5 Foods To Cut For Extreme Muscle Definition

By Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle Building.

Interested in shocking your friends the next time you rip your shirt off on your next beach vacation? In this article I will suggest five foods to eliminate from your diet if you want to reveal the final product of extreme muscle definition – eye-popping six pack abs!

In just the past twelve months I have competed in four physique competitions and five photo shoots where I have achieved 4-8% body fat on each occasion so the advice I share is backed up by my personal experiences but these practices are not widely accepted within the fitness industry.

I recognize that my “food elimination list” is considered extreme but keep this in mind that extreme muscle definition is just that, extreme! And the elimination of these foods is temporary – 2-4 weeks max – so don’t freak out and say, “Oh my gosh, how do you live without those foods?” I don’t live without them, I just cut them to create the best “fat burning environment” possible and resort to foods that I consider more superior for combating the final few pounds of fat and providing me energy for my intense training sessions.

The picture above is the morning of my photo shoot with IRONMAN magazine on July 9, 2012, another result of eliminating the foods below. Based on a DEXA scan 1 week prior to this picture at 11.3% bodyfat, I anticipate I’m at least 9% bodyfat in this picture. No lower than 8%. I am 202 pounds. My body always looks harder and tighter when I cut the foods below.

While sustaining a prolonged caloric deficit is the ultimate key to losing weight, selecting the optimal food choices to fill those calories will be the difference between looking hard and muscular or soft and thin.

Every food decision you make will move you closer to your goals or further from your goals and the rate you drop the final few pounds of fat will be directly related to your food choices.

Is it necessary to eliminate these foods? No.

Will eliminating these foods help you arrive to your goals faster? Yes.

Here is my advice on which foods to cut to achieve extreme muscle definition – in no particular order:

1. Fruit.

Fructose is a sugar that is present in fruit. The body responds to large and frequent portions of fruit by converting it straight into fat. It also modifies the ability of your liver to process glucose, which makes it more challenging to lose fat and keep it off in the future.

A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition examined how the body responded to different types of sugar by administering a breakfast drink to lean and healthy subjects that was either 100 percent glucose, half glucose and half fructose, or 25 percent glucose and 75 percent fructose. After four hours of consuming the drinks that contained fructose, lipogenesis (i.e. producing fat in the body), increased far more in the body compared to ingesting the glucose drink. On top of that, the food subjects ingested at lunch was processed differently. After consuming a normal lunch, triglycerides stayed higher by as much as 30 percent, indicating that the body was no longer in a “fat burning” mode.  In short, the carbs ingested at lunch were converted into fat.

I am not anti-fruit. In fact, I love fruit and maintain about 30 grams of berries (the one fruit low in fructose and jammed with antioxidants) in my daily diet until I wish to dip under 10% body fat and get my abs popping.  Fruit will simply slow your progress into the six-pack promise land.

2. Dairy

Eliminate dairy if you wish to achieve sub 10% body fat if you’re a male and 16% bodyfat if you’re a female. . Milk has a reputation of being a highly insulinotropic (insulin-releasing) food. In a study done in 1996 and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dairy products like ice cream and yogurt had huge insulin responses. If insulin is high in the blood, it can prevent lipolysis (i.e. fat breakdown), and if you’re consuming diary it leads to high insulin levels in the blood that may be blocking fat breakdown that might normally occur.

Is the impact really that big to cut dairy? When striving for maximal muscle definition we need every little bit of help that we can get, which is why my advice is to remove dairy. Although there is no scientific research to support the drawbacks of dairy when cutting, it’s hard to ignore the anecdotal evidence of thousands of physique athletes who report more defined muscle, especially in the abdominal region, when they remove dairy as opposed to keeping it in the diet. As Anthony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues.”

Personally, in the past twelve months I’ve noticed more superior abdominal definition with the absence of dairy myself and I’ve found it easier to stay lean without dairy. Perhaps it’s because I avoid the immune and inflammatory response or the water retention that occurs from diary allergies. Or perhaps it’s because most dairy is high in saturated fat, which is not optimal for staying lean. Saturated fat has been shown to lower insulin sensitivity and is more prone to fat storage, so these are more reasons to suggest that dairy is one food group you could live without.

People find the suggestion of eliminating dairy hard to accept or believe but it’s primarily because the dairy industry has spent billions of dollars to market their product and convince you otherwise. Can you say, “Got Milk?” Dairy is a great food group for skinny guys to help in bulking up, but has no place in an extreme cutting diet.

3. Gluten, Wheat & Grains

Take it for what it’s worth but after I cut grains out of my prep for four shows and five photo shoots, I immediately noticed a drop in lower abdominal fat. I suspect this is because grains influence blood sugar levels the same way as plain table sugar.

Giladin family grains such as oats, wheat, and spelt are the most common food allergens. Grains raise insulin dramatically and since it’s a strong allergen, it raises cortisol. The combination of raising both hormones results in central obesity and can be detrimental to achieving maximal muscle definition. For the final few weeks of a cut I will eliminate all grains and stick to sweet potatoes, quinoa and brown rice as my primary carbohydrate sources.

