Plan #1 : The Teenage Athlete Through Early 20′s
With <15% Body Fat
As I mentioned in my video post, teenagers in their late teen years that are player high school sports for example have much different requirements than older athletes due to metabolism, energy expenditure and hormonal levels. The supplement companies try to make money (it’s a billion dollar industry!) pitching unnecessary supplements to young athletes trying to gain lean muscle quickly.
Your battle is with a fork and a knife!
Your target level of carbohydrates (fruits, starches and whole grains) should be about 55% to 60% of your total calories.
Your target level of proteins (eggs, dairy, beef, chicken, turkey, fish) should be about 25% to 30% of your total calories
The amount of healthy fats you should eat (fat in red meat, egg yolks, whole milk, butter, olive oil, avocados) should make up the remaining 15% to 20%
Knocking back endless protein shakes is completely unnecessarily.
Multiply Your Body weight by 20 to
Estimate Calories Needed
This rule of thumb is only a starting point. If you are gaining more than 1 to 2 pounds per week then you are most likely gaining too much fat and a calorie reduction is in order.
Ok, so this is my first post of a series that I have planned on what I eat over the course of a day. I get a lot of questions and it changes regularly so writing about it is long overdue! Using some serious creativity, I decided to call this series “What I Ate On My Muscle Building Diet”. Worthy of a Pulitzer prize, wouldn’t you agree?!
Alright, getting my serious back on, it’s almost summer…. and that means my goal is maintaining and improving the lean muscular look. Big Surprise! Don’t know to many people that are trying to gain weight just before the beach weather!
I’ve been having a lot of “fun” following a
Macro-Nutrient Rotation Diet
I absolutely can’t stand nutrition plans that require you to be strict for weeks at a time. Unless you are single and have complete commitment, it’s doomed for failure. On top of that, I strongly believe you can get BETTER results by cheating!
On any given week, I rotate my days with any of the following combinations:
High Protein, Low Carb, Low Fat
High Protein, Moderate Carb, Moderate Fat
High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carb
Fasting ( done intermittently for no more than 1 day at a time)
Protein + Fruit until late afternoon and then a cheat blitz until around midnight (pizza, beer and ice cream!)
This type of plan is sometime referred to as carb cycling as well.
Food is a drug and these days are used to modulate hormonal responses!
Ok, so what did I eat today for my
Lean Muscle Building Diet?
Protein Shake (Beverly International Casein, Whey and Egg blend)
1 can albacore tuna with organic mixed greens and baby carrots
Paul Newman’s Oil and Vinegar dressing
4 Liver Tablets (awesome supplement)
Protein Shake (Bev. International Ultimate Muscle Protein)
2 bowls grass fed beef chili topped with greek yogurt and tabasco sauce
1 Tbsp natural peanut butter
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
Today was a rest day (meaning no strength training or metabolic training). As you can see, carbs were kept quite low.
Contrast this with yesterday which involved 25-30 “heavy” reps of weighted chin ups and incline dumbbell presses followed by a slow tempo triple circuit of calf raises, hammer curls and shoulder presses.
Since my goal is moderate lean mass gains, I eat more carbs on my training days. Therefore, yesterday I consumed Ezekiel bread with natural peanut butter and greek yogurt with fresh berries for breakfast.
After my noon time workout I had a banana, protein shake and more Ezekiel bread. Before bed I had oatmeal as well. This is all in addition to lean meats, eggs and protein shakes throughout the day.
So there you have it! A sampling of one day of my macro nutrient rotation muscle building diet!
Carb cycling is a very effective nutrition strategy for women to burn fat and build lean muscle. Please don’t be turned off when I say “build lean muscle”. For most women, it simply is not possible to gain significant muscle mass due to lower testosterone levels than men. You can find one of my more recent posts that outlines a complete plan here.
Is a Low Carb Diet Best to Burn Fat?
