Hi folks!

In preparation for my target body fat of 3% by 20 September, I have taken the wise step of seeing a bodybuilding diet coach. Such coaches are experts in the field of body manipulation through dieting and although I know a fair bit, to get to a contest ready shape and fat levels it takes matters to a whole new level.

The lady who is my diet coach is herself a serious athlete and bodybuilder. The easiest way to get into contact with people like this is to just ask your favorite local shredded bodybuilder to point you in the direction of his coach. In a future article, I will give more insight as to exactly why it is so important to have that diet coach, but for now, here is a piece written by my coach that can help you a lot to get to your goals.

Happy training! Cheers

Gert Louw


1) you don’t commit your goal to black and white, which means you give it a thought, but you never actual write them down. To reach any goal, you have to make the time to actually write the goals down, and be specific with what you want to achieve.

a) I wanted to see my six pack
b) I wanted to achieve my Springbok colours in Body building
c) I was tired of being the fat one on stage in a line-up of hardcore bodybuilding women with a body fat of 6%. . . and so on. 

2) you have to give yourself a dead line as to when you actually want to achieve this goal.
Each year when I am getting myself ready to compete, I work my way backwards. So I estimate the time that I have to be ready and work the weeks backwards to make sure I arrive there on time and in the right shape

3) Before you start with any eating plan or diet. . . you have to estimate how much calories you are getting in now
Even I have made this mistake once before (because I should know how much I must eat to get lean), but I tried to follow my eating plan that I used the first time, and it just didn’t work. So I had to put myself down, and add up all the calories I get in on a day (everything) and take it from there. When I do an eating plan for my clients, this is exactly what I have to do with all of them before I even think of giving them their eating plan, or recommended daily calories. It differs from person to person, because of a lot of different reasons, which I will go into next month, but for now, I just want to get you back on track to do it right.

I know to work your calories out is a bit of work you have to do now, but if you are not prepared to do that, then you are probably not ready for the work it takes to actually reach that “mean, lean” fighting- machine physique you have always dreamt of. Otherwise, get someone to work it out for you then, or just pucker-up, take some, “ME”, time, and get your starting point sorted. You can’t go anywhere if you don’t know where you are at this point. To move forward you need a staring point!

4) If you have established your calories (or got someone like myself to do it for you) then you have to use the following formula for the different goals you might have

A) To loose body fat : drop your calories down by only 10% (unless your calories come to about 1000, that s quite low, then you just keep it there, don’t drop it down). The normal way of dropping calories down by 500, like we have been trained, just doesn’t work. Over the 20 years of working with people and their diets, I have realized that that drop is too much, people just can’t stick to it, the loose the plot and give up. Where with the 10% drop, it works like a bomb. No cravings, great energy and great weight loss (1kg of body fat a week, to be more definite).

B) If you want to add muscle: up the calories by 300 calories per day (this will keep your body fat where it is and you should add on about 2 – 3kg of lean mass in the next month), when you get stuck, up it again by 300 calories. This is just a basic estimate; it also differs from body type to body type, which I will go over next month.

5) Once have your daily calories worked out, and you done the sums required, then divide it into the amount of meals you are able to get in. The more, the better, so no less than 5 and you can go up to 7 or 8, depending on if you want o loose body fat or gain muscle. Most people loose well on 5 or 6 meal plan, where the guys that want to gain, need to push to 7 or 8 meals or snacks or even shakes. So say you are getting in 1500 calories, divide this by 5 meals. Now you have to divide your protein, carbs and fat in equal portions, so divide the total you have by 3 (1500 / 3 = 500 ) and then again by 4 to get the amount of protein and carbs you should get in (= 125g per day), or by 9 to get the total amount of fat (55 g of fat per day) (each gram of protein / carbs gives you 4 calories, and each gram of fat gives you 9 calories). Hope I haven’t lost you yet . . . ???? Once you have those amounts, divide it into the amount of meals you will be getting in per day. So you will have almost equal amounts of protein, carbs and fat in each meal. The only meal or shake that should not have fat in, is the one you get in right after training. The fat slows down the absorption of, especially carbohydrates, which is great for during the day, because this keeps your sugar levels stable and your body releases less insulin, which is one of our most potent fat storing hormone. But after training the insulin is good, because it will shuttle the amino acids and carbs into your muscle and aid in recovery and muscle growth.

6) How to monitor your progress: in order to stay motivated, you have to monitor yourself, AND THAT DOES NOT MEAN GETTING ON THE SCALE EVERY DAY! You can weigh yourself once a week, if you have to, but the better way of monitoring your progress, is to take body fat readings, and with a fat calliper is the most accurate. If there is no one close by that can do that for you, then the tape measure works just fine. I never take my own body fat reading; I only go by tape measure and mirror. So make sure you measure in the same place each time, otherwise the reading can differ. For women, take hip and waste measurement, unless you as a male are also caring body fat on your hips, then do the same. Otherwise men really only need to take waste measurement. For each cm you drop per week, you can be sure you have dropped 1kg of fat.

By monitoring yourself you will keep yourself motivated to carry on, because that is what it boils down to, to reach your goal, CONSISTANCY! If it is working for one week, don’t change anything. Don’t try and fix something that is not broken; it will work again the next week and the week thereafter, so just stick to it. Before long one month will be gone and you would have lost 4kg of body fat or gained 2-3 kg of muscle. The mirror will now start to be a good motivation as you will see change from here on, so nothing wrong with having a look in the mirror while you are training. I know people think body builders are vain. In fact they are very shy and the mirror is there to keep us motivated.

Wow! I bit of biology here and some work to do, but you have to understand your body better to be able to start making changes in your eating habits, and eventually in your life. So in the next 12 months I want to take you on that journey to get to know your hormones better, understand your body better and be able to walk the road of freedom! Freedom to make the right choices, and see the results you so desperately want to see.

If I could do it, so can you!

Bernadette Beyer

Bernadette flyer