It’s day 17 of Mission Shred, and James Grage is down to 184 lbs. By weighing himself first thing in the morning, every morning, he’s able to track his progress without the fluctuations caused by fluid intake, meals, etc. In addition, he’s been measuring his body fat percentage every Thursday. On day one, James started at 6.6% body fat. After just a week, he’d dropped two pounds and his body fat was down to 4.9%. This rate of loss was too fast.

James was following the carb-cycling plan laid out in our 6-Pack University program. However, he hadn’t taken into account how lean he was to start with. Since he eats healthy and stays in shape year-round, James did not need to use such an aggressive program. He went back to the drawing board and made some adjustments. He cut back on cardio. He added another high-carb day to help replenish his glycogen stores, and he recalculated his macros.

James: This is one of the reasons you definitely want to start your diet early enough: to give yourself room to be able to make adjustments without panicking. Trust me, with the looming deadline of a show, you’re inevitably gonna panic. You’re gonna freak out a little bit if you don’t give yourself enough time.

As of day 17, James still has 76 days until his show. Now that he’s tweaked his plan, he feels lean and in control. His only trouble spots are his love handles. Therefore, his weight loss efforts will be focused on the fat held in his sides and lower back.

To help him stick with this new plan, he put together the following grocery list:

Proteins – Albacore tuna, chicken breast, swai, lean ground turkey, lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, deli chicken, deli turkey, egg whites, egg beaters, whole eggs

Dairy – Fat-free milk, coconut milk (unsweetened), fat-free cottage cheese, fat-free Greek yogurt

Vegetables – Broccoli, cucumber, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, zucchini, spinach

Starchy carbs – Steel-cut oats, regular oats, farro, quinoa, jasmine rice, bagels, protein English muffin, sweet potato

Healthy fats – Avocado, almonds

In addition, here are the supplements James is taking:

Whey HD™
Best BCAA™
Best Creatine™
CLA + Coconut Oil + Aminos