need to make regular adjustments. But you can increase your metabolic flux, or total calories taken in & burned in order to increase fat loss.

    • Eat frequent meals
    • Eat plenty of protein
    • Eat plenty of fruits & vegetables
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Increase your caloric intake, and increase the amount of exercise

A Quick Recap - Eat Frequent Meals:

    Many of the benefits of this have already been covered. Eat meals every 2-3 hours. All meals should contain protein and some form of carbohydrate. The types of carbs which are best were covered in the previous section. Meals that are not close to the workout period should contain small amounts of good fats. It is also a good idea to snack on low-calorie and/or high fiber fruits & vegetables throughout most of the day.

    • Eat sufficient protein. Again 1 g/lb is a good rule to go by.
    • Drink enough water. Even mild dehydration can significantly reduce metabolism & performance.
    • Eat lots of fruits & vegetable.
    • Remember to get post workout nutrition as soon as possible.
    • Heavier, starchy carbs are best following a workout.
    • Metabolic rate is highly modifiable. Eating more and burning more overall calories (through diet and exercise) is preferable to eating less and burning less.

Cheat Meals:

    A cheat meal once per week is perfectly acceptable. It is important, though, to cheat with food types, rather than excess calories. This means that you can have some chips, some sweets, or some beer. But you still need to stay within the same calorie ranges. Binging with 4000 extra calories of junk food can cancel out several days-worth of hard work.

    However, if you do not feel the need, or do not want to eat cheat foods, then it is fine to stay on your diet 7 days per week. Any benefits of a cheat meal are 100% psychological, although those benefits can be substantial.

RELATED ARTICLE
The Best Ways To Cheat!
Don't get too excited, guys and gals, I'm talking about cheating on your diet, not your significant other. After all, I'm a dietitian, not a private eye. In this article I am going to talk about some of the foods that are okay for cheat meals.
[ Click here to learn more. ]


An 8 Week Diet For Fat Loss

I am not going to list specific food types. This diet plan will be based on a template, which you can fill in with the foods that are most preferable, or practical, as long as they meet the conditions listed.

There is simply no need to create a different plan for every day of the week, or to list specific food types. Except for a few cases, there really are no best foods. Naming specific foods will not increase the quality of the diet; it will just show which foods I would personally prefer.

This diet plan will be based on high & low carb days, which are based on workout days. Workout days will require more carbohydrates, while non-workout days will require less.

Fruits & Vegetables:

    The fruits and vegetables listed can, and should be eaten frequently (barring pre and post workout). The ones listed do not need to be counted towards total calories or carbohydrates. I am sure some of you reading this are screaming "Of course they do!!!" However, the reason for this has to do with the concept of metabolic flux, a highly modifiable metabolism & the high thermogenic effect of these foods.

    Fruits:

    • Grapefruits
    • Watermelon
    • Strawberries
    • Blackberries
    • Currants
    • Blueberries
    • Rhubarb
    • Oranges
    • Cantaloupe

    Vegetables:

      All fibrous, low-calorie vegetables. These are vegetables such as:

      • Carrots
      • Celery
      • Lettuce
      • Other leafy greens
      • Cucumbers
      • Turnips
      • Tomatoes
      • Radishes
      • Broccoli
      • Cauliflower

    Other Fruits & Vegetables:

      These lists are just to give you a general idea. Other fruits & vegetables which are low-calorie density can also be eaten frequently. Choices which contain higher amounts of calories such as bananas or avocados need to be counted as part of the daily calories.


The Diet Template

Calculating Caloric Needs:

    Step 1. Estimate Your BMR:

      Use the following formula:
      370 + (21.6 X lean body mass in kg) or
      370 + (9.8 X lean body mass in lbs)

      If you weigh 200 pounds, and your approximate body fat is 10%, then you would have a lean mass of 180 lbs (200 - 10%). This gives us 2134 calories as our "BMR".

    Step 2. Activity Factor:

      Next, multiply the number you from step 1 by the following:

      • Sedentary (desk job, with little or no exercise) = BMR X 1.2
      • Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) = BMR X 1.375
      • Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) = BMR X 1.55
      • Very active (intensive exercise/sports 6-7 days/week) = BMR X 1.725
      • Extremely active (intensive daily exercise/sports & physical job or twice per day)= BMR X 1.9

      So with the example above, and with exercise 6 times per week, we get 2134 X 1.725 = 3681

    Step 3. Subtract 15%:

      3681 - 15% = 3129 (3681 X .15 = 552 & 3681 - 552 = 3129)

      You now have your starting calorie intake.

CALORIC CALCULATOR
Weight
BF %
Activity
Results
Calories

Macronutrient Ratios:

    These ratios are only a guideline, and are not set in stone. Nutrient timing is much more important than overall ratios. You should aim to get 30-50% of your calories from carbs, with most of those eaten 0-6 hours after your workout. 30-40% of your calories should come from mostly lean sources of protein. 20-30% of your calories should come from good fats.

