If you are like most people you probably aren’t happy with the amount of fat you are carrying on your body at the moment.
It could be a result of too much drinking, late night eating, poor choice of foods or a combination of all of the above.
Once you decide you are ready to shed those pounds you really need to come up with a solid plan otherwise your diet will likely be a total flop.
We all know at least one person who completely failed at their diet because they didn’t really know what the hell they were doing.
There are also another subset of guys who want to lose fat – the ones that are already pretty lean (say, 12-15% bodyfat) but want to get even leaner and put themselves into that elite shredded class.
Unfortunately, your body is kind of an asshole when it comes to getting lean.
IT will hold on to those last few pounds of fat for dear life, so you really need to know how to work around this and continue to lean out.
That’s where this guide comes in. If you follow these 10 steps you will be on your way to getting that shredded physique you’ve always wanted.
The steps themselves aren’t complicated by any means – the challenge comes in being disciplined and applying what you learn here every single day.
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1 – Track Your Daily Calorie Consumption
This is without a doubt the number one reason people screw up their diets.
Remember that in order to lose fat you need to consume fewer calories than you burn.
In order to make sure you do that you actually need to be able to TRACK the number of calories you are consuming.
For some crazy reason they think that they can skip this step and lose fat anyway.
Here’s what usually ends up happening: they either consume TOO LITTLE calories and lose tons of muscle mass or they consume TOO MANY calories and never lose a pound.
Once you know how many calories you need to be consuming make sure you stay on that number every single day.
We know, it’s annoying to keep track of everything you eat (although there are tons of fitness apps out there that have made the process way easier) but if it helps you make consistent progress it will ultimately be worth it.
So how do you figure out how many calories to be consuming each day?
Well this part is a bit more complicated.
It’s going to take some trial and error to figure it out.
Start with 13 calories per pound of body weight and adjust accordingly each week.
If you are losing too much fat (more than 1 pound per week) then increase calorie intake.
If you aren’t losing any fat then decrease it a bit.
Don’t worry if you are only losing 0.5 pounds per week – this is a solid rate of fat loss for guys who are already pretty lean.
2 – Eat More Protein
Now that you have your daily calorie intake figured out, you will want to focus more of those calories towards protein than you are typically used to.
There are two reasons for this.
First, your body needs to work harder to process protein.
As a result, you burn more calories throughout the day simply by shifting the types of foods you eat.
Given that we are trying to consume a calorie deficit this obviously helps a lot – it allows us to burn more fat without having to cut calories.
The second reason that protein is so important is that it helps your body preserve muscle mass.
When you are consuming a calorie deficit your body has to chose if it wants to burn muscle or fat to give your body the energy it needs.
Obviously we want our bodies to chose fat so upping the protein intake will help increase the odds of that happening.
Also by increasing the protein intake your body will not use it all for energy – there will still be some left over for repairing muscles.
There are tons of studies out there that show that high protein diets leads to better muscle retention.
What many people are surprised to find is that it also helps increase the amount of fat burned on the diet.
Don’t be one of those people who orders tons of vegan and vegetarian food in order to lose fat – the decrease in protein will only screw up your diet.
3 – Don’t Neglect the Healthy Fats
Think you should be reducing fat intake when on a diet?
Think again – multiple studies have shown that diets that are low in dietary fat lead to a drop in testosterone levels.
That means less muscle retention, slower metabolism, less energy, etc.
These symptoms aren’t just limited to men.
Even women can experience the same negative results by reducing their fat intake!
In terms of macronutrient breakdown, aim to consume 0.3-0.4 grams per pound of body weight.
This should come from a variety of sources such as saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
However, make sure you avoid trans fats – those are bad for everyone.
4 – Time Those Carbs
While carbohydrates have been getting a lot of heat these days, it’s not all justified.
In fact, some carbs can actually help you with your diet – you just need to consume the right ones.
This is where carbohydrate timing or cycling comes in.
Do you have leg day coming up?
This is when your body needs more energy to get through those difficult squats (because we know none of you would ever skip leg day).
Feel free to increase your carb intake on these days and drop them back down on your non-lifting days.
In terms of carb sources, always go for complex, unsweetened carbs as they give the most energy.
Brown rice, sweet potatoes and oats are all solid choices.
On days where your carb intake is lower focus more on veggies.
5 – Take a Fat Burner
Fat burners have come a long way from the late-night infomercial days (you know, the kind your aunt used to use and never got any results from).
These days, fat burners are made with ingredients that are scientifically proven to help with your fat burning efforts.
Just how do they do this?
They focus on helping you deal with the key areas where diets usually get messed up.
