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Diet for Review

Looking to get some critique on my new diet. 30 years old, 5"11, ~172lb/78kg. Unsure of body fat percentage. Have been training for quite a few years but want to start taking my diet a bit more serious now. No interest in competing so diet doesn’t need to be 100% spot on but looking to put on size without too much fat gain. I remember doing a dirty bulk when I was a teenager going from 70kg to 85kg and it wasn’t pretty.

Average day looks as follows with gym immediately after meal 1 in the morning. Diet is similar on non-training days with the exception of PWO shake.

Dinner is whatever we’re cooking for the family but generally consists of a combination of meat, a source of carbs and veggies.

Meal 2 would ideally be something different to get extra variety but this is the easiest way to get in a large amount of PWO carbs at work.


How soon after eating do you lift? I’d have to replace my underpants after 800 calories plus a heavy intra!

Nothing jumps out as weird. I think the protein is slightly high, but not outrageously and you’re in a surplus so it’s not like you’re giving up calories elsewhere. Some people swear by even higher amounts, anyway.
I couldn’t handle that many calories without more fat gain than I want, but that’s stuff you can tweak as you go and see what’s happening

Mornings consist of:

6am: Meal one
6.45 - 8am: Gym
8am: PWO shake
10.15am: PWO meal

Ideally would have PWO meal a bit earlier but like you mentioned, I’m quite full still and it’s inconvenient eating earlier with work.

I’ve been tapering up 100 calories per week from 2600 calories to see how many calories I’m comfortable with and I’ve landed at around 3200 for non training days and 3500 on training days due to PWO shake.

Did wonder if protein was a little high myself so may look to drop it slightly but then I’ll have to either increase carbs which I’m finding is already very high or increase fats.

A few observations:

  1. Protein intake seems to be on the (very) high side for your current weight. Conversely, fat intake is relatively low, although not extremely so. You might want to replace 50ish grams of protein with the equivalent in fats or split evenly between carbs and fat.

  2. Micronutrient intake seems to be a problem. That could partly be made better by the meal you’re not specifying, but I believe you can make better choices than corn and peas. Tomatoes, carrots, peppers, broccoli, spinach are just a few examples. You mix 3-4 of those (or even all of them!), add some butter, browned onions, and make a pretty awesome veggie sauté that will get you mostly covered nutrient wise.

  3. On the topic of nutrients, your main carb sources are oats and white rice. That’s two excellent sources (although that might not be true for everyone with oats), but since you are having oatmeal twice a day, you might want to consider subbing one of those two for some sweet potatoes. On top of being delicious, they are among the top carb sources, and have a variety of nutrients.

  4. If you are going to increase your fat intake, a really convenient way to do so is first of all to use whole milk instead of the light one. You are already consuming milk, so this change is “for free” as you don’t have to add anything really.

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I agree with most of the above.

  1. I’d move some protein for fat, mainly just because it opens up an easier menu with more options.
  2. I’d probably eat fewer total calories in that first meal - likely moving some to my dinner, because it’s a little friendlier to eating with my family. Your comfort and hunger will dictate that, though.

Sounds like you had a plan as you worked your calories up, and you track everything, so you’ll be able to adjust as you go without problem.

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Echo this, strongly. If you replaced all your oats with potatoes (both regular and sweet), you’d likely be far better off

Even more importantly, this plan needs WAY more veggies

edit - looks like samul also covered that veggies aspect, as well

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4 of these meals have protein coming from protein supplements

Why not consider making monster mash to replace the oats and whey? Rice/Ground beef (sub bison/lamb or other red meat if you cant do beef)/bone broth/vegetable and you have a complete meal

To add to @samul s point 3,

@breumr if you are after the oatmeal consistency then crushed buckwheat substitutes just fine for oatmeal while having a slightly different micronutrient profile.

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Thats great feedback. Thanks guys! Will make some changes to it so it includes more whole foods.

I think, overall, it does seem like a good starting point - and many men here have made some great additions/observations.

Question: Do you know what your basic resting caloric needs are? Use a few of the basic metabolic rate calculators to get a general idea of where you stand. I realize it’s not overly useful to get crazy analytical about this - but understanding your caloric needs at rest will help you quickly zoom in on how to adjust your overall caloric intake over time in order to gain the right amount of weight.

The calculators seem to imply around 2600 calories.

I recently started at 2600 calories and increased my intake by 100 calories a week until I got to 3200 still with no weight gain. I’ve decided to take it back to 3000 for now and readjust it slightly to reduce overall protein intake, increase fats, more whole foods vs whey, more variety, and more vegetables. Will post an updated diet when I get a few spare minutes.