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PL

SA
M
E

ROB RICHES

ULTRA LEAN
NUTRITION MANUAL
By Rob Riches
Project Team Martin Cheifetz, Aaron Callow,
Gillian Ingles, Sarah Patterson, Jim Sore, Kath Tweddle, Matt Turner
Photos by Simon Howard
Videos by 1st Pointmedia
ISBN 978-1-78420-021-3 (PDF version)

Published in the UK by Weider Publishing Ltd.


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Contents
one
two
three
four
five
six
seven
eight
nine
ten

Building a great body is not easy

The dieter

What is food?

10

Food factors

30

Basal metabolism

44

Coaxing fat loss

48

Calming the waves

50

The balance and use of energy

60

Three rules of eating

64

Carb control

80

eleven
twelve
thirteen
fourteen
fifteen
sixteen
seventeen
eighteen
nineteen

Supplementation

82

Understanding the meal plan

112

Daily meal plan overview

116

A closer look at each meal

132

Meal plan recipes

146

Carb reduction

166

Carb cycling

182

20 most frequently asked questions

208

Final words and acknowledgements

236

Chapter

one

Building a great body is not easy.


The question I am most often asked is,

Whats the best thing to eat to get in great shape?


This is actually a very difficult question to answer. Choosing just one thing often
requires further explanation of something else. I have often said, One day Ill
write a book that will explain everything! Well, that time has come, and this is
my book, my answer.
The decisions we make, the habits we form, everything we feel and think, and
everything we eat and make a decision about, can and will affect how your body
looks and feels. This isnt a diet you can turn on and off when you feel like getting
in great shape. This is a lifestyle, a labour of love that is with you every hour of
the day. Even when you dont feel like it, its there; you gain command and control
over your mind, your character, everything you are.
What is your reason for reading this book? Is it to improve your understanding of
nutrition and get to grips with what you put in your body? Is it to build the best
body you can, if for nothing more than to be in awesome shape and have people
comment on how good you look? Ill be the first to admit that my main motivation is vanity. Ever since I picked up my first fitness magazine, my goal was to be
the guy on the cover.
If you can relate to this goal, I hope that by sharing with you everything I have
learned over the years and providing you with a detailed understanding about
the role and importance of nutrition, you will be able to fast-track through years
of trial and error that I first went through. I may not be able to get you on a magazine cover, but I can give you all the tools you need to build an incredible physique
that is cover worthy.

Building a great body isnt easy

My goal in writing this book is not just to give you a clear and precise meal plan that
shows you exactly the foods to eat, in what portions and at what times, but also to
educate you about the many important roles of nutrition. This goes back to when I first
began training and realised that to get a good body, I had to eat a certain way. But just
knowing what to eat wasnt enough for me. I wanted to know why certain foods helped
me get in better shape and why other foods held me back.
Having deeper knowledge about nutrition allowed me to learn more about my body
than I would have if I followed a plan given to me by someone else. Sure, someone elses
plan may have enabled me to get in great shape, but I wouldnt have necessarily known
why. I wanted to be able to replicate my results, which meant I had to fully understand
everything that was happening. This began my passion for developing the knowledge
of how to eat to achieve a fitter, stronger, healthier body.
In this book, I capture an entire careers worth of knowledge and experience and convey
it in a way that allows you either to use the book as a reference tool when you need
to learn more about a specific topic, or to simply read it from start to finish, with each
chapter building on the previous one.
Whichever way you choose to use the information in this book, I hope it serves you well
and helps you achieve your ideal physique.

Authors Bio

Rob Riches is a leading authority within the fitness industry and one of the top fitness models and natural competitors, winning multiple titles in a range of competitions since 2005.
He has been a regular contributor to Muscle & Fitness over the past few years as both
a model and writer, including producing and hosting the successful Nice Body but
what can you do with it 12-part series, which has been viewed over 3.4 million times at
www.muscle-fitness.co.uk/robriches. He has also produced two DVDs: Absession and
Core Nutrition, which have also been viewed over three million times online.

Professional BaCkground
From the beginning, Rob was an advocate of drug-free training, and at 17, qualified as a
personal trainer, becoming immersed in the world of bodybuilding and fitness. In an age
before social media, Rob would research and learn all he could about training and nutrition, putting his knowledge to the test to win his first bodybuilding show in 2005 at 21.
Born and raised in the south of England, Rob left University with a degree in media technology, and moved to Los Angeles shortly after to pursue his career in fitness, where he
soon paired his two passions: fitness and media to create a global online following by
providing videos and information about fitness and nutrition.

aChievements or awards
Few, if any, can match Robs impressive competition career, spanning 10 years and still going strong. Having competed across three different categories (bodybuilding, fitness model, and physique), he has won titles in six major federations, including two world titles*.
In addition to competing, Rob has appeared on multiple magazine covers, featured in
numerous editorials, and contributed many articles on health and fitness.
*Junior lightweight bodybuilding world champion, Musclemania 2006, WBFF world fitness model champion, 2009

Current Business or Profession


Rob remains very active within the fitness industry, and can often be found at expos
and competitions promoting his new line of all-natural sports supplements, as well as
producing feature workout videos for his personal website. He also hosts his own 2-Day
Event Fitness Model Workshop where he teaches nutrition and training preparation for
competing on stage as well as gaining recognition within the industry.

