T Nation

My Eating Plan


Hi guys,

This is my basic skeleton plan that I am currently using - any insight?

My weight is 198 lbs at 6 ft (gained around 60 lbs of muscle in last 4 years); BF 15.5%; Goal: to be around 200 lbs @ 11%BF

Note: All whey shakes mentioned are 45 grams whey powder

Middle night/early morning: Whey

Breakfast: Oats (raisins and few almonds), whey

Snack: whey and fruit or veggies

Lunch: Chicken or Tuna and carrot and green pepper and some peach

Pre gym: oats with honey (1/3 cup oats, not full serving) and whey

Post gym: Whey and fruit or yoghurt (280)

Dinner (within one hour of post gym): 3 whole eggs and 2 whites and beans and veggies

Before bed: nuts and whey (300) * or have nuts mid morning/ or spread out

TOTAL CALORIES: 2750 calories - protein 280 grams
Other notes: I dont have time to prepare so many solid meals, so lots of whey. Also, I find it hard to stomach more food.

Supps: creatine, fish oil, multivit, zinc, green tea powder


'nuts and whey (300)' - dont worry about the (300) - was just calculating calories


IMO....your overall calories per day are below what is generally needed to add muscle. Though you may be able to maintain your current weight, or even lean out some, adding new muscle is doubtful. As you mention, you don't eat much solid food. If you are serious about getting any bigger, you should try to gradually increase the volume of your calories from solid food. It looks like you are afraid to eat? What are your strength levels like (SQ-DL-Press)? How much cardio do you do?


Okay - I think I will cut back on too mayny whey shakes and add in more complex carbs ( and more solid food); with Whey around workouts, before bed and with oats in the morning..

Middle night/: Whey

Breakfast: Oats (raisins and few almonds), whey, some fruit

Mid morning : Chicken or tuna and oats or sweet potato and veggies

Lunch: Chicken or Tuna and veggies and oats or rice or sweet potato

Pre gym: oats and whey

Post gym: Whey and fruit or yoghurt

Dinner (within one hour of post gym): 3 whole eggs and 2 whites and beans and veggies

Before bed: nuts and whey or eggs

** I haven't got a food phobia, I used to eat loads of solid meals - just recently I've cut back on the food.. I feel as if I need to find a balance, to reduce some bodyfat, but at the same time to allow for muscle growth. But maybe the revised plan above will be better for my goals


Looks pretty good - i'd maybe cut out the carbs in your mid-morning and/or lunch meal and add them to your post workout and dinner. Makes more sense IMO.

Food sources look good - how you getting on in terms or your fat loss on your current plan?

is it working?

Also whats the middle of the night shake about - if you're worried about catabolism dont be - it takes a good 24-36 hours for that to set in so long periods (under 24 hours) of not eating can be a good thing if fat loss is your goal.

I personally subscribe to the IF principle but you dont have go that extreme, just having extended periods of no calorie intake might be something for you to look at.

But otherwise, everything looks pretty solid. Again this depends on what results your getting though. If you've been stagnant for a while on this amount of calories then you need to look at decreasing intake further.

Last question - do you cary carb intake on training vs non training days? again this can have an impact on your results.



Thanks for the good advice.

I'm going to have a lighter mid morning snack (whey and nuts), and push a second meal around training time.

Yeah, the mid night shake was for catabolism - but I will stop this too. I also think it's not necessary and may hinder getting leaner.

I've been loosing fat nicely, but now I want to make sure I'm gaining muscle while slowly reaching a leaner composition. So I dont want to cut back too much on calories. Just focus on clean good food, and increase my cardio a bit.

Over the weekend I have started cutting back on the calories, less carbs, and maybe 500 calories less than during the week. This is a new change, but I think it is adding to the resent results I'm seeing.

Anyway, I'll make those few changes and keep training hard! Shot for the solid advice


no problem, good to hear its going to plan

given your goals i'd recommend looking at the leangains.com website

i only started intermitent fasting recently but have been really happy with the results and just for general health ie. resting blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity its meant to be very beneficial. the guy who designed the program lists various health benefits and studies to back it up - def worth a look

anyway good luck, hope your progress continues


That website is going to help me a lot - thanks!!


The leangains eating method looks really interesting - and nice to see the solid research basis wich almost all eating methods lack.

