Disclaimer loud and clear; this diet is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness – the information herein is just that for information purposes only. If you have any medical condition please contact your doctor before using this or any plan like it.
You’ll have read the introduction and preparation phase already if you have not done this think long and hard before you start on the intensive phase.
The reason being that if your lifestyle and eating habits are pushing you in the wrong direction (getting fat losing muscle) then doing quick fix diet (of which this is one) mean you’ll make progress only to rebound weight gain after you finish the diet.
It’s a bit like comparing your life and lifestyle habits to a place where; if you go there everything goes mad, nothing gets done, its disorganised and mayhem, ok it might be fun but in a short time you end up in the garbage heap of despair. Get your ‘place’ (lifestyle and eating habits) in order first so when you go back there it’s still fun at times but you can get things done and there is some sense of order and consistency.
The reason you’ll revert back to base camp after a while, is the diet and ideas I’m about to describe are unsustainable (unless you are planning on getting locked up indefinitely). But that being said they will transform your body in a matter of days; you will become leaner, probably fitter and healthier by following this programme periodically – 2-3 times each year is a suggested maximum. This programme is designed to run for 14 days non stop, but you need to take a few days to get prepared and to wean off certain foods, or you can go cold turkey. More on this in when I lay the plan down.
Rule 1. Don’t embark on the intensive phase of the 4 week fat loss diet unless you have a plan of how you are going to sustain it afterwards. Otherwise you’ll lose fat, get fitter and healthier and then get fat and unhappy once you come off the plan.
This plan is similar to plan followed by actors and actresses getting into shape for film roles because of its rapid effectiveness. It is also excellent for the off season need to drop weight quickly before getting back into pre-season training.
I also recommend the detox aspects of this diet as a yearly of by-yearly practice for everyone, whether you are an athlete, exerciser or working mum.
This diet is not advised for the under 18’s unless you are under medical supervision. I’d also recommend consulting with your doctor before embarking on this or any similar plan.
Before we continue what kind of results can you expect from following this plan? The plan lasts for 14 days but you can follow it for longer – you can also follow it for shorter periods of 2-3 days. Expect to lose a percent in fat each week, up to 2% per week and certainly no less than 0.5% depending how hard you want to push yourself and how restrictive you want to be with your food choices.
Rule 2. Look in your diary and check that you have no pressing family or social engagements which will involve alcohol or eating foods you are not in control of. You can use foods bought on the run but if you do this it mean you have not planned ahead and that means planning to fail. So get some time set aside when you have control of your own time and work commitments.
The plan will involve supplements as it is a calorie restrictive plan which you want to get maximum results from. So I’ll be suggesting supplements which help protect your muscle tissue, accelerate fat burning and help your bodies detoxification systems along the way.
So what’s this pesky plan then?
For 14 days you’ll get up and exercise aerobically for 45-60 minutes on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. You’ll eat 4 times each day at set intervals 9am, 12 midday, 3pm and 6pm. Then at 9pm at night you’ll exercise aerobically for 45 minutes. That’s it.
At each meal you’ll eat 3 food groups, protein, veggies and fat. If you are small you’ll eat 1 palm of protein, 2 palms of fibrous veggies and a thumb of fat. Medium people can go for 1 ½ palms of protein, 3 fibrous and 1 ½ thumbs of fat and larger framed people 2 palms protein, 4 fibrous, and 2 thumbs of fat.
If you want the calories then don’t go less than 1500 calories for a woman and 1800 for a man. I told you it wasn’t easy. I’d also suggest a ceiling of 2000 calories for a woman and 2300 for a man. Split the calories three ways, but remember there’s 9 cals in fat compared to 4 in protein or carbs. Then divide them by your 4 daily meals.
There are foods in the list which are allowable in unlimited amounts; these are excellent to ‘fill up’ on when the going gets tough. They also happen to be extremely good for you. Have these foods as back up in the fridge ready to go. If possible though don’t have any foods after you’ve finished exercising at night and before you begin exercising in the morning. This is where supplements come into the equation.
For the cardio choose something which is close at hand, and easy on your mind. I choose skipping, which is hard for most but when you get good it’s more efficient. Exercise at around 70-85% of your maximum, so it’s not a low intensity session but you won’t be blowing too hard either. If you were chatting you could but you’d have to pause every now and again for a few extra breaths before continuing. Incline walking, light running, rowing, bike, shadow boxing or light bag work are all cool. You can even do circuit based stuff or toning leg routines, or non stop abs, or mix it up.
You need to exercise at an intensity which is suited to your current level of fitness. If you are unfit start with 20 minutes walking. Then the next time you do the plan increase the duration and intensity of the exercise. Bottom line is plan the routines and make them easily accessible, no 30 minute drives to the gym – as by day 4 or 5 you’ll be hanging. Plus if you are starting in the winter you don’t need any excuses not to get out of bed and go into the cold.
WEIGHTS GIVE YOU A BONUS FEED
If you like weights then weights are allowed. Every other day is advisable and the cool thing about doing a weights session is it allows for an extra recovery meal. This meal should be protein based and liquid, so a protein shake with half your body weight in kg in grams of protein in it. You can also use colostrum as well. Whilst we are on the subject of supplements I recommend the following;
A multi vitamin – low calorie diets do not supply enough nutrients, so this is essential.
Essential fats – aim for a gram of EPA each day, this will keep you metabolic fires burning. Note this is a gram of EPA not a gram of fish oil. Read the label.
