Nutrition for Newbies - Part 1

by Christian Thibaudeau | 11/05/07

 Diet Strategy
 Bodybuilding

"Bodybuilding is at least 80% nutrition" - Vince Gironda

"Nutrition is 100%, training is 100%, recovery is 100%" - Dorian Yates

"If you're not growing, it's likely your diet, not your training, that's holding
you back" - Dr. John Berardi

I remember when I was getting into serious Olympic lifting training: after
every good workout I would reward myself with five burgers from a local
fast food joint. And this wasn't only an occasional thing, either. I ate like
this pretty much all the time. Not surprisingly, despite being pretty strong, I
basically looked like a pile of fecal matter, or the Michelin man's (fatter)

I trained hard, sometimes twice a day. I took every supplement known to
man, yet I stilljust looked like a fat guy who lifted weights. Which is, of
course, exactly what I was. Why, oh why was I not a lean, muscular
Adonis? Was it a genetic curse? Nope, just old-fashioned lousy dietary

One of my former clients, a 6'1" 165-pound hockey player, had the
opposite problem: he would train like a madman (I made sure of that),
and actually made some decent strength gains (he once surprised the NY
Rangers strength coach at rookie camp by easily power cleaning 275
pounds), but he could not make an ounce of muscle stick to his bones. I
suspected insufficient eating. He told me that he was eating a lot, so I had
him keep a food diary of everything he ate for a week.

His eating patterns were exactly as I suspected: he was eating like a bird
all day, followed by one big meal in the evening. The big meal made him
feel so full that he really believed he was eating a lot, but his average
daily caloric intake was only around 1700 calories per day. This was a
young guy with a lightning-fast metabolism, who was training twice a day
(one weight session, one track session) four times a week. 1700 calories
was barely enough to keep him alive, let alone allow him to gain size! I
changed his diet, and he went from 165 to 190 pounds in less than a

In some ways it's even harder than training: you can usually motivate yourself to train hard for an hour or so. You have to stay committed and disciplined 24 hours a day. knowing the basics isn't nearly enough. then your nutrition plan (assuming you even have a plan) is not adequate. With that in mind. IF YOU'RE GOING TO EAT LIKE A BIRD. The moral of these stories is that if you're training hard and not gaining muscle. . hard work. Diet is different. If you have the opposite problem of training hard and not being able to lose fat. Sticking to a muscle-friendly diet is hard. you won't get the results you want. Of course. a few times a week. then the reason is probably the same: your diet sucks! No matter what. if your nutritional approach isn't optimal for your objective. EAT LIKE THIS BIRD. seven days a week. this article will show you the basics of proper nutrition for body composition (gaining muscle and/or losing fat).

I hope to give you enough information so that you will be able to read a nutrition article or plan a nutrition program without feeling like you're lost in a foreign country. or muscular anabolism (from another Greek word meaning "to build up" or "ascend. this nutrient is of primary importance. You don't need to . but the psychological price is high. minerals. Protein is broken down into amino acids in the body." For bodybuilders and strength athletes. then by all means. because proteins are the building blocks of. and these amino acids are turned into muscle via a process called protein synthesis. that half- gallon tub of chocolate ice cream starts to look mighty friendly. muscle tissue.Controlling your cravings and urges can be painful. The word "protein" comes from a Greek word meaning "first" or "of primary importance. It sucks. among other things. That said. What Are We Talking About? Understanding how to plan an adequate body composition or muscle- building diet requires a basic understanding of a few basic concepts. I know. Rather. Around 20-25% of the muscle content is protein. 70% is water and other fluids. After a hard day." Proteins (amino acids) make up the major portion of the solid part of a muscle. Believe me. intramuscular fatty acids and other elements. and the remaining 5-10% comprise muscle glycogen. when you're tired and stressed out. Protein Each gram of protein provides four calories. if you're really willing to take the extra step toward achieving your physique goals. Proper nutrition has its rewards. My objective here is not to give you a thorough course on each individual component of a proper nutrition program. read on.

