The SHREDZ Manual: Chapter 2 - Eating for the SHREDZ

We are back with the chapter 2 of the SHREDZ manual your ultimate guide to all things fat loss and getting absolutely shredded.

If you have not already checked out chapter 1 make sure you do by clicking the link below.

>>>>> Chapter 1 of the SHREDZ Manual

Chapter 1 was extremely important as it was all about setting you up for the SHREDZ, giving you the best possible chance of getting the results that you want. So make sure you check it out at the link above.

But now we start getting into the nitty, gritty of getting shredded, some of the specifics that you need to do in order to get absolutely shredded. It’s all well and good thinking about getting shredded but we need to go out there and do it. We need to put the hours in the gym and we need to eat for the SHREDZ and this is what this chapter is all about.

In this chapter we are going to give you all the tools you need when it comes to nutrition for getting shredded, it is all well and good going to the gym and smashing the weight. But if you are not on the right track with your nutrition it means nothing and all your hard work will go to waste (personal story on that coming further down)

So let’s go.

Eat Less (Sounds simple right?)

I know this sounds really simple and you’re probably thinking “is he serious”. But you would be amazed of the amount of people who still think that calories do not matter when it comes to fat loss. The situation is not helped when you have a famous curly haired moron preaching to people to eat more and move less, yeah because that is going to work when it comes to fat loss.

At the end of the day when it comes to any sort of reduction in bodyweight and fat loss, the simple fact is that.


So how do you make calories work for you and how do you eat the right amount of calories to get you shredded, well read on my friend.

Your number one priority and the first thing you want to consider when looking at getting shredded, is to make sure you are in a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is where the calories you take in via food and drink are less than the calories you expend during a day. This is also known as a negative energy balance which is displayed in the picture below.

Negative energy balance.png

By consistently being in a negative energy balance your body WILL lose weight it’s just how it works. You pair this up with the correct macro split and good solid training programme then you are onto a winner! But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here you have all that to come.

Right now we want to focus on how many calories you need in order to start getting shredded. So we now know that we have to be in a calorie deficit and be in a negative energy balance in order to get shredded.

Finding out your calories:

The thing is everybody is extremely different when it comes to calorie needs that is why cookie cutter plans and handing someone an 1800 calorie meal plan is pointless, because it does not take into consideration any specific information about you and we are all different. Here are just a number of things that can affect the amount of calories you need per day.

Your current bodyweight.

Your current bodyfat percentage.

How many times you plan on training a week.

Your job.

Your family life.

Your social life.

Your food preferences.

So you see it is much, much more complicated than just a bunch of numbers. But we are going to give you a simple starting point for calories. There are so many calorie calculators out there on the internet to choose from, that in the end you just start confusing yourself and to be honest with you they all land between 200-400 calories of each other.

Below is an extremely simple formula you can start using today to get a starting point for your calories


Your now probably wondering what number do I times my bodyweight by, below are the guidelines to use when using this simple formula.

Reasons putting you at the higher end of the scale 15, 16. Male, high training volumes, you train at least 4 times a week, very active job and low bodyfat levels (Males below 15% bodyfat, females below 25%)

Reasons putting you at the lower end of the scale 13, 14. Female, lower training volumes, training 2-3 times a week, sedentary job and higher bodyfat levels (Males above 15% bodyfat, females above 25% bodyfat)

For example a 170lb male who is around 15% bodyfat, he trains 4 times a week and is a construction worker, will probably need to choose the higher end of the scale, whereas a female who weighs 120lbs and is 25% bodyfat and is an office worker and only trains 3 times a week, should choose the lower end of the scale.

The result of this formula will give you a rough estimate of your maintenance calories, this is the amount of calories your body needs to maintain weight. So then all we need to do is subtract calories off this number to put you in a calorie deficit for you to start getting shredded.

Now we must stress, this is just a starting point and depending on your progress and how you respond to these starting calories they may have to change as the weeks and months go on.

Key Point’s about calories.

