Step 1: Bulk or Cut? Get Lean and Mean First!
To bulk or cut - this is the question... Bulking and cutting emerged in the 80's as a way to try to eat your way to bigger muscles. Bodybuilders would train hard and stuff themselves for a bigger part of the year and then try to lose the body fat only.
The problem with this approach is that trying to eat your way up to more muscle doesn't really work. You end up pretty much the same once you lose all the extra fat.
But there's more reasons to get lean and mean and stay that way - never ever getting fat on purpose...
Did you know that with more fat tissue your body produces more estrogen? Yes, the fatter you are, the more female hormones ciruclate in your body and the less muscle you can build.
Even if you are not all about building muscle, you gotta admit that excess fat sucks. It looks ugly.
On the other hand, if you get lean and stay that way while building up your body, you will look at least decent year round. I mean - we don't undress only at the beach, right?
But there's more, recent studies even show that excess body fat is linked to brain damage!
The bottom line: you nead to get to base line leanness as soon as possible - not just for the fact that you will look and feel better year round, but also because it's best for your health long term.
How lean? You don't have to get to paper-thin skin stage. Just make sure to lose the excess bulge around your waste and you are good. The only way to get lean is to get into caloric deficit. This means eating less food than you burn.
But many people make the mistake of eating too much and trying to burn it off with exercise. Here's an amusing, yet accurate video showing how fast we can eating a ton of calories and how little calories exercise actually burns:
In the video above, Brad Pilon, author of the fat loss book Eat Stop Eat eats a whole pizza while fitness trainer Craig Ballantyne tries and fails to burn as much calories as him exercising.
So the bottom line is - get lean by eating less. Use exercise as a supplement, not as the only way to burn energy.
Here is the process you can use to get lean with eating less:
And in the next step I will show you what to do once you get lean...