Once you've reached the maximal amount of protein that your body can use to build muscle. the more protein you eat. insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). The hormones mainly responsible for stimulating this progress are testosterone (the male hormone). and cortisol. No protein. Studies have shown over and over that a higher protein intake is associated with a more positive nitrogen balance and a higher rate of protein synthesis. insulin. Testosterone directly increases protein synthesis. we'd all be 250-pound shredded behemoths! Even the girls! Sadly. Hormones are chemical messengers that run through our body. However. Protein synthesis (using protein to build muscle tissue) is highly dependent on our hormones. doesn't it? I mean. the more protein you can turn into muscle. the more muscle you build. That sucks. and thus allows you to make good use of the protein you just ate. Exactly how much protein is needed for maximum growth? Good question. no muscle. responsible for making the body "do things. wouldn't it be great if all we had to do to build muscle was consume tons of protein? In no time at all. it's not that simple. This is why some bodybuilders and other athletes use injectable testosterone or .memorize the proportions. we are limited by our own natural biochemistry when it comes to being able to use protein (amino acids) to build muscle. just master the point that protein is the most important nutrient for muscular growth. In other words. growth hormone (GH). any additional protein you swallow willnotincrease your rate of muscular growth. The more testosterone you have in your body. At some point we run smack into the law of diminishing returns." One of these "things" is synthesizing protein.

Insulin is often said to be the most anabolic (muscle-building) hormone. but each of them have their own degree of responsiveness to this hormone. The main storage units are the muscles. In an ideal world our muscle cells would be super sensitive. and our fat cells only slightly sensitive. liver. Well. they increase their body's capacity to use protein for building muscle. its sub-hormone IGF-1 is highly anabolic. the more sensitive your muscle cells are. This is because its main function is to tell the body's "storage units" to open up. if you're a child. What about GH. Insulin opens up those storage units. meaning that it only increases your capacity to build muscle by a small amount.synthetic hormones (steroids): by artificially jacking up their hormonal level. the easier it will open up and store nutrients. but GH is only mildly anabolic in adults. Basically. it does. and fat cells. IGF and GH are produced in bursts (IGF production following a burst of GH production). This would surely facilitate muscle gain and minimize fat gain. which will allow them to build muscle faster than others. Some people have naturally higher T levels than others. etc. especially if they consume more protein. and the "stuff" to be stored are the nutrients we eat (protein. and this can also become a limiting factor when it comes to building muscle. fat. As with other hormones. and testosterone is the major limiting factor.). carbs. you'd better not be) then your body has a limited capacity to use protein for muscle-building. The more sensitive a unit is. you ask? One would certainly imagine that a substance called "human growth hormone" would make humans grow. pull in "stuff" and store it. But the fact remains: if you're not using anabolic or androgenic steroids (and as a newbie. the . However. the amount produced varies from person to person.

cortisol is a hormone that inhibits muscle-building. which in turn can be transformed into sugar (glucose) by the liver to be readily used for energy. but for now just master the point that the more sensitive to insulin your muscle cells are. simply feeding yourself tons and tons of protein will not necessarily mean gaining more muscle. It's the opposite of anabolism. the greater your blubber-building potential will be! We'll come back to this concept later on. Well. This often happens in individuals who are stressed out: cortisol is a stress hormone: it's released when stress levels go up. It's what's called a catabolic hormone. and therefore the more you can use to build new muscle tissue. because it helps with energy production. not building. since their body is in a constant state of breakdown. This is what we callcatabolism (sounds like "cannibalism"). However. Actually. Its role is to mobilize nutrients (get them out of their storage units) so that the body can make fuel from them. Overfeeding protein can also have another downside: if protein is the dominant nutrient in your diet. The more sensitive your fats cells are. it can actually decrease muscle mass. you run the risk of your body adapting to the use of protein as its main . the body stays in a catabolic (breakdown) mode instead of being in an anabolic (building) mode. cortisol is necessary during a workout. This also includes muscle: cortisol can break down muscle tissue into amino acids. as well as with the capacity to cope with physical stress. if cortisol levels are chronically elevated after a workout. Not only that. it's generally a Bad Thing. As you can see. So it would seem that cortisol is a bad hormone. and for a bodybuilder. the more amino acids you can store in them.greater your muscle-building potential will be. Finally. yes and no. Individuals who are under a lot of stress will thus have a harder time using a lot of protein to build muscle.