A Basic Diet Template:

  • Divide your protein intake up roughly between each of your meals.
  • About 2/3-3/4 of your carbs should be eaten PWO and up to 4-6 hours after your workout.
  • Breakfast - About 15% Of Total Caloric Intake:

    All Other Pre Workout Meals & After 4-6 Hours After Workout:

    Pre-Workout Nutrition (Optional, But Ideal)

    • 30-40 grams of fast absorbing carbohydrates (sucrose, dextrose, or maltodextrin)
    • 5-15 grams of whey or BCAA powder

    Post-Workout Nutrition (Get As Soon As Possible)

    1-2 Hours After Workout:

    • 1/2 of starchy carbs (Whole grains, pasta, whole grain bread, oats, baked potatoes, etc.)
    • 1/2 of lean protein (Egg whites, tuna, other fish, lean red meat, skim milk, etc.)
    • Minimal fats
    • Any Fruits & Vegetables from the list
    • Water or green tea to drink

    3-4 Hours After Workout:

    • 1/2 of starchy carbs (Whole grains, pasta, whole grain bread, oats, baked potatoes, etc.)
    • 1/2 of lean protein (Egg whites, tuna, other fish, lean red meat, skim milk, etc.)
    • Small serving of extra good fat
    • Any Fruits & Vegetables from the list
    • Water or green tea to drink

    4-6 Hours After Workout:

    • 1/3 of starchy carbs (Whole grains, pasta, whole grain bread, oats, baked potatoes, etc.)
    • 2/3 of lean protein (Egg whites, tuna, other fish, lean red meat, skim milk, etc.)
    • Small serving of extra good fats

    Pre-Bed Meal:


Supplements
What Supplements Would Work Best For This 8 Week Plan For A Summer Ready Body?

There are only a few supplements which I recommend, but they should all be used, if possible.

Fish Oil:

    Fish oil will support a healthy metabolism. It also provides a host of other health benefits. Take at least 3 grams of fish oil (30% omega-3) daily.

    View Fish Oil Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Multi-Vitamins:

    Get a good quality multivitamin, or a greens powder supplement. This will help to provide many of the vitamins & minerals your body needs.

    View Multivitamins Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Creatine:

    This can help to prevent muscle loss while cutting, and boost performance & recovery. It will cause some water retention in the muscles, so discontinue using it 1-2 weeks before you plan on going to the beach.

    View Creatine Monohydrate Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Whey Protein:

    Whey is a must for post workout shakes. It is also beneficial when taken occasionally throughout the day, as it can help boost protein synthesis due to its fast absorption.

    View Whey Protein Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.


Benefits
What Are The Benefits Of This Plan? Would It Work For Everyone?

The benefits of following the strategies I have listed in the start of the article are numerous. They will help to increase performance, recovery, and fat loss. The nutrient timing strategies that the template uses will maximize the utilization of carbs, and minimize fat storage.

All of these principles are based on solid scientific principles, and are practiced be experts such as Dr. John Berardi. These principles will work for everyone, and the diet template given will work for just anyone trying to achieve a better body. Take what you have learned and use to get into lean shape for this coming summer!


2nd Place - BurningHeart
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Introduction

Ever spent an entire bulking or cutting cycle eating what you thought was the proper nutrition, only to look back six months and realize nothing much has changed?

It happens to millions of people each year. It's what causes people to lose motivation in their workout and diet plan. This affects more than bodybuilders, it affects overweight people just trying to lose weight and skinny people just trying to put on a few pounds of muscle. It happens to men and women of all ages, race, cultures, and nationality.

In the world's culture, it's nearly a unified opinion that a fit person is an attractive person. So if being fit is such a positive accomplishment, then why is good dieting such a mystery?

Furthermore, summer is approaching and we all want to look good for those times at the beach, pool, or just working around the house. Whether you've began dieting for the summer or not, a change can always be made and yes, results can be seen before summer starts.

That's where this article begins. With only eight weeks to spare before it's time sport that swimming suit, we want to shape up our diet. We want to form eating habits that will improve our looks for the summer and beyond.

Whether you are a man looking to walk down the beach with tight abs, a woman wanting to look good in a two-piece bathing suit, or a thin person looking to add a few pounds of muscle to their frame, all these dieting questions will be answered in this article. Let's begin!

Summer Snacks
Click Image To Enlarge.
Improve Your Looks For The Summer & Beyond.


Part 1
What Is The Best 8-Week Diet Plan For A Summer Ready Body?

Consider this scenario. If you had to get in a swimming suit at this very moment, what about your body would make you most hesitant to do so? Do you carry more body fat than what you feel is comfortable? Are you too skinny and wish you had a few pounds more muscle to look fuller? Maybe it's a bit of both; nevertheless choose one that makes you most hesitant to wear a swimming suit.

If body fat makes you most insecure, you'd follow a cutting diet. If muscle mass makes you most insecure, you'd follow a bulking diet.

