Now that we're all thinking about beaches, boardwalks
and bathing suits, dieting is on the forefront of everyone's minds. We
thought we'd take five minutes and ask someone who looks great all year
round "Monica Brant" about her summer dieting secrets. For those people like
Monica living in a warm climate, dieting is a constant concern. Let's see
what Monica has to reveal about her diet and how she maintains her superb
been competing for about eight years now and during that time, I've tried
many approaches to dieting. Especially during the past year, I've learned
a very important lesson: different diets work differently for different
people. There's no such thing as a "one size fits all" diet. I know what
works for me not for anyone else. And this is true for everyone. One of
the most important things you can learn is to know your body, understand
what works for you as an individual. It's basically a process of trial and
error. Personally, it took many years of experimenting before I found the
right diet, which I put to use at last year's Fitness Olympia. During the
competition season, I follow a modified 40:30:30 diet [protein:carbs:fat]
with more protein than carbs. Everyday, these ratios changed slightly. I
don't like to follow a certain ratio too rigidly. By keeping my diet
variable, my body doesn't have a chance to adjust. Understanding my
genetic limits, I know what I can get by with what I can eat and what I
On Diet Plans
There's nothing wrong with trying
out different diet plans. Just because one diet doesn't work for you
doesn't mean you should quit trying to lose weight altogether. If nothing
else, dieting teaches you discipline. Whenever you start a new diet plan,
you should pay attention to how it makes you feel. Try to write everything
down in a log book. For example, try the Zone Diet for 6 weeks to see if
it works. Then, try the Atkins Diet for six weeks and see how it compares.
The main thing you need to remember is discipline and consistency. You've
got to stay with a program for a minimum of six weeks. Two or three weeks
is not enough for your body to adjust to a new diet. You have to train
your body to stay at a lower bodyfat level, especially if it's a new level
that it hasn't been accustomed to before.
know what my body craves sugars and starch. I also know that these things
keep me chunky. Once again, the real trick is consistency. I eat "clean"
about 75% of the time. Since this can be really tough, I give myself
little breaks here and there. For instance, I treated myself to a rich
dessert yesterday at a restaurant. Don't be afraid to splurge once a week,
maybe on the weekend, and eat something sinful. It will help keep you
honest for the rest of the week. Not only that, it will help prevent your
body from falling into a regular pattern.
try to eat protein with every meal, whether it's chicken, turkey, tuna or
a protein shake. If you're like me and travel a lot, there are a couple
ways to make sure you're never without protein. For example, I always pack
some canned chicken/tuna in water. It's really convenient. Whey protein is
also really easy to take. My favorite is Universal's Orange Creamsicle
Super Whey Pro. Instead of taking the whole bottle, what I do is spoon out
measured amounts of protein into little plastic baggies and take them with
me wherever I go. That way, I can be sure to get a lot of protein. I
usually want at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. When I'm
training intensely, I take about 1.5g of protein per pound of
bodyweight up to 200g per day. The reason why women need more protein is
because without adequate amounts, their bodies will eat away lean mass,
especially when they diet. And with less lean mass, your metabolism slows
Everyone knows cardiovascular
exercise is important during dieting. I try to work out every day, even
when I don't have access to a gym (for example, doing sprints on the beach
or running up the stairs at a hotel). Running is definitely a good idea if
your knees can handle it. I enjoy interval training. According to
conventional wisdom, you should aim for a target heart rate of 138-148
when you're performing cardiovascular exercise. I personally prefer
145-160 instead. When I'm interval training, my heart rate can hit the
180s. And during my routines, my rate is 180 the entire time. That's why
conditioning is so important. If you're trying to lose weight, you need to
exercise for at least 20-30 minutes, minimum. What can you do in ten
minutes except warm up your muscles. If I'm training legs, I'll get on
stationary bike and do interval sprints. Whatever you do, the best time to
exercise is in the morning before breakfast or at night after your last
meal. I'd also recommend weight training for all women. Twice a week would
be awesome. Resistance training definitely makes you feel better and lean
mass burns more calories than fat. Besides, weight training is the only
way you're going to get that toned look.
is a must. Proper hydration is critical for staying in top shape.
Personally speaking, I drink at least a gallon of water per day. No matter
where I am, I have water handy I keep it next to my bed so that I can
drink from it in the middle of the night. I have a bottle in the car, and
another one in my gym bag. Wherever I am, I have water.
Supplements can definitely make a big difference. I
would strongly suggest it for people who are serious about sticking to a
weight-loss program. Go with what you feel comfortable with. Because
Ripped Fast 2 is so powerful, I'll only take one capsule at a time.
Universal also has an effective formula called Herbal ThermoStack E/C/A
which works better for women because it doesn't have ephedra in it.
Remember, stick to a program for at least six weeks. Do the cardio. Hit
the weights. By doing so, fat burners will work even faster. In addition
to these fat burners, I also use plenty of whey protein and a good
multivitamin. Women's Fitness Pak is about as complete as you're going to
find. In terms of snacks, my favorite is the Muscle Bar. This little bar
packs a lot of nutrition with protein, a little carbs, and a little fat.
For women who want a little more lean mass, I'd recommend Creatine Chews.
It's got plenty of creatine and it even tastes like Sweet Tarts.
to popular myths, the key to dieting is to eat something when you're
hungry. Of course, this doesn't mean you should be snacking on Doritos all
day long or a Snickers bar. Instead, pick up a nutrition bar or mix a
protein shake. If you just can't avoid something sugary, at least have it
with a meal to blunt your body's insulin response. It's important to keep
your blood sugar levels even. Eating smaller meals more frequently
throughout the day will help you achieve this. And always stay within your
means. As I mentioned earlier, everyone's means will vary from individual
Rest is definitely important. If
I'm tired and feeling run down, I want to eat sweets. On the other hand,
if I'm well rested and exercise regularly, my desire for these foods are
greatly diminished. Try it and see for yourself!
Reprinted from Universal Matters Magazine, Volume 3 Issue