The Get Lean Quick Scheme – Here’s what to do if you have only 7 days to look good! By John Paul Catanzaro
You want to look good but don’t have much time? Here’s a strategy that is useful before a wedding, anniversary, birthday, holiday, vacation, trip, speaking engagement, photo shoot, competition, reunion, hot date, you name it. It takes a week of some serious discipline, though. Can you do it? If you’ve got the will, I have the way.
It’s not that radical, really. All I want you to do is to completely remove your primary energy sources of carbohydrates and fats. That’s right, absolutely none. It’s only for 1 week so you’ll survive (I hope!) So, what’s left to eat? Well, there’s protein, protein, and more protein. Oh ya, and you can drink water as well! You see, I told you it’s not that bad!
Tip #1: Drink large amounts of water (at least 8-10 12 oz. glasses a day – to calculate the number of ounces a day, multiply your weight by 0.5) on this plan. This will saturate your muscle cells and help to shed that layer of water beneath your skin. In fact, if you don’t drink enough water, it upsets your sodium balance and you actually end up retaining water under the skin making you look bloated and fat! Remember, caffeine can dehydrate you which also contributes to that puffy look under the skin so drink plenty of H2O.
Now, you just can’t consume any type of protein; it must be the lean, dry, white stuff like tuna, chicken, turkey or pork. That means no red meat, dairy (i.e. cottage cheese), eggs, or even protein shakes. Remember no fat so make sure to consume only water-packed tuna, chicken or turkey breast (not the leg), and trim all excess pork fat.
The fact that you’re eating lean meats with no extra fat or carbohydrate does a few neat things to your body. First, the thermogenic effect (i.e. the production of heat leading to fat loss) of chewing your food is very important. That’s why I want you to eat your protein and not drink it. Also, as you may be aware, protein has the greatest thermic effect of all the macronutrients (see below) – another plus. And think about it, less energy in and more energy out equates to weight loss. That can be good, but it can also be bad. Read on.
Note: The greatest amount of energy (as high as 30%) is required to process (digest, transport, metabolize and store) protein. Carbohydrates and fats are much lower at a maximum of 10% and 3% respectively.
The good, the bad and the ugly! Your system will start to tap into your body fat stores for energy. That’s good. Through the process of gluconeogenesis, your body will also catabolize muscle tissue for energy. That’s bad. However, you can curtail this process somewhat by keeping your protein stores elevated. But without any carbs or fats, most people will feel like crap! That’s the ugly part. I have a solution though.
They’re called stimulants and boy will you need them! Our old friends of caffeine and ephedrine (which is still available in Canada by the way) come in very useful. Three other supplements that help on this plan include a quality multivitamin/mineral (this is good insurance especially when fruits and vegetables are non-existent in your diet) as well as branched-chain amino acids and glutamine (these guys are extremely beneficial when carb intake is low; you can take them all day long i.e. upon awakening, between meals and before going to bed but they are particularly useful during and around your workouts.)
Key supplements include a quality mulitvitamin/mineral, BCAA’s + Glutamine, and the popular fat loss stack of ephedrine HCL + caffeine which is still available in Canada.
Another thing people do not realize when they are preparing for a special event is that the motivation alone will help them succeed. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, and the excitement is enough to get people through.
Tip #2: If you plan to travel to a third-world country, start taking :: probiotics :: (i.e. “friendly” bacteria) a week before your journey. This is a good preventative measure to help repel :: parasites :: that you may encounter while you are away.
Sail the protein ship, but don’t go overboard! Quantity of intake must be relatively low. That means you’ll consume 1 can of tuna or 1 chicken breast only but you’ll do that frequently, at least 6 times a day (every 2.5 to 3 hours.) Grill the meat in advance so that you can quickly reheat it when it’s time to eat. Grazing all day long will keep that metabolic flame stoked! Oh, oh, man overboard!
Plenty of water is required to flush out the byproducts of protein metabolism. Also, keep in mind that each gram of carbohydrate carries about 3 grams of water with it so if you’re getting no carbs then you’re getting no water. Make sure to drink cold spring water (not distilled as it will further deplete your mineral stores) all day long. As far as hot drinks go, I do allow people to have black coffee if they wish but I prefer green tea instead.
Also, consider establishing a base tan (fake bake if you will – just remember to build it up gradually over a few days); get your hair cut midway through the week so that it grows in a bit and looks more natural come “show” time; visit your dentist for that 6-month cleaning; and take care of all that hygiene stuff like trimming your nails and maybe shaving or waxing that ape-like body of yours – if you’re so inclined.
This strategy alone will shrink-wrap your body in two ways. First, by removing all that subcutaneous water beneath your skin during the week-long protein-only fest, and then by superhydrating your muscle cells when you go carb crazy the following week (I’ll explain in a minute.) The first week you’ll look like a smaller, leaner version of your former self while the second week, your muscles will fill out and you’ll look like a pumped up, muscular God!
Tip #3: Don’t tan too fast. Burning even slightly will cause edema (the swelling of tissues that promote healing) and can leave you looking puffy! Build up that tan gradually to show off your muscularity. A good tan looks healthy; a bad one does not!
All aboard the overtrain! Training will be important this week, too, You actually want to overtrain (or more appropriately, you need to induce a state of overreaching which is basically a short-term, transient form of overtraining but why get technical?) In other words, if you are used to training 3 days a week, I want you to train 6 days this week. They won’t be long sessions, though, but they will be intense.
Contrary to popular belief, use low repetitions in your training because quite frankly, you won’t have the energy to perform tons of reps. Pick the big boys, though. Use squats, deadlifts, chins, dips, presses and rows, and structure your program in this manner:
- Day 1 – Chest & Back #1
- Day 2 – Legs & Abs #1
- Day 3 – Delts & Arms #1
- Day 4 – Off
- Day 5 – Chest & Back #2
- Day 6 – Legs & Abs #2
- Day 7 – Delts & Arms #2
- Day 8 – Event
:: Sample Routine ::