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My Fat Burning Diet

This post is for those of you who ask me what I do to drop body fat while maintaining as much muscle as I can. This is NOT my typical maintenance diet. This is a nutrition plan that I use when I want to cut my body fat down. This is a diet that can be used for up to 4 weeks so you can burn that extra body fat to show that muscle underneath. Feel free to use this as a guide for the types of foods you should be focusing on and the type of nutritional timing that has worked for me. If you need help getting started, check out my Nutrition 101: How to Eat for Results post FIRST!

Principles of Burning Fat

Focus on the RIGHT Type and Amount of Protein/Carbs/Fats

1. Protein: Protein is critical for building muscle as well as an energy source. Your protein will be high with this diet. It will consist of up to 50% of your daily calories. Lean Protein Sources include: Grass Fed Lean Beef, Chicken, Fish, Eggs, Dairy (cottage Cheese, Greek Yogurt), Whey Protein.

2. Carbs: Carbs are your bodies main energy source. In this plan, you will see a reduction of carbs, roughly 25%-30%, which will help you to make your body utilize body fat as energy. Complex Carbohydrates include: fibrous fruits, whole grains, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, etc but keeping these carbs to 1-2 servings per day.

3. Fat: Healthy fats are crucial for many functions of the body, including hormone balance and protein synthesis. It is crucial you get adequate healthy fats in your diet, 20%-30%. Healthy Fats include: Avocado, Nuts, Seeds, Olives, Olive Oil, Fatty Wild Fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies) , etc.

4. Total Calories and Ratios: This will differ from person to person but I aim for roughly 12 calories per pound of body weight and roughly 45-50% protein, 25-30% carbs and 20-30% fat. This works very well for me. For example 170lbs x 12 = 2040 calories.

5. Nutrition Timing: Time is important. Protein should come throughout the day. Roughly every 2-3 hours. I try to base most of my carbs around breakfast and my workout. This helps me to get the most out of my workouts, aiding in energy and recovery. As the day goes on I focus more on veggies, protein and fat.

6. Hydration: This is a very important principle that is often overlooked. You should shoot for about a gallon of water per day. You also want to watch your sodium intake. Grab a big water bottle and take it with you where you go.

7. Log Your Food! You can’t reach your goal if you don’t have a plan. Log your food to make sure you are on the right track. Don’t guess. Guessing will just lead to frustration. Check out my post about logging your food for easy ways to do it.

Sample Diet (Resistance/Strength Days)

Pre-Workout Meal (upon waking)

- Whey Protein (1 Scoop) = 120 cal, 25g protein/0 g carb/ 0g fat
- 1 Apple or Oatmeal = 100 cal, 0g protein / 24 g carbs / 0gfat
- E&E Pre-Workout (15 mins before workout) = 40 cal, 0g protein/ 6g carb / 0g fat

- L-Carnitine

-CLA

Post Workout Meal

- Whey Protein (1 Scoop) = 120 cal, 25g protein/0 g carb/ 0g fat

- R&R (Results & Recovery Drink) = 220 cal, 15 g protein / 40 g carbs / 1 g fat

BreakFast

- 2 Whole Egg, 3 Egg White Omlette = 220 cal, 27 g protein / 0 g carb / 13 g fat

- Ezekiel Sproated Whole Grain Toast = 80 cal, 4 g protein / 15 g carb / 1 g fat

- Organic Light Cheese = 60 cal, 6 g protein / 0 carb / 3 g fat

AM Snack

-Shakeology = 150 cals, 18g protein / 17 carb /1g fat

- 4 oz Organic Skim Milk + Water = 40 cal, 4 g protein / 6 g carb / 0 g fat

- Omega 3s (2-3 gram)

Lunch

- Chicken 6 oz. =220 cals / 35g protein /1 g carb/5g fat

- Avocado = 100 cals 1g protein /5 g carbs / 9 g fat

- Salad = 30 cal, 0 g protein / 3 g carbs /4 g fat

PM Snack

- Quest Bar = 170 cal, 20 g protein / 24 g carb / 7 g fat

Dinner

- 4 0z Chicken = 220 cal, 30 g protein / 0 g carbs / 5 g fat

- Broccoli (cooked) = 100 cal, 4 g protein / 14 g carbs / 5 g fat

Evening Snack

- Greek Yogurt (plain, non-fat) = 120 cal, 22 g protein / 7 g carb / 0 g fat.

