Centr Team

Power Shred Nutrition Handbook: regular & pescatarian

Centr Team

Nutrition is crucial to achieving the results you want with Power Shred. We’re on a mission to help you change your body composition safely, without sacrificing your health or training performance.

This handbook for those on the regular or pescatarian meal plan has been developed with our sports dietitian Angie Asche to provide all the tools you need to cut body fat while maintaining muscle mass and strength.

The three key factors to keep front of mind when you are shredding or cutting are:

1. You must be in calorie deficit, but it must be only a small portion of your total daily intake. If the calorie deficit is too large, you will lose lean muscle tissue.

2. Meal timings are key to feeling satisfied throughout the day – find the timings that work for you.

3. Protein will help to reduce hunger, and is key to preserving lean muscle mass and potentially building muscle.

Important: If you’re following all the suggestions in this handbook and not getting results, or you are concerned about any aspect of your nutrition, consult an accredited dietitian.

What you need to know

We provide the tools below to estimate your daily energy requirement, but please remember that no equation is perfect.

If you used this calculator while completing Centr Power, we recommend going through the process again before starting Power Shred, as your body and energy expenditure will have changed.

Every body is different and individual needs depend on a range of factors including genetics, body size, metabolism, weight and training history.

How to estimate your calorie needs

The method we give you here is the widely-used Harris-Benedict equation – Chris and Luke have consistently used this over the years as a starting point for their needs.

The Harris-Benedict Equation is a scientific formula that combines your basal metabolic rate (BMR – how many calories your body burns to function) with your activity levels to determine your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). You will need to factor in your goal to estimate a calorie deficit to achieve fat loss while maintaining lean muscle.

Once you complete the steps below, you will have an estimate of the adjustment you need to make to your meal plan.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Your base of nutrition for this program is the Get Fit & Toned meal plan – ensure this is the Goal selected in your Centr settings.

This meal plan is designed to support your training intensity. Both the regular and pescatarian variations contain adequate protein and are balanced for macros (protein/carbs/fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

If you are following the vegetarian or vegan meal plan, switch to your specialized nutrition handbook now.

The three main meals and snacks in this plan deliver 2400-2600 calories per day (with 400-600 of this from snacks) for men and 1500-1800 calories (300-600 from snacks) per day for women.

STEP 1: Use the TDEE calculator to estimate your personal calorie needs.

Check the graphic below to select the right activity level for your program intensity when using the calculator.


STEP 2: Choose your body composition goal and deficit.

  • Small: If you want to maintain as much lean muscle as possible – or even gain muscle – while losing fat, aim for a small deficit of 200-300 calories.
  • Large: If you feel that you have a significant amount of fat to lose, aim for a larger deficit of 400-500 calories. In this case, you are prioritizing fat loss over muscle gain.

STEP 3: Now it’s time to adjust your meal plan. First, subtract your chosen deficit from your TDEE. This number will be your daily calorie target.

Let’s take a look at an example.


Like Rajesh in the example above, you may find that your calorie requirements fall within the range of the Get Fit & Toned meal plan (2400-2600 for men and 1500-1800 for women). In this case, you can follow the meal plan as is – prioritizing high-protein snacks.

If you need to reduce calories from the base meal plan to meet your target intake, a simple option is to reduce the amount of snacks you eat each day. In the rare case you need to reduce main meals, we recommend reducing the carbohydrate portion of your largest meal (usually dinner).

If you need to add calories to meet your target intake, the easiest way to do this is by adding extra snacks.


Because every body is different and individual needs will vary, follow the principles as best you can, then monitor your progress and adapt as you learn what works for you.

Snacking to hit your calorie target

As you can see from the steps above, snacking is a crucial part of meeting your calorie target – whether you need to reduce your intake or require extra calories to meet your needs.

Be sure to read the Power Shred Snack Guide for the full lowdown.

