So how do you drop body fat while maintaining as much muscle as you can? Well first things first if you have not read Nutrition 101 do that first to get a good foundation for the type of foods you should be eating in addition to the macronutrient breakdown and plans I am about to describe. I typically stay in the energy booster phase during most of the year but will use the endurance maximizer to gain mass during the winter. When I transition from the endurance maximizer to my fat burning diet I will do so for only about 3-4 weeks max before switching back to the energy booster phase. Just like with everything else you have to be the judge on how your body reacts to certain foods and your plan may need tweaking while staying within the general guidelines.
On a 50% Protein/ 30% Carbs/ 20% Fat plan you need to consume a majority of all of your simple and complex carbs for the day before and after your workout. The reason being, the preferred source of fuel for our body is carbohydrates and the last thing you want to do with this plan is negatively impact your performance during your workout by depleting your body of the energy needed. For example here is a typical morning for me which starts early but it allows me to consume my complex carbohydrates before and after my workout.
4:30-5:00am – 2 cups of plain oatmeal
6:30-7:00am – complete workout
8:00am – 2 cups of plain oatmeal
As you can see I am using up most of my carb consumption for the day before my workout to fuel me for it and after to help me recover. The rest of the day consist of snacks and meals that are high in lean protein and healthy fats. When following this type of program the key will be to first recognize that your body will tell you to eat more and more because it is accustomed to a different regiment. By giving your body the complex carbs before and after your workout you are maximizing performance during your workout while helping your body recover in an efficient manner after. The last thing you want to do is slack on the amount of protein you eat with this plan because the goal is to help your body understand and use the additional fat you have as an energy source while the protein promotes lean muscle growth and helps what you have built. You can expect to lose some gains in terms of muscle mass that you have previously made but with a heavy concentration on consuming the right amount of protein throughout the day you should be able to minimize that to little or nothing.
Track What You Eat -There are many free apps like myfitnesspal which can help stay on track by showing you were you need improvement.
Nutrition Timing – Consume your carbs before and after you workout and to breakfast if you workout later in the day.
Hydrate – Drink plenty of water and during this phase drink more because it will quench your hunger to eat more or deviate from the plan.
Plan Your Meals – This principle is essential to not only this plan but to all plans. If you fail to prepare you are much more likely to fall off your plan.
If you are looking to add some HIIT routines to your workout plan during this fat burning phase find out why you should be doing it to achieve maximum results.