T Nation

Diet for Building Muscle and Staying Lean

[quote]Jointe1992 wrote:
Yes is has plates for the feet and a handle, I did it at 14:00 so I wasn’t dehydrated. They charge you every time you want to do a reading so I don’t think I can do it twice a week.

[/quote]

I was going to say no more than once a week. Most people overdo it.

[quote]Jointe1992 wrote:

Then I should stick to 2130 cals on non training days and 2430 on training days?

[/quote]

I think it is a little low, because most of those formula’s assume you’ll be getting 90-120 grams of protein a day. Since you will be around 150-200 or so, the extra protein should be on top of that, about 200-300 more calories to the base. I’d say 2300-2400 base, 2600-2700 training (1 hour). How active are you aside from training. But at 2100+ with all the fat soluble nutrients, and blood sugar under control you should get stronger and leaner. Do you have vitamin D supplement?

I would stick with 1 ounce of nuts a day, because of the Omega-6, but you can have all the macadamia you want. I’d also get olive oil. Personally I would also get red palm oil from an organic grocery store because that will give you vitamin A carotenoids.

I was thinking of checking my BF once a month, or do you recommend twice a month just to see that it doesn’t increase?

I need to start eating more, i’m struggling as it is to reach 2300 cals, especially during the week when I’m working. That’s why cashew nuts have come in handy. I ordered some whey protein and it should arrive on monday or tuesday.

I’m not very active outside of the gym, I spend a lot of time infront of a computer. Both in work and at home. Somedays at work when I’m out of office I’m mostly walking around checking on stuff but overall I’d say i’m not very active aside from training. I have been thinking about taking a walk for maybe an hour on my non-training days.

I have olive oil that I use for cooking, extra virgin. Should I take a swig of it daily?

Lastly I do have a vitamin supplement that I’m not taking regularly, I’d say it’s more of an over all vitamin supplement as it contains vitamin C,D,E,B12,B5,B3,B2,B1 aswell as zink, magnesium, kalcium and some other stuff.

[quote]Jointe1992 wrote:
I was thinking of checking my BF once a month, or do you recommend twice a month just to see that it doesn’t increase?

I need to start eating more, i’m struggling as it is to reach 2300 cals, especially during the week when I’m working. That’s why cashew nuts have come in handy. I ordered some whey protein and it should arrive on monday or tuesday.

I’m not very active outside of the gym, I spend a lot of time infront of a computer. Both in work and at home. Somedays at work when I’m out of office I’m mostly walking around checking on stuff but overall I’d say i’m not very active aside from training. I have been thinking about taking a walk for maybe an hour on my non-training days.

I have olive oil that I use for cooking, extra virgin. Should I take a swig of it daily?

Lastly I do have a vitamin supplement that I’m not taking regularly, I’d say it’s more of an over all vitamin supplement as it contains vitamin C,D,E,B12,B5,B3,B2,B1 aswell as zink, magnesium, kalcium and some other stuff. [/quote]

Do NOT eat “all the macadamia nuts you want.” You’ll blow through your macros like Ray Charles through a red light.

Skip the Tanita scale; isn’t accurate. If you know someone skilled with calipers then use them (and only them) once a month or so. Otherwise skip it.

I’m getting the impression from your posts that you should perhaps focus on hitting basic macros with healthy food and peri-workout nutrition and just get stronger. You may be majoring in the minors.

He already has a calorie limit, and having trouble filling out cals. I meant that as long as you are in your macro limit macadamia is not going to cause problems from a fatty acid type point of view, while other nuts do.

For someone at 17% bodyfat and using a low rep strength program I think that 40 to 50% fat is fine, but we can disagree I guess on that. I went from 237 at 28% to 195 at 13% in 8 months with 150 grams of carbs a day, and my percentage is still going down on a maintenance cal diet with 50% cals from fat on a base diet (but less on training days of course).

What do you find with the upper and lower tanita? High or low? Skinfolds only measure subcutaneous fat, and current bioelectrics measure visceral fat too. Anyway, I’ve used skinfolds and found that the double Tanita correlates well, though my skinfolds tend to drop faster.

I’ve tested bodybuilders who have 5-6% by skinfold and 10-12% by underwater weighing.

See you can manage macros, or you can eliminate sugar, gluten, omega-6s and let your macros largely take care of themselves.

Bryan Krahn I’m careful not to eat too many nuts, i’m counting my macros and if I see that I still have much left to eat I take an ounce (11 nuts) in order to keep up. I actually had two ounces a couple of days ago!

When I get home from work I’ve usually had around 1200-1400 cals.

Here’s the thing about eating fat. If you are not training at a 5+ rep level and not rebuilding glycogen (which also means you trained at a 5+ level) virtually every gram of carbs you eat will be used by the brain or get turned into triglyceride molecules before it is burned, and I think the brain uses about 150 grams a day total (dietary and those synthesized in the liver).

Is this something I have to worry about? I’ve read on Wikipedia about Triglyceride and it seems to be a fatty acid used as a energy source.

Since I’m training 5 rep’ s this should be fine because the fats are burned as a energy source, how will this work on resting days?

