Client: But, Phil, I worked out 4 times this week AND did the cardio… WHY DON’T I HAVE A (insert expletives) 6 PACK YET!!!!???
Me: Well…. how was your eating these past 2 weeks, (insert name) ?
Client: I eat well most of the day, but then I snacked at night a lot.. I guess…
Me: Go on… what did you eat at night?
Client: Crunchy stuff…
Me: I have a feeling you don’t mean celery… even though that is crunchy… am I right?
Client: (guilt-ridden face) like… chips, popcorn, nachos… ice cream… I just get so hungry at night!
This is a very popular client-trainer talk. And, to be honest, I am completely empathetic towards it because I am a food lover, a foodie to the max! It IS HARD to have self discipline, to deprive yourself of sugary awesomeness. Will you look better? Yes. Will you be healthier? Absolutely. Will you be less stressed in the day and sleep better at night? You betcha! Notwithstanding the FACTS of clean eating, it is still SO HARD TO DO! Our bodies crave sugar and salt. We eat and we feel happy. But, is it worth it? Unless it is infrequent and in moderation, no, it is not worth it.
You can look like an in-shape, average gym person even with a crappy diet. But, unless you are a genetic freak, a rare 1% of the “Occupy Swole Street” movement who can eat ice cream and mentally will it to turn into protein and become biceps (I swear, I have a friend like this and the guy eats ice cream EVERY NIGHT before bed or he says he wakes up 5 lbs lighter and without a pump…and he has an 8 pack… I hate him, especially because I love ice cream and my eating of it does not result in bigger biceps…) then you can NEVER have a poor diet and lose weight while maintaining muscle mass and/or look like a fitness model, figure competitor, superior athlete, or bodybuilder. It just physiologically cannot happen.
So, below I am going to give you an awesome muscle building diet plan. This is not a “massive get huge bulk diet” but rather an effective plan to build LEAN muscle mass and minimize body fat. Furthermore, it is based on an average 5’10 160lbs male. If you are a smaller framed man or woman, adjust accordingly. You will likely need to add (if you are really tall and big already) or remove (if you are 5’8 or under and if you are a woman or endomorph) 300-500 calories. Also, read my body-type eating article for YOUR specific body type plan and sensitivities. That article + this one will give YOU the tools you need to create your own perfect eating plan. Comment below for specific questions 🙂
- Try to not mix carbs + fats (except on cheat meal and in tiny quantities like your “snack” below)
- 2300 calories a day (Again, for an average 5’10 male at 160lbs trying to gain lean muscle. Tweak and find your calories with this awesome calorie calculator)
- Goal: 250 protein (1000 calories) + 200g carbs (800 calories) 60g fat (540 calories) = 2340 cal/d
2 meals a day are shakes, only blended in water:
Post-workout shake (carbs and protein only, do NOT add fat in a post workout shake, it slows digestion and reacts with the carb and insulin-sensitivity levels): 2 scoops protein (ideally from whey, egg, or brown rice protein) + ¼ cup oats blended + banana + ice
Macros: 50g protein (200 calories) + 80g carbs (320 calories) = 520 calories
2nd shake (protein + fat shake, no carbs): 1 tbsp of almond or peanut butter + 2 scoop protein + ice
Macros: 50g protein (200 calories) + 8g fat/5g carbs from butter (110 calories) = 310 calories
3 meals a day, here are some options/combos so you don’t get “food bored”:
2 Tilapia filet (2 meat servings in general) + ¼ cup uncooked rice + broccoli and asparagus
Macros: 50g protein + 30g carbs = 320 calories
2 whole eggs + 4 whites + turkey or chicken + veggies in an omelet
Macros: 50g protein (200 calories) + 15g fat (135 calories) = 335 calories
Turkey burger + huge vegetable salad. Have fat here (make this lunch if possible) with RAW, uncooked olive oil+ vinegar, fresh veggies, and avocado. This is a high protein and HIGH fat meal. Macros: 35g protein (140 calories) + 30g fat (270 calories) = 420 calories
Meal 4/ Snack: Rice cracker or other low carb (vegetable) crunchy thing + 2 servings nuts or nut butter
Macros: 15g fat + 15g carbs + 15 g protein = 255 calories
** You’ll note that this comes to about 2100 calories but that’s because people are more likely to OVER-serve than under-serve a portion, thus if you stick to this, you’ll probably actually end up feeding yourself 2300 calories.
Enjoy, guys, and thank you again for reading! Now, go gain some lean muscle and get that body you are chasing! Remember to be healthy first! Avoid the psychological issues of body dysmorphia and chasing the “perfect body,” rather treat it as a fun and enjoyable pursuit. Be happy with your body every day, love yourself, but keep working on it like the piece of art that it is 🙂