Eric Helms Interview

[margin20] So, I’m sitting there this fine morning enjoying my bowl of Peanut Butter Cheerio’s when, as always seems to be the case lately, I see yet another misguided post about IIFYM (If it Fits Your Macro’s) or the term I prefer for it, “Flexible Dieting”..

Where do I start on the sheer misinformation contained in the posts I’ve seen posted on various forms of social media about probably the most misunderstood lifestyle choice in history? Here is a small pick of the gems I’ve seen lately..

[one_third][pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”red”]Anyone who follows IIFYM will end up soft and puffy![/pullquote2][/one_third]
[one_third][pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”red”]Anyone who follows IIFYM and in shape is doing steroids because you can’t get like that with the foods they eat[/pullquote2][/one_third]
[one_third_last][pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”red”]Why does everyone who follows IIFYM look like they don’t lift?[/pullquote2][/one_third_last]

That middle quote is especially ridiculous coming from a fairly popular net “coach” – a sad state of affairs indeed for someone with a fair sized audience to be spreading such misinformation. I’ll certainly make a post about what IIFYM/Flexible Dieting REALLY is in the future for those who are unaware of how it works but for now, pictures are worth a thousand words.

I was advised by somebody I really respect not to make this post if it was just to prove these people wrong, but the truth is that their minds were made up and closed a long time ago – This post is aimed more positively to those who’s minds are still open to learning and to the possibilities.

So, let’s answer all of those quotes in this one post shall we? Lets say my WBFF Pro card win using flexible dieting was a total fluke, here are 10 NATURAL, aesthetic dudes who also use IIFYM/Flexible dieting (The list is in no particular order – that would be far too subjective and not the point of this post). Do you fella’s even lift…?

(Click pictures to enlarge)

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Matt Ogus

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One of the names most often associated with IIFYM or Flexible Dieting – you’ve likely stumbled upon some of Matt’s videos on Youtube.

Matt was who initially opened my eyes to Flexible Dieting. I’ll be real..my first exposure of him, I thought, “This guy is bullshittin’!! Why is he lying to people about eating Pop Tarts and being in shape!” (That’s the common fearful reaction of someone who doesn’t understand the concept of flexible dieting).

However, it was only when I watched more of his videos, saw the content that he was delivering with his coach (now my coach too), Eric Helms and saw that they were genuinely knowledgeable with the intention of helping people, I started to open my mind.

Matt is one of the most aesthetic dudes out there and his YouTube channel/LegendsofAesthetics movement is going from strength to strength – It’s a shame all those pop-tarts and burrito’s he eats made him soft though.. Trollolol.

 

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Ryan Doris

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The epitome of what EpicAesthetics and my vision of what being “Aesthetic” should mean – Enter Ryan Doris. One of the best natural bodybuilders on the planet but also somebody who has clearly taken this lifestyle and used it to grow from inside out .

Ryan carries all of the traits that I aspire to – Humble, intelligent, hungry, forever learning and what can you say about his physique? Definitely impressive for someone who “looks like they don’t even lift” and uses a flexible diet, eh?..We salute you, Mr Doris. Inspiring.

 

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Kane Sumabat

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If you aren’t following Kane on one or all of his social media accounts, you are seriously missing out. Dude has had me laughing my ass off on more than the odd occasion with some of his quirky Instagram posts and videos – Kane has one of the least restricted diets you’ll probably ever see..all made possible because he knows the importance of tracking his macronutrients consistently.

He’s also pretty inspiring if you feel like you can’t be in shape past your 40’s – Kane isn’t exactly a spring chicken but you could never tell from his physique and sense of humour. I’d be pretty happy if I end up as badass as Kane in my future years.

In case you couldn’t tell by now, I have a slight man-crush on Kane.

 

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Kevin Riley

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Introducing another member of our Team 3DMJ family – Kevin Riley. I had to reserve a spot on this list for Kevin because he pretty much has it all : Phenomenal genetics, work ethic and though I’ve never met him personally, he seems like a thoroughly nice guy from what I’ve seen in his interactions in our private 3DMJ group.

