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Blog Nutrition Diets 4-Week Shred Diet: Get Your Six-Pack By Switching Up Your Diet

4-Week Shred Diet: Get Your Six-Pack By Switching Up Your Diet

4 week shred diet female

How quickly can you get a six-pack? Remember, getting a six-pack is not only about building muscle – it’s about burning fat as well. You could be very fit, but without the right routine, your six-pack won’t show. Burning fat starts with a proper diet. Additionally, intense exercise goes a long way to boost your efforts. So, for the 4-week shred plan diet and workout, you’ll have to do a little more than be on a calorie deficit and hit the gym every three days. 

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Here’s how to lose weight and gain muscle in 4 weeks.  

Step 1: Switch Up Your Workouts

Probably the most important thing you can do for a more toned body is to increase your lean mass. Burning fat is crucial, but the more muscle you have underneath, the more ripped you’ll look. Plus, muscle burns fat and increases your metabolism (7).

Strength Train To Build Muscle

As we said, the number on the scale doesn’t matter – it’s all about how much fat your body has stored. Thus, to burn more fat, you need to build muscle mass and strive for a higher metabolism. 

Lifting weights is one of the best ways to do this. You don’t have to do it every day, but we suggest you make a point of hitting the gym for a strength training session at least thrice a week for the next four weeks (5). 

As for how many sets and reps to do each session? Just follow this simple rule: 3 x 8. It means that you should lift weights three times (sets) per exercise and do eight reps (or more) on each set. The last set is always an “all-out” one where you try to hit as many reps as you can. 

What kind of training regime should you follow? A program based more on compound exercises, those that work for multiple muscle groups at once, and less focus on targeted ones such as biceps curls and triceps extensions that will help maximize results.

Compound exercises for abs include: 

  • Deadlifts, where you lift weights by bending over and grabbing them with both hands; 
  • Squats, which train your quadriceps but also activate the muscles in your abdomen, back, and glutes; and
  • Push-ups, which train your chest, shoulders, and triceps, and core.
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Add High-Intensity Interval Training

Forget running on the treadmill for hours; high-intensity interval training is known to be  a more effective way to get shredded fast (6). HIIT involves short, burst-like exercises followed by a period of rest. Studies have found that adding this type of training to an exercise may help burn fat even after working out.

To get shredded, do HIIT training at least three times a week for 20 minutes with as little rest in between sets as possible (30 seconds to 1 minute) (6). High-intensity interval training can be performed on any piece of cardio equipment, but the treadmill and rowing machine are particularly effective. 

Be sure to mix up your routine by trying different exercises that work for large muscle groups all at once. It will help increase your lean muscle mass while getting rid of your body fat at the same time.

Read More: HIIT For Beginners: Fast-Paced Routines For Maximum Fat Burn

Step 2: Switch Up Your Diet

Everyone knows how to diet. Cutting calories consistently is the most effective way to lose body fat. However, if you have less fat to lose and more muscle to build, cutting calories too low or choosing the wrong macros can compromise your lean muscle mass (9). 

Here’s how to switch up your diet:

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Eat Enough Protein

According to the Dietary Reference Intake report for macronutrients, a sedentary adult should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound. That means that the average sedentary man should eat about 56 grams of protein per day, and the average woman should eat about 46 grams (3).

This is a good starting point, but research shows that exceeding these recommended amounts can help boost muscle mass gains in the gym as well as fat loss outside of it. While you are strength training, aim for between 1 and 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day (3).

Moreover, high protein diets (at least 25% to 30% of your calories from protein) can support better appetite control and reduce cravings (1).  

If you have trouble getting that much protein from food due to dietary restrictions or preferences, then you may find a high-quality protein supplement helpful. Both plant- and dairy-based protein supplements are commonly available.

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Eat A Moderate Amount Of Healthy Fats

Getting too many calories from saturated fats and trans fats could cause damage to your arteries, increase inflammation in the body and worsen insulin resistance – all of which will affect your health and could hold back your gains in the gym. However, healthy fats, such as the ones found in foods like avocados, olive oil, and fatty fish, can be appetizing and satisfying since fat provides appealing flavor and mouthfeel to foods, making it easier to stick to your diet (12).

At least one study has shown that people who get a moderate to a high percentage of their daily calories from fat experience a reduction in body weight and abdominal fat after 6 months of being on a high-fat, low carbohydrate diet (2). So make sure you’re getting enough healthy fat every day to lose weight.

