Blaaaow's Basic Nutrition Guide Version 1.1 (Updated 07/01/08)
-Added an FAQ section to some things that were asked just to condense things a bit. It'll be a much larger update with information I'd like to go into more detail with when it's upgraded to 2.0
I will update this as I know I have forgotten some things and as questions come up.
I'm pretty DAMN good when it comes to getting myself and others in shape, so I decided to make a basic guide for those interested. Feel free to ask any questions and I WILL answer them.
Basic Nutrition Guidelines:
- Don’t count calories, count protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
- Eat a high protein diet; 1-2 grams of protein per lb of body weight.
- Adjust fats and carbohydrates to your metabolism.
- Eat 6-8 times daily (every two hours), whether trying to lose weight or gain muscle.
I always say, if you can’t pick it, grow it, or kill it… don’t eat it.
o Ground beef (choose at least 93% lean)
o Egg whites
o Rice (brown/white)
o Potatoes (regular/sweet)
o Whole wheat pasta
o All natural peanut butter
o Extra virgin olive oil
o Borage oil
o Fish oil
o Flax oil
o Think GREEN: broccoli, spinach, green beans, etc.
I mainly eat steak, chicken , or eggwhites in combination with white rice or oats. Depending on the day, I may replace the carbohydrate source with a fat source instead, like all natural peanut butter or olive oil. More information on replacing carbs for fats later on.
Commonly referred to as “bulking,” gaining mass requires a caloric surplus that will support growth. I personally like to cycle my carbohydrates so that I take in much more carbohydrates on training days than I do on off days. On these “high carb days,” I keep fat intake to a minimum. On the “low carb days,” I lower my carbohydrates to only the first 2 meals in the day, and replace the carbohydrates in later meals with fats from the list above.
o Add oatmeal to protein shakes in a blender. This is an EXTREMELY easy way to add a great source of carbohydrates into your diet when you can barely eat any more.
o If you have trouble gaining weight, YOU MUST FORCE FEED AND GET IN THOSE 6-8 MEALS! This will make your break your goals.
o Do low intensity morning cardio before eating in the morning. This will get your appetite RAGING throughout the day.
o Refer to basic nutrition guidelines.
Commonly referred to as “cutting,” a caloric deficit must be obtained through diet and cardio, however caloric requirements must be adjusted to maintain strength and muscle mass in order to be successful. I eat the same foods as I do when I’m gaining mass, however instead of having all high carb days on my training days, I make some of them “medium carb days” which give enough carbohydrates to fuel the workout, but is still below the basal metabolic rate to induce fat burning. One or two high carb days are still essential in order to keep your metabolism on 6th gear.
o Start cardio off SLOWLY (20 minutes daily) and increase it every 1 or 2 weeks depending your progress. I’ve worked up to 1.5 hours daily split into 2 sessions, you may need less or you may need more. Everyone is different! (no need to cardio on high carb days)
o It’s essential to cycle your carbohydrates! The high carb days make the low carb days more effective and vice versa!
o CONSISTENCY IS KEY! Look to lose 1-2lbs/week, but no more or it’ll be muscle mass. 3 months of hardwork goes by and VOILA! You’re more than 10lbs lighter!
o Adjust carb rotation as the diet progresses.
o Don’t look at the scale every day. You will weigh different after a high carb day and different after a low carb day. Weigh yourself once a week, on the same day, after your first morning piss. Concentrate more on the mirror and measurements since it’s possible to gaining muscle and losing fat simultaneously.
o Eat your 6-8 meals. Start skipping meals and then your metabolism slows to compensate. We don’t want that!
o Don’t lift lighter weights because you are dieting, you shouldn’t lose much strength at all if your diet it on point.
Here’s a decent article about carb cycling. I may not agree with everything said on here, but it’s got some great information:
Carb Cycling Codex
STICK WITH THE BASICS! IT SAVES YOU MONEY AND IS ALL YOU NEED!
- Whey protein
- Creatine monohydrate
- Fish oil
The above is ALL YOU NEED for any goal you have. Don’t waste your time on other supplements that use stupid marketing gimmicks to lure you in. There are exceptions, but you can achieve any goal with the four listed above.
Use protein powder to reach daily protein requirements that cannot be obtained through eating alone.
I recommend trueprotein.com for all supplement needs. They have the best price for THE BEST quality I know of. Their customer service is top notch as well. 5% discount code: MPP883
-You must squat and deadlift. They activate the most muscle in the body and have been shown to stimulate testosterone production.
-Keep training time 45 minutes to 1 hour. You cannot keep intensity high if you train longer than that. I don’t care how badass you think you are. Anything more you are just digging yourself into over training.
