You want to get lean – and fast!
You are pushing yourself hard in the gym. You are adding more weight to the bar, getting an extra rep, doing an extra set, and running faster and longer.
That’s all wonderful, but it means nothing unless your diet is under control. The diet is your key to unleash your ripped physique.
You must get in the right nutrients to fuel your workouts and pack on muscle. But you must avoid temptations of bad foods that can wreck your results and set you back.
Here is your 28 day superior dieting plan to help you get lean and stay lean!
First off, all dieting needs ground rules. Ground rules are the foundation of your success because it puts boundaries on what you can and cannot eat, and how much.
But more than that, it sets the tone for you mentally. This 28 guide dieting plan is not for everyone. In fact, it has limited flexibility.
But if you want to maximize your fat loss in these 28 days you must be strict on yourself. That means you must follow these rules.
Use health goals as a motivation plan. If you feel that this plan is too strict and not something you can do, find an alternative plan. There is no point is attempting this strict diet if you constantly cheat on your diet as this will set you up with frustration.
If you are ready to accept this challenge, then prepare to get shredded!
3 Lean Dieting Principles
1. Limit your carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are critical to fuel your workout. They are the first nutrient broken down before fat.
If you eat fewer carbohydrates, then you can burn your fat sooner and quicker which lead to quicker results to get you ripped.
Ideally consume 100-150 grams of carbohydrates a day. On days when your workout is more taxing, such as leg day, consume no more than 150g of carbs, but on non-workout days, or less taxing workouts (ex: shoulders or arms) aim for no more than 100g of carbs.
Good sources of carbohydrates are oatmeal, potatoes, whole grain rice or bread.
2. Drink at least 1 gallon of water a day
You should be carrying with you a water bottle at all times so you can carefully monitor how much water intake you are really getting.
You need to stay hydrated so that you can avoid cravings to snack or binge on food.
Try to avoid diet sodas, and stick to water. If you really need something sweet, try zero calorie sweeteners.
3. Eat more protein!
You should at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight daily. When you are on a low calorie diet you have to be careful to avoid losing muscle.
For this reason you should be consuming more protein to ensure you are building muscle during your leaning phase.
So if you weigh 150lbs you should eat at least 150g of protein a day. If you have trouble eating that much protein try drinking protein shakes.
Great sources of protein include chicken, lean steaks, beans, or salmon. If you are vegan there are plenty of vegan protein options for you too!
There are certain foods that you should be eating plenty of to get shredded. These 5 foods are specifically chosen because they are lean sources that are packed with protein to add muscle or include fiber to make you feel fuller to avoid cravings.
The Best Lean Meal Plan Foods
- Chicken breast is a staple of this lean dieting plan because it contains zero carbohydrates and each serving is loaded with protein. You can cook it, grill it, or bake it! Just don’t fry it since you want to keep the calories low! It also has been shown to help with weight loss and control blood pressure 
- Eggs whites are full of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and the Harvard School of Public Health reported that the cholesterol in eggs does not affect heart health in a negative way . They are easy to prepare and can even be boiled so you can eat them separately without cooking.
- Broccoli and other green vegetables are crunchy, packed with fiber, bursting with taste, and loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep you healthy. Consuming a cupful at each meal has only a few grams of carbs. The fiber will keep you satiated as well to avoid overeating.
- Oatmeal is low in sugar, high in fiber and gives you long lasting energy to fuel your workouts. Typically I eat oatmeal with my protein shake before I train so I am fueled and ready to go to the gym. Furthermore, it is easy to make. The high fiber content reduces the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease and constipation. Fiber plays a pivotal role in lowering cholesterol, weight loss and helping maintain a healthy weight.
- Protein shakes – it is almost impossible to get all the protein you should be eating a day without supplements. Each serving of a protein shake contains 20-30g of protein with low fat and carbohydrates. This will keep you lean and less hungry.
What to Expect
In the first week most people find that they may lose 3 to 5 pounds.
A lot of this is drastic because of the decreased carbohydrate intake which means you have less glycogen stores so your body does not retain as much water.
