Here’s a comprehensive guide which will teach you every aspect of setting up your diet for proper fat loss results. Consider this the ultimate flexible nutrition plan, as it can be used alongside any training program!

the shred system

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 4 days ago.

21 min read

The Shred System is designed to get you LEAN & MUSCULAR.

This comprehensive nutrition plan breaks down your journey to a great physique into a step-by-step process, and I designed it so that anyone, regardless of experience level, can achieve solid results from the get-go.

Before you get stuck in, though, I highly recommend reading my article The Rules To Ripped. It covers most of the fundamentals regarding how to lose body fat and gain lean muscle.

Here is a quick guide to the contents:

  • How The Shred System works
  • Flexible dieting 101
  • The supplements you’ll need
  • Choose a suitable workout program
  • Understanding your foods
  • Setting your targets
  • Tightening your targets to ensure continuous results
the shred system

How The Shred System Works

If you’ve ever dieted before you probably know that the last few “stubborn” lbs are much harder to lose than the first.

The leaner you become, the harder it gets.

The good news is this is a perfectly normal experience. As humans, we are hard-wired to respond to a prolonged calorie deficit by gradually adapting to your energy requirements and slowing your metabolism (i.e. burning fewer calories throughout the day). It does this to preserve body fat. This is known as metabolic adaptation. (1)

I’m telling you this right now because it’s important – you will hit plateaus along the way to your best body.

But while most people simply remain stuck forever, you will be able to kickstart results by making the necessary changes to your nutrition plan shown below. You see, The Shred System is a progressive nutrition plan which is designed to change with you, not only to help you get started but also to help you smash through sticking points, too.

We will begin by setting a suitable starting point calorie goal (as well as goals for protein, fat, carbohydrates and water to ensure you’re maximizing the productivity of those calories), and then we will make adjustments in future depending how your body reacts.

That’s what makes The Shred System unique – it’s not simply a diet plan, it’s a road map to results!

the shred system

Flexible Dieting 101

Back in the 1980s, lots of people in the fitness industry believed the only way you could build a lean and muscular physique was to eat chicken and broccoli.

Thankfully, science has shown this to be untrue.

We now know that nutrition is ultimately a numbers game, so rather than focusing on certain foods it’s more about hitting your daily calorie and macronutrient targets. That means you can populate your diet with the foods you enjoy, and still see great results!

Naturally some foods make it easier to hit your numbers than others, but no food should be deemed either essential or forbidden, and I encourage you to incorporate as much (or as little) variety into your diet as you like.

This is known as flexible dieting.

In a 1999 study published in Appetite, researchers working with a group of female trainees to compare the results of flexible dieting against rigid clean eating found two amazing things. First, the women who used flexible dieting felt much happier, and this created greater consistency, as well as fewer occurrences of anxiety, depression, and the urge to binge eat. And the second thing is, of course, that it led to better results! (2)

Holy flaps! That’s a game changer!

However, if you’re going to get the most out of flexible dieting, I’m going to need you to avoid these two common mistakes…

The first mistake is that some people think you HAVE TO eat different foods every day. That’s not the case. If you are the sort of person who enjoys eating the same things all the time and it helps you to establish a good routine, by all means continue to do what works for you.

The second mistake is that when I say “just hit your numbers”, some people take the p**s and try to cram as much junk food into their day as they can, which of course isn’t optimal! You may still hit your total calorie goal, but it’s unlikely that you’ll hit your goals for each macronutrient. This approach is unsustainable because your cravings will be off the chart and poor food choices will make you feel like s**t.

You should still be gravitating towards the stuff you KNOW is good for you (fruit, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, plenty of water) with as much variety as you want, and slot treats in as you go.

So repeat after me:

“I promise not to be a d**k, Russ.”


The Supplements You’ll Need

Some people will tell you that supplements are 100% necessary, and others will tell you that they’re 100% unnecessary.

I fall somewhere in the middle.

Most supplements are not essential, but they certainly make it easier to hit your targets.

If you’ve used my work for a long time, you’ll know that the world of supplements is where I cut my teeth online; reviewing products, separating fact from fiction, etc. And it should come as no surprise to you that when we get down to the nitty gritty of what works versus what doesn’t, the vast majority of supplements are f**king useless.

There’s just a small list of things I consider to be must-use items. They are:

(I used Myprotein for this because they’re reliable and easy to access)

Choosing A Suitable Workout Program

As a member you also have access to my entire library of training programs. This gives you a plethora of variety you can use in the gym. As each program has been structured using scientifically proven methods to help you gain muscle and chisel away body fat, this means you can experiment with different programs to see which ones you enjoy the most.

You can choose any program and combine it with this nutrition plan.

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