Although a bulking diet differs from a cutting diet, the fundamentals are the same... to eat healthy foods in portions that satisfy your goal. Let's first start with a cutting diet and the bulking diet will follow.


The Cutting Diet

So you've decided to shed some body fat before the summer. Great, your body and mind will thank you for it. The first order of business is to determine how many calories you need to consume a day to lose weight. To do this click on this link and enter your stats.

Now the number you've gotten from the calculator is the approximate number of calories you need per day to maintain your current weight. So you're going to subtract a certain amount of calories from that number to get your weight loss amount.

The number of calories subtracted will depend on your goal. The more calories cut from your daily intake, the more weight you'll lose. Now this includes both body fat and muscle. Is this bad news? Well not really, if you diet slow and proper you'll lose about 90% body fat and 10% muscle.

As you start to diet faster you'll lose more weight, but the body fat/muscle ratio will change. You'll start losing less body fat and more muscle.

I've added a chart below where you can choose your weight loss goal plus the approximate weight loss in eight weeks. It ranges from 350 calories to 1000 calories cut per day. Note the approximate weight loss is calculated from being a deficit of calories and does not include water weight; something heavier people will lose faster than a lighter person.

Note a substantial amount above a 1000 calorie deficit is inefficient and may cause your body to go into starvation mode, meaning it uses muscle as energy and stores fat. We all want to lose weight fast, but starving yourself isn't the way to get it done, so stay at a maximum of a 1000 calorie deficit.

Goal Calories To Cut Daily Approximate Weight Loss In 8 Weeks
Small weight loss, greatest preserver of muscle. About 0.7 lb. lost per week. 350 5.6 lbs
Moderate weight loss, good preserver of muscle. About 1 lb. lost per week. 500 8 lbs
Large weight loss, average preserver of muscle. About 1.6 lbs. lost per week. 800 12.6 lbs
Great weight loss, small preserver of muscle. About 2 lbs. lost per week. 1000 16 lbs

After choosing which category best suits you, subtract that amount from the amount of your daily maintenance (the amount calculated from the link above). The number you get is your target calorie consumption, the amount of calories you need to consume daily to lose weight.

Alright now it's time to learn how to use those calories per day. After all if 1500 calories per day is your target, you cannot wake up in the morning and consume 1500 calories and nothing else for the day. Your meals need to be evenly balanced throughout the day.

Many people eat like birds in the morning and like wild beasts at night. This isn't the way to balance your meals; your body needs nutrition throughout the day. We are raised thinking we only need a meal three times a day, breakfast, lunch, and supper. This is not the case however, your body can and will use nutrients every 2-3 hours.

Here's An Example: say you only eat three times a day, by lunchtime you're pretty hungry and could consume a meal of 900 calories (about the amount of a burger, fries, and soft drink). Your body receives this huge portion of food and starts breaking it down for nutrients.

After the body has extracted and replenished what nutrients it needed (500 or so calories), the remaining calories are excreted or stored as fat. This is why people gain weight so easily, they starve their body for 6 hours then load it up at once with more food than it can handle.

Thus you want to eat a meal every 2 to 3 hours, totaling 5-7 meals a day. So divide your target calorie consumption by the amount of meals you will eat per day.

If your target was 2000 and you plan on eating 6 meals a day, you'll get a total of 333 calories per meal. Now you aren't expected to consume exactly 333 calories per meal, that'd be overkill even for a hardcore bodybuilder. That's just the number you aim for each meal, eating over or under a bit is alright.

Now that you understand how to portion your meals to lose body fat, the next step is learning exactly what to eat. This will be discussed following the bulking diet. For now it's time to discuss how to form a diet for bulking.


The Bulking Diet

You've come to the conclusion that you're too thin and need to add a few pounds of muscle to your frame. Ok great, let's go over how you need to eat to put some muscle mass on.

The first thing to do is to determine how many calories you need to consume a day to gain weight. To do this click on this link and enter your stats:

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[ Click here to learn more. ]

Now the number you've gotten from the calculator is the approximate number of calories you need per day to maintain your current weight. So you're going to add a certain amount of calories to that number to get your weight gain amount.

The number of calories added will depend on your goal. The more calories added from your daily intake, the more weight you'll gain. Now this includes both body fat and muscle. Yes gaining only muscle would be nice; however the fat will tag along. It's your job to regulate how much fat you'll gain during these eight weeks of bulking though.

If you bulk slowly, you'll gain less weight per week however you'll put on the least body fat. The faster you bulk the more muscle you'll gain however body fat gains will also raise, and they'll rise faster than muscle gains.

I've added a chart below where you can choose your weight gain goal. It ranges from 300 calories to 900 calories added per day. Note the approximate weight gain is calculated from a surplus of calories and does not include water weight gain, something which can be influenced from various factors such as sodium and creatine intake.

Be sure not to over exceed 900 calories added per day. You'll come to a point where you cannot gain any more muscle per week, only adding body fat.

