T Nation

Meal Plan Critique


Hey guys, I know it's the day after X-mas but I was wondering if someone could give me some feedback on what they think of my meal plan?

So...I am 20, 5'11'', 162lbs, and 17% BF (according to my scale).

I evaluated my bulking daily Calories to be about 3000 and based on that I constructed the plan below:

Meal 1: Breakfast
Milk 2 cups
Egg Beaters 1 cup
Bread 1 slice
PB 1Tbsp
Banana 1


Meal 2: Protein Shake
2 scoops whey
PB 1Tbsp
Banana 1

Meal 3: Lunch
Turkey breast 4oz
Barley 6oz


Meal 4: Protein Shake
2 scoops whey
PB 1Tbsp
Banana 1

Meal 5: Dinner
Chicken Breast 4oz
Brown Rice 6oz
Broccoli 6oz

Meal 6: Protein Shake
2 scoops Casein
PB 1Tbsp

I am beginning starting strength tomorrow and am hoping to make some big gains in the coming months! Happy holidays everyone and thanks in advance for any responses!


More real food whenever possible, more healthy fat

"Protein Shake
2 scoops whey
PB 1Tbsp
Banana 1"

is not a meal, rather some sort of last resort when you absolutely cannot eat real food and would simply have to eat nothing otherwise


I changed two of the above meals from protein shakes to real meals that incorporate whey protein, let me know if there are other changes that people think that I should make! So excited to start training today! Oh, also I am substituting 2 large eggs in for the egg beaters for the added natural fats, and if it helps I also noted that I am drinking Skim Milk


this does not seem like a lot of food at all. it seems like a series of snacks. also not sure if it's really 3k cal.


It is supposedly around 3000 calories but its very possible that it's not. Today is my first day on the diet but it doesn't seem to be much food. I guess I'm a little lost as to how much I should be eating so I thought a more structured plan would be better, and this was my first attempt. What additions would you suggest for a beginner starting bulk?


just out of curiosity, what makes this not a meal? its got a significant amount of protein, some healthy fats and carbs. furthermore, since when is a pre-workout shake a last resort?


absence of anything else but highly processed protein and a few simple carbs


what else are you looking for?


I dont want to get in a big argument about it. I agree that for the OP's level of development, three liquid meals is pushing it. he should be eating more whole food. but, dont give the OP the impression that liquid meals dont count as meals. personally, when I'm eating in the range of 4000-4500 cals, I usually have at least 2 liquid meals a day.


Then re-evaluate. This cannot be 3000 calories.


There is nothing wrong with a PWO shake, as long as you are eating real food as well.

Look at the V-Diet or something similar, it meant to be a drastic measure to reduce BF%, not build lean mass or be sustainable over long periods of time.


Probably some of the best advice I've gotten so far...I have cut out one of my liguid meals and cut back a little on the diet as I've been seeing too much midsection fat gain in to short a time...


dude! dont cut back, work more. there isnt a lot of calories there in the first place. instead of eating less, go for a walk or squat more or something.


Why are you so fat-phobic? Fish oil? Coconut oil? Olive oil? Avocados? Nuts?


Do you plan to eat the same thing every day? Some people do for the sake of ease but I would advise more variety if possible. (Also Starting Strength recommends a gallon of full fat milk a day)


I only cut back a little because I was seeing too much gain in too short a time as the beginning of SS starts at "lower" weights so I wasn't getting the same intensity of workout as I was before. I'll start ramping up to this diet, and it won't be exactly this every day but I will structure my main meals around a certain amount of meat (beef, chicken, or turkey), with green vegetables, and some sort of carb (brown rice, barley, quinoa). My snacks will be the ones listed above or PB sandwiches because they are freaking awesome. As for the fat, I put olive oil in my Eggs in the morning, ingest with the peanut butter, put olive oil on my veggies...although, I may need to ingest some more it seems. Perhaps investing in some Fish oil tablets would be good or incorporating more fish into my meals. As for not being 3000 calories, it certainly feels like it at the end of the day when i eat this much, but maybe I am under-evaluating the caloric intake.

Happy New Year and thanks for all of the feedback by the way!




this looks ok to start off with...but you will have to adjust it if results do not come...

as far as setting up a diet plan, the most important things are this...

  1. caloric surplus - your body needs adequate supply of nutrients to build muscle tissue...
  2. mix of the nutrients(macro split) - the body works best off a certain mix of nutrients...don't restrict certain nutrients and don't overemphasize certain nutrients...i don't think you need to be super precise with the percentages but be aware of this...
  3. nutrient timing - eating most of your cals near training is ideal...besides that it is not that important...despite what posters/authors on here say lol...
  4. source of nutrients - not very important really lol...

training wise...You need to gain strength every week(either more weight or reps)...this is key to becoming bigger and keeping fat gain to a minimum...

if you begin to stall on your lifts for too long then you need to add more calories...most likely your body does not have adequate supply to build muscle tissue....


4x the amount of PB, add in 1/2 cup - 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of oats, and blend with milk.

lol, that is certainly a meal.

His, eh... not so much.


I figured I would get some critique on this plan and follow it at the beginning and ramp up calories as I start to get into heavier weights, so far I've gained some weight but some fat too...which I shouldn't be afraid of. It seems to be ok and I haven't stalled on SS yet but the again, the program starts off pretty light and moves up quickly. I'll keep these things in mind, and of course the most important thing being a surplus of calories.