Kevin earned his Natural Pro Card at the Muscle Mayhem show just recently gone in 2013

 

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Alberto Nunez

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Alberto Nunez’ name almost always crops up when the inevitable question from the naysayers pops up, “So who can you tell me that has gotten in any kind of shape using IIFYM/Flexible Dieting??”

Berto is 1 of 4 coaches of 3DMJ (3DMuscleJourney – all of whom have earned Natural Bodybuilding Pro cards) who specialise in natural bodybuilding contest prep as well as off-season and program consultations.

Aside from being able to get into totally “Gross” contest shape all naturally with a very flexible diet, his knowledge of the anatomy and movement patterns is also second to none. There’s always an “Aha!” light bulb moment within every Alberto video that I’ve watched.

 

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Chris Jones

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You know who it is..Chris Jones, representing Physiques of Greatness!

Chris Jones of Youtube fame (He co-runs the channel Physiques of Greatness which has taken the Youtube Fitness Community by absolute storm over the last year or two) is another gentleman who likes to take some time out and enjoy the finer things in life – eating out at places like Denny’s and KFC!

While I doubt Chris Jones would ever call what he does “IIFYM”, this is a perfect example of somebody who has found a balance in his lifestyle that includes fitness which HE can stick to for life. Chris Jones is possibly the perfect example of what Flexible Dieting is.

 

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Josh Hyaduck

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Josh is another genetic freak ala Kevin Riley. With thick and full muscle bellies, he is a true mesomorph in every sense of the word – A physique who’s structure reminds me of former Mr Olympia, Jay Cutler. For his physique to resemble a former Mr O, while being a Natural pro bodybuilder speaks volumes about the physical qualities that Josh has.

One of Josh’s diet tips in an interview was, “not to be caught up in “clean” eating and fit foods that you enjoy into your daily macronutrient needs – There is no reason to be restricted to certain foods when dieting”..fancy that? Somebody who got in this kind of shape with no restrictions..

 

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Chris Lavado

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“The Yuckster” is yet another member of the 3DMJ family that I too belong to.

Having had the pleasure of meeting this cool dude, Matt Ogus and Jeff Seid on their visit to my hometown of London after I turned pro, I can confirm that Chris is another gentleman who has not only achieved a great physique through flexible dieting but also developed his mind through it too.

The fact that Chris, Matt Ogus and Jeff Seid were ALL in the final stages of contest preparation when I met them while they were on vacation in London (They live in California) just goes to show you what can be achieved through flexible dieting. Know many other competitors that would go on vacation so close to a contest? Well, if you’re a flexible dieter, you can and still turn up shredded to the bone on contest day like they all did.

 

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Mike Raso

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Upon first visiting Mike Raso’s FB page, you might think that you’ve landed on a fitness troll page – Pictures of Italian pastries, cakes, pastas and deserts can be found in abundance!

While I’m not always in agreement with all of Mike’s posts (Wouldn’t it be boring if we all did?), what I appreciate about Mike is not only his impressive physique, but also witnessing his changing thought process over the years and opening his mind to a different way of achieving fitness that fits in with a lifestyle that he enjoys.

This is the exact meaning of “flexible dieting” and Mike Raso is another great example of how flexible dieting allows fitness to fit into YOUR lifestyle, not the other way around.

 

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Ray Querido

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Ray is somebody that I’ve only just recently started following but I’ve really admired his attitude and demeanour so far.

Like myself, Ray seems only interested in spreading the truth to the masses in order to draw them into the lifestyle instead of putting uneccesary obstacles up that might otherwise put the public off of joining in with this rewarding lifestyle.

His physique speaks for itself and the condition he gets in for his natural bodybuilding contests is just another irrefutable example of how IIFYM/Flexible Dieting just simply works!

