How To Replace The Lovehandles With A Rock-Hard Washboard
The first thing you have to realize, is that there’s no “magic trick” to it. It took you months, probably years to get the lovehandles in the first place, so no matter how many crunches you do, they aren’t going to magically melt away over the weekend. The sad truth is that you’ll have to work for it. You’ll have to burn more calories than you consume, and you’ll have to stick to the plan for several weeks in order to achieve it. That means, less snacks in front of the tube and more time on the treadmill. Doesn’t sound like fun eh?
But don’t despair! There IS a way to make it through these weeks without suffering from hunger and boredom! As long as you keep in mind that you aren’t getting anything for free, least of all a washboard, there are plenty of ways to help yourself out along the way. But first, let’s get down to the actual fat burning process. If you don’t know the basics, you’ll risk going through a lot of unnecessary suffering that won’t result in what you want.
The main objective is, surprisingly enough, NOT to burn fat but to maintain your muscle! How come? The answer lies in the function of the muscle vs. the fat. Fat is a passive storage of energy. It does nothing but sit there, waiting to be used. The muscle, on the other hand, is ACTIVE tissue, using energy itself. The more muscle you have, the more energy is used, and it does in fact burn a substantial amount of energy even while you sleep! Think of every pound of muscle you’re able to keep as a little fat-burning aid, burning a little extra 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Setting the gauge
First of all, you have to find out your basal metabolism, i.e. maintenance need for calories. This is essential to make sure you’re not fumbling in the dark when you start altering it. Doing so is easy. Write down everything you eat for a week (without cheating). Get a good calorie-counting book, sum it up and split the total calories into 7, and you have the daily maintenance level, assuming you didn’t gain or lose weight during that week. Assume you ended up with the sum of 3500 kcal a day, which would be a fairly big bodybuilder, let’s say with a bodyweight about 220 lbs.
Aim for creating a small calorie deficit of about 500 kcal a day. This means 3500 calories a week, which happens to equal a pound of fat. Any weight loss beyond that 1 pound a week is undesirable, as that most probably means you’ve burned a bit of muscle in the process! Your food consists of Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat, of which fat is the “bandit”. The reason is simple: while protein and carbs only contain 4 calories per gram, the fat contain a whopping 9 calories per gram!! In essence, this means that you can eat more than TWICE AS MUCH protein and carbs as fat for the same amount of calories!
The most essential trap to avoid is cutting down on protein. Experiments have shown that bodybuilders should eat approx. 1 gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight for best results. More, and you’re putting unnecessary strain on the kidneys without much in return, and less means holding back your gains. The 220 lbs guy should be in the 200-250 grams a day range to be on the safe side. When you cut down on calories, you either keep the protein intake up or the body will start eating away on the muscle to gets its protein! My recommendation would be to aim for about 33% protein (250 grams or 1000 kcal), 50% carbs (375 grams or 1500 kcal) 17% fat (55,5 grams or 500 kcal). Why the fat? Shouldn’t I avoid that like the plague? No, if you do so your body will adjust to “non-fat” environment and hold on to what it’s got. But try to avoid saturated fats (butter etc) in favor for olive oil, fish oil and similar sources.
In order to maintain muscle while burning fat, I’ve found that a combination of cardiovascular training, such as treadmill, Versaclimber, biking, etc. and traditional, heavy weight training to work best. The cardio allows you to burn, say, an extra 800 kcal 3-4 times a week, while the training requires your muscle to remain strong and intact. Keep the weights heavy. Work out on an almost-empty stomach, preferrably in the morning and for about 30-45 minutes. A good idea is to get a protein drink – pure protein – before going to the gym, as it’ll help you spare muscle, but avoid carbs until AFTER the training. Avoid doing BOTH cardio and weight training on the same day.
I have found that supplementing with an ephedrine/caffeine combo caplet three times a day is a great aid in the quest for fatburn without muscle loss. Go for a known brand, like Dragon Pharma‘s Clenbuterol or Kalpa Pharmaceuticals‘ Clenbutaxyl.
So, how does one survive a life of constant hunger you ask? Simple – you don’t have to! Like I said, fat is very calorie-dense while protein and carbs are not. You’ll be surprised how much more you’ll find on your plate when replacing the fat stuff with protein and carbs!
A good trick is to eat several, small meals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar even. Make sure to get some protein with each little meal.
Once a week you can have a treat. And you won’t even have to feel bad about it! Reward yourself with that juicy cheeseburger on Friday night! Just take it into account for the weekly calorie-count, and as long as you keep it strictly to ONCE a week.
Fiber is another god-sent gift for a dieting bodybuilder. It fills you up for a long time, and a breakfast consisting of oatmeal porridge and non-fat milk is as close to perfect as it gets!
Never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. It’s pretty simple – what doesn’t go intoyour cart doesn’t go into you, so when you’ve resisted the temptation in the store, you’re halfway to victory right there!
Psyche yourself up whenever you get the chance. Tell yourself: “I can do it! I WILL get a washboard!” every morning in front of the bathroom mirror.
Variation is the key to avoid boredom. Experiment with different spices! Replace the chickenbreasts with ostrich once in a while! Try some new vegetables! Be imaginative!
Put up a picture of someone really disgustingly fat on your fridge, next to a picture of someone whose physique you admire. It’s a dirty trick, but it works!
Dieting alone is hard, so try get your spouse or friend to do it as well, getting moral support and the advantage of having low-calorie common meals. (There’s nothing harder than sticking to your diet when your spouse is pigging out on all the food you can only dream about!)
If you would end up severely tempted, pull your shirt up, hunch a little and take a good hold of your lovehandles. Hold it for a minute and reconsider the choise – the temptation or a physique to be proud of.