T Nation

How's my Diet Look?


Here's a quick breakdown of my diet this week. I think it's pretty damn stellar, but let me know what you think too. I'm trying to build muscle/strength and keep fat gain to a minimum. I need to know that my reading is paying off in practice.

I know this is tedious so I tried to organize it as easy to read as possible. Don't tell it to dress in a skirt, just some positive feedback.

Mon: Chest/back Day (medium)

6:00 1 egg, 3 eg whites, 1/2 cup oatmeal (27g P, 8g F, 28g C)
9:00 8 oz chicken breast, 150g sweet potato (55g P, 3g F, 31g C)
11:00 Chest & Back 24 sets total + 6 for abs/calves
12:00 Surge Recovery (25g P, 3g F, 42g C)
2:00 8 oz chicken breast, 150g sweet potato (55g P, 3g F, 31g C)
4:00 7 oz Sirloin (39g P, 12g F, 0g C)
7:00 7 oz Sirloin, 2 TBSP nut butter (46g P, 28g F, 7g C)
10:00 2 TBSP nut butter (7g P, 16g F, 7g C)

253g P, 73g F, 150g C = 2309 Cal

Tues: Off day

6:00 Oatmeal, 3 eggs, orange (30g P, 18g F, 42g C)
9:00 7 oz sirloin, broccoli cuts (43g P, 12g F, 8g C)
1:00 7 oz sirloin, broccoli cuts (43g P, 12g F, 8g C)
4:00 Ham & Cheese Omellete (40g P, 26g F, 4g C)
7:00 Pork Chop & mixed veggies (49g P, 18g F, 13g C)
10:00 2 scoops Metabolic Drive (40g P, 8g F, 3g C)

247g P, 91g F, 71g C = 2138 Cal

Wed: Leg Day (high)

6:00 Oatmeal, 3 eggs, orange (30g P, 18g F, 42g C)
9:00 8 oz chicken breast, 400g sweet potato (60g P, 3g F, 82g C)
11:00 Legs, 9 sets total + 6 abs/calves
12:00 8 oz chicken breast, 400g sweet potato (60g P, 3g F, 82g C)
4:00 7 oz Sirloin (39g P, 12g F, 0g C)
7:00 Ham & Cheese Omellete (40g P, 26g F, 4g C)
10:00 Beef Patty and Broccoli (46g P, 32g F, 4g C)

274g P, 94g F, 214g C = 2858 Cal

Thurs: Off

6:00 Oatmeal, 3 eggs, orange (30g P, 18g F, 42g C)
9:00 Beef Patty and Broccoli (46g P, 32g F, 4g C)
12:00 basketball and walking ~45 min
1:00 Beef Patty and Broccoli (46g P, 32g F, 4g C)
4:00 2 scoops Metabolic Drive (40g P, 3g F, 8g C)
7:00 2 scoops Metabolic Drive, 2 TBSP nut butter (47g P, 19g F, 15g C)
10:00 2 scoops Metabolic Drive (40g P, 3g F, 8g C)

249g P, 107g F, 78g C = 2240 Cal

Fri: Deadlifts + Shoulders/arms (medium)

6:00 Oatmeal, 3 eggs, orange (30g P, 18g F, 42g C)
9:00 8 oz chicken breast, 250g sweet potato (57g P, 3g F, 51g C)
11:00 Workout: 27 sets total + 6 calves/abs
12:00 Surge Recovery (25g P, 3g F, 42g C)
2:00 8 oz chicken breast, 200g sweet potato (56g P, 3g F, 41g C)

Rest of the day is uncertain but plan to end up w/ only trace carbs from here and ~2500 cals


What are your stats now?


195-200 lbs, 28 yrs old, maybe 12-15% BF (no visible abs but they're getting close), and Ive had a spare tire of some size for as long as I can remember.

Pretty sedentary lifestyle apart from the lifting (deskjob).

Anything else you want to know?


Looking good. Cutting?


Cutting? only if by accident... I'm trying to stave off any unnecessary fat gain while putting on some mass. I tend to tub up pretty easily so I don't want to overdo the food, but right now I'm leaner than I have been in a looooong time.

Although I guess anyone would tub up eating icecream every night. I've never done a clean bulk before so I don't know how much I need.

If I'm not gaining weight after a month should I just eat more of what I'm already eating?

and I'm using pant/belt tightness as a marker for overdoing the food. Is that a good way to keep it in check or is there something else easy I should use?


