It's all about trying to obtain and then maintain a perfect body. One who is large, symmetrical, hard and defined with deep cuts and striations will do well. As I mentioned in my previous article Cardio For bodybuilders, it is next to impossible to possess a ripped and lean physique for the entire year. Not only will this be unhealthy, but it will refrain you from adding maximum muscle mass.
As a true bodybuilder, you automatically assume the classification as an elite athlete and your nutrition is a major asset to achieving peak performance. Once I am finished and somewhat satisfied with adding bulk during the off?season, I begin cutting?up by using strict dieting and workouts about 10 weeks before summer.
I'll give an example of how I transfer from bulk-up to cut-up. During the off-season I usually consume about 4500 calories each day. (multiply your body weight by 24 to determine approximate mass building caloric intake.) This is an extremely high number of calories to take in each day compared to my maintenance level which is around 2900 calories each day. (multiply your body weight by 17 to determine approximate maintenance level caloric intake.)
If you instantly transfer from a mass building diet to a cut up diet, severe calorie reduction, your body will be switched into a state of starvation. This will bring your metabolism to a grinding halt causing your fat to be burned last. This will cause you to lose hard earned muscle mass in place of body fat. Just keep the calorie reduction to 500 calories every 10 days.
The key to losing body fat is to burn 500 more calories than you consume. After 7 days, you will have eliminated, or burned, 3,500 calories. Since 3,500 calories is equivalent to 1 pound of fat, you should lose 1 pound of fat each week. Losing any more than 1 pound a week may indicate that your body is eating away at muscle tissue, therefore you are reducing calories too quickly. This is how I reduce calories to transfer from my mass building diet to my cut-up diet.
- Days 1-10: 4,000 calories
- Days 11-20: 3,500 calories
- Days 21-30: 3,000 calories
- Days 31 on: 2,400 calories
The calories you want to, but already should have eliminated are saturated fat. Saturated fats, like most fats, are the hardest nutrient your body has to burn. The next thing you must try to eliminate are sugars. Sugars must be cut out since they cause rapid increases and decreases in your insulin levels which can stimulate bodyfat storage. Also, stick to complex carbs for a good source of pre-workout energy such as potato.
The next factor in your diet is the timing of meals. You should always have 5, if not 6 meals per day that contain equal amounts of protein. Avoid carbs during the last two meals of the day since they may not be burned, and are easily stored as bodyfat.
To prevent yourself from over eating, wait 15 minutes to see if you really want a second serving. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your brain to register that you're full.
Quick Nutrient Reference:
- 4 calories to a gram of protein
- 4 calories to a gram of carbohydrate
- 9 calories to a gram of fat
- 3,500 stored calories = 1 lb. of fat.