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It has been said that bodybuilding is 80% nutrition.  I have found this to be true in my experience as a fitness competitor.  The "80% rule" doesn't apply exclusively to physique athletes, however, as it is important for anyone who wants to see results from their hard work in the gym. 

It is obvious that physique competitors follow strict diets in their "pre-contest" phases.  There is no way that a diet of egg whites, tuna, and broccoli could sustain a person for months on end!  Aside from making you feel crazy, it isn't healthy for your body.  I have designed a nutrition plan that you will follow for four to twelve weeks, depending on your progress.  After finishing four weeks of the program, reassess your commitment and your progress.  Repeat the four-week plan one or two more times, depending on how much weight you wish to lose, and follow the principles of my "Mix & Match Nutrition" plan when you're ready to resume "regular" eating.  For those of you who do not wish to lose bodyfat, follow my Mix & Match Nutrition plan from day one.

My intention is to not have you worrying about counting each and every calorie.  I want you to be able to put together a day's worth of meals based on healthy know-how.  If you aren't used to eating frequently throughout the day, this may seem like a lot of food.  Gradually work up to eating five meals a day if you currently are taking in just a few.  You will notice after a short time that your body will tell you when it needs fuel!  Being able to differentiate between physical hunger and hunger due to other reasons is a must!  Often times, you may think you are hungry, but you may be dehydrated, for example.  Eating because you are bored, tired, or stressed is another "obstacle" which you must be able to handle if you wish to shed bodyfat.  

Just a sidenote:  I spent almost ten years of my life trapped in a cycle of disordered eating combined with over-exercising and ignoring my body's signals (i.e. hunger, pain, fatigue).  It took me a while to realize that BALANCE is the key.  I finally let go of the issues that facilitated this unhealthy way of life, and this made all the difference in the world.  Most often there are reasons underlying an eating disorder.  You can recover only if you handle any issues that may be at the root.  It took me a long time to ask for help, and it was a journey I travelled pretty much on my own.  If you feel you are struggling with disordered eating and/or distorted body image, please let me know.  I will do whatever I can to help you get better.

This being said, the LAST thing I want to do is advocate strict dieting!  You will find that although the four-to-twelve week plan doesn't allow junk, you feel full and your energy levels are steady.  If you notice cravings kicking in or feel depleted, make me aware of the situation and we'll throw in a few "treats." :)

Click on the links below to find my "Fat Attack" and "Mix & Match Nutrition" plans!

a fat-loss plan that focuses on cycling one's carb intake
for those wanting to shed bodyfat
for those wanting to maintain

8 Simple Rules for Successful Fat Loss

Consistency equals results. While running a marathon will not make you lean in one day, a consistent, dedicated approach to fat loss will help you reach your goals.

Unfortunately, Americans have been getting consistently worse with their diets. The latest research from Tufts University shows that sugar-containing drinks are now the main source of calories in the average American's diet (Bermudez, O., et al. Abstract, Experimental Biology 2005).

This would have been unimaginable 50 years ago back when people were much leaner on average.

On the other hand, there are many habits which have been shown to help people get lean and stay lean more than other actions. Here are 8 Simple Rules that will help you lose fat and get lean.

1. Replace sugary beverages with Green Tea. That can reduce your energy intake by several hundred calories per day

2. Eat at least one midday snack to decrease your risk of obesity by 39%. Remember that a good snack is focused on lean protein and a high-fiber fruit or vegetable. Nuts are also an option

3. Don't eat dinner as your biggest meal of the day. If you do, you increase your risk of obesity by 6%. You should be eating several mini-meals all day long so that you are not starving at dinner

4. Don't wait more than 3 hours after waking up to eat breakfast or you increase your risk of obesity by 43%

5. Don't eat more than a third of your meals in restaurants or you increase your risk of obesity by 69%. It is too hard to control the food contents at a restaurant. Pack your own meals and snacks as often as you can

6. Don't go to bed hungry (3 or more hours after your last meal or snack) or you increase your risk of obesity by 101%. Again, think high-protein, high-fiber mini-meals to keep hunger at bay and to control your energy levels

7. Don't eat breakfast away from home or you increase your risk of obesity by 137%

8. Don't skip breakfast or you increase your risk of obesity by 450%. This is the most important time of day to start with a protein-based, high fiber meal as it will set the tone for your blood sugar and energy levels for the day.