Summer Shred Program: Nutrition Principles To Get You Ripped
[Click here for part one of the Summer Shred Program: The Single Best Exercise To Help Each Body Part To Get Ripped]
The key to getting ripped really has nothing to do with how many hours a week you put in the gym. Sure, seeing your physique change for the better means you will need to bust your ass working out and doing cardio. But if you eat like shit, you’ll just turn into one of those fat looking wrestlers with big hairy arms and a gut to match.
The nutrition part of your routine will make or break it for you. And especially now that you want to get ripped and look good all summer long. So you’ll have to tighten up the diet if you are to either make quality gains or maintain what you have and get leaner in the process.
It is kind of a ‘damned if you do; damned if you don’t’ type of scenario when it comes to looking shredded but not wanting to come down in size too much. You have to decide which is more important to you because it’s impossible to do both.
Look at it this way: when bodybuilders prep for a competition, they diet a certain way and do more cardio than they do in the offseason. And their bodyweight comes down quite a bit but they look jacked still because the muscles are more defined without that layer of fat and water under the skin. So you are probably better off sacrificing a little bit of size to look even better with some fine muscle definition, graininess and vascularity.
The first step in getting this done is to cut your carbs. That is exactly what the competitors do during their show prep and eat less and less as they get closer to the big day and then slowly reintroduce them a few days out.
So how does this help you? While you may not be donning the posing trunks and oiling up, you still want to look your best and shredded to the bone. So to use a modified/moderate diet plan compared to the stringent one that bodybuilders do will get you where you want to be in a short period of time.
CUT OUT ‘BAD’ CARBS
You have over a month left to summer and should start right away if you want to see results at this stage of the game. So try to eliminate all simple (or ‘bad’) carbs from your diet and keep them out until you’re ready to come off this diet. It sounds difficult but you will see a difference right away if you stick with this.
Whole wheat bread and pasta taste close enough to the ‘real thing,’ so you can eat delicious meals and not have to resort to stuff that tastes like shit. Plain oatmeal, sweet potatoes and quinoa all contain the types of carbs that will not only not turn into fat, but also fill up your muscles. And carbs are a key source of energy that you’ll need in the gym.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
These contain good carbs, too, and plenty of other important healthy ingredients that will help your body. And don’t worry about the sugar that fruit contains, either, as it is of the natural and not processed variety.
HIGH PROTEIN AND ‘GOOD’ FATS
You can enjoy the low fat protein foods (lean red meat, chicken, fish, etc.) as much as you like with this diet. The protein will build your muscles and the ‘good’ fats are good for overall health, especially for your heart.
CUT DOWN THE CARBS ARE THE WEEKS PASS
A good macronutrient ratio year-round is 40-40-20, meaning 40 percent protein, 40 percent (good) carbs and 20 percent (good) fats. But you should decrease your carb intake each week during this period of dieting little by little, stopping at 20 percent. You don’t want to go carb-free, as it is extremely unhealthy and torturous. But as you get closer to whatever date you have in mind, begin reintroducing more carbs each day until you’re back to the original macro breakdown. That way, you’ll fill out and feel more energetic, too.