NOTE: This is part two, click here for part one!
DISCLAMER:You may notice that what I do is different than what I may recommend to a client or even in an e-mail. This is because over the years I learned what worked best for ME, and what I am willing to sacrifice and endure. This is not and may not be for everyone, but it is the honest truth of how I live my lifestyle to meet the standards I set for myself. So with that said, let's get started on PART 2!
Without a doubt the most IMPORTANT part of getting into shape is what you put into your mouth. I have experienced through the years that I can train hard, do my cardio, but if my diet is off track even a little, I just spin my wheels. If anything would put your most effort and concentration on keeping the diet on key, and never missing a beat. Some of us may be able to get away with more, some with less; you must experiment to find what works ideal for yourself and your body type.
This is where I hold the disclaimer true in the beginning of the article. The following diet is what I am willing to do and go through, it works wonderful for me, I feel fine doing it, and I can keep it up for a long period of time. Many people can not, so do not feel what I do has to be what you should do. I dieted down with high carbs, low carbs, and zone style dieting. They all worked, they all got me to where I wanted to be. I am just going with the nutritional program that I feel best with, and prefer. IF anything is the key, this is it.
I follow a very low carb, high protein, and high fat diet. Some my call it the anabolic diet, the ketogenic diet, etc. I follow this plan Mon-Sat. ON Sundays I do a carbohydrate load. Below is a breakdown of what I will eat form Monday through Saturday:
Mon - Sat = Low Carbs:
I will eat 7-8 meals per day, approx. every 2-2.5 hours. I try to get in about 350-400 grams of protein. Each meal will consist of a protein source, sometimes a green fibrous vegetable, and tablespoon of EFA oil. For protein sources I eat chicken, lean beef, fish, or zero carb Isopure. I eat whole food every chance I get. Only when I am in class do I bring a protein shake with a tablespoon of EFA oil. Here is an example of a whole food meal I will have:
- 6-8oz. of chicken (beef or fish)
- 1 tablespoon of EFA oil
- 4-6oz. of broccoli (sometimes)
As you can see there is not much to it. I add seasoning to my food to make it taste better, and to add in a little sodium as well. When you are eating low carbs, you will not hold onto much water, so the extra sodium will help with training and pumps. So to recap, on the 6 days low, I eat really only a protein source and a tablespoon of EFA oil.
Sunday CARB LOAD:
On Sundays, I do not train with weights. I will wake up and do a little bit of cardio to wake up and get my metabolism going for the high carbohydrate intake I am about to consume. When I do carb up, I make sure to cut my fat intake down as low as I can. I do not cut it completely, but I do not add any extra to my meals.
I will consume a meal every 2 1/2-3 hours. I also do not need as much protein, so my protein portions are also cut down to 4-5 ounces, or 1 scoop of whey protein. I will consume 100 grams of carbs per each of my meals. One weekend a month I will "junk" it out, but most of the time I will keep my food intake very clean. Here are some sources of carbs that I choose to consume on my loading days:
- Cream of rice
- White rice
With each meal I will take 200 mcg of Chromium Picolonate, and 100 mg of ALA. This helps with insulin balance, so I am not having massive swings of high and low blood sugar. I also have some fiber with each of those meals to slow down the digestion of the carbs for a more sustained release of glucose into the system.
Well, it may seem bland and simple, but it works for me. Yes, it is tough! My friends think I am crazy, and do not understand how I can eat such little carbs and still train the way I do, lift the weights I do, and most of all study and make the grades I do. It has a lot to do with your mentality. I must remember that I choose and have chosen to eat this way and basically do this to myself. At any moment I can just fall off the wagon and eat every carb in site. But this is the lifestyle I choose to live at the moment.
At the same time, when you low carb it for a while, your body will go through a metabolism shift, and will use fats and stored body fat as its' primary source of fuel. When this shift occurs you will feel fine, and the extra essential fat intake will really help out in the long run. Once again, you can give this a try, but I also recommend you try other methods as well. This is what has worked the best for me in the past. Also, no one is perfect.
Every once in a while, I will go off the diet for a few hours and eat everything in site. Nerves, emotions, and just plain hunger can cause this. When this occurs you must tell yourself the day is not blown, or ruined. Just get right back on schedule the next meal or next day and get back on track.
I am giving water its' own heading because it is very important. I will always be seen with a gallon of water at my side. When it is with you all the time it is very easy to sip your way through a few gallons per day. I try to get in about 3 plus gallons of water in per day. I personally use spring water or drinking water.
I would not advise using distilled water at all. If you are not used to drinking that much water, than start off with Â½ gallon per day, and try to work your way up to 1 gallon. I usually tell my clients that a gallon is good enough. Over the years, I have just gotten used to drinking a lot of water. The more you drink the more thirsty you get. Do not include soft drinks, milk, or any other beverage as "water". I personally do not drink anything but water.
