Part 2: The Art of Transformations
Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter
This article is part 2 of a 3 part series. Part one covered the very important area of psychology. So now that you’re hopefully in the right place mentally, let’s move on to the nutrition aspect.
The perfect transformation should always be a process. It’s not simply a training programme, a meal plan and watch to see how you get on. Everything from lifestyle to psychology has to be factored in precisely if you want to achieve the highest quality results.
When it comes to nutrition, you can’t have escaped the vast amount of diets that are available to you. It’s always very confusing to work out which one will work for you. One of the main questions you need to ask yourself, is has the programme you’re considering produced results time and time again? Always look for evidence of results (pictures) and testimonials.
To achieve an outstanding transformation, we believe firmly that you have to be following a diet that is very specific and detailed. General guidelines will always produce very general results. We ask all of my clients to weigh their food each day, and we're very precise with the adjustments that we make to the diet as we go along. Many people have a very poor understanding about food and quantities, so it’s essential that they’re given very clear instructions all the way through. We leave no room for error at all. We don’t coach people based on our level of understanding and discipline. We always assume a basic level of understanding, and therefore make the information very thorough and detailed.
It would be wrong of us to try to condense a full transformation nutrition plan in to one article, it will definitely confuse you, and there would be way too much information that we’d have to leave out.
So we thought it would help you, if we shared some of our top nutrition transformation tips with you:
1. We advise my clients to follow a cyclical diet from day one
This is where your calories and carbs are higher on training days, and lower on non training days. Having low carbs on non training days, allows you to push more carbs and fuel across your training days. This helps maintain muscle fullness, and gives you a lot of energy to maximise your workouts.
After all your strength training sessions are not the time to be focussing on fat burning. Too many people train in a very depleted state, and wonder why they lose muscle tissue at a very quick pace. By providing your body with calorie and macronutrient fluctuations, you also give your metabolism a jolt. As calories slowly come down, it’s very important that your metabolism is constantly challenged. A flat lined metabolism will always see fat loss coming to a halt. This is where people make drastic adjustments to their diet, they pull calories down and it will always be at the expense of muscle tissue.
2. We like to count calories for clients based on calories per pound of body weight
We usually work out the amount of calories that we want clients to have across the week, and then divide the days up according to the cycling diet that we've set up for them. Some days, there might be two low carb and low calorie days in a row, followed by a higher carb and higher calorie day. Other times, there might be 3 higher carb and higher calorie days in a row, followed by one low carb and low calorie day. When you work with a coach, they will be able to assess the best diet set up for you. Some of our clients can’t handle low carbs for long before they flatten out and lose muscle tissue, others hold on to muscle well and lean out quicker using this method. The point here is that it’s important to always assess your physique as you go along. You must watch to see if it’s responding to the diet set up that you’re on.
A very good place to start your daily calorie intake, is to calculate your body weight in pounds by 13. For a 200 lb male, this would be 2600 calories daily. You can then multiply that by 7 to work out how many calories you need per week. This is where you can then split up your calories in to days, to start a more calorie cycled plan.
3. Ensure your protein intake is around 1.25 grams per pound of body weight
We usually speak to people who complain about the cost of meat, and therefore they over load on carbs to try and replace the calories (carbs are cheaper). These are two completely different macro nutrients, and they must be treated as such when your diet is set up. Protein is essential to ensuring you retain lean tissue, and in many cases it will help you grow throughout your transformation.
If you’re complaining about the cost of food from day one, you’re not ready for your transformation. Meat if chosen correctly does not have to cost the earth, but cutting corners will results in poor results.
Protein intake will be individual, some of you will suit 1.25 grams per lb of body weight, others may do a little better with slightly less and 1 g per lb of body weight (adding a little more fats and carbs). Once again, fat loss is individual and you can't be worried about moving food around to find out the exact balance that works best for you. Use these guidelines as a base to start from and then work from there.
4. Decide the split of macro nutrients based on your current level of body composition (proteins, fats and carbs)
People aren’t honest about their body fat level (many say they’re leaner than they are), so we would have it checked properly before you start. If you’re above 13% body fat, we would generally start clients on 20% carbs, roughly 35% protein, and 45% fats. As they get closer to 10%, we'd start to switch up the macronutrients. The diet will look more like, 40 % carbs, 35% protein, and 25% fats. It's a good idea to move the diet around as clients get leaner and leaner. This keeps the body guessing, allows for consistent drops in body fat each week, and helps to keep their muscles fuller. After all, a flat and depleted body is not what we want by the end of the transformation. Having a set of abs with no muscle is not a transformation. Many people train for a long periods of time in a depleted state, in the hope that this will get them leaner and leaner. Unfortunately, this is the exact protocol to follow if you want to get smaller and end the process with a worse codition.
We hope you found these tips helpful, and you’ll put them towards your own transformation journey.
Part 3 is coming soon. In the meantime, if you would like to start your own body transformation, get in touch today for your FREE consultation at M10