Common issues when cutting

Cutting is common in muscle-building circles, but it can be challenging. You may find that you:

  • Have an increased appetite. If you haven’t previously done a lot of cardio, and now you’re doing it twice a week in addition to your lifting workouts, that increase in energy expenditure can result in higher levels of hunger. This makes what you put on your plate even more important.
  • Feel famished at the end of each day. This is why it’s important to time your meals in order to avoid going too long without eating.

Let’s take a look at how to combat these issues.

What foods should I be eating?

The key macronutrients to focus on when cutting are:

Protein: You should be aiming for an intake of 1.6-2.2g per kg of body weight per day. A high-protein diet will ensure you preserve lean muscle mass while also controlling hunger. Protein is filling, so space out your intake across 3-4 meals and snacks a day.

High-quality protein can be found in eggs, lean poultry and meat, fish, tofu, tempeh, dairy products and protein powder.

Fiber: When you eat fiber-rich foods, your body has to work to metabolize it – providing a TEF (thermic effect of food) boost to your calorie burn. Eating plenty of vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruit will also help keep you full and promote a healthy gut.

Healthy fats like hemp seeds, chia, flax and nuts also provide fiber. While you may feel hesitant to include these calorie-dense foods on your plate when your goal is fat loss, they are also nutrient-dense, making it easier to meet your micronutrient and fiber needs. They’re also great for snacking to keep you feeling full. Just watch portion sizes to avoid overeating.

Don’t forget your micronutrients, either. It’s essential that you eat a well-balanced diet containing a variety of whole foods to ensure you’re not missing out on any essential vitamins and minerals.

What foods should I avoid?

To keep your fat loss goals on track, stay away from refined carbohydrates such as white bread, potato chips and pastries (which do not keep you full), sweetened snacks and beverages, and alcohol.

How do I time my nutrition?

There is no universal model of meal timing for fat loss, it really is tailored to the individual and what works best for you.

Meal frequency will depend on your personal preferences and hunger levels throughout the day. As long as you are hitting your calorie and protein targets, it doesn’t matter if you eat 4 times a day (3 meals plus a large snack) or 6 times (3 meals, plus 3 smaller snacks).

On your rest days, it’s a good idea to maintain the same meal timings.

Fueling your workouts: You don’t necessarily need to eat before a workout if you plan to eat immediately after. If you feel you need to fuel up, one option could be to have a light snack or smoothie an hour before you do a morning workout.

If you train late afternoon or after work, aim to have lunch 3-4 hours prior.

It’s okay to go through a bit of trial and error to find what fuels you best and when you do your best work. For example, Luke will often have a coffee before his morning workout, while Chris will have a morning smoothie, then breakfast, before doing his workout at midday.

Post-workout: Consuming protein in a 1-2 hour window after training helps to trigger muscle protein synthesis. As you’re not eating as much as you would be in a bulking program like Power, you may like to time a snack or a meal around your training schedule. Again, this comes down to your preference.

What is a normal amount of hunger when I’m cutting?

When you’re in a calorie deficit, a mild amount of hunger is normal and expected. But if that hunger is constant and severe, it's likely you're not consuming enough calories. Signs that you may need to increase your intake include:

  • drop in energy levels

  • decline in performance or weakness during workouts

  • changes in mood

  • you feel like you’re starving every time you sit down to a meal

If you cut back too far, this can result in the loss of lean muscle, along with all the other negative side effects of not fueling your body sufficiently.

If you still feel hungry despite regularly eating high-protein and fiber-rich meals and snacks throughout the day, try to assess whether it's physical or emotional hunger. You should aim to eat only when you're physically hungry and try to avoid eating out of boredom or habit.

Slowing down at meal times and increasing the amount of nutrient-dense foods (like vegetables and fruits) on your plate can also help you feel more satisfied.

If you have concerns, consult an accredited dietitian to ensure your energy needs are being met.

What’s hydration got to do with it?

Staying well-hydrated is an important element of fat loss. Start by drinking water first thing in the morning, and have a water bottle nearby to sip on between or during meals and snacks.

As a baseline, aim to drink at least half your body weight in fluid ounces of water per day – for instance, if you weigh 170lbs, aim to drink 85 fl oz of water. (If you’re using the metric system, 1 fl oz = 30ml.) Then adjust as needed based on your activity levels and the amount you're sweating.