your body will burn more protein for energy. So how much is that. It can be stored in any of the three main storage units of the body: in the muscle and liver as glycogen but also as body fat. The main function of carbs in the body is to provide a quick source of fuel for physical and mental work. and will thus have less of it available for muscle-building purposes.5 grams per pound of body weight. milk and cheese. More than that will probably not lead to any additional gains. However. poultry. this is an individual thing. shellfish. fish. The trick is to increase your protein intake until you reach the maximum amount for optimum muscular growth. Carbohydrates (carbs) Carbs are the first of the two "energy" nutrients. Each gram of carbs provide 4 calories. Protein is found primarily in animal products such meat.25 and 1. eggs. And to insure you get enough quality protein. If that happens. check intoMetabolic Drive®. exactly? As you probably understand by now. most natural (non-steroid using) trainees will benefit from a protein intake between 1. .energy source.

In other words. it's hard to "force" the body to use fat for fuel. can help drive protein and carbs into the muscle (a Good Thing) but it can also stimulate fat storage (a Bad Thing). means "breaking the fast"). if you eat a lot of carbs. Carbs also cause the greatest insulin spike of all three main macronutrients (protein. fat loss is almost impossible. that the amount of carbs you should have at these times will vary greatly depending on your goal and degree of leanness. and right after a workout. so if sufficient amounts of carbs are present in the diet. while countering the actions of cortisol. . the breakfast insulin spike will help halt the catabolic (muscle wasting) state brought on by eight or more hours of fasting ("breakfast. This will initiate the recovery and building process immediately. After you wake up. Remember also that when insulin levels are elevated it puts your body into "storage" mode. So under certain circumstances elevated insulin is a good thing (when you need to shuttle in nutrients to your muscles ASAP) but most of the time it's not. you recall. This means that as long as insulin levels are high. Keep in mind. carbs. your blubber will likely stay right where it is.Carbs are the body's preferred energy source under most circumstances. the elevation of blood sugar levels (carbs are sugar) is the main stimulus for insulin release. Furthermore. fat)." of course. it's next to impossible under normal circumstances to stimulate the release of fatty acids from the fat stores. In fact. as long as insulin levels are elevated. The only two times you should have a lot of carbs (and thus spike insulin) are at breakfast. After a workout. however. the insulin spike will rapidly deliver the nutrients to the muscle. This is both a pro and a con: insulin.

)  Occasional carb sources: Other fruits . it will also prevent fat use effectively. spinach. every carbohydrate from pure sugar to whole wheat is turned into glucose in the body. While not always perfectly accurate. Carbohydrates come in many varieties. But no need to be super scientific about it. Your insulin level remains elevated for up to 4 or 5 hours after a carb-rich meal. Every food is given a specific GI number. cucumbers. for that matter) elevates blood sugar is measured by the glycemic index (GI). raspberries. celery. etc. The speed at which a carbohydrate (or any food. lettuce. turning you into a fat storing machine. asparagus. the following rule applies:  Must-have carb sources: green veggies (broccoli. etc. Without going into too much detail. carbohydrates aren'tessential the way many amino acids and fatty acids are essential. Although carbs are your body's preferred fuel source. a high sugar meal will not only directly add fat to your body. the faster it elevates blood sugar levels. If your goal is body composition in general.)  Can-have carb sources: other veggies (except potatoes). Any other time is not a good time to consume a significant amount of carbs. as the insulin elevation will have a negative impact on body composition. The main difference is the speed at which it's turned into glucose. In other words. strawberries. it does give us a clue as to how much a food will affect insulin production. This means that you could function properly even on a diet of zerocarbs: the body would adapt to other fuel sources and you'd do just fine. The faster it turns into glucose. the greater the insulin spike will be (because more glucose will enter the blood stream at once). which can bring fat loss to a standstill for this period of time. and the higher the number is. berries (blueberries. blackberries.

cookies.. yams  Should-avoid carb sources: white bread. . white pasta.THE BAD. oatmeal  Must-avoid carb source: pastries. cream of wheat.. whole wheat bread.. ... candy and any other junk sugary food Carbohydrate sources: THE GOOD. potatoes. whole wheat pasta.. Rare carb sources: brown rice.

