Just before the director says "lights, camera, action," you have endless things going through your mind such as remembering your lines for the script, did you say the right thing during the morning interview with Regis and Kelly, traveling to another movie shoot right after this is completed.
Actors go through a lot of stress and commitment playing the role of that particular character. The best way to emulate the person you are playing on screen is to research the part, act the part, and look the part so the audience will believe convincingly you are that character.
If you are playing the role of a heart throb, you want to look chiseled and not too big with 6-pack abs when you do take off your shirt during a lusty scene. For the male readers, we certainly enjoy our favorite actress looking her best showing off her nicely toned and well-shaped body.
Well, I am here to give you the tips that will transform your physical appearance as if you had a fairy godmother that just waved her magic wand over you. Being an actor, the one last thing you want to worry about is not looking your best and if you need to look fit then I am here to get you started on your biggest role ever.
With key adjustments to your nutrition and training routine, you will look like a superstar! One last point before you dig a little deeper into this program and it's just a tiny thing I left out is that you'll have to put out your blood, sweat, tears and guts to get the body you want!
A huge part of your body's transformation is your nutrition. The amount of information that is loaded on the internet, magazines, books, other resources allows most people to understand the basic foundation of eating healthy.
Look no further as I've summed up the most important points so that you can use this as a reference guide. To get you looking for that particular role you have to dedicate your life in the next few months similar to a bodybuilder. You have to live your life around your training routine and meals accordingly.
You will be eating more frequently at about every 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours each meal. Below is a sample meal plan that you may follow a few months before your television or movie shoot. In this case, let's assume you have 2 months preparation time. As you will approach your deadline, say about 1-2 weeks away I will discuss shortly what alterations you may need to change on your diet plan.
Meal Plan - A Few Months Away
Now one good meal per day is easy but we now need 5-or-6 if you want that sexy body. The reason you want to eat more meals is because muscle happens all day continuously.
After a hard earned workout your body spends 2-to-3 days building and repairing your muscle cells. In return you need to refuel your body with high quality protein so it builds and repair muscles. Other important notables are nutrient dense carbohydrates providing energy and heart healthy unsaturated fats to help you feel full longer.
Frequent meals prevent you from storing the food you eat to those problem areas such as your stomach and preventing your body from reverting to your muscle protein for energy during your workouts.
I've included a sample diet below based on my profile since I weigh around 175 pounds. You can begin a revised sample diet about 4 weeks out from your television or movie shoot by reducing your carbohydrates on a 3-day cycle.
4 Weeks Out - Low Carb Days
Protein = 290g
Carbohydrates = 52g
Fat = 42g
On every 4th day increase your carbohydrates:
4 Weeks Out - High Carb Day
Protein = 210g
Carbohydrates = 175g
Fat = 17g
Carbohydrates can be increased if you are a very active person. When approaching your last 2 weeks before your shoot, food will mainly consist of fish, turkey, protein shakes, and vegetables. For the morning you'll have 2 egg whites with turkey, lunch will be salad and fish, protein shake as the mid-lunch, dinner will be fish and vegetables, and the last meal will be a shake.
Now, I'm going to be explaining the importance of protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, supplements, and minerals. Each one of them plays a vital role on your body's transformation and the reason for you to include in your diet since optimally it will also enhance your body's recovery, assists with your training, and so on. Let me begin with the following:
One of the important sources of protein is egg whites, whey protein, fish, poultry and meats. A good thing to remember is that the higher the percentage of lean muscle you have on your body, the faster your metabolism.
Let's determine how much protein your body should be intaking. You simply multiply your body weight by 1.5 and that gives you the total number of grams of protein you will need for the span of your six meals for the day (Say a person is 100 pounds, you simply multiply their bodyweight x 1.5 giving you 150 grams of protein).
There is only so much protein your body can absorb at a time that the number of grams of protein must be divided evenly over the 5-or-6 meals.