How to Lose Belly Fat in 1 Week – 10 Steps to Get Beach Ready

how to lose belly fat in 1 week

Soooo, you’ve left it late? Real late. The big date, wedding, vacation or whatever has crept up on you and you need to know how to lose belly fat in 1 week..Or maybe you’re already pretty lean but want to take it to the next level for when you’re letting it all hang out on the beach? (This article is aimed more for you peeps who sit at around 10-12% bodyfat or less)

With summer having arrived (Unless you live in the U.K like I do..) and vacation time draws near, my Facebook is full to the max with status’ of people trying to use “emergency” measures to get their beach body. Sometimes giving themselves only a month, a fortnight or even a week to lose belly fat..

There is a simple solution to this problem, of course, and that’s to stay in fairly good shape, year round. (Although, who stays “model-ripped” all year though, really? Unless you have work coming in left, right and centre which require you to be in photoshoot shape..)

Well, I’m going to show you how you can see a fairly drastic change in only a single week if you’re carrying a bit of extra belly fat. Keyword here is a “bit” – The results are obviously less noticeable, the higher in fat you are. It took you longer than a week to get that spare tyre so don’t expect to torch all of your fat in a single week either! First things first, though. This routine will burn fat all over..but if you’re carrying that last bit of fat in the belly, you’ll see a satisfying difference.

I really am not trying to enable or point this article in the direction of those people who never train but then suddenly decide to get serious with 1 week to go until their vacation!

But hey, I know it will be mostly you guys who use this article so hopefully when you see the results that this intense week brings, you’ll be motivated to pick up exercise as more of a lifestyle choice! And that would be my good deed for the day..Just be wary though, that these drastic steps aren’t to be used all year round to burn fat – This is what you would call a “peaking” method to get your body looking it’s absolute best. Quite similar to preparing for a photoshoot or competition but with vacation in mind. Using these steps week in and week out will burn you out, FAST. You’ve been warned.

Finally, before I stop blabbing on and get to the meat of this post, you need to know that the great thing about this intense week is that during your vacation you’ll have a window of a few days to be totally lax with your diet (Cause’ who want’s to worry about that on vacation??).

Now, this window is pretty awesome because it means that you’ll actually LOOK BETTER as the holiday goes on..by eating junk! The week before your holiday, you’ll be depleting your body and as soon as you start refuelling, all of that good stuff you’ll be eating at the all-inclusive will be directed straight to your muscles! So your muscles will be looking PUMPED if you’re a guy and if you’re a girl? That muscular definition will have you looking HOT in your bikini!

So, let’s get to it..Here are 10 simple steps on how to lose belly fat in 1 week!

 

How to Lose Belly Fat in 1 Week – Step 1 – Reduce Calories

Let’s keep things real – If you want to burn fat, you need to have a negative energy balance. Sure, there are some other factors involved but bottom line – Get yourself in a calorie deficiet..Meaning that you need to burn more calories than you are consuming.

Use this calculator on my site to figure out a basic number of calories to eat for this week..and be strict! Be honest about your activity levels when inputting your statistics into the calculator. Follow the calorie amount it tells you that you need to eat to “lose fat”. If you’re very high in bodyfat, this calculator will overestimate your calorie requirements so you’ll need to reduce further…but then again, if you’re too high in bodyfat don’t expect drastic visual changes in a week.

Count calories and weigh your food if you need to. You’re not doing this forever..If you’ve been disciplined at eating crap for most of the year, then a week of being disciplined at this won’t kill you, will it? 😉

 

Step 2 – Reduce Carbs

Reduce your carbs to the point you’re ONLY getting them in from fibrous vegetables and greens. Things like Asparagus, broccoli, kale etc.