Try Carb Cycling

If you’re looking at getting a six-pack, then you need to know about one of the most effective ways to get there: carb cycling. This is when your carbohydrate intake varies from high to low for a week or more, with higher and lower intakes on different days (4). 

Doing this is thought to help keep insulin levels in check and the body primed for muscle growth (8). The key to getting shredded through carb cycling is synchronizing your high-carb days with intense exercise days. This way, you have enough energy for intense workouts without increasing your overall calorie intake.

Looking for a way to break the vicious cycle of weight loss and tone up all the jiggly parts? Watch the extra pounds fly off and your muscles firm up with the BetterMe app!

See also  1600-Calorie Meal Plan That Checks All The Nutrition Boxes
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Step 3: Get Some Sleep, And Less Stress

Stress can hinder your muscle gains. It can cause the body to release cortisol, which is a hormone that can increase belly fat and put the body into a “fight-or-flight” mode (11). If you’re feeling stressed out, then it’s recommended that you try meditation. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress levels while boosting your energy at the same time. Other forms of self-care can also be effective, so do whatever works for you.

Sleep helps increase recovery time while promoting muscle growth at the same time (10). If we don’t get enough sleep, our cortisol levels will stay high (making us more prone to storing fat), and if we have too much, then testosterone will be suppressed. As such, aim for between seven and nine hours of good quality sleep every night; this should help with shredding off unwanted body fat while building lean muscle fast. 

The 4-Week Shred Diet Plan

Looking to build muscle in four weeks? Here’s a sample week-long meal plan you can use. 

It contains approximately 1500 calories a day, including a healthy amount of carbs and protein to fuel your muscles and support your training, and a relatively low-fat content (10–15% of total daily calories). This calorie level isn’t enough for everyone, so make sure to adjust for your individual needs.

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Day One

Breakfast: One serving of sunrise smoothie made with one medium banana, one tablespoon peanut butter, one cup almond milk, one scoop whey protein powder, and ½ cup strawberries – 47.1g carbs, 30.6g protein, 12g fat, and 403.6 calories

Lunch: One serving of lemon avocado salad – 20g carbs, 4.6g protein, 29.6g fat, and 333.9 calories

Snack: One serving of 8oz nonfat Greek yogurt and one cup halved strawberries – 19.8g carbs, 24.1g protein, 1.3g fat, and 182.4 calories

Dinner: Two servings of beef stir fry – 58.2g carbs, 47.2g protein, 17.4g fat, and 586 calories

Total daily calories: 1506

Read More: Get Shredded: The Ultimate Guide To Getting Your Dream Body

Day Two

Breakfast: Two servings of peach, coconut, and grape smoothie- 94.3g carbs, 8.3g protein, 1.9g fat, and 384.8 calories

Lunch: Two servings of turkey lettuce roll-ups served with one cup basic protein shake – 20g carbs, 48.3g protein, 8.4g fat, and 361 calories

Snack: One serving of turkey sandwich – 27.2g carbs, 10.5g protein, 3.1g fat, and 176.7 calories

Dinner: Two servings of quick and simple stir-fried kales and bacon – 47.2g carbs, 42.6g protein, 36g fat, and 605.6 calories

Total daily calories: 1528

Day Three

Breakfast: Two servings of spinach, kale, and pear smoothie – 95g carbs, 10.8g protein, 2.5g fat, and 391.1 calories

Lunch: Two servings of quick mint yogurt – 35g carbs, 25.9g protein, 7.6g fat, and 311.6 calories

Snack: One bowl of corn flakes – 35.3g carbs, 10.1g protein, 5g fat, and 222 calories

Dinner: Two servings of spicy yogurt chicken wrap – 25.9g carbs, 86.5g protein, 12.3g fat, and 526.2 calories

Total daily calories: 1451

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Day Four

Breakfast: Two bowls of corn flakes – 70.6g carbs, 20.3g protein, 9.9g fat, and 443.9 calories

Lunch: One peach protein smoothie – 46.8g carbs, 33.6g protein, 3.7g fat, and 344.9 calories

Snack: One serving of plain tuna salad alongside two servings of cucumber slices – 9.9g carbs, 33.6 protein, 5g fat, and 210 calories

Dinner: One serving of chicken kabobs alongside eight crisps easy parmesan crisps – 34.7g carbs, 43.4g protein, 14.6g fat, and 451 calories

Total calories: 1449.8

If you tend to let yourself off the hook, raise the white flag when things get tougher than you expected, send yourself on an unconscious binge-eating trip – BetterMe app is here to help you leave all of these sabotaging habits in the past!

