T Nation

Beginner Diets - Feedback


Judging by the posts made here, it might be useful if anyone unsure on if they are eating the right stuff or the right amount (despite all the articles here) could post their typical diet here, and get some feedback. So post away.


Like this?

Wake up (8:00am-12:00pm) - Sandwich with about 15g of protein, and then whatever the cheese and bread have

I try to eat every two hours, but it usually ends up being three or four.

For lunch, I have a whey protein shake. I throw in about two cups of fruit, one cup of a milk, about half a cup of some kind of fruit juice, and then the whey gives me about 60-80g of protein.

After this, I usually (sometimes I miss it, depending on how late I woke up and how long I go between meals) make another meal. Just a piece of meat or two, depending on how hungry I am. Like a fish fillet/chicken breast/steak. About 20g of protein each.

After that, my mom usually has a meal cooked for herself and my dad, and makes enough for my sister and I to eat as well. It's just a balanced meal, vegetables and meat.

On days I work out, I add an extra shake and eat it right after working out.

I don't measure anything but protein, and I don't really even take that seriously. I'm trying to just eat a lot more so I can gain weight. I'm around 125lbs right now and I'm 5'7''. Not sure if I missed anything, you never really asked for any specific information. :\


My first thoughts are that you really aren't eating much.

Alot of beginners increase their food intake and relatively speaking they are eating a lot compared to what they are used to consuming - but in reality, are just not eating enough for the gains they expect.

You should be eating more frequently, with more carbs, and spacing out your protein better. 15g of protein when you wake up is not sufficient. The afternoon meal is a must, but my question is are you eating approx. 60g of protein that meal or 20g - I didn't really understand your wording.

Also, what time do you workout?

Answering these questions will help in analyzing your diet


I used to eat one meal a day and two or three snacks which were either ramen noodles or cereal and milk.

My afternoon meal gets me between about 60g and 80g of protein.

I don't work out at a specific time, just follow this while adding some extra things:

Monday - upper body
A. Incline barbell bench/Barbell bench press 1 set 3-5 reps
B. Incline dumbell bench press/flat dumbell bench press 3-4 sets 6-10 reps
C. Bent-over dumbell or barbell rows 4 sets 10-15 reps
D. Seated dumbbell powerclean/bent-over dumbell rear delt flyes 2-3 sets of 12-15 (I don't do these, not sure how to do a clean or what a "rear delt fly" is.
E. Barbell or dumbell side bends 3-4 sets of 8-15

Wednesday - lower body
A. Box squats/Front squats 1 set 5 reps (I don't do these, don't have a squat rack)
B. Single leg squats, back leg elevated 3-4 sets 8-15 reps
C. Leg curls 3-4 sets 6-10 reps
D. Grip training

Friday - upper body
A. Barbell bench (3 sets max reps 100lbs)/3 sets max reps regular pushups/incline or flat dumbell bench 3 sets max reps
B. Dumbell triceps extentions 3-4 sets 5-10 reps
C. Chin-ups/pull-ups 4 sets 8-12 reps (currently doing 4 sets of 2-3 reps, trying to work my way up)
D. Lateral raises/shrugs/dumbell shoulder press 3 sets 10-15 reps
E. Alternate dumbell curls/regular barbell curls 3 sets 8-10 reps
F. Abdominal circuit training (except I only know of one abdominal exercise. The crunch.)

The extra things I add are small, like ab, oblique, and forearm exercises, I do every other day.

These are done whenever I am in the mood. Usually before 12am, but after 5pm. I don't really make it a point to do this at the same time every time, and sometimes I'll just do these right before my lunch shake and just use that shake as my post-workout meal, so I end up with just one shake that day.


Oh, I'm sorry. For the afternoon meal, I thought you were talking about the shake. No, the afternoon meal is usually 20g. I just mentioned what kind of meats I ate (fish/chicken/beef) because I wasn't sure if it mattered or not.Sometimes I'll make myself an extra serving, if I'm feeling a little more hungry.


You mum should kick your ass for taking 4 hrs to wake up son.


No, I usually wake up sometime between there. Depends on if she sprinkles water on me around 9am.


There is an article by Chris Shugart, its in the articles bit, in diet, it tell you about eating the majority of calories and protein and suchlike at breakfast and whittling down your calories towards bedtime. Snackin on a butty (sandwhich) with 15 grams of protein is not the way forward !

Ok if you are lean as a bean then you might want to top off that whittling with some extra calories in the evening, but the point is, you need to chow down at breakfast. Firstly to replenish the body after sleep and the hours you have not eaten and secondly as the larger calorie bias in the morning are less likely to spill over into adipose tissue (fat storage).

When you eventually do haul yer ass out of bed, drink about 1-2 glasses of water first, this is a good move before breakfast.


hey le stig,

I know i have a lot of work to do on my diet and my workout routine.

well i wake up around 5:50 - 6

6:10 normally have left over chicken if there is any and if there isn't then a bagel with peanut butter, banana, cottage cheese, and about 2 cups of water

7:45 workout about an hour

now i know i should have some type of Surge shake or something right after workout but its difficult with my timing becasue its at school.

