You might not like training. You might be too busy, too injured, or just too stubborn to train – but you might wanna get ripped regardless. Can you get Ripped just by Dieting? It depends on who you are, and how much muscle you have. To see what I’m on about – keep reading…
Firstly, do you have to diet to lose weight?
The idea of weight loss differs slightly from fat loss. All fat loss is weight loss, while not all weight loss is fat loss – this is a very important difference, and you’ll have to remember this for later.
Fat loss is the pursuit of losing adipose tissue whilst retaining as much lean muscle mass as possible.
In order for this to happen, you need to be in a calorie deficit. This can be defined as taking in fewer net calories than you need to sustain your current body weight.
This (ideally) must be done via your diet. See, training does burn calories, but you would have to train for hours and hours for it to actually cause weight loss. You can adjust your caloric intake a lot easier than you would spend hours on the treadmill.
So do you have to diet to lose fat? Yes, you have to.
This might be a blunt answer, but for 99.9% of people, that is the answer. Whatever diet or meal plan to get ripped we decide to follow, we all need to eat fewer calories to lose weight.
But do I have to train to get ripped?
Training can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. You can do CrossFit, bodybuilding training, swimming, trail running, home workouts, or just push your luck on Tinder for exercise.
For the most part, training is split up into two main categories:
- Resistance Training: This includes training with an external source of resistance such as weights, bodyweight, bands, etc. Resistance training is the best way or retaining lean muscle mass whilst dieting
- Cardiovascular Training: Cardio is one of the best things you can do for, surprise, your cardiovascular health. Other than that, cardio is an excellent way to expend some extra calories
So, can you get ripped just by dieting? Yes and no.
If you have a lot (a whole lot) of muscle mass and fat mass as well, and your diet, you might be able to retain… 50 – 70% of your lean mass. If you were to diet and train, you might be able to retain 90 – 95% of muscle mass.
The less muscle you have to begin with, the less muscle mass you’ll have at the end. So unless you have been training and developing muscle mass for years prior to this diet, you will not get truly ripped without training.
But let’s follow this argument that you could possibly only diet – how do you make the best of it?
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Keep Protein High – Very High
Various studies show that higher protein intake has been linked to muscle retention when in a calorie deficit. The reasons for this are:
- Protein is made up of amino acids that are the building blocks of Muscles and are unlikely to turn into fat
- Protein uptake will increase mTOR levels which will drive anabolism or muscle retention at least
Aiming to get more than 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight will be ideal. This will allow for muscle retention, and since protein is very unlikely to turn into fat, even overconsuming protein won’t be keeping you from your goals. Protein options include:
- Lean Meats
- Protein shakes
- Select dairy
Split your carbs and protein accordingly
We don’t need carbohydrates to survive technically. The human body is equipped to run off ketones as well – basically fat – hence the Keto diet.
If you don’t have the ability to train, you could potentially benefit from a Keto diet, but I have no scientific evidence for this hunch. So, just split your carbs and fats evenly throughout the day, and make sure you consume healthy food options such as:
- Whole grains
- High fiber carbohydrates
- Fruits and vegetables
- Oily fish (salmon, etc)
- Omega fatty acids
- Polyunsaturated fat options (olive oil, avocado, etc)
Neither fats nor carbs themselves are going to be stopping you from losing fat. The only thing that will stop you from losing fat will be your total calorie intake.
That being said, I think running a Keto diet could make beta-oxidation a bit easier, but I have zero evidence of this.
Related: What to Eat to be Lean and Ripped (Truth)
Is it worth it to try to get ripped just by dieting?
Not by a long shot. Training is the best way to retain muscle mass, by a country mile.
Without training, in any way, you will literally just be gnawing away at muscle tissue slowly over time. And what’s the benefit of getting ripped if you aren’t even training?
The whole idea seems rather silly to me, and reeks of an eating disorder waiting to happen. That being said, if you have to do it, the best thing you can do is:
- Eat an enormous amount of protein
- Eat good quality, high-fiber carbohydrates
- Incorporate a diet break every so often to reset your hormones
To get really ripped, like people are on social media, you will need to engage in some kind of resistance training plan that will allow for muscle retention. Better yet, if you play your cards right, you might actually be gaining muscle.
In the end, being ripped isn’t just about the amount of fat you have on your body, but also includes how much muscle you have. If you have zero muscle, you’ll just end up looking ‘stringy’. Lovely.
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