The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle: Nutrition

Part one of this series introduced you to your genetic limitations and potential, as well as how to optimize your training program to maximize what yo’ Daddy gave you.

Part two will focus on the next important stage of building muscle naturally: What to do when you get home from the gym. Eat right? Stuff your face? “Bulk up?” It ain’t that simple.

Nutrition 101 For Building Muscle

Scrawny to Brawny taught me the #1 rule about nutrition and it goes like this:

If you think you are eating enough food… you are NOT eating enough food.

Eat. You have to eat more food. A LOT more food than you are eating now. I may have found a better approach to training later on, but I started to put on muscle only when I finally decided to get serious about eating. I cleaned up my diet and made sure I was getting at least five meals a day plus protein supplements. Not on-and-off five meals a day.

But here is where you can learn from my mistake with nutrition over the years. You can, as you stuff your face for growth, eat too much. I was finally putting on muscle, but I also carried a lot more fat. In short, I bulked.

Now, some will argue that bulking is the way to go if you are serious about building muscle. That you can’t build muscle and lose fat at the same time. You just have to put up with the fat gains that come with the added muscle while “bulking.” Wrong.

How To Bulk Up Fast

Jeff Cavaliere is a professional sports trainer.  He has been the head Physical Therapist and Assistant Strength Coach for the New York Mets and trained pro ballers Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez, to drop just a couple names.

What I learned from watching the stunning amount of incredible videos on Jeff’s YouTube channel is that while bulking does work, it is a myth in terms of being an iron clad commandment of body building nutrition.

All you’re doing when you bulk up is getting fat. And fat, my friends, is not easy to lose. If you bulk, you have to cut, no if’s and’s or but’s.  And if you cut fat, you are also cutting muscle.

That sounds like the most retarded approach to building muscle, and it was confirmed for me when I cracked 180 lbs at age 32 for the first time in my life. I was bigger. I had more muscle. I successfully “bulked.”  But I was fatter and I did not like it. There had to be a better way. While you do need more calories when you are training for mass, you don’t need the massive increase in calories that many people, even some so-called professional trainers, will tell you you need.

Why Mass Gainer Supplements Suck At Building Muscle

The truth?

All you need is a positive nitrogen balance in your blood stream that comes from having adequate protein intake in your diet.  If you are worried about taking in too much protein, don’t be—that is also a myth.

How Much Protein Can You Digest Per Meal?

All traditional bulking advice can be summed up as follows:

  • calculate your daily caloric intake (i.e. your macros)
  • estimate your additional caloric needs while lifting
  • add 500 or 1000 extra calories (quality calories of course, not pizza and Big Macs)
  • train, weigh in, check result, adjust caloric intake, repeat

Too much weight gained? Reduce calories. Not gaining weight? Increase calories. This really made sense to me until I hit the mother of all inventions—necessity. I was 40 and had time to lift seriously again, but not the money to invest in a proper increased caloric rich diet as I had before. What to do? I decided to:

  • train as hard as I could with the limited calorie intake I had
  • strictly limit liquid protein supplements only around my workouts
  • eat as best I could and as much as I could 8 to 12 hours around my workout, but still only three meals a day
  • rest more (I simply didn’t have the energy / calories to train more frequently)
  • train the whole body only once per week, with only two workouts per week
  • kept my workout to an hour, tops.  In and out.

The result? I lost some Christmas fat and added 15 lbs of muscle in 4 months—170 to 185 lbs—on only three meals a day and working out only twice a week! I kept the workouts intense and short, just like Jeff talks about. I simply could not believe that with such a sub calorie diet (and only working out twice a week) I could lose fat AND gain muscle, but the results spoke for themselves and confirmed what Jeff talks about in his videos.

So, you do need calories, a LOT more calories than you are eating now if you have never gotten serious about building muscle, but calories are not everything. They have to be balanced with the work you are doing in the gym. The rules of nutrition to build muscle naturally, fast are:

  • protein, protein, protein
  • liquid protein only before, during and after your workout
  • higher calories and carbs within the first 8 to 12 hours around training (the amount depending on your intensity)
  • a normal diet the rest of the time (i.e. only solid food and limited, in fact almost no, liquid protein supplements)

In short…Eat when you are hungry.

Eat for the activity you are about to do

How crazy does that sound! Going to the gym to try and surpass a deadlift max weight of 325 lbs? Two egg omelet. Half a cup of oatmeal porridge. Banana. Two scoops weight gainer protein supplement for another quick liquid 500 calories.  All taken in about ONE HOUR before your workout.

Sitting on the couch crushing Zeus again in God of War III? You can skip that 500 calorie weight gainer and just have a two egg omelet and a tuna sandwich. Pretty simple eh?

