Zig Zag Diet Strategies for Losing Fat and Building Muscle
I have some amazing advice for both fat loss and muscle building to share with you. It’s called a zigzag nutrition strategy.
It is simple enough to put it simply.
Just adjust your calories in a zigzag diet pattern for days, weeks, or months, even years. I do not recommend that you do the yearly or even the monthly as it will be too late to know if it is working for you or you are simply getting fat with less results and your hard body underneath is wearing off. for a long walk on the dirt road.
What I DO recommend is that you follow a zigzag nutrition pattern weekly and possibly daily. I prefer to do it weekly.
It works like this (once you know your lean body mass requirements).
Your ZIG first. So ZAG.
You must first determine how many calories you are currently ingesting or, better yet, how many calories you need to maintain your lean body mass (LBM). That’s the sexy shape and muscle tone hiding under your layers of fat and water. Once you determine what you need to feed the machine, start planning your ZIGZAG diet strategy.
Now this is all assuming you are eating clean, low glycemic, moderate protein and good essential fats to begin with. We can even zigzag your primary macronutrients as well, but we’ll talk about that later as we’re focusing on zigzag calories for now.
Start your ZIG by reducing your total calories by 200-500 per day. I suggest you do this during the week.
Now the ZAG should use the required daily amount and add 200-500 calories per day for 1 week.
This will provide you with the necessary calories to maintain your lean body mass, but surprisingly you will have a leaner body following this method after 1-2 months. Bill Phillips wrote about this with Dan Duchaine, Mauro DiPasquali, TC Loma, and a few others many years ago (almost 20 years ago). Dan Duchaine reported that this “cycling” trick resulted in +1 to 2 pounds of body fat and -1 to 2 pounds of body fat every 2 weeks for months and months.
That alone is amazing, as it means you could be the same weight you are today in a year, but you actually have 12-24 pounds less fat and 12-24 pounds more muscle than today. This is a GREAT opportunity to change the way you perform, look and feel without changing anything in your diet.
If you had the opportunity to NOT diet and do what you do today, just change the amounts you eat today instead of tomorrow by following a ZIGZAG nutrition strategy, you should at least consider it.
Anecdotal reports on this come from many, including the guinea pigs with Dr. Jekyll’s original gear above, myself, and many of my clients, and are as follows:
- Higher energy
- Reduced fatigue
- Greater healing and recovery.
- Decrease in pain.
- Increase muscle mass
- Decreased weakness.
- Increased fat loss
- Decreased loss of muscle mass.
- Greater strength
And the list goes on, it is quite amazing, but you will have to experiment and experience it for yourself to be a true believer, believe me, you will become a believer in this ZIGZAG diet strategy.
Remember this all starts with a good nutritional foundation. If you need to do that, there are resources on the internet, but you have to start with a great nutrition game plan for this to be truly effective in the shortest amount of time.
For a ZIGZAG nutrition strategy to work for you, first determine how to create a strong and clean nutrition program. A game plan so to speak.
If your goal is to lose fat, then you need to know how much to feed your body. Cut that down by 200 calories and that will give you a baseline to start your Zigzag nutrition formula.
If your goal is to gain muscle, then know what you need to power the machine and work above your baseline at 200 calories and begin your ZIGZAG diet game plan.
Let me make it easy for you.
ZIGZAG for Fat Loss with 2000 Calories
2,000 calories – 200 calories = 1,800 baseline calories
1800 calories – 200 calories = 1600 calories on restricted ZIG days
1800 calories + 200 calories = 2000 calories in ZAG recovery days
The net average is 1800 calories, the fat loss is much greater than that and so are the gains in lean body mass in the process.
ZIGZAG for muscle building with 2000 calories
2,000 calories + 200 calories = 2,200 baseline calories
2,200 calories – 200 calories = 2,000 restricted ZIG days
2,200 calories + 200 calories = 2,400 ZAG days of recovery
The net average is 2,200 calories; the lean muscle gain is greater than that along with the side effect of fat loss
This is all good and done for you, but you still need to know what ratio of primary macronutrients works for you. That is different for everyone and it will change from goal to goal, from season to season.
The simple math for fat loss will suggest that you eat fewer carbohydrates than you do today to lose fat. You can slightly increase your protein and healthy fats to offset the calories from the carb restriction and experience greater fat loss while consuming the exact same calories as last week.
I would only suggest swapping 100-200 carbohydrate calories for protein and fat at a time and giving it 1-2 weeks to evaluate the net results. Once you are satisfied with your fat loss results or are at a sticking point, you should consider a ZIGZAG strategy.
If you are just starting out and have no idea where to feed your machine or what proportions to eat and how to implement the ZIGZAG nutrition method, try this simple math:
200 pounds – 20% body fat = LBM (lean body mass)
200 pounds – 40 pounds of body fat = 160 pounds LBM
160 pounds LBM x 10 calories per LBM = 1600 calories
ZIG days (-200 calories) = 1400 calories
ZAG days (+200 calories) = 1800 calories
This may sound lower than you are used to, but remember that the goal is fat loss and maintenance of lean muscle mass and you cannot lose fat while eating too many calories.
The ratio I would recommend you start with is 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 30% fat.
1400 calories ZIG days
Protein = 560 calories / 140 grams
Carbohydrates = 420/105 grams
Fat = 420 / 46.6 grams
1800 calories ZAG days
Protein = 720 calories / 180 grams
Carbohydrates = 540/135 grams
Fat = 540/60 grams
Now that you know how to do this for fat loss, you can do the same process for muscle building, but instead of multiplying your LBM x10 calories, you will use x12-15 calories per LBM. To stay lean try the same proportions, this will ensure a lean muscle building experience without adding unwanted fat.
Of course there are those who claim to be hard winners, many are simply too lazy to work hard enough on their nutrition, exercise and supplement programs, but even they will be surprised to use a ZIGZAG method to slim body gains. Gone are the days of raw MASS giving up all lean attributes, but if you need that kind of program, there are places and merits for that too.
I love knowing that it comes down to two things with nutrition. Simple Science = Math and Personal Choices = Art of creating a program that works for you. Most of the simple science is available to you, just choose wisely and make the right proportion, meal times, and food choices that work for you.
Make ZIGZAG programs work for you. You can alternate between fat loss, muscle building, the MASS program every week or month and notice incredible fat loss and muscle mass gains.
I mentioned ZIGZAG of the primary macronutrients and this can have amazing results for you too, but it is a bit more complicated to suggest here and it leads me to another article to increase your lean body lifestyle, fat loss and muscle building goals.
Remember that when 90% of the world does ZIG at the rate of 1 strategy, it is time for ZAG and make a difference. 90% of the time, the 10% who run backwards are successful in their efforts.