It’s especially hard for me to cut grains considering I grew up in an Italian family and was practically raised on bread, pasta and Kraft dinner! Most people report instant drops in bloating, fatigue and fat when the eliminate grains. Give it a shot and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

4. Carb Powders/Simple Sugars

He who controls the hormone, insulin, wins! This is the one hormone we have control over and when controlled it can shred up a physique in no time. Managing your insulin makes it far easier to attain and maintain low body fat because insulin is able to increase fat storage and decrease fat loss. You can find an excellent series of experiments published in the Kobe Journal of Medical Sciences revealing how insulin prevents fat loss. The studies give credibility to the power of low-carbohydrate and low glycemic-load diets. If insulin blocks the release of stored fat, it makes little sense to incorporate foods that periodically stimulate the release of high concentrations of insulin.

When maximal muscle definition is the goal, it appears that insulin can severely limit and nearly block fat loss so avoid high-glycemic carb powders like the traditional post workout drinks such as dextrose, Gatorade, maltodextrin, Vitargo, and even fruit juices. Instead, for your post workout meal, combine a fast-digesting protein source with a slow-digesting carbohydrate source like quinoa, brown rice or sweet potatoes for a faster way to achieve maximal muscle definition.

5. Protein Powder

When it comes to extreme muscle definition, protein powder should be removed from your diet if you wish to drop the last 5-10 pounds faster. A recent 2012 study published in Nutrition & Metabolism showed that the specific amino acids in whey protein stimulate beta cells to secrete more insulin than a similar amount of carbohydrate from white bread.

When insulin is present, fat burning comes to a halt. It’s absolutely critical to minimize insulin spikes when trying to drop body fat so you are better off consuming 10-20 grams of Branched Chain Amino Acids in place of your protein shake and then follow up your workout with a fast digesting protein source like white fish, to ensure maximal fat loss.

Eating 4-6 meals a day of primarily whole food is a tough task for many individuals but remember that it’s a temporary method to get you into the six pack abs end zone. Once you achieve your desired level of leanness, it’s okay to put one protein shake back into your diet on a daily basis.

Conclusion

I understand the advice here is considered extreme but the name of the article is “Foods to cut for extreme muscle definition”, not “Foods to cut for mediocre muscle definition.” If I wrote that article, most of the foods above would be acceptable!  Unfortunately, calories, carbs, proteins and fats are not created equal and food selection matters and once you take this concept seriously, your body will dramatically transform and your abs will be the talk of your next beach vacation.

Achieving extreme muscle definition is a goal that a very small percentage of the population will ever achieve because they refuse to accept that food selection matters. If you’re willing to sacrifice these foods for a few short weeks I am confident you will achieve extreme muscle definition and reveal the body you desire and deserve.   Once you arrive at your goal look you can reintroduce these foods in moderation. Go make it happen and let me know if you have comments or questions below!

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Comments

103 thoughts on “5 Foods To Cut For Extreme Muscle Definition

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  3. I think the biggest thing is carbs… People simply eat too much carbs; just cut them out and unnecessary amounts of dairy.

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  4. Hey Vince! Currently bulking, but planning to use this diet to cut for a beach vacation in July. I don’t know how much I will need to cut, but roughly how many weeks, or months, out from my vacation should I begin this diet?

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  5. Hey Vince
    I just started on my quest for sub 10% BF. I am currently around 19% BF. How long should I expect the transformation to take while following your advice and techniques?

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  6. Hi Vince. I am currently averaging about 18% bf, and am looking to dip below 10% by at least January; is eating the whole food after a workout a viable option for me to accelerate the fat loss process ( in lieu of the whey shake)? Or should I take my protein shake post work-out? I am currently doing my shake in the morning. Thanks~

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  7. Vince a question whole Rice cake is bad for cutting? is whole rice but is a cake.

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  8. Great post, I also saw great quick results when i cut most wheat and grains out of my diet. Dairy… I still keep it in my diet though because I don’t take protein powders, so its like ‘replacement’ for it.

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  9. Could you list more food options than the ones listed the sweet potatoes, quinoa, and brown rice? What else is there peanut butter and almond milk? ok?

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  10. I am going to give this a go, however could you please list some other foods to fuel my workouts other than brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes? Ia m a female about 17% body fat looking get leaner so am going to try these suggestions.also will be following Flavia’s new workout series.

    THANKS

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  11. Vince…I think the “intelligent” critics forgot to read the part where you said these things work FOR YOU to get extremely defined for contests and photo shoots and backed up by your personal experience. I guess because YOUR body responds well to these things it is STILL wrong in the critics eyes…even though you are living proof it works extremely well for you.

    I guess it’s come down to the fact that you can’t even post about what has worked well for you consistently in the past because, as you said, your methods in this post are not widely accepted within the fitness industry. I assume the critics actually believe that every person’s body is the same and reacts the same way to the same foods and stimulus.