Goal Calories To Add Daily Approximate Weight Gain In 8 Weeks
Small weight gain, least body fat gained. About 0.6 lb. gained per week. 300 4.8 lbs
Moderate weight gain, small body fat gained. About 1 lb. gained per week. 500 8 lbs
Large weight gain, moderate body fat gained. About 1.4 lbs. gained per week. 700 11.2 lbs
Great weight gain, large body fat gained. About 1.8 lbs. gained per week. 900 14.4 lbs

After choosing which category best suits you, add that amount to the amount of your daily maintenance (the amount calculated from the link above). The number you get is your target calorie consumption, the amount of calories you need to consume daily to gain weight.

Now it's time to learn how to consume these calories per day. After all if 3000 calories per day is your target, you cannot go crazy at McDonald's and eat 3000 calories in one sitting and be done for the day. Your meals need to be evenly balanced throughout the day.


How To Correctly Diet - For Everyone

Many people eat like birds in the morning and like wild beasts at night. This isn't the way to balance your meals; your body needs nutrition throughout the day. We are raised thinking we only need a meal three times a day, breakfast, lunch, and supper. This is not the case however, your body can and will use nutrients every 2-3 hours.

Here's an example, say you only eat three times a day. By lunchtime you're pretty hungry and could consume a meal of 900 calories (about the amount of a burger, fries, and soft drink). Your body receives this huge portion of food and starts breaking it down for nutrients.

After the body has extracted and replenished what nutrients it needed (500 or so calories), the remaining calories are excreted or stored as fat. This is why people gain weight so easily, they starve their body for 6 hours then load it up at once with more food than it can handle.

Thus you want to eat a meal every 2 to 3 hours, totaling 5-7 meals a day. So divide your target calorie consumption by the amount of meals you will eat per day.

If your target was 2000 and you plan on eating 6 meals a day, you'll get a total of 333 calories per meal. Now you aren't expected to consume exactly 333 calories per meal, that'd be overkill even for a hardcore bodybuilder. That's just the number you aim for each meal, eating over or under a bit is alright.

Alright now you know how to separate these meals throughout the day, now I'm going to go over what actually to eat. I'll start with the three basic types of calorie: fat, carbohydrates, and protein.

Beach
Click Image To Enlarge.
Dieting For Summer.

Fats:

    Even though this name may sound bad, it's really not. Eating fat will not make you fat. It's the consuming of too many calories that makes you fat. The fat found in foods is used by your body to maintain healthy skin, hair, and to digest vitamins.

    There are good and bad types of fat. For the most part saturated fats aren't good for you. These include animal fat, butter, and cooking oils such as peanut oil and coconut oil. On the other hand unsaturated fats are good for you in reasonable portions. These include nuts such as peanuts and almonds, olive oil, sesame oil, fish oil, and avocados.

    Another type of healthy fat is the EFA's (Essential fatty acids). These are found mainly in flaxseed oil, leafy vegetables, fish, shellfish, and nuts. EFA's should always be a part of your diet, as they promote healthy cell function, maintain body temperature, and are the only way your body can absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K.

    An interesting note about fats is they contain 9 calories per gram, as opposed to 4 calories per gram for protein and carbohydrates. This means fat is the most dense in energy (calories). Thus eating 10 grams of fat will give you over 2 times as much energy as 10 grams of carbohydrates or protein.

    How much fat do you eat? Well it's good to keep fats 15-25% of your diet. This means a meal consisting of 40 grams of fat compared to 10 grams of carbs and 10 grams of protein is not ideal.

Carbohydrates:

    The most readily used energy source out of the three basic types of calories. Even though fat is most dense in calories, your body uses carbohydrates before fats and proteins for energy because carbs are broken down fast and easy.

    Carbohydrates are classified as either 'simple' or 'complex'. Simple carbs include sugar, white bread, white potatoes, and white rice. You want to keep simple carbs to a minimum; they are broken down rapidly and spike insulin levels, which ultimately lead to body fat gain.

    On the other hand, complex carbs include wheat bread, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and any type of oat bran. These carbs are broken down slowly in the body, thus do not spike insulin levels. You should try to fill your daily carbohydrate consumption with as much complex carbohydrates and as little simple carbohydrates as possible.

    Some fad diets recommend completely cutting out carbohydrates. This is not a wise decision. You'll be at a loss of energy during the day and constantly feel sleepy. Instead of completely cutting out carbohydrates, simply moderate them.

    People eat more carbohydrates than what is required, very much more than proteins or fat. Think of all the times an average person eats a load of carbs. Waking up in the morning and having a cup of coffee with sugar, equals a dose of simple carbohydrates.

    Going to the donut shop and eating a few donuts, equals a large dose of simple carbohydrates. Consuming a hamburger, French fries, and soft drink, equals a huge dose of simple carbohydrates. You get the picture. Carbs are fine, just eat the right ones.