A great example is egg whites because it is a perfect protein since it contains approximately 3.5 grams of protein and no fat. Also whey protein is derived from milk products and is efficient in muscle building because it is very high in bioavailability meaning how easy your body can use it.
If the protein isn't bioavailability, then it is basically a waste and think of it being flushed down the toilet. It is necessary to have a protein shake after a workout because your body is in a catabolic state, meaning that it is breaking down muscle tissue.
So, when you give your body an immediate infusion of protein and carbohydrates you can stop the catabolic state. This reverses the process and activates anabolism, which is the building of muscle.
Foods such as instant rice or most refined cereals that are a high percentage on the list release glucose quickly which is not good. It signals the pancreas to produce insulin (the hormone that removes excess sugar form the blood stream), and you know what happens to the extra sugar, it goes into the fat stores.
Bad foods such as refined carbohydrates are less beneficial as they lack vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, protein and fats eaten with high or moderate glycemic foods can help slow down the absorption of sugar.
A few examples of these foods are:
- 100%+ instant white rice, most refined cereals
- 100% white and whole wheat bread
- 90% parsnips, apricots, carrots
- 80% oatmeal, white potato, white and brown rice
- 70% banana, mango, corn
- 60% Spaghetti, macaroni, raisins
- 50% peas, barley and rye
- 40% sweet potato, grapes and oranges
- 30% pears, apples, yogurt, milk
- 20% plums, peaches, and grapefruit
By increasing your intake of fiber it will increase your metabolism and reduce body fat. Fiber is great and as I discussed earlier that you'll need nutrient dense carbohydrates in your diet. It is also low in calories and it will control your appetite. It has also been proven to pull fat from our body in the process and it doesn't have an effect on our insulin levels.
Now, another aspect of carbohydrates you must be careful of is food allergies, especially with wheat, corn, yeast and soy. Having an allergy to any of these foods will cause you to retain water, so it is up to each person to find out.
There is nothing worse than being on set for a filming and having your body holding water. With the lighting on your body you don't want to look bloated or have that flat look. I will discuss some key points later on how to look stunning when the lights are on you.
EFAs (Essential fatty Acids) are important in your nutrition. EFAs can be found from two families which are Omega 3 and 6. Omega 3 foods are food such as fish and flaxseed and Omega 6 are found in nuts and primrose oil.
Not only does it help health problems but it also helps us burn fat. How is that? The EFA stimulates the mechanism in the body that burns fat which is called brown fat.
It burns calories for heat, it also surrounds vital organs and cushions the spinal column and also it is the opposite of white fat which is stored. Now, since we can't eat all of these foods take a supplement with omega 3, 6, & 9 UDO's choice for example, 1 TBSP daily.
A huge importance is drinking lots of water to flush out your system and it also will help promote weight loss faster. You will need to drink between 1/2 and 1 gallon of water. You will put on about 1 pound of lean mass per week by intaking lots of protein, lots of carbs and little fat. Your muscles are about 60 percent water.
You must drink more water to break down all of the protein in your system, prevent certain health conditions and allowing your liver to do what it is supposed to do, work your metabolism, and help your kidneys get rid of waste. These are just a few of the reasons to drink 4-to-6 liters of water per day, there are many other health reasons as well. Alongside with the eating is incorporating a solid base of supplements with your food and water.
Read carefully which one you are picking up as some are there to help you gain mass, meal replacement, fat loss, general growth, etc. Check the ingredients to inspect if there are any additional additives. If you aren't too sure ask the nutrition expert there or post a message on the forum.
The most important amino or building block of protein is glutamine found in muscle but there is only so much to go around. It assists in soreness, alleviates fat loss, and also increases muscular growth and gives a good pump during your training.
It boosts your energy levels allowing you to train harder with more intensity and recover quicker. It also assists your numbers such as increasing your weights and reps while also reducing your rest between sets.
