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Fat Loss on a Vegetarian Diet

Posted Nov 24 2011 12:13pm

Hello James,

The hypertrophy for the ectomorph training program really worked, and I gained quite a lot of muscle.

The thing is that I wasn't looking for the bodybuilder physique, but a more skinny lean [physique]. I still believe that I have some muscle to gain, but I've started my cutting phase from the beginning for this month so I can be leaner for [the] new year when my girlfriend is coming. I want to surprise her.

Anyways I always had a skinny-fat physique with some extra fat on my tummy and pecs. But ever since I became a vegetarian with a proper diet of healthy grains, veggies and fruit, the belly and the fat on my pecs begun to disappear without any noticeable muscle loss. I still need to get rid of the extra fat, and I have time to lose that fat. I'm realistic, and I'm not expecting Brad Pitt abs for the new year, you know. My body fat must be around 12%-14%, so here are my questions!

What diet and workout should I follow?

What book do you recommend me to buy for a guy with my physique?

Does running early in the morning on an empty stomach help? Not HIIT but a nice paced jog for a couple of miles?

I'm currently going to the gym to keep up my muscle mass. I play rugby and surf, but I still can get rid of those final layers of fat!

I'm 6 feet and 163 pounds. I used to weight around 150, so I was veeery skinny.

Thanks for your help, I'm a big fan of your blog.

-Mariano V.


My Answer: Well if you're a vegetarian, then your diet is pretty much set. As someone concerned with your physique, your goals on any diet (vegetarian or not) is to make sure you get adequate protein and calories. It's very tough with vegetarian diets, because in order to get those extra calories, you need to ingest a lot of carbs. And that makes it very tough to get lean. So eat vegetarian foods that allow to hit your daily goal of 160 grams of protein daily. But focus on training for fat loss as opposed to dieting for fat loss.

Jogging on an empty stomach in the morning will not help. You will simply lose muscle, and you need that muscle to burn fat. You should use strength training as primary means of fat loss, not cardio. The 8x8 program will work nicely in this regard.

With regards to my books, Volume One has a chapter on diet and 7 strength training strategies for fat loss. Neo-Classical Bodybuilding also has a chapter devoted to strength training for fat loss.


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