How To Get Lean, STON Nutrition, Ryan Stoner recent pic

How to get lean using caloric deficits; a simplified guide.

I began using caloric deficits to get lean when I was 18 to help me prepare for my first bodybuilding competition.  Since then I’ve experimented with variations of caloric deficits and I found this iteration to be the most effective.

Keep in mind, most caloric deficit bodybuilding prep doesn’t account for health imperatives, they simply resort to macros.  This works great when you are young and/or your body is fresh.

STEP 1: Calculate your maintenance calories using an online calculator*

*Link to calculator will appear here when ready.

STEP 2: Calculate your macronutrient percentages for a starting point: 35% protein, 40% carbs and 25% fat.

As you drop your calories, you’ll want to keep protein as an absolute number of no less than about 1 gram per pound of your goal body weight, as opposed to a percentage.

Eventually, as you get lower and lower in your calories, carbs and fat will be the only things you manipulate because you are keeping protein at that minimal of 1 gram per pound of your goal bodyweight.

STEP 3: Drop your calories by 200 under your maintenance calorie level. Weight lift and do short duration cardio. Get good sleep, this is essential.

In Step 3, weight lift heavy and intense (log your workouts and try to maintain strength). Start out with only short duration cardio with minimal frequency (log cardio times and try to maintain or improve your workouts).

STEP 4: Only change your calories and or activity/cardio again once you’ve plateaued on the scale for 5-7 days. When you’ve plateaued, drop your calories by about 100.

Don’t drop your calories too fast because you will find yourself at a super low calorie level like 1300 calories (low for a guy) and you’ll deplete your body of nutrients it needs to maintain strength, hormones etc. Then what are you going to do, continue to drop calories?? No. You’ll wither away.

A few other tips:
  • Watch the scale daily
  • Look in the mirror daily
  • Record your workouts