Getting ripped requires a dedicated approach to training and diet. You need to lower your body fat percentage while preserving muscle mass.
The key to achieving this goal is to follow a strict calorie deficit and incorporate both cardio and strength training. This is called the energy balance equation.
Protein is the most important of the three major macronutrients, which include carbs and fat. This means that you need to eat protein at each meal to get ripped and keep your muscle mass intact.
The protein in your diet should come from a variety of sources, including meats, poultry, fish, eggs and beans and peas. These foods are high in protein, and a good place to start if you’re trying to build up your lean mass.
In addition to a high protein intake, you’ll want to consume a moderate amount of carbohydrates to fuel your workouts. These carbs should come from a mix of whole grains, low-fat dairy and fruits and vegetables.
You’ll also want to avoid excessive amounts of refined carbohydrates and sugary foods, as they can cause weight gain instead of fat loss. These foods are not only high in calories, but they can also contain unhealthy fats.
Your protein consumption should be about one gram of protein per kilogram of your body weight, or about 2.3 to 3.1 grams per pound. This amount is a bit higher than what the Food and Drug Administration recommends for most people, but it’s still a healthy amount of protein to consume.
Another benefit of eating protein is that it helps preserve lean muscle mass, which can help reduce the amount of body fat you carry. A 2014 review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that a person with an average body weight should eat between 183 and 247 grams of protein daily.
The best way to figure out how much protein you need is by tracking your calorie intake, ensuring that you never eat more than your TDEE, which is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight and health. You’ll want to recalculate your caloric needs every four weeks to ensure you’re maintaining your calorie deficit and staying in energy balance, which is essential for getting ripped.
You should aim to get most of your dietary protein from whole foods, including lean meats and poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy and nuts and seeds. You’ll want to include plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and legumes, which are high in fiber and help control your appetite and digestion.
Carbohydrates are one of the three main ways your body fuels itself, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A gram of carbs gives you four calories for energy. It’s important to eat plenty of healthy carbs so that your body can get the fuel it needs.
Sugars are a type of carbohydrate, and they’re the primary source of fuel for the central nervous system and working muscles. They’re found in foods like fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products.
Your body breaks down carbohydrates into simpler components, such as glucose, which makes its way into your bloodstream and provides energy for the tissues in your brain and throughout your body, Hussain says. This is what makes simple carbohydrates so fast-burning and addictive.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take longer to break down and can also provide a variety of nutrients. These include whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and some vegetables.
These complex carbohydrates are better for you than processed sugars, which are mainly refined white sugar, according to the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF). The long molecules of these carbohydrates make them harder for your body to digest, so they provide more sustained energy, according to Dr. Meyerowitz.
Unlike simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates have more vitamins and minerals. They can also help regulate blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and obesity.
However, you should be careful not to eat too many complex carbs. These can lead to weight gain, which isn’t something you want if you’re trying to get ripped.
You can count the carbohydrate content of a food on the Nutrition Facts label. You can also subtract the fiber from a food’s total carbohydrate content to determine its net carbs.
If you’re eating a lot of sweets, snacks and drinks, you may want to limit your intake of carbs. Treats like gummy bears, candy bars and sodas are loaded with added sugars that can cause weight gain, according to the NIH.
Carbohydrates are an important part of a well-rounded diet, but you should choose nutrient-dense carbs and avoid high-carbohydrate junk foods that are full of saturated fats, trans fats and sodium. Instead, try to focus on whole-grain breads, pasta, brown rice and other whole-grain foods. Add more veggies and fruit to your meals, and cut back on processed carbohydrates.
A ripped body requires a combination of a rigorous training and nutrition plan that is sustainable and effective. It can take six to twelve months for someone who is already in great shape to get ripped, but the results can be faster or slower depending on factors like experience and motivation.
The key to getting ripped is creating a calorie deficit to burn fat. This is the same principle that applies to saving money – eating fewer calories than you burn will result in a calorie shortfall, and your body will respond by burning stored body fat as fuel.
To create a calorie deficit, you need to track your food intake. This will enable you to calculate your TDEE, or total daily energy expenditure. This can then be used to determine how many calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight or to lose weight.
It is also important to keep your overall calorie intake balanced, including protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This ensures your body has the calorie deficit to burn fat and keep you lean, without depriving your muscles of vital nutrients or causing them to break down.
Protein is an essential part of any diet, as it helps preserve and build muscle tissue, keeps you full and satisfied, and revs up your metabolism for fast fat loss. To achieve the best results, you should aim to eat around one gram of protein per pound of your bodyweight or two grams per kilogram.
While this may sound high, it is the ideal ratio of calories to protein for building muscle mass and preserving lean body tissue. Eating too little protein can cause your muscle mass to deplete, leading to loss of strength and fat gain.
In addition to eating the right amount of protein, you should include high-protein meals throughout the day. This will give your body the nutrients it needs to recover from exercise and grow lean muscle mass.
It is also important to get plenty of sleep. Insufficient sleep can cause your body to function poorly, making it more difficult for you to gain lean muscle mass. It is therefore vital that you get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
The best compound exercise and diet foods to get ripped are those that boost muscle mass and lower body fat. These include foods that are high in protein, carbohydrates and fat. They also provide nutrients that promote metabolic health, including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
Vegetables are a great way to boost the amount of these essential compounds in your diet. They are also low in calories and contain filling fiber, which helps to satiate your appetite.
They’re low in fat and cholesterol, and are a good source of iron, which is necessary for the production of muscle tissue. In addition, they’re rich in vitamin C, which is helpful for the growth of lean muscle.
Carrots are a great choice for weight loss because they’re high in fiber and low in calories, which can help you feel fuller for longer. The soluble fiber in carrots also reduces appetite and helps to control blood sugar levels, keeping you from craving junk food throughout the day.
Beets are another low-calorie, high-fiber vegetable that can help you lose weight and build lean muscle. They’re a great choice for a pre-workout snack as they’re high in glycogen, which can fuel your body during a workout to keep you moving and increase your strength.
Soybeans are another go-to vegetable for building muscle, thanks to their high protein content. A cup of cooked soybeans contains 28 grams of protein, which is almost as much as you would get from a 150-gram serving of chicken. They’re also a good source of fibre, which promotes digestive health and reduces your risk of heart disease.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that soybeans help to speed up muscle growth by stimulating the production of proteins called muscle-building amino acids. You can eat them by themselves or mix them with other vegetables for a complete meal.
Mushrooms are another veggie that’s good for losing weight and boosting muscle mass. They’re a good source of vitamin D, which can contribute to muscle gain, and they’re low in calories. You can add them to your salads or stir-fry them in meat dishes for a meal that packs plenty of nutrition.