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Overview:Nutrition Objectives

I’m going to spend a lot of time explaining the daily workouts on other pages, and I’ll remind you about nutrition in those. But this is where I’m providing you with the diet parameters you need to follow if you want to be successful on Operation Aesthetic. You not only have to put in the work in the gym, but you also have to put in the work in the kitchen—and at the table. That means getting in all foods you need to maintain or build muscle mass while you also avoid all those that aren’t on your program. You’ll keep cheating to an absolute minimum.

Here’s how you’ll implement my diet:

Clean up your diet—3-day intro.

The first thing you’ll do on my fat-loss program is clean up your diet. That means you’ll cut out all junk food—that includes added fats, sugar, and other unwanted additives. You’ll eat only whole foods such as meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, beans and legumes, and carbs such as sweet potatoes, white and brown rice, and oatmeal.

You won’t cut calories yet—I want you to spend about 3 days just adapting to eating clean, assuming you aren’t already. You can consume the amount of these foods you want. During this phase, you’ll also be working on your dietary discipline. I want you to make sure you’re eating at least 6 times a day, and that you’re preparing your food in advance or at the time when you need each meal. I’ve added a shopping list below to help you figure out what you need and how you like to prepare it. Trust me, that’s going to get more challenging as you really begin to diet.

Follow this pre-diet regimen for at least 3 days before you start Operation Aesthetic. You can begin this pre-diet on the Friday morning before your Operation Aesthetic begins.

Prep for your diet.

During this 3-day pre-diet phase, you’ll also prep for your Operation Aesthetic program. To do this, you’ll weigh yourself. You’ll use your starting bodyweight to determine how many calories and macronutrients you should consume each day. To do this you’ll use the calculator on this page to figure out how many calories and how much of each of the macronutrients and foods you’ll consume each day when you begin your diet.

I also recommend that you get a body fat test done at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of Operation Aesthetic. It’s valuable to know your percentage of body fat as a total of bodyweight at the beginning, middle, and end of your diet. That will help you determine how much body fat you burned on this 8-week program.

In addition, you should take photos of yourself. I recommend getting shots of yourself from the front, back, and sides. You’ll take photos of yourself every week to maintain a record of your progress on Operation Aesthetic. This info will be very valuable the next time you follow a diet program.

Finally, you should keep a journal. You should record all of the details about your workouts, your meals, and all of the supplements you take during this program. This record will not only help you make adjustments during this 8-week program, but it will be invaluable for your next fat-loss program.

Calculate the number of calories you need to consume each day.

You’ll base the number of calories you need to consume for each day based on your bodyweight. Keep in mind, though, that everyone is a little different. Those who carry more fat may need fewer calories, while those who are more muscular may need a little more to prevent the loss of muscle mass. You’ll need to re-evaluate that for yourself, which you’ll do on Day 7, at the end of Week 1.

Nutrition Calculator

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Here is my basic recommendation:

Consume 15 calories for every pound of bodyweight at the beginning of the program. That means if you weigh 200 pounds, you’ll consume 3,000 calories at the beginning of the program. If you weigh 180 pounds, then you’ll consume 2,700 calories each day during the program.

That should feel very do-able at the beginning, but remember things are only going to get more challenging as the program continues. And the goal isn’t to starve or deprive yourself—it’s to burn body fat while maintaining or building muscle mass to maximize the appearance of your physique.

Here’s a chart to give you a sense of how much you should be consuming every day during your 8-week Operation Aesthetic program. Notice that you’ll not only be dropping the number of calories per pound you consume each day—but your weight will also be decreasing. Don’t forget to use your current weight, not your beginning weight when you re-calculate your daily calorie intake.


Calorie intake per pound Days 1–14 = 15

Calorie intake per pound Days 15–28 = 14

Calorie intake per pound Days 29–42 = 13

Calorie intake per pound Days 43–56 = 12


15 x 160

14 x 160

13 x 160

12 x 160







15 x 180

14 x 180

13 x 180

12 x 180







15 x 200

14 x 200

13 x 200

12 x 200






Get your macros right on workout days.

