Bodybuilder's Guide to Nutrition
me a 64-ounce steak, double-baked potato with extra sour cream and
an apple pie for dessert. No, not a slice give me the whole
you have ever had the opportunity to go out with a bodybuilder for
dinner, you would be familiar with that kind of order delivered
to the distressed waitress. These high-carbohydrate, high-protein,
and high-fat diet meals were the popular method for packing on muscle
and climbing the scale. I'll pack on all the weight I can
now, then melt off the fat later, was the common motto.
bodybuilders put a lot of focus into the details of their nutritional
strategy. A small food scale, calculator, note pad and pencil are
common items found in their kitchen. Some competitive bodybuilders
go to the extreme of weighing and measuring everything wherever
they go and scribbling numbers into their notepad after every meal.
not every skinny guy has the same aspirations, desire and determination
to live the life of a bodybuilder. Skinny guys will be more successful
today if they have a quick and convenient plan to follow that involves
minimal measuring and minimal number crunching.
See Food Diet Is NOT The Answer
reality is that many skinny guys nutritional level does not
exceed the See Food Diet, that is, 'see food' and eat it. Not a
bad option if you can avoid getting a potbelly in the process. If
this is you, then consider yourself blessed with a Lamborghini-style
metabolism. Go right ahead and eat whatever and whenever you want
until youre ready to audition for Rambo IV.
the most part, the See Food Diet is typically not the most healthy
meal plan since it puts zero restrictions on any food categories
and is more a concept to shift a skinny guys mindset than
anything else. These days, the majority of readers should know the
fallacy of a See Food Diet. Sure, you can eat a super high calorie
diet, like the See Food Diet, and add some muscle, but you'll add
even more fat. And from personal experience, and I'm sure many of
you can personally testify, putting the fat on is much easier than
taking it off! Conveniently, bodybuilders now have an off-season
shape card to flash year-round to excuse themselves of looking
like a pregnant powerlifter.
the principles of nutrition should be like mastering the principles
of training simple. Master the basics and execute them consistently.
Think about the 80/20 rule. 80% of your results will come from 20%
of your knowledge. Taking what you already know and putting it into
action consistently is the magic formula. Let's go over the most
important nutrition principles you'll need to practice to get your
#1: Eat Often Every 2.5 to 3 Hours
expect to pack on quality mass muscle without body fat
on three square meals a day. This would lead to massive quantities
of both protein and carbs at each meal. Your body can only store
so many calories per meal, so guess what this results in? Bloating,
poor digestion and unwanted body fat.
first meal should be consumed within 15-30 minutes of waking up
and consumed every 2.5 to 3 hours. Set your stopwatch to beep until
you get something in your body. Don't view these meals as burdensome
but as opportunities to fuel and grow your muscles. Look at them
as growth surges. Think of the next meal as a fuller chest, broader
shoulders, bigger arms and rock-hard abs!
if you miss a meal, visualize a sea of piranhas eating up your muscle
tissue like its an all-you-can-eat buffet. And those deadly
piranhas are eating up your CURRENT muscle that you are not even
satisfied with. They are actually making your muscles
No, you will not lose an inch on your arms if you miss one meal,
but once you start averaging 3-4 instead of 6-8 meals a day, dont
be upset when people look surprised when you tell them you work
out with weights regularly!
how many meals should you be eating? Thats easy - just divide
the time youre awake by 2 or 3. I would suggest mastering
eating every 3 hours before you consider every 2 hours. So if youre
awake 18 hours a day, eat 6 meals.
if one of those meals falls right before bedtime? Then eat up! Take
the opportunity to eat. If we went to the extreme we would eat every
3 hours throughout the night as well. No matter what you have heard
on this (never eat after 7 P.M. garbage) ignore it. Trust me!
dont view these feeding opportunities as snacks.
This is a wimpy word mentality that should not be in your vocabulary
if you are trying to build muscle. Do you think Ronnie Coleman says,
Hey, I think Im going to go eat a snack? Every
3 hours you should be eating decent size meals that will make your
#2: Eat A Variety Of Foods
is easy to get into a robotic state of nutrition where we eat the
exact same foods every day, ingesting the same breakfast, lunch
and dinner and the only time we eat differently is when we go out
for dinner or someone else cooks for us. It is easier to choose
convenience over variety.
like our training that we rotate around to prevent boredom, you
should rotate your food selection. Normally, you will eat whatever
is in your house, so the best strategy to eating a healthy variety
is to shop for different foods each week. This will help balance
out your diet and help you measure the response a variety of foods.