You will also at times feel a bit tired because of the decrease in your carbohydrates; however, your body will adjust to this low intake.
Furthermore, initially your strength may decrease the first few days because you may be more tired from less carbs.
However, around the 2nd week, your body will adjust to the diet and you’ll notice that you will lose roughly 2 pounds a week and feel more energy since your body has adjusted.
Eating right will give you the habits you need to maintain your new lean look for the long-term.
How to Stick to Your Diet
You must plan ahead and this starts with planning your meals. If you know what to eat, how much and when to eat, then there is no deviation from your diet.
Furthermore, there are fewer cravings when you know exactly what to eat based on a schedule. If you lack preparation, you’ll find yourself on the road hungry pulling over to eat at a Wendy’s.
Avoid that! To stay motivated you should also take weekly pictures of yourself. Nothing keeps you on track then seeing you lean you look with each progressive week.
Furthermore, you need to give into your cravings – sometimes. If you restrict too much it can turn into a binge. Each Sunday give yourself time to have a cheat meal when you can eat whatever you want – for one meal! No restrictions!
This will get you focused pack on track Monday morning to resume a strict diet for the rest of the week.
Also you can fight your cravings by bringing to work with you protein shakes or lean snacks.
While it may be easy to grab a meal or cake at the happy hour with colleagues, if you are prepared with a protein shake or healthy snack, you’ll find yourself less likely to cheat on your diet.
The One Month Lean Diet Meal Plan
All too often people find that if they need to follow a “cookie cutter” diet plan they read on a magazine. It is not that simple.
Your diet plan is dependent on your metabolism, workout routine, work schedule and preferences for foods.
For this reason, when I am with clients I generally provide them a plan specific for them that they can adhere to. Below you will see a diet that I am following as a 150lb male that workouts 5 days a week high intensity, that enjoys to lift in the evenings.
Notice that I do not provide a meal plan for each day; rather, I give different options of foods that may be consumed for each meal to provide them with variety, but still adhere to the calories required.
Below is my personal meal plan. You will notice that in my plan I tend to eat chicken for breakfast, but that is not for everyone. If you want to eat egg whites then switch the meals.
The point is that eating these meals with the key 5 foods will get you lean, but mix it up in a way that allows you to stick to the diet.
If you weigh less, or train less, you should not be consuming the same number of calories as me! Refer to my previous article on how many calories you should consume a day. Make adjustments on your portions as needed, but stick to the main key foods in this diet.
2200 Calories For 150lbs Male Meal Plan
How To Maintain Your Results
After 28 days you will lean and shredded and look the best you ever will look in your life! But you got to maintain that look.
I take weekly pictures to see what I look like. In my last article I mentioned that I was doing intermittent fasting while working on night float for August 2017.
more: Lean Out Mini Meal Plan
After that month I got lean, however, I felt so tired (probably from sleeping 4 hours a day), and my workouts were slow and I lost strength.
So on Labor Day of September 2017, I decided to increase my carbohydrates slightly and noticed I could train harder. In turn I got stronger and now I am even leaner.
I take pictures and I can now adjust my diet accordingly. In turn, the positive feedback I get from people keeps me inspired to stay on my diet.
It is a lot easier to also stick to my diet when I notice that it is increasing my confidence, my performance playing ice hockey and giving my greater energy levels at work. Whenever you get positive feedback, use that to keep yourself on your diet.
Rajiv M Mallipudi, md, mhs is an internal medicine resident physician, personal trainer, athlete and author. He has over a decade of personal training experience and helped hundreds of clients of all levels achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. This inspired him to work as a clinical researcher at the nationally recognized Johns Hopkins Hospital Weight Management Center. During medical school he and his classmates created the health and wellness organization, medfit, which provided personal training and nutrition counseling to the medical student body. In his spare time, Dr. Mallipudi enjoys playing ice hockey, dancing, and training for his next bodybuilding and powerlifting competitions. Dr. Mallipudi serves as a contributing writer for the Diet and Fitness sections.