If you eliminate fats completely and your muscles shrink dramatically your energy and strength levels go with them. They perform as solvents removing hardened fat, supporting muscle growth and fat metabolism. So, these are some reasons you introduce flaxseed and fish oil. It can be taken in capsule form or put naturally to your foods.
Very important and most people forget or don't give much thought to these elements in their diet. Let me mention the top minerals you should be interested in:
- Calcium - It is common for bodybuilders to tend to avoid dairy products because it makes an individual swell. Women will need to monitor their calcium intake more carefully as their estrogen levels can be a factor to decreased calcium absorption and increased calcium loss. You can get calcium from milk, cheese, yogurt, molasses, almonds, etc. There is a 2-to-1 ratio with magnesium and 1-to-1 ratio with phosphorus.
- Chromium - This includes clams, whole grain cereal, corn oil which helps the insulin levels transport glucose, amino and fatty acids into the cells. About 200-to-400 mg is adequate.
- Copper - Organ meats, seafood, nuts, and raisins has shown to increase the bloodstream during vigorous exercise so it does play a vital role in high intensity muscular work. 3-6 mg is adequate.
- Iron - Foods such as fish, eggs, poultry, organ meats, wheat germ, and shredded wheat are responsible for our oxygen and how we recover during our sets. Females will lose some iron in B3 due to their monthly cycle. About 200 mg daily and it is a 1-to-1 ratio with calcium.
- Magnesium - Bodybuilders and athletes lose a lot of magnesium due to sweat. It is basically used for energy and protein synthesis. Foods that contain this are green vegetables, seafood, tuna, nuts and honey.
- Phosphorous -Foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and grains are associated to the exercise metabolism which works alongside with calcium decreasing blood lactic levels. Taking 200 mg is adequate and it's a 1-to-1 ratio with calcium.
- Potassium - Foods such as raisins, dates, peaches, bananas, baked potato, sunflower seeds, and seafood is an vital electrolyte located within the muscle cells which works closely with the sodium levels regulating the body's water level. A 2-to-1 ratio to sodium.
- Sodium - Found in salt, milk, cheese and seafood which is another electrolyte concerned with body fluids. A 1-to-2 ratio to potassium.
- Zinc - Strenuous intensity excising stimulates major zinc loss. Foods containing spinach, mushrooms sunflower seeds and soybeans to name a few. Daily recommended are about 40 mg.
Since your lifestyle and training for the next 2 months will be similar to a bodybuilder. Most bodybuilders will have 3 components to their training. The first component will consist of bulking up working with heavier weights and low reps.
We will skip the first component on any heavy weights and low reps since our concern is to look lean or that beach body image on screen. Instead, we'll split our program into 2 components or phases for the 2 months we have.
For the first month and a half we will focus on a cutting phase or fat burning process. This first component will be lighter weights and higher reps along with a lot of cardio. With higher reps and lighter weights the focus is to create definition, build lean muscle and burn calories.
The last 2 weeks of your training will be your second component which will only be light weights to get a pump. You may not need to do cardio the last 2 weeks or perform moderate cardio depending how you look at that point. Your workout program may look like the following:
- Circuit training upper/lower body (45 mins avg)
Now, you will need to offset your muscles and body continuously. So, mix up the order of your workout routine weekly to shock your muscle groups and also vary the usage of machines with dumbbells. Excellent results will be present if you follow this format and do not perform the same thing twice in a row.
A huge part of a person's mindset is integrating your inner strength into whatever you want to achieve whether that is getting the part for that particular role, achieving a goal, getting in shape, etc. Just as important is to train your mind in conjunction with your physical training and nutrition.
My concern is to teach you how to integrate the mind, body and spirit to work harmoniously together. Conditioning your mind with your body together is powerful if you are able to achieve this. It will help you plug away when you are feeling lazy, need an extra boost, finding deep motivation from within, etc.