10:00 chicken or turkey breast sandwhich, apple, normally some type of granola bar, and a bottle of water

12:00 Chicken or Turkey breast sandwhich on whole wheat bread, small salad, a fruit cup, normally get like a slice of pizza or corn dog from school, gatorade

4:00 pasta and a roll or tuna sandwhich(with cucumbers), brocoli

6:30- 7:00 typically at work so difficult but normally a half rotisserie chicken from publix or boston market with a side of greens, and sweet potatoes

10:30 peanut butter on whole wheat bread

while at work which is typically 5 - 10 i drink about a liter of water if not more.

I know i need to incorporate more greens into my diet as well as an post workout shake, as well as a larger breakfast that includes some oatmeal ( i just find oatmeal so damn filling)



Just as an example Berardi has mentioned the diet he followed when he first started in a few articles:

"In fact, how about an example? Being a very scrawny bastard, here's the crazy diet I followed to go from 140 to 210:

Breakfast 8AM: 6 whole eggs, 4 slices of whole grain bread, and 4 packets of instant oatmeal

Lunch 12PM: 1 pound extra lean ground beef, 1-cup cauliflower, and 2 large baked potatoes

Evening Meal 4PM: 1 pound of extra lean ground beef, 1-cup broccoli, and 2 large baked potatoes

Post-workout 8PM: 0.75lb of pasta (weighed before cooking), 1-cup green beans, and 0.75lb extra lean ground chicken

Before Bed: 6 whole eggs, 4 slices of whole grain bread

Also, upon waking each morning I'd mix up a one-gallon jug of water and somewhere between five and ten scoops of whey protein. In addition, I'd open a bag of six cinnamon raisin bagels and put peanut butter in between each bagel. The protein drink and the bagels were to be consumed all day long when an actual meal wasn't being eaten.

Again, the motto was, "If I'm not chewing, I'm not growing." I'm not lying when I say that as soon as I'd finish each meal, I'd start right away with my protein shake and bagels and continue on them until the next meal. Even if I was in class, even at work, even when I felt like I couldn't stomach another morsel. Wherever, whenever, I ate.

Now, with what I know now, I might've done things a bit differently, I'd have better balanced my fats. I'd have added a bit more fruits and veggies. I'd have mixed up some Greens+ into my protein shakes. Yet there's no question that I'd maintain the same calorie intake."

This is awesome advice for a beginner...because you need to understand the amount of food it takes to achieve the goals you dream about.

Read everything you can by Berardi and Lowery to learn basic principles.

I believe strongly that the three most important principles in nutrition are quality, volume, and timing.


le stig, grew7;
im 16 and 130lbs

WAKE-UP(6-7AM)BREAKFAST- usually a can of tuna and 2 or 3 weetabix with milk and honey or 3 eggs and 2 or 3 weetabix.

then when in at school i have a tuna- mayo sandwich in between each lesson to last me the day (8 sliced of wholewheat bread with 2 cans of tuna). OR i have 50grams of chicken with brocolli as well as half the amount of tuna- mayo sandwiches id have normally.

Then when i get home ( 4pm) i have a can of tuna with some brown rice or any left overs there are
When i get home and its a workout day i workout then post workout i have- 3 eggs, 3 glasses of milk, some honey, water, banana

DINNER (8)- i have whatever my mom cooks.

then before i go to sleep- 3 eggs or a can of tuna with 2 cups of oatmeal.

What do you guys think?
any help id appreciate


Your diet needs some fattening up if you are tryna bulk up. The breakfast is too small, you are eating lean meats and salad lots. Can you afford to get some whey and drink it with whole mil ka few times a day ? Also you last meal could do with some milk, cottage cheese or yog adding to it.


You diet looks a bit higher in protein that the guy before you. I admire the fact you can eat tuna at breakfast...ugh. Do you know how many calories it is ? More to the point is this diet working for you ?


Here is what I ate today:


11:00 three-egg omelot with chopped celery and baby asparagus 225cal 20g protein

13:00 Bowel of mini-wheats with milk 300cal 9g protein

15:00 Bowel of mini-wheats with milk 300cal 9g protein

17:00 salmon fillet 270cal 40g protein

19:00 one medium banana 100cal 0g protein

21:00 nothing

23:00 full plate of pork and one baked potato + half a loaf of bread ?cal ?g protein <-- My mom made this one

00:00 one protein shake, four scoops of whey powder 790cal 88g protein

Total: 1985cal 166g protein

I did not add the meal my mother cooked for me, because I do not have any idea what was in it.

I usually do this without the mini-wheats, or the lone banana. Would it be a good idea to stick to stuff like what I ate today?


yeah, each can of tuna is about 180calories. Im not sure about the bread and all the other stuff.
I've been doing TBT for about 7 weeks and gained about 5 pounds so far which im happy with.
any thoughts?


Here is my basic diet:

Breakfast: 2 Cups of Oatmeal
Granola Bar
16 oz. Milk
Fat Free Yogurt

Before Workout: 5 grams Creatine Monohyrdrate, 5 grams L-Glutamine

Afterworkout: Myoplex Protein Shake
5 grams Creatine Monohyrdrate, 5 grams L-Glutamine

Lunch: Turkey on Wheat
Granola Bar

Afternoon Snack: Yogurt

Dinner: Turkey Burger on Wheat
6-8 oz. Chicken Breast
Baked Potato
Half Cup Rice

Before Bed: 16 oz Milk
1 Scoop Casein Protein

Any comments would be helpful, thanks. I don't know if my stats will just show up but I am 21, 10.8 percent bodyfat, roughly 187 pounds, 6'1.