This reduction in carbs will automatically allow you to drop water weight from your body. It’s estimated that for every gram of carbohydrate we consume, 2.7 grams of water is pulled into the muscle. So by reducing your carbs, 7-9lbs of water lost in a week isn’t that uncommon! The great thing about when you finally go on holiday and, I’m assuming you’ll be rather

The fibre from the veg will keep your digestive system and colon running smoothly in the presence of the high protein and essential fats you’ll be replacing your carbs with.

By reducing our carbs, we’re also trying to deplete our glycogen levels (“muscle energy”, in simple terms) over the course of the week to allow the food that we do eat on vacation to be driven straight into our starving muscles.

 

Step 3 – Increase Protein

Increase your consumption of protein to at least 1.5 grams per lb of your bodyweight per day. I.E. if you weigh 150lbs, then take in 225 grams of protein per day.

You’re trying to maintain your muscle mass and lose from the place it matters the most – FAT!

Increasing your protein will allow you to do this while you’re in a calorie deficiet – Use sources like whey protein isolate (or hemp protein powder), chicken, turkey, lean beef, eggs, tuna, oily fish etc.

 

Step 4 – Remove Allergens

This step is optional – Remove food allergens from your diet. I’d take away gluten, wheat and dairy. These are the usual suspects. So things like milk, cheese, whey protein shakes, bread, pasta etc will need to go for this week.

Now, this is a controversial topic. I know for a FACT, and I have people who can verify, that I was eating bread and lots of it when I was the most lean I’d ever been in my life. So already, this means I was getting a lot of wheat and a lot of gluten..

You know what, though? I still had a negative energy balance at the end of the day and I burnt fat..a LOAD of it too.

There are some “guru’s” that will have you believe that you’ll see instant changes in your belly fat as soon as these allergens are removed from your diet..

I personally tried this for a good 3 weeks when I was preparing for my fitness model contest in April 2012 and I didn’t see any increase in fat loss what so ever or any drastic changes in my physique. I guess I’m not allergic to any of these things?

Now, if you are allergic, and you might not even know you are, then you will see a reduction in your belly fat. Or at least you’ll see the “appearance” of drastically reduced belly fat because of the bloating that may have been caused by these foods and your allergy to them.

Test it out for a week. Remove these allergens – It won’t kill ya and you might even discover some foods that don’t agree with your stomach!

 

Step 5 – Drink Tons of Water

You should be getting in 2 litres a day anyhow but if you’re in training that should easily increase to at least 3-4 litres a day.

70% of our body is made up of water so it only makes sense that we need to nourish it with what it’s made from!

Drinking plenty of water has been shown to help burn fat more efficiently, gets rid of more water from beneath your skin to make your skin tighter (ironic eh? – Drink more to lose more) and increase your performance in the gym, which will of course lead to more fat loss. This is a no-brainer when it comes to losing your belly fat – Drink plenty of water.

 

Step 6 – Metabolic Workouts

There’s a simple training routine I want you to follow here. A resistance routine with minimal rest periods and select exercises that are big, compound movements to burn maximal calories. (an example is below)

I’d recommend either an all over body workout each session.  Or you could split your body in two. Upper Body and Lower Body/Abs.

Hit this example routine 4-5 times in the final week before your vacation or 3 times if you’re not as experienced.

Perform each exercise in a circuit fashion, using approximately 70% of your 1 rep max (if you’re not sure what these means, just pick a weight that challenges you for 12-15 reps. Your muscles should be close to failure, but not quite, at the end of each exercise). The only rest you’ll take between exercises is the time it takes you to walk to the next exercise. Here’s an example all over body routine :

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Exercise 1 – Squats | 12-15 reps

Exercise 2 – Pullups/Lat Pulldown | 12-15 reps

Exercises 3 – Deadlifts | 12-15 reps

Exercise 4 – Bench Press | 12-15 reps

Exercise 5 – Dumbell Lunges | 12-15 each side

Exercise 6 – Military Press | 12-15 each side

Take 2 minutes rest and repeat the circuit X 3

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This routine serves three purposes

1) It will help to deplete your muscles of glycogen, turning them into a sponge ready to soak up all of your holiday food/drink
2) You’ll be burning tons of fat during and after the workout with the “afterburn” effect you’ll cause. Which means you’ll be melting fat way after the workout is over and all throughout the week.
3) You will be retaining muscle with this routine. If you lose muscle, then you lose definition and also slow down your metabolism. Something nobody wants. FORGET about “weight loss” for the sake of weight loss. That’s old thinking. If I said You could either LOOK the way you wanted or see a particular number on the scales, which would you choose?…Thought so.

