Although he no longer competes, two-time (1989 and ’90) Mr. Olympia runner-up Lee Labrada continues to make a name for himself in the sport. In addition to running a successful supplement company, Labrada Nutrition, he recently penned the bestseller The Lean Body Promise: Burn Away Fat and Release the Leaner, Stronger Body Inside You. Labrada’s book, which is based on his years of bodybuilding experience, explains how, through proper training and nutrition, you can reduce your bodyfat levels.
“Nutrition and exercise work hand in hand to build muscle, burn bodyfat and increase health and energy,” Labrada says. He adds that he wrote the book to appeal to bodybuilders and people in the mainstream who want to apply bodybuilding principles to their own bodyfat-reducing programs. These are the nutrition strategies that he emphasizes.
Lee Labrada – Mr Olympia – 1989
Eat more quality whole foods.
“In order to lose bodyfat, you’re going to have to eat more than you’ve ever eaten before,” Labrada says. Of course, he stresses eating quality whole foods and cutting out junk food. In total, you may eat fewer calories, although it will seem like you are eating much more. This is also a mantra for adding lean mass, and it’s good to see Labrada spreading bodybuilding principles to the rest of the world. He emphasizes eating more meals a day as many as seven.
Don’t cut calories too much.
“Excessively reducing the number of calories you consume is counterproductive for bodyfat loss,” Labrada notes. “If you don’t eat enough food or go too long between meals, your survival mechanism kicks in and your metabolism will slow to conserve energy.” Labrada explains that this leaves you craving food and often leads to eating the wrong foods, actually increasing your bodyfat stores.
Bodybuilders who eat frequent meals have learned that this strategy is one of the best ways to prevent junk-food cravings.
Focus on the right types of macronutrients.
Labrada distributes calories into three equal groups: lean-protein foods; quality carbohydrates; and vegetables, salads and fruits.
“My meal plan is based on the balanced intake of these three major categories of foods,” he says. Labrada also acknowledges that you need healthy fats (such as olive oil, avocados and nuts and seeds), but these should be eaten in moderation.
Eat protein and carbs throughout the day.
Many strict bodybuilding diets emphasize consuming complex carbs earlier in the day and then tapering off, but Labrada recommends eating the same ratio of protein to carbs at each meal of the day.
“This ensures plenty of nutrients to repair your muscles and fuel your metabolism, and it promotes more stable blood sugar and insulin levels, both of which are necessary conditions for optimal fat burning.”
Author: Lee Labrada & Steve Stiefel
COPYRIGHT 2005 Weider Publications
COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning