T Nation

The Diet for My Goals...


I have been using all the calorie calcs and love fitday. According to fitday I should be taking in around 3,500 (+/-150) depending on the day for maintenance. My goal is to continue to put on muscle while losing some fat. I was wondering what I should do for carbs and fats throughout the day with my workout schedule. Or if maybe carb cycling would be a better idea. Don't know.

Currently my diet is roughly 25% fat, 35% protein, 40% carbs. Spread over 5-6 meals. Every meal but the last has starchy carbs. Simple carbs in the morning and PWO, fibrous carbs from afternoon on. I do fasted steady state cardio 3-4 days awake at 6am. I lift M - F for an hour generally around 1 pm. On Tues and Thurs I do a 2 a day. One (biceps) in the morning and then chest in the afternoon. The other day is triceps in the morning and back in the afternoon.

Not trying to give too much info but figured it may have an impact on the timing and breakdown of meals on some days. Current diet look like this:

Meal 1:
3 whole omega3 eggs
4 egg whites
1/4 cup fat free mozz
1 cup steel oats
fish oil

Meal 2:
7oz chicken
1 cup long grain brown rice
3/4 cup pinto beans

Meal 3: 60 - 90 minutes before W/O
2 scoops whey
1.5 cup calorie countdown milk
3/4 cup blueberries
1 tbl almond butter
whole wheat toast
fish oil

Meal 4: 30 - 45 minutes PWO
7oz chicken
1 sweetpotato

Meal 5:
8oz chicken
steamed broccoli w/ olive oil
other veggie
fish oil

meal 6:
3/4 cup cottage cheese
greek yogurt
8oz calorie countdown milk

Tell me what I should change or adjust to maximize lean muscle creation and fat loss with my current schedule and timing. Usually no activity after work other than shooting hoops out front with the kids after dinner. I welcome any/all ideas....


you are pretty damn dialed in man, solid diet....personally, I would follow a carb cycling approach. Justin Harris and Shelby starnes stuff is excellent. How long have you been consuming 3500 calories? Have you put on weight? Stayed the same? If I were to tell you anything, it would be this....

Cycle your carbs, and assuming your 3500 calories is a good amount, depending on your training split

2 high days- upwards of 600 carbs, 200-220 protein, very low fat. (these are the two days in which you will most likely exceed 3500 calories, which is fine) On these days I would personally train legs, so you could nail the hell out of em, but I see you have two 2x a day sessions, these high carb days might be good for that.

2 mediums- between 250-300 carbs, 250-275 protein, 50-70 fat. Stay around 3500 calories.

3 lows- between 75-100 carbs, 270-300 protein, 70-90 fat. Stay around 3500.

I would continue your cardio, but don't do it on high days. The purpose of these days is to build up your glycogen stores, raise your insulin and keep you in an anabolic state. Just focus on your training. But the a.m. cardio 3-4 days a week is perfect. It's what I do. But not on legs. Let me know if you have any questions


Thanks. Does it matter if the days are consecutive? Do the lows, mediums, and highs have to be together. Mainly the high days is what I am referring to. Is it OK to split them (mon and Wed)?


Absolutely. I would advise splitting your highs up....I like to follow my high days with a low, that way I can get in some cardio, my carbs are low, and I can drop some of that water that I pulled in from eating so many carbs, you know? This is what my next cycle is going to look like,

Mon- medium
Tues- high
Wed- low
Sat- medium
Sun- high
Mon- low


I wonder how it will affect me when, other than muscle groups, volume and intensity is pretty even across the board all week. I know legs will definitely be a high carb day (wed). Currently the week is split like so:

Tues a.m. tricep / p.m. back
wed - legs
thurs a.m. bicep / p.m. chest
fri - shoulders

cardio on mon, fri, sat

With that schedule is cycling better than controlling the carbs during certain time of the day??


well, I'm glad you keep your intensity levels up, that's key. But yes, I think cycling is definitely a better approach for the split you have presented. However, it's advised that on medium and low carb days, keep your carbs to the a.m. and around the workout window, but you've been doing this all along, so you know that. The exception is for high carb days, have carbs at every single meal, and really load up pre and post workout meals with carbs. Personally, I would split up my cycles based on your schedule like this

Mon- (high) (on this day you could really up the weight and focus on lifting very heavy)
Tues- medium
Wed- high
Thurs-medium (here you could do a lighter chest workout)
Fri-medium/low (for me, shoulders are a strong point, so I never had to kill them, so I would not neccesarily go as high carb on this day as others, but it's up to you)


That is pretty much exactly what I was thinking as well. I guess I need to ramp up the protein on the low days. What do you usually eat to get the fats way up in lieu of the carbs though. For instance, the meal where I have chicken, rice, and pinto beans. On a low carb day, double the chicken and very little rice, lots of olive oil, etc?? What do you do eat on those low carb days. Hey thanks for all the info..


Damn, the 70 - 80 grams of fat thing on the low card day is hard. I am on a 115 - 140 gram pace. It sure is hard to get all that protein without all the fat.


In regards to getting more fat, two things; adding more olive oil is an excellent alternative, or, you can ad some red meat instead of chicken. I prefer 90/10 ground beef, but you can find some good lean cuts that will definitely fit into there. That's always a great option.

So in regards to getting the fat in there on low days, here is an easy way to look at it that works for me, say for example I'm you and I'm eating 3500 calories. On my low days, I can eat between 75-100 carbs and 70-90 fat, and optimally 300 grams of protein. So what I would do is keep my carbs lower (75) and keep my fats higher (90) while my protein stays up.

Or, another option, is to drop carbs even lower to 50, and raise your fat up to 100 or 110, just keep the calories around 3500 and protein high. So the proportions are inverse, you know? When you eat low carbs, you keep your protein way up, and fat high. When you eat lots of carbs, protein lower, and fat way low. And the mediums are somewhere in the middle. Get it?

I'm going to send you a detailed PM with lots of info pretty soon.