Two photos of fitness trainer Julien Quaglierini showing his evolution after a weight-loss session. On the left, he weighs 95 kilos. On the right, he weighs just 88 kilos.

How to get a lean body? 7 steps to success

Well-known to bodybuilders and bodybuilders alike, dry weight training is a technique aimed at eliminating body fat while preserving the body's natural elasticity. muscle mass. But what kind of diet should I follow? What type of training should you choose? And how do you know if your weight loss program is working or not? As you can see, losing fat while limiting muscle loss is not something you can improvise. In this article, I explain how to make a good dryer in 7 steps.

Step 1: Understanding muscle dryness

What is a dryer?

The aim of this method is to lose body fat without compromising muscle development (known as dry mass).

In this sense, dry differs from a weight loss or a slimming diet, where only the kilos off the scales count. When going on a diet, it's just as important to ensure the consistency of the body composition.

This approach is based on 2 main pillars, which we will detail in the following steps: 

  • Setting up a food plan low-calorie
  • The follow-up of a training program suitable for the gym

It's the subtle balance between these 2 elements that will enable you to achieve your goal. In other words, you need to reduce your caloric intake on the one hand (without neglecting macronutrients - we'll come back to that!), and increase your energy expenditure on the other by practising an active lifestyle. physical activity.

A good blow-dry results in a sculpted, muscular and harmonious physique.

As a sports coach, one of the questions most often asked by men is: "How can I help you? How can I dry my stomach? ". Unfortunately, it's impossible to target a specific part of the body. If you do a tummy tuck, you'll certainly lose weight not only on your stomach, but also on your thighs, torso and so on.

A shirtless man measures his waist with a tape measure to check the effectiveness of his blow-dry.
A dry period consists of losing fat, while keeping muscle loss to a minimum.

Step 2: Knowing when to dry

Knowing how to dry is one thing. But are you sure it's the right time?

As a general rule, an athlete or weight trainer starts a dry run after finishing a workout. weight gain phase during which he will have had a caloric surplus for several months.

Once muscle growth has been achieved, the dry phase helps to eliminate excess body fat.

The aim of this practice is to sculpting the silhouetteby burning fat to make muscle mass more visible.

In short, the right time to start a dry run is when you notice that your muscles are beginning to disappear beneath your fatty tissue. 

In this sense, calculating your body fat percentage can help you determine the ideal time to start. If the result is higher than around 17 % (its interpretation also depends on your age), it may be appropriate to try drying.

Step 3: Calculate your caloric needs

Knowing how to compose your diet plays an important role in successful weight loss. This section explains how to eat properly to preserve muscle mass and lose as much fat as possible.

A dryer feed is always based on creating a caloric deficit. In other words, it's essential to consume fewer calories than you burn in a day. If you eat more, you'll gain weight.

2 photos of sports coach Julien Quaglierini shirtless, muscles protruding and drawn.
In bodybuilding, a dry run is an excellent way of making muscles look big and bulky.

Knowing how to assess your needs is essential for effective drying. However, the caloric requirements vary from one individual to another. They depend on several factors:

  • Your sporting level
  • Your basic morphology
  • Your metabolism
  • Your size
  • Your weight
  • Your age
  • Your gender

This means that in order to lose weight, you have to slightly reduce your caloric intake calories. For muscle leaning, you should reduce your calorie intake by around 15 %. Such a change should have no impact on your muscle weight, but on the contrary should influence your body fat.

Your caloric deficit must therefore be progressive. If it is too violent, you will lose weight, but also muscle mass.

You will find on my website a calorie calculator free of charge. Don't hesitate to use it to implement your deficit.

Step 4: Determine macronutrient distribution

The next step is to evaluate the intake of macronutrients your diet. It's very important to maintain a good balance between protein, fat and carbohydrate intake.


The proteins are essential for lean muscle building. They preserve your muscle mass and promotehypertrophy. They also help repair muscle fibers after a workout.

You'll need a deposit including between 1.5 and 2.5 grams of protein per kilo of body weight.

As an example, for a 70 kilogram individual, daily protein intake should be between 105 and 175 grams during a lean diet. 

A high-protein diet will help you reach your goal more easily and more quickly. Don't hesitate to vary protein sourcesWhether animal or vegetable proteins.

Here's a list of protein-rich foods to include in your diet: 

  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.)
  • Lean meat, such as beef with 5 % of fat
  • Tuna and salmon
  • Eggs
  • Legumes
  • Cottage cheese or skyr
  • Tofu and soy
  • Whey protein
A table with protein-rich foods, essential for a good muscle-building dryness: eggs, salmon and chicken.
Protein-rich foods will help you dry out without losing muscle.


During a dry run, the carbohydrates act as an adjustment variable. You can therefore use them to supplement or reduce your daily calorie intake. Their consumption should correspond to around 2.5 grams per kilo of body weight.

