T Nation

Creating First Meal Plan

Just a little background…

Right now I’m a tad under 6’ tall and I’m usually a little over 190. I have been lifting about 4-5 days a week for the last 10-12 months pretty damn consistently. Given my poor nutrition over the last year or so I’m certainly satisfied with my gains.

But, summer is coming up and I figured it would be a good time to improve the diet and start my first cut. Over the last two weeks I have done endless amounts of reading to determine what I should be eating and in what amounts.

I must say that I am very satisfied with what Tampa-Terry has said in her posts on these forums and I welcome both Terry and anyone else to please let me know where I could improve this initial skeleton of a meal plan… thanks!

Meal 1 (6:30 P+C):
Whey protein shake
Oatmeal

Meal 2 (9:30 P+F):
Brown rice
Vegetables

Meal 3 (12:30 P+F):
Chicken breast
olive oil

Meal 4 (3:30 P+C):
Boiled egg & mixed greens salad

Meal 5 (PWO 6:30-7:30 P+C):
Whey protein shake
Blueberries

Meal 6 (9:30 P+F)
Something protein & flaxseed oil

I know that is a pretty rough skeleton, but this is my first time doing this and I’m all geared up to start ASAP. Any advice, comment and/or criticism is welcome.

Very nice job for a first attempt!!! It’s pretty obvious to me that you have been reading. (grin)

Let me get a clarification on your goals. I know you want to lean out a bit. Do you want to maintain your current weight and lean out a bit, or do you want to drop scale weight? Do you have any idea what your current body fat percentage is?

Next question, when do you work out? I’d use that information for purposes of analyzing PWO nutrition.

I’ll share my thoughts and make recommendations after I hear back from you.

Very nice food choices and structure on your plan thus far, though!

I’ll throw my 2 cents in.

Not enough protein.

Meal 2 doesn’t even have protein in it. The other meal with the boiled egg isn’t nearly enough protein at all. You should be getting at least 1g per pound of bodyweight and by the looks of it, you aren’t. Increase calories also, they seem pretty low for someone your size.

You want to lose fat, not weight in general. Keep the hard-earned muscle you worked for and lose the fat. So increase your protein sources, but other than that, it looks good.

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
Do you want to maintain your current weight and lean out a bit, or do you want to drop scale weight? Do you have any idea what your current body fat percentage is?[/quote]

I’m definetly looking to maintain my current lean muscle mass and drop as much body fat as possible. I have no idea what my current body fat percentage is, but I’d figure it to be around 15%.

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
Next question, when do you work out?[/quote]

I typically find myself at the gym at about 6:00 in the evening. This rarely changes.

Just an update to the previously posted meal plan (and what I’ll roughly be following tomorrow)…

Meal 1 (6:30 P+C):
Serving of oatmeal, cottage cheese, multivitamin, vitamin C, 5g glutamine

Meal 2 (9:30 P+F):
Serving of whey protein shake and a small mixture of strawberries and grapes

Meal 3 (12:30 P+F):
One large chicken breast mixed with olive oil and vitamin C

Meal 4 (3:30 P+C):
One serving brown rice, and 5g glutamine

Meal 5 (PWO 6:30-7:00):
Whey protein shake, 5g glutamine (thinking of picking up some dextrose and maltodextrin tomorrow – is this worth it?)

Meal 6 (9:30 P+F):
At least 4 egg whites and one whole egg, flaxseed oil (can this be bought in some sort of food edible form or will a pill supplement do?), vitamin c

Thinking of adding something like a sliced turkey wrap into meal 6.

Once again, comments would be great.

I’m a tad over 6’ and over 190. I haven’t seen any pictures, but my guess is you shouldn’t be cutting (unless BF is around 20-25%). I think you’d do better with a slow bulk if you really want to limit fat.

[quote]itsthetimman wrote:
I’m a tad over 6’ and over 190. I haven’t seen any pictures, but my guess is you shouldn’t be cutting (unless BF is around 20-25%). I think you’d do better with a slow bulk if you really want to limit fat.[/quote]

My BF must be higher than 15%… I have enough fat on my gut to make me want to get rid of it.

If you’ve eaten like crap over the last year, just making the right choices with regards to nutrition will have a positive impact on the way you look without having to cut. Too many want to cut, when all they have to do is make better decisions when it comes to eating.

Clean up your diet for 8 weeks and see where you phsyique goes. I’m 7 inches shorter, 20 lbs lighter than you and eat roughly 4k cals on my workout days and 3k on my non and am sitting sub 10% body fat. Sometimes it is what you eat compared to how much.

[quote]thetruepitbull wrote:
If you’ve eaten like crap over the last year, just making the right choices with regards to nutrition will have a positive impact on the way you look without having to cut. Too many want to cut, when all they have to do is make better decisions when it comes to eating.