especially the all-important DHA and EPA. . omega-3 deficiency is very common in North America. mostly because fish consumption is generally very low.. have several benefits when it comes to being healthy and building a muscular physique. Let me first mention that fat is not evil! At least not all fats are.. especially when exercising. However.  Increase the body's use of fat for fuel.AND THE UGLY. especially if it's rich in animal protein sources. Most people get plenty of omega-6 from their diet. The "good" fats are the essential fatty acids: fatty acids that your body can't produce itself and that are needed for optimal function. Fat Each gram of fat provides 9 calories. Omega-3 Fatty Acids:  Increase insulin sensitivity. These essential fatty acids fall into two broad categories: omega-3 and omega-6. . which has positive effects on both muscle building (facilitating nutrient transport to the muscle) and fat loss (reducing the amount of nutrients stored as fat). These fats have to come from your diet or supplementation program. Omega-3 fatty acids.

 Improve cardiovascular health by improving blood flow. Obviously. less testosterone equals less muscle. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Your Basal Metabolic rate is the amount of energy that your body "burns" in a 24-hour period while doing absolutely nothing. If you're not getting at least 20% of your total calories from fat. If you were seated on your couch. this wont be 100% accurate. And as you know by now. testosterone. or guzzle quarts of heavy cream. Improve nervous system recovery/regeneration and function. I'm just reminding you that cutting your fat intake too much will seriously sabotage your muscle-building goals. Cholesterol is the raw material for the production of our favorite hormone. watching TV for 24 hours. reducing triglycerides ("bad" fatty acids). D. fat consumption has other benefits. you might develop deficiencies in one or several of these vitamins. Fat is also needed for the proper absorption of several vitamins (A. It's possible to estimate your BMR from a formula. the one supplement that everybody should be taking. These formulas are: . as well as the formation of plaque and blood clots  Reduce inflammation and promote healing. your testosterone production can go down. E and K). I'm not recommending that you go gulp handfuls of lard and butter. One of these main benefits is the increase in testosterone production. you would burn the equivalent of your BMR in calories. which are needed for optimal health. Beside the benefits associated with omega-3 fatty acids. We'll discuss the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in more detail in the supplement portion of this series when we talk about fish oil. but it gives you a pretty good idea of what your body needs to function. If your fat intake is too low.

his DEE would be around 2324 calories per day (1453 x 1. some walking)  1.7 x age) Let's take.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x 29) BMR = 66 + 1287 + 297 — 197 BMR = 1453 calories This man would burn 1453 calories in a 24-hour period.4  light activity (no training. . Men:  BMR = 66 + (13.7 x height in cm) — (4. just to maintain his physical status quo (neither gaining nor losing weight).0  very high activity (twice-a-day training.8 x age)  Women:  BMR = 655 + (9. while doing absolutely nothing.2  very light activity (desk job. 5'9" (175 cm) and 207 pounds (94 kg): BMR = 66 + (13. sports + training. but training on a regular basis)  1. or the amount of calories you burn in a day.0  sedentary (do nothing all day but eat potato chips and watch TV)  1. or training + a very demanding job) So in our example. no training. your actual Daily Energy Expenditure (DEE).6  moderate activity (most of us: a physically undemanding job.8  high activity (daily training plus a somewhat physically active job or lifestyle)  2. will vary. This means that he needs to consume 2324 calories per day.7 x 175) — (6. job might require some light physical labor)  1.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) — (6.  1. a 29-year-old man.7 x 94) + (1.6). if our 1453-calorie subject is moderately active. You can estimate this amount by multiplying your BMR by an "activity" factor. for example. Depending on your daily activity.