Authors Bio

For more information on Rob, as well as upcoming events and appearances, log on to
www.robriches.com

Chapter

two

the dieter
I begin with a discussion that Ive had all too often with clients to help them understand why they must change their way of thinking when it comes to the word diet.
Below is a question Ive been asked many times before:

If I simply eat less, Ill burn fat as fuel


and lose weight, right?
The word diet simply refers to the foods consumed by a person, and often implies
a specific intake of nutrition. For many, dieting means restricting food intake and
eating less in the hope that it results in weight loss. The problem with this outdated way of thinking is that while body fat is burned as fuel, muscle is also burned.
Dramatically lowering your calorie intake is not only damaging to your muscles
but also unsustainable, meaning that at some point you will break the restrictedcalorie diet and eat everything in sight. This will quickly offset any fat-loss efforts
made. I know because this was one of the first changes I made to my diet in the
hope of trimming body fat cutting calories.
Im not saying restricted-calorie diets dont work. There are many of them out
there and all work with varying degrees of success. However, they are either difficult to maintain for long periods of time or they supply insufficient calories to
maintain lean muscle mass, and thats really the main issue here. All diets focus
on fat loss, with little thought for muscle maintenance. While I strongly believe
in weight training to build muscle, the foods you eat determine how well you can
keep a low level of body fat while still feeding the muscles. Its about getting the
right balance, and thats what this book is for. To get you balanced!
The body likes to be in a state of homeostasis (remaining stable) and prefers to
maintain a balance of energy (calories) in and energy (calories) out. When too
little food (energy) is eaten restricting calories to below what the body is used
to the body adapts to conserve fuel being burned (energy out). It takes energy

The dieter

from muscle tissue, preserving body fat to keep your vital organs warm, and slows down
the metabolism (the rate at which the body uses fuel). Taken together, this makes
further fat loss very difficult.
Look at it this way, if you were on a desert island and only had a months supply of food
to live on, you would try to make it last as long as possible. As the weeks pass and you
begin to realise you only have enough food left for a few days, I guarantee youd find a
way to stretch that food supply out to last much longer than it did to begin with. Youd
adapt and look for other sources of fuel.
The body does the same. And it doesnt have to look very far, as essential nutrients are
packed into muscles and organs. The body will sacrifice muscle to survive during times
of fasting or extremely low calories. Ever wondered where the word catabolic comes
from? The Greek word kata means downward and ballein is to throw. It basically
means breaking down molecules into smaller units to release energy.
I want you to understand that by decreasing your daily calories too low in the hope of
quickly burning off fat, you will quickly put your body into a state of defence, and it will
resist using fat as fuel. How often you eat meals can also affect fat storage even if
you dont think you eat too much each day. Ill explain more about this in later chapters.

Chapter

three

what is food?
I conduct many training and nutrition seminars around the world, and once Ive
explained to the attendees the many pitfalls of dieting its not long before
Im asked the one question that everyone in search of a lean, muscular physique
wants answered:

What food should I eat more of and what food


should I stay away from?
If only it were that simple. It sounds almost like medicine: Eat this food three times
a day and stay away from this, that and those foods. What about choice? What
if that food isnt available or you dont like it? Or what if you simply cant stick to
a regimen that rigid? Well, fortunately for you, its not quite that black and white.
Sure, there are certain foods that are much more beneficial than others, but there
are many other factors that must be taken into account. This is why I can never give
a short answer to that question, and certainly not if I expect the person asking it to
make real progress. For that to happen its important to provide insight into what
food is.
For the purpose of the body, food is the raw material that provides energy for every
cell in our body. Three things happen when we eat food:
1 It can be burned as immediate energy.
2 What is not immediately used as energy can be stored in the form of fat cells.
3 Excess sugars can be stored short term as glycogen in the muscles and liver.
There are three main subgroups of calories, known as macronutrients:
1 Carbohydrates
2 Protein
3 Fat

What is food?