    Shame on you Vince for being so in tune with your body that you know what works optimally for you! LOL.

    Keep on doing what you’re doing Bro!

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  12. Waldo,

    Bro, you’re not going into this with an open mind so you’re not actually understanding the context which Vince has written.

    Yes BCAAs are insulinogenic but with no extra calories present via carbs I think the body can utilize BF for its energy source.

    What you don’t seem to understand is the insulin release from the BCAA’s is different than the release from Carbs.

    Insulin is released in two phases.

    The BCAA’s release an initial spike of insulin but then return to normal.

    Carbs on the other hand cause an initial spike from the pancreas, as it senses glucose in the blood it THEN continues to release insulin until blood glucose returns to normal.

    You can consume BCAA’s during training to release insulin to depress cortisol that is released from the workout.

    Do us all a favour next time you post something try and do some research before you post something else you end up looking a bit silly!!

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  13. Hi Vince

    This all makes sense thanx for all the great info and effort!if i take like 1 scoop
    (iso whey quick digesting prot like 30grams of protein)in die morning with a solid breakfast and 1 after gym in late afternoon with a solid dinner is that good or rather replace with more solid food please advise?

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  14. This article is most defo a great one! I’ve struggled loads over the years to drop down to 10% or lower body fat and like many others I too fell in the ‘Diary-good-for-you’ trap of the industry.

    One question for you though;

    What is your typical daily food intake of this phase? Can you please give us a specific food list of what you eat during the day? Pre and post workout included?

    Thank you so much and keep up the good work!

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  15. My experience showed great effects of short term carb fueling (and consequently insulin spiking) during the cutting process, instead of eating slow carbs. There are two main reasons.

    1. I want bodyfat to be used as the primary energy source, and not glucose from the digestive tract. A slow releasing source of carbs would take place for providing energy instead of fat, and the insulin would additionally shut down lipolysis.

    2. Muscles are generally lacking glycogen on definition, and after workout have an additional ability to store a lot of energy in a short period of time, which makes for the perfect environment for safe ingestion of fast carbs.

    3. I need carbs to restore glycogen fast, and not to support the requirements of fuel for everiday activity. Instead of slowly dripping and providing direct energy for the muscles (thus not contributing to refuel glycogen), I give my body a greater amount that will reload them a bit. After a short period of time, blood sugar will fall to it’s initial level and fat burning will be possible again.

    In practice, this means taking 50 – 150g (i.e. Vitargo) after a workout. If that’s below the planned daily intake, I’d provide another spike with fast carbs during the day with a smaller amount of carbs.

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  16. Epitome of stupidity. You’re just setting yourself up for an unhealthy relationship with food. Cite your sources next time.

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    • Epitome of stupidity? Please read ALL of the introduction. Vince states that this is what he uses to get that LAST little bit of fat off his body. He does NOT say that you should eat this way long term. So, how does this equate to an unhealthy relationship with food? With the exception of the fruit and grains (which he specifically states he only cuts out for “the last few weeks”) what problem do you have?

      Dairy? I have personally not had dairy for years and I’m doing fine.

      Protein powder? Are you telling me eating real food is more unhealthy than a processed powder?

      Carb powders? Again, see the last question I posed.

      As far as his sources? He does cite them: 4 physique contests and 5 photo shoots. He says this is what has worked FOR HIM. Maybe if you got your head out of your ass Eric, you could learn something.

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      • ha. Thanks Keith :)

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  17. There is a most interesting phenomenon at work here. Why is it so many people have been brainwashed concerning dairy? Of course, the answer is, the billion dollar dairy industry. What most people don’t consider is the fact that of all the creatures on earth, the only animal that continues using milk after it is weaned is man! Why is that? If you feed dairy to a population not accustomed to it those people suffer from dysentary, and in many cases, die. Milk causes congestion, and exacerbates respiratory problems, in everyone. It is all based on appetite, and the thing to remember is the old saying, “the man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. Vince, you make a lot of sense, keep up the good work, and, please, ignore the nincompoops. Chaz

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  18. Big eye opener. Quick question, what about fresh cherries? They are the lowest fruit on the glycimic index, 23 out of a 100. I love having them as a night time snack when i get a sugar craving at bad moments :o). Thanks Vince for your ongoing informative information!

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    • Travis,

      I prefer higher protein and fats in the pm rather than sugars.

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  19. I really like to have a whey protein drink (with water)and mixed nuts as my second meal/snack of the day. Aside from the calories, will the nuts blunt the insulin response of the whey protein?
    Thanks…

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  20. Vince, very interesting point you made about protein shakes spiking insulin. Does that apply to pure 100% whey proteins?

    Are the shakes that contain Cassein as well as whey better consumed during “other” times of the day as they don’t spike insulin as quickly?

    As ever thanks for sharing this valuable information with us.

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    • Yes.

      I should note I favor whole food for the thermogenic effect in the final few weeks, not just the management of insulin.