    How many carbohydrates do you eat? It's good to keep carbs 40-50% of your diet. Sorry, but this means eating donuts with 70 grams of carbs for breakfast won't cut it; you also need a healthy balance of fats and protein.

Protein:

    The only macronutrient that doesn't get bashed or cut out in diets. Protein is used to repair muscle cells and to further build them. When most people think of protein they automatically think it's healthy and good for your muscles. This is true to a certain extent.

    While your body needs protein, especially for bodybuilders, eating anything with protein in it is not recommended. Some foods consist of protein but are unhealthy foods for the most part. A fast food hamburger, for example may have 30 grams of protein. When you read the other nutrition facts you see the saturated fat and simple carbohydrate amount makes it an unhealthy food.

    Good, healthy sources of protein include eggs, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, lean red meats, nuts, milk, and protein shakes. Protein is classified into many categories, however in the bodybuilding world whey and casein are the most known.

    Whey protein is derived mainly from eggs and is a fast digesting protein. It is best taken immediately after a workout or times when your body needs protein right away.

    Casein protein is derived mainly from milk and is a slow digesting protein. It is best taken before bed or times when your body needs protein over the course of a few hours.

    So how much protein should you consume? It's good to keep protein 30-40% of your diet. This is much more than what is recommended by the FDA, but of course the FDA regulations were made about a half century ago aimed at an average person.

Sample Diet:

    Now that you've read a beacon of information on the subject of dieting, I'm going to show you a sample day of my diet. It's not hard as people make it out to be.

    Breakfast, 8:00 a.m.

    • 3 egg whites
    • Two small sirloin steak cuts wrapped in whole wheat bread
    • Whey protein shake

    Mid-morning, 10:00 a.m.

    Lunch, 12:00 Noon

    • Grilled, seasoned chicken breast with spicy mustard
    • Serving of brown rice
    • Grilled vegetables
    • Glass of skim milk

    Afternoon, 3:00 p.m.

    • Beef jerky
    • Triscuits
    • Smoked almonds
    • Glass of skim milk or water

    Mid-afternoon, 5:00 p.m.

    Pre-workout, 7:00 p.m.

    Post workout, 9:30 p.m.

    Dinner, 10:00 p.m.

    • Grilled fish
    • Brown rice
    • Steamed vegetables
    • Glass of milk

    Before bed, 10:45 p.m.

    The above diet contains nine meals and is only an example of how meals can be fit in during the day. You will have to adjust your diet according to your schedule. Now let's look into the goody bag at what supplements can help us reach our eight week goal.


Part 2
What Supplements Would Work Best For This 8 Week Plan For A Summer Ready Body?

Supplements are easy and somewhat fun to take. While you cannot substitute a good diet and a good workout routine with supplements, they certainly can accelerate your progress.

Supplements
Click Image To Enlarge.
Supplements Are Easy & Somewhat Fun To Take.

Since most of us don't have unlimited funds to buy every supplement made, I've categorized supplements with what is needed most.

Supplements For Everyone:

    Multivitamins:

    AST

      In the perfect world we'd get all of our vitamins and minerals from the food we eat. However this isn't the perfect world, even great dieters will find it a pain to consume every vitamin and mineral used in our body solely with food. This is why we have multivitamins; they fill in any gaps we miss in our diet.

        Recommendation - I've been taking AST Multi Pro 32X for a while now. It's inexpensive and contains all vitamins and minerals needed in our diet.

    Protein Shakes:

    Cytosport

      Protein shakes are the easiest and one of the healthiest forms of protein intake. If you're ever on the go and need a quick meal, mixing and drinking a protein shake takes seconds. As I mentioned above, whey and casein are the most popular proteins; whey for immediate digestion and casein for slow digestion.

        Pure Whey Recommendation - I have yet to drink a pure whey protein shake that is as inexpensive and tasty as Complete Whey from Cytosport. Cytosport uses low heat in protein production to ensure quality protein structure.

        Xtreme

        Casein Recommendation - If you're looking for a bedtime protein shake, Xtreme Formulations Ultra Peptide does the trick. Relatively inexpensive and tasty, it is great for supplying your body with protein while you sleep.

        Whey/Casein Recommendation - If you're looking to replace a meal with protein, look no further than Met-RX MRP Berry Blast. It has a thick berry flavor that cannot be beat and is also high in carbs protein and low in fat, meaning you stay full longer.

        Muscle Milk

        Ready-To-Drink (RTD) Recommendation - Great for brining along on a trip where you may not have access to a mixer or do not want to worry about cleanup, Muscle Milk Ready-to-Drinks are superior in quality and taste. I have been using them for a while now and haven't found any finer alternative.

    Creatine:

    Higher Power

      Whether you're bulking or cutting, creatine will allow you to lift more weight for more reps. Creatine forces the production of ATP energy (Adenosine-triphosphate) which allows greater duration for short bursts of energy. Creatine is a must-have for anyone looking to increase their muscle mass.

