If you’re not quite ready for the pool yet, don’t worry. Many people find their level of physical conditioning perhaps somewhat less than they were hoping for, especially at this time of the year. We have a program that will get you there in a hurry. It is possible to achieve a significant, if not remarkable, change in body composition and appearance in a relatively short time. It will take a serious commitment and hard work, but if you have the motivation and the determination, we can show you how to do it . This program is about how to gain muscle and lose bodyfat at the same time. It’s de-signed for people who need to lose about 10 to 20 pounds of fat, and want to get in shape as fast as possible. It is completely realistic to plan to lose 20 pounds of fat and gain five pounds of muscle in 10 weeks. You will be amazed at what a difference 20 fewer pounds of fat and five more pounds of muscle will make in your appearance and in the way you feel. Fundamentally, this is a fat loss program.
A by-product is often a gain of a few pounds of lean muscle, although this is not a mass building program. We have seen a lot of people get extremely good results in a short time from making a few changes in their diet and training routines. Overall, this program involves a diet moderate in calories, low in fat, high in protein and moderate in carbohydrates. The exercise component involves a serious commitment to both weight training and aerobics. You will work very hard, but you can expect rapid and dramatic results. I will walk you through the design of this program step-by-step. This will allow you to understand the rational behind it and also will help you learn how to design routines for yourself as your goals and level of development changes . First, let’s talk about nutrition. If our pri-mary goal is fat loss and getting in shape, then we will need to sustain a net energy deficit. This means that more calories are expended as fuel than are consumed from food and supplements. This is a thermo-dynamic requirement for net loss of body weight.
Each pound of body fat contains roughly 3,500 calories. Therefore, to lose two pounds of fat each week, we need a weekly energy deficit of 7,000 calories, or 1,000 calories each day. Generally I would encourage you to limit fat loss to two pounds per week. More rapid weight loss than that usually, but not always, is ac-companied by loss of some muscle tissue. We have had at least one individual on this program lose three pounds of fat per week and still gain muscle at the same time. In four weeks he lost 12 pounds of fat and gained three pounds of muscle. Not bad for one month! In my opinion the best way to achieve an energy deficit of 1,000 calories per day is through a combination of reduced en-ergy (calorie) intake and increased energy expenditure. I would suggest reducing calories by about 500 per day compared to how much you usually eat.
Then, perform 500 calories of extra aerobic exercise per day over what you usually do. This will result in a combined energy deficit of 1,000 calories per day, which will promote loss of two pounds of fat per week. As you know, I am not an advocate of low calorie diets, especially over the long term. But this program is designed to last for only 10 to 12 weeks, and a modest energy reduction for this short time won’t hurt you. Also, the increase in exercise activity will offset the decrease in metabolic rate that usu-ally accompanies energy restriction (1,2). Although weight training is an important part of this program, we don’t consider the calories you burn during weight training. Weight lifting doesn’t burn many calories for one thing, and secondly most of the calories which are burned during weight lifting are derived from carbohydrates. It is important that you perform 500 calories per day of additional aerobic exercise, which is about an hour’s worth of relatively intense cardiovascular work. What sort of diet works best? While I nor-mally recommend a diet high in carbohy-drates to achieve rapid results, we are going to cut down on the carbs. Essentially this diet is high in protein, moderate in carbs, and low in fat (3).
You want to take in one to two grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. Obtain the rest of your calories from carbohydrates (or CapTri®) while minimizing fat intake. This usually works out to around 40 to 50 percent pro-tein, 40 to 50 percent carbs, and five to 10 percent fat. Reducing carbohydrates seems to help promote fat loss by reducing insulin levels and reducing caloric intake. I feel it prudent to limit fat intake even while on a reduced calorie diet. You probably recall the detailed discussion we had about fat metabolism and nutrient balance a few months ago (4-11). When you are operating in an energy deficit essentially all of the food you eat will be used as fuel — except for some amino acids used to maintain or build lean tissue. It would seem you could get away with eating more fat since it’s just going to be burned anyway.
And that’s correct — if you eat a high fat diet which is deficient in calories you will still lose weight. (By eating a high fat diet containing surplus calories those extra calories supplied by fat will be retained as adipose.) Carbohydrates have a “protein-sparing” effect: this means that if you have carbs in your diet you’ll lose less muscle while consuming an energy deficient diet. Carbohydrates also have a higher thermo-genic effect, which means your body will be forced to reply more on body fat for energy since less energy from food will be available to use as fuel (1). So while two diets may supply the same number of calories and result in the same amount of overall weight loss, I believe that the diet lower in fat will result in a leaner body composition. Surprisingly, this diet can be quite satisfying, fulfill-ing and enjoyable. Another advantage of relying on car-bohydrate as your energy source instead of fat is that carbs are much more filling and enjoyable to eat. We will use mostly fibrous vegetables and salads, while limiting starches . Starches are higher in calories than fibrous car-bohydrates and occupy less space in your stomach . While starches usually form a major portion of our diet, for this 10 week program we will limit them to one or two servings a day . Divide your protein and calories evenly over five or six meals. Most people get better results if they keep food selections relatively simple for this program.