      I’m not sure about casein…. will have to look into for you.

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  21. What Vince is saying is true. Like he said some people are looking through his comment with a zoom lens not a satellite lens.

    When you are dieting down for a competition each food has to be accounted for in your total calorie intake even vegetables.

    Towards the end the fats and the carbs are cut as well.

    These foods that he mentions are in no way extreme as to the length athletes go to for competition prep.

    And to all the people who are questioning his article, how many of you look like Vince? The silence is deafening!

    Do me and the rest of the world a favour why don’t you try what he says in his article then come back and criticise IF it doesn’t work?

    I have used a variety of his programmes to get lean and muscular with single digit BF from skinny fat with over 21% BF.

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    • Right on Marwan.

      Keep focusing your energy towards YOUR goals!

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  22. Great post, Vince. What’s your view on hemp milk in place of nonfat milk?

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  23. Hey Vince,

    I’ve been following you for close to 3 years and have done programs you’ve put out from, NNM, MMYM, 1000 Rep muslce, 21 day fast mass, MI 40 (B Pak)and so on. I’m currently at 7% body fat after my last cutting phase and have an absolute world of respect for you and some of the other athletes you have introduced over the years. So Thank you for helping guide me over the years, I couldn’t appreciate your advice enough!

    My only 2 questions are concerning protein powder and dairy.
    1. Is beef isolate protein (such as Carnivore)a good option instead of whey?
    2. Is non-fat milk a better option for milk? I have switched to non-fat milk the past 3 months since I can get an extra 8 grams of protein per 8 ounce serving so is that legit or is it best to avoid altogether?

    Again, thank you for everything you do Vince. You and your friends are an inspiration to me and I am proud to follow the advice you give! As I’ve always said, “The proof is in the pudding,” and you always clearly demonstrate the proof to back up your claims. God bless bro!

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  24. Wow, to keep it short, this article is amazing. Your information in inredibly helpful. You’re right, if you want abs, you have to make the sacrifices. Thanks Vince, loved it.

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  25. Hi Vince
    Your still one of the best Coaches in the internet! What do you think about red lentils? We have a special bread whit a old grain, i think in english its called spelled bread or pumpernickel i use this in the moment, what do u think about this?

    Thanks

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  26. “…I will eliminate all grains and stick to sweet potatoes, quinoa and brown rice as my primary carbohydrate sources.” Vince, get hip to black rice, also known as “forbidden rice.”

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  27. I agree with Vince. Cutting some foods off your list for a few week is not depriving yourself from them, is just taking a break to finish a goal.

    Only thing I don’t completely agree with this article and some comments is comparing fruit with fructose and glucose. The fructose on the fruit is bonded to the fiber… Will never be straight sugar or insulin spiking agent or won’t store as fat unless you pig in, and even the healthiest food in the world would be bad if you do.

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  28. Vince,
    I changed my diet about 4 months ago…cut out dairy, whey protein, gluten, and most grains altogether. I have lost 5% body fat without changing my exercise. Looking forward to seeing what MH does for me.

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  29. thanks for the tps,curious as to the fat to muscle loss ratio following these ideas?

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  30. Great article Vince! You say that you would do this for a few shot weeks, but would it be okay to do this all the time? If not, why? Thanks!

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  31. Charles McLaughlin July 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Vince,
    Thanks for sharing your recent results with us. Yesn you are correct! The one who masters their insulin can win the battle of the bulge. Its kinda weird that certain foods such as whey protein can increase insulin since it can digest fast. Which foos do you eat right after a workout that are fast digesting protein? That’s cool that you are being featured in I.M. Look forward to checking out the latest Live Large videos.

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  32. Well I am an old fart, and after losing near 100 pounds in 4 months, I have a lot of loose skin around my belly that I cannot get to go away no matter what I do. So, I have accepted that it will always be there, and there is nothing I can do about it. BUT, I am still working on building muscle and so far I am making pretty good progress for an old guy of 58. I have pretty much cut out grains though…

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    • TJ
      At age 76 I had aortic valve replacement, and during the months before and after I saw quite an increase in my waistline due to reduced physical activity. I began to work on this, mainly by reducing carbs and then by eliminating wheat from my diet. Like you, I found that though the fat began to come off, the skin was still in excess. Also like you, I concluded that this would not change due to loss of skin elasticity at my age. However, after a year of keeping the fat off, there is noticeably less extra skin. So I think you will gradually see improvement in that area too. Just be patient.
      PS: Ben Greenfield has some suggestions for this (though they work faster for younger people) in one of his podcats. Go to bengreenfield.com and search for “loose skin” (here’s a link to the one I’m thinking of: http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2011/07/top-10-body-transformation-lessons-from-get-fit-guy/

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  33. By the way, I cannot believe how many people freak out and hate on here! I think that people that want to disagree should post their BF%, weight and how long it took them to reach that and then offer their opinion. If these people are sitting at 4-8% body fat then great I’m all ears, but if not then I’m not interested because it reminds me of one of my favourite sayings from a friend, “Taking health/fitness advice from someone who isn’t in better shape then I am is like taking car maintenance advice from a guy broken down on the side of the road”.
    I’m at 11% right now so this article is perfect, please keep info like this coming!