IMO you should be getting more cals every day man. Your average is like 2400 and that wouldn't be enough for a 200lb guy to bulk up.

I understand the fear of gaining fat during a bulk but not getting enough calories isn't going to get you to where you want to be. I see you're cycling your carbs and that is a very good idea but overall, eat more cals coming from fat and protein. Start by adding a few hundred and take measurements after a week to see how you're doing. From there increase/decrease progressively to meet your goals, based on muscle vs. fat gains

Ultimately, watch out for the fat + carbs combo on a single meal. That can really make you put on some unwanted fat, especially if you are prone to it. Berardi's recommendation is to keep fat < 10g if you are having carbs on a given meal and carbs < 10g if you are eating fats.

Good luck


So is this why I see so many people throwing out all their yolks? That's the only fat I can take out of breakfast, and that's the only meal I consistently break Berardi's recommendation on. Other than throwing out the yolks I can switch to another protein source, but eggs are dirt cheap compared to beef/chicken. And I like eggs. :open_mouth:

I can add some cals to the P-F meals easily enough by just making bigger portions... I'll do that, starting w/ a couple hundred par day and upping based on measurements.

How do you analyze body comp changes w/ measurements? Can someone point me to an article that shows what should be increasing/decreasing/static if I'm bulking correctly?


Yea, to little cals, add 200 more or around that number


I'm not saying throw your yolks away; eggs are really good stuff. just don't combine them with carbs. You could either try eating a P+F meal for breakfast or changing you protein source for this meal. According to CT, a whey shake is a very good idea at this time. Try blending your whey with oats or that orange you're eating.

The best measurement to determine whether you're gaining too much fat is your waist (and I'm not saying other measurements are irrelevant).If you're short on time, take weekly measurements of your waist along with your scale weight and go from there.


Where's JMo when you need him...


Yes to all that! figure 17 calories/ lean pound if you want to put some weight on. Also, I've had good luck with this: www.naturalphysiques.com/tools.php?itemid=64

and even better luck with this: (John Berardi's Precision Nutrition)


We ain't working for free, homey! Sign up for online nutrition counseling!


3 days a week will get you nowhere. and wtf is this schedule crap, who the hell has time for this? do you have a job? school? need a life? eat moar lift moar and stop making weight lifting so damn calculated.


wtf is 200 cals? i burn through more than that jerking off.


I've seen a lot of people say 4 day splits are better than 3, but right now I'm making good progress so I'm just going to continue busting my butt on this and see how far it takes me. I'm hitting everything twice a week. Consistensy + Intensity > All, right? If/when I stall out on this after a few months I'll redo to a 4 day split.

This schedule/menu really wasn't hard for me to make... I have a lot of free time at my job and stuff like this is easy for me. I mostly wanted to put up what I ate for a week and see if anyone was like "WTF are you doin that for?!?!" since I have a lot of basics down but wanted to see if I was implementing them right and not doing anything stupid.

I also didn't really know how much I should be eating... I think as long as I eat clean and don't do crap like overeat on the weekends when I'm not lifting, and stay away from big deserts late at night, I'll be fine. What got me fat wasn't eating clean and lifting, it was skipping lifting days and eating crap.

What I'm taking is: try to eat more (200 Cal/day/week increase) and keep waist measurements. Since no one else seems to be eating P+F/P+C breakfasts (as seen in the breakfast thread) I won't sweat it either. If anyone else has something to add, shoot.


Overall it seems well thought out. You have your lower intake on the off days, and a higher intake on your harder training session days. While I'm all for the low intake on off days, your 'medium' days do sound slightly low. I know you probably want to err on the side caution as far as not gaining any fat, but remember that gaining and preserving lean muscle is going to be your best tool as far as losing fat goes.

With that in mind, I personally would up the numbers just a bit (your 'low' day is pretty low, so make your 'high' day equally high). It's not a bad thing to guess a little off and have to play with the numbers a week or two later. This is a constant process of readjusting. Your body is not a static situation, especially if you're trying to make changes to it with dietary and induced stress (training) manipulations.

I will say that the way you have the carbs earlier in the day is a good approach if you're concerned over being a little carb-sensitive. I used to do that all the time, but now, as I train at night, I have to allow for some carbs post workout.

A 3 day split is fine. Honestly, any sort of split is fine as long as you're making progress. When things stall out, then you decided where to address your attention.