If we were to train our mind that pain can be a beautiful thing then it wouldn't be as bad as we think right? OK, I won't go there and that's another topic of discussion but you get my point. It does take a lot of will power with the vigorous training regimen you are given, discipline with the nutrition and needing adequate rest for your body to recover.
So, first of all, you must take care of the little things like dietary and training details so it will make you perform your task easier. Write out the routine a few months ahead of time and put it on your wall. Check mark each calendar day you have successfully completed your work out routine, ate the assigned foods you have listed on your food plan, etc.
Simple things such as planning things ahead will make your 2 months of hard work easier, actually weighing food and planning the daily meals in advance will help immensely. Remember, consistency is the key and when you begin to see continuous changes in the next 2 months you will feel motivated preventing you to quit.
We are all given obstacles in life and a lot of times we go through down points in life but it's how we overcome them that is the most important thing. Success can be defined in many ways such as happiness, being a mentor to others, helping others, being wealthy, famous, etc.
So, as an actor find something that motivates you to continue your training so you will look and feel your best. Look within yourself and accomplish that goal.
Continue to strive on your goals by finding what motivates you and it could be a favorite actor that you would like to work with one day or possibly you may have a crush on that person from afar. Keep a picture of him/her and maybe one day you may co-star with them in a picture together. Nonetheless, I can guarantee you'll look back and be very proud of yourself when you are done.
Additional Tips & Reminders
Performing 20-to-30 minutes of cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or right after weight training will help you get lean down the stretch. It will help trigger your liver glucose supply then cardio will be fueled by fat.
When the deadline gets closer you may reduce your carbohydrates and drink lots of water to get leaner. Limiting your complex and simple carbohydrates since it has an impact on your insulin levels thus tapping into your fat stores. In return, you'll feel less bloated with reducing your carbohydrates.
Drinking more water can help you lose up to 5 pounds within a week because it cleanses out your body's sodium and toxic residue. Another notable that some people revert to is detox which rids our body from chemicals accumulated or derived from water, food, air, chemicals, etc.
All this can affect how your body stores fat and functions. Large amounts of toxins get trapped into your fat stores and detox is another bonus for additional weight loss if it's urgent.
On your off days go to a Hollywood spa and enjoy a masseuse allowing your muscles to recover faster. Going once per week or more can really get you geared up for your next work out. Also, keeping mentally fit and rejuvenating your inner peace can be achieved by integrating Yoga and Qi Gong into your work out program.
Focusing on your mental part of your game really gives you some down time for yourself which you deserve and helps you become more alert to your body's awareness.
The Final Cut - The End
With almost 2 months of hard work it's come to an end and I can practically say you've become part of the team. With the consistency of your workouts, eating strict, resting, and staying motivated we will be proud of you showing off your body during that screen shot scene.
I didn't forget and I did mention earlier I'll be giving you tips about reducing water retention on your body. Let me explain how you can get rid some of that retained water during that important scene.
The water in our body goes to three places which are the blood stream, muscles and under your skin. The secret is to trick the body to let the water go internally. To do this, during the last week before that important scene when you show off your body on the movie or television set, you need to carefully monitor your water intake.
This is how it should go, Monday to Thursday water will be at about 6-to-8 liters each day, on Friday it will be 10 liters, Saturday it will be reduced to 3-to-4 liters, and finally Sunday it will be at 1-2 liters. When you do this the brain still thinks the body has plenty of water so it keeps letting flushing it out.
If needed, an herbal diuretic is ok on Sunday night but we don't want to loose water in the muscle as you will then look flat. The only way to know how you are progressing is to look at yourself in the mirror and the truth will be told. Also, posing and holding at various angles for about 30 seconds is another tip to squeeze out any excess water that you may have missed.
So, all that hard work paid off right? Let's see, the 15,000 sit-ups, eating every 2 1/2 hours for a total of 5-to-6 meals per day, the endless hours of cardio and weight training. Now, wasn't that worth the 10 seconds of screen time for that one scene you've been working your butt off!?