It is preferable to choose low-carbohydrate products. glycemic indexThey don't raise your insulin levels. You should be aware, however, that a food's index cannot be taken into account on its own. In fact, it can drop if mixed with other foods. 

On the other hand, you'll need to banish sweets, fried fats and confectionery from your diet. Replace them with wholegrain cereals, sweet potatoes or steamed vegetables.

Tip: add spices to your recipes to give your dishes extra flavor.


Many athletes, often beginners, have a tendency to completely eliminate the fats in their dry meals.

This is a mistake, because lipids are precious allies for your health, both for your heart and your hormonal health. However, make sure you only consume essential fats.

For good lipids, turn to oily fish, avocado, oilseeds and vegetable oils.

The recommended intake during the dry period is 0.5 to 1 gram per kilo of body weight, or 25 to 30 % of your total calorie intake. 

More generally, we recommend reducing your consumption of processed foods and other industrial products (foods rich in refined sugar, pastries, ready-made meals, alcohol, soft drinks, fast foods, etc.). Instead, stick to a simple diet, based on natural products such as fruits and vegetables.

Step 5: Setting up your dry diet

Choosing the right food

What to eat to dry out? This is another frequently asked question.

As mentioned above, choose foods that are as unprocessed as possible. And when you do buy processed products, choose those with the shortest possible list of ingredients.

Secondly, you should know that certain foods are considered to be natural fat burners. Of course, they're not compulsory when you're on a diet. But they can help you lose weight faster.

Fat-burning foods are very low-calorie. As a result, they are unlikely to increase your body fat. Artichokes, lemons, grapefruit, apples, pineapples, celery, parsley and papaya are all excellent additions to your diet.

The same is true of satiating foods, as they help you feel full and satisfied. satiety and stop feeling hungry. These are generally high-fiber foods, such as fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, nuts or seeds. There is a satiety index (SI) that lets you know whether a food is satiating or not.

Finally, other foods have stimulating properties that are essential for boosting the body's caloric expenditure. These include guarana, coffee, tea and all products with a high caffeine content.

Finally, don't forget the importance of a good hydrationwith at least 2 liters of water a day.

2 sample menus for your tummy dryer

To help you achieve your goals, here's how 2 dry food menus to 1,500 calories a day, easy to implement.

Menu 1

  • Breakfast: 20 grams of skyr or 0 % fromage frais, with 40 grams of wholemeal bread, an apple and an egg (tip: cut your apple into pieces, then mix it with your skyr and cinnamon).
  • Morning snack: 5 grams of dried apricots, with 45 grams of tuna and 5 grams of almonds.
  • Lunch: 200 grams of green vegetables cooked with a small amount of olive oil (1 teaspoon), 100 grams of turkey breast and 1 yoghurt 0 % (tip: add herbes de Provence for flavor).
  • Afternoon snack: 5 grams of Brazil nuts with 1 banana. You can also opt for a bowl cake if you wish.
  • Dinner: 200 grams of vegetables cooked in a small amount of rapeseed oil, with 60 grams of brown or basmati rice, and 50 grams of red meat.
A plate of chicken fillets and green beans makes an excellent dry meal.
In the dry, don't hesitate to spice up your recipes with a few spices.

Menu 2

  • Breakfast: 50 grams of rolled oats, with 200 grams of fromage frais 0 %, 10 ml of fish oil (for omega 3) and 25 grams of casein.
  • Morning snack: 20 grams whey protein powder.
  • Lunch: a portion of raw vegetables accompanied by olive, walnut or rapeseed oil, with 125 grams of lean meat, a plate of vegetables, 50 grams of pasta or basmati rice and a seasonal fruit.
  • Dinner: tomatoes, 3 whole eggs, a portion of vegetables, a piece of fruit and 150 grams of cottage cheese

For more dry recipes without frustration, discover my e-book "Muscle your dishes".


And the cheat meals in all this? 

I recommend that you include one cheat meal a week in your diet. food program. This will keep you motivated and boost your metabolism.

Choose healthy cheat meals rather than fast food or sweets. I suggest 4 healthy and delicious cheat meal ideas in this article.

Should I take dietary supplements?

There are many weight-loss supplements on the market. But these food supplements are they really indispensable?

The answer is no. 

If you're wondering how to lose body fat, there's no magic bullet. Successful weight loss depends essentially on 3 factors: diet, training and sleep.

The action of supplements is only very slight. In fact, it's a big mistake to think that such products can replace a good diet.

But some can help you dry. These include protein powder. They have been created to cover your daily protein requirements, without having to consume solid foods that would also provide fat or carbohydrates.

The advantage of this form of protein is that it's more economical and convenient than conventional animal protein sources. In any case, they are in no way intended to replace regular meals. Consuming them once a day, as a snack for example, is more than sufficient.