- Almond Butter = 100 Cal, 4 g protein / 3 g carb / 9 g fat

OVERALL = 2200 calories / 240 g protein / 170 g carbs / 62 g fat ( approximately 45% protein, 30% carbs, 25 % fat

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Sample Diet (Cardio Days)

Pre-Workout Meal (upon waking)

- Whey Protein (1 Scoop) = 120 cal, 25g protein/0 g carb/ 0g fat

- E&E Pre-Workout (15 mins before workout) = 40 cal, 0g protein/ 6g carb / 0g fat

- L-Carnitine

-CLA

Post Workout Meal

- Whey Protein (1 Scoop) = 120 cal, 25g protein/0 g carb/ 0g fat

- R&R (Results & Recovery Drink) (1.5 scoop) = 165 cal, 7 g protein / 30 g carbs / 0 g fat

BreakFast

- 1 Whole Egg, 4 Egg White Omlette = 160 cal, 27 g protein / 0 g carb / 8 g fat

- Ezekiel Sproated Whole Grain Toast = 80 cal, 4 g protein / 15 g carb / 1 g fat

- Organic Light Cheese = 60 cal, 6 g protein / 0 carb / 3 g fat

AM Snack

-Shakeology = 150 cals, 18g protein / 17 carb /1g fat

- Omega 3s (2-3 gram)

Lunch

- Turkey 6 oz. =220 cals / 35g protein /1 g carb/5g fat

- Avocado = 100 cals 1g protein /5 g carbs / 9 g fat

- Salad = 30 cal, 0 g protein / 3 g carbs /4 g fat

PM Snack

- Quest Bar = 170 cal, 20 g protein / 24 g carb / 7 g fat

Dinner

- 6 0z Salmon = 260 cal, 44 g protein / 0 g carbs / 9 g fat

- Broccoli (cooked) = 100 cal, 4 g protein / 14 g carbs / 5 g fat

- Mixed Green Salad = 10 cal, 1 g protein / 2 g carb

Evening Snack

- Casein Protein (1 scoop) = 120 cal, 23 g protein / 4 g carbs / 1 g fat

- Walnuts (1/2 serving) = 100 Cal, 4 g protein / 3 g carb / 9 g fat

OVERALL = 2000 calories / 245 g protein / 125 g carbs / 62 g fat ( approximately 50% protein, 25% carbs, 25 % fat 

75 comments
Duf
Duf

Hey coach Sean. I struggle with getting off the ground with calories for p90x. Currently 5'8" 234lb female. All the calculators have me close to 2800-3000 calories a day which I can't fathom eating. About 1/2 through workout and on 1500 calories/day (50, 30, 20) but can't see the scale budge. Goal is to get down to 180. Help

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @Duf So you are currently eating 1500 calories/day and not losing any weight?  At those calories you should definitely be seeing your weight drop.  Do you log your food?  Try logging it a couple of days on a website like www.myfitnesspal.com and see if you are where you think you are.  You can even send it to me if you want me to take a look

Duf
Duf

@Coach Sean I sure am. I can send you is whole week. Where to?

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @Duf no, I dont think so.  HIt me up on FB and will figure it out

Duf
Duf

Coach Sean. Did that email come through

Duf
Duf

@Coach Sean ok sent you an email. Thanks

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @Duf  Also you can look how to join the team in the "join the team" section

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @Duf  Yes you can email me.  Find my contact info on the Contact me section

Duf
Duf

@Coach Sean is there another way to send you some screen shots of fitness pal tracking besides Facebook?

Duf
Duf

@Coach Sean not on Facebook sorry.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @Duf  easiest way is to find me on facebook and send it to me on there

jilapit
jilapit like.author.displayName 1 Like

i saw you said you mix your R&R drink and your whey protein together. i was just wondering if you just use the original flavor blue bonnet whey protein isolate?

And also if there is any nutritional differences in all the flavors they have for the whey protein isolate by blue bonnet? 

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @jilapit Yes I do.  I use Chocolate almost all the time.  Chocolate and Vanilla both go very well with the Recovery drink.  I don't think the nutritional value changes with the flavor. 

ajs1850
ajs1850

Also, can this be used to start with if I'm doing P90X lean and I would like to lose some weight first?

ajs1850
ajs1850

What can be substituted for the shakeology drink? Just a high protein snack?

