How to get Lean with VI Phase 3: Eating for Fat Loss

You are what you eat…

There is some truth to that. 

Achieving low levels of body fat (i.e. getting ridiculously lean) comes down to nothing more than what and how much you eat.

As I’m writing this, I’ve already completed Phase 3 of Visual Impact Muscle Building.

And I’ll tell you this: Results speak loud and clear. This shit works!

I showed you guys exactly how I’m training to develop incredible strength and burn serious fat. But today…

Today I want to talk to you about the most important aspect of getting lean – the diet.

When it comes to eating for fat loss, there are tons of strategies out there and a lot of them work for a lot of people. What I’m going to do is give you an overview of my exact eating strategy for this phase.

Note that this strategy is different from what Rusty suggests in his program, but you can decide for yourself which route you’d like to take.

I’m also going to give you a list of supplements I’m taking for Phase 3. It’s nothing extravagant so don’t expect that you’ll have to go out and buy all sorts of crazy supplements. That’s not the objective. We just want to cover all our bases.

With all that being said, let’s get into the meat of the Phase 3 dieting strategy.

How much do I eat?

Everyone knows that to lose weight, you have to drop your calorie intake. Although it’s never as simple as calories in vs. calories out (trust me), for the sake of simplicity let’s just say our aim is to keep our overall calories consumed below our calories expended.

In his program, Rusty recommends to consume 8-10 calories per pound of your target body weight.

So let’s say you’re weighing in at 180 lbs and want to come down to 170 lbs…

Your caloric intake should range from 1,360 to 1,700 calories per day. This may seem low – and it should be.

Our primary macronutrient will be protein. The goal is to aim for 0.5 to 0.6 grams of protein per pound of current body weight.

So, once again, if you are currently at 180lbs you should be aiming for 90 to 100 grams of quality protein every day.

Now what I’ve decided to do is use a diet called the Slow-Carb Diet. It’s a very powerful dieting strategy that I discovered when reading Tim Ferriss’s book The 4 Hour Body. It requires you to follow five simple rules:

Rule 1: Avoid “White” Carbohydrates

Make sure you are avoiding any carbohydrate that is, or can be, white. Avoid the following foods: all bread, rice (including brown), cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried food with breading.

Rule 2: Eat the same few meals over and over again

Apparently there are roughly 50,000 products in the average U.S. grocery store, but only a handful of them won’t make you fat. The idea is to select three to four quality items and repeat them.

The aim is to keep things simple. By choosing a few simple meals to repeat over and over, you’ll make things much easier for yourself.

Rule 3: Don’t Drink your Calories

Do not drink milk (including soy milk), normal soft drinks (you never should), fruit juice or any other high calorie, high fat, or high sugar drinks.

Drink massive quantities of water and as much unsweetened tea or coffee (without milk) as you’d like.

Rule 4: Don’t Eat Fruit

I’ve boggled a lot of minds when I told people that I don’t eat fruit. Fruit has natural sugar – simple carbohydrates. Their principal sugar, fructose, is converted to glycerol phosphate more efficiently than almost all other carbohydrates. This leads to fat storage.

Don’t worry about the vitamins and minerals. We’ll take care of that in a sec.

Rule 5: Take One Day Off Per Week

This is your day off. This is the day you get to go wild. Eat and drink whatever you want. Pizza, bananas, chocolate, beer, ice cream, or whatever else tickles your taste buds – it’s all good. Everything that you’ve craved over those past six days, you can have on the 7th.

This rule serves two purposes:

First, it gives you your fix. Six days of tough dieting are awarded with a 7th day of complete and utter satisfaction. It’s a psychological thing.

The second purpose is killer. It’s where science becomes a thing of beauty. Dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate doesn’t downshift from extended caloric restriction.

Yes, you read that right. Eating like a maniac increases fat loss. What a beautiful world we live in..

I’ll make sure to put up a post later to show you exactly how this process in the body works.

Saturday was my day of satisfaction, but you can choose whichever day of the week works best for you.

So what exactly am I eating?

So here’s a list of the meals I’ve chosen for my week. My meal schedule is based on my sleep schedule (when I get up in the morning and when I go to sleep) so you might want to alter yours to match your sleep schedule.

Breakfast – 7:00 AM

As soon as I wake up I have a protein shake that consists of:

  • 2 scoops of 100% Natural Whey protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of maca powder
  • 250ml of water

This gives me roughly 300 calories, 48g of protein and 8 g of carbohydrates.

Important Note: there is no set amount of carbohydrates that you’re trying to hit – your aim is to keep it low and keep it slow (i.e. no simple carbohydrates).

