The best way to maintain a ripped physique is to eat the right foods at the right time. This is something that we can all do 365 days a year. It doesn’t include eating foods that taste terrible. It also doesn’t include counting calories or ‘watching what we eat’.
1. No carbs in the morning.
Studies have shown that our fat cells are most receptive to spikes in insulin during the morning. What this means is that foods like carbohydrates (oatmeal, toast, sugar, fruit) and dairy (milk, cheese) that spike our insulin levels actually feed our fat cells.
Instead of having a massive, carb-filled breakfast, have 3-6 eggs with an avocado and some veggies. The thing we want to remember about a high protein and high fat diet is that yes, it helps us maintain muscle while losing fat, but it also creates an acidic environment in our body. To combat this, eat foods that keep our bodies alkaline: vegetables (greens powder included), avocado, watermelon.
2. High fat/high protein diet.
Aside from the meals surrounding my training, I eat high fat, low carbohydrate meals. This includes saturated and monounsaturated fats found in meats (fish, chicken, turkey, beef, pork), nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts), and dairy products like cheeses and whole milk.
High fat, high protein diets help us maintain muscle while burning fat. You can also have great-tasting meals like steak and yams, eggs, chicken and vegetables (skin still on the chicken). The other thing that fat does for me, is it raises our testosterone levels. High testosterone means less fat around the belly and improved tissue recovery.
3. Carbohydrates around training.
Before and after my workout I’ll have two tasty meals that will help me gain muscle. By having carbs before and after our workouts we’re giving our bodies some fuel to burn so we’re not burning muscle. We’re also keeping our cortisol levels in check by avoiding the fight or flight response that occurs from prolonged and intense training.
Here’s where I got the recipe for both of these meals (one is French Toast) —> Metabolic Cookbook
4. No fats around training.
When we have carbohydrates we’re raising our insulin levels. Insulin is an absorption hormone. It helps our bodies carry nutrients to where they are needed. When we combine fats with carbohydrates, our bodies will then absorb more of these fats than they would otherwise.
When we combine carbs with lean proteins, this also means that the protein will be carried to where it’s needed most. During our training, when we’re tearing down muscle tissue and we have a dramatic increase of blood-flow to these muscles, raised insulin levels (carbs) combined with lean proteins (egg whites, chicken breast, cottage cheese) will carry the protein (aids in tissue repair) to our muscles. Thus, we’re going to recover faster and build more muscle as a result.
No carbs around training = higher cortisol levels = more muscle burned = more fat stored.
5. Fats before bed.
Having fats before bed help us boost testosterone levels. How does this help us get and stay ripped? Testosterone promotes fat loss, and it also helps us repair muscle tissue. The more muscle we have, the greater our metabolism is going to be. Which means the more fat we’re going to burn when we’re not doing anything.
Try this before bed to promote healthy, natural testosterone levels:
- 3 Brazil nuts
- 50 mg zinc
- 2-4 cod liver oil jell tablets
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 glass whole raw milk + 1 serving chia seeds
6. I cheat.
Low carb diets are great for fat loss, they’re also great at lower our leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone that helps us burn fat and helps us maintain a high metabolism. Now, this isn’t going to be a problem for us because we’re actually going high carb before, during, and after our training. But say you take a week off, make sure you cheat with a high sugar cheat day on day 7 to maintain healthy leptin levels.
Cheating also gives us a mental break. I don’t have schedule cheat days anymore because eating like I just mentioned has become second-nature. But I do think that scheduling a few cheat meals in each week is a must at the beginning until the new lifestyle does become second nature.
With this being said, I’ll have a beer or two 3-4 times a week, some Scotch a couple times a week, and I’ll eat something tasty a few times a week as well. It’s a lot easier to maintain our ideal lifestyle and ideal body that we think. I’ll talk to you about this more in the training article.
It is very important to cheat though as we’re not gearing up for a contest or anything like that. We’re gearing up to build a body that’s going to last us a lifetime. So don’t go crazy and make sure you take time to cheat every now and then.
In this case it’s my buddy Dave Ruel. He’s given me all of the tasty pre and post workout meals that I use to this very day. The guy’s a master at creating healthy, but very tasty meals that help us reach our goals.
Check out his cookbook that includes 205 fat scorching recipes (that taste amazing).