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @ajs1850 There are a ton of fat burning benefits of Shakeology so if you are curious about it, I would definitely try it.  Especially if you are looking to lose weight.  There really isn't anything you can sub for the same benefits.  If you want to sub anything, then do a protein shake, but it won't have the same effects.

jk8611
jk8611

Hi Coach,

 

I've been using the fat shredder diet and am starting to see fat loss. One problem I have though is that I have some excess fat on my chest, giving me the "man boobs" appearance. Any suggestions? I'm pretty skinny to begin with.

 

Thanks,

Buddy

 

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @jk8611 Keep doing what you are doing.  You can't target body fat on your body.  What you CAN do is make sure you are engaging your chest as much as you can on push ups and chest exercises.  This will help build muscle so that when the body fat comes off, you will have muscle there

jk8611
jk8611

Sean, How did you gain so much muscle mass during your first round while eating so few calories? what was your key to that growth? thanks

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @jk8611 I was eating around 1500-1700/day before I started P90X.  Then I slowly starting to add calories during P90X and ended up at 2600 before the end.  This diet is meant to help you cut.  This is not the diet that I used during my first 90 days but it is the diet I use to cut now.

Mason Irby
Mason Irby

Hey Sean, Just curious..... You said you use whey isolate, but what brand(s) do you use? Also, what brand(s) of casein do you use? I have been doing a lot of research recently on ingredients that I see in pretty much 99.99% of any kind of protein powder, even top name brands like BSN and ON Gold Standard: whey, casein, hydro, etc....... They all seem to contain either one or more of: mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin (or sometimes just lecithin), corn syrup and corn syrup solids, and/or high fructose corn syrup!!! What is your take on these ingredients and do you believe that they have an impact on fat loss?

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Mason Irby: I like to use 1 of 3 different whey proteins. Whey Isolate by Blue Bonnet, Jay Robb Whey Protein or ISO-100 by Dymatize. As far as Casein goes, I don't use it very much anymore but BLueBonnet has a good one, and Jay Robb has a good Egg White protein. I agree with you on your assessment. The ones I named, especially the first two are much more natural and contain way less "crap" in them. Check them out and let me know what you think.

John
John

Hi Coach – I am 6’0 and 165 lbs, and currently at about 15% BF. I am relatively skinny, but have some excess fat in the chest and stomach. I would really love to pack on some muscle though. Would you recommend that I be on the fat shredder diet to lose some BF or can I be on a diet more geared towards muscle growth? My only concern with being on the fat shredder is looking too thin afterwards. Thanks!

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@John: I would start with Fat shredder for 3-4 weeks. Then assess how you are feeling...how is your strength, energy and endurance? If you feel like they are low then go to Energy Booster. 40/40/20 split. If you stick to the calories suggested by the nutrition guide (2400) you should be fine

Ed
Ed

Sean, if I'm not working out first thing in the morning, would I just go to breakfast and then use the pre-workout meal just as that, pre-workout? Thanks Ed

Irwan
Irwan

Yes, alternative p90x recovery drink and shakeology? Because i live outside US. :D

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Irwan: Actually the P90X recovery drink is NOT a protein shake. It's a recovery drink that helps to replenish the glycogen that is lost in your muscles when you workout. This is something that has protein in it but that I use after every P90X workout along with extra whey isolate when I do resistance workouts. You can check out my blog all about the importance of Post Workout Nutrition Here.

Irwan
Irwan

Hi Sean, Great site tho! Next week i'll be starting P90X How much L-carnitine did you take a day? And should you take 30 minutes before workout? Thanks!

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Irwan: I take 1-2 grams/day. and yes :). Do you need any more help before you start P90X?

Joe St. Jacque
Joe St. Jacque

Thanks for all the tips, Sean! I really appreciate all the help. I started using the l-carnitine and CLA and will continue to play with the diet while I'm still on fat shredder. When you mix the protein and RR drink do you still do 2 scoops of the RR or just one with the protien scoop?

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Joe: depends how hard my workout is that day. Typically it's 2 scoops + protein.

