Zig Zag Diet Strategies for Fat Loss and Muscle Building
I have to share with you an amazing tip for both fat loss and muscle building. It’s called the zigzag nutrition strategy.
It’s pretty simple to put it simply.
Simply adjust your calories in a zigzag diet pattern over days, weeks, or months, even years. I don’t recommend doing the yearly or even the monthly as it will be too late to tell if it’s working for you or you’re just getting fatter with less results and your hard body underneath is going haywire. for a long hike down the dirt road.
What I DO recommend is that you follow a zigzag pattern of nutrition on a weekly and possibly daily basis. I prefer to do it weekly.
It works like this (once you know your lean body mass requirements).
First you ZIG. So you ZAG.
You must first determine how many calories you are currently consuming, or better yet, how many calories you need to maintain your lean body mass (LBM). That’s the sexy shape and muscle tone that hides under your layers of fat and water. Once you determine what the machine needs to feed, start planning your ZIGZAG diet strategy.
Now, this is all assuming you’re eating clean, low-glycemic, moderate protein and essential good 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 zigzagging 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 is to 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 slimmer 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 lean body fat and -1 to 2 pounds of body fat every 2 weeks for 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 you do today. This is a BIG opportunity to change the way you perform, look and feel without changing a thing about your diet.
If you had the opportunity to NOT diet and do what you do today, just change the amounts you eat today versus tomorrow by following a ZIGZAG nutrition strategy, you should at least consider it.
Anecdotal reports on this have come from many, including the guinea pigs with Dr. Jekyll’s original team above, myself, and many of my clients, and are as follows:
- energy boost
- reduced fatigue
- Increased healing and recovery.
- decrease in pain
- Increase lean muscle
- decrease in weakness
- Increased fat loss
- Decreased loss of muscle mass
- higher strength
And the list goes on, it’s pretty amazing but you will need to experience it for yourself to be a true believer, trust me you will become a believer in this ZIGZAG diet strategy.
Remember that this all starts with a good nutritional foundation. If you need to do that, there are resources on the internet, but you need to start with a great nutrition game plan for this to be truly effective in the shortest amount of time.
To make a ZIGZAG nutrition strategy work for you, first determine how to create a clean, solid nutrition program. A game plan if you will.
If your goal is to lose fat, then you need to know how much to feed the body. Cut that by 200 calories and that will give you a baseline to start your Zigzag nutrition formula.
If your goal is to gain muscle, know what you need to fuel the machine and work above your baseline by 200 calories and start 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 calories reference
1800 calories – 200 calories = 1600 calories on restricted ZIG days
1,800 calories + 200 calories = 2,000 calories on ZAG recovery days
The net average is 1800 calories, the fat loss is much higher than that and so are the lean body mass gains in the process
ZIGZAG for muscle building using 2000 calories
2,000 calories + 200 calories = 2,200 calories reference
2,200 calories – 200 calories = 2,000 restricted ZIG days
2,200 calories + 200 calories = 2,400 ZAG days of recovery
Net average is 2,200 calories; lean muscle gain is greater than that along with the side effect of fat loss
This is all well 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.
Simple fat loss math will suggest you eat less carbs than you do today to lose fat. You can slightly increase your intake of protein and healthy fats to offset the calories from carbohydrate restriction and experience greater fat loss while eating exactly the same calories as you did last week.
I would only suggest swapping 100-200 calories from carbs for protein and fat at a time and giving it 1-2 weeks to see net results. Once you feel that you are satisfied with your fat loss results or that you are at a plateau, you should consider a ZIGZAG strategy.
If you are just starting out and have no idea where to feed your machine or what ratios to eat and how to implement the ZIGZAG method of nutrition, try this simple math:
200 pounds – 20% body fat = LBM (Lean Body Mass)
200lbs – 40lbs body fat = 160lbs LBM
160 lbs 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’re used to, but remember that the goal is fat loss and lean muscle maintenance and you can’t lose fat while eating too many calories.
The ratio I would recommend you start with is 40% protein, 30% carbs, 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’ll use x12-15 calories per LBM. To stay lean try the same ratios, this will ensure a lean body muscle building experience without adding unwanted fat.
Of course, there are those who claim to be hard gainers, many are too lazy to work hard enough on their nutrition, exercise, and supplement programs, but even they will be amazed when using a ZIGZAG method for lean body gains. Gone are the days of raw MASS ditching all lean attributes, but if you need that kind of program, there are places and merits for that too.
I love knowing that it all comes down to 2 things with nutrition. Simple Science = Math and Personal Choices = Art of creating a program that works for you. Most of the simple science is out there for you, just choose wisely and make the right ratios, meal times, and food choices that work for you.
Make ZIGZAG programs work for you. You can go between the fat loss, muscle building, MASS program each week or month and notice incredible fat loss and lean muscle gains.
I mentioned ZIGZAG of the primary macronutrients and this too can have amazing results for you 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 uses ZIG at the rate of 1 strategy, it’s time for you to ZAG and make a difference. 90% of the time, the 10% running the other way are successful in their efforts.