I recommend a 40-40-20 ratio of protein to carbs to fats on workout days. So, here’s what that means for a 200-pounder who should consume 3,000 calories a day:

Protein: Consume 1,200 calories a day from protein. That means getting in 300 g of protein every training day.

Carbs: Consume 1,200 calories a day from carbs. That means getting in 300 g from carbs every training day.

Dietary fats: Consume 600 calories a day from fats. That means getting in about 65–70 g from fats on training days.

Remember to use the calculator to figure out how many calories and macros you should consume on each training day based on your bodyweight and the foods you’re consuming. Also remember that your calorie intake is going to change every two weeks on the basic recommendations of Operation Aesthetic. I’ll also provide you with guidelines each week to make sure you’re on target with your fat loss.

Get your macros right on rest days.

You’re going to switch things up a bit on your rest days. You’ll get in the same number of calories each day, but you’ll increase protein and decrease carbs. You want to protect muscle mass, but you don’t want to encourage insulin release. On the 4th and 7th day of each week you’ll go with a 50-30-20 ratio of protein to carbs to fat. The one exception is your cheat meal at the end of the 7th day of each week, which I’ll go into more depth on later on this page. So, here’s what that means for a 200-pounder who should consume 3,000 calories a day:

Protein: Consume 1,500 calories a day from protein. That means getting in about 375 g of protein every rest day.

Carbs: Consume 900 calories a day from carbs. That means getting in 225 g from carbs every rest day.

Dietary fats: Consume 600 calories a day from fats. That means getting in about 65–70 g from fats on rest days

Remember to use the calculator to figure out how many calories and macros you should consume on each rest day based on your bodyweight.

Consume at least 6 whole-food meals per day.

Take a look at my sample workout chart to see how I break down my meals on training days. You’ll consume 6 small whole-food meals each day. In addition, you’ll get in some calories from protein supplements that support goals around weight-training and cardio workouts. That’s part of what I was referring to earlier—you’re going to need to get used to making your nutrition and meals a central part of every day on Operation Aesthetic.

Don’t forget that the food recommendations for every meal are based on a 200-pounder who should consume 3,000 calories a day to support fat loss. You should make adjustments in the amounts of foods based on your bodyweight. To do this just divide your bodyweight by 200 and then multiply that by the amount of the food I recommend. The calculator will help you with this.

Here’s an example:

My Operation Aesthetic program recommends getting in 6 ounces of chicken breast for a meal for a 200-pounder. But if you weigh 160 pounds here’s how you should figure out much you should eat:

160/200 x 6 ounces

0.8 x 6 ounces

4.8 ounces of chicken breast for that meal.

You can round that to about 5 ounces, but remember when you’re rounding up and when you’re rounding down. Over the day, you want to hit my recommendations to figure out how to proceed week after week. And that’s another reason why it’s critical for you to record everything you consume in your journal.

Re-calculate what you need to consume on the 7th day of each week.

On the 7th day of each week you’ll re-calculate your calorie and macronutrient intake. That’s because you’ll be dropping weight, and you want to re-evaluate your needs. I’ll provide a couple bullet points on the Day 7 workout of each week, letting you know how to adjust based on your results.

If you’re happy with your progress, then just weigh yourself on each Day 7 and punch that number into the calculator to reconfigure your nutrition program.

Consume a cheat meal at the end of the 7th day of each week.

After you re-calculate your progress for each week, you’ll have a cheat meal at the end of the 7th day. You can think of this as a reward for due diligence on Operation Aesthetic, but this meal also provides a big advantage for fat loss, sanity, and muscle maintenance. The key is to keep your cheat meal fairly moderate—you can go with about 4 calories per pound of bodyweight for this meal. That means a 200-pounder can get in an 800-calorie cheat meal. However, if your weight is 150 pounds, then you should keep your cheat meal to about 600 calories.

Your cheat meals should contain fats and protein—don’t go with a full-on sugar rush. Good choices include a big burger, plate of pasta, or pizza with meat and cheese. Make sure to keep the calorie range to what I recommend so you don’t sabotage the progress you’ve made in reducing body fat over the past week.

Here are some of the advantages of a cheat meal:

*Satiety—This meal provides satisfaction after you’ve felt deprived.

