Intermittent Fasting is a big topic in the fitness industry. Rightly so, as it's such…
Everyone looks better when they’re shredded!
People love the chiselled, defined look, it just looks awesome. Not only do people’s physiques improve, but their faces too. There’s a reason why models all happen to be very low in body fat!
So how do we attain this condition?
For 90% of people, achieving a shredded physique is perfectly within their capabilities. However, most don’t because they either don’t know how to, or don’t have the discipline or willpower. Maintaining a shredded physique year round is another story, impossible for the vast majority.
To achieve very low body fat levels, simply put, just requires a consistent calorie deficit over the course of “x” period of time (the size of “x” depending upon initial body fat levels and the severity of fat loss). In the real world, however, things are not so simple. Life gets in the way, motivation falls, you get hungry etc.
As discussed here, the two key principles for maintaining a calorie deficit in the long run are:
- Lifestyle Restructuring (where most people fail)
- Appetite Manipulation (particularly important as you get leaner)
Firstly, Lifestyle Restructuring eliminates (or greatly reduces) the tendency to overeat and cock up your calorie deficit due to psychological issues. This is through either emotional eating, social eating or habitual eating, or a combination of all three.
Making sure these psychological tendencies are satisfied is crucial to maintaining your motivation, discipline and calorie deficit over the long haul.
To expand slightly, in my experience most people fail on all three accounts as soon as the feeling of deprivation rises beyond a certain level. Lifestyle Restructuring is all about minimising these feelings of deprivation.
Intermittent Fasting helps with social deprivation, through consuming all your calories in the evening, which is the most sociable eating window for 90% of people. Specifically, I am referring to social events, whereby other people are eating/drinking lots in the afternoon/evening, however with normal diets you can’t so you feel deprived.
Lifestyle restructuring allows you to eat lots of carbs, and maybe even have a few beers in the evening, both of which will make you happy. When you are happy, you cannot be feeling deprived. Just as you can’t stand up and sit down simultaneously.
Having clearly defined goals, for the short run and long run, that really excite you will prevent you from eating out of boredom (or habitual eating).
This is especially true if these goals involve you not being around potential sources of temptation for food. When you are really caught up in achieving these goals, or progressing towards them, you will forget all about food and any feelings of deprivation.
Examples can include business, financial, sports, travel, languages, music, or any other useful skills you can think of. Additionally, having constant sources of inspiration/motivation in your personal space can also reduce habitual eating. These could include pictures on your desk or walls, playing motivational music, etc.
Emotional eating can arise if you are feeling lonely. Being with people, and doing things with people who are positive and have similar interests/goals to you, will reduce emotional eating significantly. The more extroverted you are, the higher the tendency will be for you to emotionally overeat.
Emotional overeating will be reduced by spending time with family, friends & girlfriends who have a positive impact on your life. Bonus points if they motivate/inspire you.
Secondly I will talk about Appetite Manipulation, which becomes more important the leaner you are.
This deals with physical issues when dieting. These can also arise if you have higher levels of bodyfat, and are trying to lose it too quickly. Therefore, it’s important to remember that you need to implement these strategies gradually.
Do anything too fast and your body will hate you, and consequently you become miserable. Gradual implementation is key for maintaining a calorie deficit in the long run. Well-timed diet breaks are also a very smart way to renew motivation, and the finite levels of willpower that you have.
There are many methods for managing appetite. Details will follow in the future. But if you want to get really shredded, eventually you will have to go very low on calories. Then when you are very low on calories, protein needs to increase. When this happens, carbs and fats drop by default. Following this, you become miserable and deprived.
Basically, to get shredded, you will eventually need to make sacrifices.
This is why it is unsustainable for most people. I’m not going to try and sell the idea that you can stay 6-7% year round and live a normal life. You probably can’t. But Lifestyle Restructuring and Appetite Manipulation will allow you to stay at around 8-10% year round (very lean & chiselled), and live a fantastic life, and still make great gains.
For me personally, achieving a shredded physique requires a short period of time whereby I am consuming a lot of coffee, water and broccoli/other greens. However, this needs to be (say it with me) ……… GRADUALLY IMPLEMENTED, otherwise it will impact sleep, due to a combination of too much caffeine and pissing all night long. Obviously the timing of everything matters but that’s another story for another day.
Speaking of time, I have overrun badly, so to wrap up:
The formula for achieving a shredded physique is:
- Lifestyle Restructuring (It pains me to see most people failing at the first hurdle)
- Appetite Manipulation
- Make sacrifices during the final few weeks
Happy shredding!!! 🙂