Personally, I use pure native whey isolate from Prozisbecause it is of excellent quality. It provides over 20 grams of protein per dose.

With regard to fat-burning productsTheir mode of action is similar to that of a fat-burning food. They stimulate the metabolism and increase the body's caloric expenditure. Ingesting them encourages the evacuation of fat accumulated by the body.

However, don't assume that consuming a fat burner alone will help you dry out faster. Their effectiveness depends on many other factors, including your level of physical activity and the quality of your diet. Their role is above all to reduce the impact of low-calorie diet They will also help you avoid the feelings of fatigue that usually accompany slimming diets. Last but not least, these products are especially recommended at the end of a weight loss program, to help you shed those last few kilos.

Step 6: Build a customized training program

You may be tempted to change your training. In fact, you'll need a weight-training program weight loss. This is obvious, since during this period you need to reduce your calorie intake. So, how do you train during a weight loss period?

The training plan

Program at least 3 strength training sessions per week. If you are an experienced practitioner, 5 workouts would be an ideal volume.

In practice, weight training in the dry phase is not fundamentally different from weight gain.

2 bare-chested athletes doing bench presses in a weight room, the first ensuring the safety of the second.
No major upheavals to be expected on the training front during a dry spell!

Contrary to popular belief, it's not necessary to do long, fast sets with light loads. On the contrary, as this type of training promotes endurance, it is less effective for limit muscle wasting.

It is therefore preferable to heavy work to maintain your strength and muscle tone. For greater effectiveness, include intensification techniques such as supersets, bisets, trisets or dropsets. You can also slightly reduce the recovery time between sets.

The bulk of your sessions should be made up ofbasic exercises (bench press, squat, pull-ups, deadlift, etc.). These movements are complemented by isolation exercises, ensuring that all muscle groups are involved.

Plan on 4 to 5 sets per exercise, with a number of repetitions between 6 and 12.

Do you dream of having a superhero physique in just 12 weeks?

Should I do HIIT?

Unlike mass gain, a weight loss training program can also include HIIT (High interval intensity training).

This type of training is based on an alternation between a high-intensity cardio effort and active recovery phases.

A HIIT workout lasts an average of 15 to 20 minutes. This method is generally reserved for experienced athletes, and is totally contraindicated for overweight or obese people.

HIIT has the ability to help you lose body fat, especially as it allows you to continue to burn calories even hours after the session has ended.

Beware: HIIT cardio is very intense and not suitable for everyone. It can be a source of muscular or tendon injury if movements are poorly executed. Limit yourself to 2 or 3 HIIT sessions per week.

What about moderate cardio?

The cardio exercises light or low-intensity can also be integrated into a dry program. 

However, there are a few rules to follow in order to limit muscle loss. It's advisable not to exceed a pace of 60 to 70 % of your maximum heart rate (MHR), as this is the best frequency for losing body fat.

In addition, thecardio training should be limited to 30 to 45 minutes per session, to limit the catabolic effect of this type of effort.

Do your cardio sessions 2 to 4 times a week, either directly after your weight training session, or during a dedicated session.

Step 7: Track the progress of your dry run

What is the duration of a dry run in weight training?

The ideal duration is 3 months. But this is purely theoretical, as it depends on the individual and their starting body fat percentage. 

On the other hand, a dry run should not last too long, as this could have harmful effects on the body.

To find out if your program is working, simply monitor your weight. belly circumference. This is a very good indicator. You should therefore keep a close eye on the ratio between waist circumference and weight lost. 

In fact, when you lose 300 grams of your body weight, ideally you should also lose one centimetre of waist circumference. If you lose a lot of weight, but your waist circumference doesn't decrease accordingly, this means you're losing muscle mass, but not enough fat mass.

Looking at yourself in the mirror is also a good way to see how you've changed. Hence the importance of taking photos before, during and after your blow-dry.

In the end, the best indicator of good dryness remains the measure your body fat percentage. To do this, you can use an impedance meter scale or skinfold forceps.

A man measuring his belly fat with skinfold forceps.
Regularly measure your body fat percentage to assess your progress.

Unless you are very overweight, you should aim for a loss of around 2 kilos per month.

Depending on your results, regularly readjust your calorie intake by reducing the amount of carbohydrates until you reach your target.


Now you know how to do a dry run. Once this period is over, you'll look much better. muscular and more voluminous. Your muscle definition will be much better, simply because you've lost weight and retained your muscle mass.

As you can see, your diet is the key to success. But a dry diet should not be synonymous with deprivation and frustration. The aim is not to lose weight fast, but to eat better and lose fat intelligently. And to take it a step further, here's 10 tips for never going hungry during a lean phase.

