Nutrition Planning
Mix-and-Match Diet

By Steve Colescott
No Nonsense Newsletter Volume 13 #2

 

 

“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.

 

Veggie

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.

 

To begin we need to do the basic math involved in setting up your diet. The Beverly website has some articles on this, including EZ Dieting (www.bodymusclejournal.com/vol09/ez_diet.html). Or you can email bevnut@aol.com with Nutrition Programs in the subject line and we will send you a listing of links to the best nutrition programs for examples of how those numbers might fit into a peak fat loss program.

 

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 calories:

 

180 (pounds BWT) x 16 (estimated starting calorie range) = 2,880 kcal/day

 

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:

 

Macronutrient

Daily kCals

% of diet

Calories from

Protein

2,880

X .35

1,008

Carbs

2,880

X .50

1,440

Fat

2,880

X .15

432

 

From here, 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.

 

Macronutrient

Daily kCals

% of diet

Calories from

/

Grams per day

Protein

2,880

X .35

1,008

/4

252

Carbs

2,880

X .50

1,440

/4

360

Fat

2,880

X .15

432

/9

48

 

For different goals, such as fat loss, we would change the macronutrient ratios from 35 / 50 / 15 to something lower in carbs, such as the popular 50% Protein / 20% Carbs / 30% Fat that is popular in many of the Beverly diets.

 

How many times a day should one eat? The simple answer is, as often as possible. The practical answer however, is five to seven meals a day, with at least half of these being whole-food meals (a couple of them being protein shakes for convenience). While I won’t call it a rule (we need to individualize bodybuilding into our lifestyles as best as possible) — a great guideline would be:

 

·       At least five meals (including shakes) a day for everyone — male and female.

·       Up to 2,500 calories: 5 meals a day

·       2,500 to 3,5000 calories: 5 or 6 meals a day (whichever is more convenient)

·       3,500 to 4,500 calories a day: 6 meals

·       Over 4,500 calories a day, seven or more meals

 

We then divide the protein and carbs into the number of meals we’ll be eating. Fat does not need to be consumed at each meal and, in cases in which we want to absorb nutrients quickly (such as immediately post-workout), we do not want to include fats. Also keep in mind that many food items are not JUST one macronutrient so if you are cutting calories, estimate low. If you are in the offseason, calorie level won’t matter so much but just be aware that you are getting some carbs in many of your protein sources and vice versa. In the case of fat intake, this is even more of an issue since trace amounts of fat are in many animal-source proteins and each gram is so calorie dense. For instance in the example above, the 48 grams a day could more than adequately be covered by that found in your protein sources plus supplementing with 9 EFA Gold and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil each day. *

 

Macronutrient

Grams per day

meals

 

Protein

252

/6

42

Carbs

360

/6

60

Fat

48

/2 (or 3)*

12-15*

 

 

Once you have plugged the necessary numbers into your dietary template, we are left with serving sizes. Everyone will be different here, but the graphs below will give you some ideas and ranges. Mixing two sources for your total is a great way to keep things interesting, such as Chicken and Egg dishes.

 

Mix and Match: Protein

Your diet calls for 30-40 grams of protein:

Lean Beef

5-7 oz

(30-40 grams)

Tuna

6 oz

(32 grams)

Cottage Cheese

1 cup

(28 grams)

2 large Eggs

(14 grams)

Egg (1 whole, 4 whites) Omelet

(19 grams)

Ult. Muscle Protein

1  scoop

(20 grams)

Muscle Provider

2 scoops

(40 grams)

4-6 Egg whites (12-18 grams)

Diced turkey

2 oz

(13 grams)

Muscle Prov.

1 scoop

(20 grams)

Your diet calls for 40-50 grams of protein:

Orange Roughy

6 oz

(40 grams)

Flank steak

6 oz

(36 grams)

Ground Beef 90% lean

6 oz

(42 grams)

Cottage Cheese 1 cup

(28 grams)

Ultimate Muscle Protein

2 scoops

(40 grams)

Ultra Size

1 ½  scoops

(26 grams)

 

6  Egg Whites (12 grams)

Tuna

3 oz can

(16 grams)

Muscle Prov.

1 scoop

(21 grams)

 

Your diet calls for 50-60 grams of protein:

 

Salmon Patties

8 oz

(53 grams)

Ground Beef 90% lean

8 oz

(56 grams)

Chicken Breast

8 oz

(52 grams)

Ult. Muscle Protein

2 scoops

(40 grams)

Ultra Size

2 scoops

(34 grams)

 

Muscle Provider

1 scoop

(21 grams)

Muscle Provider

1 scoop

(21 grams)

 

 

 

 

Mix and Match: Starchy Carbs

Your diet calls for 25-35 grams of starchy carbs:

Cream of Rice

1 cup cooked

(28 grams)

Oatmeal

1/2 cup dry wt.

(27grams)

Brown Rice

1/2 cup cooked

(25 grams)

Sweet Potatoes

4 oz

(25 grams)

White Rice

1/2 cup cooked

(26 grams)

Your diet calls for 35-50 grams of starchy carbs:

Oatmeal

¾ cup dry wt.

(40 grams)

Red Potatoes

6 oz

(42 grams)

Baked Sweet Potato (6 oz)

(~40 grams)

Brown Rice

1 cup cooked

(50 grams)

White Rice

1 cup cooked

(52 grams)

Your diet calls for 50-65 grams of starchy carbs:

Cream of Rice

2 cups cooked

(56 grams)

Oatmeal

1 cup dry wt.