*Hormone support—This meal provides the raw building blocks of

hormones such as testosterone that will help you succeed on a fat-loss program.

*Metabolism boost—One of the issues that cutting calories causes is a decrease in the amount of calories you burn each day. Getting in one cheat meal helps rev metabolism to better support fat-burning over time.

*Restocking glycogen—Your tank may be on empty at this point. A cheat meal helps you replenish muscle glycogen for more effective workouts over the next few days.


Here’s my overview of which foods you should consume and why. This will help you put together a program that will help you succeed on Operation Aesthetic.


When you’re dieting, you need to keep your protein intake high. You should get in up to half of your calories per day from protein. The reason for this is that consuming protein helps prevent catabolism (muscle breakdown) while you’re shedding body fat and overall bodyweight. Your body likes to catabolize muscle tissue and burn it for workouts, which works against your goal. To prevent this all you need to do is consume moderate to large amounts of protein at several meals throughout the day.

Good sources: Whole eggs, egg whites, cheese, lean steak, tilapia, chicken breast, lean ground beef, lean ground turkey, Kaged Micropure® Whey Protein Isolate, Kaged RE-KAGED® post-workout protein


You likely know that cutting carbs helps you reduce body fat. That’s absolutely true. But your goal is also to retain muscle mass and energy for intense workouts. Going too low with carbs will accelerate body fat burning in addition to catabolizing muscle tissue. My diet program shows you which carbs you need, when you should consume them, and the quantities that will work best for you.

Carbs come in varying forms. Here’s a breakdown of these various forms and examples of them:

Slow-digesting: These carbs fuel you for several hours without dramatically spiking insulin levels. That means that they help you feel more energetic when you’re cutting calories. You’ll see these foods in my sample daily meal plan—they’re a crucial part of Operation Aesthetic.

Good sources: Sweet potatoes, yams, oatmeal, brown rice, buckwheat pancakes, red potatoes, whole-wheat pasta

Starchy: These carbs help restock glycogen, but they also encourage insulin release a little more. You can consume them in small quantities, but you should do so to promote recovery and refuel when necessary. I’ve added a couple of these to my program, but eat them sparingly. They’re a great choice for your cheat meal on the 7th day of each week.

Good sources: White potatoes, regular pasta, white rice

Fibrous: Many fibrous carbs contain few calories and they slow digestion, reducing the release of insulin that drives calories to fat storage. When you consume fibrous foods that are low in calories, you can think of them as a “free” food. Choose these foods when you feel the need to eat without sabotaging your fat-loss goals.

Good sources: Vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, spinach, zucchini); fruit (oranges, grapefruit, berries); beans and lentils (pinto, black, green peas, chickpeas/garbanzo beans)

Note that on my program you’ll cut out added fast-digesting carbs from your daily nutrition program. These are essentially added sugars, which are detrimental to your success on a fat-loss program.


You know that you have to be careful about the fats you consume, but you may not know that you don’t want to overdo reduction of dietary fats. This macronutrient, consumed in proper amounts and ratios, provides many advantages for supporting improvements in your physique as you’re dieting. Likely you’ve heard that you should consume “healthy” fats at the expense of saturated fats, but that’s not entirely true. I’m going to break this down in the following sections.

Healthy fats: You need healthy fats to protect your heart and spur growth, but among the healthy fats the only one you tend not to get enough of is omega-3s. The other healthy fats are fairly plentiful in the American diet. And honestly, you want to balance the ratios of healthy fats. That makes it crucial to get in more omega-3s.

Good sources: Omega-3s are plentiful in fish such as salmon and sardines. Other good sources of healthy fats are nuts and seeds, avocados, nut butters, and oils such as canola, olive, and safflower.

Saturated fats: These fats have been blamed for lots of unwanted health effects but like everything else – moderation is the key. Saturated fats provide the building blocks for hormones such as testosterone, which supports muscle building. Cutting dietary fats too low makes it more challenging to build or maintain muscle mass on a fat-loss program. I include some saturated fats without taking the calorie amount too high—calories also matter on my fat-loss program.

Good sources: Meat, dairy, whole eggs, coconut oil

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