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How Long to Diet?

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I'm often asked, "How far out from my bodybuilding contest should I start to diet?" Sometimes it's, "How long will it take me to get abs?" I've found a pretty simple formula over the years that works pretty darn good. This formula assumes that you are not taking any anabolic or cutting drugs, but rather are attaining your physique goals naturally through the use of sports nutrition supplements.

The first things you need to do are get a body fat test performed and weigh in. At this point your can calculate your lean mass versus fat mass. If you are 10% body fat or higher, to be totally shredded, you will have to get your weight down to approximately what your current lean mass is minus 10lbs. Why is this? First, you are going to lose a little muscle along the way. It's inevitable. Second, you will lose alot of water weight along the way also. If you just want to look good, (have abs, etc.) you can probably shoot for 5-10lbs. over your current lean mass weight.

If you are 6-8% then you will probably need to shoot for a weight that is equal to your lean mass weight to be shredded and you already have abs partner! ;-) In other words, you're beach ready my friend.

OK, Ok. So what's this got to do with the length of time you need to diet? Take your current body weight and subtract from it the approximate body weight you will need to be to be in the shape you are looking for. Then divide that by 2 to get the number of weeks you'll need to diet. You don't want to lose any faster than 2lbs. per week so this should put you in an approximate time frame for you to get in shape. Let's look at an example.

Joe Bodybuilder "to be" is 10% body fat and weighs 200lbs. How long will he have to diet to be in contest shape? Let's apply the formula. He has (90% x 200) 180lbs. of lean mass. (180lbs. - 10lbs. = 170lbs.) To be in shape Joe has to be 170lbs. This represents a loss of 30lbs in body weight. ( 30/2=15) He needs to diet 15 weeks to get in shape. See how easy that is? It may look easy, but I've developed this formula from trial and error and working with tons of bodybuilders over the last decade and a half. It's my personal creation, and if you ever see it published anywhere without my name attached to it, please contact me here at Midwest Sports Supplements.

Actually, this formula only represents an approximation and tons of dieting variables will slightly alter the time frame, but if you talk to a veteran trainer or bodybuilder, I'm sure they'll agree with those numbers pretty closely. In other words, a 200lb. guy who is 10% body fat will have to lose about 30lbs. to get in shape and it will take him about 15 weeks to do so.

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