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I’ve been doing Beachbody programs exclusively for over 4 years now (almost 5), and my nutrition plan has changed a few times depending on my goals.  I’ve talked a lot about nutrition for bulking, nutrition for maintaining, etc.  But it’s been a while since I talked about what I did during Round 1 with the nutrition to get such awesome results.  It was a process of dialing in exactly what my body needed, but no more, to fuel me for the workouts without any excess.  That’s how I shed 43 lbs of body fat without losing any muscle in just a 90 day period.  So let me revisit the specifics of a 90 day, fat shedding diet philosophy that I developed over Round 1 and that you might want to follow if you need to shed a lot of body fat like I did.

Here’s what I did (in a nutshell):

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*I followed the FAT SHREDDER plan from the P90X nutrition guide for the first 2 months (50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat).  For the 3rd month, I upped the percentage of carbs to 40% and dropped the protein to 40% (like Phase 2).  But I kept the daily calorie total the same for the entire 90 days.  I get asked a lot if it’s okay to stay on the fat shredder plan, and my answer is definitely YES!  Stay on the fat shredder plan as long as you want to keep shedding fat at a fast rate.  It’s the most effective at doing that.  You won’t have a lot of excess energy, but you’ll have enough to maintain your muscle mass while losing body fat.  When your body fat gets down close (not all the way but close) to where you want it, THEN transition to the Phase 2 percentages to really fuel the muscles and get that ripped look.  That’s what I did, and it worked great.  I spent 2 months shedding pounds and fat, and then the final month fueling for ripped muscles.

*I ran at a calorie DEFICIT the whole time.  The nutrition guide recommended 3,000 calories per day for someone my size, and if I was interested in maintaining my weight, 3,000 would have worked fine, but I wanted to lose a lot of body fat, so I targeted 2,000 calories as my daily goal.  If you choose to run a calorie deficit like I did, it’s important that you listen to your body and give it a little more if you start bonking during the workouts.  It’s also CRITICAL to fuel your body every 2.5-3 hours to prevent your metabolism from slowing down.  If your body is depleted, and you don’t fuel often, your body will shut down, you will stop burning calories, and you will stop losing body fat even though you aren’t eating much.  That’s a frustrating place to be!  So fuel properly and fuel often to keep the body running!

*I NEVER CHEATED.  No cheat meals.  No cheat days.  No bites of the kids’ desserts.  NONE!!!  One cheat meal can slow down your progress by 2 or 3 days.  Is it worth it to you?  I didn’t want to do anything to sabotage the hard work I was putting into the workouts.  For more on my reasoning behind NOT CHEATING, read my article titled To Cheat or Not?

*I kept track of everything I ate (learn about My Fitness Pal here).  They say that people who just “try to eat healthy” will actually consume 50% more calories than people who track their calories.  I tracked everything that went into my mouth for the entire Round 1, and in fact it has become so easy to do that I still do it every day, even 2 years later.  At first, it’s a hassle.  You have to input some of your “custom” foods into the program.  You have to get used to measuring and weighing your foods.  But after you’ve done it a while, you develop and eye and a feel for how much 6 oz of chicken feels like, and how much 2 tablespoons of peanut butter looks like.  But you have to be willing to put in the effort to do it right if you want to see maximum results!  To learn more specifics about how to track your percentages, read my article called NUTRITION TRACKING.

*I did not make the actual meals in the nutrition guide.  It’s not practical for me to make all that stuff.  What I did instead is make meals that fit my tastes, fit into the right % of protein, carbs, and fats, and fit with my schedule.  I have a few meals I rotate depending on what I’m in the mood for, and I have a good list of snacks that work on the go and meet my criteria.  To see a sample of my Round 1 diet, look HERE.

*I tried to consume most of my carbs in the morning and early afternoon, but went heavier on the protein in the evening.

*I gave up Pop (even my diet pop!)  That was tough!

*I ate 3 meals of 400-450 cals each (breakfast, lunch, dinner), and 3 snacks (one morning snack, 2 afternoon snacks) of 200-250 cals each.

*I found healthy ways to meet my cravings for a treat (sugar free jello, flavored water packets, jerky, fat free/sugar free yogurt, light popcorn, and of course my chocolate deluxe protein bars!)  The Pure Protein brand of protein bars (available at walmart) are very tough to beat for a fat shredder diet because they have 180 cals, 20g protein, and only 2g of sugar.  The very low sugar content is perfect for this diet!  Don’t get me wrong, I love my P90X bars, and I eat them often now because they are healthy and good for me, but during Round 1 it was only Pure Protein bars for me!


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