I don’t like green vegetables. she says, as though there is an endless array of other
options that will have the same dietary effect.
Well you are going to get pretty sick of all the yellow, red, orange, and blue ones then, I reply, trying not to show my frustration.
Are there blue veggies?" she asks, missing my point.
Those of you who have helped someone put together an individualized eating program will recognize this common problem. The dieter may say some dietary staple does not meet
their taste preference, is too hard to prepare on their schedule, or is
restricted due to a food allergy. A level of flexibility and variety makes it easier to maintain consistency in your dieting program.
For that reason, this article discusses how to include an almost endless number of food alternatives and will demonstrate how you can make some substitutions in the diet to meet your needs. First let’s determine the guidelines of your nutrition plan, then
we will give some examples of foods and servings that may fit into your diet.
Adapting some of the numbers from EZ Dieting to reflect an off-season muscle gain
program (35% protein; 50% carbohydrate; 15% fat) for a 180-pound man, we start
with 16 calories per pound of bodyweight for a daily caloric intake of 2,880
We then plug
in the macronutrient rations of 35/50/15 (or you can adapt these to match your
current goals) to get the following daily breakdown:
% of diet
we need to know how many calories of each macronutrient we need, so we must
divide by four (for protein and carbs) and nine (for fats), because this is the
caloric value of each gram of these macronutrients.
Again, the template above is an example. Adjust it as needed. If you train later in the
day switch your post-workout shake (listed as Meal Two in the above example)
with whatever meal would directly follow your workout. Make this your own so
that it fits your lifestyle and goals. Below are some basic considerations for
each of the specific meals.
We grill into the heads of young children about the importance of breakfast,
but this meal is even more vital for bodybuilders. When we wake, our blood
sugar levels are low and our amino acids levels are severely diminished. The
goal here then is to provide both a quickly-absorbed source of aminos and a
gradual sustained-release source of protein. A protein shake is a great way to
cover these needs, with a mixture of Muscle Provider (a source of fast-absorbing
whey protein) with Ultimate Muscle Protein or Ultra Size (slower releasing,
mixed whey and casein proteins) being an excellent choice.
blood sugar levels are at their lowest this is also a great time to take in
some carbs, with a moderate-sized portion of oatmeal or breakfast grains being
the common choice. Breakfast is a great time to get in essential nutrients so
include your EFA Gold and Super-Pak multi-vitamins here. In addition to the
numerous health and physique-promoting benefits of essential fatty acids, they
will also slow the breakdown of your proteins and carbs.
that are on a pre-contest or fat loss diet like to do their treadmill (or
elliptical, bike or stepper) work first thing in the morning on an empty
stomach under the theory that the low blood sugar/ high growth hormone
environment will enhance fat-burning. While there is some evidence to support
this strategy, we do not want to sacrifice muscle in order to lose a few ounces
of fat. I suggest you take 3-5 Density tablets and 3-5 Energy Reserve tablets (depending
on your bodyweight and the intensity and duration of your cardio work) before
your cardio session. The essential amino acids will protect your lean muscle
while the l-carnitine in Energy Reserve helps oxidize and transport fat.
(Carnitine may also increase the amount of testosterone receptors in you muscle
which can lead to added muscle gain.) If you intend to use this strategy, consider
the aminos your pre-breakfast and eat breakfast as soon as you finish.
For those who train in the morning, this meal and breakfast may be one and the
same. Research shows that strength athletes have much better progress when
including protein and carbs in their pre-training meal. While much has been written about taking advantage of the
post-workout nutrient "window of opportunity," a small nutrient-rich
pre-workout meal mitigates against excessive muscle damage and provides
glycogen and aminos to give you a head start on the recuperative/rebuilding
process. If you are using Creatine Select (excellent both for power
training and dieting phases) this should be taken about a half-hour before your
workout as it will provide you with the needed fuel for hard training. Pre
workout is another time when you can take Density. The free form essential
aminos acids will be immediately available to your muscles for repair and
growth – as you are training!
During the workout.
If there is one area in which the greatest change has occurred in bodybuilding
nutrition over the past decade it would be the concept of providing the body
with nutrients during the workout. While I personally do not feel this is
necessary for beginners, those that have a few years under their lifting belts
are usually capable of generating enough intensity to their training that they
notice a big benefit from sipping a large cold Glutamine Select drink during
their workout. You should also begin by taking 5 Density tablets at the start
of your workout and take 3-5 Muscle Mass BCAA every twenty minutes during your
session to provide branch-chain amino acids for anti-catabolic benefits, as
well as to kick-start recuperation and muscle growth. Again, this may not be
necessary for beginner level lifters.
Post-workout. THIS is the most important time to get in nutrients, in particular a whopping dose of
protein. Since your muscles should be severely depleted, we want to drink a
Muscle Provider shake ASAP. To really maximize growth and recovery, add a
scoop of Ultimate Muscle Protein to your Muscle Provider shake for a time
released effect so that you continue building muscle and fighting catabolism.
Follow this shake with a whole food protein and carb meal thirty to sixty minutes after your shake (giving you time to shower and get
dressed). For those watching their carbs, breakfast (pre-workout) and
post-workout are the best times to take in the limited number of carbs you will
That may seem like a huge amount of info to
digest. Hopefully you sat down with a notepad and a calculator and worked out
some of the numbers based on your personal game plan. The beauty of the Beverly publication is that each one contains multiple examples of people just like you that have used these principles to reach their physique goals. Subscribe to
their newsletters and get online (Free Subscription) for tons of back issues that will both inspire you and
give you the little tricks that can make the difference for you.
Now here’s a little self test to see if you
paid attention as you read the article.
Name 3 foods you can substitute in place of vegetables
If unable to eat before training in the morning, what supplements should be used to enhance
muscle repair, growth and fatloss?
principles outlined in EZ Dieting and the beginning of this article, how
would you calculate a good caloric starting point for your diet?
In an off season
Muscle Gaining diet, athletes need about how many calories per pound of
contain more simple carbs and should be avoided in a fat loss diet?
Bananas, pears, raisins, grapes, apricots
free form essential amino acids making them immediately available to
muscles for repair and growth. Aside from first thing in the AM,
when is another good time to take Density?
How and When to Take Your Muscle Building Supplements for Maximum Results