What if I said you could get ripped in a single month using a simple meal plan? You’d probably say I’m crazy.
Get My FREE “Rapid Muscle” Course
For 10 years I’ve helped beginners build muscle fast.
Follow this plan to unleash quick, noticeable muscle gains.
However, pro-bodybuilder Erin Stern created a 4-week Cutting Meal Plan to get you shredded by this time next month.
But is that really possible? And does this meal plan even work? Let’s find out.
About the Creator – Erin Stern
It goes without saying, “if you want to be ripped, listen to ripped people.” That’s precisely what we did.
Erin Stern or Iron Erin is a fitness model, 2x Ms. Figure Olympia winner, and 14x IFBB (International Federation For Bodybuilding and Fitness) champion. Erin is also an author, fitness coach, and creator of various fitness programs, such as her FIT University Program.
She used all this experience in bodybuilding to create the 4-week Cutting Meal Plan found in her book titled “The Bodybuilders Kitchen.”
Some of Iron Erin’s other fitness programs include:
- FIT University
- Bikini Bod
- Glue Gains
- Get Lean Program
- Strong Curves
- Gain Muscle
- Fit From Home
Below are books written by Erin Stern:
- Train Like a Bodybuilder at Home: Get Lean and Strong Without Going to the Gym
- The Bodybuilder’s Kitchen: 100 Muscle-Building, Fat Burning Recipes, with Meal Plans to Chisel Your Physique
Iron Erin knows bodybuilding like the back of her hand, but we don’t see why you couldn’t also follow this advice if you’re trying to get ripped with CrossFit or calisthenics.
4-week Cutting Meal Plan Overview
The promise: Get Shredded with a 4-week cutting meal plan.
A significant part of getting ripped happens in the kitchen through macronutrient manipulation and staying in a caloric deficit.
Below is a brief overview of the 4-weeks Cutting Meal Plan:
- Goal: Fat loss, Get ripped
- Plan type: Standard healthy
- Meals per day: 5-6 smalls meals daily
- Meal prep experience level: Beginner or Intermediate
- Cooking supplies needed: Minimal supplies
- Calorie counting: Yes
- Meal timing: Standard
Before we go on, we should be clear that it’s possible to get ripped just by dieting, but following a resistance training routine in addition makes your results a lot better!
4-week Cutting Meal Plan Details
Here’s a quick breakdown of 5 meals consumed in a day with this meal plan:
- Breakfast: Starchy carbs, protein
- Snack: Fats, protein
- Lunch: Carbs, protein
- Snack: Carbs, protein
- Dinner: Fats, protein
Following a Standard Healthy Diet
This meal plan follows a standard healthy diet which is fitness-lingo for eating healthy foods that most bodybuilders would go for.
This means your diet should contain foods like lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.
Erin’s meal plan does permit some cheat days. But don’t overdo it, or you’ll gain excess fat and lose progress.
Standard Meal Timing
The meal timing here is standard, meaning you can choose when and how often you eat during the day.
So if you follow Erin’s 5-6 meals per day routine, then you can choose to consume a meal about every 3 hours.
The main aim should be to consume all your calories within the number of meals you eventually decide to eat.
Calories & Macros
The primary driver of weight loss for this meal plan will be following a caloric deficit. With this in mind, your calorie count should range from 1,800-to 2,500 calories daily, but below your TDEE.
Additionally, the amount of calories you’ll consume on this meal plan depends on your body fat percentage, gender, or even age.
You should also consider how much fat you need to cut in proximity to your body fat percentage target when making your calculation.
Women should aim for 14-20% body fat for a ripped body, while men should aim for 6-13% body fat.
As for macros, below is the macronutrient ratio for this meal plan:
- Protein – 40%
- Carbohydrates – 40%
- Fats – 20%
Protein should remain high to prevent muscle loss during a cutting phase and fats should be relatively high to keep your hormones in check.
Additionally, higher protein consumption (especially casein) makes you feel fuller throughout your day and can stave off any annoying hunger cravings.
Don’t let the carbs scare you, Iron Erin says high-carb meals boost your energy levels.
She also advises us to strategically plan carbohydrate intake and reserve them for periods when we’re most active. Like before or after a workout.
Sample Meal Plan
You won’t find much free information on sample meals for Erin’s 4-week Cutting Meal Plan. Although, the main book is packed with meals and recipes.
