Ever noticed those guys at the gym who look like professional bodybuilders? What are they doing that you haven't done already? You've done the hard work. You have been disciplined about your diet and consistent with your workouts. While you are maybe as fit as you have ever been, you want to really see the fruits of your labor. There are levels to this, People. It's time to take your regimen up a notch.
If you want to achieve that elusive 7 percent body fat, or at least something close to it, follow these 4 tips to elevate your game!
Calculate Your Macronutrients
The term macronutrients simply refers to the three major sources of food you should be consuming everyday: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. To reduce your body fat while preserving and building muscle, it is essential that you follow a specific plan.
First, multiply your current (or desired) weight by 12 to get the total number of calories you should consume daily. Then set aside one gram of protein for every pound you weigh (or want to weigh). Fats should equal 30 percent of your total intake and the rest should be eaten in carbs. Here's how that looks:
A 180-pound man should eat 2,160 calories per day (weight x 12). Protein is equal to 1 gram per pound, or 180g (multiply by 4 to convert to 720 calories). Fats should equal 30 percent of that total, or 648 calories (divide by 9 to convert to grams, or 72g). The rest is carbohydrates which is the total calories minus the protein and fat calories, or 2,160 - 720 - 648 = 792 calories (divide by 4 to convert to grams, or 198g).
Eat The Best Kinds Of The Right Foods!
Many professional bodybuilders swear by lean protein from animal sources including boneless, skinless chicken breast, fish, and lean cuts of beef. If you are vegetarian or vegan, look for plant-based sources like black beans, lentils or quinoa.
Your carbohydrates should include starchy foods like sweet potatoes and brown rice. Go easy on the fruit while you lean out. Extra sugar encourages fat storage and slows the fat-burning process. Meat eaters will get fats from animal-based products while vegetarian and vegans can add avocados and coconut oil to their diets.
Hit A Plateau? Cycle Your Carbs!
When your progress starts to slow down, it's high time to rev up your metabolism with a cycle of lower carb days followed by a higher one. On this plan, your metabolic rate will increase as a result of the work your digestive system has to do.
For three consecutive days, follow a meal plan that totals 10 times your body weight in calories. Consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, .5 grams per pound of carbohydrates, and 1 gram per pound of fats. On day 4, eat 15 times your body weight in calories. Protein intake will be the same, but increase your carbs to 2 grams per pound. The rest should come from fats.
Let's go back to our earlier example and calculate how this looks. For a 180-pound man, the first 3 days he will consume 1,800 calories including 180 grams (720 calories) of protein, 90 grams of carbs (360 calories), and 180 grams of fats (720 calories). Day 4 will total 2,700 calories where 180 grams (720 calories) come from protein, 360 grams (1,440 calories) come from carbs, and 60 grams (540 calories) come from fats.
You've Gotta Be About That Life!
Achieving your fitness goals is not just some vain pursuit. To have lasting results, you must have commitment, focus, planning, and discipline. You must change your lifestyle. In addition to consistent diet and exercise, you must drink plenty of water everyday (1 gallon is recommended), minimize stress, and sleep 7-8 hours per night. Inputs equal outputs.
Make sure that you do the work required to lean out and get the results you want. If you find yourself losing motivation, get a workout partner or hire a trainer. Accountability is everything.