 

Step 7 – Get Your Cardio in Everyday

Burn even more calories by doing either high intensity interval training cardio or just a steady-pace form of cardio for 40-60 minutes (hill walking at a steady pace has worked well for me).

Do your cardio after your metabolic workouts for even more calorie burn.

On your days off from the weight training, perform a short intense ab workout after your cardio. Three exercises emphasizing upper, lower and obliques in a circuit fashion will be fine.

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Ab crunches (slowly and hold contraction at the top) | 3 x 20

Laying leg raises | 3 x 20

Oblique V-Twists | 3 x 20 each side.

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Step 8 – Supplements

Optionally, take the following supplements to help with lipolysis (fat burn) – Click for more information on each supplement :

Green Tea Extract
Caffeine
L-Carnitine
CLA
Yohimbine (as long as you’re not sensitive to it)

 

Step 9 – Fast

Admittedly, this isn’t something I have tried for myself just yet but after reading a few pieces of research, I’m certainly giving this a go before my next vacation and experimental fat loss phase.

On the final day before your vacation, depending on when your flight is, try to abstain from food for around 16-24 hours. This has many reported benefits such as burning even more fat and calories as well as increasing your fat burning hormones.

Some people even use this method once weekly to burn fat or control their bodyfat levels!

You want the end of the 16-24 hour fast to coincide with your first meal on vacation.

 

Step 10 – Enjoy pigging out on holiday and look EVEN better

You made it! You should now be looking a lot leaner and meaner after that intense 7 days of work and the funs just about to start..

You’ve earned your vacation and the best part? You can pretty much go wild, totally guilt free because you’ve just set your body up in such a way that everything you eat (to a certain point) will go straight to your muscle and energy stores, rather than turn into unsightly belly fat!

So you’ll actually look BETTER as the holiday goes on (you’ll probably peak around day 3 or 4)! Be sure to bring your swagger to the beach on days 3-4 where you can put that new torso on display! 😉

While everybody comes back from their vacation moaning and depressed about the new “holiday weight” they are carrying, you’ll be back having not suffered very much damage at all! Perfect, right?

It’s a tough week to put yourself through but nobody said it would be easy…just totally worth it when you’re on that beach being hated on because of your washboard abs!

Well, now you know how to lose belly fat in 1 week. You’ll lose a fair amount of fat for a 7 day period but this routine is far better to peak a physique that is in pretty good shape already and minimize holiday damage.

Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments below. Don’t forget to share and like this article if you think it may help others..(or keep it yourself if you want it to be your secret weapon, I guess 😉 ) Don’t forget to join my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter. Links can be found in the side bar of my blog!

Keep kickin’ ass

Altug

Carb Cycling Diet – Sample Day of my Pre-Contest Diet

So, this is a question I get asked on pretty much a daily basis. “What was your diet when you were getting ripped? Can you give us a sample?”

Well, here it is – A sample day from the carb cycling diet I used to get myself into contest shape in April 2012.

To be honest, I’d rather people bugged me about this than some of the other questions I get (nobody truly bugs me, really – I do like answering questions ;). The importance some newbies place on supplements and some of the questions I get in relation to them sometimes make me wanna bang my head against a wall! So, being asked about my nutrition is refreshing considering how important this aspect always is.

I’ve also filmed a video about the diet if you prefer to watch video, where I also explain how I was logging my diet and macronutrients. Check it out below and underneath that, you’ll find the sample day of my carb cycling diet!