Luckily, Muscleandfitness created a sample meal plan that shows us good food choices for becoming lean and ripped:
- Breakfast: Apple sage, turkey sausages, blueberry muffins
- Snack: Greek yogurt, hummus
- Lunch: Tex-Mex fajitas
- Snack: Carrot cake shake
- Dinner: Ginger soy, shrimp skewers, cauliflower fried rice, crunchy avocado salad
- Breakfast: Mocha oats
- Snack: Grilled balsamic, watermelon, and cheese
- Lunch: Grilled jerky, chicken breasts, spicy black beans, quinoa, roasted cabbage, and steaks
- Snack: Elvis shake
- Dinner: Chicken, cloud bread, wilted spinach, and tomato salad
- Breakfast: Cottage cheese and cantaloupe
- Snack: Baked cheeseburger
- Lunch: White chicken chili, roasted vegetables
- Snack: No-bake Cocoa, oat bars
- Dinner: Broiled cod with charred tomatillo salsa, rosemary beefsteak tomatoes, and coconut cayenne smashed sweet potatoes
Pros of Erin Stern’s 4-week Cutting Meal Plan
Designed By a Bodybuilding Pro
This meal plan is designed by bodybuilding pro, Erin Stern. Additionally, she’s a successful coach on fitness and nutrition.
She’s a former Ms. Figure Olymia winner so you can put a little more trust in her recommendation when she presents a “get ripped” meal plan for the masses.
Flexible Meal Plan
Erin’s 4-week Cutting Meal Plan welcomes people with different diet types. It doesn’t discriminate against vegan, keto, or paleo. You just need to follow the macronutrient ratio.
Cons of Erin Stern’s 4-week Cutting Meal Plan
This fat-cutting meal plan requires a calorie deficit, which often makes you hungry. You’re more likely to cheat on your meal plan or diet when you enter hunger mode.
Decrease in Metabolism
A calorie deficit is crucial for weight loss, but eating too few calories can slow your metabolism. Research suggests that a calorie deficit can decrease your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).
Make sure you don’t exceed a daily deficit of more than 500 calories per day to keep your hormones and metabolism running at a healthy rate.
Bad for Long-term
As the name suggests, this is a 4-week plan. If your body fat is already low and you continue with this fat-cutting meal plan, you may begin to lose muscle mass.
This meal plan isn’t meant to be used for more than two months.
May Not Meet Main Promise
The main promise of this meal plan is that you’ll get shredded in about 4 weeks. Is that realistic?
In most cases, no. You can safely lose 1-2 pounds per week (4-8 pounds per month) with a reliable plan.
Unfortunately, most people are further than 4-8 pounds away from being called “shredded”. It’ll most likely take multiple months, following this plan in cycles for you to reach a goal like this.
Tips to Maximize Your Ripped Body Meal Plan
Below are a few tips to help you out:
Eat Enough Protein
Many ripped body meal plans can leave you hungry during the day. To help, you should eat a good amount of lean protein like tofu, skinless white meat, or plain Greek yogurt.
Count your calories
Calorie counting is essential for calculating a calorie deficit or surplus. If you don’t measure your calorie intake, it will be super hard to track your progress.
Supplements may help
Your ripped body meal plan doesn’t require supplements to work. But some can help your body meet its nutritional requirements when a meal isn’t an option.
- Casein protein powder. The slow-digesting nature of Casein protein is especially good at driving hunger away.
- Whey protein powder. This will aid you in quick recovery post-workout.
Both whey and casein protein contain all the essential amino acids required for developing muscles.
Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate
This is one of our top recommended whey protein powders because of it's high protein content per serving, extreme deliciousness, and the fact that all Swolverine products are sourced from GMP-certified facilities
Erin Stern’s 4-week Cutting Meal Plan Conclusion
A 4-week meal to lose fat and get ripped seems perfect, right? Wrong!
While this plan seems like it’s put together pretty well, getting “shredded” in only a month is a stretch for most people.
You should also be careful when burning fat quickly. Never starve to lose fat unless it’s intermittent fasting. Also, a calorie deficit can slow down your metabolism.
Overall, the 4-week Cutting Meal Plan may effectively help you lose fat while building lean muscle. But the time it takes to get ripped is likely more than 4 weeks.