Don’t stuff food in your face every two to three hours like a robot. Don’t eat 4000 to 6000 calories a day because you are trying to “bulk” and you were told you must based on your calculated macros and the mass gain goals you have set for yourself. Eat if your body commands you to eat.

Eat until you are full, NOT exploding, then a little more and be done. Eat when you are hungry again. If you are training three times a week with intensity and heavy weight, you won’t have to schedule your meals every two to three hours. Your body will SCREAM to get up and eat, even at 4 am in the morning!

That is the mistake I made the first time I bulked up. I was training hard, but not nearly hard enough to justify the massive calories I was consuming for my stage of muscular development. I was eating like I was training for a Mr. Olympia contest. I was literally forcing food into my mouth that had no business being there because my training was still not maximized to match my higher calorie intake. For once in my body building life, I over shot on my diet and under-performed in the gym.

You will notice my nutrition advice is pretty general. I will not tell you how to calculate your macros or what you should eat or what exercises to train with. You can buy the book Scawny to Brawny for all of that information or find it all over the web. This is good information to know, do not get me wrong. Just don’t treat those caloric calculations like some kind of law of gravity. As you get bigger, your body will naturally demand more calories from solid food to maintain itself AND continue to grow.

What I want you to take away from this piece on muscle building the natural way is a philosophy, a mindset. A new way of seeing your body and how to feed it properly after leaving everything you have on the gym floor in a pool of blood, sweat and pain.

Two final tips on nutrition

1) Cottage cheese is your best friend before bed

A 1/2 cup of cottage cheese gives you 15 grams of slow release casein protein while you sleep. Add three tablespoons of yogurt, some chocolate chips, half a squeezed lime for flavor splash and a dash of hydrolyzed whey protein isolate for fast uptake when growth hormone kicks in at it’s highest during your first REM sleep cycle (I believe, see Jeff’s channel, it’s on there somewhere)… and you are set to keep feeding your muscles protein all night, or at least until 3 or 4 am or so depending on how hungry your body is when you are forced awake by growls in your stomach.

2) Wheat is the enemy. Cut it out

I have another great book I want to share with you: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back To Health

This is the single most nutrition shattering book you will read. It completely destroys the “healthy whole grain” diet advice and is the science that underpins the paleo-diet trend that is all the rage right now. Wheat, very simply, is death. At the very least fat, guaranteed. Diabetes, mental health (bipolar and schizophrenia), digestive issues, skin problems (acne). There seems to be no end of horror this staple of the Western diet is responsible for.

I have personally started to cut wheat from my diet drastically and I can testify to feeling stronger, more alert, and have maintained far lower body fat year round than I was able to before.

That sums up my advice for you on nutrition for building muscle. You will note, not anywhere did I say a Big Mac twice a day is a good thing.  Nor Pizza. Nor alcohol. When it comes to what to drink to build muscle:

Water. Period.

Surely Maximus must supplement with something though right? I do. Keep your eye out for part three coming soon.

Read More: A Beginner’s Guide To Breaking Bodybuilding Plateaus

108 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle: Nutrition”

  1. I work out 6 days a week on a 2 day split Day 1 Upper Body Day 2 Lower Body. Protein synthesis only lasts 48 hours so staying sore longer than that is a waste. Its easy to overtrain but Im making gainz like mad. Just another perspective for you guys to consider.

    1. I typically do 6 days on a 3 day split depending on my travel. Chest/back, shoulders/legs and Bi/Tri. Mix in some HIIT to max the burn. I listen to my body and if I get tired lay off for a couple of days and then cycle again. Compound heavy movements. High protein moderate complex carb moderate fat diet while watching calories. I seem to get better gains out of this cycle.

      1. I find this the most effective method of gaining muscle while losing fat.
        I started looking at this diet and two three day cycles when Arnold’s blueprint to mass came out. I think that was the most important program I did. Not the best, but most important because it taught me what works (for me at least).

        1. I’m 48 so I concentrate on heavy but with solid form. If the form gets sloppy gains don’t happen and the possibility of injuries go up. I usually keep the reps from 4-8 depending on excercise. I have been reading quite a lot about inverting the sets to reps so instead of 3 sets of eight do 8 sets of 3. Think I will give it a try as I probably need a jolt to the routine but need to be careful.