 

[box]Carb Cycling Diet

2249 Calories
307 grams Protein
62 grams Carbs (not including green veg)
97 grams Fats.

Meal 1 – 2 x Bacon Rashers (fat cut off), 4 egg white + 1 whole egg scrambled, cooked in a dash of Olive oil.

Meal 2 – 400gram Fillet Steak, 20 grams Almonds, Vegetables/Greens

Meal 3 – Chicken Breast 170 grams, Brown Basmati Rice 100 grams, 100 grams Brocolli

Meal 4 – Post Workout – Whey/Casein Protein mix 55 grams, Maltodextrin 20 grams

Meal 5 – 4 Egg Whites Scrambled, Half an avocado

Meal 6 – 4 Liquid Egg Whites, Mixed with Casein Protein 53 grams (2 scoops)[/box]

 

This diet breaks down to approximately 60/10/30 ratio of protein/carbs/fats

The idea of carb cycling is to go a certain number of days with low carbohydrates to encourage lypolysis (the breakdown of fat) followed by a refeed day of moderate to high carbs to enhance the fat burning signalling hormone, Leptin, which is suppressed by a consistently low carbohydrate diet.

You can use a ratio as low as 2:1 (2 days low carbohydrate followed by 1 day of higher carbohydrates – Rinse and repeat). All the way up to a 5:1 ratio where you utilise a low carb diet on 5 days followed by a 1 day refeed. The maximum I went was a 4:1 ratio and continued to burn fat whilst keeping my muscle and strength in the gym. I found the carb cycling diet to be fantastic for keeping muscle mass and strength in the gym all the way to contest day.

The trick to the carb cycling method is to keep your protein nice and high. (At LEAST 1.5 grams per lb of your bodyweight to maintain muscle) You are also increasing your good fats slightly from fish oils, nuts, avocado and seeds. A lot of your energy for the day will be from these sources.

If this carb cycling diet was helpful to you, feel free to use the toolbar to like, share and tweet this to your friends! Also, don’t forget to leave me your comments below and let’s get some chat going!

Let me know how much ass you kick with this diet and, oh yeah..how much fat you burn too.

Altug

Carb Cycling – 8 Things I Learned About this Low Carb Diet

Argh! The dreaded low carb diet. To be honest, before my first contest, my only other experience of a “low carb” diet was a very, very bad one where I felt low on energy and like I was having a weird “out of body” experience..So, I was really apprehensive about starting a low carb diet…

Some of you may know that for my first ever contest prep on April 1st of this year (2012), I decided to utilise the Carb Cycling method to get shredded for the stage.

If you don’t know, Carb Cycling is a method where by you are on a low carb diet for as little as 2 days in a row all the way up to 5 days in a row (I went as low as 50-80 grams of carbs a day). These low carb days are then followed by a “refeed” day of moderate to high carbs and then back on to your low carb days..

Here’s what I learned :

 

1 – Your Energy Levels Actually Get BETTER

This was a strange revelation to me. As I metioned, the last time I utilised a low carb diet was not a good experience at all. But then again, I too was way less experienced and knew less about nutrition than I do now.

I remember it was a member of my team when I used to be a gym manager handing out a “challenge” which was his crazy “Zero Carb – 1000 calorie” method of dieting for a week.

As I had a vacation coming up, I thought I’d take him up on it. I am also one competitive mofo by nature 😉

Now, I had got shredded before on a fairly moderate carb diet that also included grains, pasta etc. (Those “experts” and gurus who tell you that you can’t get ripped on grains/bread/pasta are talking S%&*!)

Anyway, after 2 days of this low carb and low calorie diet, I started trembling and feeling like absolute death so I sacked off this crazy and, in hindsight, very stupid diet. So, deciding to use carb cycling for my pre-contest diet, I was very fearful the same thing would happen.

I had nothing to fear and neither do you!

