So you want to get Lean

Get this app and log your weight every morning when you wake up. You can set it to remind you at your chosen time of day, like 6:00 AM or, if you like sleeping in, 7:00 AM. Don’t worry about daily fluctuations. Once a week (I think it’s on Sunday mornings) the app will tell you your average weight change from the previous week. If you gained or didn’t lose, you’ll adjust your calories for the following week.

Speaking of calories, they’re not all created equal. Stuff you eat does different stuff to your body after you eat it. 1,000 calories of Skittles is not equal to 1,000 calories of angus beef, so a calorie is a calorie is a misleading catchphrase. Stop thinking it.

Get this app and start logging every morsel of food you insert in your food hole.

Eat bigger meals early in the day. There’s a whole circadian rhythm thing to your body. You can look it up if you want, or just take my word for it.

It doesn’t matter if you eat 3 meals, 5 meals, 8 meals or graze all day. There’s some benefit to spacing out your food intake, so eating continually is probably not a good idea, but it’s all pretty minor. Don’t be hungry is probably the best advice for timing your meals. Do be sure to eat a small protein meal before bed.

Make sure you’re eating between .75 and .82 grams of protein per each lb of body weight you’re showing on the scale. Only count quality protein, which means complete protein with all the amino acids. That’s basically dead animals. Don’t count protein from pork rinds since it’s collagen and barely digestible. Protein in vegetables is bogus. Nuts too. Just count the animals you eat.

Eat vegetables like broccoli, brussels, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, celery, romaine lettuce and so forth. Not corn. Don’t eat corn. It’s not a vegetable. I don’t really know what it is.

Almonds, pecans, macadamias, and sunflower seeds are really good. Eat those too.

You can eat some fruit, but not much. Fructose deranges your DNA. Don’t eat that. Eat some strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. I guess you can eat blackberries. I’ve never had those.

Don’t drink alcohol. At all. In any of its tasty variations.

Use butter, not margarine. Eat eggs. Take Omega 3 fish oils. A lot more than you do now. You want lots of EPA/DHA so take 2 or 3 with every meal. If you want more precision, get  .25 grams of EPA/DHA per 10 lbs of body weight.

Don’t eat rice, potatoes, pasta, Ramen Noodles, breakfast cereals, bagels, bread, pretzels, potato chips, Doritos, ice cream cake, donuts, Pop Tarts, cookies, nachos, and under no circumstances, do you ever eat soybeans, or soy anything. No soy milk, soy latte, tofu, or soybean oil. Ever. In fact, the only oil you should eat is olive oil and I wouldn’t go overboard on that either. Coconut oil is good too. I put a tablespoon in my coffee and whey protein beverage every morning before lifting weights.

Use salt and other spices on the regular. Low carb dieting tends to cause a decline in important minerals like sodium, so don’t be shy about salting your food. No, it’s not bad for you.

If you’re dying for something sweet, a little dark chocolate does a body good. The lowest sugar kind you can find. I prefer Lindt’s 85% myself.

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Sugar free jello is pretty awesome too. I used to consume a ton of Cool Whip because I love ice cream and the Whip is a low carb alternative. However, it’s not like an actual food so I eventually gave it up. When you’re knocking back a tub of Cool Whip every couple of days, you know you’ve got a problem.

To start out, try eating roughly the same amount of calories every day. We’ll talk about cycling higher and lower days in a minute, but just getting the habit down is most important.

Okay, now that you’ve been weighing in and logging every single item of food you consume for a few weeks, you’re armed and ready to drop some fat. Sunday morning, your weight log app tells you the average weight change last week was +0.1 lbs. Great, you’re not getting fatter, but you’re also not getting leaner. Time to cut some calories. Look at your daily calorie intake from the prior week on your food tracking app, and cut them. How much? I used to cut 100 calories a day when I wasn’t in a hurry to get lean and was fine was gradual fat loss (I lost 33 lbs in one year to get to sub 10% body fat). I think it’s healthier and it’s less stressful to do it slowly. Cut 150 if you’re daring. Now if you gained weight, well dammit, you better be cutting more. If your weight tracker told you the average weight change last week was +1.5 lbs, cut 200-300 calories per day from whatever you were stuffing in your face the previous week.

I’m going to assume you lift weights a lot. If you don’t, you should. Use my UL83 if you’d like. It’s free after all. We can use our weight training schedule to cycle calories a little bit to improve our fat loss results. On days when you don’t lift at all, eat less. Like a lot less. Still get your protein in, but cut back on added fats like delicious nuts, crunchy pork rinds, and take a pass on the chocolate. Don’t suffer, but just eat less. Here’s a pro tip: it’s okay to be a little hungry. On days you do lift weights, you can eat a little more.

If you’re new to low carb dieting, some things to be aware of:

  1. You may feel a little light headed or foggy in your brain. It doesn’t happen to everyone, and it varies in intensity, but if you’re coming off a daily eating regimen chock full of carbohydrates, you will get brain drain and feel something is definitely wrong with you. You’re fine. Have some coffee and carry on. After a few days, your body will adapt to the lack of easy, sugary glucose for your brain fuel and replace it with ketones.
  2. The weight on the scale will drop really fast in the first week or so.  Exciting sure, but it’s water. Your muscle cells and liver are packed with glycogen if you’re a carb junkie and your body stores water in the cells to hold the glycogen. When you stop eating carbs, your glycogen stores empty along with all the water holding the glycogen in your cells. Don’t make any calorie adjustments based on the first week of weight change if you’re a new low carb aficionado.

Continue this process permanently. You’ll eventually get to a point where you like the way you look and think you don’t need to do this anymore. You’re wrong. You’ll get fat. This isn’t a diet, it’s just how you fuel your body for maximum health and minimum blubber, so you’re not on a diet. Stop telling people that, but most importantly, stop telling yourself that.

This all sounds like a pain in the ass? I thought you said you wanted to get lean?

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