  • Calories matter.
  • To get shredded you must create a negative energy balance and be in a calorie deficit.
  • Everybody will have different calorie needs.
  • Use the simple formula above.
  • For your starting shredding calories take 10-20% off your maintenance calories.
  • Start at the lower end of this scale, unless you have a very good reason to get shredded quick!


That is calories covered, but now we move onto macros. When I was in my early 20s and someone would have asked me what a macro was I probably would have replied.

“Is it some sort of computer?”

Macronutrients or macros as the cool kids call them are simply our main food groups, protein, carbs and fats, those are the main three. They all play a role in getting shredded and none of them should be completely cut out as that would have a negative effect on overall health and wellbeing. But we need to get the right mix of macros to ensure we are getting the best results when it comes to getting shredded. We cannot just eat box after box of pop tarts and expect to get the results we want.

Below is a quick overview of the macros and roughly how much you need to be consuming of each one.


4 Calories per gram.

Protein is crucial when dieting and in a calorie deficit as it is responsible for growth and repair of lean muscle tissue.

Protein also is the most satiating macronutrient, meaning it will help keep hunger at bay.

Protein also has the highest TEF (Thermic Effect of Food) meaning that your body actually burns a decent amount of calories using protein.

Consuming enough protein while looking to get shredded is extremely important and after your calorie needs it should be your next priority.

Aim between 2.0-2.8g of protein per kilo of bodyweight.

Choose the lower end if calories are not too low and you have higher bodyfat levels.

Choose the higher end if calories are low and you have lower bodyfat levels.


9 calories per gram.

The most calorie dense macronutrient.

Needed for general health and well being.

Produces hormones, protect organs and supplies specific vitamins.

There many types of fats including saturated, poly-unsaturated, mono-unsaturated, trans-fats and omega fatty acids.

Our bodies will need EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) these will come from omega 3s and omega 6s

Fat intake should be around 20-30% of your overall calories.

So if you were on 2000 calories a day you fat intake could be between 44g to 66g.


4 calories per gram.

Carbs are not the enemy!

Carbs are the bodies preferred fuel source especially when involved in high volume resistance training which is needed when looking to get shredded.

Going extremely low carb will affect performance levels in the gym.

Carbs contain fibre which is crucial when looking to get shredded.

After protein and fat intakes have been set.

Carbs should make up the rest of your overall calories.

Now I know this is all a lot to take in and work out, so let us help you even more. If you would like more advice and information on your calories and macros for getting shredded.

Join our FREE Facebook group at the link below.

>>>>> Join the FREE Facebook group

Or email us any questions about calories and macros for getting shredded and we will get right back to you.

>>>>> Email us about your calories and macros

Below is a summary of the macro breakdown.

The Right Approach

Now we have all the numbers in place and we have a rough idea of how many calories we need and what macros we need to get shredded. It is now all about finding the right approach for you, how do you put this all together?

The main thing is here and we bang on about it all the time is finding the right approach for you, one that you can stick to and be consistent with and that is the main word here consistency. As soon as people think of dieting, fat loss and getting shredded naturally we think of restriction. We start thinking what foods we are going to have to cut out, what we are going to have to restrict. As humans we love freedom and doing what we want to a certain extent that is why the more restriction we place on ourselves the more we will fight back and ultimately this will lead to us breaking!

In terms of nutrition this comes down to the whole “clean” eating vs flexible dieting approach, a war that has been raging for years and years. From personal experience you are speaking to someone who has used both approaches between the ages of 20-25 I was a vivid “clean” eating bro. I basically stuck to about 8-10 foods for 90% of the week, being really restrictive, cutting out all these foods group and this is not the way to go for a number of reasons.

1.       It leads to unhealthy relationships with food, you have this black and white mentality of just seeing foods as good and bad.

2.       The sheer amount of restriction you place on yourself, will eventually lead to a binge of eating everything in sight.

3.       You cannot be consistent with this way of eating. Yes you can stick to it for a few weeks, maybe a couple of months at best but that is it.

4.       Calories will always matter, even though a food is classed as “clean” it still contains calories and your body WILL count these calories.