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  1. Hi Julien; the great thing is that we are learning every day with your advice! We all hope your recovery goes well now that we FINALLY found what you had! Thank you Montpellier!!! The road is still long for you but you are very well surrounded and you have a morale to all tests, it is what makes your strength! Courage to you julien

  2. Very interesting creatine in dry form, what do you think?
    I ordered the multivitamin opti men from on you advise to take it for breakfast, lunch and after the session?
    Thank you and get well soon. Can't wait to get back?

  3. As a practitioner for 3 years, I find your article great for losing weight. It makes it clearer to follow the diet. I'm going to take the Pro Dryness Ebook to put it into practice and follow the training program that goes with it. I will come back to you to share the results. See you soon.

  4. Well the article I heard that you can't gain muscle and dry out at the same time is that what you confirm
    Here is my problem, I am normal, a little muscular but I have fat on my belly only what should I do according to you

  5. Another great article julien. I really admire all the hard work you put into helping your community achieve their goals. Your background is really complete and I'm not surprised that you have so much knowledge with all the studies you have done and especially with your huge experience. It's really great to have someone like you in the fitness and bodybuilding community. A huge thank you

  6. Julian greeting
    Already I want to tell you that your articles are interesting and lead to reflection. Hence my next question. How do I know if 3 months of drying is enough? Can we continue to dry if we have not reached our goals or should we take a break? And why is that?
    thank you for your answer

  7. This article is just wonderful. It's a perfect fit for me. Thank you very much julien and continue all the good you do for us.

  8. hello julien
    Wanting to find bodybuilding related content when I first started. And I immediately fell in love with what you were doing, with your professionalism and with your personality. Since then, I haven't missed a video and don't hesitate to watch some of them again to fine-tune my workouts, get ideas for snacks (the protein bar is a real treat and easy to make) and diet tips. Not to mention your invaluable macro calculator! 
    Today, I reached the first stage of my transformation. I went from 22% of MG at 72kg to 10% for 68kg. And all this in one year! But this is only the beginning of a great adventure and thanks to you I have become a muscle addict! And when I feel down, a video or a story from Mister Julien Q and the sharing of good vibes and energy puts me back on track to continue moving towards my goals! 
    So for all that, thank you!
    You do a remarkable job, and you are an accomplished athlete! You command respect because of your fighting spirit and you never let yourself be defeated despite the ups and downs of life, you always follow through on your ideas. A true example that everyone should learn from! 
    I look forward to meeting you one day, and why not share a session here or in Miami who knows... After all, dreams are made to be realized. 
    Xavier C 

    1. Thank you Xavier for this message! I'm glad I could contribute to your transformation. I look forward to meeting you in Miami or at a fitness show in France.

  9. Good evening Mr. Quaglierini
    I came across your article because I am a subscriber to your newsletter and well, first of all, thank you for taking the time to explain to people who want to lose fat, it's very appreciable. Is your program only for professionals like you or not? I'm already a certain age (44) and I'd like to start because I've never paid much attention to my food consumption. Could you please answer me?

    1. Hello Denis. Thank you for your comment. My programs are not only made for professionals but for serious bodybuilding enthusiasts of all ages.
      If the diet is not optimized for you then it will be difficult to progress, that's why programs that include a big nutrition part will definitely help you.

  10. good article julien y a plus qu'a prendre le programme de sèche et voir si la théorie et la pratique nous amène à définir le volume musculaire durement acquis lors de la prise de masse

  11. Hi Julien, very interesting article, I learned a lot of things about the dryer, thanks to you, you are the best, keep it up.

  12. As usual, an excellent article ... "La sèche" what a dilemma. Simple when you're between 20 and 30 but much more complicated after 50. In addition to my 5 workouts a week, I add 2 HIITs a week at the end of my training during the dry period, without exceeding 1h30 of training or 30' of punching bag. Only low-glycemic index carbohydrates and compulsory calculation of the "glycemic load". No dietary supplements like fat burners, but boosters that will enable me to keep up with more intense training. As I'm a naturopath, I add essential oils to boost my hormonal production and a little Phyto. As I'm a flexitarian (just eggs and fish), it's a bit complicated, but I add isolate or native in dry periods and of course BCCA all year round. Thank you Julien for this article, always well documented as usual... I'm 57 YEARS OLD, 175/90 kgs, 14 mg and my motto: who can do the most...can do the most....NE JAMAIS RIEN LACHER!!!!!

  13. It's very interesting, thank you! But I just had a question, when we go from a mass gain to a dry is it necessary to go through a maintenance diet or not?

    1. Thank you! Not necessarily no. For the opposite yes it is mandatory but from mass gain to dry it is not useful.

      1. Thank you, very interesting but a question: at 58 years old, is this advice valid and can we still obtain a respectable muscle definition or do we need to adapt?

        1. Of course, I have students of your age and even 71 years old for the oldest and they manage to reach a good muscle definition with a diet and an adapted training.

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