You’re training hard every day with your program, going heavy on the weights and sweating up a storm with cardio. News flash: While that’s critical to your ultimate success, it’s just not enough for you to lose the excess fat.
To reach your get-lean goal, you must also follow a get-lean diet, filled with the best foods to burn fat. Why? Even if you work out hard for an hour every day, that still leaves 23 more hours for you to wreck all your hard work in the gym with just one slip-up: a measly handful of chips, a beer with the guys, or a burger at lunch. Diet is a huge, so to speak, part of the fat-loss equation. It’s the backbone of your entire plan, the foundation of a hard body.
Bodybuilding nutrition consultant Jim Juge says nutrition determines your success or failure, plain and simple. “The diet is 65% of what you need to get in shape,” he says. Juge would know, as he’s helped countless dedicated people reach their goals, from achieving their best body ever to placing first in bodybuilding competitions.
You’ve got 28 days to get to your goal, so we’ve recruited Juge to help you every step of the way. He’s adapted a traditional bodybuilding competitor’s diet for a noncompetitor (that means you!) who wants to look his best, shedding as much fat as possible in a very short time.
With just under a month, there’s no time to fool around, so get started on your high-protein meal plan now to lose weight and build muscle while you’re at it. Go to the grocery store and stock up tonight. Come breakfast time tomorrow, follow his plan as strictly as you can and get ready to show off those impressive muscles in a month.
YOUR GET-LEAN PRINCIPLES
Strict. Strict. Strict. This is your mantra for the next 28 days. There’s just no way around the diet, says Juge, and eating clean is the name of this get-lean game. Juge’s diet plan is filled with fresh, clean foods that are as unprocessed as possible. Here are his three simple principles to shed fat fast.
- Eat at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight, daily. If your protein intake is too low on a restricted-calorie diet, you’ll lose a lot of muscle in addition to any fat you’re lucky enough to shed. A high-protein intake will help you preserve lean mass during your dieting phase. Choose lean, high-quality proteins like egg whites, poultry, lean red meat, and protein supplements. The diet provided here contains about 220-250g of protein daily, fine for a male weighing 200-250lbs. Up your protein only if you’re heavier than 250lbs, or you’re very hungry and need to add food during the day. Juge suggests an additional protein shake for an easy quick fix. (If you’re under 180lbs, cut out 3oz of meat or chicken per day from the diet.)
- Keep your carbohydrates low to moderate when trying to lose weight. “On a low day you’ll have closer to 100g of carbs,” he says. “A moderate day is about 150g of carbs.” Juge prefers to rotate low and moderate days to keep energy high and provide a change of pace. Good, clean, fiber-rich carbs include oats, potatoes, rice, and whole-grain bread.
- Drink at least a gallon of water per day. It’ll keep you hydrated and healthy. Water should be your primary beverage during dieting. Though many rely on diet sodas, Crystal Light, and other low-calorie sweetened drinks, plain old water is really your best bet.