Dont go for the boring and easy route.
#3: Eat Enough Calories
muscle is an eating game because your muscles grow on calories.
Not eating enough calories is like an attempt to buy a $50,000 car
with only $25,000 in the bank. It's not going to happen. If you
are not gaining at least 1-2 pounds per week, then add some extra
carbohydrates and proteins to your breakfast, pre-workout meal or
IS NO WAY AROUND THIS STEP. Even if you have the perfect training
routine, you will never grow unless you provide your body with the
proper amount of nutrients. Its like saying you want to build
a house but you do not have enough bricks, cement and wood. It will
be impossible to build that house. Its like saying you want
to race a car as fast as possible but you dont have any gasoline
or oil. Its downright impossible.
you wish to ensure that your muscles have enough fuel to support
your workouts, lift heavy weights for high reps, recover from workout
to workout and, lets not forget, GROW NEW MUSCLE, then you
have to keep track of what you are eating every day. There is no
way around it. This is the number one reason why skinny guys never
gain weight or why anybody for that matter will not make quality
gains that they so desperately strive for.
track of what you eat is a lot easier than it sounds its
probably why most people avoid it, because they perceive it to be
youre going to have to take some extra time to read containers
and labels, but if this method will promise another 20 pounds in
a few months from now, is it not worth it? And the good news is
that your brain will create a new file to store all your new nutrient
calculations, and since you are eating from the majority of the
same foods, your memory food bank will expand quickly.
#4: Eat 40-60 Grams Of Protein Per Meal
muscle is not on your bodys 'to do' list simple survival
is. Not getting enough protein for your internal organs results
in your body robbing it from your muscle tissue. Your body cannibalizes
itself for the amino acids it needs! This is the polar opposite
of what skinny guys want.
should make up at least 35% of your overall caloric intake. This
translates to 40-60 grams of protein per meal for males less then
200 lbs and will be enough to maintain your appetite, increase your
muscle mass, accelerate recovery and keep body fat levels low. Hit
this level and youre doing well.
is better to get your protein from whole, complete, and lean protein.
Remember that protein is a costly food and burns twice as much energy
as carbs and three times as much energy as fat. You need protein
to maximally turbo-charge your metabolism, improve your muscle mass
and accelerate recovery.
for lean meats such as ground beef, chicken, turkey, etc. Aim for
fish such as salmon, tuna, orange roughy, etc. Aim for Omega 3 eggs
and pasteurized egg whites. Aim for dairy from cottage cheese, yogurt
and partly skimmed cheeses. And if you have to resort to supplement
shakes, go for whey, casein or milk protein blends.
#5: Eat 60-80 Grams Of Carbohydrate per Meal
getting enough carbohydrates will make you feel like youre
carrying a bear on your back throughout your workouts. Your bodys
gas tank is comprised of carbohydrates. No carbs and don't expect
to get that car too far.
of carbs in your diet can slow the muscle-building process because
your muscle tissue can be used as energy if your bodys preferred
source of energy, carbs, are not available.
is best to get your carbohydrates from a variety of high-fiber,
complex and low-glycemic carbohydrates as opposed to simple carbs
(sugars) found in fast food, fried food, processed food and junk
food. Complex carbs release a slower and longer lasting energy that
is critical for your intense training workouts. Complex carbs will
rarely get converted to fat unless you are clearly eating too many
of them. If you are gaining more fat around your midsection as opposed
to muscle, then you know you should cut back on your complex carbs
or add a few cardio workouts.
for high-complex, muscle-building carbs such as bran, barley, buckwheat,
beans, brown rice, cornmeal, oatmeal, pasta, potatoes and whole
#6: Eat 20-30 Grams Of Fat Per Meal
30% of your diet should consist of fat - this number should remain
pretty consistent for everyone. And as a skinny guy or anybody who
wants to maximize muscle growth, then eating 30% of your intake
from fat is critical for boosting testosterone levels. However,
the key is to balance out your intake between saturated, monounsaturated
and polyunsaturated fat. If you achieve 1/3 in each of these, then
you will optimize your health and muscle gains. This is not as complicated
as it looks.