Ok, I’m going to try and keep this discussion simple, so here’s the deal. Carbs are NOT evil but most people consume the wrong kinds and far too many (sugars, breads, pastas, cereals and such). Trust me, your body knows the difference between a sweet potato and a bowl of “low fat” cheerios with processed “low fat” milk!
If most of your dietary intake is from processed foods and “junk” carbs then your insulin levels are chronically elevated. Elevated insulin levels make it nearly impossible for your body to burn fat for fuel! This is why low carb diets seem to work so well….. until they stop working!
A low carb diet to burn fat works very well for the majority of people because it allows your body to basically reset itself from chronic consumption of processed carbohydrates.
Pure Low Carb Diets are flawed
if you Lift Weights…..
When you consume carbohydrates they are first converted into blood glucose (aka blood sugar). Your insulin levels raise since insulin is a storage hormone. Your body will store this glucose in your liver first as something called glycogen. If your liver glycogen is full, next on the list is muscle glycogen. Think of muscle glycogen as fuel tanks full of carbohydrates in your muscles. When you lift weights, these glycogen tanks are depleted.
If your body is good at burning fat for fuel (more on how to do this later) then it will take longer to deplete your muscle glycogen stores but it your train hard, it WILL happen.
…and you need to lift weights to achieve
great muscle tone and a sexy slender body!
This article is not about how to train to burn fat, but I will be clear that if you aren’t performing challenging strenuous activity (either body weight exercises or weight lifting) you may lose weight but you won’t look the way you want to!
Enter: Carb Cycling
Carb cycling is no secret among bodybuilders and fitness competitors but those of us that have full lives, jobs and families want to look great too! Surprisingly, there is very little knowledge about carb cycling outside of those elite previously mentioned circles.
In a nutshell, carb cycling allows you to remain is an optimal fat burning state most of the week. Periods of increased carbohydrate intake are planned 1 or 2 times per week to replenish glycogen stores, satisfly cravings and rev your metabolism if your calories where low.
Starting a Low Carb Plan
If you have never followed a low carb plan before, you need to understand some important concepts. For a low carb plan to be effective, your body needs to perform some metabolic “re-wiring” to turn on the fat burning enzymes that have been suppressed by insulin.
To do this, you need to switch to a High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carb meal plan for about 2 weeks straight. I need to stress that your normal low carb plan will not be high fat, it will be moderate fat. This is going to sound a bit strange but you need to eat larger amounts of fat for a short period of time to teach your body how to burn fat! After 2 weeks, have a 12 – 24 hour “Carb up”. Go ahead and eat chocolate cake, pizza and ice cream…. and try not to feel guilty doing it!
Low Carb and Carb Cycling in Action
Once this adaptation has occurred, you will switch to High Protein, Moderate Fat, Low Carb. So after the above mentioned carb up, you will follow a high protein, moderate fat, low carb plan during the week and each weekend you will introduce a carb spike for 12 -24 hours.
This short period of time will not be long enough to cause body fat to increase (unless you really go crazy!). Your body will also quickly shift back to a fat burning state after this carb up period.
This carb cycling plan works very well for women and is based on Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale’s Metabolic Diet. There are many many variations, tweaks and modifications that can be made based on body type, training volume, lifestyle, etc.
Hidden carbs can completely derail your progress as you attempt to shift your body into fat burning mode both in the initial phase and the low carb days that follow. Here is a quote from the book “The Anabolic Solution”:
“Watch For Hidden Carbs The start up phase will run smoother and get you in gear quicker if you remember that refined carbs are hidden in almost everything you will find on those supermarket shelves. Seasoning, ketchup, mustard, salad dressings, nuts, BBQ sauce, breaded or processed meats, gourmet coffee and sausages can all present a problem. These foods are renowned for hidden carbs and you have got to check the label to make sure what you are getting on this diet”
Get started with a Carb Cycling program developed by Celebrity Trainer Shaun Hadsall
First let me answer this question by asking another question! Where does the word protein come from? It originated from the Greek word “proteios” which means “of the first rank or importance”. Well, if that’s the case, I’ll bet you can start to draw your own conclusions!
