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Definition phase: the most important nutritional tips!



  • Muscle definition: align nutrition and training
  • Your goal: reduce body fat without losing muscle
  • With low carb for a “shredded” body
  • Fat loss: These foods belong on the menu
  • You should avoid these foods during the definition phase
  • Sample nutrition plan for more muscle definition
  • Conclusion: Low carb and calorie deficit are the keys to success

Are you already in top shape, training hard every day, but your muscles are still hidden under a thin layer of fat? No panic! It’s completely normal for belly fat to obscure the contours of your abdominal muscles if you’ve been in the bulking phase. Especially if you gained a lot of mass with a dirty bulk. Now it’s time to change your diet and lose excess fat in order to become “shredded” (more defined). We’ll tell you how this works here.

Muscle definition: align nutrition and training

In addition to training, the right diet is the most important thing. Because a decent muscle definition requires a small, strategic masterpiece: On the one hand, you have to be and stay muscular enough to be able to define the muscles at all. On the other hand, it’s about reducing the body fat percentage (BFA) so much that the individual muscle groups come to the fore – without losing muscle mass.

That’s why it’s important that you coordinate training and nutrition, keep an eye on your energy balance and distribute macronutrients smartly throughout the day.

Your goal: reduce body fat without losing muscle

While you strive for a positive calorie balance in the muscle building phase (also known as the mass phase) in order to be able to build muscle mass, muscle definition requires a calorie deficit. We assume that you are currently in pretty good shape and just want to define your muscles.

You can find out how high your calorie needs are per day using our calorie calculator. In order to “melt” the layer of fat over the muscles, you need to go into a slight deficit and consume fewer calories than you burn. Subtract around 300 to a maximum of 500 calories from your daily requirement.

How strong your muscles appear ultimately depends only on your body fat content (KFA). This is the proportion of fat stored in the body in relation to your total body mass. To achieve visible success, you should aim for a body fat percentage of 6 to 12 percent. Experts recommend these methods for measuring body fat.

With low carb for a “shredded” body

The trick now is to protect muscles from breakdown on the one hand and at the same time to maximize the reduction of body fat. This is healthy and easy to do with a moderate low-carb diet.

How many carbohydrates, protein and fat are allowed per day? As part of a moderate low-carb diet, approximately 100 grams of carbohydrates per day are allowed. This corresponds to around 10 to 20 percent of your daily calorie needs. Include the majority of carbs in your post-workout meal after training. Because you’re cutting back on carbohydrates, you’ll automatically consume more protein (around 30 percent) and fat (up to 50 percent of your daily calorie needs). High-quality proteins and fat sources ensure more intense, lasting satiety. Low carb also has a positive effect on the basal metabolic rate, also because it takes more energy to break down proteins, for example, than carbohydrates. In the end, it’s not just the amount of individual macronutrients that counts, but above all your daily energy balance.

Fat loss: These foods belong on the menu

Now we’ll take another look at the individual macros and tell you which foods contain them.

1. Proteins: Protein is particularly important for you because the macronutrient not only ensures that your muscle fibers thicken and you build mass. Protein also protects against muscle loss – and this is particularly important when you have a calorie deficit. It should be around 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, depending on your fitness level.

Protein is the key to a defined body

It’s best to eat foods that are high in protein but low in fat:

  • lean meats such as poultry (chicken or turkey) and beef
  • Fish (tuna, salmon, cod & Co.) and seafood (such as shrimp)
  • Legumes (such as beans, lentils or chickpeas)
  • Owner
  • low-fat milk and dairy products such as yogurt, quark or grainy cream cheese
  • Soy products, like tofu
  • Nuts, seeds and kernels

2. Carbohydrates: Low carb doesn’t mean no carb, so carbohydrates aren’t completely taboo – especially not after training. 100 grams a day corresponds to a moderate low-carb diet. Then quickly fill your stores with a snack made from easily digestible carbohydrates (like a banana) in combination with quickly available protein (such as a whey protein shake).

The subsequent post-workout meal (around 1-2 hours after training) should contain plenty of protein and a large portion of vegetables (such as broccoli) as well as a carbohydrate-rich side dish such as rice or pasta.