Another way to establish your DEE is to record everything you eat for a week. It's better than guessing. If you neither gained nor lost any weight in that 7-day period.Part 2 by Christian Thibaudeau | 11/06/07 . It's still a workable formula. this formula tends to underestimate your caloric expenditure by around 10%.You should remember. although a bit more precise. If you're a mesomorph (naturally very muscular and lean). for example. again. then you basically ate at your DEE. This method. then calculate your caloric intake. so most people should stick to the calculation and adjust their caloric intake depending on how their body is responding. though it might require some tinkering and tweaking. that these are only approximate figures. can be a real pain in the ass. but it's only really precise with "normal" individuals. Nutrition for Newbies .

along with some incredibly useful info on fatty acids. and the basal metabolic rate (BMR). Now he's going to fill your belly and mind with 14 nutritional nuggets and give some concrete advice on how to accomplish almost any physique goal you might have.Tags:  Diet Strategy In part 1 of Nutrition for Newbies. Coach Thibs gave you the rundown on the big 3 macronutrients. cortisol. Why-o-why didn't we have something like this when we were first starting out? — The Editors Nutrition Nuggets . He also told you which foods to eat and which foods to avoid.

1 – Measure and write down everything. you must eat enough to stimulate maximum growth. If your goal is to build muscle. overeat and you'll pile on more fat than muscle. If you drastically undereat.Here are some additional nutritional guidelines that will apply under most circumstances. A proper nutrition program is about quality andquantity. These simple things will allow you to get a better grasp of this dieting thing. you risk losing muscle and strength. By doing so. it gets tedious after a while. You can buy the FitDay software to help you record and calculate this. and there are only so many hours in . when really you're getting only 2000 or less (or you could do the opposite and drastically underestimate your intake). I can understand if you don't want to do this year round. but not so great that you end up eating away your muscle. at least in the beginning. carbs. In an ideal world. you would always calculate your food intake to know exactly what you're getting. You should eat a certain amount of good food to meet your needs and build that great body. how can you tell you're where you need to be? That's why you need to record the food you eat on a daily basis and calculate your nutritional intake. it's fairly easy to make adjustments rapidly. How can you do this if you don't even know how many calories and grams of protein. and fat you're getting each day? You might think you're getting 3000 calories per day. but not so much that you become fat. If you don't have at least a good idea of where you're at. and attain optimal physique transformation results. In both cases there's a constant: you have to ingest an amount of calories within a certain range to get the results you want. If you prefer to get ripped you'll need to have a big enough caloric deficit that you'll tap into your fat stores for energy.

do it for at least the first month of your "body composition eating" phase. you'll get a pretty accurate idea of how many calories and nutrients your favorite foods contain. Post-workout carbs in the form of a shake like Mag-10® are also acceptable). . 3 – The less body fat you carry. If you're in a mass gaining phase. and 3300 to 3600 if you're trying to add muscle mass. this doesn't mean that you should consume no carbs at all (although for fat loss purposes this is a very effective way to eat).the day. but at least minimize carb intake. Now. Leaner individuals have better insulin sensitivity. As mentioned earlier. If you're in a fat loss phase. the more carbs you can eat without gaining fat. and more will lead to more fat than muscle gain). At the very least. So if your DEE is 3000 calories. Carb intake should thus remain on the low end unless you're at less than 10% body fat. If you decide to keep carbs in your diet. be sure to consume only "good carbs" (veggies and some fruits. you should consume between 2400 and 2700 calories per day if you're trying to lose fat. especially berries. However. the "safest" times to eat carbs are at breakfast and right after a workout: at these times your muscles are naturally more insulin sensitive and are more likely to store those carbs in the muscle as glycogen rather than as fat. 2 – Use the 10-20 rule. consume between 10 and 20% more calories than your DEE (you don't need more than that to grow optimally. Be sure also that you eat them at the appropriate times. you should consume between 10 and 20% fewer calories than your DEE (a greater deficit than that will lead to muscle loss). so they don't tend to store carbs as fat as easily as fatter individuals.