ZMA – it can get weird sleeping on this plan as you are exercising late and you’ll be hungry. Plus you nervous system will be running high due to the habits you’ve adopted. Taking ZMA at night, it will help sleeping patterns and also with potential minerals lost in sweat.
To protect your muscle tissue use aminos before your training sessions. For the AM session this helps with some energy especially if you use MAC. For PM sessions you can take Amino R5s afterwards. Anyone who is really guarding against muscle loss for their job, athlete, fighter, bouncer etc. You can use Creatine or Amino Loader alongside these other recommendations.
Fat burning tablets; stimulant based ones are useful to get going in the morning or you can take non stimulant ones instead. I prefer a coffee to get the engine started and my general rule is to avoid stimulant fat burners full stop. This is one of the reasons I developed Metabolic Optimiser capsules.
Other non stimulant supplement which might help a bit, would include CLA, guggle sterones based supps or addition green tea or Green tea extract.
Stimulant ones are based around caffeine, or pseudo ephedrine and other chemical stimulants; bitter orange extract and the like. Check with all supplements before you use them that the ingredients are not banned by your governing body.
Check they are contaminant free and that you are happy with the tests the companies have carried out.
Then crack on and get lean and mean.
Here’s an example day for someone who has done this plan in 2016:
First his results; a drop of 2.4% on body fat in 14 days. Not bad going. Especially when you consider he did it in Spain, on holiday and had 2 nights completely ‘off plan’ plus he missed a handful of sessions. Other more out of shape clients have dropped 5kg of fat in the same period of time, but they were further out of balance.
He did drop lean mass, but this was due to the lower amount of stored glycogen and water in the muscles; 3 days later when he’d been eating ‘off plan’ for 2 days as a reward he actually registered a high lean mass than when he started. This is likely due to his increased insulin sensitivity from following the plan but also could be down to a (slightly) cleaner liver making his athletic endeavours more productive. It could also have been a carbohydrate reloading effect.
He also didn’t stick to the exact portion sizes either – so not too strict. If he had been I bet he’d have doubled his progress. But there you go a real plan and the real world, here’s what I told him to do;
If you want to follow this plan then do so but don’t take the Ultraclear plus unless you’ve been seen by a nutritionist who recommends you do so – the plan is for information only.
Once you have returned from Vegas;
Fat burning / modified detox for 2 weeks.
You’ll need to call Nutri on 0800 212 742 and quote 123449 me as your practitioner. Order yourself some Ultraclear plus.
This is an advanced liver clearing detox aid which also works as a multi vitamin.
Then for 2 weeks do the following;
Drink loads of water all day all the time, aim for at least 4 litres each day. Spain is hot and you need to drink a lot on this programme in any case, aim for 25ml per kg plus a litre as a base.
Each morning on rising do 30-45 minutes of cardio.
At 9am eat your first meal.
I’d recommend this was a shake with a serving of Ultraclear plus, 1 tablespoonful of psyllium husk (get these from Fresh and Wild) plus a double serving of protein powder.
Mix this with water and ice.
Then each subsequent meal should be 3 hours apart. So at 12 midday eat 2 palms worth of protein. This can be chicken, fish, turkey, omega eggs* or lean beef.
*Use 2 omega yolks and then 4 whites from cheaper eggs.
Eat this with 200g of vegetables, see the food exchange list for ideas and also some veggies which you can eat limitless amounts of.
For flavour you can use herbs and spices to the tune of a tablespoonful (which is a lot) with each meal.
For fat you can use the same – 1 tablespoonful per meal or 20g per meal. If you choose a high fat meat, beef or lamb then do not use any additional fat.
Drink as much water as you wish and also drink green tea – if it’s hot you may wish to brew this up earlier and then let it cool and keep it in the fridge. Much more refreshing like that.
Your next meal should be at 3pm and then final meal at 6pm.
At 8-9pm repeat cardiovascular exercise for 30-45minutes.
If you want to do weights then do this in the middle of the day; aim for a 45 minute session maximum – take a protein shake afterwards (an extra meal).
See the chart below for some ideas.
Keep a detailed diary of foods eaten and feeling whilst you do this.
This list is not exhaustive, there may be other items which are closely related the food groups; e.g. cabbage can be any type Savoy, Red etc. Exotic meats may also be chosen and these are now becoming more widely available – these include ostrich, buffalo, and game.
*Unlimited amounts may be eaten
To flavour your food use herbs and spices, take a look at my range here
Herbs and spices include pepper, chili (capsaicin), paprika, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, dried herbs of all descriptions.
Aim not to use more than a tablespoon of these types of condiment for you meals.
- This plan is not for everyone, it’s for those who have strong will power and the ability to write a plan which suits their lifestyle and stick to a plan
- Before you start on this plan make sure you are not sitting in a camp which is in disarray. Start your plan from a relatively healthy start – otherwise you’ll rebound weight gain and end up fat and depressed
- The plan requires a 14 day period which is relatively free from elements which can scupper your plans, its good if you have other projects which require this kind of commitment – research, writing articles – or even on holiday
- You’ll need to be able to exercise for 45 minutes even if it means just walking fast, or walking up an incline – and you’ll have to do this twice each day
- If you weight train then weights are good, they allow for an extra protein feed, and you’ll likely lose more fat if you train with weights
- The meals need a bit of planning too, so a trip to the supermarket and stock up is essential
- You should use supplements when you do this plan, because it is restrictive and you’ll make more gains for all you effort if you do so
- You’ll need a plan to come of this plan and that’s the subject of the next instalment which will include some more tips on detoxification and it’s benefits for athletes