North Americans are harshly deficient in mono (olive oil) and poly
fats (from fish oils) and get enough of saturated fats as it is,
your job is to simply include more olive oil and fish oil into your
diet. This is something that can be recommended for every man and
women and has no potential side effects. Again, dont worry;
the meal plans included have got you covered.
only fats you MUST avoid at all costs - for so many reasons - are
fatty acids, also known as trans fat, is an artery-clogging fat
that is formed when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or
shortening. It is found in many other foods besides margarine and
shortening, including fried foods like French fries and fried chicken,
doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers. In the United States,
typical French fries have about 40 percent trans fatty acids and
many popular cookies and crackers range from 30 percent to 50 percent
trans fatty acids. Doughnuts have about 35 percent to 40 percent
trans fatty acids.
determine the amount of trans fat in a food you must know what to
look for on the food labels. Whenever you see shortening, hydrogenated
or partially hydrogenated oil higher up on the list of the ingredients,
the more trans fat.
#7: Eat Vegetables with Every Meal
are vegetables supposed to promote muscle gain? Your mom was right
when she told you to eat up all your vegetables if you wanted to
grow big and strong. Finally, the muscle-nerds are catching
up. Not only are vegetables loaded with vitamins and minerals but
they also contain important plant chemicals called phytochemicals
that are essential for optimal physiological functioning.
most neglected benefit of eating vegetables is their role in recovery.
Sure, you need calories to grow, but you also need these veggies
for their high antioxidant profile that will help reduce the amount
of free radicals from heavy training, and they will accelerate recovery
by healing damaged muscle cells.
people are unaware that proteins and grains create high levels of
acid loads to the blood, and if this is not balanced out with alkaline
rich vegetables and fruits, then too much acid can result in a loss
of bone strength and muscle mass. So it is important to keep these
acid levels balanced by ingesting vegetables (and fruits) for their
alkalinity to the blood.
best way to get your vegetables is to cut them all up at the start
of the week. This will make life easier and make them more accessible.
Aim for at least 2 servings, which is the equivalent of 1-2 cups
per meal. Yes, every 2-3 hours you must be eating veggies.
#8: Eat Your Biggest Meal At Breakfast, Pre-Workout and Post-Workout
matter what anyone says, I believe this is the safest and most effective
way to maximize your muscle:fat gain ratio when bulking. In this
article we will not discuss the topic of nutrient timing.
we will discuss the benefits of packing the bulk of your calories
around the most catabolic and anabolic times of the day so you will
have sufficient energy to train hard and heavy without any risk
of muscle breakdown, not to mention enough calories to support muscle
growth. How much food you eat at a particular time of the day should
be based on the NEEDS OF YOUR BODY AT THAT CURRENT MOMENT.
#9: Plan Ahead
principle could easily be number one because oftentimes it is not
a shortage of information that creates a roadblock but our lack
of CONSISTENCY and CREATIVITY. I bet if you did not change anything
about what you are currently eating but ensured food was there when
it was time to eat, you would experience a growth surge.
agree with the famous cliché that states, "Failing to
plan is planning to fail." It is so true. You must have a plan
that will ensure you have the food prepared and cooked in the right
selection and amounts every time you eat. This might require you
to spend a few hours on Sunday evening cooking and storing all your
food in Tupperware containers. This might mean waking up half an
hour early so that you can cook all your meals for the day. This
might require you to carry a lunch bag wherever you go. This might
mean packing a few shaker bottles if you know you will be on the
road most of the day. Bottom line - be prepared.
#10: Eat Whole Foods 60% Of The Time and Liquid Meals 40% Of The
have my clients use as few supplements as possible for the first
few months of training. You will be amazed at the results achieved
by simply putting all your efforts into following your meal plan,
proper training and sleep. Its a very eye-opening experience
when they see almost immediate changes in body composition, health
and energy levels.
food intake should come from high quality food at least 60 % of
the time, which means at least 4 of the 6 meals you are eating.
will ensure more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that
supplements and pills lack. Whole food is loaded with digestive
enzymes as well that help the absorption of food instead of eating
too much ground up food in the form of powder. Power
shakes will make your life much easier and will remove some of the
inconveniences of having to cook and prepare food all day. Aim to
use these at least 2 out of your 4 real meals a day and never more
than three power shakes unless your life is extremely hectic and
the next 12 weeks to putting these muscle building nutrition principles
into action. Building muscle is really quite simple and exciting
because you get to indulge in large quantities of food, try new
recipes and become a master chef since you'll be spending more time
in the kitchen. Taking these principles and applying them consistently
over time and making them a part of your lifestyle is the secret.
Vince DelMonte is the author of No
Nonsense Muscle Building: Skinny Guy Secrets To Insane Muscle Gain
specializes in teaching
skinny guys how to build muscle and gain weight quickly by using
the correct cardiovascular and weight lifting techniques.
© 2006-2008, Vince DelMonte Fitness. All rights in all media
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