T Nation

Athletic Build


Is it possible for a young person to build a respectable body without worrying about nutrient ratios and timing so much? What i mean by respectable...isn't like single digit body fat figures....just somewhat muscular with no spare tire so to speak.

Why I ask this is...i've been driving myself crazy over the nutritional aspects. To the point that i've actually just been flat out bummed out about it and it's affecting my workouts and even life. Instead of thinking about what chick i'm going to end up with tonight i constantly wonder about whether i'm fulfilling my nutritional goals. I've just gone way overboard. Is it ok to have fast food a couple of times a week? Is it ok if i dont get enough protein a couple of times a week? I know the answer is yes to both..but i guess i'm just looking for someone to bounce this off of.

In my quest to become ripped and lean....i've only succeeded in becoming underweight and unhealthy. This probably isn't the right website to be asking this...but i was just looking for a little reassurance that i didn't need to go so overboard.


Sounds like you need to shutup and eat.

No one if forcing to to be big, strong, ripped, or whatever it is you are going for. That is your choice, if you feel you cannot stand living this way give it up and do what you want, after all isnt the whole point of living to live?

You don't need to go crazy with food, just take some vitamins if you eat crap, eat clean most of the time, make sensible choices when you don't and you should be fairly healthy. After all you are young you don't need to worry about nutrition so much.


what he said^^


Man you need to eat, but don't get all emotional about it. Just do it. If you must eat out make the best of a bad situation. Stay away from deep fried stuff(french fries and fried chicken), drink water, don't eat the bun on hamburgers, and don't get dessert. If you keep your kitchen stocked with pretty clean choices eatin out once in awhile shouldn't be that big a deal. It might even help keep you sane.

And don't worry about all that shit in the gym. Thats your time. Time to let everything fade away and just focus in liftin.

Good luck and stay strong.


One thing JB stresses is having a safe home base, and always being prepared. If all the food you have is of the quality, clean nature, I don't see the need to obsess over it. I always bring, no matter where I'm going, enough clean food to last me 6 hours, usually in the form of beef jerky and mixed nuts.

It sounds like you're a Type A personality like me - highly detail oriented and motivated, sometimes to a flaw. One thing I found I had to get away from was mindlessly hitting nutrition goals and doing doing workouts no matter what.

Truthfully, I believe if you've been training long enough and know how your body reacts to certain stimuli, you can make intelligent choices within a specific paradigm. Whether that be specific training patterns or specific nutritional goals, I think a person needs to learn to eventually get away from a nutrition log (although I think a training log is essential.) Don't be afraid to experiment and don't be afraid to relax - that medium pizza you eat (not that you do, but I'm assuming) on Sunday evenings won't kill you. Sometimes we type-A people can conspire against ourselves, become so frustrated and so focused, we lose sight of the forest, lost in the minutae of the bark composition.


I feel for ya. I ended up with an eating and anxiety disorder because of this.

Don't let it get ya. Just chill and make wise decisions when it comes to training frequency and meal choices.

You don't have to eat every 2 hours. You don't have top eat protein with EVERY fucking meal. You don't have to seperate carbs from fats in every meal. You don't have to drink atleast a gallon a water per day... I think you get my point.

Life is to enjoy it. Before you realize it, its over.

I am not saying to give up on the iron game and become unhealthy or unfit. Just take things in a stride and don't get caught up on the little details. Its the ppl like us who are over anal that DON'T make much progress in the gym.

Hell, you will still have a better physique and body composition than 80% of the world's population.



I was starting to worry that i too would end up with a eating/anxiety disorder. Hell, i think i'm already there! Thanks for the help guys.


No matter what, it's going to take proper nutrition to reach your goals. But this doesn't mean you have to be anal or obsessive about it.

If you just try to eat every three hours and eat a variety of protein along with fruits and veggies (and some dairy, nuts, etc.), then you can reach your goals and still live life and not be obsessed.


Listen bro, get a grip of yourself and your lifestyle.

This shit is serious, and if you feel you are having these kinda mental issues, seek for some professional help.

Its waaaaaaaaay easier if its just in the early stages and all you've got are acute symptoms of perfectionism, obsessiveness and compulsion.

Later on, it becomes a way of life- and that's when you realize your mind is controlling (and playing tricks) on you. It ain't fun or easy to live that way.

Healthy food and working out is good, but not at the expense of your health, social life and loved ones.

Take Care of Yourself,



Nate, some ppl just have the tendency to want to "control" everything they do and make everything "run perfectly".

What may seem as an easy task (ie. eating every 3 hours, taking in protein and veggies with every meal, etc..) to you, could become a case of OCD if a person tends to be over anal.

The topic creator has to learn that perfection doesn't exist, apply Berardi's 90% rule, and learn to seek self-identity and security from within himself.

Not from eating and training correctly. Life is not just 6 meals a day and the gym.

Just my 2cc.


Start reading Dan John's stuff.

Sounds like you need to go back to the basics and make "bodybuilding" a PART of your life, not YOUR LIFE.

Eat "good" most of the time but still enjoy life. Lift using "the basics" 3 or 4 days a week. Eat a good PWO meal.

Maintain basic discipline and "stay the course" for a few years...the results will come.

Good advice from Nate Dogg above.


As was said earlier, enjoy life and everything it has to offer. Work like a slave, eat like a king, and sleep like a queen. I always liked that saying. Sleeping like a queen meaning the one that is married to the king. Not like the kind you find in Greenwich Village NYC, not that there is anything wrong with that. Do that too. Just be enjoy what you are doing. If it doesn't make you happy, throw it away.

Eat healthy food and be athletic. All that micronutrient, macronutrient, food timing, this amino that amino, am I getting enough potassium? is a very small percentage of overall health. Eat, lift, sleep, play hard, love what you're doing. You'll get in the single digits bodyfat wise a lot faster if you're happy with what you are doing outside the gym.


At that point, you need to seek professional treatment.


Try just eating out once one the weekend or even twice. That will not hurt you or your goals. Just make sure you don't over eat & make sure it's just 1 meal & not 10!

Sun. or Mon. add in some extra intensity in the wt. room & some extra sprints. And get on some great quality supps!!

Stay postive ( good cocky ) & get those girls!


95 percent of looking good is diet.


Are you sure it's 95%? It could be 80%. Or maybe 85% or maybe only 75% or even 50%. I don't think you can really say how much diet is involved (although we all know it is very important). But many other factors contribute as well.


Yeah, 50% is the egg and 50% is the sperm.



Man you definitely cracked me up on that one..


Agreed. I could see if the people being quite this anal actually looked the part, but it seems that very rarely is this the case. I have never been that technical and anal about bodybuilding to the point that it sucks all of the enjoyment out of it. I think anyone like that is missing the point entirely. They will also be least likely to stick with this over the long term. There is no way someone like that could learn to make immediate adjustments as needed on the fly. The human body can't be mapped and scheduled like that. You have to be free enough to make changes as needed.


I agree with Prof X. Originally I planned on eating every 3 hours bu eating every 4-5 has worked even better for me. Arnold got huge on 3 big, clean meals a day with nutritious snacks in between. I eat out about half-my meals during the summer but I make pretty good choices (steak, hamburges w/ no bun, chicken, etc.) so I coninue to progress. I eat very clean when home, and during the school year only about 1/7 of my meals are out so it matters even less. Being happy and thus staying motivated to train is much better than having an anal diet and dreading it.