(54 grams)

Brown Rice

1 1/4 cup cooked

(62 grams)

White Rice

1 1/4 cup cooked

(65 grams)

Sweet Potatoes

8 oz

(56 grams)

 

Mix and Match: Fibrous Carbs

Since fibrous carbs do not contain significant amounts of calories, serving size is not crucial. You should have at least 2-3 servings (roughly two cups) of any of these daily, more if you are trying to lose bodyfat.

Lettuce (various kinds), spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, zucchini, radishes, squash, celery, bell peppers and/or any other fibrous vegetables you like.

You may also use low carb fruits to get your fibrous carb portions. These include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, cantaloupe, and grapefruit. Moderate carb fruits include apples and oranges – one a day should be fine in place of a starchy carb.

If you are on a fat loss diet, limit the amount of the following fruits since they tend to contain more simple carbs: Bananas, pears, grapes, raisins, and apricots.

 

 

Food and Supplement Timing

Below is a very basic diet template to give you a full idea how to mix and match different foods into your eating program. It is set at three different calorie levels since more meals are required for higher intake levels. These are just rough guidelines, so that you can see common ways that many people structure their programs. More importantly, the rationales behind food and supplement selections for specific meals are listed after the chart. These will help you understand the basic philosophy behind many of the diets used by physique champions.

 

BASIC DIET TEMPLATES

Up to 2,500 calories/day

2,500-4,5000

Over 4,500 calories/day

MEAL ONE

6:00 AM

MEAL ONE

6:00 AM

MEAL ONE

6:00 AM

Protein                         Fruit (optional)

Carb

Protein                         Fruit (optional)

Carb

Protein                         Fruit (optional)

Carb

workout

workout

workout

MEAL TWO

9:30 AM

MEAL TWO

9:00 AM

MEAL TWO

8:30 AM

Post-workout shake

Post-workout shake

Post-workout shake

MEAL THREE

1:00 PM

MEAL THREE

Noon

MEAL THREE

11:30 AM

Protein

Carb

Protein

Carb

Protein

Carb

MEAL FOUR

5:00 PM

MEAL FOUR

3:00 PM

MEAL FOUR

2:00 PM

Protein                         Fibrous carb

Carb

Protein                         Fibrous carb

Carb                              Healthy fat (optional)

Protein                         Fibrous carb

Carb

MEAL FIVE

8:30 PM

MEAL FIVE

6:00 PM

MEAL FIVE

5:00 AM

Protein                         Fibrous carb

Carb                              Healthy fat (optional)

Protein                         Fibrous carb

Carb

Protein                         Fibrous carb

Carb                              Healthy fat (optional)

 

 

MEAL SIX

9:00 PM

MEAL SIX

7:30 AM

Protein                         Fibrous carb

Carb                              Healthy fat (optional)

Protein                         Fibrous carb

Carb

 

MEAL SEVEN

10:00 AM

Protein                         Fibrous carb

Carb                              Healthy fat (optional)

 

 

Pantry Food

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.

 

Morning. 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.

 

Because your 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.

 

Many lifters 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.

 

Pre-workout. 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 be consuming.

 

Conclusion

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 (www.bodybuildingworld.com) 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.

  1. Name 3 foods you can substitute in place of vegetables.
  2. If unable to eat before training in the morning, what supplements should be used to enhance muscle repair, growth and fatloss?
  3. Using the principles outlined in EZ Dieting and the beginning of this article, how would you calculate a good caloric starting point for your diet?
  4. In an off season Muscle Gaining diet, athletes need about how many calories per pound of bodyweight?
  5. Which fruits contain more simple carbs and should be avoided in a fat loss diet? Bananas, pears, raisins, grapes, apricots
  6. Density contains 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

Pre Cardio
DENSITY – this formula contains all eight essential amino acids and is immediately available to prevent muscle loss. Take 3-5 tablets upon arising or prior to morning cardio.

ENERGY RESERVE – each tablet contains 600 mg pure l-carnitine. L-carnitine helps transport stored fats into the mitochondria (think small fat incinerating furnaces in your muscles) where it’s burned for fuel. New science tells us that carnitine may also increase your muscles’ androgen receptor sites. Testosterone levels are almost always higher in the morning. More receptor sites means that you can use more of the testosterone you produce to build muscle. Take 2-5 tablets upon arising or prior to morning cardio or workouts.

Pre Workout
DENSITY – take 5 tablets of Density right before your workout. Density takes just minutes to go to work. It prevents muscle breakdown and maximizes muscle growth and recovery. With Density your body will experience huge increases in protein balance during your workout.

CREATINE SELECT plus PHOSPHATES – take 1 or 2 scoops before training. You should already know about the benefits of creatine supplementation by now, i.e. increased strength, more lean muscle mass, and the ability to train longer and harder with less rest. But, new research has shown that creatine can actually increase the amount of IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor) in the muscle.

MUSCLE SYNERGY – if you want to dramatically boost your nitric oxide levels take 8 Muscle Synergy tablets 30-40 minutes before training. You’ll notice increased pump and vascularity, more strength and stamina, and improved recovery.

During the workout
GLUTAMINE SELECT – mix 2 or 3 scoops of Glutamine Select in your water bottle and sip it throughout your workout. Add 5-10 Muscle Mass BCAA tablets to further enhance your training. This combination of free form glutamine and BCAAs will give you more energy to train harder and prevent muscle breakdown and fatigue.

Post-workout
MUSCLE PROVIDER AND ULTIMATE MUSCLE PROTEIN - 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.

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