9 tips for a healthy diet

9 tips for a healthy diet

Geschreven door Nathan Albers
Geschatte leestijd: 5 minuten Nine dietary tips to reduce your body fat percentage to a single digit percentage… or simply to lose weight healthily and effectively.

1. Increase Your Daily Protein Intake

This first dietary tip is clear. When you’re heavily on a low-calorie/low-carb diet, you need to increase your protein intake to maintain your muscle mass and prevent your body from eating away at your muscle mass. If you’re a bodybuilder dieting to lose body fat, I recommend consuming between three and four and a half grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Examples of protein sources to use include egg whites, chicken breast, turkey breast, tuna, small amounts of red meat, and low-carb protein shakes. All of these foods contain high-quality proteins with minimal amounts of added fats and carbohydrates.

2. Decrease Your Carbohydrate Intake

This second dietary tip is very important because to lose body fat, you need to reduce your carbohydrate intake compared to your normal intake so your body draws its energy from fat instead of carbohydrates. Although I say you should decrease your carbohydrate intake, you shouldn’t try to go from your normal intake of 400 grams per day to 50 grams per day in a few days. This will cause your body to eat away at your muscles, make your workouts terrible, and leave you feeling miserable. When you’re reducing your intake, do it gradually. For example, if you weigh 90 kilograms and you were eating 4 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight, try to bring it down to 2.5 to 3.5 grams per kilogram of body weight and maintain that for three to four weeks before taking further steps. By doing it this way, your body will have energy for your workouts, and you’ll still burn fat due to the calorie reduction caused by the decrease in your carbohydrate intake.

3. Decrease Your Fat Intake

When you compare the number of calories in nutrients, you’ll see that of the three (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats), fat has the highest energy value (calories) per gram – 9 calories – which is more than twice the number of calories in proteins or carbohydrates (both 4 calories per gram). Why waste valuable calories by including unnecessary fat sources in your diet. I’m not saying fats are evil. I just don’t see the point in including foods like nuts, natural peanut butter, and oils in your diet when you’re already getting enough fats from your protein and carbohydrate sources. Most bodybuilders, dieting to achieve single-digit body fat percentages, believe that including fat in their diet will make them less likely to get exhausted when dieting hard. My opinion is that it’s better to keep your fats low and get your calories from proteins and carbohydrates. Just think about it, two tablespoons of natural peanut butter contain roughly 200 calories and barely fills your stomach. However, if you take a plate of brown rice or oatmeal, it contains about the same amount of calories and keeps you full for a long time. Anyway, I do believe that small amounts of healthy fats like fish oil and flaxseed oil can be added to your diet and have good fat-burning effects. Just make sure that the extra fat intake doesn’t push your calories above your target intake.

4. Zigzag Your Calories and Carbohydrates When Fat Loss Slows Down

After you’ve reduced your carbohydrate intake compared to your normal – off-season – intake, you’ll notice after four to six weeks that your body fat percentage isn’t decreasing much anymore. When this happens, the average bodybuilder would either further reduce their carbohydrates or do more cardio training, which can lead to loss of muscle mass if done for a few weeks. However, there’s a better way to continue losing fat without making your body catabolic (muscle-eating), and that’s by ‘zigzagging’ your diet. Zigzagging essentially means phasing your carbohydrates and the total number of calories you consume. For example: suppose for the last four to six weeks you were consuming 200 grams of carbohydrates per day, what you now do is make those 200 grams your medium-carb day. The next step is to plan a low-carb day, where you consume 100 grams of carbohydrates. In this program, you also schedule a high-carb day, where you then consume 300 to 400 grams of carbohydrates, the same as what you were eating before you went on a diet. To link your meal plan to your workouts, use your medium-carb day for a training day, your low-carb day for a rest day, and plan your high-carb day every five to seven days to get your body back into anabolic (muscle-building) state. If you find that you don’t feel the need for a high-carb day on that day, you can always have it on a later day. Just make sure not to completely remove the high-carb day from your schedule, as it can cost you muscle mass.

5. Increase Your Meal Frequency

By increasing the number of meals you eat per day and making your portions smaller, you can shorten the time between your meals, allowing you to eat more meals per day without changing your total number of calories. Eating a small amount of protein and carbohydrates every two hours instead of your usual three hours keeps you satisfied throughout the day. For example, if your normal diet consists of five to six meals a day, you can increase this to seven to eight meals a day, making your body think it’s getting more food than it actually is.

6. Reduce Your Carbohydrates Later in the Day

This is another very successful fat loss trick that you should start doing at the beginning of your diet. Depending on the time you’re going to train, the last two meals of the day should contain as few carbohydrates as possible. This is important because at the end of the day, your metabolism starts to slow down, making it easy for your body to use the incoming carbohydrates as energy. Instead, your body has no choice but to store these carbohydrates as fat. Let’s see it as a diet rule: eat only proteins and vegetables at the last two meals of the day.

7. Increase Your Water Intake

Water is one of the most important nutrients for a hard-training bodybuilder. The human body is roughly 70% water, which means you need to drink a large amount of water every day to prevent your body from dehydrating. An important benefit of drinking large amounts of water daily is that water keeps your stomach full longer between meals, especially when you drink more than four liters of water a day. Another benefit is that when the water is ice-cold, your body will burn more calories to heat the cold water to body temperature.

8. Lower Your Carbohydrates Significantly for Three Days When Fat Loss Slows Down

Every bodybuilder going on a strict diet will reach a point where their body no longer responds to their diet and training program. This tip involves eating very few carbohydrates for three days when your body starts to lose fat more slowly before returning to your normal intake. The idea behind this is that it takes about three days to bring your body into a state of ketosis (fat burning), so by doing this, you shock your body into ketosis for a short time to force your body to lose more body fat.

9. Indulge in Your Most Missed Food Once Every Two Weeks

In my opinion, this final tip should only be used by those who have brought their body fat percentage down to 8 to 10% and have been dieting for at least four to eight weeks. Some people with very fast metabolisms can ‘cheat’ once a week without negative effects, but most people can’t and should limit this to once every two weeks to a month. This technique helps you from going crazy while dieting, and it also gives your metabolism a kick after strictly adhering to your diet for the past four to eight weeks. The only thing to watch out for is that it’s only one meal, not a whole day. This means you need to watch your portions. One large pizza is okay, five large pizzas are not!


By using these dietary tips, you can create a very effective fat-burning diet that helps you achieve your goal of a body fat percentage below 10%. With these tips, you can create a basic diet that you can use during the first four to six weeks before fat loss slows down. The next step is to use the carbohydrate zigzag technique for the next four to six weeks. If your fat loss slows down again, you can use tips 8 and 9 as a last resort to reach those very low body fat percentages.

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