T Nation

Bulk Diet Re-Evaluation


Just doing a sanity check on my diet:

6'1'', ~196lbs @ ~14% bf

2 scoops whey
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp peanut butter
10 fish oil capsules

salmon, chicken or tuna (8 oz, drained)
1 cup long-grain rice
1 cup stir fry veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, spinach in a soy/chili sauce)
1/2 cup spinach

1 cup dried oatmeal (so, 2 servings)
1 scoop whey
7 g BCAA/glutamine
14g dextrose/malto
2g beta alanine
1.5 cups mixed berries (straw, blue and rasp)

sip on water

1.5 scoops whey
2 servings grape juice + pitted dates
= ~40g protein and ~85g carbs

PWO Meal:
1 cup Dr Johns Chili from Gourmet Nutrition, substitute ground turkey for ground beef (approx 550 calories)...usually has generous portions of legumes and vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, etc)

PRE-BED meal: Usually some random foods to help meet my caloric goals...I'm usually falling short on carbs so this meal will be like dried fruit (dates, berries, etc) + cottage cheese, or perhaps a piece of chicken, veggies and olive oil.

For the past month, my calories have been between 3950-4350, and whenever I don't meet my goals (usually x2 a week, usually on the weekends when I'm not home and not working out) its usually around 2300 calories.

My macros almost always work out to be 40-30-30 (carbs-pro-fat). I'm always getting at least 1.5g/lb protein, but usually my carbs and fat are what fluctuate the most. I sometimes end up with something more like 35-30-35, although as a former ectomorph, I know I should probably aim for something more like 50-30-20.

So, any suggestions, thoughts, does this seem good? When I get into a flow sometimes I wonder if I'm really doing it right so I need a sanity check every once and a while.

Should I be taking more fish oil?

I'm also thinking of doing a T-Nation suggestion of snacking on dates/dried fruit w/ walnuts + almonds throughout the day to add another 500 or so calories of good carbs and fats.



That seems like a pretty tame bulk. Start from there and start adding calories according to how you feel and look.


Yea it seems like you are dialed in with a nice diet. My only suggestion would be to add BCAA during your workout, just what i would do. I agree with Growing Boy in that start with this bulk as is and I would add calories if need be during the peri-workout window...


Awesome great ideas guys thanks.

I think I might start doing my PWO during my workout as well. That's another ~500 calories, 3g of glutamine and 5g of BCAA, which is pretty ideal. Plus, it would help me meet my carb requirements.

Sweet much appreciated!


Dude, your breakfast is tiny. Generally, I think you should aim to eat more.


At this point I'm averaging around 4200 calories, and I dunno...my breakfast usually tallies in around 600 calories so rather than give general suggestions like "eat more" and "your breakfast is tiny," perhaps you could instead suggest how many calories I should be eating, and how many I should be eating at breakfast.


How does:

"2 scoops whey
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp peanut butter
10 fish oil capsules"

seem like a reasonable breakfast? And how do you get 600 calories out of that?.. Where's the solids at? Where's the carbs at? You wake up = you're in a catabolic state and need some quick acting carbs, AFAIK. I wouldn't put all my fish oil caps and peanut butter in there.

For breakfast, when bulking, I was having around 600-800 ml of whole or semi-skimmed milk (used to make oatmeal), oatmeal, a couple of fruit and 1-2 scoops of whey. AND I'M 5'9"!

Now, not everyone is able to stomach those kinds of amounts in the morning, but I'd at least make a shake in the morning, with fruit (dates work well, so do bananas), oatmeal, milk and whey. Mm-mm.

Also, I don't see the need for fruit juice PWO. Chocolate milk (low fat)+whey > fruit juice, for sure.

Finally, I don't really get your pre workout meal. Do you want fast-acting or slow-acting carbs? 'Cause mixing oatmeal and berries (fiber, slow carb) with dextrose/maltose (fast carbs) seems a bit weird. I would take the oatmeal 1.5-2 hours before the workout, the whey 1 hour before the workout, and the rest of it (sans the maltose/dextrose) just before the workout. Oh, I'd also add leucine.

Anyway, take that for what it's worth. The disclaimer is, I've only been working out seriously/consistently for about 10 months, and there is a lot I don't know/can't explain.

On the other hand, I'm only slightly weaker than you are, and I think that I advanced reasonably fast for a beginner, so hopefully you will give my advice at least some consideration :smiley:


I'd add a carb source for breakfast or at least some fruit.

Seems you've been stuck at your weight for a while, this could help breakthrough. At least I thought you wanted to get over 200.

I would have been there by now if it weren't for being sick and tooth issues.

I've been getting 4300-4500 cals/day for the past few weeks and finally back to where I was.

Like you though, my weekends are tough because I don't really track it and don't eat the same foods so I'm sure I'm only getting around 3,000 or so.


not saying it's a great breakfast, but the cals are there for what he stated


I didn't really look at specifics of all other meals, but is that really 4200 cals?


Ok gentlemen, let's not get high and mighty, let me clear some things up.

First, I wasn't stuck below 200. I bulked up to 208 this summer, cut down to 185, and am bulking back up to 225. I'm at 198 right now, so the gains have been steady, so I got it under control.

Second, yes, that's 4200 calories, the last meal is usually where I make up whatever I haven't eaten, I mean I have monitored my eating for the entire month and I can tell you for a fact that I've gotten around 4200 the entire week to the tee.

Third, the main reason for this breakfast is that I'm in grad school and I just don't like to "make" breakfast. I totally forgot to mention that I add 1/2 cup egg whites to that breakfast, so the breakfsat is more like

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup egg whites
2 scoops protein
2 tbsp peanut butter
10 fish oil caps

Which easily adds up to 600 calories. I was having a 900 calorie breakfast this summer, like an 8 egg omelete, so I can definitely handle my calories. I could and probably should add oatmeal and dates in the morning, but then I dunno what I should have as a pre-workout meal. That seemed like a pretty solid choice that's been working for me so far.

And for the record, I think grape juice is much better than chocolate milk, because you don't get the fats, the sugars are faster acting than lactose, and you get a much higher sugar content per serving, so its very fast acting. In truth, its still more expensive than malto/dex, so I'll probably just order some of that in a bit anyways.

I don't really need to add Leucine because I'm already getting the exact amounts I need during my pre/during/post workout nutrition already, but thanks.

So yeah, any ideas for pre workout nutrition? Because I really don't want to have the same shake 3 times a day...


That wasn't a knock. I was just taking a glimpse. AFter calculating your breakfast and comparing your other meals, I was curious if it really was that many calories.


Again - this is just AFAIK - wouldn't grape juice mostly be fructose? i.e. useless at creating the insulin spike that you need? I'm not suggesting chocolate milk because I love chocolate milk, it's just what I have when I need to buy something PWO at a supermarket.

What makes you think you don't need to add leucine? Have you tried using leucine before?

Pre-workout, just eat some fruit. Works pretty good for me. Actually works real good for me :). Bananas are good.

As for the breakfast, I hate toast, but I'd at least add some good toast (fibrous bread) to that. Hell, maybe even a healthy cereal instead. And speaking of cereal, it's quite good before a workout, too.