First, they help boost your metabolism.
When you are consuming a calorie deficit for an extended period of time it is natural for your body to slow down the metabolism in order to preserve whatever fat it has left.
This is simply an evolutionary function but obviously isn’t necessary these days.
By boosting your metabolism, your fat burning supplement will help make sure you continue to make steady gains.
Second, they boost your energy levels.
Fat loss diets are characterized by reduced carb intake and lower energy levels.
This can make it difficult to get through those tough gym workouts, or even get your work done at the office.
A high quality fat burner will contains key ingredients that lead to higher energy levels.
As a result, you will blast through leg day (which, again, we’re sure none of you have ever skipped) as well as those rough high intensity interval training cardio sessions.
Finally, they eliminate water retention.
So your body will drop excess water weight that most of the times sits in the stomach area.
This may not result in fat loss but you will lose a ton of excess water in your stomach and actually look ripped.
Many guys are ripped but simply have excess water weight that makes them look fat.
6 – Take an Omega 3 and Multivitamin supplement
When you are on a calorie deficit there is an increased chance that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need.
While being on a calorie surplus doesn’t necessarily mean you will get them, it’s extremely important to make sure your body has what it needs to operate properly.
Therefore, make sure you take an Omega 3 and multivitamin supplement.
In addition to giving your body the nutrients they need to continue to lose fat and preserve muscle, they will also improve your overall health and ward off various illnesses.
While most of you guys are probably pretty young and don’t give a shit about your health, when you are in your 50s you will write to us and thank us for this tip!
7 – Track Your Body Fat
While tracking your calorie consumption and weight are definitely important, you also want to make sure you are measuring your bodyfat regularly.
Just why is this so important?
At the end of the day your goal is to get your muscles to show better which is a result of having a lower bodyfat %.
When you lose weight you are losing 1 of 2 things – fat or muscle. If you lose fat, your bodyfat % decreases.
However, if you lose muscle your bodyfat % will actually go up and as a result you won’t look as good with your shirt off.
There are a number of ways to measure your bodyfat % and none of them are 100% accurate.
The most cost-effective way to do it is with calipers.
These can be purchased online for a few dollars and will give you a general indication of where your bodyfat is.
Another great way to track bodyfat is to take pictures of yourself.
While these won’t give you a number they will allow you to look at how your body changes over time.
8 – Get Plenty of Sleep
Think it’s cool to stay up all night drinking (or playing video games) ?
Well we’ve got some bad news – your body doesn’t like it.
In fact, getting less than the required amount of sleep each night is a very effective way to make sure your body continues to look like shit.
Why does this happen?
First, your body does most of its hormone production and muscle repair while sleeping.
As a result, if you aren’t getting enough sleep your t-levels will be lower and your body won’t recover properly.
Another reason sleep is important is that it helps energize you for the next day.
Remember that when you are on a calorie restricted diet it is common to feel less energetic.
However, if you aren’t getting enough sleep this feeling will be amplified.
Finally, not getting enough sleep will absolutely mess up your metabolism.
People who get less than 7 hours of sleep each night tend to be overweight compared with their 8 hours per night peers.
9 – Focus on Compound Lifts with Heavy Weights
So you probably think that because you are on a diet you don’t have to do squats, deadlifts and bench press anymore.
Well, that’s not how it works.
When on a cut it’s even more important to do these lifts so that you don’t lose the muscle mass you’ve built up.
Also, compound lifts boost metabolism and increase testosterone levels – both essential for a successful cut. (see the top 3 testosterone boosters here)
If your current resistance training program is a collection of bicep curl variations we’re willing to bet you are losing just as much muscle as fat on your diet.
Instead, focus on lifting heavy just as you would on a bulk.
You won’t necessarily put on any muscle but you will look a hell of a lot better when you are done.
10 – Skip the Marathon Cardio Sessions
If you are like most people when on a diet your only exercise involves long stints on the treadmill.
If your goal is to look like a twig – no muscle mass at all – then this is a great strategy.
However, if you want to look like a shredded greek god then replace those 40 minute treadmill sessions with high intensity interval training.
This type of cardio involves doing short intervals of intense training followed by a short rest period.
For example – 1 minute of sprinting followed by 1 minute of walking.
You will only need to do this for 20 minutes but you will feel the effect for hours.
It boosts your metabolism throughout the day as your body works its ass off to keep up.
Second, the calories burned from HIIT will be primarily from fat rather than muscle.
Finally, you will have more free time as your cardio sessions will be only 20 minutes rather than 40.
Unless you are one of those weird people who enjoys running on a treadmill you will definitely appreciate this.
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