-Find a training program you like and STICK WITH IT! This whole “switching it up” thing has gotten out of hand where people are changing their routines every month. How do you know if it’s working or not if you haven’t given the program at least 6 months to evaluate it?
- Sleep 8 hours a night. You repair muscle and lose fat in your sleep. Yes it’s true.
- Drink 1-2 gallons of water daily. Especially with the high protein intake you want to keep your organs happy. Also, more water in your muscle = more nutrients = more growth.
- Set realistic goals! Don't say you want to gain a pound of muscle a week. Think about it: if you gain 1 pound of muscle a week, in 1 year you'll have a new 52 pounds of muscle. Yea right
. Even if you were on all the right drugs that wouldn't happen.
- BE CONSISTENT!!!!!
What do you mean by low intensity and/or high intensity cardio?
When I refer to low intensity cardio, I mean any sort of activity that gets your heart-rate up to 120-140 bpm. If you don't go to the gym, a good guideline is that you can continue the activity while carrying on a conversation. This type of cardio burns more actual fat while doing the cardio, so it should be be done for lengthy periods of time. I hope that makes sense.
Another type of cardio I may refer to is HIIT or high intensity interval training. This is when you do intervals of high intensity cardio and intervals of short rest. An example would be sprinting the straights of a track and walking the curves. Another example would be is while on the bike at a gym, bike at 100% effort for 15 seconds, then at 50% effort for 45 seconds.
HIIT mostly burns glycogen stores (carbs) instead of actual fat on your body, but elevates your metabolism for the rest of the day. Do not do HIIT if you have no carbs in you. When you lack carbs, your body will turn to muscle for a fuel source and convert them into glucose to use during this type of cardio. So always have some sort of carb meal before performing HIIT. A good place to start is doing 10-15 intervals.
I like to do a mixture of both when dieting to lose weight. However, when I am aiming to gain weight, I usually only utilize low-intensity cardio on low carb days to keep my body fat under control and just because cardio is healthy for your heart.
What is the difference between high carb, medium carb, and low carb days?
For low carb days, 2 out of the 6 meals have carbohydrates. The other 4 out of the 6 meals have fats in replacement of carbohydrates. You have to have the fats since fats promote fat burning and the production of testosterone.
A typical low days for me may look like:
Meal 1: 3/4 cup oatmeal and 1.5 scoops whey
Meal 2: 1 cup white rice and 4 oz chicken
Meal 3: 4 oz chicken and 1 teaspoon of all natural peanut butter and 3 fish oil capsules
Meal 4: 1.5 scoops protein powder and 1 teaspoon of all natural peanut butter and 3 fish oil capsules
Meal 5: 4.5 oz steak and 1 teaspoon of all natural peanut butter and 3 fish oil capsules
Meal 6: 4 oz chicken and 1 teaspoon of all natural peanut butter and 3 fish oil capsules
On high carb days, fats are kept to a minimum, but you supply a good amount of carbohydrates in each meal except the last. I also lower the amount of protein on this day.
For me, a high day may look like this:
Meal 1: 1.5 cups oatmeal and 1 scoop whey
Meal 2: 2 cups of rice 2.5 oz chicken
Meal 3: 1.5 cups oatmeal and 1 scoop whey
Meal 4 (Post workout): 2.5 cups oatmeal, 1.5 scoops whey
Meal 5: 2 cups of rice 2.5 oz chicken
Meal 6: 1.5 cups oatmeal and 1 scoop whey
Meal 7: 3 oz chicken + vegetables
Today is a high day or me and right now I'm eating 7 eggwhites with 2 cups of rice. So you can eat anything for any meal just as it meets the nutritional requirements for that meal.
I just want to say that the diets posted above are what work for ME. I don't want a random girl or guy eating the above diet in the same amounts I do for myself... because s/he'll get fat!
Medium days are for people who are trying to lose weight. In this case, medium days would be used on some training days in replacement of some high days. On these days have 3 carb meals and 3 fat meals. Save 1 of the 3 carb meals for post-workout whenever that may be.
Why can't I just have all low carb days? Won't that be more effective since I am consistently taking in less calories??
The benefit of having high, low, and medium carb days staggered the way I suggested is that each day makes the other days much more effective.
After a nice long day of burning fat on a low carb day, it leaves you extremely sensitive to carbs. So if your next day is a high day, most of the carbs you eat will be utilized to refill your glycogen stores (carbohydrate stores) in your muscles.
So how about after a high day? Well your metabolism is so revved up from the carbs you've had all day so that the next day, perhaps a low or medium day, you'll be burning fat very effectively once again.
How do I know the nutrient (carb/fat/protein) content of the foods I'm eating?
. This is a good place to find out how many carbs/fats/protein you are eating in your meals.