Joe St. Jacque
Joe St. Jacque

Just thought of something else. So for the L-Carnitine and CLA, did you just take those supplements when you were on the fat shredder diet? A months worth? What time of day did you take those? Was is right away in the morning or before a workout? What made you decide to increase your dosages? You recommend MRM for both brands? I found them both on Amazon and think I will give them a shot. Just wondering if I should only plan to use them for the first month of P90X fat shredding. Thanks again!

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Joe: I added them only recently. Never when I was going through P90X until now. I would give it at least 30 days. I take the L-Carnatine pre workout / morning. I take the CLA before breakfast.

Joe St. Jacque
Joe St. Jacque

Also, do you mix the recovery drink with your protein shake? I had thought about that in the past but worried it would counter-act the ingredients or something.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Joe: Yes I mix the R&R with my protein shake. Nope, no counter acting. I do 1 scoop of whey protein isolate with R&R. It's awesome.

Joe St. Jacque
Joe St. Jacque

I gotcha. I want to burn that last big of fat but just worry about dropping more weight. So you suggest to start at 2000 calories of the fat shredder diet you laid out for the first month of P90X, then for month two, change the diet to your mass building diet to add the lean muscle?

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Joe: If you are able to eat that much and lose weight than I would start higher. At LEAST 2400

Joe St. Jacque
Joe St. Jacque

I'm 5' 11''. I worry by dropping to 2000 calories I would continue to lose more weight. I was averaging almost 3000 in P90X2 and still dropped to 157 pounds. If I am trying to tone up the last bit of my lower abs and add 10 lbs of lean muscle, do you still recommend starting the first P90X at 2k calories then adding? Obviously you got awesome results so I will follow your lead, but I just want to make sure! When you say strength phase, isn't P90X technically all the strength phase? Thanks again for your help. I really appreciate it.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Joe: Let's start over then. Keep in mind that this diet is for Fat Burning, not mass building. So since you can eat 3000 calories/day and lose weight then I would start at 3000 for you and your goals. Forgot you were going back to P90X ;). I would want you to add you calories for phase 2 then.

Joe St. Jacque
Joe St. Jacque

Thanks, Sean. So I am started P90X2 at 177 lbs and after two rounds now down to 157. As I mentioned I would like to trim the rest of the mid section while adding 10lbs lean muscle to chest, back, and arms. Your plan says to take 12 cals per lbs so I would be looking at 1884. Should I change that up so I don't lose anymore mass since I am still trying to gain as well? Just keep the food clean and lean but up the cals to 3k? I appreciate your help. I just feel kind of stuck right now and not sure what to do! By the way I support the black socks in X2!

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Joe: Yep, I would do 2000 calories to start with the goal to increase by 400-600 by the middle or the strength phase. How tall are you?

Joe St. Jacque
Joe St. Jacque

Hey Sean, wanted to get your opinion. I completed two rounds of X2 and gained great results. Cut my body fat down to 7%. Have pretty good definition but want more and a bit more size. We are now going back and doing a round of P90X to do some bulking (goal is to add 10lbs give or take of lean muscle) but I really want to finish off the last bit of fat around the mid section. My upper abs are very defined but the lower has just a bit of unwanted flab. Should I start with the fat shredder for 3 weeks? Or what do you recommend? Thanks Sean!

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Joe: Yes I would. Start with this diet first, make sure you change it to reflect how many calories you want to eat/day in order to gain your desired muscle. Let me know if you need more help

Jose
Jose

Thanks for answering my question Sean. I have been taking the recovery drink on yoga days. Oops, have to change that. One other question I have for you is what kind of whey protein powder are you using now? I have read your reviews and really interested in the Bluebonnet whey protein powder since it is natural. I am wanting to go as clean as possible. Do you think bluebonnet is the way to go or do you have any other recommendations? Thanks a bunch! Keep up the great work. I really enjoy your site!

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Jose: I use a whey protein isolate. I am a fan of Bluebonnet and definitely recommend it. Jay Robb Whey protein is also a great one.

Jose
Jose

Hey Sean! Great site and info! Do you recommend taking the results and recovery formula for yoga x?

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Jose: No I don't. Recovery drink needs to be earned and it should only be used when you are working out intensely so it can restore the glycogen lost during your workout.

Keybeck Song
Keybeck Song

Sean, I love this post and I am going to try to modify this for myself. I got some stubborn stomach fat that just won't go away! Keep kickin butt brother!

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Keybeck: Let me know how it works for ya dude!