        Recommendation - I prefer to take regular Creatine Monohydrate mixed in protein shakes or grape juice. It's cheap and proven to work in most subjects as opposed to Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE). I currently use Higher Power Micronized Creatine Monohydrate.

Supplements For 8-Week Cutting:

    Stimulants/Thermogenics:

      During cutting season you may feel sluggish because the deficit of calories in your diet. Furthermore you would like to have a supplement that supports your metabolism while you do nothing. A stimulant/thermogenic combo will do the trick.

      Lipo 6

        Recommendation - I used Lipo 6 from Nutrex during my last cutting cycle and loved it. The energy boost and increased metabolism I got from it was very effective. There's a reason it won "Best Fat Loss Product of the Year" and "Energy Supplement of the Year" for 2006 on Bodybuilding.com. I plan on taking it again for my next cutting cycle.

    Carb Blockers:

      As much as you'll try to eat healthy on those eight weeks of summer cutting, there will be times where it's near impossible. This is where a carb blocker helps. A carb blocker fills itself into carbohydrate receptor sites in the body, forcing the body to absorb fewer carbohydrates. In the long run this means less body fat gained during a cheat meal.

      Glucophase XR

        Recommendation - I used Glucophase XR from Designer Supplements during my last cutting cycle. I believe this carb blocker contributed to my great body fat loss, it helped me with those times where I had no choice but to eat a meal high in carbs.

Supplements For 8-Week Bulking:

    Nitric Oxide:

      During and after workouts your muscles greatly need nutrients. Nitric Oxide speeds up the delivery of these nutrients to your muscles.

      Superpump 50

        Recommendation - I currently use Superpump 250 by Gaspari Nutrition and cannot be more pleased. It has a great taste and is excellent in providing energy for your workouts and giving you a pumped-up, vascular look,. This in turn increases my motivation and further increases my lifts.

    High Calorie Protein Shakes:

      The hardest part of bulking is most likely consuming all these calories in one day. In addition to consuming a lot of calories, you must also be sure of only ingesting healthy portions of food. This is where high calorie protein shakes come in to play. They provide enough calories where you won't have to search for more food after drinking one.

        Recommendation - I currently drink Muscle Milk by Cytosport. Muscle Milk is a great tasting protein shake, high in calories, that is perfect for a bulking diet. Two scoops mixed with two glasses of skim milk yields a 550 calorie protein shake that doesn't weigh you down.


Part 3
What Are The Benefits Of This Plan? Would It Work For Everyone?

The great thing about this plan is that it's all proven to work. There's no 'fad' aspects which force you to completely eliminate carbohydrates or make you add 'points' up until you run out of allowed points.

This plan is all common sense facts based from scientific knowledge of how the body works. That is the problem with most diets today; they do not teach you how and why the body acts as it does. Fad diets form a complex structure of what you can and can't eat which confuses the person dieting and over time drives that person away from healthy eating.

What I've mentioned in this article is common knowledge among good dieters; it is knowledge that can be passed on to others and understood. With this plan, a person can lose significant amounts of body fat and actually understand why they are losing fat. Understanding a subject is the best way to grow more proficient at it.

Will this diet work for everyone? Of course it will. Whether you're male or female the fundamentals for losing fat or gaining muscle is the same. With the calculator I provided above along with the formulas mentioned, one is able to form a diet plan that works best for them. This is without spending hundreds of dollars buying a video, attending classes, or spending much time reading a book.

I've given you all the knowledge on cutting and bulking for the upcoming summer and beyond. Now that you know all of this information, it's time to get out there and make a difference in your body. Start working on that beach body you've always wanted. It's very possible to get there.


3rd Place - Kane22
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

After breaking free from our winter barricade of extended napping, snacking on holiday candies, and wearing heavy articles of clothing, most of us have come to the realization that those summer shorts have become tight fitting, and/or those 6 pack abs have transformed into a keg.

With the summer heat wave heading our way, no one wants to be the guy who is too self-conscious about his body to enjoy a fun-filled day on the beach. Instead, with 8 weeks of hard work and determination, we can all walk out onto those sandy beaches with confidence, and maybe a few women tagging alongside.


Diet
What Is The Best 8-Week Diet Plan For A Summer Body?

Most diets promise quick fixes for "tight-fit" problems: Eat less carbs, become a runway model. Take this drug, and be like Arnold. Eat less, be less. Yet all these diets lead us down a curvy road that ultimately brings us fleeting back to our unhealthy, out of shape lifestyle.

Why don't these diets work? Because all diets have it WRONG! Most of these quick fix diet plans strip us from an essential food, or require an x amount of a mystery drug with each meal. If these wonder diet plans really worked, then we would all be supermodels lying in our homes, eating a carb-free snack, with an electro-shock machine tied to our stomach, and all while watching our favorite program on television.

Simply stated, a diet is not a diet at all, it is being smart. With this 8 week diet plan you will become educated on how to conquer all the many hurdles that come with dieting, which include appealing to taste, counting calories, and staying on course. Once you know how to leap effortlessly over these hurdles, you will be able to dine with knowledge on your side.

