Getting Leaner; “End All” Diet Plan, Starts Here


No mistakes

Here is a question I get all the time. “Is what you eat, or how many calories you eat, more important for fat loss?” The answer is, you can’t have one without the other to truly succeed. That said, I firmly believe that the ratio of, proteins to carbs to fats, you consume each day is as important, if not more so than calories. But to get a grip on these ratios you need a starting point, or a baseline, or nothing will ever make sense.

Much less get you leaner.

The terms that describe what you eat, namely; proteins, carbohydrates and fats mean nothing unless you can put some context around them. A nutrition plan that’s 50% protein, “carb reduced”, or “higher fat” can’t exist in a vacuum. These percentages are based on the total amount of energy you consume each day. Not surprisingly, to get an idea of what the ratios of protein, carbs and fats are in your diet, you need a basic understanding of what’s in the foods you eat.

Ironically, the best way to begin this process is by calorie counting (at first).

For men, I recommend beginning by calculating your energy intake at, 15 Calories (or ‘kcalories’) per pound of body weight (12 is a good number for women).

Keep in mind, the ‘per pound of body weight’ description would imply you are feeding metabolically ‘inactive’ tissue such as your fat. Nevertheless, in my opinion calculating your lean, or ‘non-fat’ body mass and a calorie level for it is much more work, and really not worth the hassle. In order to acclimated with the breakdown of the food you eat, I suggest going online or getting a calorie-counting guide (e.g., the Nutrition Almanac) that tells you how much energy (calories), protein, fat and carbohydrate are in a serving of as broad a variety of foods as possible.

Don’t make it rocket science, as it doesn’t have to be.

Simply watch your mirror closely for the next 2 weeks and adjust your 15 Calories/lb (or 12 for women) value up or down accordingly. If you are relatively inactive, this may be too much food; for the highly active, it may be too little.


So what about those ratios?

Once you get the total energy number estimated, you can easily develop a plan that focuses on what you eat for aggressive fat loss and muscle building gains that last.


Simply do this.

Divide your Calories over 5-6 Smaller Meals

So if your daily energy intake is 2,500 calories, you should divide that into say five, 500-calorie meals. The goal here is to provide a steady supply of muscle-building materials and to keep blood sugar levels from going up or down wildly–which sends off false triggers to eat more than necessary.


Get 40% of Your Calories From Protein

Physique athletes can benefit from .75 to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day (Lemon et al., 1997). However, my protein recommendations are even higher, because eating a diet that contains up to 1.35 g per pound/bodyweight/day) yet lower in carbohydrate can allow you to burn more fat both during exercise and at rest (Forslund et al., 1999).


Get 40% of your Calories From ‘Intact’, Slow-Digesting Carbohydrate

Planning to get 40% of your calories from carbohydrate, allows you to keep up with the energy demands of your training and keep your your muscles from looking flat.

The simplest method for choosing the right carbs is to opt for ‘whole’ (unrefined, unprocessed) carbs –the foods that are generally found in the perimeter of the grocery store. This means a lot of vegetables and some fruit, but also includes starches like; steel cut oats, yams and brown rice.

Note: Our metabolic equipment likely has the capacity to use biologically ‘intact’ (unprocessed) carbohydrate-containing foods much better when it comes to achieving the physique benefits we want. In fact, studies performed in the 1930s (Cuthbertson and Munro, 1939), showed that sustained nutrient delivery, such as would be expected to occur by eating smaller, more frequent meals consisting of unprocessed nutrients is superior for enhancing lean tissue and minimizing body fat.


Get 20% of your Calories From Fat —Mostly Unsaturated Fat

While the debate over which fats are more or less “healthy”, seems to never end, the jury is out on trans fats. That is, they are not recommended. I’m not a nutritional biochemist, but my personal experience suggests that you certainly cannot eat all the fat you want, and expect to look your best. This is true even eating a zero carb diet. You may lose scale weight, but you will not maximize your body composition.


Generally speaking, animal fats are richer in saturated fats. The harder a fat is at room temperature (e.g., cooled bacon drippings vs. vegetable oil), the more saturated it tends to be. Plant fats tend to be richer in unsaturated fats, though cold-water fish are also good sources. Processed fats (e.g., vegetable oils, lard) should be avoided as much as possible.

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