All of the supplements I’m taking for this phase are taken in the morning so I might as well list them here. Here’s the list:

  • 2 Omega 3 pills
  • A multi-vitamin
  • A 1000mg of Vitamin C (every other day)
  • Protein powder (part of my shake)

The Omega 3s are my source of good fats. The multi-vitamin and the Vitamin C are my source of vitamins and minerals, making up for my lack of fruit consumption. Apart from the protein, those are the only supplements I’m taking for Phase 3.

Lunch – 12:00 PM

For lunch I have a bean salad with mixed vegetables and tuna. It consists of:

  • Black beans
  • Red kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Raw spinach
  • White flaked tuna
  • Raw red peppers
  • Raw mushrooms

I’ll have about a cup or a bit more of this mix and add 2 hard boiled eggs to the mix. It comes out to about 600 to 800 calories, 20 to 30g of protein, and 30 to 40g of complex carbohydrates.

Lunch: Bean salad with tuna and raw vegetables

Note: I always completely wash and drain my beans. This gets rid of chemicals that make you gassy. Trust me – you’ll want to do this!

Dinner – 6:00 PM

My dinner is quite simple. I have one chicken or turkey breast with a cup of cooked vegetables. It’s quick and simple to make.

It comes out to about 300 to 400 calories, 15 to 20g of protein and very few carbs.

Dinner: Chicken breast and cooked vegetables

Note: I really don’t keep a top lid on my vegetable consumption. Vegetables are something you can consume in large quantities because they’re so good for you and they’re not calorically dense. So, on the days that I’m feeling the hunger, I’ll have more vegetables than usual during dinner.

Post Workout Meal – 9:00 PM

My post workout shake is a protein shake that is very similar to my morning shake. I throw in one scoop of protein powder and a teaspoon of cocoa and maca powder.

This comes out to about 150 calories, 24 g of protein, and 5 grams of carbohydrates.

On most days of the week I like to have a coffee or green tea. These are great appetite suppressants if you’re feeling hungry in between your meals and you can have them as much as you’d like.

So there you have it…

This is my eating regimen for 6 days of the week. On the 7th day (my cheat day) I like to go a little crazy because my cravings are high throughout the week. All-you-can-eat sushi is always at the top of my list.

I hope this little outline of my eating strategy for Phase 3 is useful. If you’d like to check out Rusty’s dieting strategy, you can check out his program here.

Feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comment section below.

25 thoughts on “How to get Lean with VI Phase 3: Eating for Fat Loss”

  1. WOW Srdjan, your blog is REALLY coming along nicely; I’m impressed man! 🙂

    And yeah, Rusty Moore’s products –like the Visual Impact Muscle Building Program– are always top profile in my experience, as he’s one of the top guys in the fitness industry as far as truly effective applied knowledge.

    Nice post, great writing btw! As always top notch stuff brother!



    1. Thanks a lot Mark I appreciate that. It’s been a lot of work lately but I’m glad it’s somewhat paying off.

      The program is really great and I can’t wait to show you guys the results I’ve achieved in such a short period of time.

      Stay tuned!

  2. Nice post, Srdjan. I like the idea of the bean salad then chicken and veggies at night. Sometimes, I tend to over-complicate things with my food choices with fear that I will get tired of chicken. But, this is a good way to do it. Thanks for sharing your meal ideas.

    Anna D.

    1. Hey Anna! The trick that I’ve found works well is to keep things as simple (and repetitive) as possible. I do make small changes every now and then to make sure I don’t get bored of eating foods, but for the most part it’s all on auto-pilot.

  3. Excellent eating plan. Can’t fault it. I like to follow a cheat (or high carb) day with a fast. So if I eat what I like on Friday I won’t eat again until Saturday evening. After the cheat day your metabolism is cranked up to burn fat that more effectively during your fast.

  4. Hey!

    Interesting post and I can see the logic behind the diet. I guess it serves its purpose, but I decided to try something different. About three weeks ago I hit rock bottom in terms of my eating habits. I would eat quite well but binge on sweets and chocolate on a daily basis. At one point, my body couldn’t take it anymore. I had to reprogram and restart my eating habits. my body literally could not take anything in the next day. I stuck to oatmeal, and a couple of pieces of fruit. Slowly my body went back to normal and I could consume more varied foods. It’s been about 2.5 weeks and what I focus on is listening to my body. I consume very small portions and eat often. I used to drink water like crazy but sometimes you just don’t feel well filling yourself up like that. So now I try to eat mostly unprocessed foods (and if processed, then without any artificial flavours or preservatives) and completely took out chocolate. I satisfy my sweet tooth with dates and unpasteurized honey. I feel great! I never feel too full and heavy like before.

    I think there are so many diets out there, so much science, but people forget to just listen to their body and go back to the basics. This way of eating works really well for me and I’ve gone from a max of 129 to 125.