My energy levels were stable, my mind was totally clear (I didn’t have that “foggy” feeling you get when you’re on crazy-high carbs) – The thing with carb cycling is that it isn’t a “super low” calorie diet.

You’ll still have energy from the good fats that you’ll be consuming and in the absence of plentiful carbs, your body will re-route that energy from fats and protein. Our bodies are smarter and more adaptive than we give them credit for.

 

2 – WAY more focus in the gym!

Another really strange effect I wasn’t expecting. When I have a big carb meal pre and intra workout like many of the literature in my certifications and fitness experts recommend, I always found myself yawning through my workout!

Not so with Carb Cycling! On my low carb days, my focus was laser-like! No unnecesary rest periods or moping around. I had a mission and that mission was to get the workout DONE as quickly, as intensely as humanly possible and GTFO of the gym to recover!

I always try to train like this anyway but the mental clarity I got from being on low carbohydrates made achieving this a whole lot easier.

 

3 – NO muscle loss

This is what everybody is fearful of. I just wish I would have started cutting fat earlier because I would have been in better shape on show day.

I left myself 12 weeks to cut down for contest shape and I got lean but not quite lean enough to place top 3. Just missed out on it by placing 4th out of 13, Not bad considering I had a 36.5 inch waist 12 weeks prior but there was no need for me to delay cutting fat..and there is no need for you to delay it either!

95% of the people I meet at the gym who ask me how I got so shredded for the contest are bigger than me and bigger than I was before I started cutting too BUT they are all too scared to start cutting because they don’t feel big enough..

I was exactly the same and my only advice to anybody who feels this way from my own experience is…Stop being such a P***y!!

Seriously, I barely lost any strength until depletion week (This is where you literally empty every last drop of your energy stores before the competition so that’s to be expected) and I didn’t lose any muscle.

My arms, which is what I always go by when measuring muscle loss because they are always first to go, were 16.25 when I started cutting. Contest day they were 16 inches. Factor in I lost a TON of water and fat..I’m pretty certain I lost zero muscle mass..and guess what?? 5 days after the show, my arms were back up to a solid 16.25 inches again and I was still pretty lean.

AWESOME – What more can you ask for? Having the same size muscles but your body is now leaner and fuller! What’s not to love?

Trust me, don’t be scared of losing muscle if you’re getting in enough protein and still keeping your intensity high in the gym. Don’t be one of those guys who are bulking for 8 years straight but never truly look in great shape.

 

4 – It’s NOT a very depriving or mentally challenging diet to follow

Low-Carb sounded like hell to me and I was preparing myself for the worst. I was mentally up for the challenge and was bracing myself to be super strong in that regard..Well, the challenge never really came.

Don’t get me wrong, if I had to stay low carb for the duration of the 12 weeks I probably would have cracked but the beauty about carb cycling is that you always have that carb day within reach.

That day, you get to stock up on your carbs and you’re off on your merry way. Easy peasy. At least, that’s what I found it to be.

Don’t get me wrong, you can DEFINITELY burn fat and get shredded whilst still giving carbs a place in your diet but my point is that it’s not as mentally challenging as most people think to go without them. This was just the method I used this time round.

However, most of our society loves their carbs too much and are too afraid to give them up, even for a little while. The discipline is lacking if you’re one of those that just can’t say “no” then that doesn’t bode well for my next point..

 

5 – You MUST be strict on Carb Cycling

There is no, “Oh I’m going to go out for a few drinks” on your low carb day. Or, it’s my best friends birthday so I’m just going to have a pizza and a Nando’s (“YOLO” and all that annoying cop-out shit!).

If you’re carb cycling, you need to stick to the program. This goes for any diet or program you’re following. If you can’t say “no” to getting drunk or “no” to a food binge, at the very least on your low carb days then carb cycling isn’t for you. Find a different type of lifestyle diet that will allow those things within it.