See also  Paleo Vs. Vegan: What Are The Reasons Behind Their Snowballing Popularity?

Day Five

Breakfast: One tropical protein smoothie – 76.6g carbs, 28.4g protein, 2.2g fat, and 424.9 calories

Lunch: One serving of turkey lettuce roll-ups alongside two servings of 16oz nonfat Greek yogurt and two cups halved strawberries – 42.3g carbs, 57.3g protein, 4.0g fat, and 424 calories

Snack: One ounce of almonds – 6.1g carbs, 6g protein, 14.2g fat, and 164 calories

Dinner: One serving of easy grilled chicken teriyaki alongside pan-fried broccoli – 15.0g carbs, 64.3g protein, 16.4g fat, and 498 calories

Total daily calories: 1512

Day Six

Breakfast: Two bowls of dairy-free strawberry oatmeal – 87.7g carbs, 12.1g protein, 3.1g fat, and 388.8 calories

Lunch: One serving of chicken celery sticks – 12.3g carbs, 33.4g protein, 16.8g fat, and 340.6 calories

Snack: One bowl of corn flakes – 35.3g carbs, 10.1g protein, 5g fat, and 222 calories

Dinner: Two servings of spicy yogurt chicken wrap – 25.9g carbs, 86.5g protein, 12.3g fat, and 526.2 calories

Total daily calories: 1478

Day Seven

Breakfast: Two servings of berry yogurt smoothie – 74g carbs, 29.8g protein, 1.3g fat, and 415.3 calories

Lunch: One serving of quick salsa tuna wrap – 26g carbs, 41.3g protein, 11.5g fat, and 372.3 calories

Snack: One serving of turkey lettuce roll-ups alongside one ounce of granola – 17.8g carbs, 13.3g protein, 8.1g fat, and 198 calories

Dinner: Two servings of chicken, spinach, and strawberry salad – 23.3g carbs, 58.1g protein, 20.6g fat, and 510.4 calories

Total daily calories: 1496

Weight Loss According To The Age

The Bottom Line

Getting shredded in 4 weeks is not easy, but it’s achievable. If you’re already fit, yet your abs don’t show, then you might have to switch up your diet and exercise regimen for the best results. Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations (2005, pubmed.gov)
  2. Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets (2013, nature.com)
  3. Dietary Protein in Older Adults: Adequate Daily Intake but Potential for Improved Distribution (2017, nih.gov)
  4. Do Bodybuilders Use Evidence-Based Nutrition Strategies to Manipulate Physique (2017, nih.gov)
  5. Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2016, pubmed.gov)
  6. High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss (2011, nih.gov)
  7. Increasing muscle mass to improve metabolism (2013,nih.gov)
  8. Low Carbohydrate Diet (2021, nih.gov)
  9. Muscle hypertrophy with large-scale weight loss resistance training (1993, pubmed.gov)
  10. Physiology of growth hormone secretion during sleep (1996, pubmed.gov)
  11. Study of the Effect of Stress on Skeletal Muscle Function in Geriatrics (2014, nih.gov)
  12. Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet (2008, nejm.org)
Nderitu Munuhe
Nderitu Munuhe

Nderitu Munuhe is a freelance writer who specializes in health and wellness content. He has written for three years – advising people on how to eat healthy and stay on top of their fitness plan. This, he believes, is the first step in having a healthy body and mind.
Munuhe is passionate about football and is an avid Chelsea supporter. When he's not writing or watching the game, you can find him with his dog Lucky, taking time out from his desk for some much-needed R&R.

K. Fleming
K. Fleming

I am a U.S. educated and trained Registered Dietitian (MS, RD, CNSC) with clinical and international development experience. I have experience conducting systematic reviews and evaluating the scientific literature both as a graduate student and later to inform my own evidence-based practice as an RD. I am currently based in Lusaka, Zambia after my Peace Corps service was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic and looking for some meaningful work to do as I figure out next steps. This would be my first freelance project, but I am a diligent worker and quite used to independent and self-motivated work.

Kristen Fleming, MS, RD, CNSC

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