T Nation

CT - Diet Ideas


#1

Hi CT, diet question here but would really like your view.

In terms of a sustainable, long-term diet that's conduscive to physique and performance, what are your thoughts on a paleo/some dairy + Plazma/MAG-10/ intra workout only?

Specifically, using fruits as carbs during other parts of day (e.g. pineapple, like Gironda's Hawaian diet - only pineapple/papaya + meat = 1 lbs fat loss a day).

Maybe every other day refuel with white rice or sweet potatoes at night depending on leanness.

I know this approach has gotten me lean in the past (and feeling good) but my only concern is whether it stalls muscle gains. Muscle grows slowly anyways though right? And on a diet with lots of carbs, and even junk food, the full pumped look is short term and not really muscle..


#2

I’m not CT, and I’m sure he would have some more sound advice than I have for you but the answer will be the same as usual:

  1. Diet is dependent on the personal goals of the individual
  2. The metabolism or history of their nutrition and how their body reacted to changes in nutrition.
  3. The training regimen that you will be doing during this diet.

And to quote a couple of this forums greats:
"The purpose of this program is to turn you into one powerful-looking human being. This is not the time to start a fat-loss diet!

We don’t want to get fat in our quest for looking like a tank, but it would be a huge mistake not to consume enough nutrients to fuel the workouts, recover, and then grow from them.

You want at least a 10% caloric surplus when doing this program. For supplements, I had my greatest improvements when I was consuming a high amount of Plazma� pre and during training as well as MAG-10® post-training." - CT

"After doing a couple years of research, I found 100% of reasonable “eating plans” are the same. You have the moronic/retarded outliers like the “pineapple and dog shit diet” but for the most part, you eat reasonably healthy food/appropriate calories 90% of the time, consistently train smart/ like a absolute maniac and you’ll be ok. I have yet to see this proven wrong. " - JW

“If you have an awesome diet plan for yourself, one that you’ve used before when you needed calories, then do it. You’re your own best resource. The keys to eating big are nothing new.” - JW

Hope this helps!


#3

@Sigil: I see diet as an art and a science. Being a TNation reader you probably know a lot about the science already. Personally, I think too many people make diet way too complicated. You need a goal, a plan, feedback, and calibration. The important thing is you know the portion of food you are eating, what your goal is, you measure (calipers, scale, photos, and waist measurement is what I do, personally I like to do this every 1-2 weeks to make sure my plan is giving me the results I want) so you can see exactly what your plan is doing to your body, and you make the necessary changes so you are moving toward your goal (more or less food).

From what you stated your goals are you might try clean (the more natural the better) starchy / whole grain carbs around your workout (oatmeal, potatoes, rice, I personally think gluten-free is the best for most people, etc…), pre and post workout meal, and then fruit as your carb source the rest of the day. Honestly there is no perfect answer, you may need more starchy carbs the rest of the day depending on your recovery and activity level. Eat for performance! As long as you know your goal, have a plan you stick to, know what the plan is doing to you, and make proper adjustments (more food if you’re not growing or recovering, less if you’re getting fat too quick) then you will figure out in time exactly what works best for you.

I’d stop reading diet and nutrition articles during this time too because I think that causes too many people to start new plans so frequently they never know whether the last plan worked or not. You can also calorie cycle and have more carbs on your workout day so you’re fueled for performance and growth and fewer carbs (fruit and veggies) on your rest days (Yes I know that would mean you would have to have a rest day lol).

This is a more aggressive approach, but I like it because when you know you have lower calorie days to lose any extra fat you may accumulate (which personally I think you are so afraid of adding fat that you shortchange your recovery and muscle growth) you won’t have such a problem eating enough on workout days to recover and grow.

Set a goal, make a plan, the easier the better, measure your progress, and make the proper changes. Become your own expert on what works best for you.

I hope this helps.


#4

honestly, the best thing I ever did for my nutrition and long-term physique goals was get a one-time meal plan from John Meadows. I’ve always struggled with fat loss while having decent performance in the gym but now it’s easy and I’m eating loads of good foods while doing it. Yes you will be in a kcal deficit but you will still be eating tons of fruit, white and brown rice, beans, bacon, avocado, eggs, grass-fed meats and all that good stuff. It will also be tailored to how many meals a day you like to eat, and also training/non-training days.

Not only that but the most important part is that I’ve learned how to eat for the rest of my life.


#5

Hey,
i think the best thing you could do is to buy a nutrition plan from a pro like Meadows or Sapir, that fits your goals. That should really help you.


#6

Muscle grows in spurts, at least that’s been my experience. You might gain rapidly for 3-4 weeks than almost get nothing for 4-5 weeks.

