Uncover your abs

BY ADAM BORNSTEIN

There’s a secret every good trainer knows, and it’s one you should know, too.  The fastest way to look like you’ve packed on 10 kilograms of muscle is to lose 5kg of fat. That’s because the closer you come to removing the lard that covers your six-pack, the more defined every muscle becomes, making you look trim all over.

Which is why I’ve spent a lot of time trying to lose my last five kilos of flab. Unfortunately, like many men, I’ve found that goal to be frustratingly elusive. That is, until I enlisted the help of Aragon, whose nutrition and training methods have shaped the bodies of Olympians, competitive bodybuilders and NBA players.

Using Aragon’s advice, I slashed my body fat in half – down to a lifetime low of 6.8 per cent – and sculpted not only the muscles of my midsection, but the ones everywhere else, too. Now it’s your turn. Combine Aragon’s simple five-step diet plan with the workout routine, Trade Fat For Muscle. You’ll finally finish off your gut for good – and make every muscle pop.

STEP 1: Calculate your kilojoules

When it comes to kilojoules, Aragon has a simple rule: eat for your target weight. Let’s say you weigh 100kg but would like to tip the scales at 80. You’ll adopt the kilojoule intake of an 80kg man.

The formula If you perform one hour or less of exercise a week, multiply your target body weight by 22 and then by 4.2 (to convert calories to kilojoules). That’s how many kilojoules you should consume daily. However, if you work out for more than one hour, add 2.2 to the first multiplier for every additional hour you train. So, if your target body weight is 80kg and you exercise for three hours a week, you’d multiply 80 by 26.4 (22 + 2.2 x 2) then by 4.2 – giving you a target of 8870kJ a day. You can divide those kilojoules into however many meals you want – three, four, five or six – as long as you don’t eat beyond your daily limit.

The author, Adam Bornstein, before and after this diet and exercise plan. He cut his body-fat % in half.

STEP 2: Eat by the numbers

Don’t just focus on kilojoules. By eating the right amounts of the right nutrients, you’ll speed your results without feeling hungry.

PROTEIN If you’re a regular reader of MH, you don’t need to be sold on the virtues of protein, since it’s the raw material for muscle growth. But it also helps extinguish your appetite and aids in fat loss.

The formula Eat 2.2 grams for every kilogram of your target body weight. If you want to weigh 80kg, you’ll eat 176g of protein. One gram of protein is about 17kJ. So to calculate the kilojoules you’ll be eating from protein, multiply the number of grams by 17. In this case, that’s 2992kJ.

FAT For years, this nutrient was considered a dietary demon. However, recent studies clearly show that it’s not fat that inflates your belly, but too many kilojoules. And, it turns out, fat may actually keep you from overeating because it makes you feel full. The end result: you stop eating sooner and stay satisfied longer.

The formula Eat 1.1g for every kilogram of your target body weight. If your goal is to weigh 80kg, that’d be 88g. And since one gram of fat has about 38kJ, that’s 3344kJ from fat. This will be about 40 per cent of your total kilojoules.

CARBOHYDRATES Carb-containing foods not only taste good, but can also be rich in vitamins and minerals. So you don’t need to eliminate them altogether; you just need to make sure you don’t eat them to excess. And consuming the right amounts of protein and fat will make that goal far easier, since both keep hunger at bay. That’s one key reason Aragon places a greater priority on protein and fat, and leaves the remainder of your kilojoules for carbs.

The formula Add your kilojoules from protein and fat, and subtract that total from your allotted daily kilojoules. Using the 80kg example, that leaves you with 2534kJ. This is the amount of kilojoules you can eat from carbs. As with protein, carbs provide about 17kJ per gram – so divide your carb kilojoules by 17 to determine how many grams of carbs you can eat. In this case, it’s about 150g.

STEP 3: Create your menu

Build your diet around foods you’d find in nature. You should choose mainly meat, eggs, dairy, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, plus grain products that are made with 100 per cent wholemeal flour. Note that typical junk foods – lollies, baked goods and sugary drinks – don’t make the list.

Use the food options listed here as a guide for designing your diet. Mix and match the foods in any way you like while following the kilojoule, protein, fat and carb guidelines for your target body weight. The nutrition numbers listed don’t provide exact amounts of kilojoules and other nutrients, but these averages allow you to quickly eyeball your intake.

STEP 4: Dial in your diet

Follow these rules to make your eating plan even more effective.
1. Consume at least two servings of vegetables a day. Vegies are low in kilojoules and high in belly-filling fibre.
2. Eat at least two servings of fruit a day. Fruit provides your muscles with plenty of carbs for energy, but has less impact on your blood sugar than grains and other high-starch foods. This is important because it can help you avoid the cravings and binges that occur when your blood sugar rises quickly and then crashes. Ideally, most of your carbs will come from fruits and vegetables. So limit yourself to just two daily servings of grains, beans and high-starch vegetables, and consume the rest of your carbs from fresh produce.
3. On the days you work out, eat one hour before you exercise and again within 60 minutes after your last rep. For both meals, aim for 0.55g per kilo of your target body weight in protein and carbs. So if your goal is to be 80kg, you’d eat 44g of each nutrient. This provides your muscles with a healthy dose of nutrients for fuelling your workout and for upgrading your muscles after you’re done. Keep in mind that your total protein and carb intake for the day doesn’t change; you’re just eating strategically for better results. Options are:

• A preformulated shake, such as Musashi Bulk Mass Gain Protein Blend ($49.99/2.5kg; epharmacy.com.au), that has a mix of protein and carbs. Add fruit if you need more carbs.

• A shake that’s almost all protein – such as GNC Pro Performance Lo-Carb Delite ($109.95/2kg; gnclivewell.com.au) – along with ½ cup of oatmeal and a piece of fruit.

• A tuna- or chicken-salad sandwich.

STEP 5: Forget about the details occasionally

One meal a week, go ahead and splurge. “There’s always room for junk food, as long as it’s a minority of your intake,” says Aragon.

Source – www.menshealth.com.au