T Nation

Advice on Daily Diet for Cutting


#1

Hey guys,

So like most everyone, I want to lose fat while at the same time gain lean mass. I am not sure if what I am doing is counterintuitive or not and in fact hurting me rather than helping. So here is my current daily diet with supplements. Let me know what you guys think:

Meal 1: As soon as I get up I make a protein shake with 1 scoop of whey, 1 cup of 2% milk, 1 banana, and 2 tbsp of peanut butter. I have heard that having the shake with some fruit as soon as you wake up is good to start the protein synthesis and combat muscle tissue breakdown from overnight.

Meal 2: [about an hour later] 4-5 whole eggs and 1-2 egg whites (whatever combo ends up making 6 total)

Meal 3: [about 2-3 hours later] 1 serving of the oikos triple zero yogurt

Meal 4: [another 2-3 hours later] Either 5-6oz of chicken or steak, whatever I have for the day, 1/2 cup of brown rice, and 1 cup broccoli

Meal 5: [30 min before workout] 1 serving of quaker oats for pre workout carbs

Aminos and creatine during workout

Meal 6: [20 min after workout] Another 5-6oz of chicken, tilapia, or beef with 1/2 cup of rice, and 1 cup of broccoli or another veggie.

Meal 7: [2 hours later] 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with 2 tbsp of chia seeds and 1/4 cup of soy nuts.

Meal 8: [right before bed] 1 cup of milk and 1 serving of micellular casein

The reason the meals during the middle of the day are spaced 2-3 hours is because I am at my clinical and I can’t be as strict.

Also, some things I am thinking as I write this that maybe you guys will suggest:
Should I be having more protein with my pre workout meal instead of just carbs?
Should I eliminate the milk with the casein at night and just have water?
Should I have more veggies?

Thanks guys!!


#2

Also, sometimes at night I will have another 2 tbsp of peanut butter


#3

What are you trying to do?


#4

Lose fat and gain lean mass


#5

Good info here, lots of details thanks for posting all this. We’ll need some more though to give you the best info possible.

-Height/weight?
-Current macro breakdown of this nutrition plan
-Do you know your maintenance calories? Like, do you KNOW them? (not a guess)
-Possible to post pics?
-Any idea how much you want to lose?

-What’s your training like?

All that being said, your nutrition looks clean and delicious. But, ultimately, there’s no way to know if it’s good for cutting or not because what matters MOST trying to re-comp is finding the sweet spot for calories that works for you. If all of this food gives you a good macro breakdown with the right caloric deficit, then it’s good to go. Have you been tracking your maintenance calories? Even if you haven’t been, then figure out all of these macros so you can adjust accordingly if you stall out.

Just some thoughts before I get to your questions, and please keep in mind this is just my advice based on experience, not saying it’s the law or there aren’t other methods:
-Everyone wants to “lean bulk” or whatever it’s called these days, getting big without getting fat. Is it possible? Yes, but it takes VERY CAREFUL planning, consistency, and execution if you want to do it right.

TIMELINE
Is this a goal you have for your physique to accomplish as you can, or are you trying to lean out by a certain date or event? If you’re NOT on a deadline, re-comping is much more feasible. If you’re in a crunch, you can certainly cut fat but there’s more of a chance of losing LBM.

EXECUTION
You’ll have to be extremely strict in your execution of your workouts, nutrition and supplements if you want to get bigger without getting fat. Track your calories daily or just make a nutrition plan and follow it. If your calories are too low you won’t gain the mass you want. If they’re too high you’ll gain too much fat.

Think long term, anywhere from 6-12 months if you want to do it right and maintain a good level of conditioning. It’s easier to add LBM when you’re leaner, so a slow and steady approach is necessary to gain LBM without excess adipose.

NUMBERS, MIRROR AND PHOTOS
I believe if you want to gain LBM and lose fat, you should start with maintenance calories, and focus carbs at breakfast, pre and post workout. If you have more carbs left, you can certainly consume them when you like but I’d recommend keeping non-breakfast and workout window carbs to low glycemic choices like fruit or ezekiel bread.

The mirror and photos will be your biggest tools for collecting data, followed by the scale. If you gain 2 lbs of muscle and lose 2 lbs of fat, the scale won’t move but you’ll certainly look different. So, take weekly pictures at the same time of day, in the same room, with the same poses (whatever they are). Also track your weight daily, in the morning first thing after bathroom but before any food or liquids. Whatever the lowest weight of the week is is what you should go off of, as anything higher than that is just water or soon-to-be-poop.

