2/6/20

Diet Plan For Getting Shredded - Eating For Lean Muscle

Let's face it; no one wants their hard earned muscle to be covered by layers of body fat. The flip side is you at least want to look like you work out, meaning you don't want to just be thin; you want ripped muscles popping out. So you lift weights to build muscle and do a little cardio to burn fat (and for your heart), but the primary factor in getting shredded is your diet. In short, you need a lot of protein to build or at least maintain lean muscle but only enough fats and carbohydrates to be utilized as energy rather than being stored as fat. This can get a little tricky.

More than likely you're already fully aware that protein and amino acids are key sources for building muscle. This concept holds true whether you're going for more muscle mass or you're going for ripped lean muscle. Often when one is trying to gain more muscle they eat too much of everything else though, thus they get bigger and stronger from the extra calorie intake but end up gaining unwanted body fat in the process. The body will only take what it needs in regards carbohydrates and fats, and the rest will be stored as fat. As stated above, you need to figure out exactly how much protein, carbohydrates and fats (and overall calories) your body needs to chisel away body fat while building a solid muscular physique.
I've personally never been on of fad or trend diets as the body needs protein, carbs and fats to build muscle, burn fat, and function properly. What we need to be concerned with are the amounts. It's important to understand that no one formula is going to work the same for everyone as we all have different genetics and metabolisms. However, a good rule to follow is eating anywhere from 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. So if you weight 200 lbs, you want to take in anywhere from 200 to 300 grams of protein each day. You can find this same information in just about any fitness or bodybuilding publication. Most every expert agrees with having a sufficient amount of healthy fats from sources such as fish, flaxseed, and almonds.
Where much of the confusion and question comes in is with carbs. Again, no one diet is going to work the same for everyone. With that being said, start out by taking in the same amount of carbs as you do in grams of protein each day but take in more of those carbs in with your earlier meals or around your workout. This method will allow time for you to burn off what your body doesn't use for energy. The types of carbs are important as well, which should go without saying. The better sources of carbs are foods such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole grain wheat bread, oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables.
Below is a sample chart of a meal plan with protein/carb ratios for someone who weights 200 lbs:
Meal 1:
40g Protein/55g Carbs
Meal 2:
40g Protein/55g Carbs
Meal 3:
40g Protein/40g Carbs
Meal 4:
40g Protein/40g Carbs
Meal 5:
40g Protein/30g Carbs
Meal 6:
40g Protein/20g Carbs
You should notice some changes in your body composition within a couple weeks, assuming that you're training hard with weights and doing cardio on a regular basis (3-5 times a week). If you feel you're not losing as much fat as expected or not seeing any changes then adjust the above meal plan by maybe cutting 5-10 grams of carbs out of each meal. If you feel you're losing too much muscle but you're satisfied with your definition, you can bump up the carbs a little. Remember, the types of carbs are imperative. This should at least give you a good starting point though for getting shredded.

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