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  34. Is this serious? Everything that you preach is absolute garbage! Perhaps you should go and learn about basic human physiology before writing articles that others read to gain information…

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    • Not sure you know what you are talking about Vince is right about the fructose and about the insulin response and how it helps you easily cut fat. You should watch (Sugar the Bitter Truth):
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

      It will help you understand the “Science” behind sugar and insulin a bit better. There is a “short” version of it for those that are too lazy to watch the full 90 minutes.

      Great info Vince! Working towards bulking an extra 20 lbs right now myself, but this is what I follow when I go for sub 10% body fat ;) Everything you said above works very well for me. I’ve been watching a lot of layne Norton’s videos and I’ve found that his 4 week bulk – 2 week cut cycles work well for building fast muscle without gaining a lot of extra body fat. When at 7-9% body fat I’m 6′ and 190 lbsTrying to get my lean body mass up an extra 10-20 lbs this year with hard training and correct nutrition. Eating is the hardest part of gaining imo! LOL. But looking forward to my main cutting cycle in November (keeps me from over eating during the Holidays), and I’ll be following this advice along with a lot of the other awesome advice you keep sharing!

      Thanks!

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  35. Barney Vincelette July 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    Have you any suggestions for vegetarians? I like the look at 8 to 10%, but 4% in models is more ripples that the look I prefer

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  36. I have actually already had these first 4 cut out for a while now and I was dropping ~.5% bf each week before I left for this vacation. I have never even thought about cutting out protein powder. I may have to try cutting it out for a couple weeks and see if I notice a difference.

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    • The nice thing about protein powder is that it’s just protein. It’s nice to get off of it and just eat real food every now and then. I notice less bloating when I get off the powder and muscle pop a lot more ;)

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      • Funny you said that James – I’m the same way. Sometimes I just enjoy “coming off” of my protein powder and give my body a break from the metals many protein powders are high in i.e. lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium

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  37. Mr Vince, please I need your help and I’d like to discuss with you personally. Can you give me an email address or phone number for me to contact you directly. Thanks a lot.

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  38. You’re always sharing what you learn the hard way,by constant experimenting ,with your readers. How many online coaches are as open and honest as you! Thanks, although I’m not into muscle building, I will certainly incorporate what you suggest in my diet, Rosalie

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  39. Sorry I just reread and saw the time frame, so got it.

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  40. I like the idea but I’m curious I didn’t see a time frame. Frankly, I love the different berries and that would be hard to cut out. I suppose it would be alright to have almond or coconut milk, right. Also, when you protein powder are you referring to whey protein? Would it be recommended to increase the other foods and what might be best in that regards?

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  41. Hi Vince,

    When you say to drop protein powders, do you mean *all* protein powders (pea, rice, hemp etc included), or are you simply talking about whey protein? And if so, wouldn’t whey protein fall under “Dairy” anyway?

    Many thanks,

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    • Hi Suzy,

      I was referencing whey protein from my experience and I believe the study was in reference to whey protein as well.

      I do not have experience with pea/rice/hemp.

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  42. Hey all..

    Wow, its amazing to see how some people are so hell bent on being right!!! All those who didnt see Vince’s video on broscience, look it up… Damn near nothing in the Fitness industry is black or white, right or wrong!!!

    I very rarely comment on things like this but, I thought I had to, to tell all who are bagging Vince’s efforts to try and help people out by try something different to get their results, to harden up, go to the gym and get some proven results for yourself!!! Before you come on here and nag the guy for studies to prove what he has already proven for himself.

    Vince I love what you post, whether or not some certain individuals thinks its crap or not, cheers to you for putting your own results out there to try and help others get to where there going!!!!

    Thanks again Vince!!!

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    • Hey John,

      There are certainly things right and wrong, especially when it comes to exercise bio mechanics and how to train a muscle.

      And their are certainly nutritional approaches more or less efficient but it’s usually just academic debate until the methods are applied, measured and assessed by the individual. Many people prefer to just talk about fitness than do fitness which is certainly an option :)

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      • ROFL ain’t that the truth. I love the story you gave about the kid that “practiced” bro science and got results vs. the guy that just talked science and had none.

        But in terms of rights and wrongs everyone’s body is “Different” and responds slightly differently to different methods, and that’s exactly where “application, measurements, and assessments” around workouts and diet make such a difference. Some people can eat a ton of carbs and lots of dairy and have the perfect 6-pack abs. Other people have to drop a lot of the carbs and eat zero dairy to achieve the same look. The “secret” is to know what your diet is, watch how your body responds to what your eating, and tweak it for the results you’re looking for.

        The things that Vince is sharing are things that have worked for him, and over all work well for most people. Much appricated as alway Vince.