If your weight is steady but you see yourself getting leaner, you know it’s working. If you’re weight is going up but you are maintaining a good level of conditioning, keep going as long as you’re not exceeding 1lb per week gain MAX. BE HONEST with yourself about your conditioning. Don’t flex your abs just so you can say they’re still there. If you’re losing weight more than 1lb a week then add 100 cals the next week and keep repeating the formula.

To answer your questions:

I think one scoop of whey (20-25g) mixed with your oats would be a wise choice.

I don’t think this matters, if you like milk have the milk.

Yessir. Try adding 100-150g broccoli or fibrous veggie to meal 2, that’ll give you 3 servings at least. So many people overlook the importance of veggies. Countless benefits for health.

*Just a thought, 4-5 whole eggs a day seems like a lot of egg yolks to consume on that regular of a basis. I have eggs almost every day, I’ll usually do 2 whole eggs and egg whites for the rest. You could try 2 or 3 whole eggs and also adding grass fed cheese or avocado if you want more fats. Again just my thoughts.

Just as an example, some recent comparison pics I made. The left side is when I was dieting down for a show about 7 months ago, the right side is a few days ago. In both sides my weight is the same, 161.5lbs, but now I’m carrying more LBM and less fat at this weight. Again it took 7 months, and the changes aren’t mind-blowing but they are significant which is the best a natural lifter can hope for.




Again if you can post more details it would be easier to give more specific advice, but ULTIMATELY what will matter most is formulating your plan, sticking with it with relentless consistency, taking data and making adjustments accordingly, keeping a very slow and steady approach, thinking long term as re-comping is a long term process.


#6

Wow this is so helpful! Thank you robstein! I’m going to get to work on all this today after work! Thank you! So you think the early morning protein shake is good? Do you think adding oatmeal with the banana is too many carbs for the day?


#7

Glad to help brother!

Yes you certainly can’t go wrong with whey (provided it’s great quality like Metabolic Drive), natural PB and a banana. Adding oats would also be fine, IF you have the room for the carbs. So, let’s say you have 200g carbs for the day. If a banana has about 20-25g carbs, your pre workout and post workout meal both have 60g carbs, that leaves you with about another 50-60g carbs. So yeah you could add a cup of oats to your shake and still have room later to add an apple to one of your meals or something like that. But again the most important thing will be meeting your numbers for the day. If your current plan meets your daily carb numbers, adding oats wouldn’t be a good idea.


#8

Makes total sense! I’ll calculate my BMR tonight and start counting cals!


#9

So robstein, I’ve calculated my TDEE as ~2800 and BMR as ~1800. So I was
thinking about taking 10% off my TDEE and eating 2520 calories a day to
start and gauge from there. Does that sound like a good game plan?


#10

Yeah I think that’s a pretty good game plan to start! So again, take your current weight and times that by 1.1-1.2 and that’ll give you your protein intake. Calculate your fats, this is more dependent person to person. Personally fats are 20-25% of my diet but right now I’m trying to gain mass so I’m focused more on higher carbs. So, your fats could be anywhere from 20%-35% depending on preference. I find it’s easier for me to keep body fat from accumulating when my fats are lower/moderate and carbs are higher, and I won’t have a high carb and high fat meal at the same time. Nothing wrong with carbs and fats in a meal, but if a meal is higher carb try to limit fats to 10g.

SO, whatever is left, you can fill with carbs. For example, let’s say your weight is 180lbs. A good macro breakdown would be:

200g protein = 800 cals
70g fat - 630 cals
270g carbs = 1,080 cals
TOTAL CALS = 2,510

*Side note - Typically one day a week I’ll do a “low carb day” on a non-training day where I get about half or slightly less than half of my normal carb intake. Typically I’ll get 300g carbs on a training day, so on an off day I might have 125g-150g carbs and substitute the rest of calories with fats for the day. I’ll have carbs with meal 1 and 2, then switch to protein/fat meals and might throw in a piece of fruit or two throughout the day. Not a huge sacrifice and it doesn’t hurt gains, and helps maintain a little better insulin sensitivity.

So that should allow you to have carbs at almost every meal. Start there, see how it goes and make adjustments accordingly. Of course if you have any questions along the way be sure to post them :slight_smile: Good luck!


#11

get lean first. Then you will see more lean mass definition. You will be really insulin sensitive at a lower bodyfat and you will grow lean tissue like no other when you add calories.