Body Fuel

Calorie-Cycle Your Way to Reduced Body Fat and Greater Muscle Definition

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A no-frills, fail-safe, easy-to-follow “calorie-cycling” eating plan designed to jumpstart your metabolism, stimulate weight loss, define your body, and keep you fit for life—from the bestselling author of You Are Your Own Gym
International fitness phenomenon and U.S. Special Operations Forces trainer Mark Lauren has worked with everyone from soldiers to civilians who want to get into top shape fast—without pricey equipment or gym memberships. Now he turns that same disciplined focus and straightforward advice to using the right foods to fuel your body.
In Body Fuel, Lauren reveals for the first time his cutting-edge concept of “calorie cycling,” the secret weight-loss weapon that employs a simple week-by-week schedule of calorie and carbohydrate increases and decreases to trick the metabolism and keep the body in fat-burning mode.
Lauren provides a helpful meal guide and more than fifty delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack recipes, formulated around the “Magnificent 7”—meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts, and seeds. Complementing this new eating plan is a series of ten-minute workouts that use your own body for resistance. Drawing on the latest nutritional research and including photos of exercise routines, Body Fuel will change the way you think about food, transforming your life and your body.

Under the Cover

An excerpt from Body Fuel

My nutritional philosophy stems from my military background as a Special Ops trainer. For eleven years, I was responsible for preparing hundreds of trainees for the extreme demands of serving in the U.S. Special Operations community. These trainees had to get lean and strong in record time, since the likelihood of survival and mission success would largely depend on their physical fitness.
My mode of physical training involved exercises based solely on using the resistance of a person’s body weight—all done without the need for a posh state-of-the-art fitness facility. Using the “gym” of their bodies, soldiers were able to train themselves to be quick, agile, and powerful. This training method was tougher and more grueling than any workout using equipment, trust me. Once in combat, these soldiers could run fast, jump, push, roll, stop and start, change direction, get up or down, move under fire, and do other crucial warfare skills—in split seconds. If they were deficient in any of these fitness parameters, their chances of compromising the mission or becoming a liability to the team rose dramatically.
To fuel that type of live-or-die performance, my trainees had to eat for energy, strength, and physique perfection. Nutrition could not be overlooked; I had to develop and teach a diet that would deliver those benefits. The food had to be wholesome, natural, and pure. Look at it this way: if you saw someone build a hurricane shelter out of wood that was rotted or bricks that were broken, you’d know that the building would not have structural integrity and you wouldn’t (shouldn’t!) trust it to withstand hurricane-force winds.
The same is true of the nutritional building blocks you require to nourish and fuel your body. These building blocks include lean protein, natural carbohydrates, healthful fats, vitamins, minerals, and water—basically everything you eat and drink in order to construct a strong, vibrant, physically fit body.
So, to my way of thinking, the one “perfect” diet was similar to what cave-dwelling humans ate, except with the flexibility to use more recent food sources to maximize the benefits of intense training. After all, my trainees went through frequent, prolonged periods of highly intense activity, and their level of physical exertion was often as high as or higher than that of ancient hunters and gatherers. To get the absolute most out of my previously soft, untrained trainees, I had to develop an easy-to-follow, customizable nutritional plan based on natural, whole foods and plenty of protein.
Like my bestselling exercise books, You Are Your Own Gym and Body by You, the Body Fuel plan was thus born out of necessity—the need to help create and then maintain lean, physically capable human beings in record time.
In people who followed it, the results were obvious: Stored body fat burned efficiently. Energy levels were through the roof. Muscles became well developed and chiseled.
The diet turned out to be simple, too, the foods easy to remember—no illogical nutritional frills, just like my no-frills exercise program. This is a diet you can do anywhere, as you can my workout. Both are portable and easy—just what we need in today’s busy, overscheduled world—and thus scalable to anyone’s lifestyle, whether you are a regular civilian or a trainee fighting to stay in one of the most mentally and physically demanding programs in the world.
Just because I developed this way of eating to fuel bodies under extreme pressure to get and stay in tip-top shape, you shouldn’t think for a moment that this diet is extreme. And it’s not exclusionary. It lets you eat carbs. It lets you eat fat. It lets you eat all sorts of foods otherwise banned on most diets.
With these allowances, you’ll drop body fat, recontour yourself with lean muscle, and improve your performance. Day by day on this plan, your body becomes accustomed to burning more fuel from stored body fat, because you’ll be manipulating the quality and quantity of your calories and maximizing your natural fat-burning capacity.
The result: a defined, sculpted, and athletic body.
The food on this plan comes from real fuel, those foods closest to what our ancient ancestors ate, including meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts, and seeds—essentially natural, power-packed food, put together in a diet that is most compatible with our genetic makeup. Millions of years ago, people who ate these foods and used them to fuel their physically demanding lives were the fittest of the species, the survivors. Eating whole foods, close to the way they’re found in nature, is the reason we can perform at our best—and look our best.
In addition to training military Special Ops personnel, I have personally trained many civilians directly and hundreds of thousands of men and women around the world through my books, DVDs, and digital media. The feedback from these people, whose body type may not be of life-or-death importance but who nonetheless want to get in tip-top shape, has been largely the same—the long-term relationship with body fat is that they want to get rid of it and it wants to stay. In fact, the best way to describe its behavior would be resolute, clingy, and stubborn. I’m sure many of you are fighting the same battle. Which is why one in two Americans is now overweight, one in five is obese, and the ratio is even higher at all-you-can-eat buffets.
A lot of people these days are trying to excuse their weight problem by blaming it on their genes. That makes some sense to me, though I resist the idea that our genes are the number one culprits because we have basically the same genes today that our trimmer, fitter grandparents and great-grandparents had. What’s changed is our lifestyles—more lazing around eating junk food, less moving around from exercise and daily activities. If you’re frustrated with your weight, don’t just blame your genes and let yourself get bigger and bigger. Do something about it. I’m here to help you.
One of the first things you can do, this very instant, is change your mind-set toward food. Think of food as fuel. What you eat should empower you. The main purpose of food is to nourish and provide you with a steady source of energy to take on your daily challenges. Truth is, I like fried chicken and apple pie as much as the next person, but a baked chicken breast and a juicy apple fill me up just as well, and without the added fat and sugar of the less nutritional preparations, they are good fuels that make you strong and healthy.
Not only will giving your body the right fuel change your looks for the better, but it will change your sex drive, skin, mood, energy, stress levels, mental and physical performance, and overall health. Every single cell of your body is affected by how you choose to fuel your body.
Once you adopt the mind-set that “food is fuel” and live by that motto, the results will blow you away. You’ll find there is nothing you can’t do.

- About the author -

Mark Lauren spent fifteen years as a military physical-training specialist for the Special Operations community. Now a sought-after personal trainer to civilian men and women of all fitness levels, a triathlete, and a champion Thai boxer, he is the author of the internationally popular body-weight bibles You Are Your Own Gym, Body by You, and Body Fuel. He lives in Tampa, Florida, and Phuket, Thailand.

More from Mark Lauren

Maggie Greenwood-Robinson, PhD, is one of the country’s leading health and medical authors. She has written books on a wide range of topics, including nutrition, diet and weight loss, exercise, osteoporosis, diabetes, herbs, and more. Her articles have appeared in many major health publications, including Let’s Live, Shape, Women’s Sports & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, and Female Bodybuilding.

More from Maggie Greenwood-Robinson

Body Fuel

Calorie-Cycle Your Way to Reduced Body Fat and Greater Muscle Definition


Body Fuel

— Published by Ballantine Books —