    On average, I work out 4 times a week, which consists of hot yoga and weight training with cardio. Again, I just listen to my body and do whatever exercise I feel like 🙂

  5. I want to try this eating plan and maintain my current cardio routine. I am currently 175 and I am trying to get to 130. That means based on your program I would be reducing my calories to 1040 to 1300 and consuming 87.5 grams of protein. Is this reasonable? Do I have to follow the Phase 3 Training program to receive results? What is a reasonable expectation of weight loss for each week?

    1. Kellie, your program will depend a lot on some current factors. What’s your current diet like and what kind of cardio are you doing?

      To drop down to 130lbs will take some time, but if you follow the principles I’ve outlined you can get there. You should aim to consume around 1200-1300 calories and 85 to 90g of protein per day. And don’t forget about that cheat day.

      Make sure you take things slow. If your current caloric consumption is really high at the moment, drop it down slowly and let your body adjust. You will probably experience some very good fat loss in the first few weeks but to drop 45lbs in total will definitely take time so make sure you’re consistent with your efforts. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with the numbers. Just keep going and the results will come.

      And incorporating some sort of weight training would definitely boost your results.

      I’m also putting together some case studies for women so feel free to email me if you’re interested.

  6. Awesome stuff Srdjan.
    Question about the day off from healthy eating. Is this really a day where i can eat whatever i want and as much as i want? If i’m eating 1700 calories daily, on my day off how high can i go? I love cakes, so i can eat loads in 1 day but that could easily pile up to 3000 or more calories.
    Also how do you pronounce your first name?

    1. Hey Seetal, that’s the rough idea. However, during my experiment I didn’t tend to overload with poor quality calories. I had some desserts here and there, but mostly I just over-consumed on grains. If you typically consume 1700 calories, then the 3000 range should suffice.

      And my name is pronounced like the English word ‘surgeon’. 🙂

  7. Hey Seetal,

    Would you suggest skipping phase 1 and 2 and jumping into Phase 3 if you want to lose fat and increase my strength as quick as possible? I’ve been doing Phase 1 and I do see my muscle size increasing, but I have a lot of fat I’d like to lose as well. What do you suggest?

    Your blog is really informative and helpful. Helps me get a better understanding of all 3 Phases.



    1. My bad. Meant to write Srdjan. I was reading the last person’s (Seetal) comment before writing my comment.

    2. Hey Dave, you can call me Seetal if you really want 🙂

      If fat loss and strength are your primary goals, then by all means skip the first two phases and jump right into the 3rd phase. The purpose of the first phase is to help you put on size. There is some fat gain associated with it, but you can minimize this by tinkering with your diet and volume of cardio. So it’s really for you to decide what your ultimate goal is. If you’re ready to lean out, go ahead and jump into the 3rd phase.

  8. Just a quick one how do you split up the remainder of your callories in macros?

    As after takig out my protien callories i have a 1000 to spare?

    I looked but couldnt see it, so sorry if its in there.

    1. Depends on whether it’s a workout day or non-workout day.
      Workout day should have more protein and (much more) carbs than non-workout day.
      Play around with the number and see what works.

  9. I have bulking the last 2 months on my own and ready for phase 3. Im a lil nervous of droppin my calorie intake so low though…After consuming around 3000 a day. A whey protein shake with 2 tblspns of peanut butter with a banana and soy chocolate milk aside 4 egg, ham, & toast….and thats just for breakfast…i wont get into what i eat for lunch and dinner…lol. But im about 169 lbs right now and look solid… I do more than i would like belly fat and really hope i can lose that…can you send some HIIT workouts to help with cardio? also how do you feel about preworks? should i add that to the total calorie intake coount? Thank you Srdjan

    –I love your blog and the time you spend to do this for us.

    1. Hey Pablo, sorry for the late response buddy. It’s been hectic here. For HIIT ideas, take a look at some of the workouts of the week I’ve been putting out. Basically, any type of short duration (5-10min) of intense work will suffice. I would also follow that up with a nice walk on a treadmill or something to maximize results.

      Don’t be nervous about lowering calorie intake. Just make sure to keep your protein intake high. I’m not a fan of preworkout stuff so I can’t recommend it. Besides, training in a fasted state will get you far better fat loss results.


  10. Sorry im a bit late on the post here, but im curious if cardio in the form of Sprinting/Incline Sprinting is effective (Short 10-15 minute sessions), or would it just overload the CNS albeit the calorie restriction?

  11. It’s my second week of VI III, the craving seems to be bigger and wider in my mind! haha, as I don’t really have lentils for lunch, I just switch it with more Greens. How to stay that low carb for the next few weeks! Felt like I got defeated by the CRAVE….

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