Posted on March 26, 2019 by Alex Parry
There are literally more diets, diet books and weight loss guides in the world than you could possibly count. Some of them are naff, but for the most part they all tend to work in the sense that if you follow the overall advice you’ll lose weight. However, how much of that weight loss is going to be fat, and how much is going to be muscle? And are you going to be able to train with the same intensity and focus as you were previously? With most diets, probably not. The reality is that most ‘diets’ aren’t designed for someone who actually trains hard in the gym. So here is my food plan for a weight loss diet for people who train!
You need to focus on a high protein, minor calorie reduction approach built around what you normally eat. You’ll also want to think about timing your carbohydrate intake around your workouts to ensure that you have adequate energy to train. Want to know how that might look across a day? Here’s a general overview of what I would eat on a daily basis when losing weight but aiming to maintain muscle and strength.
For reference, I followed this approach for 12 weeks, losing 5.5 kilos, whilst still training 5x per week. My 1 rep maxes in the squat, deadlift, bench, snatch and clean & jerk were all maintained.
Breakfast: ‘Eggs on Beans on Toast’ or a Breakfast Burrito.
Basically a decent amount of eggs in some form or another. As the 12 weeks went on and my calories reduced I gradually reduced the amount of carbs I had in this meal, i.e. I removed slices of toast or only had 1 burrito wrap.
Intra-workout: Protein and Carbs Shake
40g whey protein plus 25g dextrose. The fast acting sugars will help fuel your workout, and by eating them at this time your body will be best suited to using them productively rather than storing them.
Lunch: Chicken or Tuna Salad
Lots of protein and lots of vegetables. The vitamins and minerals in the veggies go a long way towards keeping you healthy, whilst also helping you to feel full. The protein helps you build and repair muscle.
Dinner: Beef or fish Stir Fry.
As with lunch, lots of protein plus lots of vegetables. Earlier in my diet when I had more calories to play around with I used to have this with plenty of rice, but I gradually reduced the amount of rice as my calorie targets dropped. Personally I liked having beef, a fattier meat or fish with this meal to get in my daily fats. It also helped me to feel full and still feel like I was eating real food.
And there you go, a full day of eating for weight loss whilst maintaining muscle and strength. Nothing crazy, just simple meals that provide plenty of protein and vegetables throughout the day. I recommend only dropping your calories by a small amount and aiming for 1lb of weight loss per week. Stay consistent and reap the rewards.