Last week, the 2015 edition of my „Lean & Jacked Diet“ came to an end after 6 weeks of dieting. Like in 2014, I wasn’t dieting for a bodybuilding contest or a special Day X. My motifs for becoming lean and jacked were more for personal reasons as I wanted to explore what dietary interventions it takes to take my body to low body fat level (~7-8%).
Starting Weight: 87,8 kg (18 May 2015)
End Weight: 85,0 kg (25 June 2015)
Total Weight Loss –> 2,8 kg
The lessons I have learned during this year’s diet are outlined below – but for now you are probably more interested to see my post-diet pictures. I have also included a short posing video.
„Lean & Jacked 2015″ VS „Lean & Jacked 2014″
This is the second year in the row I have followed my own „Lean & Jacked Program“. This is cool because I can draw a direct comparison between 2014 and 2015. I even made sure this year to wear the same black underpants like last year
The first parameter I find worth comparing is my bodyweight. In 2014, I went from 84,4 kg to 80,5 kg [~7%] (a net bodyweight loss of 3,9 kg). In 2015, I went from 87,8 kg kg to 85,0 kg [~8%] (a net loss of 2,8 kg). Comparing the images from both years, it is evident that I wasn’t as lean in 2015 as last year. I will elaborate below what the reasons may have been. However, I still got lean and shredded enough to draw a fair comparison to last year.
During my off-season from September 2014-April 2015, I trained very hard and even MORE importantly ate like a bulldozer. Judging from the above numbers, I can safely say that during one year I HAVE ADDED ROUGHLY 3-4 kg of LEAN MASS to my frame. I am very happy with that progress considering that this my 4th year of serious training and natural gains don’t come as easy as during the first two years. You really have to work hard for that little bit of extra muscle each consecutive year.
In any case, I still want to touch upon several reasons why I am not as shredded as last year.
First and foremost, my daily caloric intake may have been still a little too high this year. I was restricting more during the last 2 weeks of the diet, but was replacing these lost calories with more meat. Meat in the form of lean red meat mostly, and a lot of fish. I think that I may have gone a little overboard on the red meat.
Secondly, unlike in 2014, I did not go through a water cut this year. If you don’t know what a water cut entails, read it up my experience HERE. Basically, doing a water cut is not the most pleasant thing and drinking 8+ litres of water each day and having to take a piss every half an hour is a real pain in the ass. Sure, if done correctly, you DEFINITELY get rid of that extra water between your skin and your muscles. You look ridiculously vascular if your body fat levels are low enough (~6-7 %). But for me, considering that I wasn’t dieting down towards a specific Day X or had a specific photo shoot where I needed to look massively vascular, it just wasn’t worth it.
One of the objectives for last year’s edition was to see those striations on my quads. Neither did I accomplish those last year nor this year. But judging from the above pictures and the video, I think I have come closer to it. Especially, my Vastus medialis muscle has improved and is more visible now. Better separation between the four quad muscles is visible this year.
Dietary Lessons Learned This Year
Diet template-wise, I can refer you to this bodybuilding.com article. As described in the article, I basically depleted my glycogen stores at the beginning of week [NOTE: rather than <50 g carbs per day, I went <100 g carbs per day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). Thursday carbs would be around 150 g per day. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I went up to 200 g carbs per day.
All of this doesn’t sound like too much hardcore dieting, does it?
Anyhow, here are some dietary lessons I have learnt during this year’s diet:
Replacing Carbs with Lots of Veggies
I had thought that I would find it harder to give up all of the copious amounts of wonderful Basmati rice I had been eating during my off-season. Instead, replacing the rice with a frozen mix of all kinds various vegetables (carrots, beans, spinach, peppers etc) was a suitable substitute. In fact, my craving for carbs was not as high as I had expected.
Consumed Too Much Meat
By cutting out a fair amount of carbs and fats, I thought that I had to replace these two with protein – namely meat! I was eating a lot of meat. Looking back at my consumption, I can safely say I was eating too much meat. My go-to dish that served me 2 meals was made up of 500 g lean ground beef mixed with a frozen bag of various vegetables.
Reducing Amount of Fat
During the first 2-3 weeks of the diet, I found it quite hard to reduce my fat intake. During my off-season I relied a lot on heavy cream, butter, avocados, nut butters etc to get in those extra calories. I knew I had to change my eating habits and thereby reduce my fat intake to roughly 50-100 g per day. This was probably the hardest part because fat in combination with carbs and proteins just makes food taste dAAAAAmn gOOOOd.
Tuna is a Life-Saver
Carrying a can of tuna to uni or work is a must for me when dieting. Usually, when out, I would just eat the tuna straight out of the can. When I had access to some salad bar, I would get myself a big-ass salad and just dump the tuna into it – always a decent option to get your protein in when in an environment with otherwise shitty food. At home, I would often mix the tuna with a low-fat cottage cheese and half an avocado – spice it with some balsamic vinegar, S&P, and good to go as a spread on some rice cakes.