The “pumped” look might not be actual muscle, but it helps you build muscle. First because it makes you stronger via greater leverage, capable of doing more volume because of more stored energy. But it also trigger protein synthesis… intramuscular pressure (feeling full/pumped) has an impact on protein synthesis… a “flat” muscle which indicates a low intramuscular pressure lead to a more catabolic state whereas a pumped muscle indicates a high intramuscular pressure which is conductive to greater protein synthesis.

When trying to add muscle, I would avoid going “flat” as much as possible.


#7

One of the problem you have (I think) is that you got SUPER lean (when you did your contest). YES that is actually a problem. Something that I suffered from and that I see a lot of competitors suffering from: you get addicted to that degree of leanness. Everyday you see a new vein or new muscle fiber. You also get more attention and positive comments.

What happens is that you don’t want to lose that.

The problem is that you cannot make gains trying to stay at that degree of leanness. Especially not naturally.

You will try to find ways to do it… intermittent fasting… low carbs/calories expect for peri-workout, certain food combinations, etc. You can find strategies to stay lean. But you cannot add a significant amount of muscle while staying in contest shape or close to it. It wont happen even if you try all the tricks in the book. You can stay lean and add muscle… but not SUPER lean. When your body fat drops too low there a several physiological phenomenons taking place that will limit your capacity to add muscle.

Look at physique/bodybuilding competitors… even those who stay really lean year round still have to diet for at least 8-12 to do a contest. This should tell you something.

When you made great gains you were lean. Not contest lean, but lean enough to look great. That was a leve3l of leanness that wasn’t destructive for your gains.

Listen you don’t have to get fat… I’m against that. But if you try to stay SUPER lean while trying to build muscle, you will fail miserably… and no magic solution (training or nutritional) will allow you to get it.

So it’s a matter of what you really want to do and what you are willing to do.


#8

These are all good points and thanks posters for sharing. CT you’re probably right about the obsession with leaness and unfortunately these days I’m not even “shredded”. Lean but abs not that crisp even flexed.

It’s almost like a body just flipped me the bird and is not gaining muscle nor shredding fat.

I think taking a week to two off completelys might be good BUT honestly…I don’t think I can do it. Something about daily training, my mood, lifestyle etc. it’s become a routine.

What I’m doing now is being a lot more mindful of what I do. Whereas before I’d go in do a bunch of ring stuff, handstand pushups, then rock out the layers now I just do enough ring work as warm up for pump/whole body activation.

And my barbell work is ramping up to ~3RM, wave loading a bit. Then doing a 5x5, being conservative and even backing off from prior poundages.

I’m hoping my enthusiasm and that “Explosive” dominant feel, in addition to pump, come back. When that does, muscle growth surely follows as you noted re: the pump.

I am not IFing hardcore any more. I workout during the morning/early afternoon. I usually do a brain candy (occasionally also coffee) and load up 2-3 scoops of surge workout fuel. I sip on that while I’m setting up my rings and drink the rest just like I would do with plazma.

I"ve been doing this the last 3 days and it’s feeling good. Sometimes I get a sugar hypoglycemic effect almost where it’s like I “Crash” but my muscles still feel pumped.

But yes, I’m loading up on intraworkout carbs. The rest of day is 2-3 meals of meat, avocado, some veggies, and now potatoes as well (lots of fat free fires with ketchup at night).

Undoubtedly the carbs make a difference. Pure paleo leaves me flat and overtime I even feel like I lose shape (veer toward skinny fat if that makes sense). Perhaps it’s also my metabolism like you noted.

So takeaway is increase surge workout fuel pre-intra- and post workout. Eat potatoes at night. Back off training to a ramp to 3RM, waveload, then 5x5. And finish off with ring work for volume.

It’s not that significantly different from what I’ve been doing before but the mental shift towards CHASING PERFORMANCE (vs. going stimmed crazy) might get me back on track. I also wonder if the repetitive movements of ring lever and chins/dips might be imapcting my muscle growth since I basically do these daily AND i train daily. Though you mentioned in the layers that daily 50 ring dips/chins were no problem for you.

I get what you’re saying about overthinking things. I do train intensely (and focused) and am aware of my body day to day. But I will focus on something and avoid too much noise (overREADING of fitness blogs,podcasts). Really the missing piece might just be a rest day or two. But I don’t like rest days at all ha…


#9

Sigil, I know how you feel, man… When you become a total “stimulation whore” (so to speak), even taking a single rest day becomes mentally really difficult. Not to mention taking two or more in a row.


#10

[quote]Evander wrote:
Sigil, I know how you feel, man… When you become a total “stimulation whore” (so to speak), even taking a single rest day becomes mentally really difficult. Not to mention taking two or more in a row.[/quote]

Yeah, but sometimes that’s what it takes to start progressing again.