Heck, my birthday fell on my low carb day. We all went to a club and got a table filled with alcoholic drink and I just had sugar free Red Bull all night because I had a goal. I wasn’t about to stray from it regardless of what day it was.

This isn’t me getting on my high horse or insinuating that people who are strict are better than anyone or anything like that – I’m just saying that if you’ve made a choice, have the balls to stick to it and carry it through to the end! WHATEVER your chosen method is.

I hear people so many times saying “I’m on this diet” or “I’m doing this bikini body challenge” etc and their next Facebook picture update is a shot of an empty box of Krispy Kreme’s..Really??

“YOLO” I guess? *rolls eyes*

Anyway, Carb Cycling needs DISCIPLINE. If you ain’t got it, don’t do it.

 

6 – It burns fat, WELL – even WITHOUT cardio

Confession – I hate cardio, At least I hate standard, boring machine cardio. I put off cardio for as long as I could and I still burnt 4 inches of fat off of my waist in 8 weeks just by hitting my weight training hard and carb cycling.

The weight training was a VERY important factor in this fat being burned so if you’re licking your lips thinking “Awesome! I can burn fat on this diet without exercise” then you’re wrong..well, only half right.

You might burn a bit of fat but most of your loss will be muscle and water because your body will see no reason to hang on to your muscle if you’re not using them.

Which means your metabolism will slow right down because muscles burn calories..which means you’ll put the fat back on quicker than you lost it if you go back to your old eating ways. Fun, fun!

My rule I used for this was to keep measuring my waist weekly and when I stopped losing half an inch on my waist was the week I added cardio 3-4 x a week as well as my weight training 5-6 times a week.

This got the last 2 inches off my waist like a charm.

If you’re not competing and just want to be in great shape, I think you’ll be really impressed with the cardio time this diet saves you if you are weight training intensely.

 

7 – Meals Are TASTY!

When you’ve made a choice to use a diet that’s predominently low in carbs you have two options.

You can either dread it and hate every single meal that you struggle to get through

or

You can get your creative hat on and make some SERIOUSLY tasty meals to make carb cycling a joy!

Yeah, I said it..you can actually enjoy carb cycling.

I don’t confess to being the greatest cook but with a little effort I made some great tasting meals including chilli beef strips, lemon and herbed chicken with sweet potato mash and baked salmon with lemon and asparagus.

Get good with herbs, spices and vegetables. Learn which marinades are healthy like lemon, mustard, chilli paste, vinegarette etc.

Get to know what goes with what and you’ll actually look forward to your meals!

Here’s a free tip : Nando’s Medium or Hot Sauce – Almost calorie-free! Oh yeaaah 😉
(Don’t go crazy though..One or two teaspoons will suffice)

 

8 – Carb Cycling is a Maintainable Lifestyle

Following on from the last point – Due to the variety of tasty meal options you have at your disposal with a little creativity, it’s not that difficult to maintain your new lean, mean physique!

Once you’ve got to where you need to be, all that needs to happen if you wish to maintain is to simply use the minimal carb cycling protocol of 2 days low carb with 1 day of moderate carbs. This is achievable for most lifestyles with a bit of preparation.

Simple!

Conclusion

I was very impressed with the Carb Cycling protocol for burning fat and if you haven’t tried it yet, I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot.

You’ll have great energy levels, feel more focused in your workouts without feeling deprived of your sanity and best of all? You’ll keep all of your hard earned muscle, strength and burn a boatload of unwanted fat.

Remember though, if carb cycling doesn’t appeal to you then simply choose another method of burning fat that suits your lifestyle better. There’s no point being miserable while you’re getting in great shape because fitness should be the culmination and wellbeing of all aspects of your life, including the mental aspect.

There were plenty of athletes who just progressively lowered their carbs weekly in preparation for the contest and I’m sure others used different methods too. Carb Cycling was just my weapon of choice and it did a great job of declaring war on my bodyfat levels!

Stay tuned for a video and an

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Til next time..

Altug