Clean up your diet for 8 weeks and see where you phsyique goes. I’m 7 inches shorter, 20 lbs lighter than you and eat roughly 4k cals on my workout days and 3k on my non and am sitting sub 10% body fat. Sometimes it is what you eat compared to how much.[/quote]

Certainly something I’m willing to consider. I think at this point, whether I’m gonna cut or bulk or whatever, I’m just looking for more ways to augment my meal plan with more protein and calories.

Oh, I’m from BC as well. Funny, I see a lot of people from BC on various BB forums.

seems like you have a scaffold to start with. definately go with it for a few weeks before tweaking. changes will take a little while to come, though they may start right away, you will have a better idea after following a particular plan for a couple weeks. at that point, you will be able to alter your calories a bit up or down depending on your goals.

the key is to find out how your body responds to the changes. a couple points, consider a protein blend instead of whey for non-post workout shakes, they will leave you fuller and keep protein breakdown from occuring.

for flax, going with flax meal in plain yogurt with a scoop of a protein blend like Metabolic Drive is a great meal replacement.

i would like to see some veggies or at least fruit with every meal and perhaps 2-3 fish oil caps. avocados are an excellent source of healthy fat, micronutrients, and fiber. also, they have a PRAL of around -8 meaning that they will roughly balance out the acidity from meat at a 1-1 weight ratio.

for the protein and carb meal with the rice, where is the animal protein? this would be a good place for some chicken breast or lean pork or beef. the egg meal could certainly use more protein, i would recommend meat rather than lunchmeat.

[quote]ubl0 wrote:
consider a protein blend instead of whey for non-post workout shakes, they will leave you fuller and keep protein breakdown from occuring.[/quote]

So should I be aiming for only one whey protein shake a day (which would be taken PWO)?

[quote]ubl0 wrote:
for flax, going with flax meal in plain yogurt with a scoop of a protein blend like Metabolic Drive is a great meal replacement.[/quote]

Plain yogurt and anything is great in my books… I’d certainly favor that over a couple things that I’m currently eatting daily. Regarding flax meal… any suggestions where to buy this in meal form? Is it better to grind some flax seed up myself? (I’m in BC, so naming a particular store works too)

[quote]ubl0 wrote:
i would like to see some veggies or at least fruit with every meal and perhaps 2-3 fish oil caps. avocados are an excellent source of healthy fat, micronutrients, and fiber. also, they have a PRAL of around -8 meaning that they will roughly balance out the acidity from meat at a 1-1 weight ratio.[/quote]

Definetly something I’ll be working on ASAP. I’d like to throw in some spinnach leaves and cucumbers or something in with my chicken breast.

[quote]ubl0 wrote:
for the protein and carb meal with the rice, where is the animal protein? this would be a good place for some chicken breast or lean pork or beef. the egg meal could certainly use more protein, i would recommend meat rather than lunchmeat.[/quote]

Yeah, some lean beef would be good there. Something stir fry’ish sounds delicious actually.

Thanks for the input. Much appreciated.

Okay, good information, theirlaw!!!

I like the 6 meals and the structure. You’ve got olive oil and flaxseed oil. Check!

You need a protein source on Meal 2 and should skip the brown rice. It’s a starchy carb, and if you’re wanting to lose as much fat as possible, you should consume starchy carbs in your PWO meal only. Along those lines, on the first meal, I’d replace oatmeal with a serving of fruit.

One of the things I really push is “variety, variety, variety.” Try not to repeat a protein source in a day’s time.

On Meal 4 if you’re wanting to use eggs as your protein source, you’ll need to make them egg WHITES instead of whole eggs. Each egg is 5g of fat. And the rule on P+C meals is to try and keep fat at or below 5g.

Meal 5 needs some starchy carbs. You need them in a 2:1 ratio with protein.

Since you’re eating 6 meals per day, you need 32g of protein per meal (32 x 6 = 192). So on your PWO meal, you’d need 64g of starchy carbs. You could use the oatmeal or brown rice I told you to remove out of your other meals. Sweet potatoes, yams, whole wheat pasta, amaranth and quinoa are also acceptable PWO starchy carbs. You would not have starchy carbs on days you did cardio; only after resistance training.

Add a serving of fruit to your 3 P+C meals. A serving is 80-100 calories. Some fruit you’ll get more (ounces), and others you’ll get less. No fruit is off limits.

Your fat requirements are 76g per day. As part of that 76g per day, you should have 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil and 1.5 tablespoons of flaxseed oil. You won’t have a lot left over. (grin) 1.5 tablespoons is 21g of fat.

That should get you started and get you the results you’re looking for. Make sure you weigh and measure every week, on Friday. You don’t want to lose scale weight too quickly. If you report back your results, I’ll help you tweak and adjust along the way if it becomes necessary.

By measure, I mean:

  • Right Arm (or left side, really)
  • Chest
  • Waist
  • Butt
  • Right Thigh
  • Right Calf

Questions? (grin)

Thanks Tampa Terry! You truly are a hero.

TL, you’re getting some great advice on your thread from ubl0 and thetruepitbull. One part of a nutritional plan is the numbers and structure. The other part is food choices.