Every cell in the body is partially composed of proteins!
The food you consume is composed of 3 macronutrients: Proteins, Carbohydrate and Fat. Although your body has the ability to use any one of these nutrients for energy, typically only 10-20% of it comes from protein in a well balanced diet. Lower carb meal plans that are high in protein will use a higher percentage.
Your body can’t make proteins out of carbs or fats
The human body is amazing and it has the ability to convert protein or fat into glucose for energy. It also has the ability to turn excess carbohydrate into fat! This can also happen with protein but it’s a very inefficient process. What it can’t do is generate protein from carbohydrate or fat.
Since protein is comprised of strings of amino acids, your body can convert some amino acids into other forms in the liver but there are several amino acids your body simply can’t create.
There are 8 essential amino acids
(protein building blocks)
The 8 essential amino acids that your body needs from your dietary intake are:
The 8 essential amino acids:
The Branched Chain Aminos:
The remaining 5 essential aminos:
A protein is classified as a “Complete” protein if it contains all 8 essential aminos acids.
You need complete proteins to build muscle!
So can you build muscle without protein? The answer is that you NEED complete proteins to build muscle. What this also means is that if you are consuming the 8 essential amino acids, your body has the ability to manufacture any non-essential amino acids.
If you are an athlete, your protein requirements will be higher than an individual that is not involved in activites that may break down muscle tissue.
If your goal is to build lean muscle and you follow a well structured weight lifting routine, your protein requirements will be even higher!
How much protein do you need?
The amount you actually need is a subject of endless debate! Some nutritionists will state that you only need minimal amounts of protein but hundreds of thousands of weight lifters and bodybuilders have proven time and again that higher amounts of protein provide significant benefits to building lean muscle!
It’s much safer to error on the side of too much protein than not enough. Do you want all that hard work in the gym to go to waste?!
A good rule of thumb is 1 gram of protein per pound of LEAN body mass.
This is an EXTREMELY generalized statement and only intended to be a rough starting point! Your protein requirements are highly dependent on the type of overall nutrition plan you are following as well as specific goals.
I have personally followed a meal plan that was 2 grams of protein per pound during my final weeks leading up to a body building show! The protein intake had to be this high since my carbohydrate and dietary fat levels where very low. The calories had to be made up of excess protein.
I would not recommend consuming this much protein for extended periods of time. It’s very expensive and you will not get all the nutrition your body needs.
Now, having said that, I need to make one more statement….
There is NO scientific evidence that excess protein
is bad for your kidneys!
This is one of those rumors that simply will not die! Once false (or flawed) information has propagated, it is nearly impossible to undo it. The original study that is responsible for spreading this information involved feeding excess protein to hospital kidney dialysis patients!!
If you have normal healthy kidney function then I am unaware of any studies that prove higher amounts of protein have a negative impact….
So train hard, eat a nutritious diet and
get enough protein!
This Carb Cycling Body Building Diet Plan is designed for Maximum Fat Loss
Carb cycling is a healthy and super effective technique to maximize fat loss for bodybuilders. In this post, I outline a meal plan similar to the one my wife and I both used to prepare for a body building show with amazing results!
When you keep carbohydrate consumption low throughout the day, insulin levels will be controlled which allows you to remain in a fat burning state.
Weight training throughout the week will deplete glycogen stores within your muscle so it’s necessary to “fill the tanks” with well timed high quality carbohydrate dense meals.
You’ll want to customize this plan based on your weight and starting point.
As a general rule, your total calorie intake should be rough 10 – 15 calories per pound of body weight. If you are near 10% body fat, use 14 or 15 as your multiplier.
The following diet is an example body building plan for a 180 pound male at roughly 10% body fat. It is based on a proven nutrition plan designed by Beverly International and tested on thousands of body builders.