If you're fat (by body comp standards) at 15% body fat or more. and if you're under 10% you can have a full cheat day every 7 days or half a cheat day every 5 days. Eating a good diet will always seem like a chore. requiring forced discipline and the feeling of sacrifice. they might feel like eating junk later in the day. The closer a food is to its natural state.4 – Think whole food. wait 14 to 21 days before having a "cheat meal. 7 – Do not make up for an unplanned binge by skipping meals. Under most circumstances. if it comes in a box or a can. If you cheat too often. so they don't eat anything at all before that (basically fasting for almost the whole day) thinking that this will prevent fat gain. and then either not eat for the rest of the day. . Even worse. 6 – Reloading/Cheating >Once you're well set in your good eating habits. you should limit yourself to 1-3 cheat meals (half a day) every 10-14 days. If you're between 10 and 15% you can have that half day cheat every 7 days. you should have a "reloading/cheating" period lasting anywhere from one meal to one full day every 5-14 days depending on your degree of leanness. or become extra drastic the next day. 5 – Cheat Meal When you start to eat a muscle-friendly diet." It takes at least this long to get used to any new pattern of eating. the better it is for you. A lot of people will eat an unplanned crappy meal. instead of becoming a way of life that is enjoyable. you'll stick with your old habits. feel guilty about it. This holds true for both health and body composition purposes. don't eat it.

" One poor dummy asked. Coach? Are bagels okay?" I thought that coach P would rupture a blood vessel. or if it's not a green vegetable. and you're actually more likely to store the junk in your trunk than if you had not starved yourself. and do your best not to let it happen again. swim or run. Don't compound a mistake by trying to counter it with another mistake.This is just stupid." This will create a vicious cycle: by starving yourself you'll actually increase the feeling of hunger and you'll have huge junk food cravings. go back to your regular diet immediately. You then might give in to those cravings by bingeing. He once again explained his basic diet principle: "If it doesn't fly. this will make you feel guilty so you'll once again starve yourself. live with it. "What about bagels. Not eating for a while (starving yourself for 10 hours) before eating a junk meal will put your body in fat storage mode. especially if you decide to starve yourself the day after a binge to "make up for it. . After an unplanned cheat. Accept your mistake. "Do bagels fly? Do they run or swim? Are they green? No? Well. these two mistakes are worse than the binge itself. Skipping meals after an unplanned binge is no better. In fact. but he merely asked. etc. then don't eat them!" 9 – It's important to eat a wide variety of foods. you don't eat it. 8 – Poliquin's Axiom A while ago I had the opportunity to listen to Coach Poliquin give a presentation in which he talked about diet. Furthermore. starving yourself is likely to make you eat even more crap because you'll be more hungry than if you had eaten your normal meals.

even mildly. gravy).If you over-consume one specific food. to get my protein. you'll eventually develop an allergy or intolerance to it. They gave us 5 food item tickets for every cafeteria meal (3 per day). When you're intolerant to a food. Hardly any of the food items had any protein. Each ticket gave us one of every food item available. It was held in a remote part of the province and we were confined to the competition site and our dormitory for a week. I was coaching a weightlifting team at the Quebec Games. For most people that would be one drink. side dishes (veggies. . so for a week I would ask for five milk cartons. Double ungood. and it can also facilitate the storage of fat on your abdomen. cortisol can lead to catabolism (muscle breakdown and loss). a main course (normally pasta). A few years ago. but even a mild one (that you might not even feel) can have negative impacts on your body. eating it represents a stress on the body. As you may recall. a desert and a piece of fruit. So when you eat that food it will raise cortisol levels. every day. By the end of the week I had become severely lactose intolerant! You might not develop a full blown food allergy. for example if you eat chicken 4 times a day. three times a day.

This is especially important for protein sources. Don't limit yourself to dry broiled chicken breasts: eat beef. infrequent ones. since various foods have different amino acid profiles. GRILLED ELK STEAK W ITH GREEN SALAD AND SAUTEED EGGPLANT. buffalo. . CHICKEN JUST CAN'T COMPETE. The bottom line is that for body composition purposes and your health. Your body can better absorb nutrients when you ingest them in small but frequent doses. really. I really thought that most people these days knew this already. Eating smaller. venison. pork.. and it facilitates a positive nutrient-partitioning effect (more nutrients stored in the muscle and less in the fat cells). ostrich. salmon. you get the idea.. and staves off those hunger pangs that hit you when you haven't eaten for a while. 10 – Small and frequent feedings are better than large. kangaroo. It's quite simple. but when I speak to new clients I'm always baffled that many of them don't. keeps you from getting bloated from stuffing yourself. So rotate your food choices. more frequent meals prevents energy swings and big crashes by maintaining a more stable blood sugar level (no big ups or downs).

