Feel free to top your salads, veggies, etc. with any of these savory condiments! We really love using Bolthouse Farms salad dressing (you will usually find it in the produce section of almost any grocery store). They have a large variety of flavors! Another great dressing option is mixing together 2 Tbs mustard with Braggs liquid aminos or coconut aminos and a few drops of liquid stevia. You can put this on almost anything (ex. salad, veggies, meat, eggs, etc.) to really make your dish more flavorful with almost no added calories!
I love using the sweet condiments on my breakfast or dessert meals such as protein pancakes, protein brownies, oatmeal, or really any sweet meal I have that day! Don’t go overboard of course, but definitely feel free to use them to add a little flare to your desserts! And DON’T forget sprinkles! I love adding rainbow sprinkles on almost everything! I put some in my breakfast shake, on my yogurt, on my pancakes –
really anything sweet! They are low in calories and just make everything so much more fun.
This program will put an extreme metabolic demand
on your body over the course of 12 weeks. As such,
elevate caloric intake during the first month of this
program, but keep your macros (protein, carbs, fats)
fairly balanced. That means roughly 40% of daily
calories from carbs 1g carbohydrate = 4 calories),
roughly 30% from protein (1g protein = 4 calories),
and 30% from fat (1g fat = 9 calories. Everyone caloric
demands will be different, so sticking to your macros
is a great way to stay on track. Building muscle
requires extra calories to support anabolic growth.
Maintaining muscle also means burning more calories
even at rest, so it is OK to gain weight during this
program. Don’t just add “filler” or “empty” calories;
avoid fast food and junk food. Make sure that for the
first month of the program you don’t let yourself get
hungry or workout on an empty stomach. Eat every
few hours to keep consistent metabolic function and
daily energy. Also, make sure you have a blend of all
macronutrients within an hour of your workouts.
Fat intake should be limited throughout this program
(30% of calories or less). Don’t let that percent fool
you; at 9 calories per gram, fat calories add up fast.
If you already eat fairly healthy, that means eating
no more fat than you probably do on a regular basis
Note: not all fats are objectively “bad” and unhealthy.
Instead, try changing where your dietary fat comes
from (see food list below containing healthier fats).
Avoid excess saturated fats, especially those from
animal-based products (butter, meat, etc). Fish is the
exception; fish fats and oils in fish meat can actually
help promote cardiovascular benefits and overall
health. Try substituting more fish and plant- based
fats in your diet.
Protein intake will remain high throughout this program
(at least 25-30%) in order to maximize anabolic potential.
Aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of your goal weight.
For example, if you want to weight 185 pounds, your goal
is 185 grams of protein per day.
Protein can come from a variety of sources, but all
protein is not necessarily created equal. Protein is made
up of amino acids, which are considered the building
blocks of muscle mass.
The greater amount and diversity of amino acids
(especially essential amino acids), the more “complete”
the protein. See food list below for good protein sources.
You will likely need to rely an added supplemental
protein (whey protein, plant protein, BCAAs) during the
first 4 weeks on this routine. Make your post workout
protein shake a staple, and load it up with protein, fat,
Carbohydrate will and should remain the primary
macronutrient of your caloric intake for the next few
months. Don’t be afraid of carbs; carbohydrate represents
your muscles’ most abundant source of energy and most
readily available source of fuel. Make sure a large portion
(about 40%) of your daily calories over the first month of
this routine come from some form of carbohydrate, but
monitor which type of carb you’re eating.
Simple carbs (sugar, sucrose, fructose, processed grains
etc) can add up and are easily stored as fat when eaten
in excessive amounts. Make most carbs throughout this
program complex carbs. That means with no added sugar
and minimally processed. Fruits, vegetables, grains,
potatoes, and legumes are all great complex carb options.
