How to diet on a body transformation!
Let me draw your attention to the title of this blog, “how to diet on a body transformation”.
Not just the macro’s, calories and science of the body transformation- check out the following blogs to help you with this….
but this one focuses on three awesome strategies that make your diet possible, meaning you succeed on your fitness journey. Now, before I begin, let me start with the housekeeping. This WILL ONLY work fully if you have the following in place.
- You are tracking your nutrition, every day, for the duration of the plan. Want results? It’s worth your 5 minutes a day.
- You have clear goals, and clear nutrition targets, designed around scientific principles and based around you.
- You have a solid training programme, based on scientific principles, designed around you and your goals, and you’re executing this well.
All of those in place, great. You’ve got awesome results readymade, providing you can stick to the targets!
So, what’s the challenge?
STICKING TO THE PLAN!
It’s tough, you get hungry, you get de motivated, you get days where you don’t feel like eating much, and days where you want to eat everything… Sticking to the plan takes willpower, desire and organisation- but most of all, it takes a nutrition strategy that works around YOU!
Here’s three great options- they won’t all be right for you all the time. You may use one at one time, another during a different training block or schedule, you may even choose to use some at the same time. Remember hitting the nutrition numbers with several meals, training well and consistently, and controlling life stress and sleep is ultimately what gets results.
By the way, I realise people don’t like to use the word “diet”- diet refers to how we eat, but has negative connotations as people see it as difficult and that they may be hungry. This is how you should eat on a body transformation, but it will be difficult, and occasionally you will be hungry, so diet is probably appropriate here.
Here we go…
Body transformation diet tip 1:
Cycling carbs and Calories!
This is a personal favourite, and it has some huge benefits to regular dieting. Cycling carbs and calories means just that, you cycle high calorie/ carb days with lower calorie/ carb days. I’ll use an example of cycling calories through manipulating carb intake, as let’s be honest, that’s the way to do it!
Let’s use an example of a 75kg male with around 15% bodyfat looking to continue to lean up. Let’s say he’s burning around 2800 calories per day. After dieting and a results based approach, we have his targets at 2400 calories, with 195g protein per day.
The boring method of achieving a target of 2400 calories per day, with 195g protein is to have every day achieving the following- I’ll even show the working out! Feel free to skip the working out if you’re not interested, after all, it’s what WE do, you can but don’t need to.
75kgx 2.6g= 195g protein target = 780 calories.
2400- 780= 1620 calories left.
1620/ 2 = even split carbs to fats = 810 calories each (or alternate however you want).
810/ 9= 90g fat
810/ 4= 202g carbs
Targets = 2400 calories, 195g protein, 202g carbs, 90g fats. Every Damn Day. Hungry- shut up and have it. Going out? Shut up and have it. Full? Shut up and have it!
But there is a better way! Here’s the solution, science based, but in practice it’s so much more fun!
So, 2800 calories burned per day over a week is 19600 calories, and we’ve consumed 16800. Over a week, that’s … wait a minute… *£??”!……. x<7-14…… yeah 2800. 2800 calories down per week.
Here’s another way:
5 low, 1 moderate, and 1 high carb day. Moderate and high carb day should be on hard training days, and ideally followed by a training day.
We need to total a 2800 calorie deficit.
Low day = 2200 calories x5 = 11000
Moderate day = 2600 calories x 1= 2800
High day= 3000 calories x 1 = 3000 = Total calories for week of 16800.
Deficit = 2800 (the same).
Here’s the daily numbers…
2200 calories= 200g protein, 90g fat, 148g carbs
Moderate day= 195 protein, 90g fat, 252g carbs
High day = 195g protein, 90g fat, 350g carbs
The week is presented below- notice how the high day is not followed by a complete rest day, but a lower intensity training session.
This is the week:
|Day||Training + difficulty/ 10||Nutrition|
|Mon||Yes, 7/10||Low day|
|Tues||Yes, 9/ 10||Moderate day|
|Weds||Yes, 8/10||Low day|
|Fri||Yes, 8/10||Low day|
|Sat||Yes, 9/10||High Day|
|Sun||Yes, 6/10||Low day|
Surely that’s more fun!
Body transformation diet tip 2:
Intermittent fasting (skipping meals)
For some, eating 4 meals a day is a challenge. For others, shift workers and those who have generally long days, the feeling that you need to eat as soon as you wake up can lead to simply an extra meal in your day. This can have you feeling hungry, and limited on food, when in reality, 4 good meals between 11am and 7pm may be perfect around your busy schedule, and make hitting targets much easier.
Again, it’s important to emphasise that this is based on targets too. This can work off a structure that is the same calories every day (simply limiting times you eat on longer days to achive goals), or as part of a cycled calorie plan.
The key is make it practical, and make it work for you. This can be anything from skipping breakfast, to regular, deliberate periods of fasting due to preference or lifestyle commitments. If it makes it easier, we can even use time restrictions for macronutrients- for example, a lot of people use this to focus on fats and proteins in their initial meals, with higher carbohydrate meals later in the day. For most, the difference is small, so whatever works best for you is the best option! Elite level competitors may need more consideration and less flexibility.
However, I will make a point that generally, 4 or more balanced meals a day tends to provide better results than 1-2 large meals, so if limiting eating times, try to stay within a reasonable timeframe (for example eat between 11am and 8pm (9 hours), and not overly limited (say 4pm-8pm). Reasons for this include improved recovery and improved muscle protein synthesis.
Here’s a summary:
- Consume at least 4 balanced meals where possible over a reasonable duration to maximise muscle protein synthesis. This can include a shake
- Ensure you hit the overall targets set by your diet.
- Make sure this makes dieting easier, not harder!
Body transformation diet tip 3.
Eat more food, but take in less calories!
Here’s another method that’s essential to make sure you stick to your diet, and feel like you can eat a lot more food! This one is simple: choose leaner options! Generally, people struggle to eat enough protein, and limit their calories to an adequate level. Leaner foods help you achieve both of these goals!
Make sure that cooking methods, foods you choose, and supplements you take, all consider this. I Wrote a detailed blog on this subject, find it here:
So there we have it, three awesome strategies meaning your diet feels easier, personalised, and less of a struggle- it still takes sacrifices, but by implementing these as and when needed can have a huge impact on your ability to stick to your diet, and therefor your results!
Any questions, as always, I’m happy to help- simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, and let me know how your journey is going!
Josh Kennedy MSc, ASCC, CSCS