        2. I like inverted sets too. Google Arnold’s 1-10 method. I know it’s trite, but arnold knew what he was talking about

    2. I do 3 days a week and switch between pulling days (deadlifts, rows, rack pulls, shoulders) and pushing days (bench, squats, incline bench). I mix in isos but that’s the core of my routine.
      I actually found that when I bumped down from 5 to 3 days a week I started making faster gains. There was definitely a period where I was overtraining. I think if I could manage to eat more during the day I could train more often, but for my busy schedule I find fewer sessions + heavier weight to be good enough for maintenance and making slow but consistent gains.
      My 0.02

        1. I learned this the hard way.
          A good half year of overtraining.
          I looked ripped from hypertrophy, but my strength hit a wall until I started to relax more.
          A tight balance.

    3. I train 6 days a week too but my split is performance based, 1 or 2 main lifts and 2 or 3 accessory, but even my accessory tend to be heavy compound movements. I have one day where I do calisthenic core training and curls, I call it my vanity day, but almost at 14″ biceps with 6″ wrists, so loathe to drop it out of my routine, they were 11″ when i started training just over a year ago

        1. Heavy lifting at 48 is impressive, And 8 sets of 3 is very effective for strength gains but takes a long ass time since recovery at that intensity between sets is no joke. Depending on how proficient I am at the exercise I use what I call a hard or soft pyramid set progression. For example I am awful at benching, gibbon arms narrow torso, its just not in the cards for me biomechanically, so I use the soft aporoach where I only increase the weight on my lightest set every week until Im lifting the same weight sets across then I increase the first set, decrease the last and do it again. The hard approach is increasing every set every week while still maintaining pyramid structure, great way to autoregulate push yourself and maintain progress consistently, if you’re looking for a new set paradigm its worth a shot.

  2. If your Lifting for Power, or the Study and Pursuit of Strength, I recommend eating like a Pig, and Eat anything,.. Fat on the Side of your steak, eat it. Like Maximus Says, when your Go Heavy your Body will allow you to eat a lot more Than usual, if your Looking for a slim 0% fat muscular Look, take in Nutrition accordingly, but if you want Strength you definitely want to eat Fat.

        1. Did you know you can work from home? I made $123,389 in one day! All you need is a smart phone and a computer with internet access!

        2. well, that and confusing “your” and “you’re.” i’d just have you mutilated and exiled though. i’m known for being one of the merciful ones around here.

        3. I may over-Capitalize in my Sentences, but at least I remember to capitalize the First word in a Sentence “well”,…Your Probably right though, my Crimes deserve a punishment of your suggesting, I appreciate the Mercy.

    1. Eating like a pig is one thing…but i am not a fan of iifym
      During my biggest bulk I was eating 4300 calories a day. That is a shit ton of food when you consider it was all clean. To get those calories on lean beef and chicken and veggies you are literally force feeding yourself. Dirty bulkers will tell you to just hit mcdonalds but when you eat good, healthy food you just feel better, smell better, look better….
      Fat is great…in the right proportion….
      what isn’t good is dairy queen…

      1. Yeah. I tried to overeat like that a few times. I was likely up around 4-5k/cal a day. I’ve made three stabs at it over the years. I got so sick of shitting all the time. All three times, I quit after 5-6 weeks. I would simply get furious about having to go take yet another painful shit. I can’t believe how top bb pros can stand that. They must lift and shit all day on toilets with showerheads nearby. No way you can wipe yourself ten times a day. The whole game is shit-riddled nonsense. I’m glad to be older. I do compound lifts and eat for comfort and enjoyment. I stay the same weight easily. I don’t make gains really but I’m used to that.

      2. I’m eating between 1800-2300 I couldn’t imagine eating that much without throwing up… (clean food) if you add in junk and booze its easy to hit that.

        1. yeah. people hear 1800 calories and they think oh not a problem…but 1800 calories of lean protein and veggies is a shit ton of food.

  3. I can’t lift really heavy because of my lower back; I’ve maxed out at 225 on bench and am scared of how squats/deadlifts could potentially hurt me. So bulking is out; it’s lean and mean for me.
    I started seeing more definition, especially in the abs, when I mixed in more HIIT. So now I’m doing one day of intense gut-busting plyometrics and another day of soccer (a great way to get your weekly sprints). Fat-burning from HIIT is real. Then three days in the weight room (2 upper body, 1 leg day), plus yoga on the sixth day for flexibility. The mix is working really well and I recommend it to everybody. BTW, I’m 40 but most people guess 30.
    For diet, check out the recipes at Mark’s Daily Apple. Anybody who goes even half paleo, the way I have, is going to see great results.

    1. I don’t know the details of your back injury—sympathy though.
      I would suggest finding some very good trainers if you can. I thought I would never lift again and with some patience, form tweaks and help I’m on a path to a new PR that I am hoping to reach by August.
      Of course, that is injury dependent. Mine was herniated discs.

