A complete shredding meal plan to help you lose stubborn fat. Shredding 101: the perfect shredding meal plan to get and keep your abs! I don't think there's a person in this world who wouldn’t be happy with the washboard abs and toned limbs. It's a look that has been popular for forever and a [...]
I don’t think there’s a person in this world who wouldn’t be happy with the washboard abs and toned limbs. It’s a look that has been popular for forever and a day, yet so few are able to obtain and even fewer people are able to maintain. Whilst building muscle and burning fat can require significant effort, I believe that it’s the understanding of the process which holds most people back.
Firstly, it’s important to recognize that fat loss is the result of the crossover between activity and diet. A good ‘shredding diet’ should have you in a small calorie deficit, be high in protein and keep your hunger under control. Resistance training, low-intensity exercise and NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) will need to be optimized to help create the calorie deficit and maintain muscle mass long term.
For those of you who keep up with our content, I would hope that you are now familiar with why calories are important. For everyone else, listen up!
Calories intake and expenditure determine how much fat you have on your body. Depending on your genetic profile and your level of activity, you will have a ceiling on how many calories you can consume before you start storing energy as fat. Think of it as a bucket of water, once you fill it up, some of the water starts pouring over the edge. In the calorie world, anything over the edge will be stored as fat. To lose fat, we need to keep our energy below the brim of the bucket.
There are a few things that you can do to keep your calories in the bucket. Firstly, you can get active and ultimately create a bigger bucket, the more active you are, the more energy you can consume. Alternatively, you can reduce the number of calories you pour into the bucket. The easiest way to do this is to make a conscious effort to consume whole foods. Whole foods include fresh meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, potatoes, rice, fruit, grains, dairy, nuts, and seeds. Anything that you would consider ‘natural’ is most likely a whole food. Why do we recommend whole foods? They are generally lower in calories per gram and leave you feeling fuller for longer. They are also less palatable, reducing the drive to overindulge.
If switching to a whole foods diet doesn’t work for you, a more drastic approach would be to count your calories. Calorie counting involves researching and documenting the calories found in all of the food that you consume. Apps such as MYFITNESSPAL can make documentation fairly easy, though you may need to weigh your ingredients initially to ensure you are accurately recording your portion sizes. Once you have an understanding of the total calories you are consuming, you can slowly reduce your intake to create an energy deficit.