Bodybuilders typically undergo two phases in their training and diet regimens. Phase one is a bulking phase during which time they eat excess calories in order to fuel their muscles for the intense muscle-building workouts they perform. Phase two is a fat-cutting phase during which time they eat and train to preserve the muscle they have built, yet burn the excess fat they have accumulated during the bulking period.
In order to lose fat on a bodybuilding diet you will first need to calculate how many calories you are eating every day. Count all of the foods you eat on a daily basis, including drinks such as milk, fruit juice and energy drinks to determine how many calories you consume. It is important that this figure is accurate. If you have been following a bodybuilding bulking diet up to this point your calorie intake may be anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000 calories per day so take every precaution to make sure your calculations are correct. You can use a variety of online calorie-calculating websites to find out how may calories certain foods contain.
In order to lose body fat you need to reduce calories. Calories fuel the body and excess calories are turned to fat. By cutting your calorie intake, your body is forced to use body fat or muscle tissue as fuel for the body. John Stamatopoulos, bodybuilding trainer and contributor to bodybuilding.com, suggests cutting calories gradually. The rationale behind this approach is that if you cut calories too drastically your body's fat burning will plateau after several weeks and hold on to fat as a reserve. Stamatopoulos recommends reducing your daily calorie intake by 300 every 10 days. So, if your daily calorie intake is 4,000 calories, you will reduce your calories to 3,700; 3,400; 3,100; 2,800; 2,500; 2,200; 1,900; 1,600; 1,300 and finally 1,000 over the course of 100 days. If your calorie intake is only 3,000 per day then this fat cutting routine can be done over a 60-day period. In order to preserve muscle mass it is important to perform muscle-building workouts during this period. This will ensure your muscle tissue is preserved and only body fat is being burned.
Six Meals per Day
Continue to eat six meals per day. Bodybuilding diets consist of eating six meals per day so that the metabolism keeps working optimally throughout the day. Although the portions will be smaller than during a bulking phase, you should eat six meals per day. The ratio between carbohydrates, protein and fat should be between 50 and 60 percent carbohydrates, 20 and 30 percent protein and 10 and 20 percent fat. If you are eating 2,500 calories per day, break the calorie intake up into six portions so that you eat approximately 420 calories per meal.
Supplementing your diet with a cardio workout routine is a fundamental part to the bodybuilder's fat-loss program. Perform between 20 and 60 minutes of steady state cardio on a treadmill, elliptical machine or on the rowing machine. Performing steady state cardio will target excess body fat and will cause you to lose more fat in a shorter amount of time.