I’m not 100% I understand what you meant

Basically the diet I recommended (and you chose the one to reduce bodyfat while gaining some muscle, has oyu at 25% carbs, 25% protein and 50% fat on a non-training day. Your body developes the best insulin sensitivity when you eat more than 100 and fewer than 200 grams of carbs (plus peri-workout). That puts you in the 25% carb range. Some have suggested 30% fat and 40-45% carbs, but my point is that a) this reduces insulin sensitivity and b) those extra 90-130 grams of carbs are just going to turn into triglycerides and sent from the liver into the bloodstream anyway, so that is why, on a non-training day and with about 16-17% bodyfat, I recommend only 100-200 grams of carbs, and 50% of calories from fat.

I’m going to stick to this diet and see where it gets me. I’ll get a scale to monitor my weight. Should I still increase about 1-2 pounds in weight per week?
To sum up my diet I should eat the following:

On resting days, ~2350 cals, 146,75 grams of protein and carbs. And 130 grams of fat.

On training days, ~2650 cals, 165 grams of protein and carbs. And 147 grams of fat.

Is that correct?

If I have any questions will you be notified if I post them in this thread?

[quote]Jointe1992 wrote:
I’m going to stick to this diet and see where it gets me. I’ll get a scale to monitor my weight. Should I still increase about 1-2 pounds in weight per week?
To sum up my diet I should eat the following:

On resting days, ~2350 cals, 146,75 grams of protein and carbs. And 130 grams of fat.

On training days, ~2650 cals, 165 grams of protein and carbs. And 147 grams of fat.

Is that correct?

If I have any questions will you be notified if I post them in this thread?[/quote]

Please re-read this post:
My recommendation is pretty different from the rest.

First off, a typical non-training day. I estimate your baseline needs to be about 2300 cals.

140 grams carbs average (about 25% of cals; you may vary but average this over the week)
140 grams protein (about 25% of cals)
130 grams fat (about 50% of cals)

Next, on training days, for each hour of training add 30 grams of protein before training, and 50 grams of carbs after training. This is for a 5 x 5 program that does not deplete muscle glycogen very much. If you train more than an hour, start the carbs by the 1 hour mark.

So if you train an hour you are getting for the day: 170 g protein, 190 g carbs, 130 g fat, 2620 cals.

THAT formula should actually let you gain strength and muscle while gradually sliding down to 12-14% bodyfat.

If your goal is to just maintain your current BF% and gain as much muscle as possible, add another 30 grams of protein and 50 grams of carbs to the base numbers each day.


SO to clarify, in the thread title you asked for a diet that would add the most muscle possible while maintaining your current bodyfat level. I wrote up a baseline diet that would DECREASE your bodyfat naturally without a calorie reduction, and would build some muscle. Then I explained that if you wanted to keep gaining muscle while maintaining (not lower) your bodyfat you should add 50 grams of carbs and 30 grams of protein to the baseline. Let me summarize:

  1. Gradually decrease bodyfat to 12-14% level while adding a little muscle:
    Baseline: 2350 cals; 140 grams protein; 140 grams carbs
    Training day: 2650 cals; 170 grams protein; 190 grams carbs

  2. Gaining the most muscle while maintaining bodyfat
    Baseline: 2650 cals; 170 grams protein; 190 grams carbs
    Training: 2950 cals; 200 grams protein; 240 grams carbs

So if you go with the 2350 cal baseline/2650 training day option I would not expect as fast a gain in bodyweight because you should be losing 'round 1 percent bodyfat in a month (2 pounds). If you go with the 2650/2950 option you could gain a little more.

How long have you been gaining 1-2 pounds a week?

Since you were using the Stronglifts program you are not too carb dependent in your training right now. The lower carb diet will make your post workout carbs more effective. It is critical to get about 30 grams of protein within 1 hour before, and 50 grams of carbs right after training.

You also really need 2-3 whole eggs, or at least the yolks, and 2000-4000 IU vitamin D, and I recommend a 1/4 pound slice of calf liver per week to get active vitamin A. It comes frozen in 1/4 pound slices at the grocery store.

You may lose a little bloat on your stomach in the first 2 weeks, and so tighten up your belt for squats and deadlifts or you may feel weaker. I like the stronglifts program but you can also substitute pulldowns and hang cleans/high pulls for rows deads or the second squat workout, or cycle them in and out.

Within 2 weeks your testosterone and insulin sensitivity should both be up, so if you feel a little weak in the first 1-2 weeks at least stick it out through week 3, though some people feel stronger right away.

Hello, thanks for summarising that up! Sorry if I’m a little slow. I’m new at this.

On this, should I eat the rest of the cals in fat, so about 135g of fat on the plan to decrease bodyfat?

[quote]mertdawg wrote:

  1. Gradually decrease bodyfat to 12-14% level while adding a little muscle:
    Baseline: 2350 cals; 140 grams protein; 140 grams carbs
    Training day: 2650 cals; 170 grams protein; 190 grams carbs

  2. Gaining the most muscle while maintaining bodyfat
    Baseline: 2650 cals; 170 grams protein; 190 grams carbs
    Training: 2950 cals; 200 grams protein; 240 grams carbs
    [/quote]

I have no problem eating eggs, I can get almost as many eggs as I like for free. I take vitamin supplement which contains Vitamin A and D, as well as others I mentioned in an earlier post. I can check if I can buy some calf liver, would any other liver work aswell?