Note: I have placed amazon links to the only protein powder I have ever used with phenomenal results. I make a small commission off sales from those links at no extra cost to you. Use other brands at your own risk. Beverly International is the Protein King!
6 oz lean beef or turkey
1 whole egg, 4 egg whites
1 grapefruit (or strawberries or blueberries if you must)
Protein Shake using 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 1 tbsp healthy fat (flax oil, olive oil, etc)
Whole Food Option: 1 can tuna packed in water, 1 whole egg and 1 tomato
6 ounces of chicken or turkey breast (no deli meat!)
2 cups of salad vegetables
Here’s a picture of my wife winning her first bodybuilding trophy. She accomplished this from a home gym in our basement training with weights for 45 minutes in the morning before work. She would wake up at 4:30 in the morning to do this. We have 3 young children now and she still weight trains first thing every morning.
My wife and I didn’t achieve these physique’s by “making small changes”. If you want drastic results, you need to do drastic things…. and guess what? 99% of the people I speak to are not willing to put in the effort.
We basically turned into machines for 12 weeks while we transformed our bodies and prepared for the
bodybuilding contest we had targeted.
The nutrition plan, in a nutshell, was as follows:
If it ran, swam or was green and leafy, we ate it! In addition, we would have a large meal of low glycemic starchy carbs right before bed twice a week. I was introduced to this nutrition plan when I discovered Beverly International supplements during a strength training seminar.
Don’t be the person always searching for the secret answer or the quick fix. Follow the principles below and work your ass off!
My Effective Rules
for How to Get Six Pack Abs
Screw moderation! Once you hit your goal, there will be a place for it!
Eat things that run or swim at every meal
Eat things that are green and leafy as often as possible
Pick up heavy things and put them down
Interval sprints and hill sprints
Full body exercises
Drink lots of water
Get your sleep!!
Expect to change your body overnight
Rely on fat burner and weight loss pills.
Long moderate intensity cardio sessions (small amounts if you must, or if you like it!)
Over train. Your body needs rest and more isn’t always better!
Change your workout routine and/or diet every week
Focus on isolation exercises such as biceps curls and triceps extensions.
Many of my close friends and family have enjoyed my protein pancakes over the years. In fact I’ve been making these protein pancakes for over 10 years!
After many requests, I am finally writing my protein pancake recipe!
Ok, so let’s get down to business. Here is a list of the ingredients you will need:
2 1/2 cups Old fashioned oats
2 1/2 scoops Vanilla flavored low carb meal replacement powder (50g protein). It needs to be a low carb milk/casein based protein. My favorite is Beverly International Ultimate Muscle Protein. I have not found a better protein for this! You could also try Muscle Milk or Biotest at your own risk.
1 medium or large ripe banana cut up into small chunks
Almond Milk (use just enough to give the batter a medium consistency)
Coconut oil for cooking on a large pan or skillet
Now that you have assembled your ingredients, arrange them like so on your counter top and take a picture. There is no point to this step but it will generate some odd looks if you are cooking in company!
Protein Pancakes: Step 1
Combine every ingredient except for the almond milk and coconut oil into a large mixing bowl. Stir well until it is a consistent batter. This activity will give your forearms a great workout!
Protein Pancakes: Step 2
Now that you have the batter mixed up, add almond milk a little at a time until it’s a softer consistency (not to much liquid!).
Protein Pancakes: Step 3
Put a small amount of coconut oil into the cooking pan and turn the heat up to medium high. Arrange the pancakes on the pan in roughly 3″ diameter circles.
Protein Pancakes: Step 4
Cook the protein pancakes until little heat bubbles form on the top side. This is your sign to flip them. Let them cook on the other side for a few more minutes. I usually give the pancake some light taps with 2 fingers to determine if they are cooked. They should feel a little bouncy…. you’ll see what I’m talking about!
Protein Pancakes: Step 5
Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor!
You can top the pancake with some light whipped cream and fresh fruit or my personal favorite of natural peanut butter and light whipped cream.