When no protein is available. Chronically elevated cortisol levels make it all but impossible to build muscle. The more you can absorb and use. or even more. you've been without food for 8-12 hours. 11 – Eat protein at every feeding. it stops muscle growth in its tracks. and also causes abdominal fat gain. First of all. This requires eating a good breakfast. skipping breakfast has another downside: it has been shown that those who skip breakfast tend to have a much . breakfast is the most important meal of the day (yeah. you need to break that fast as soon as possible. When it comes to losing fat. make sure you eat at least some protein every time you eat. Frequent protein feedings allow for optimal protein absorption. depending on the time of your last meal. it's necessary to break the nightly fast: when you wake up. 12 – Eat breakfast. the more muscle you'll build. This leads to a catabolic (muscle wasting) state.smaller but more frequent feedings (5 to 8 meals a day) are the way to go. the muscle-building process comes to a halt. They also optimize muscle building by allowing you to have a constant supply of amino acids available. I know you've heard it before. Protein is the building block of muscle. When it comes to body composition purposes. or at the very least. To maximize growth. Bad news. To maximize muscle-building. because you're going to hear it again). Failure to do so will keep the muscle growth process halted and it might even lead to muscle loss due to an elevation of the stress hormone cortisol (starvation is yet another form of stress). Shut up.

muscle growth cannot occur before the recovery process starts. skipping breakfast stimulates your hunger during the rest of the day.greater daily caloric intake. To speed up the onset of that process you must bring nutrients to the muscle ASAP. having a good-sized breakfast drastically reduces hunger and food intake during the rest of the day. The second most important meal in your muscle-building day is the one right after you train. On the other hand. don't skip breakfast! 13 – Don't neglect the post-workout window of opportunity. The bottom line: if you want to be lean and muscular. leading to overeating. Simply put. In other words. .

but seem to respond best to a balanced approach. After a workout we have a 45 to 60 minute window of opportunity for enhanced muscle-building. so they can get growing immediately. Mesomorphs. whereas leaner individuals and natural ectomorphs ("skinny people") will do better on a higher carb intake. so it may take 2 or more hours before the nutrients are shipped to the muscle tissue. Have a post-workout shake. people who are naturally lean and muscular. So right after your workout you want to send protein and carbs (more or fewer carbs depending on your dieting phase) to your muscles by special delivery. fatter individuals and natural endomorphs ("husky people") will respond better to the low-carb approach. While a solid food is better than nothing right after your workout. Fast-absorbed nutrients in the form of a post-workout shake (Mag-10® for example. do well on all kinds of diets. Remember: real food is better than powder most of the time. and balanced diets where both fat and carbs provide a similar amount of energy. it's not what your muscles need. fat-dominant diets where carbs are minimized. Each type of diet can look something like this: . Best Diets for Losing Fat There are three major dieting strategies for fat loss: carb-dominant diets where fat is minimized. the faster you'll recover and the more muscle you'll build. which will be discussed more in depth in the supplement part of the series) can be available for muscle-building within 15-30 minutes. As a rule of thumb.The faster the necessary nutrients are delivered to the muscle. Solid food needs to be digested. except right after you train. Don't miss it.

25 to 1.5) for 1000 to 1200 calories  He now has 1200 to 1500 calories to "spend" in energetic nutrients (caloric intake minus protein calories)  Fat would be set at 1100 to 1400 calories (122 to 155 grams)  Carbs would be under 30 grams Low-Fat  Caloric intake is set at 10 to 20% under maintenance (DEE)  Protein is set at around 1.5 grams per pound of body weight  Fat comprise around 10 to 20% of energetic nutrients  Carbs comprise 80 to 90% of energetic nutrients If somebody is 200 pounds and has a DEE of 3000 calories it gives him:  A caloric intake of 2400 to 2700 calories  250 to 300 grams of protein (200 pounds x 1. Low-Carb  Caloric intake is set at 10 to 20% under maintenance (DEE)  Protein is set at around 1.5) for 1000 to 1200 calories  He now has 1200 to 1500 calories to "spend" in energetic nutrients (caloric intake minus protein calories)  Carbs would be set at around 1000 to 1350 calories (250 to 335 grams)  Fat would be set at 200 to 400 calories (around 40 to 50 grams) Balanced  Caloric intake is set at 10 to 20% under maintenance (DEE) .25 to 1.5 per pound of body weight  Fat comprise 90 to 100% of the energetic nutrients  Carbs comprise 10% or less of the energetic nutrients If somebody is 200 pounds and has a DEE of 3000 calories.25 to 1. it gives him:  A caloric intake of 2400 to 2700 calories  250 to 300g of protein (200 pounds x 1.25 to 1.