Stick with straight water (not sports drinks, etc) as much as possible. You can also consume foods like yogurt, fruits and vegetables that have a high water content.

Will intermittent fasting or carb cycling boost my results?

While intermittent fasting and carb cycling can be helpful for some, these approaches are not necessary to achieve fat loss or body composition changes.

Intermittent fasting is the practice of restricting your eating to a certain period of time – such as the 16:8 method, where you fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window.

If you have previously found that 16:8 fasting works well for your lifestyle, you may continue with it when shredding. However, if you find your performance is suffering, you may not be getting enough calories in during that 8-hour window. In this case, you may need to stretch out your window to 14:10 or 12:12. (See the section on timing nutrition above.)

Remember, as long as you’re maintaining a calorie deficit, eating within a restricted window isn’t going to be any better for fat loss than eating over a longer window of time.

Carb cycling is when you adjust your carb intake based on your workout plan. For instance, you might load up on carbohydrates so you have the energy to burn on cardio days, then cut back on days when you’re lifting or not working out at all.

If you want to try it, start by having a pre-workout meal or snack that is higher in carbs on your cardio days – then monitor your performance and progress.

Should I be using supplements?

First, make sure you’re nailing the nutrition you’re getting from real food. If you are eating and training well, these are the supplements that Angie suggests could help:

  • Protein powder: a convenient, efficient way to help hit your protein intake. Powder typically provides 20g of protein per scoop, depending on the brand, so it’s a great way to punch up smoothies and snacks.
  • Creatine: can help to preserve lean muscle tissue when you’re eating in a calorie deficit. It can also help promote muscle growth when you’re trying to lose fat.
  • Vitamin D: this can be difficult to get from food sources, especially while eating in a deficit.
  • Probiotics: when you’re eating a high-fiber diet, probiotics help balance out your gut microbiome.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: provide an anti-inflammatory benefit to assist your recovery. This is especially important if you do not eat fish.

Be sure to read our Supplements Guide – it will help you make an informed decision.

What should I do if I’m not seeing results?

While the TDEE calculator provides a good estimate, you may need to make adjustments if you’re not seeing any changes in body composition.

  • You may have overestimated your daily energy expenditure and therefore aren’t eating at enough of a calorie deficit. Try reducing your daily intake by an extra 100-200 calories (drop a snack or reduce one of your main meal portions) and then track your progress.

  • Keep a food journal – it’s much easier to work out what’s going on if everything is recorded. Writing things down will help you see how close or far you are from your targets, so you can adjust where needed.

Remember that results take time and you shouldn’t expect to look “shredded” after 2 weeks. And try not to compare yourself to others, as low body fat levels will not look the same on everyone.

What about my nutrition during deload weeks?

Deload weeks are an essential element of any muscle-building program, where you step away from heavy weight training to allow your body a chance to recover. This usually means a lower total energy expenditure and less calorie burn – meaning you may want to drop your calorie intake to continue losing fat.

However, the two deload weeks in Power Shred (at the end of phases 2 and 4) are not traditional deloads. In the first, you will lift lighter but increase reps, and the cardio day will be less intense. The second deload week will ramp up intensity in the final few workouts.

So the choice to adjust your calorie intake will depend on your progress and how you are feeling at each stage.

Are you feeling energy depleted? Keeping the same small calorie deficit during deload weeks will put you in the ‘maintenance’ range. So while your activity levels may not be in the fat-loss range, you should not gain weight. Make sure you keep up your protein for muscle recovery.

Do you want to keep maximizing fat loss? If you wish to continue cutting, create a slightly larger calorie deficit for the deload weeks. For instance, if you are doing a small 200-300 deficit, increase that to 400-500 calories. This can be as simple as dropping one snack per day. If you then find you don’t have enough energy for the workouts, you can up your intake again.

Are there any Power Shred recipes?

Oh yes, we have recipes. Check out these collections and save your favorites to fuel your Power Shred journey.

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