Studies have even shown that individuals who apply a more restrictive way of eating vs a more flexible approach tend to suffer more with stress, depression and can develop eating disorders.

So this was me for a good 5 years and my results reflected this approach, because I could not stay consistent with it and I kept falling off the wagon and I did not enjoy the approach I simple did it because I was not educated at that time and thought that this way the only way to get shredded.

The Flexible Approach

I saw the light around the age of 25, I started finding the right people in this industry the people who knew what they were talking about, people with years and years of experience who took an evidence based approach to nutrition and that is exactly the ethos we take and that we have at SJ Fitness.

We love flexible dieting, well because flexible dieting saved us from the “clean” eating days we finally saw the light. It was like going from the dark side to the light side of nutrition, we went from sith lords of “clean” eating to Jedi knights of flexible dieting.

So what is flexible dieting?

Flexible dieting in our eyes in not a diet, it is a way of eating that you can stick to. It is a mentality that you realize that there are no good or bad foods just good and bad diets. Flexible dieting truly puts the power back in your hands and takes the extreme restriction out of dieting.

Now of course there is going to have to be some sort of restriction as we have to restrict calories in order to lose body weight/bodyfat. You cannot live off pop tarts and protein shakes as you would feel like crap, you would be hungry all the time, general health and well being would suffer and gym performance would suffer as well. So there has to be some guidelines with flexible dieting in order to get shredded, maintain general health and well being, allow you to perform in the gym and also allow you to have a social life, you can achieve all of this by taking a flexible approach to your dieting goals. Below is a pie chart of what flexible dieting should look like.

To find out even more about flexible dieting and how you can join the light side of dieting, click on the link below as we wrote a whole blog on flexible dieting and how you can start using it.

>>>>> It's not all pop tarts and six packs

So that is chapter 2 of the SHREDZ manual all wrapped up. Eating for the SHREDZ, nutrition is a crucial part of the shredz puzzle, we hope that this chapter has given you some valuable information that you can start using today.

Here is a quick recap of all that we have covered in chapter 2.

  • Calories matter.
  • Create an energy balance and ensure you’re in a calorie deficit.
  • Find your maintenance calories (BODY WEIGHT IN LBS X 13-16).
  • Subtract 10-20% off that number.
  • Consume enough protein.
  • 20-30% of total calories should come from fat.
  • Fill the rest of your calories up with carbs.
  • Find the right approach for you.
  • “Clean” eating and extreme nutrition restrictions are not the way to go.
  • Use a flexible approach.

These 10 points above will help you with your nutrition needs to get absolutely shredded.

If you are serious about getting shredded this summer and you want someone to take all the guesswork out of this for you. Always wondering and thinking.

“Are these the right calories for me?”

“I am eating enough protein?”

“Do I need to cut more carbs out?”

“Shall I reduce calories even more?”

There are so many questions when it comes to nutrition and it is much, much more than just a bunch of numbers, things are always changing.

I was a nightmare back in the day taking hours making sure I had the right calorie and macro split.

Why not let us do all the hard work for you?

We love doing this stuff, it is what we do.

A huge part of Operation SHREDZ Reloaded is the nutrition aspect of the 10 week programme, we give you bespoke calorie and macro targets based on you and your lifestyle, like we mentioned everyone is different and everybody has different calorie needs.

It does not stop there, we will then coach you and help you take a flexible approach to your nutrition. Allowing you to include a huge variety of different foods, heck some of the lads from the last Operation SHREDZ were drinking beer and still getting shredded. Living the DREAM!

The coaching aspect is huge during the 10 weeks, we will monitor your progress and results week to week and if we feel we need to make a change to your nutrition we will do that for you.

Like we said all the guesswork completely taken out, allowing you to focus on getting shredded and getting results.

To find out even more about Operation SHREDZ Reloaded and how to secure your place on Team SHREDZ click on the link below. This will be the last time we run the operation this year, so don’t miss out!

Thanks for reading.

We will be back with chapter 3 very soon.