How to lose weight and get ripped

Final Preparation for Men's Physique Contest

When I look back at how far I’ve come, I just can’t believe it.  It’s amazing to me how fast we can change our bodies in such a short amount of time.

On Saturday, April 13th, I competed in the NPC Grand Prix Bodybuilding Championships in the Men’s Physique division.  People always ask me what the difference between Men’s Physique and Body Building is, and I tell them to look at it like this: Body Building is more about size, where as M.P. is more about the “perfect beach body.”  You don’t want to be too big or too small, they are looking for just the right amount of symmetry.

In the final week leading up to the competition I did have to change my workout program as well as my nutrition.  The workouts where just a lighter version of what I was already doing, no need to push myself too much before competition.  After all, most of the work has already been done over the past 7 months prepping for this, but the nutrition was a bit more intense then usual.  It’s become more and more apparent to me that nutrition is what will determine results, whether it’s competing in a Men’s Physique Competition or just seeing results for your own personal goals.

Some of you might want me to tell you the secret as to how to get down to 6% body fat.  I wish that I had a secret, and others would like you to believe they have that secret, but that simply would not be true.  Now, that’s not to say there isn’t a lot to know about nutrition and how to eat properly, but let’s not get caught up in the “magic pill” mentality.

If you’d like to lose weight, gain muscle or any variation of the two, it’s all going to start in the kitchen.  The hardest part about eating healthy is that there are so many different theories as to which diet is the best and most of them come with some kind of scientific support to prove they are right, so how do you know what to believe?  Here’s how I look at it.  Pick the “diet” that you can live your life with.  What I mean is, if the diet you chose can only be tolerated for a short time, then you’re just going to Yo-Yo back to where you were, so what’s the point?  That’s why I like holistic nutrition, it’s more about what works best for my body and makes ME feel good, rather than a generic plan that’s “right for everyone.”  Go with your gut.  Literally.  If your always suffering from bloating, cramps and acid reflux, maybe it’s time to make a change.  If you’re stomach feels good and your body can digest the foods your eat fairly well, than you’re on the right path.

Here’s a pic of me on February 17th and another pic from my Men’s Physique Competition on April 13.  Two months of weight loss can really make a difference.  Let me first say that I have never, in my life, looked like this.  I’ve been in great shape, yes, but I’ve never taken the time to learn how to do this level of fitness for myself.  If you’d asked me a couple years ago if I’d ever be this muscular and lean, I’d have said, no way.  But I’ve just turned 36 and realized that I’m not getting any younger.  If I was ever going to do it, now would be the time.  Gotta admit, it feels pretty cool.

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