Most people, myself included, spend about 3-4 weeks eating higher calories than normal during the holidays. I am not just talking about on the actual day of the holiday. I had at least 10-12 days in December where I really just sat back and enjoyed a large quantity of really good food. Don’t feel bad if you did the same. This is what December is all about. Heck, if I could go back in time I would probably try and eat a little more of my Aunt’s cookies on Christmas. You live once and in my opinion, this is the time to reflect and enjoy good friends, family, and great food. So let’s talk about a strategy to lose body fat in a short time frame.
[No worries if you gained a bit of fat in November and December. It just meant you stopped and smelled the roses a bit. Now it is time to step away from the roses and obliterate that body fat.]
Your Body is Primed for an Aggressive Diet After the Holidays
When you diet for prolonged periods of time your Leptin levels drop as does your thyroid hormone concentrations. Leptin drops to preserve your body fat when calories dip too low for extended periods of time…it is part of the survival mechanism in the human body. When Leptin is low you can still lose body fat, but it can make things tough.
High Leptin Levels = Easy Fat Loss
After a period of higher calorie eating…Leptin levels are high. I am guessing a lot of people have high Leptin levels after the holiday. In addition to that, I am also guessing that very few people are over-trained in late December. To me, this creates the perfect condition for an aggressive diet to work wonders. The body can handle a week or two of low calorie dieting.
A Diet Burst of 7-10 Days Can Work Wonders
I want to give credit where credit is due. Lyle McDonald wrote a book about scientific crash dieting called “The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook”…and this is where I learned about the idea of short bursts of low calorie dieting. You can get your calories down to a low level with great results as long as you don’t do this for long periods of time…7-10 days (14 days max). I only recommend doing this 1-2 times per year.
So What is Does an Aggressive Diet Look Like?
Remember this is only to be done for 7-10 days…so keep this in mind when reading this.
1) A Low Calorie Protein Source
2) Green Vegetables (Lettuce, Broccoli, etc.)
3) A Multi-Vitamin
4) Plenty of water
The key is to get just enough protein to insure no muscle loss and green veggies that don’t really add calories. Aim for a daily intake of roughly 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. Go a little higher if you are exceptionally active. The goal is to keep these calories as low as possible while meeting your protein requirements and adding in green vegetables to fill the stomach a bit. It is possible to lose 10-20 pounds in 10 days as well as 5-6 pound of body fat.
10 Days of Nothing but Chicken Salad & Chicken Soup
I have done this crash diet on a few occasions and I have lived on a 10 day diet of nothing but 3-4 chicken breasts per day either cut up into a salad or in chicken broth with veggies as a soup. I used rice vinegar as my salad dressing. This is really a bland approach and you can add more variety, but I like to keep it as simple as possible.
You Can’t Train Hard During These 10 Days
A word of warning: This diet works best if you drop your cardio and just focus on a few resistance workouts during this 10 day period. Believe me, you will not have the energy to do cardio with this level of calorie deficit. Even if you are tough enough to hit cardio during this 10 day period, resist the urge…it is counterproductive to the way the diet works.
This Type of Diet is Tough and Makes You Crabby!
Makes no mistake about it…this is a brutally tough diet and will make you grumpy. I am a calm and nice person most of the time, but tend to lose patience towards the end of this diet.
You Can Be A Little Less Aggressive and Push This to 14 Days
An alternative to Lyle McDonald’s approach is to add in a few more calories each day and extending the diet by a few days. This will work, but probably not at the same level as the more aggressive approach.
Note: Lyle McDonald is the master of this type of dieting. This is a VERY brief overview of how this diet works. I wanted to post this, because I believe that right after the holidays is when this diet will work best. For more info…just go over to his site: www.BodyRecomposition.com
One Last Thing: You can use the principles outlined here to come up with your own strategic approach. Maybe you are slightly aggressive with your diet, but nothing this extreme. There are many variations using this same idea that work very well.
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