[quote]I’d like to respond to your last response in my post. Just to bring things up to date, over the last two days I have been eating the following:

Meal 1 (6:30 – P+C) consists of 1 serving of oatmeal and four egg whites.

Meal 2 (9:30 – P+F) consists of a Muscle Milk shake and fruit (today was a medium sized apple).

Meal 3 (12:30 – P+F) consists of a large chicken breast, about 10 spinach leaves and my serving of olive oil for the day.

Meal 4 (3:30 – P+C) consists of a half a cup of brown rice, some vegetables (today I have 5-6 pieces of broccoli) and 3.4oz of stir fried lean steak.

Meal 5 (PWO 6:30 P+C) consists of a Muscle Milk shake and some random fruit.

Meal 6 (9:30 P+F) consists of a cup of cottage cheese, random fruit and my serving of flax seed.[/quote]

Your food choices are excellent, TL, even if I might be telling you to cut something out or move it elsewhere. Implement as many of the recommendations I make as possible and take the rest “under advisement,” meaning that if you make slow and steady progress towards your goals, who cares if your diet is perfect. (grin)

Nonetheless, recommendations and answers to your questions are as follows.

Think of a P+C meal as a P+Fruit meal. You need 3 P+C meals in a day’s time. You need 1 serving of fruit at each of those 3 meals. Since I know you’re looking for ideas, try a John Berardi classic …

4 egg whites + 1 whole egg
1 ounce of cooked chicken breast
w/ 1 cup of frozen spinach
1 ounce of onions
1/4 cup of canned mushrooms
top w/ 2 tablespoons of salsa

Cook in a non-stick pan. Serve with fresh pineapple or blueberries.

You don’t have to count the salsa, mushrooms or onions. The one whole egg provides 5g of fat. The eggs and chicken provide 31g of protein.

I agree, variety is key, but I’m pretty much forced to do the majority of my cooking on the Sunday before the work week. Do you have any suggestions on how to implement variety with such constraints on preparation?

If you send Chef Lisa Marie a PM and ask her to stop by your thread, she’ll help you put the taste and flavor into things you’re eating. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Chef Lisa Marie is this forum’s secret weapon. (grin) She’s an expert on the bulk cooking thing. Cooking whole turkeys and pork or pot roasts sure do add to the variety of what you’e eating in a week’s time, along with being time efficient.

Similarly, should the brown rice be avoided in the afternoon as well? What would be a suitable replacement?

How about beans and/or veggies? Chili, maybe?

Plan on doing some bulk cooking. For your daily beans requirement, make a pot of chili. Count out 3.5 cups of beans (1 serving = 1/2 cup, so that is 7 servings, and then look up the number of ounces of lean ground beef or diced chicken breast you need to cook with it to meet your protein requirements for 7 meals.

Example. 5.3 ounces of uncooked chicken breast provide you with 32g of protein. Multiply that by the 7 meals you’re planning on making, and that works out to 37 ounces (2 pounds, 5 ounces). Add the tomatoes and spices. Leave out the corn starch thickener and corn/maize that sometimes comes in the chili kits, and divide the end result between 7 containers. Freeze part, refrigerate part. Cook once, but you get 7 meals that meet your protein and beans requirements.

Don’t count out spinach leaves. You’re allowed unlimited fibrous green veggie carbs!!! There’s a list on this thread: http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1509230

On Meals 1 and 4, I’d still like to see you cut out the starchy carbs … or rather, replace them with fibrous green veggie carbs on the thread above. Try to limit protein shakes to one meal a day. You need 6 different protein sources in a day’s time. Try frozen shrimp, chicken, eggs, lean ground beef, protein powder, cottage cheese, turkey, tilapia, canned tuna, salmon, lean pork

On Meal 6, which is a P+F meal, you can have veggies, but skip the fruit. You should have fruit earlier in the day at your P+C meals (including your whole food P+C PWO meal). Oddly enough, salsa tastes good on cottage cheese. (grin) It also tastes good with Chocolate Metabolic Drive protein powder. You could also have a flax seed muffin:

1/4 cup of ground flax seed (2 tablespoons unground, prior to grinding)
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1.5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
a dash of salt (to taste)
1 scoop of Vanilla Metabolic Drive protein powder
1 egg
1/8 cup of water

Microwave for 1 minute and 10 seconds and eat warm!

16g of fat
30g of protein
5g of carbs

Tastes great with peanut butter if you’re running low on fat for the day. (grin)

For the body measurements, would that be with or without flexing?

Without!!!

Did I miss anything? (grin)

Awesome suggestions! :slight_smile:

I will certainly be making some of the supplied recipes this weekend. Furthermore, the oatmeal and brown rice didn’t really taste well to begin with. Whole wheat pasta, muffins and chilli sounds much, much more wholesome.

Thanks again Terry.

You’re most welcome. Make sure you report back and let us know how you’re doing!!!

You’re most welcome. Make sure you report back and let us know how you’re doing!!!