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Shredding Strategies

6 pro-caliber dieting secrets to help you cut up and lean out.

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Are there really any secrets left in the world? With the advent of the Internet and the explosion of information across the globe, "secrets" are now few and far between. That's especially true when it comes to dieting tips. That's not to say all the tricks for getting lean are widely known. In a few cases, far from it - there are a handful of techniques bodybuilding pros regularly employ that don't get much play elsewhere. But they work, and here, I'm going to share six of them with you.

SECRET #1: 

POP-TARTS CAN MAKE A DAMN GOOD FAT BURNER

When you eat less, you burn less - that's how the metabolism mechanism works. When you diet, your body does everything it can to fight you, as it responds to a cut in caloric intake by burning fewer calories. Called the starvation response, it's how humans naturally make do with far fewer calories and carbohydrates. The body downgrades its calorie-burning potential by dropping its levels of metabolic-boosting hormones, including leptin, thyroid hormones and, to a lesser degree, growth hormone.

One way to sidestep this adaptation is to include a day of jacking up another hormone - insulin - by eating plenty of fast-digesting carbohydrates. Quick carbs such as those in fat-free muffins, Pop-Tarts and Cream of Rice cereal mixed with jam or bagels trick your system into believing your strict diet is over, thus bumping those calorie-burning hormones back to steadier normal levels. When you return to a caloric deficit by eating less, you do so with a better metabolism, one in which hormones that support fat burning are no longer suppressed.

SECRET #2: 

IN CERTAIN CASES, "LOW CARB" ISN'T NEARLY LOW ENOUGH

Everybody hits a roadblock from time to time when they are unable to drop excess bodyfat - even pro bodybuilders, who do it for a living. Often, the problem relates to a sluggish metabolism, which can be fixed by secret #1. Sometimes, however, the issue is simply the need for a fresh stimulus. Following the same training plan day in and day out doesn't work forever because, in order to make continual progress, the stimulus must change.

Well, the same holds true in getting cut. You have to give your body a reason to drop additional bodyfat; that calls for decreasing calories and carbs to extremely low levels. I typically tell my clients to lower carb intake on two separate days of the week - say Tuesday and Friday - down to as few as 50-70 grams (g). The shock radically reduces glycogen stores, which are directly related to burning fat. When glycogen levels (the amount of stored carbohydrates located in muscles) fall, fat burn rises precipitously.

 

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