It never fails! At least once a month when my wife and I are out-and-about, someone will comment on my physique. Not a positive comment, but something like, "Hey man, lay off those steroids!" I also get, "You know that stuff you take will kill you early!" Another one is, "What's the point of lifting and taking all that crap, you know it's bad for you." I've heard it all. I use to take it as a compliment when I was younger, because I looked big and it made me feel good that people assumed I had to cheat in order to look a certain way. Today, it is annoying! Macros have been and always will be my drug of choice!
What do I mean when I say, "...macros are my drug of choice?" It's simple. What I eat is exactly what created my physique, and your physique as well. When I started my contest prep back in January I was doing what we call in the bodybuilding world, a "clean bulk." A clean bulk is having a high caloric intake, but it not necessarily coming from "bad" food. For instance, I would eat a lot of boneless chicken, brown or jasmine rice, sweet or white potatoes, oatmeal, some burgers, pizza, even some ice cream once in a while. My goal during that 4 month bulking phase was to keep my calories at 3000-3500/cal per day. This broke my macros down to: Carbohydrates: 400-450/grams per day; Protein: 200-250/grams per day; Fats: 100-110/grams per day. Maintaining this for 4 months I brought my weight to 210-215lbs and 20% bodyfat.
When I started my "leaning" phase back in May, I actually wanted to keep my calorie intake close to what I was getting in during the "bulking" phase. From May until present day my calorie intake has been 3000-3200/cal per day. Notice I barely dropped the amount of calories I was getting in during the beginning of prep (January). What changed were my macros. Carbohydrates: 175-200/grams per day; Protein: 350-400/grams per day; Fats: 60-80/grams per day. What happened when I simply changed not the caloric intake, but the actual macros? My bodyfat dropped! My bodyfat is at 7%, while my weight is at 183lbs. Doing this I've sacrificed very minimal amounts of muscle (since I'm natural I will lose some muscle) while starving the fat cells. I expect to be at 2% bodyfat by August 30th.
Remember, I started this process 7 months ago (beginning of my prep). Also, I've been a competitor for 20 years, so I know my body. Being a natural athlete, I know I have to start way in advance in order for this to work and to be successful. I'm not compromising my health (to old for that), and I want to make sure I don't lose any lean muscle tissue in the process (this happens when you take calories away; you don't eat all your meals, and if you starve yourself).
The take away from this blog is you are what you eat! If you're going to start a fitness program keep in mind that your nutrition is 85%-90% of the entire process! The process is slow, so it is extremely important to stay consistent in what you eat!