Today I timed so I had about 30 grams of protein 45 minutes before workout and I ate maybe 15 minutes after I got home.

I’m not using a belt for squats and deadlifts yet.

I’m not sure I’ve gained 1-2 lbs every week but I’ve gained about 5,5 kg’s in a period of 4 months.

I’m actually feeling stronger, this is most likely because I’m eating more. Before I was tired alot and took naps regurarly at lunch and after work. My bench press have stopped stalling and I don’t feel as tired on the deadlifts. However I don’t feel any difference in squats, I’m always “hammered” after the squats.

Also, will eating sugar mess with my insulin sensitivity? I’m not eating sugar that often but sometimes It’s nice to have some.

[quote]Jointe1992 wrote:
Hello, thanks for summarising that up! Sorry if I’m a little slow. I’m new at this.

On this, should I eat the rest of the cals in fat, so about 135g of fat on the plan to decrease bodyfat?

[quote]mertdawg wrote:

  1. Gradually decrease bodyfat to 12-14% level while adding a little muscle:
    Baseline: 2350 cals; 140 grams protein; 140 grams carbs
    Training day: 2650 cals; 170 grams protein; 190 grams carbs

  2. Gaining the most muscle while maintaining bodyfat
    Baseline: 2650 cals; 170 grams protein; 190 grams carbs
    Training: 2950 cals; 200 grams protein; 240 grams carbs
    [/quote]

I have no problem eating eggs, I can get almost as many eggs as I like for free. I take vitamin supplement which contains Vitamin A and D, as well as others I mentioned in an earlier post. I can check if I can buy some calf liver, would any other liver work aswell?

Today I timed so I had about 30 grams of protein 45 minutes before workout and I ate maybe 15 minutes after I got home.

I’m not using a belt for squats and deadlifts yet.

I’m not sure I’ve gained 1-2 lbs every week but I’ve gained about 5,5 kg’s in a period of 4 months.

I’m actually feeling stronger, this is most likely because I’m eating more. Before I was tired alot and took naps regurarly at lunch and after work. My bench press have stopped stalling and I don’t feel as tired on the deadlifts. However I don’t feel any difference in squats, I’m always “hammered” after the squats.

Also, will eating sugar mess with my insulin sensitivity? I’m not eating sugar that often but sometimes It’s nice to have some.
[/quote]

You can eat chicken liver. about 3 1/2 once a week. That will also give you about half your vitamin A from active animal forms (retinol). Vitamin D in multivitamins is only a fraction of what people need if they are not in the sun a lot.

Regarding sugar, you can have 200-300 cals a day from fruit. In fact if you don’t have a post workout drink, you might want to eat 1 banana after you finish your first exercise, and another right after your last one on training days-do you do squats first? Those 2 bananas will count as 200 cals of fruit, but they are your post workout 50 grams of carbs for the day.

Or you could have sugar starting at the end of your workout or right after. What kind of sugar do you like to eat? 75 grams of total sugar a day max (50-75 average) plus sugar can make up your 50 grams extra on training days.

So you have gained 12 pounds in 16 weeks. That is great. I would have expected it to slow down a little after 4 months.

I’ll have to check what kind of liver is available at my grocery store.

I do squats as the first exercise every day. My bench press have been lagging behind a bit so that could be the reason I’m feeling stronger. Sometimes I could be burned out after I did my sets of squats.

I mostly eat oranges, bananas and sometimes a fruit called Sharon. That’s about all the fruit I eat.

I have counted the things I’ve eaten so far and I’ve had ~1900 cals, 154g protein, 225 g of carbs and only 40 grams of fat. Which means I need about 60 grams of fat before I go to bed. I bought some avocados today. It’s hard to eat enough food, today on a training day I’ve almost had enough cals for a rest day.

Forgot to count in 4 DL of milk, 160 cals, 14 protein, 20 carbs and 2g fat.

I’ve had a whole avocado and some peanutbutter and now I’ve reached my limit for today finally!

At 2560 cals, 170g protein, 247 carbs and 100g fat.

[quote]Jointe1992 wrote:
I’ve had a whole avocado and some peanutbutter and now I’ve reached my limit for today finally!

At 2560 cals, 170g protein, 247 carbs and 100g fat.[/quote]

that looks pretty good. I would avoid going over 250 carbs on a training day max, and avoid getting over 200 on a non-training day max. Its also OK to get the fat in later on a training day, but try to get a little more of your fat in before noon on non-training days. Eggs and butter and ground beef are good for breakfast.

Yeah I should have had eggs for lunch instead of bread and Tuna. By the way, is whole wheat bread good to eat? I find it to be a great source for carbs. I’ve picked a bread with next to none additives.

For breakfast I mostly eat porridge (whole) and a Greek yoghurt.

Today I did just fine with the eating, ~2380 cals, 152g protein, 145g carbs and 133g fat.