TO BUILD A bigger and leaner physique, bodybuilders and average guys alike often turn to the same strategy: eating everything in sight, or “bulking,” and then burning fat, or “cutting,” by reducing calories and eating cleaner to reveal the new muscle beneath. It works, but it takes time and can cause you long-term damage on a cellular level—and it can make it very hard to stay lean over the long term.
When your goal is to slash fat and build muscle as fast as possible, however, accounting for every calorie at once can condense these two phases into one superefficient “clean bulking” phase, enabling you to build muscle and burn fat simultaneously, and ultimately emerge with your best body ever.
The stripped-down recipes in this meal plan are crafted for a caloric deficit with ample high-quality protein and a moderate amount of carbs that, when combined, burn fat, spur the growth of new muscle, and meet the recovery demands of high-intensity, anaerobic-based training. They also increase in nutritional value as the day progresses, allowing you to burn fat in the first part of the day and then direct the bulk of your daily nutrition to muscle growth.
BREAKFAST - COFFEE
Start your day with 12 ounces of black coffee, which contains just four calories and delivers thermogenic benefits that cause your metabolic rate to increase, according to a study published in the journal Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. You can use any method to make your coffee. We like the French press.
Need to Eat Something in the Morning? Human beings evolved on a fasting and feeding cycle. We spent the majority of our existence fasting or eating lighter during the day while actively tracking, hunting, and gathering our food. We spent the evening relaxing and feasting on the majority, if not all, of our daily food intake. This structure fits with our natural instincts and social patterns. It’s not all or nothing, though, and if you absolutely can’t handle not eating for a few hours after waking up, here are some options that won’t hurt your results: ¼ cup nuts, a serving of fruit, 8 oz lean meat, 4 eggs, or 2 tbsp natural peanut butter.
LUNCH - SALMON AND AVOCADO
Eight ounces of salmon delivers an incredible 45 grams of muscle-building protein, and the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation to speed recovery.
DINNER – PORK LOIN AND POTATOES
We’ve mixed white rice and potatoes. If you don’t like potatoes, use 3–4 cups of white rice for your carbs. If rice isn’t your thing, 24 ounces of potatoes will cover your bases.