Like fats, carbs get a bad reputation. Again, be mindful
where they are coming from.
|WEEKS 1 - 4||CALORIES||PROTEIN||FAT||CARBS|
Similar to last month, this month overall caloric intake
should be high, but not quite as high as it was during
the “building” phase of this program. Muscular size
and strength should peak during this phase, while diet
should be cleaned up a bit. Everyone is different, so
use your best judgment with your most recent weight
fluctuation and current results to gauge a reduction in
caloric consumption between 10 and 15% (less carbs
and fats for this phase).
Most of this can be achieved by simply eating a bit
“cleaner” … less of the stuff you were trying to
avoid last month (unhealthy fats and simple carbs
specifically). By cutting those down, you’ll still feel
as high your still eating the same amount. Basically,
the “amount” of food you eat shouldn’t feel much
less, because the overall caloric density of your
food will decrease.
Fat intake will decrease this month, which will continue next month. Fat should represent about 20-25%
total calories. Remember, fat is still necessary and
important, but it is also important that you monitor
what type of fat your eating and where it comes from.
Keep it up with the healthy fats; it can seem complicated but when in doubt, avoid the “saturated fats” in
the meat and dessert isles.
Protein is the only macronutrient that should remain
stable during the next 4 weeks, just as it should the rest
of the program. Even though you’re not “adding” protein
here, protein should represent a larger portion of total
caloric intake (around 30-35%).
Stick to your goal bodyweight in grams of protein per
day; your body will need it. With an extra day of training
during this phase (full body conditioning), protein will
make sure that your muscles can build, repair and heal
prior to your next workout. Make sure your post-workout
protein shake is still part of your routine, but maybe with
less calories this month.
Like fats, carbs will also decrease during this phase of
the program, but not by a lot. As a result, don’t skimp out
on complex carbs or fiber. Simple carbs can still be eaten,
just limit them, and eat them pre or post workout to maximize their use most productively. Too much overall carbohydrate intake CAN lead to increase in storage of body
fat, but too much such simple carbs can also do the same
thing. Aim for about 35-40% total carbohydrate intake
|WEEKS 5 - 8||CALORIES||PROTEIN||FAT||CARBS|
During the last phase of the 12 weeks, we are in a
“cutting” phase; which sounds appropriate given
the reduction in calories once again during this
month. Use last month once again as a parameter
to help you determine roughly how dramatic your
reduction should be; another 10-15% should be
appropriate. That calorie reduction should come
from fat and carbs once again. Use these last 4
weeks to help you come up with an overall diet plan
that will work for you long term. It doesn’t have to
be quite as strict, but it also shouldn’t feel like you
have to miss out on much.
Fats will be at their lowest during this last stretch. It
is always easiest to decrease overall caloric intake by
decreasing fat intake since fat has by far the highest
calorie value of the macronutrients. Even “healthy
fats” are high in calories so do your best to limit those
too. Opt for “low fat” options of your favorite foods
and take it easy on the butter, dressing, and hot fudge.
More importantly, try to keep it to 15-20% of your total
Stick with what works; use this last month to determine
what’s realistic for you in terms of daily protein intake,
but keep it high. Refrain from doing anything dramatic, but if it feels like you’re getting to much or too little
protein then make small adjustments. Either way, this
should not feel like a major stretch. In addition to helping
you lean out but retain muscle during this phase, protein
will help you feel fuller longer. If you get hungry, have
something small but with some protein in it. Protein
should be again around 35% and not exceed 40%. This is
A LOT for a normal person, but it isn’t if you’re working
out hard enough.
Part of leaning out means burning a bit more calories and
consuming a bit less. A small reduction in carbs here can
go a long way. Go for more volume with your food than
more calories: adding in fiber with plenty of leafy greens
is a great place to start. At this point, hopefully you’ve
noticed your naturally eating more fruits and veggies.
Salads, steamed vegetables, and fresh fruit are the best
ways to add size to your plate without adding calories.
Just limit the fruit and sugar in your pre-workout coffee.
|WEEKS 9 - 12||CALORIES||PROTEIN||FAT||CARBS|