We get good results us-ing egg whites, skinless chicken breast and low-fat tuna for protein sources. Have generous portions of vegetables and salad at each meal. You can have essentially all the vegetables and salad you want. It’s very difficult to eat too many calories from vegetables. I’m talking about things like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, green beans, and so on. Refer to the Par-rillo Performance Nutrition Manual for a more extensive list, as well as the nutrient breakdown. Starches are things like pota-toes, oatmeal, corn, peas, beans and rice. Treat yourself to a cup of oatmeal in the morning and maybe one other starch during the day. By supplying most of your carbs as vegetables and salad instead of starch, you will find it easier to limit calories. The bulk will help fill you up, the volume of food will be more satisfying and the vegetables will produce a smaller insulin response. Some typical meals might go like this: meal #1: ten egg whites and one cup oat-mealmeal #2: chicken breast and vegetablesmeal #3: tuna and saladmeal #4: chicken breast, small baked potato and saladmeal #5: ten egg whites and vegetables This diet is low in calories and fat, and high in protein (3). It may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it will strip fat off you in a hurry.
And hey, it’s not forever. The salads can be enjoyable. Use green leaf lettuce with fresh peppers and onions, tomatoes and some fresh cilan-tro. Balsamic vinegar or lemon juice make tangy dressings with practically no calories . Grill your chicken outside to keep things flavorful. Or have some fresh grilled salmon or swordfish instead or tuna. Add some fresh mushrooms and chopped pep-pers to the egg whites. It doesn’t take too much effort to make this diet enjoyable. You will enjoy it even more once you see how fast the results come. You should avoid fruit and dairy products, which contain simple sugars, and bread, pasta and other re-fined carbohydrates (12). What about supplements? There are four supplements that really help on this program .First are the Essential Vitamin™ and Mineral-Electrolyte™ formulas. Since we are avoiding fruit and milk, you will need a vitamin and mineral supplement. It is especially difficult, if not im-possible, to supply your body’s requirement for calcium without using a lot of dairy products, un-less you use a supplement. Next is creatine, which is in a class by itself in terms of supplements. You cannot be your most muscular and lean without using creatine. No matter how good you look, you’ll be better if you add cre-atine. Last is Optimized Whey Protein™. We started with the finest quality whey protein and then fine tuned the amino acid profile by adding extra glycine, glutamine and branched chain amino acids.
I would consider this a “must have” supplement while dieting strictly. The high levels of glutamine and BCAAs act to protect muscle tissue during energy restricted di-ets. You can also use CapTri® if you need to increase your calories because you are losing weight at more than two pounds per week and don’t want to increase your carbs. Now, about exercise. This intense shape up program demands a serious commitment to exercise. To get optimal results you will need to lift weights 45 to 60 minutes a day four or five days a week. Plus, you will need to do 60 minutes or more of aerobics everyday. I didn’t say this was easy. I just said you could get very fast results. On this program I would recommend a three day split, which means you train all muscle groups in three workouts. After this, you take one day off from lifting, then start over. This way, each muscle group is trained every four days and you’re lifting five days a week usually. Feel free to design whatever sort of rou-tine you want. It doesn’t matter so much how you divide up the workouts as much as that you train very hard whenever you lift. After warming up, train to failure in the six to 12 rep range.Do some work with heavy weights at low reps (six, say) and some work with lighter weight (around 10 reps). It is important to work hard and train to failure.This means performing the exercise in proper form for the prescribed number of repetitions until you can’t perform any more repetitions. I would aim for about 25 total sets per 60 minute workout. That’s a fairly brisk pace. Spend most of your time on free weights, although a few machine exercises are OK. Stick to the basics like squats, bench press and shoulder press. The aerobic component of this program is very important. Although there are a few people who can get in good shape without aerobics, most of us need it. You will need to do at least 500 calories per day of aerobics, and more is fine. Many of the exercise machines these days will tell you how many calories you’re burning, which makes it easy to keep track.
You must ex-ercise at an intensity level where you are breathing hard and sweating. Moderate to high intensity aerobics will promote fat loss much faster than low intensity activi-ties. Running on the treadmill is probably the best; Stairclimbers are also good. If your equipment doesn’t display calories burned, plan on one hour of fairly intense aerobics per day. Our athlete who lost 12 pounds of fat and gained three pounds of muscle in one month used exactly the program described above, except he did even more aerobics, sometimes almost two hours a day . This program works best if you are able to monitor your change in body composi-tion. Following overall body weight just isn’t enough. If you don’t already have a way to measure body composition, you might consider the Parrillo BodyStat Kit. I think the payoff will make it worthwhile after just the first month. If you find you are losing muscle, you should increase carbohydrates slightly or add CapTri® and slow down your overall rate of weight loss. If you’re not losing fat on this program at the rate of two pounds a week it means you overestimated your maintenance energy requirement at the beginning. Decrease calorie intake by reducing starches by another 300 calories per day. If things are going extremely well and you are gaining muscle while losing fat, keep doing what you’re doing. Generally speaking, if you want to speed up your progress you are usually better off by doing more exercise rather than further reducing calories. The lower you go in calories the more important it becomes that those calories are extremely nutrient dense, and that the protein source is very high quality.
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