Most people find it hard to prioritize the right aspects of their diet.
So today I’ll share with you my Rules To Ripped – a simple, step-by-step list which will teach you what aspects of your diet will lead to the most fat loss, and why.
This is something which I put together for my clients a couple of years ago.
I did it because a female member of my website, Sophie, came to me with this:
I’m losing fat and feeling strong! But everywhere I turn, there is confusion regarding diet. People telling me I need to focus on this food or that food, meal timing, lots of different supplements they all use, grains and seeds, etc.
Even though I’m getting results, I hate the doubt this creates. Could you make it simple?”
And so, Russ’ Rules To Ripped was born.
The Rules To Ripped
Below, you will find a shortlist of the top five aspects of a successful fat loss diet.
They are ranked in order of importance.
If you adhere to the items on this list, and consider their importance along the way, you will always see top results.
And while everybody else is getting their panties in a bunch over the next big superfood or the bullshit cleanse drink everyone’s buying right now, you can sit back comfortably in the knowledge that all you really need to do to sustain results is look after the basics.
Let’s get stuck in.
When you are training for fat loss, calories are king.
It’s number one on the list for good reason – it’s the singular most important aspect in any fat loss diet, bar none.
Now, some people will try to tell you that calories don’t really matter, and that you should focus on eating small frequent meals, or consuming certain foods, such as kale, quinoa and legumes.
Some will even tell you to follow their new-age bullshit which will have you consuming a dairy free, gluten free, juice detox miracle diet plan and they’ll happily take all the credit for your results.
But no. Just no.
What most people don’t realize is that by going alcohol-free, sugar-free, dairy-free or whatever else they’re trying, they are also inadvertently placing their body into a calorie deficit. And that’s where the magic happens.
Of course, you can optimize your calorie content for greater results – I’ll show you how below – but the overriding rule here is that in order to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit.
You don’t have to be too drastic with the deficit to see results, either.
Taking 300-400 calories from your maintenance level is easily enough to maximize weight loss, without being such a big drop you feel like eating the next dog you see out in the street!
If you currently maintain your weight at around 3000 calories per day and you reduce that figure to 2600, you will lose weight.
It’s as simple as that.
My workout plans are notoriously hard.
When people join the Rmy, they do so because they want results.
Each day, for the hour or so that they train, their ass belongs to me and they go to war.
So after bringing calories into line, the next thing to do is optimize where those calories are coming from.
In doing this, we will be able to support the maximum possible response from all of the hard training they’ve been doing.
At this stage, macronutrients take center stage.
Our daily calories are made up of protein, fat and carbohydrates, and they all play an important role in what kind of shape you achieve in the gym.
For example – a person eating 2600 calories per day consisting of junk food would not achieve the same level of results as a person eating 2600 calories per day consisting of an optimal split between protein, fat and carbs.
Is it because junk food is “bad” and should be avoided at all costs?
All of my clients eat treats.
The real reason our second trainee would see superior results is because the junk food option would see your 2600 calories consisting mostly of carbohydrates and fat, while the healthier approach would give enough protein to support muscle growth, enough fat to optimize testosterone production and enough carbohydrates – particularly when gravitating towards fibrous foods, such as fruit and vegetables – to boost energy, without going overboard on either.
When training for weight loss, protein is your best friend.
It’ll help you to burn more fat by speeding your metabolism, as well as providing the platform for your body to build fresh lean muscle – and retain the lean tissue you already have – so it makes sense to ensure you are always staying on top of your protein intake, particularly if you train with weights.
Seeing as you read my website, I’m going to presume you lift.
It will also make you feel fuller after meals, which is great.
Fat, on the other hand, will boost testosterone production – vital for muscle protein synthesis – as well as looking after your immune system and keeping your hormones in check.
Don’t believe anyone who says fat is bad for you.
Instead, send them the link to my Rules To Ripped so they can escape the 1980’s.
Carbohydrates will give you more energy.
They are the first source of energy your brain and muscles look for when working hard in the gym.
And while certainly not “essential” to survival – i.e. the body can create glucose via protein if absolutely necessary – they are useful, unless you enjoy feeling like a zombie.
Think of micronutrients as the smaller, often overlooked brother of macronutrients.
While protein, fat and carbohydrate intake is a sure-fire way to optimize your daily calories, we can boost results even further still by ensuring that we max out our daily requirement of vitamins and minerals.
These are called micronutrients.
A healthy daily dose of these miniature bad boys will cover all the bases from muscle building, to fat loss, to boosting your immune system, to the health of your fucking hair.
They’re that useful.
And by populating your daily diet with a variety of fibrous foods, such as fruit and vegetables, you will be giving your body a big dollop of vitamins and minerals to work with.
But humans are creatures of habit, and once we get into something that works – particularly a diet – we like to stick to the same routine day in and day out.
So here’s the kicker.
Even with a really well varied diet we’d struggle to hit the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals our body can use to improve our health.
For example – when was the last time you ate a turnip? Or a parsley?
So I’d suggest picking up a multivitamin supplement, and using it to cover any bases you miss through your diet.
That way, you are always on top.
4. Meal Timing
I always hear people in gyms preaching “you need to eat small meals every 2 hours to lose weight, bro”.
So why is meal timing number 4 on the list?
Because, as you’ve probably guessed, it is nowhere near as important as calories, macronutrients and micronutrients.
