Never fear, gains are here
Do you want to make a real physical change in 2017? Are you tired of winter bulking and springtime cutting? Do you want to get shredded while maintaining muscle mass? Maybe it’s time you tried a new approach.
Now, we know you must eat more calories to gain muscle—which, for the majority of us, also causes fat gain. But too often we overdo it, gaining far more fat than necessary.
How do you go about keeping fat levels down while still eating enough calories to feed muscle gain? It all comes down to carbs; when and how much you eat them.
As delicious as carb heavy foods are, it’s easy to feel like you need extra after grueling workouts. But this approach doesn’t account for the carbs you’ve already eaten during the day. This is where you get the fat gaining problem.
What we have here is an easy-to-follow, simple diet for keeping the fat gain to a minimum while still being able to put on muscle mass. This diet is set for a 21 day period, but it can be followed for as long as you like.
Now, we’re not going to sugarcoat it for you, if you maintain low levels of body fat, it’s going to be harder to gain muscle mass (unless you’re a genetic freak or are on the juice).
But this doesn’t mean you can’t put on quality size while staying fairly lean. It’s all in the approach.
As with any diet, this won’t be entirely easy for some of you. It all comes down to willpower and dedication. For this winter, though, try giving it your best effort.
You might be surprised by how strictly following such a simplistic diet plan can completely change your physique for the better. Let’s get into it.
Cutting Carbs Except When Necessary
This means you are no longer going to be stuffing your face hole full of carbs with every meal. With this diet, you’re mainly going to be consuming the bulk of your carbohydrate intake — clean, fast-digesting carbs — after workouts.
Also, this only applies to the meal after lifting sessions; no carbs after cardio workouts.
The kinds of carbs you should be looking for are sweet potatoes, oats, brown rice, and fruit. No junk food! By shifting the timing and amount of carb intake, you are forcing the body to rely more on fats for fuel. This will stimulate greater fat-burning.
Mainly Eat Lean Protein and Healthy Fats
You should be eating plenty of these already — but by taking in fewer carbs, you’ll definitely need to replace the carbs with more. The great thing about this diet is that the more frequently you exercise, the more protein you get to eat.
Aim to eat plenty of lean protein such as chicken and fish.
You still want to keep a slight caloric deficit, so avoid high-fat foods because they are more calorie dense. That being said, keep the healthy fats coming: oily fish, avocado’s, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, these are all good.
Don’t Ignore Fiber
Unless you want to blow out your b-hole due to eating high-protein low-carb, you will need to monitor your dietary fiber intake. This is a very important and often overlooked aspect of nutrition.
Fiber is extremely important in helping you lose weight and keeping your body running at optimal efficiency.
The best way to increase your fiber intake is to add fiber-rich foods with your meat-based meals. If you want to keep it simple, just add green leafy vegetables and different varieties of beans with your meals.
Also, to kick things up a notch, you can snack on nuts during the day as well. Almonds, for example, are full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Just make sure to only eat a handful here and there — they’re very calorically dense.
Drink Plenty of Water
Well, this is a given. We all know that no matter the diet, you should always drink plenty of water. Without going too much into something you already know about, water is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and keeping you from becoming bloated.
It also keeps you alive. So, that’s probably pretty important as well. Seriously, though, many people’s biggest downfall when it comes to nutrition is the fact they don’t drink enough water.
This causes fatigue, muscle cramping, and can even affect sleep. Don’t be a dummy, drink your H2O.
Depending on your day ahead, you can keep breakfast light, or aim for something a bit heartier.
If you go light, try something like making a protein shake with one scoop of your favorite protein powder, and add a banana for a morning metabolism boost. Simple, fast, and will give you enough energy to start the day.
Now, if you feel you need a bit more food in the morning — especially if you are going to be active most of the day, go with something simple yet filling like a veggie omelet. Two to three eggs, some peppers, mushrooms, and onions should be enough to get your motor humming.
Some lean beef with a little bit of cheese on top. Seems overly simplistic, right? Well, you want to go easy so you don’t cause yourself an upset stomach.
Especially if you also use pre-workout powder. Nobody wants to do heavy squats and have a wicked case of mud-butt set in.
You can try other things such as protein shakes, almonds and a banana, beef jerky, or any other small meal that doesn’t bother your stomach. But, if you aren’t down with the beef, check out the video below.
Assuming this is the meal right after your workout, try something like grilled salmon with steamed broccoli. Don’t like broccoli? Go with brussels sprouts, asparagus, or a spinach salad. Feel free to drizzle avocado or extra virgin olive oil on top of the greens. This helps with nutrient absorption.
Late Night Snack
Are you a midnight snack type of person? There’s no reason this can’t be included into your daily food intake. Just make sure you plan ahead for it.
A healthy late night meal can be something like one scoop of whey protein mixed with peanut butter and almond milk.
This gives you a good balance of protein, healthy fats, and will stifle your hunger without overloading your body with carbs. It’s a win-win.
You might think going low-carb will leave you drained during the middle of the day, but don’t worry; high-protein meals can make you feel fuller for longer periods of time.
You also get the added bonus of burning your fat stores for energy. So, you won’t feel tired and will get shredded over time.
Well, there you have it. A simple, easy-to-follow diet that should show a significant change in body composition within 21 days. For more on high-protein low-carb dieting, check out the video below that explains how it was done in the Golden Era of bodybuilding. And as always, get gains and don’t give up.