I personally believe today with the poor quality of soil, limited sources of food intake, and the taxation put on the body through training and cardio, supplements are essential! I have this bag full of supplements that has everything I take in it. This bag is considered big by some, but it has reduced in size over the years.
I believe in giving things a try here and there. I tried all the different supplements out there, and then re-evaluate to see if there were truly needed and effective for myself. The ones that I felt did help out I kept along the years and continue to use. My list of supplements is as follows:
Vitamins and Minerals:
- Twinlab Daily One: 1 after cardio, 1 after training
- Vita C: 3000 mg /day
- Vitamins A & D: 2 times per day
- Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc: 1000 mg 3 times/day
- ZMA: 3 caps before bed
- VPX Clenbuterx 0r ECA stack: as directed
- Twinlab's Yohimbe Fuel: with above
- L-Tyrosine: 1000 mg with Thermogenics
- Guggulsterones (sometimes)
- St. John's Wort: 2 times/day
- Gingko Biloba: 2 times/day
- Valerian (to help sleep sometimes)
- AST Glutamine: 40 grams per day after cardio and training, before bed.
- Nature's Best Zero-Carb Isopure: 50 grams of protein per serving
- Creatine (very rare occasions)
- HFS EFA Oil: 1 Tablespoon per meal
- Dymatize CLA: 2000mg 3 times/day
There is the complete list of the supplementation I use over the course of the day. Money is sparse when you are in chiropractic school. I feel that supplements are a luxury, but at the same time a necessity. I need to be on top of my game not only for training, but most of all for studies. Supplements will help aid my recovery and nervous system so I will perform well in all areas of my life. So I balance my spending on supplements with sparing other activities like eating out or going out for a drink. Figure a night out on the town and a few drinks will run you about $50-$80. So it is really a matter of getting your priorities in order.
That Polished Look
Ok, so after I have done all the work I have listed above, the photo shoot, contest, or goal has finally approached. With body fat levels already at where they need to be, there are some factors I can do to give the physique a more polished look. I will also discuss how I cut my water to drop some subcutaneous water weight.
Through the whole dieting phase I usually go to a tanning bed for 20 minutes every other day. A tan will help show more detail and make any photos look much better. Again, we are going for that "look" here. Make sure you drink plenty of water and use a good moisturizing lotion on your skin. Or you can get your own tanning products if you don't like tanning beds.
Yes, you have to shave off that hair so you are not obscuring any of that hard work from showing. There are various methods to use for hair removal. I have tried the creams, electric shavers, and regular razors. Try different methods to find what works best for your skin. I use the Remington wet/dry electric shaver. It works great, and it does not give you razor bumps/rash, that can look horrible. Make sure you use a good moisturizing cream after you shave. AS far as where and what you want to shave, well, I will leave that one up to you guys.
There are many teeth whitening systems out there today. I personally would recommend the Crest whitening strips. Of course this is on top of brushing your teeth daily. I do not use teeth whitening systems all the time. I will only use them if I have a shoot of contest coming up. I just do not want to risk any damage to my teeth from long term use. I will tell you that they do work great for short periods of time, and a white smile truly adds to your overall presentation.
The goal in cutting water is to get the most amount of subcutaneous water out from underneath the skin to show off your physique the best you can. You do not want to cut too much water or wise you will start to look flat and much worse. From the previous weeks on my diet, I will start to take note on which day I look my best after my Sunday carb load. For me, I look my best on Wednesday, 3 days after the carb load.
For me 3 days after, my muscle seem to have hit the right balance of fullness and the least amount of water underneath the skin. The day right after the carb load I am a little watery, and four days after the carb load I tend to start getting a bit flat. So 3 days for me is the best. So come the date of the shoot or contest, I know that I need to consume my carbohydrate loading 3 days before. So I will make any adjustments to make my carb day fall 3 days before I want to look my best.
When it comes to cutting my water, I will start the water process 6 days out. Days 6-4 form the goal date, I will take in as much water as possible. I will go up to 4 plus gallons per day. Everything else stays the same food wise, training, etc. I found out that the more drastic measures I do, the worse I will look. So I go by the rule" If it ain't broke, don't fix it." If I did my work correctly I would not really even have to do anything but cruise right into the shoot. Days 3-2 from the goal date I will cut my water in half. So for me that would mean 2 gallons. Then 1 day from the show I will cut my water in half again, so for me, that would mean 1 gallon. The day of the photo shoot or contest I will drink when I am thirsty.
To help with the water process, I also use Taraxatone the last 5 days at the recommended dosage. I will not add any more sodium starting Thursday evening.
So there you have it, everything down to the final specifics. I hope this can help a lot of you out there. Like I have been stating the whole article, the reason why I choose to do everything I do, is because I have experimented over the years to see what has worked best for me. You need to do the same and paint your own canvas to see what the best for your body is. Give some of my techniques and methods a try and see if they do the trick for you. If not, manipulate and change things up to fit your needs better. Thanks you once again for the excellent feedback. Take care! Have a goal! Be consistent!
NOTE: This is part two, click here for part one!