Appealing To Taste:

    When preparing a meal, we should all be well educated enough to know what a nutritious meal consists of; however, most of us will ignore our intelligence, and allow our taste buds to do most of the decision making. There in lies the first difficulty in dieting, appealing to taste.

    Chocolates, sweets, and fast foods all appeal to our sense of taste, and that's about it. These unhealthy foods appeal to our sense of taste so much that many of us become addicted. However, diet foods have a running history of being bland in taste, or lacking flavor. This is a common misconception.

    Diet foods are what you make them out to be. If you make a plain salad, you get a plain salad. If you make grilled salmon, you get grilled salmon. Both of these dishes taste as good as they sound, bland and boring. However, with a few additives, you can make any dish taste delish.

    That bland salad can be topped with peppered vinegar and lemon juice, making it a bold, flavor filled meal, and that boring salmon can be turned into a gourmet meal if flavored with a pinch of sea salt and some fresh herbs.

    In 8 weeks it will be difficult to fully educate yourself on the varying type of food additives that appeal to your particular taste, however, with enough trial and error you too can become a guru in the kitchen.

    The list that is included in the book, "You the Owners Guide", shows us some of the many staple condiment and spices that are both appealing to taste, and appealing to our healthy lifestyle.

Staple Condiments/Spices:

    Buy these or make sure you have them in your pantry. Refill as needed.

    • Olive Oil
    • Canola Oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Fresh Garlic
    • Low-sodium Soy Sauce
    • Balsamic Vinegar
    • Wine Vinegar
    • Maple Syrup (low-fructose corn syrup)
    • Marinara sauce (or some other form of tomato sauce)
    • Dijon Mustard
    • Hot Red Pepper Sauce
    • Pam Spray-On Canola Oil
    • Nutmeg
    • Cinnamon
    • Garlic Cloves
    • Red and Green Onions
    • Fresh Parsley
    • Basil
    • Rosemary
    • Thyme
    • Chives
    • Oregano
    • Chervil

Counting Calories:

    The whole aspect of counting calories on a day to day basis can cause even the leanest of guys or girls to give up eating all together.

    Counting calories takes time out of our busy day to day lifestyle, and requires more effort than what a simple task should call for. However, instead of having to find the nutritional facts at a restaurant, or fumbling through a grocery isle for low-calorie snacks, educate yourself on the amount of calories that are in your favorite, day to day foods.

    With a simple search of the phrase "calorie index" on GOOGLE, I came up with over 1,900,000 hits! This proves that there is more than enough information on the web on the foods you love to eat, but it requires some effort on your behalf.

    The smartest way to remember the calories contained within your favorite foods is to remember the calories of your food staples, i.e. bread, milk, ham, turkey, chicken, cheese, lettuce. These are all foods that you may come in contact with on a day to day basis. With your new knowledge you will be able to add up your calories with ease.

    The chart below, supplied by the website Mypyramid.gov, represents many popular foods and the calories they contain:

Milk & Dairy Portion Size Per 100g (3.5 oz)
Cheese average 110 cals (25g) 440 cals
Cottage cheese 49 cals (49g) 98 cals
Cream cheese 200 cals (47g) 428 cals
Eggs (1 average size) 90 cals (60g) 150 cals
Ice cream 200 cals (111g) 180 cals
Milk whole 175 cals (250ml/half pint) 70 cals
Milk semi-skimmed 125 cals (250ml/half pint) 50 cals
Milk skimmed 95 cals (250ml/half pint) 38 cals
Trifle with cream 290 cals (1 trifle) 190 cals
Yogurt natural 90 cals (1 small pot) 60 cals
Yogurt reduced fat 70 cals (1 small pot) 45 cals
Breads & Cereals Portion Size Per 100g (3.5 oz)
Bagel 140 cals (45g) 310 cals
Bread white (thick slice) 96 cals (1 slice 40g) 240 cals
Bread wholemeal (thick slice) 88 cals (1 slice 40g) 220 cals
Noodles (boiled) 175 cals (250g) 70 cals
Pasta (normal boiled) 330 cals (300g) 110 cals
Porridge oats (with water) 193 cals (350g) 55 cals
Potatoes (boiled) 210 cals (300g) 70 cals
Rice (white boiled) 420 cals (300g) 140 cals
Meats & Fish Portion Size Per 100g (3.5 oz)
Bacon average fried 250 cals (2 rashers) 500 cals
Beef (roast) 300 cals (107g) 280 cals
Chicken 220 cals (110g) 200 cals
Ham 6 cals (2.5g) 240 cals
Lamb (roast) 300 cals (100g) 300 cals
Lunch meat 300 cals (75g) 400 cals
Prawns 180 cals (180g) 100 cals
Pork 320 cals (110g) 290 cals
Salmon fresh 220 cals (122g) 180 cals
Sausage pork fried 250 cals (78g) 320 cals
Trout fresh 200 cals (167g) 120 cals
Turkey 200 cals (125g) 160 cals
Fruits & Vegetables Portion Size Per 100g (3.5 oz)
Apple 44 cals (100g) 44 cals
Banana 107 cals (165g) 65 cals
Broccoli 27 cals (84g) 32 cals
Cucumber 3 calories (30g) 10 calories
Grapes 55 calories (89g) 62 cals
Lettuce 4 cals (27g) 15 cals
Peas 210 cals (142g) 148 cals
Spinach 8 cals (100g) 8 cals
Strawberries 10 cals (33g) 30 cals

