T Nation

Looking for Help in the Kitchen


Hello everyone. I just finished reading Nate Green's book "Built for show" this website was mentioned in his book. I'm 20 years old 5'8 and 145 pounds. Pretty much the least active person you'll ever meet and drink way to much beer. I've developed a bit of a gut from being a bum and having a horrible diet.

I've finally started working again so I've got money to spend on good food/supplements. I figure that I have a decent workout routine to follow with the book I picked up but diet was bit covered very much.

I read all these articles about bulking, cutting, carb timing, carb cycles, anabolic and it makes my head spin. I sometimes want to give up because of how confused I get by this diet stuff. Whats the best kind of diet for someone like me? Ideally I want to be around 170 with good definition. Just want to know whats the best type of diet for me. Like I said already I've got a bit of a gut so I'm not sure were to start!!


well i myself am no diet guru but, since i already have a low bodyfat and about 165lbs at 5'9 im just taking the eat alot approach, but not everyone is in that position. why dont you post some more stats for everyone, body fat percent(or estimate), workout routine, what you're currently eatting in a day, even a picture is helpful, give as many details as possible and we'll return the favour.


I've got no idea what my BF% is I've never been able to get those kinds of tests done nor do I know were to go.
Pictures may be an issue at this time but the best way I can explain it is, small arms, legs, chest, shoulders and then the mini gut.

Workout routine is from Nate Green's book built for show.


people like to make topics like nutrition more complex than they need to be (and many people just plain don't know what they're talking about, but can sound very convincingly like they do)

my suggestion is that you educate on what the three macronutrients are (i.e. protein, carbs, and fat), what they do in the body, and how many calories they each contain.

start with the basics and leave the fancy bullshit for later, often people make the best progress when they just do the basics day-in day-out. It's when people begin looking for "the secrets", or shortcuts, that they start going nowhere.


first of all just keep it basic. You're not at the point you need to learn about carb cycling and the anabolic diet(which takes some time to learn).

Use your mirror to judge your progress not a scale. I'll make it real simple for you. Just concentrate on getting your protein in every day say 4-6 meal/snacks a day.

Just focus on eating whole eggs, fish, chicken, steak/lean ground beef(i cook then rinse off excess fat then add seasonings/salt/sauces). breakfast should be one of the biggest meals of the day. Get complex carbs (oatmeal,fruits) in morning and get simple carbs (hell use kids cereal mixed with whey protein, koolaid something !!) especially around workouts. .

Drink water avoid soda.

Make it fun, it's a lifestyle. It will not happen in a week but you will eventually meet your goals with some blood, sweat and tears.

If I were you I would shoot for about 1.5 X bw in protein. Go upto 2x if you don't start gaining. fruits in the morning, veggies afternoon/night. atleast 3-5 (even though I suck getting this lol). Anyways I like to eat my good fats to like raw almonds, light tasting olive oil(drizzle it on foods to), avocados, saturated fat from whole eggs. I cook only with pure olive oil/coconut oil/butter.

I eat oatmeal everyday about. White/brown rice (white rice is less filling for me so i can eat more), potatoes sometimes, wheat/white pasta to:D. Brown rice has more fiber/protein so it'll fill you up quicker.

Biggest thing will be consistency. Stay with it. As you go along you'll find what works best for you.

allow yourself a few times a week to indulge in something you crave hamburgers/pizza/taco bell. Yet acknowledge it as more of a treat or emergency calories if nothings around and you need something:D. Cause something is better then nothing sometimes.

As for supplements. If you can afford them fine. Do you need them ? No. Simple whey protein supplement, creatine, fiber supplement, fish oil and zma is fine.

Yet I found protein supplements are the best for when you're in a rut and need something quick. Throw some of that light tasting olive oil in there, some powdered fiber supplement and that will keep you going. or if the morning, shake with couple pieces of fruit works great.

Fish oil. Really is great in helping you recover from inflammation/achy joints.

zma/melatonin helps you sleep a lot better/quicker.

creatine - keeps your ATP energy reservoir full so you can tap into that and get a small boost when working out and straining in the gym.


I would go purchase John Berardi's - Precision Nutrition. It's what Nate uses. I actually think there is a link to it on his site. You get a lot of material for the price. I think it would be a great investment. And it's not fancy. Simple, good eating. Comes with a great cookbook too!


Start by eating a real food that contains 30-40g of protein, 5 times per day. Eat some other real foods along with the protein. By real foods I mean fruits, vegetables, nuts, potatoes, rice. Don't drink alcohol and don't eat too much crap, and train hard.

If you aren't gaining weight after a few weeks, then eat a bit more food.

While you are implementing that for a few months, educate yourself about workout nutrition as the next step to address when progress with your basic diet slows.


Easy enough!!!Eat a balanced diet!!! No need to complicate things with diet specifics or diets for those prepping for a show or out trying to win a PL comp. Just eat 4-6 meals a day with at least 1g/lb of body weight of protein (to preserve and build the muscle you should be tearin up in the gym ;]) and have a serving, or two, of fruits and veggies. Since you're a noob just K.I.S.S.H. (keep it simple shit-head!) But seriously, it's that easy. Really no need to do any specifics until AFTER you've dialed in your diet and W/O routine for AT LEAST a month. Then you can worry about macros and dropping/gaining weight. I guarantee after cleaning up you'll notice positive losses and gains.


So for now I should just make sure that I'm getting enough protein? I've kinda looked at maintenance calories and am told I need to be 500 above that to gain?

Bmacky your body type is exactly what I'm striving for (no homo)


squats & milk