I know you've only recently started this, but do you know someone who was following it? Or how did you decide to give it a go..? I'm only asking this, because any/all eating methods can sound excellent, so it's nice to have some trusted feedback

After reading through all that information and related studies, I am tempted to try fasting until 12 am and then have 2 meals before going to gym around 5pm, and another 2 meals after that. So basically the same calories, but shifting my breakfast and mid morning calories into the afternoon and after gym..?


I'm sure he wont mind me saying but Facko on this site is a big advocate of leangains.com

Personally i've been doing it for about 3-4 weeks and i've noticed good results, i dont feel like I lack energy which i did before on a carb cycling plan

I also found that although i'm consuming a lot more carbs and even more calories i'm still dropping fat

I suspect this has a lot to do with my insulin levels being lower for larger portions of the day and hence the time i'm using fat as a fuel source increased greatly.

I've also really enjoying the liberating feeling of having a 'proper' meal and not worrying about eating carbs at certain times and not at others. Its great to know that when you eat, you can really eat a big meal, instead of half satisfying meals that leave you hunry an hour later.

For me, it makes sense to give your body a break from constantly trying to digest something and have long periods where you are using purely fat for energy. It also makes sense to have long periods where you're blood sugar levels are low and then periods where they can be reletively high, promoting muscular growth due to the insulin release.

Like i said, i havent been doing it long so i cant say that its perfect, but from what i've experienced so far i would strongly recommend it.

Personally i fast from 1030pm everyday and break fast at 230pm. This is what works best for me as i usually work out around 3 so it gives me time to take on some carbs and a bit of protein, workout and then go home and have a massive meal full of good fats, carbs and protein. My meals usually get smaller as the evening wares on but i always make sure i'm full come 1030pm. You will feel hungry at certain times, for me normally first thing in the morning and then again about 2 hours before i break fast but i just tell myself its not real, i dont actually 'need' to eat, and i've found that now i've almost come to enjoy the feeling, knowing that my body is eating away at its fat supplies.

If you have any specific questions feel free to ask, i'm certainly no expert but i've done my research and i'm happy to help where i can.


Thanks for the response.

I'm going to give it a go. I've also grown over my old dieting method of preparing soo many meals and always worrying about my carbs, eating times etc..

So my plan (starting tomorrow) is to follow the Two pre-workout meals protocol:

So my eating window will be 12am until 8pm.

  • 12 am is meal one with about 700 (25%)calories (60 grams protein)

  • 3:30pm is meal wo with about 600 (20%) calories (60 gramps protein)

Train at 5 or 5:30pm (should I have a small whey protein shake before gym?)

  • Then I will have my normal post workout whey protein and bananas

*Followed by my remaining meal spread out until my eating window closes at 8pm ( (55%) 1600 calories including the immediate whey/banana after gym)

= 3000 total calories, majority consumed after gym, high protein (1.5 grams per lbs bodyweight), no skimping on good fats, and 16 solid hours of fasting per day.

** Add to this I will be taking creatine, fish oils, vit b, multi vit, vit c, zinc and magnesium,

Questions - If I may :slightly_smiling:

1) Is their enough of a gap between meal 2 and my training time (from his website, it seems about right as I wont be training fasted, but I will try and keep just under a 2 hour gap between meal two and training.

2) Can I have a whey shake just before gym? * I cant see why not, because I am not following the protocol which has one training early (directly after the fast)

Looking forward to sticking to this to the T for the next few months, and see what happens! Also, I will lower calories over the weekend (mainly from carbs), but will keep protein the same and drop fat a bit. Maybe drop down to a total of 2500 calories per day over the weekend.

I really hope I can lean out but at the same time gain some muscle!



  1. yes, i dont see a problem with that at all

  2. yeah again, no reason that would be a problem, maybe add some carbs directly pre workout too, i like to eat 4-5 rice cakes but thats up to you

and always make sure that the meal after you work out is the biggest

i personally drink a lot less protein shakes too since changing to leangains

Martin (the author) recommends eating your food instead of drinking it, makes sense if you're dieting as solid food will always be more filling than liquid, if you still prefer to have your protein shakes then carry on but i've cut down considerably

Let me know how you get on and if you have any more questions fire away


@ Dre1986 - last question^^

In terms of the food - is fruit allowed?; Otherwise I suppose it is standard clean food? Chicken, tuna, oats, rice, veggies etc? Or is there room for a few more calorie dense (less healthy foods) - like ice cream etc? I can quite easily follow a diet and not cheat, but just wondering if I can add in a few 'less perfect foods' like baked beans, some bread (whole grain) etc.