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        • No problem James.

          Keep learning by MEASURING, EXECUTING and MANAGING!

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  43. Every journey begins with a single step..however based on how YOU respond will determine whether it’s the right one. The same compounds in different people interact differently, ie read the side effects of some medications, ‘may cause weight gain’ thus it’s not merely simple equations of in vs out. I believe we are all in pretty much agreement that manipulating insulin to our advantage aids fat loss. When I reduced my carbs down and increases my fat I began to get more ripped, 12% down to 8.5% and no loss in strength. Depending on your personal insulin sensitivity will determine the synergistic affects of the above principals. Become your own science experiment, eliminate some of the above and record the results, see what works for YOU.
    Ps comment about BB eating sugars on contest day, they do that to cause an insulin spike to pump up a depleted body with glycogen and water to look harder on stage. They are not consuming many simple carbs whilst cutting fat, possibly post workout but that’ll be it and yes there will always be an exception to the rule and that’s not me and probably not you either!!!

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    • Thanks for stopping by Owen.

      I like that – become your own science experiment.

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  44. For those of you who can obtain the desired fat loss results without doing any of the above, congratulations!

    I, unfortunately, cannot. I have an endomorphic body type (among other challenges) so I need to be very cautious of the types of food I consume and the time of day I consume them.

    I appreciate Vince reminding me how I can tweak my meal planning; I admit I have fallen a bit off the wagon. I have done all of his suggestions above before and it has worked for me albeit not easy to do. Again, if you don’t need to do these, great! However, there are many people like myself, who need whatever nutritional help we can get to obtain our desired body fat percentage goal.

    Recall the purpose of Vince posting this info. He’s taking the time to share his knowledge and experience. Take what works for you but atleast try it before you comment on it.

    Good luck to all in their goals!

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    • Thanks Les. Keep on rockin!

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  45. Sometimes the best research is trying it out on yourself. Try eliminating these for 2 weeks and see what happens. Then you have the right to comment whether or not what he is saying is just a bunch of bs. You don’t even have to eliminate all at once, try one at a time and see what happens. I am lactose intolerant, so I do not eat dairy anyway. I tried eliminating 1 (grains) for 2 weeks and noticed a tremendous difference. I substituted bread, pasta, grains, etc. with fruit, nuts, potatoes (white & sweet). After 2 weeks, I, the former bread & pasta addict, realized I didn’t miss the flour products. The only grain I eat is steel cut oats in the am, and perhaps some quinoa once in a great while. I was still able to maintain my results.

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    • Good job Melanie.

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  46. It’s all about calories in vs. calories out!
    None of the bullshit rules are actually required ;-)
    How about something REAL to back up your claims?

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    • Hey Dexter

      The entire theory behind “calories in vs calories out” is a complete joke. Shame on you for even mentioning that on my blog! The calorie myth has been perpetuated in diet programs, weight loss clinics and even by registered dieticians who still believe it’s just about the calorie. Using calories as a method to lose weight often fails more often than it succeeds. I believe the calorie myth is so popular because people want to make weight loss “mathematical” and calories in vs calories out creates an illusion of control that simply does not exist. People believe in ‘calories in vs calories out’ because it’s simple to grasp and has been touted forever.

      Lets just look at the consumption of fats on your body – consume a regular diet of mixed nuts, fish oils, organic eggs, avocados all all the amazing types of oils and you’ll decrease inflammation in your body, improve your hormonal profile and keep your body burning fat. Take in an equal amount of fat calories from hydrogenated fats or vegetables oils such as corn, soy, or safflower – and you’ll throw your hormones out of whack, increase inflammation and free radical damage. Plus, you’ll feel like crap.

      I’ve worked with marathon runners who expand MORE calories than they take it but they still gain weight (fat)! Look around and I bet you’ll identify a lot of people in your own life that you know who take in LESS calories and exercise A LOT but are still fat and gaining weight. The flip side is also true – it’s possible to gain muscle in a caloric deficit if hormones are optimized, the diet is high in quality and stress is managed.

      I wish body transformation was a simple mathematical equation. Nice try though.

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      • Vince, enough said!!! I’m glad you took your time and gave a in depth input about this calorie in vs calorie out. people don’t know about the impact of the food on hormones. I’ll have a diet of 1500 calories from vegies, lean meat and healthy fats vs that guy 1500 calories from refined sugars, fried foods and potato chips… see how detrimental his 1500 calories can be

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      • Vince,

        Nice one Bros!!!

        I really fall into the category of people who train a lot and still have fats in the muscles.

        I am a Karate 4th degree black belt. Your weight programmes have immensely increased my speed and strength but I do not have a six pack.

        It must have been due to the milk I take everyday couple with fruit juice.

        Thanks for the eye-opener.

        Regards,

        Vivamen

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      • Vince,

        Nice one Bros!!!

        I really fall into the category of people who train a lot and still have fats in the muscles.

