The bodybuilder diet
How do Bodybuilders eat?
- 6 clean meals consisting only of chicken, rice and broccoli.
- Ten-thousand calories bulk on icecream and macdonalds.
- Starving on asparagus and whey isolate and using five different fatburners.
Do you recognize the diets? We all read confusing and contradicting diet advice on the internet, hear it from Pro-Bodybuilder interviews or get it told by our broscientist friends. But where is the truth? How does a bodybuilder’s diet for a bulk or cut look like?
Read the article carefully and get spoon-fed with the truth based on literature, honest bodybuilders and deep insights.
The Cutting Diet
First off, the nutrient structure we are gonna use is consisting of high protein, medium fat and very low carbohydrates. Each nutrient serves its purpose, so lets talk about them individually.
High protein should be a given for every bodybuilder, and recommendations here are inbetween 1-2g of Protein per pound of muscle mass; An 100kg Bodybuilder is adviced to aim for 400g of protein, averaging around 300-400g every single day. The key here is to be consistent with your goal and achieve this goal day in, day out. Proteins are needed for the human body as an amino acid driven organism for every cell growth and renewal there is. Our skin, our nails, our hair, our organs, every tissue, every muscle cell, its all produced through amino acids and proteins are the humans’ way of getting amino acids in. Protein are the building block and foundation of our diet.
The second important macronutrient are fats. But „fats make you fat“? No, they do not. We have to differiencate between the bad, trans fats and saturated fats, which will be highly limited in our diet and only needed in miniscule amounts for optimal hormone production, and the good, polyunsaturated and essential fats. Essential fats are given this exact name because they can not be synthesized by the body directly, but rather have tob e consumed through our diet. They are important for regulation of nerves, help you fight depression, all kinds of diseases, regulate your blood sugar, and are essential in helping you build muscle and lose fat. Get plenty of them, 9-10g are recommended every single day in a good ratio between EPA/DPA. Fats are gonna be the main resource of energy our body runs on, as they can be converted into ketones in the body that let us use our brain effectively even when running on low carbohydrates.
The last macronutrient are carbohydrates. Throughout our diet, we are gonna keep them to a minimum, and only consume them in the form of fiber and vegetables. We want to keep insulin levels in the body as low as possible, as insulin is a anabolic shuttling agent that stores excess energy directly as fat on your body.
The positive side effects of this diet are both an improve in health markers such as lipids, blood cholesterol, blood pressure and the simple way of sustaining it. You will feel healthy, satisfied, have no ups and downs in your blood sugar and are constantly burning and losing fat at a steady pace.
Once a week we will have one cheat meal, consisting of any food you want, preferably very high in carbohydrates. Think of a large pizza, an asian-all-you-can-eat buffet or a burger with fries. It’s your „get out of jail card“ you can play once a week. This will help us regulate leptin and thyroid hormone levels to be standardized and avoid metabolic slowdown. After using this diet approach for some time, you will notice incredibly better insulin sensitivity and shuttling, allowing our bulks to put on quality muscle mass instead of huge fat guts.
How does an example diet of this approach look like?
Meals that are suited look like this:
In the morning you should eat 4-6 whole eggs, preferably grass fed ones with omega 3. Do not throw the yolk away, do not consume your regular oatmeal, just 4-6 whole eggs.
Meals throughout the day, and both meal timing and the amount of times you eat a day are irrelevant as long as you get your desired 300-400g of protein and 100-200g of good fats in.
Any meat we cook or salad we prepare, we like to add in a good fat source, olive oil is sutable, a better variant would be the heatstable Macadamia Oil. MCTs are unneccesary.
One example meal choice would be lean protein such as turkey, chicken breast or tilapia + a handful of nuts. Think macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds.
If you’re on the way and have little time during work week, a meal replacement can consist of a 50g Whey Protein shake + 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter. It is recommended to use the Isolate Whey version, as it doesnt contain lactose, which is both contradictory to our low-carb-approach and hard to digest for most people.
Supplements that help you improve the diet are
- a) a good fiber supplement, as it increases bowel movement, stops colon cancers, improves ldl/hdl and cholesterol and gives your blood sugar even more stability,
- b) a vitamin c supplement, that lowers the cortisol levels that your diet spiked, and generally improve well being
- c) enough Omega 3/6 that you didnt get out of your diet. The supplements here are cheap, shoot for 9-10g every day.
We do not want to use fat burners, as they’re simply metabolic waste and increase the stress hormones in your body. It is far more sustainable to diet for 8-10 weeks, than to diet 2-3 on 5 fatburners and feel bad, look bad, have bad health and raise your stress hormones to the maximum.
The bulking diet
You might wonder if this is the part where we finally get to slam icecream and coke all day and get 300lbs+ in a few days. No, get those magazine-sprouted ideas out of your head.
We adapt the whole concept of the cutting diet, i.e. high protein, medium fat and low carbohydrate, including all supplements and general suggestions i made.
The only difference is an increased carbohydrate intake according to your body mass. We do want to get enough carbohydrates to have fuel and full muscles, but not too much to avoid spilling over and accumulating too much fat.
To smoothly change from a cutting to a bulking diet, the first thing we are gonna change is adding in pre-and postworkout nutrition. Drink a Protein shake consisting of 50g Whey Protein and 50g of waxy maize or another fast carbohydrate source before your workout. Add a tablespoon of olive oil or macadamia oil to slow down the absorption of the nutrients optimally and allow for a powerful workout. The reason i suggest waxy maize, is it’s magic ability to refill glycogen stores rapidly and pull nutrients right into the muscles. It’s chemical structure makes it a very big molecule which gets rapidly pulled into the tissue right away, and binds all smaller nutrients with it. It is alternatively possible to eat a bowl of oatmeal with protein powder or cream of rice and a small portion of lean protein.
Additionally, we will add a postworkout shake, consisting again of 50g Whey Protein, 50g Waxy Maize and 10g Creatine. No added oils this time, we want immediate absorption of the carbohydrates and the creatine in our muscles.
After adapting to the pre and postworkout nutrition guidelines, it is possible to slowly add more slow-digesting carbohydrates to your meals. Eat two slices of brown bread with your eggs in the morning, add a bowl of oatmeal with protein powder during the mid of the day. Try to increase your carbohydrates slowly and notice changes in your body. Once you smooth out too much, you should cut back slowly to a point where you mostly accumulate lean body tissue.
This diet approach is used by many amateur and pro bodybuilders over the world and works incredibly well. It is further enhanced by a steroid regimen.
The only difference that this structure requires comes into play with the addition of massive doses of insulin, mostly long acting version ones. If you just dabble with insulin and use it pre/postworkout this protocol still is the non-plus-ultra for bodybuilding, only with added long acting ones from morning to night and incredibly high doses it is advised to not follow our approach anymore.
Good luck finally building the body of your dreams!