Possible carb-protein combinations:

  • (Natural) rice with lean poultry (turkey or chicken) and vegetables
  • Scrambled eggs or omelette with millet and vegetables
  • Minced meat with rice and kidney beans, chickpeas & Co.
  • Sweet/potatoes with poultry and vegetables
  • Cottage cheese with canned tuna
  • Salmon fillet with quinoa and vegetables
  • Jacket potatoes with quark, with vegetables and lean fish
  • Whole grain pasta with poultry and vegetables

3. Fett: Healthy fats are a must in your daily sports diet. Optimal for fat loss is 0.8 to 1 g of fat per kilogram of body weight per day.

Omega-3 fats are vital, but you don’t necessarily have to supplement them

It is crucial that you choose the right sources of fat. Therefore, avoid fatty sausages, fried foods and any ready-made products, as the “bad” saturated fats or even trans fats are often hidden here.

Instead, the following fat sources should be on your menu:

  • Vegetable oils, such as linseed oil, rapeseed oil or coconut oil
  • Flax seeds or chia seeds
  • Herring and mackerel
  • Salmon/Tuna
  • nuts
  • Avocados

You should avoid these foods during the definition phase

As you already know, proper nutrition is the key to success, because training alone won’t give you an athletic figure. But just as you can support muscle building with the right diet, there are foods that can reduce and slow down your success. These include, among other things, industrial sugar and too much white flour products.

You should currently avoid these foods:

  • Alcohol: Deprives your body of energy and nutrients.
  • Wheat flour: Causes insulin/blood sugar levels to rise and slows down fat burning.
  • Finished products: Contain many additives that offer no added value for your body. The motto is to cook fresh.
  • Sweets: Worry about cravings due to the “blood sugar rollercoaster.”

Another tip: Try to eat more vegetables instead of too much fruit. Fruit also contains sugar and therefore carbohydrates. Vegetables are low in calories and carbohydrates and are therefore better suited to the low-carb diet.

Sample nutrition plan for more muscle definition

High-protein in the morning, low-carb at lunch and an energy-rich post-workout meal in the evening: Here we have put together a list of what your meals could look like during the day. Alternatively, with Men’s Health nutritional coaching you can also have an individual nutrition plan created for optimal muscle definition.

The right diet and an appropriate training program define your chest and six pack abs

Additionally, snacks are allowed, such as nuts, a boiled egg, a protein shake after and a banana before the workout. Before you go to bed, you can also have a protein-rich evening snack, such as low-fat quark or Skyr. You can spice it up with Chunky Flavor or another flavor powder, for example.

  • 200 g of cottage cheese
  • 2 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 3 tbsp oat flakes
  • 60 g blueberries
  • 10g walnuts

1. Mix cottage cheese with yogurt. Then fold in the oat flakes.
2. Wash the berries and mix them into the cottage cheese along with the chopped nuts and enjoy.


(483 kcal, 44 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 32 g fat per serving)

  • 4 Owner
  • ½ teaspoon Rapeseed
  • Salt
  • Pfeffer
  • 2 slices of cooked ham
  • ¼ red onion
  • 2 Mushrooms
  • 40 g Mozzarella, Light
  • 2 Cocktailtomaten
  • Oregano

1. Whisk eggs well and season. Place the pan over medium-high heat and grease with a little oil if necessary. Add the egg and put the lid on the pan.
2. Cut the cooked ham into pieces, slice the mushrooms and dice the onion. Tear the mozzarella into pieces and quarter the tomatoes.
2. When the egg begins to set, add the onions, ham, mushrooms, mozzarella and cocktail tomatoes. Top with oregano. Place the lid back on the pan and wait until the entire egg and surface have set.

Post-workout dinner:

Turkey with sweet potato and broccoli
(589 kcal, 47 g protein, 54 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat per serving)

from my point of view / Shutterstock.com

You can also swap chicken for turkey or green beans for broccoli

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 tsp Rapeseed
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 Prize Curry powder
  • 250 g broccoli (fresh or frozen)
  • 150 g Putenbrust
  • 1 tsp Rapeseed

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Peel and wash the sweet potato and cut into bite-sized cubes. Lay out on the baking tray lined with baking paper, mix roughly with oil, curry and salt. Bake for around 15 minutes.
3. Cook (frozen) broccoli in a pot of salted water. It tastes crisper when fresh.
4. Cut the turkey breast (alternatively chicken) into strips, season with salt and pepper. Pour rapeseed oil into a pan and fry the meat all over. Then serve with potatoes and vegetables.

Conclusion: Low carb and calorie deficit are the keys to success

Finally defined muscles: With our food tips, the long-awaited six-pack is finally within reach. All you need is a calorie deficit, a moderate low-carb diet and a suitable training plan:


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