In fact, the only reason it’s here is so that I can warn you off from the mountain of bullshit people like to spout about meal frequency.
Of the three macronutrients, only protein has been shown to perform slightly better when consumed more frequently throughout the day.
So while it might be beneficial to enjoy a shake between meals when you’re on the go, it’s by no means necessary to lug around a heavy bag filled with tupperware containing meals split between all three macronutrients – no matter what the lettuce-crunching motherfucker at your office wants to tell you!
Zero evidence exists to to support the notion that you must eat carbohydrates every few hours to “keep the metabolism burning”. It is not like a fire which needs to be stoked with constant little re-feeds.
- If having 8 small meals per day makes you feel happy, then have 8 small meals per day.
- If having 3 bigger meals per day makes you feel happy, then have 3 bigger meals per day.
Another myth surrounding meal timing is “don’t eat carbs after 6 p.m. – otherwise you’ll gain fat”.
Again, total nonsense.
In fact, a recent study went on to prove this by recording the effects of an equal calorie diet split across groups of subjects consuming their intake throughout the day versus throughout the night.
Not only did the night group suffer zero adverse effects, they actually reported higher fat loss.
This myth used to really grind my teeth, because I’d speak to women in the gym who would purposely starve themselves after going home from a 12 hour shift at work, because their local broscience PhD told them that any carbohydrates they ate after 6 p.m. would automatically be stored as body fat.
Populate your day in a way that allows you to hit your targets while still going about your job.
Because when it comes to food, the big picture is all that counts.
I know too many guys who spend most of their monthly food budget on supplements.
This is unnecessary.
It’s easy to get sucked into the hype of the supplement industry, with every new product claiming the be “the missing ingredient” between where you are now and the physique you are chasing.
Despite the results, my clients keep their supplement cupboards stocked with only the very basics.
I’m by no means anti-supplements – in fact you’ll see that as we delve deeper into the Rules To Ripped below – but I do this because the supplement industry is a shady one. It’ll happily gobble your hard earned money in exchange for bogus snake oil.
So let me break it down for you right here:
The best supplements today, in 2016, are the same best supplements which were around in 1996.
I’m talking about whey protein, creatine, caffeine, multivitamins and Omega-3.
- Whey protein
Whey is a great option for boosting your protein intake in a hurry.
While it’s main benefit is it’s super-fast digestion speed, it’s incredibly versatile and works seamlessly with almost every other supplement imaginable.
While the bulk of your protein intake will – and always should – arrive from food, whey is a convenient product to have in order to ensure you always hit your daily protein target.
Creatine is the king of bodybuilding supplements.
With over twenty five years of research behind it, this substance is ace for boosting explosive strength and muscle cell volume.
If creatine is king of strength-boosting supplements, then caffeine is the king of energy-boosting supplements.
It also has thermogenic benefits, but it’s the energy factor most of us use caffeine for.
In a world where people happily spend upwards of £30 every month on preworkout supplements – many of which don’t even deliver the goods you were hoping for in your workout – you can travel incredibly far using good old caffeine at a fraction of the cost.
I recently wrote this article on the benefits of Omega-3 fish oil. Give it a read when you have a moment.
They’ll aid everything from post-workout recovery, to fat loss, and even raise your HDL cholesterol (the good kind).
Most of use don’t eat fish often enough to take advantage of these wonderful fatty acids, by picking up an Omega-3 capsule, you tick the boxes without needing to make adjustments to your diet, and you reap the full rewards.
I briefly touched upon this above.
A multi’s main purpose is to make your job of hitting your daily micronutrients a lot easier. That’s all it does.
In doing so, it means you can hit the vitamins and minerals you’d normally miss, and leaves you to populate your diet with fruits and vegetables which you actually enjoy eating.
While some supplements are certainly useful – such as citrulline malate – you shouldn’t be in a situation where your kitchen starts resembling a laboratory.
That’s why supplements are bottom of my list.
To put supplements into perspective, I like to get clients into the habit of using my patented “Russ’ House” analogy:
- Think of your body as a house
- Your diet represents the foundations
- Your training represents the outer structure
- Your supplements represent the interior design
This tends to make things clearer than fitness magazines will ever be about pills and powders.
Because while it’s relatively simple to sell a house with an ugly interior so long as it has a solid foundation and outer structure, it’s damn near impossible to sell a pretty house that has wobbly foundations or an outer structure that represents a scene from the last Avengers movie.
- “You need to check out this new preworkout, bro..”
- “This new testosterone booster is the shit!”
- “These new fat burners are gonna get me shredded!”
These are things I hear on the gym floor regularly.
And you know what?
It’s always the same people saying it.
They go from product to product, month after month, never getting the results they want because they are placing so much importance on what supplements they’re using and zero importance on their training and diet.
That’s why supplements are bottom of my list.
Because if you take care of the other 4 items on my list, you will be able to build quite the physique!
But if you bought great supplements and neglected the other 4 things on the list, you won’t get anywhere near as far.
Of course, it’ll help to also get on top of your training routine, too.
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Feel free to share it with friends who are embarking on a weight loss journey.
And now I have a question for you!
Do you agree with what I said in today’s post? Or do you think I’m talking BS?
Drop me a comment at the end of today’s article to let me know your take. I try to read them all.