        I am a Karate 4th degree black belt. Your weight programmes have immensely increased my speed and strength but I do not have a six pack.

        It must have been due to the milk I take everyday couple with fruit juice.

        Thanks for the eye-opener.

        Regards,

        Vicamen

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  47. ‘Saturated fat has been shown to lower insulin sensitivity and is more prone to fat storage’

    Can you back this up?

    Eating meat and eggs will trigger insulin, all protein does. Should we stop eating meat? *Sarcasm

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    • Of course. If you’re interested in learning more, take Dr. John Berardi’s Master Level Nutrition course, Precision Nutrition.

      Knock yourself out for 17 weeks of classes!

      I believe you took the saturated fat comment out of context. Milk is high in saturated fat and also spikes insulin and these are not optimal dieting conditions in combination. Assuming the amounts of saturated fats are managed you’re fine but favor poly and mono when dieting. I consume a higher amount of saturated fat when in a bulking up phase.

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  48. It doesn’t matter if you agree or not guys, Vince is right with this article. Those foods should be cut from the diet, regardless of your goal anyway.

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  49. If already at 5% Body fat, can you keep protein shakes as part of diet. 1-2 shakes with 4-5 whole food meals.

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    • Hey Matt

      If you’re already 5% bodyfat, you’re in the 0.01% of the population so doing something right!

      The only way you’ll know is to conduct a self experiment.

      I like the saying, “If you want to look solid, eat solid food.”

      Nothing wrong with the shakes but I believe you’ll look HARDER and FULLER with more whole food and less liquid.

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  50. so, what can i actually eat? im always snacking on my fruit as a way of not touching other fatty things, but now thats just as bad for me? what DO i eat then? :(

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    • What do you mean by other fatty things? There’s a huge difference between fattening- and fatty foods. Fats from healthy sources (i.e. Free range and/or organic animals, nuts, seeds, avocado etc.) help you burn fat (look up the hormone leptin…). You shouldn’t be snacking on fruit because, like Vince says, this spikes hour insulin (something which is pnly desirable post workout). Nuts are a great snack, eat those!

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    • Dont eat, have some water, you will be surprised at what water does to the body when you think your hungry.

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    • Alden…. the advice given was for individuals who want to go from 10% bodyfat to low single digit fat.

      I need to know more info to guide you.

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  51. Are these dietary measures employed to achieve 4 – 8% body fat?

    If I’m aiming for 10 – 11%, perhaps I can leave them in…?

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  52. Soooo… Ideal post work out food if no shake?
    Please advise, as i’m due to restock.. Cheers

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    • Fast digesting protein like white fish in combination with slow releasing carbohyrate like sweet potatoes. Another one I do is a stir fry of egg whites and turkey and veggies.

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      • Quick question about this, I thought it was good to have an insulin response right after a workout, hence drinking a dextrose or even a fructose drink to replenish glycogen stores and end the catabolic state that your body has entered from a hard workout. So while whole foods are better and fast digestion protien is important right after a workout don’t you still want a post workout drink with BCAA’s and Glucose to spike insulin?

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        • Hey James,

          Good question – every question needs to be answered in CONTEXT…

          What is the PRIMARY goal?

          Our goal is EXTREME fat loss so managing insulin and increasing thermogenesis, in my humble opinion, is more important than replenishing glycogen.

          Remember, we’re talking about shedding the FINAL FEW POUNDS or even FINAL FEW GRAMS of fat in some cases.

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  53. Soooo… Ideal post work out food if no shake?
    Please advise, as i’m due to restock.. Cheer

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  54. Vince, interesting article. I just have one question. Do you have any relevant studies to back up some of your claims? Also, when will you be coming out of the closet?

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    • No, I actually just sit down on my computer and ask myself, “What can of crap can I come up with today?”

      I provided journals that you can reference all the claims. Knock yourself out.

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      • LMAO…..Good one vince!

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  55. So what is the carb source in that case. Only yams and sweet potatoes?

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  56. Vince, come on.

    1)Fructose replenishes liver glycogen, which is essential to so many different processes in the body. And let’s not forget, most fruit contain roughly equal amounts of fructose and glucose. Moderate consumption of fruit will not slow progress in any noticeable fashion. In fact, many natural BBers regularly consume fruit and sucrose on the day of their show, sitting at sub-5% BF.

    2)Milk is fine for anyone without lactose intolerance, and as long as its macronutrients are accounted for, it will not slow progress whatsoever. Saturated fat? Really?

    3)People lose weight when they drop grains? NO DUH… they’re dropping an entire calorie-dense food source from their diet, of course they’re going to lose weight. Not to mention beef and other protein has similar insulin response to that of whole grain breads/cereals, so again, moot point.

    4) Simple sugars can have their place, and boost training performance which in turn helps maintain muscle tissue in a caloric deficit.

    5) BCAA’s are more insulinogenic than whey… so that renders your point moot yet again.

    Please stop misleading your followers and brush up on your research. It will make you a much more credible source in the fitness community.