Just saw your last post! Thanks!

Yeah - I will cut down to just 3 protein shakes or less..


Martin states that the beautiful thing about Intermitent fasting is that you CAN eat some naughty stuff now and again and not worry about spiking your insulin levels or becoming less sensitive to insulin. Because for the vast majority of the day you're in a fasted state your blood sugar levels and insulin levels are very low, you can afford to have the odd treat when you do eat. I'm not advocating going out and eating every sugary piece of rubbish you can find but the off bit of ice cream or the odd slice of pizza isnt going to ruin your diet. That is as long as you still stick to you calorie target for the day.

So if you want to eat 2300 kcals of you daily intake from good foods and then have a cheeky ice cream at the end of the day bringing your total to 2500kcals, then dont fret about it. As long as its not everyday.

Before starting leangains i was dead scared to have anything that wasnt deemed to be healthy...now i'm more laxed in the knowledge that for most of the day my body is eating away at my fat stores and my blood sugar levels are at a healthy level, so when i do want to have something like ice cream, i can. I now eat ice cream once or twice a week.

Martin is around 5-6% bf all year round, and admits that he doesnt have perfect genetics, so if he can do it, there's no reason the rest of us cant.

oh - and as far as fruit is concerned go ahead, 2-3 pieces a day is fine and the benefits of the anti-oxidants and phytonutrients as well as the numerous vitamins will far outweight any negatives ie. fat storage due to fructose content (which if you ask me is blown way out of proportion) but we'll leave that argument for another day :slightly_smiling:


just saw the bit about bread - now if you consider it to be treat a then fine

but for most it becomes a staple in their diet and if thats the case i'd say avoid it

you might know already but even whole grain bread is a compromise, the grains need to be milled to remove the anti-nutient content and this process, even with whole grain varieties virtually saps it off all nutrional value, not to mention that lets face it, we arent meant to eat grain...

the only reason we do is due to civilisation - without grains the majority of the earths population would be extinct, its a necessity

but for us few that have the choice not to eat them - we shouldnt

But, like i said, if its really only going to be a 'treat' now and again then go ahead and dont wory, just dont allow it to become a staple or your go to carb source


Thanks man, you've been a big help!

Okay, I will stick to clean food, but I will be more liberal with things like cheese and I wont exclude the odd 'bad food'. I'm going to aim around the 3000 calorie mark - I really want to gain muscle as well as get leaner.


Does Marting give some calorie guidelines for fat loss/ re composition Versus Lean muscle gain (Bulking on IF)?

I just wonder is he would suggest even higher calories when bulking on IF versus bulking on a standard diet?



I think if i remember right he gives a very vague summary of kcals for bulking vs lean gains but he says its dependant on the individual and stops short of giving exact amounts etc...

As far as differences between standard 5-6 meals a day and IT - No, the kcals would remain the same, only change would be the timing of meals.

Cant remember if you mentioned it but how much do you weigh and how active are you? ie. work as a builder vs an office

Best thing to do is work out your BMR and then aim to consume roughly 500 surplus kcals a day. For me for instance my BMR is about 3000 kcals a day so on a bulk i aim for 3500kcals and adjust accordingly.


Im about 198 lbs @ 16.4% BF and 6ft. But I was originally very skinny with same BF. Today I only managed to eat 2600 calories.. And boy did I stuff myself... I was a bit hungry from 10 am until 12am, but it wasn't a bad feeling - quite motivating actually, and nice to eat big at night.

How do you get your needed protein? Very hard to eat 280 grams worth of protein in solid form. So Today I had 150 grams chicken, 3 whole eggs and one white, 200 grams lean beef. And carbs were oatmeal, beans an banana's.. And loads of veggies, and almonds etc. I added in a protein shake with each meal and post gym ( 4 shakes, total... but it was the only way I could reach my protein goal). Meat is sooo expensive here in Korea, where I'm living at the moment. But whey protein is dirt cheap here. DO you think it's okay to add in a shake with each meal to boost each meal up to around 70/80 grams protein?

I train 5 days a week - single split. SO one body part a day. I train heavy and hard with no breaks for about 45 minutes, then jump on the treadmill for about 15 mins. The treadmill training is a new addition. My job, teaching, has me on my feet most of the time, and I also walk to school.. but not overly active.. It might be in my best interest to drop the calories around the 2600 mark (which made me full today), drop the BF down to say 11/12% and then look at increasing the calories for a clean bulk..?