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In just 7 days, you will lose body fat



Do you admire those obscenely ripped men on the big screen? Here's a trick that will both relieve and disappoint you: Stallone and Jackman's physiques have the life expectancy of a mayfly—a day or two after the shoot.

We're not implying that these onscreen bodies were produced using CGI or Photoshop. It's a week-long underground get-shredded technique that divides people who make a living with their bodies from guys like us who just want to watch them dodge bullets while eating popcorn. Movie stars, underwear models, and professional bodybuilders don't always look like that. They are unable to do so. When it's time to go, they're prepared with Hollywood's best kept get-shredded secret.

The thing is, there's no reason you shouldn't know about it as well. If you're going on a last-minute holiday or auditioning for an action film, there's a trick for getting as lean and strong as possible, so your muscles appear to be shrink-wrapped by your skin. To get "the body" for your big day, follow these seven moves.

Begin by going lean.

Here's the harsh reality: if you can't see your abs clearly already, you'll need to diet first to reduce your body fat. The shrink-wrap method is designed to get rid of subcutaneous water weight that obscures meaning, so if your stomach hangs over your waistband, it can take longer than a week to lose it.

Make the calculations.

You should already be on a diet to lose weight, so you should be mindful of how much you're consuming. But, to take the guesswork out of it, here are some numbers to aim for this week: Consume one gram of protein and 10 to 11 calories per pound of body weight; fat should account for 20% of daily calories, while carbohydrates should account for the rest. (Before calculating the number of carbs, remember to subtract the protein calories you're eating from the total allowed.)

For example, a 200-pound man on this program would consume 200 grams of protein per day and consume 2,000 to 2,200 calories, with 420 calories (about 50 grams) coming from fat and 880 calories (220 grams) from carbohydrates.

Your protein and fat intake will remain consistent, but your carbohydrate intake can be increased or decreased as needed (see Step 5). So, if you're going to take your shirt off on Saturday, start doing so the Saturday before.

Allergens Must Be Removed

It's likely that you've already lost weight by eliminating foods like milk, wheat bread, and artificial sweeteners from your diet, so do so for the next week—even if you don't think you have an intolerance to them. Bloating and water accumulation can be caused by even the tiniest disturbance to your digestive system, so avoid it at all costs.

Dairy and gluten can be found in a variety of condiments (soy sauce, salad dressings, certain brands of barbecue sauce, and so on), so read labels and limit your consumption as much as possible to prevent a problem. Instead, use condiments like sea salt, salsa, and balsamic vinegar to season your food.

Muscle Preparation

Do not exercise more than three days prior to your case. If your party is on Saturday, for example, do your last workout of the week on Wednesday—muscles bulge the most when they're full of glycogen (carbohydrates stored in muscle), so give your body time to recover and replenish glycogen stores before your big reveal. The carbohydrates stored in your muscles will be exhausted if you practice too soon to the big day, and you'll end up looking flat and soft.

Make sure that this final exercise focuses on the areas you want to emphasize, such as your chest and arms. Glycogen is replenished most quickly in muscles that need it the most (i.e., those that have just been worked), so if you want your pecs and biceps to pop, make sure they soak up as many carbs as possible (explained in the next step).

However, there is one caveat: don't work on your abs. (Thank you so much.) Yes, abs should be worked most weeks, but the aim of workouts at this point is to get the muscles that already pump up to swell even more with increased glycogen storage. Since abs aren't pumped like biceps or shoulders, pumping glycogen into them isn't necessary—in reality, doing so can cause them to inflate too much, blurring meaning.

Often, avoid doing any kind of cardio. (You're welcome again.) Interval preparation, which uses stored carbs for heat, will be detrimental because you want to optimize glycogen. If it helps you maintain your sanity, you can do some light walking or other aerobic exercise, but nothing that will deplete your resources. Keep it under an hour long and at a low level of strength.

Maintain Your Carbohydrate Consumption

Eat two to three grams of carbs per pound of body weight for the rest of the day after the last training session (in this case, Wednesday, two full days before the event on Saturday). If you practice at night and find it difficult to eat enough carbs before bed, divide the total and eat the rest on Thursday night. Insulin sensitivity is still strong 48 hours after a workout, so glycogen can still be delivered to your muscles. Otherwise, resume the diet recommended in Step 2 on Thursday.

As long as no other strength training is done, once your muscle glycogen reserves are complete, they will stay that way for days (because muscle glycogen is burned only during high-intensity exercise). Carbohydrate loading on Wednesday also allows you to make changes. Increase your carbs a little if you feel flat and small on Thursday or Friday. Are you bloated and soft? Trim them down a little. Shift the weight by 25 to 50 grams at a time.

Drink plenty of water.

Some guys would dramatically reduce their water consumption in order to appear even drier on game day. This has the opposite effect, allowing you to hold more water in order to prevent dehydration.

Drink as much water as you normally do until the night before the target day, when you can cut back. Reduce your water consumption by half on the day of your event before you're ready to dance. This will make you look slimmer without causing your body to respond adversely to the lack of water.

Continue to consume salt

While it's well understood that salt causes water retention, if you fully exclude it from your diet, your body can scramble to avoid water loss. (Excuse me, but it's smarter than you.) Continue to season your food as usual until 24 hours before you remove your shirt.

At that point, stay away from any additional sodium (that is, sodium that isn't already in your food). Don't feel bad for taking a drink when you're ready to party—at least not the first one. Since it has a mild diuretic effect, a little bit of alcohol at this point will actually support your cause by giving you a tighter look.