Mysterious and complicated seems to be for most people to achieve a ripped body with extremely low body fat. There’s a small group of fitness enthusiast who loves reading the research, and to know the way of body fat reduction. But if you’re like most people, you either can’t wrap your head around all the scientific stuff or it just bores you to death.
Let's start from the beginning
The complicated part is the physiology behind why the diet works. Your endocrine system and the dynamic and adaptive nature of energy balance in the human body are so complex, they could each become the subject of a person’s entire life’s academic work. The leanest muscular women and men in the world are bodybuilders, figure competitors and other physique athletes. Many of them achieve the lowest body fat percentages and have the most ripped bodies in the world by following a handful of simple steps.
There is certainly more than one approach that can work and each individual will have personal preferences.
I will tell you the 10 tips on how the majority of bodybuilders and physique athletes have been getting ripped for decades. It’s not easy to follow this type of very strict diet plan for a prolonged period of time, but if you stick it out for 6 to 12 weeks (depending on how much fat you have to lose).
Top ten tips to lose weight easier!
Track your caloric balance.
Some people lose weight without ever counting calories – that approach is called guessing. Ripped people are meticulous about calculating and tracking calories. With serious goals, especially ones with deadlines, there is no time to waste with guesswork and ballpark estimations. I recommend finding your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and daily caloric maintenance level.
Most women have a maintenance level around 2000 to 2100 and most men maintain at 2700 to 2900 per day but this can vary widely so crunch your own numbers.
Set your starting calories at a conservative deficit – only 15-20% below maintenance or a deficit to drop about a pound a week. When you’re already lean and aiming to be ripped, your risk of muscle loss is higher than an overweight person with a high body fat percentage.
High protein level.
At the simplest level, a diet to get ripped is a high protein diet. You may be expecting to hear the tried and true 1g per pound rule. To get ripped like a bodybuilder or fitness model, go higher. Bodybuilders and physique athletes use very high protein intakes on pre-contest cutting diets. Typically it’s 1.25 to 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. Some go even higher.
When calculating meal plans with macronutrient ratios this is usually at least 40% of total calories.
Lean sources of complete protein.
Since a diet to get ripped is a high protein diet and a hypocaloric diet, you must become familiar with the staple proteins in the bodybuilding and physique athlete repertoire. Although you’re not limited to these proteins and plant-based protein counts too, these are the complete proteins most frequently used by the most ripped people in the world: Chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, shellfish, lean red meat, and eggs.
Green vegetables and fibrous carbs.
Once you’ve chosen your protein for each meal, then add a fibrous carb or vegetable to your meal. Physique athletes sort carbohydrates into different categories than traditional nutritionists. Two of the primary categories are starchy and fibrous carbs. Fibrous carbs include non-starchy vegetables, green vegetables and salad vegetables. Popular examples: broccoli, asparagus, green beans, spinach, cauliflower, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and other leafy greens.
It’s almost impossible to gain fat eating green veggies and other fibrous carbs because the caloric density is too low.
Natural starchy carbs in small amounts.
A fat loss diet for a hard-training physique athlete is a low to moderate carb diet, but not a zero carb or extremely low carb diet. If you only eat fish, lean meat, eggs and fibrous carbs, you automatically have a very low carb diet. That’s highly effective but highly restrictive.
To keep your metabolism and training energy at peak levels, it’s better to learn how to use small to moderate amounts of starchy carbs rather than eliminate them all. Staple starchy carbs include oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, yams and white potatoes. Add starchy carbs to your first meal and to your pre-and post-workout meals. Always save some of your carbs for the post-workout meal.
Carbs cycling method.
Once every 4 to 7 days, spike your carbs all the way up to maintenance level calories or even slightly above. If you’re just starting your cutting diet, once a week is sufficient. If you’ve been dieting a long time and you’re already very lean, take the high carb reefed day every 4th day.
4-6 meals per day.
No doubt, one can lose weight on any number of daily meals, provided the caloric deficit is there and daily macro needs are met. But the fact remains: virtually all bodybuilders and physique athletes prefer smaller more frequent meals, each containing protein, and they report ideal results with this approach.
Easy food prep.
Most physique athletes eat more or less the same thing every day. That makes it incredibly easy to prep the food, follow the diet and to troubleshoot plateaus. Diets that are random or inconsistent are nearly impossible to troubleshoot because no baseline is ever established. Also, when presented with a wide variety of food choices, most people eat more (stay away from the buffet!)
Written meal plan.
Do not guess or estimate anything. Create a meal plan on paper including the food name, serving size or weight, calories, protein, carbs and fat. By the way, if you work off a written meal plan, you don’t have to count calories every day – you simply have to weigh and measure your food and follow the meal plan – you already did the counting on paper.
Pay attention to results. Every meal plan and training program you create is only a starting point. You must follow it, measure the results every week and then adjust your approach according to your results. Your body can adapt to calorie restriction. The leaner you get, the more your body adapts. Energy balance in your body is dynamic. The number of calories you need may change over time. You may need to eat less three months from now to keep losing fat at the same rate you are today. Your body adapts to workout programs as well and they become progressively less effective.
Good luck on your road to getting ripped!