Now that you understand how many calories are contained within your favorite foods, you must learn how to use this information to your advantage.

The number of calories the body consumes in a day varies from person to person. You may notice on the nutritional labels that the "percent daily values" are based on a 2,000 calorie, a rough average of what people consume in a day. However, your body might need more or less than 2,000 calories dependent on height, weight, gender, age and activity level all.

There are two main aspects to learn on how many calories needed daily. First you need to know your BMR, or Basal Metabolic rate, and second you must include the amount of calories burned a day via physical activity. In this 8 week diet plan you will want to make sure that your calorie intake is more than your BMR, but less than your BMR and the amount you burn while enduring physical activity.

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy your body needs to function at rest. During this time energy is required to keep the heart beating, the lungs breathing, and the body temperature stabilized. In general, men have a higher BMR than women. One of the most accurate methods of estimating your basal metabolic rate is the Harris-Benedict formula:

Adult Male: 66 + (6.3 x weight in lbs.) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

Adult Female: 655 + (4.3 x weight in lbs.) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)

BMR CALCULATOR

Select Your Gender:
Your Weight: Pounds Or Kilograms
Your Height In Inches: Inches
Your Age: Years
Optional: Your Bodyfat %: %
Enter your bodyfat percentage IF you know it. If not, leave it blank.
Republished from http://www.tim-richardson.net/BodyForLife/analysis.html with permission.

Physical activity consumes the next highest number of calories. Physical activity includes everything from running, walking, lifting, bending and just generally moving around burns calories.

With all diet plans you want to maintain a high level of physical activity, so try to keep a count of the number of calories you burn in a day. Devices such as a pedometer or a heart rate monitor will make this task a breeze.

Lastly, you need to know when to consume these calories. Everyone understands the rule of thumb that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that is simply because it is. To make this rule quick and painless for everyone, just remember to spread your calories over a course of eight meals a day; a little more calories in the morning, and less calories before bed.

Staying On Course:

    This is the hardest part for most individuals because starting a diet is easy, but making it a daily thing is hard. If you feel yourself slipping off the diet then remind yourself of why you are doing this. If needed, monitor your progress so that you may have a reminder of what you have accomplished since the beginning.

    No one is perfect, and I expect everyone to fall off the bandwagon once in awhile, but as long as you jump back on and make-up for any mistakes, then this diet will become even simpler.


Supplements
What Supplements Would Work Best For This 8 Week Plan For A Summer Ready Body?

When it comes to dieting supplements, always remember that less is more. So, when stocking up on your diet aids, just keep in mind that these are to aid your diet, not do the work for you. My main suggestion on this 8 week diet plan is to remember the supplement staples:

All three of these supplements should, even without a diet, become a part of an everyday supplement regime. Fish oils help maintain the circulatory system, multivitamins supply the body with adequate amounts of nutrients, and protein builds muscle fiber and aids in hunger pain.

Many individuals feel that they need extra support supplements, which include dieting pills. Although I am not an avid fan of dieting pills, I will recommend two products that I have tried personally, Controlled Labs Red Acid, and Controlled Labs Black Hole. Both these will help support your diet by controlling urges to eat, and promote a healthy metabolism.

Red Acid Black Hole
Red Acid & Black Hole.


Benefits
What Are The Benefits Of This Plan? Would It Work For Everyone?

As you may already tell, I wrote this diet plan out to be something more than an 8-week summer diet, but instead I have made it a lifelong dieting plan. The tips that I have included should be something that everyone should become more familiar with, and eventually incorporate in their day to day lives. This diet plan will give you a leaner body, a better outlook on life, and more energy and vigor daily.

This diet plan will work for EVERYONE! This diet plan knows no limits. It can be followed by a toddler, a sumo-wrestler, a grandma, or even the average Joe.

Works Cited

  1. Food Pyramid Project - Food Calorie Chart - www.mypyramid.gov
  2. Roizen, Michael F. You On a Diet. Simon & Schuster, 2006

SUPERFEATURE
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Welcome to the "Get Ready For Summer!" Super Feature. Inside we will give you all the tools to get beach-ready in time for summer!
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What Is The Best 8-Week Diet Plan For A Summer Ready Body?
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Oct 29, 2012 3:56am | report
 
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 180.78 lbs
  • bf: 15.0%
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