DEE of 3000 calories): Low-Carb  Caloric intake is set at 10 to 20% above maintenance (DEE)  Protein is set at around 1. an individual should eat the same way as if he were trying to lose fat.25 to 1. the best gains are achieved when one is eating clean year round. Protein is set at around 1. I find it idiotic when people resort to eating junk food just for the sake of "bulking up.25 to 1.5) for 1000 to 1200 calories  He now has 1200 to 1500 calories to "spend" in energetic nutrients (caloric intake minus protein calories)  Carbs would be set at around 600 to 750 calories or 150 to 185 grams  Fat would be set at around 600 to 750 calories or 65 to 85 grams Muscle Gain Advice In my expert opinion. but with an increased caloric intake (10-20% above DEE).5 grams per pound of body weight  Fat and carbs are both providing around 50% of the energetic nutrients  Fat and carbs should never be mixed in a single meal (only have protein + carbs or protein + fat meals. So let's take the same example as above (200 pounds.5 grams per pound of body weight  Fat comprise 90 to 100% of the energetic nutrients  Carbs comprise 10% or less of the energetic nutrients If somebody is 200 pounds and has a DEE of 3000 calories it gives him: . normally three of each) If somebody is 200 pounds and has a DEE of 3000 calories it gives him:  A caloric intake of 2400 to 2700 calories  250 to 300 grams of protein (200 pounds x 1." When attempting to build muscle.25 to 1.

25 to 1.25 to 1. A caloric intake of 3300 to 3600 calories  250 to 300 grams of protein (200 pounds x 1.25 to 1.25 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight  Fat and carbs are provide around 50% of the energetic nutrients  Fat and carbs should never be mixed in a meal (only have protein + carbs or protein + fat meals.5 grams per pound of body weight  Fat comprise around 10 to 20% of energetic nutrients  Carbs comprise 80 to 90% of energetic nutrients If somebody is 200 pounds and has a DEE of 3000 calories it gives him:  A daily caloric intake of 3300 to 3600 calories  250 to 300 grams of protein (200 pounds x 1.5) for 1000 to 1200 calories  2000 to 2600 calories to "spend" in energetic nutrients (caloric intake minus protein calories)  Carbs would be set at around 1600 to 2300 calories (400 to 575 grams)  Fat would be set at 500 to 600 calories (around 60 to 70 grams) Balanced  Caloric intake is set at 10 to 20% above maintenance (DEE)  Protein is set at around 1.5) for 1000 to 1200 calories  2000 to 2600 calories to "spend" in energetic nutrients (caloric intake minus protein calories)  Fat would be set at 1800 to 2600 calories (200 to 290 grams)  Carbs would be under 30 grams Low-Fat  Caloric intake is set at 10 to 20% above maintenance (DEE)  Protein is set at around 1. normally three of each) If somebody is 200 pounds and has a DEE of 3000 calories it gives him:  A caloric intake of 2400 to 2700 calories .

 250 to 300 grams of protein (200 pounds x 1.5) for 1000 to 1200 calories  He now has 2000 to 2600 calories to "spend" in energetic nutrients (caloric intake minus protein calories)  Carbs would be set at around 1000 to 1300 calories (250 to 325 grams)  Fat would be set at around 1000 to 1300 calories (110 to 145 grams) Conclusion Training is easy for us. Training requires 3-5 hours of effort per week. while dieting transforms the whole process into a full-time job. because it's our passion. Will you be one of them? . But what separates those who are serious about changing their body and those who aren't is the quality of their nutrition program. But it's this amount of dedication that really shows us who the successful people will be.25 to 1.