All three macronutrients supply energy, with carbohydrates and protein yielding four
calories for every gram and fat yielding nine calories per gram. Whereas carbohydrates
and fat provide energy, protein also provides the structural components necessary for
growth and repair of muscle tissue, which is why its considered the most important of
the macronutrients when it comes to fat loss and muscle growth.
The total calories consumed each day can affect body-fat levels, as can the types of
calories we eat. Each gram of protein, carbohydrate and fat has different calorie values,
bioavailability (the bodys ability to access those calories) and effects on insulin levels.
In this context it is easy to see that, gram for gram, fat provides more energy than
either protein or carbohydrates. A gram of fat yields more than twice the energy
of either protein or carbohydrates and is also more accessible, with 97% being
made available as energy. Protein and carbohydrates only have a thermogenic
rating of 80% and 90% respectively. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the
energy used in digestion, absorption and distribution of nutrients. For example,
proteins TEF (80%) means only 80% of the nutrition has been accessed by the
body. The remaining 20% is the cost of accessing (digesting) the energy and is lost
through heat. In other words, if you eat 100g of protein, only 80g will be useable
by the body as energy, with the remaining 20g being lost as heat during the
digestion process.
It also appears that leaner individuals experience a higher thermogenic rate than those
carrying greater amounts of body fat. This is due to higher levels of body fat having
an insulating effect, meaning the body doesnt need to produce quite as much heat to
maintain normal body temperature (37C, 98.6F), compared to that of a lean person.
Having less body fat means you experience a greater thermic effect upon eating food.
Once youve shed some of that excess body fat, it will be easier to maintain a leaner
physique due to your body naturally burning more calories just to regulate and maintain
your body temperature (not to mention your new eating habits).
When calorie intake is kept too low, the body produces less heat (from thermogenesis),
which impacts your ability to burn the maximum amount of calories each day.

11

Chapter

four

food factors
Besides the types of food and how much you eat contributing to a leaner, healthier
physique, there are also a number of other factors that must be considered. Below
I discuss the most relevant.

food allergies
Certain foods and substances can trigger intolerances or sensitivities in some people. This may include headaches, fatigue, irritable bowl syndrome and even depression. Symptoms may not be apparent after a particular food is ingested and may
take several hours to show. If you suspect you may be intolerant to a certain food,
remove that food from the diet for one week before reintroducing it and monitoring
the effects.
PestiCides
Switching to organically grown food, although pricey, may help due to the absence
of pesticides and fungicides, which are poisonous, can be absorbed through the
plant roots and which, when ingested, can build up in the bodys tissues.
varietY
The meal plan in later chapters encourages a wide variety of foods to be eaten, offering different recipes to follow on alternative days that can be mixed and matched.
This not only keeps your diet from becoming stale and boring, but also ensures that
you have an adequate intake of the nutrients and phytochemicals present in foods
that play crucial roles in the body and cant all be received from supplements alone.
A varied diet is the best preventative and healthy eating strategy.
salt
Some salt in the diet is actually a good thing, as it contains iodine, a mineral that
supports the production of thyroid hormones, which play a big role in calorie burning. When salt intake is severely limited, thyroid production becomes compromised
and thermogenesis can drop, reducing fat loss.

Food factors

food groups
vegetaBles
Fresh vegetables are a great source of antioxidants. Generally speaking, the deeper the
colour of fruit and vegetables, the higher their antioxidant content. Antioxidants fight
free radicals, which occur when an oxygen molecule loses an electron and begins searching for a replacement, stealing one and causing damage to other healthy cells (in turn
causing the damaged cell to become a free radical). This also includes turning fats in
many cells rancid, which can affect cell metabolism. The main causes of free radicals
include environmental pollutants, cigarette smoke, drugs, and over-cooking or burning
food, which becomes carcinogenic . By eating fresh (and ideally organic) fruit and vegetables, their natural antioxidants inhibit the oxidation of other cells, effectively acting like a
bodyguard protecting healthy cells.
I am often asked which vegetables are best to eat and how to eat them, so below is a list
of highlights.
1

Fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables are better than those in cans or that have been
processed.
2 Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, and Brussels sprouts) should
be lightly steamed or cooked.
3 Green, yellow and orange vegetables are rich in essential minerals, vitamins C, A and K
and vitamin-B complex and are best eaten raw if possible.
4 Fresh vegetables are also packed with both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, which
absorb excess water in the colon and help increase nutrient absorption.

legumes
Legumes, such as peas, lentils and beans, grow on vines (except peanuts, which grow
underground) and contain numerous vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and
low-GI complex carbohydrates. They have a high protein concentration (25-38% of total
weight). Besides soybeans being a complete protein (meaning they contain all essential
amino acids) other legumes can be combined with grains to make up a complete protein.

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