As a former health coach, I constantly hear questions along the lines of “how do I get ‘toned’”, or “how do I lean out without gaining muscle and getting bulky”. The truth is ladies, you wont be getting bulky accidentally - it takes a lot of work (and maybe some injections) to get those massive and veiny pecs, and the enlarged jaw line. Trust me, lifting 20 lb dumbbells will not get you there. But as with everything, good things come with work, so “leaning out”, “toning”, and “getting rid of flab” (all code words for lowering body fat), also require some work.
The plan below is quite strict - something similar to what you would see a bikini or figure competitor do for the 12-16 weeks leading up to a fitness show. It is not a diet that you will be able to sustain without breaking a few rules for a long period of time, and can reduce your body fat quite drastically, and quickly. I don’t do this diet year round - only when I need to for a photoshoot, or a especial event that requires a two-piece and I want those abs poppin’. I eat healthy on a regular basis, but my normal diet is not quite this structured. So proceed with care, and common sense.
If you feel you need more carbs, sub the “healthy fat” for a “complex carb” in meals 1 and 3. Personally, I find that carbs keep me very hungry, and my body responds better to high fat instead, so that’s what I like to do. You can play around with both and see how you feel and what works best. Just don’t do high carb AND high fat or your overall calories will be too high.
Get Ripped Diet
Meal 1 - protein + healthy fat or complex carb + fruit
Meal 2 - protein shake or smoothie with protein + leafy green vegetable
Meal 3 - protein + healthy fat or complex carb + veggie or legume
Meal 4 - protein + veggie or legume
Meal 5 - protein + healthy fat
Meal 6 - protein
Here’s an example of what your day might look like.
- Meal 1 (BREAKFAST) – 2 egg omelet with seasoned ground turkey sausage, bell peppers, guacamole, and apple slices
- Meal 2 (POST WORKOUT) — protein shake with protein powder, 1/2 cup frozen fruit, 2T of flaxseed, 1 cup of baby spinach
- Meal 3 (LUNCH)– grilled chicken breast cooked in olive oil, sprouts, bell pepper slices, avocado, tomato, and onion wrapped in collard green leaves.
- Meal 4 (SNACK)- Almond/peanut butter and veggie snacks
- Meal 5 (DINNER) – salad w/ field greens, smoked salmon, red and green onion, red and green bell peppers, walnuts, cucumber, celery, balsamic vinegar/olive oil for dressing
- Meal 6 (SNACK) - Bulgarian yogurt with chia seeds and stevia
Get Ripped Workout
You can move the days around to fit your week.
• Monday – 40 minutes of weight training with 2 minute intervals of cardio, like jump rope, in between sets
• Tuesday – active rest day (walking, yoga, etc.)
• Wednesday – HIIT workout – 12-20 minutes intervals (sprints, plyos, etc) + 20 minutes of regular cardio
• Thursday – 30 mins weight training + 20 minutes regular cardio
• Friday – 12-20 minutes HIIT workout + 20 minutes of regular cardio
• Saturday – Rest day
• Sunday – 30-40 min HIIT (combination of plyometrics and sprints)
Some guidelines to remember:
- Alcohol and soda should be limited to social engagements only. If you must drink alcohol, low cal vodka is the best choice.
- All fruit and carbohydrates consumed during first half of day
- 2.5-3L of water every day
- Organic and grass-fed foods whenever possible
- “Cheat” meals once a week if you must, or during social engagements, or when you feel like you nee done - not to exceed 1500 calories
- Follow a gluten-free diet for the most part - avoid pasta, bread, grains and overall processed foods.
- No artificial sweeteners or sugar - stevia OK
- Okay to add seasonings and salsa/hot sauce/etc for flavor
- You should feel hungry every two hours on this plan - it means your metabolism is kicking up.
- This plan may be hard at first if you do not eat somewhat healthy, but keep at it and it will get easier as your body de-toxifies itself! If you get anxietty and binge eat, just get back on the horse on your next meal and don’t sweat it! :)
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: This plan is practically impossible to do without meal prepping (meaning you choose a day out of the week and cook all your main food and package it in to-go containers in your fridge). Since it’s so many meals per day, there’s just not enough time to cook it all every day and you will most likely skip meals, defeating the purpose. Think of your metabolism as a furnace - and every time you eat you’re feeding the fire! When you skip meals, the flames diet out :( So make Sunday your meal prep day and have fun!