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    • Some good points, but I’m not sure if it’s fair to write Vince’s opinion off completely.

      1)Fructose isn’t the best form of carb to replenish glycogen stores, although it does usually have glucose also, and it is nutrient dense. Regardless, reducing over-all sugar will reduce insulin production and improve fat loss.

      2) So many people have issues with dairy, ranging from lactose intolerance, food sensitivities, milk allergies, indigestion, and may not even realize it. Proteins such as casein in milk can also increase congestion. Milk is also so highly processed in North America, that it can hardly be called milk any more.

      3) Again, more people than you realize have issues with gluten. Also, most wheat products available are GMO and highly processed. If you are going to reduce starchy carb consumption anyway, kick grains off the list. However, there is an argument for including gluten free, low GI, nutrient dense grains like Quinoa and Buckwheat (actually seeds), steel cut oats, and brown rice.

      4) Maybe post workout. Other than that it will be tough to get single digit body fat while eating sugar every day.

      5) Agreed. I wouldn’t give up my Whey or BCAAs based on that… just consider when I consume them.

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      • 1)You’re referring to muscle glycogen stores while I was referring to liver glycogen. To write off fruit as detrimental to fat loss sub-15% is just silly. Moderate fruit intake should be encouraged due to its micronutrient and fiber content.

        2)Fair enough, you’re right I left out those with food allergies/sensitivities (although lactose intolerance would fall under that). Again a temporary bloat from certain does not hinder fat loss.

        3)Again, a small percentage of people may have food allergies and that’s fine, but it doesn’t hinder fat loss in those without intolerance. Starches can be placed according to preference and fiber goals.

        4)Disagree there sir, plenty of BBer’s getting into contest shape (sub 5%) while consuming sugar and other “dirty” food in moderation.

        5)No reason to give up whey any time actually, again with exception to those who have intolerance to it. The effectiveness of BCAA supplementation is debatable, but certainly not necessary to get to sub 10%.

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        • Its also interesting that in the “20 Dumbest Things…” article by Ben, he negates your claim on saturated fat. I thought you two were on the same page?

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          • Hey Waldo.

            Go re read Ben’s article and note the context he put that advice in.

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    • Hi Waldo,

      1. I stated my advice on fructose in my article.

      2. Not sure where you live Waldo but milk really isn’t a great source of ANYTHING if you live in North America. Maybe if you’re in Europe and raw, unpasteurized milk is a different story. I tell people to drink milk at their own risk… now, there is research that shows good stuff with milk but I believe the bad outweighs the good. Remember, the milk industry has A LOT of money to pay researches to say whatever they want.

      3. Are you a customs officer?!?! I have never heard someone say “moot point” in a conversation except a customs officer. ha

      4. You’ve never dieted down to sub 5% body fat before have you?

      5. You’re looking at everything I say with a ZOOM lenses on, not a satellite lenses.

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  57. I am really learning that not all protein powders are created equal too. There is a staggering amount of crap supplements on the market that yield little to no results and some that are even counter productive!

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  58. Is oatmeal/oats considered part of the gluten, wheat, and grains?

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  59. Awesome tips Vince. I always cut the fruit, dairy and grains but I need to try dropping the protein powder.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  60. In the next 6 weeks, my cutting phase should be complete. If I get below 8% body fat, which I believe is 110% possible without doing anything above, I’ll let you know.

    Let me finish off by saying this. I love Vince. I’m not saying he is wrong. Everything he stated here is backed by studies. Vince, I’ve been following you for a very long time, and hope to meet you one day.

    That being said, as you guys all know, there are millions of ways to build muscle and get cut. Although these tips will make cutting easier, and come by more quickly for some people, I just feel that people should understand that getting cut does not require you to follow any of the rules on this page.

    Just my two cents.

    PS: Great article! Very informative. If I can’t get my body fat below 8% without following the rules on this page, I’ll come back and let you know, and maybe begin implementing some of these rules into my plan.

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  61. I mostly agree Vince. Especially on the dairy and grain front. Both dairy and grains/wheat are some of the most common allergens, more common than people think, and can as you say increase cortisol. But the inflammatory impact they can have on digestion is also detrimental to any pursuit of a ripped body. They just don’t have a place in any serious fitness practitioner’s diet.

    Although I would say from my own experience both protein powders and fruit (only pre- and post workout) have been just fine for me. However, it is worth considering that I am younger and my hormones give me more lee-way…

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  62. Hi Vince,
    One question:
    What about pork?
    I don’t eat it, except some prociutto (ha ha) at sometimes. Why is never recommended?

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    • There’s nothing wrong with pork, it’s just a lower quality protein source.

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      • A little bit of pork is fine – I believe pork is fattier in nature though.

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  63. incredible every day I learn more about you.
    when spring arrives I will preobar winter but now I’m using some of your advice and gained 5lbs eh thanks vince in 3 weeks I will consider.

    sorry in the gramatic i from Uruguay

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