      1. Did you lift while boxing ? I find that impossible due to time and energy, I only do bodyweights.

        1. Not really. I did some minor accessory lifting but it was almost all conditioning. Even at 20, jumping rope for an hour with a weighted rope didn’t leave time for deadlifting.
          I also had a much different body composition (not just because of the couple decades that have passed). I don’t know what my flexed bicep measurement was then but it certainly wasn’t the 17 inches it is now, not even the 15.5 it will be after my cut for summer.

        2. You can lift for boxing but only for strength. I did Monday and Thursday pyramid, 5-1 , deadlift , bench , back squat

      2. Thx. Not an injury, it’s a curvature issue. Chiropractor pointed it out a couple years ago. You’d never know, because I’m athletic and in great shape.
        Herniated discs? Good God, what did you do in a past life to deserve that?

        1. Actually, I think I am glad for them. At least i am trying to be positive. This summer I couldn’t walk, now I am deadlifting over 400 for reps. It was a hard fight back but I made it and it is something I am proud of and hope will be able to encourage other men who are no longer young, work long hours at a desk and get injured and fear they can never make it back.
          Yeah I cursed a lot about it, but now that it is nearly behind me I am trying to make that journey a positive for other men…in my gym and at my job now but maybe at some point online

        2. I’m still gunning for 400, though I’m rather slight, 140lbs at 5’7″ best I’ve managed so for is a single at 350, are you pulling conventional?

        3. I do pull conventional. Sumo is respectable just not me. If you are pulling 350 you can pull 405. It is a matter of training. I’d say dial back to about 275 for 4-6 reps for 3 sets every three days. Put and extra 5 pounds on next week and week after. When at 285 do one of Arnold’s max out sets after a week of rest which is a build up of rep range 20, 15, 10, 8, 6, 3, 2, 1, 1rm. Repeat. It will take a month or two but you will get it.
          I’m not a big believer in 1rm but it’s good to love you along.
          Switch to a mix grip of you must and do some wrist work.

        4. Currently in a training cycle with 3×3 coming off a deload which funnily enough started at 280, just did 325 x3 which felt quite light, so just going to finish the cycle with standard linear progression and see where I end up, next time I stall though I’ll give your program a crack!

        5. You should, it’s awesome. However, I can’t take credit. I ripped it off of some guy named arnold swartzenegger. I felt he had the right stuff 🙂

    2. Re: lower back. I can’t speak to your exact condition, but I can relate a story.
      My sensei in karate was ex Military Police. Had a serious car crash and his back has been FUBAR for a long time. Amazingly (like yourself), he was still able to be very active in karate (you soccer etc).
      His doctor or chiro took some x-rays one time and his lower spine area had fused portions. Completely fused (if I am remembering correctly). In short, his doctor said “How on earth are you able to move without pain?”
      His only answer, as far as he could tell… was the years, going on decades, of STRONG CORE ACTIVITY AND STRENGTH.
      Goju ryu in particular focuses heavily on core development in sanchin kata training.
      If you are having trouble with your lower back, take a break from weights for awhile and focus on your core. Do what you can, without out pain, and then see how your lower back feels. A lot of lower back pain/weakness is nothing less than a weak core. (and also usually poor form and/or too much weight)
      By the way… not associated with Jeff in anyway. His channel is simply the BEST gold mine on all things athletic and muscle I have ever found on youtube.

  4. The key is don’t overdo it. I think a lot of men, hit the weights like crazy and think the more they lift the more results they will attain. The best way to do it, is to stimulate the muscle, not annihilate it(old Lee Haney tip). Eat a lot, drink a lot of water. (1.5 gallons a day if possible) and rest. Work out for an hour at most each session (whether it’s weights or cardio) and then pull back. (HIIT if possible) Also have about two days a week where you do nothing. This will keep your body and mind refreshed and keep you from over-training.

    1. Once Kratom is Taken you don’t even have to lift, an Elite Body Builder Physique can be achieved and Maintained from Kratom Alone.

        1. the aura of kratom, i thought, was like the voice of god….immediate death

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  5. Honest and on point, but is there another way to be muscular and lean than bulking and losing fat afterwards? Without Kratom of course.

  6. 15 lbs in 4 months while eating 3 meals a day and working out twice a week? I call BS. Beginners can’t even gain 15 lbs in 4 months with a perfect diet and personal trainers. Sounds like a cycle of test to me.

    1. It’s not. I am not a beginner. Your claim would be correct for someone who is a beginner and never trained. I have not made that claim. I would also suggest that either the personal trainer was lacking in expertise, or the perfect diet was, as usual, not as perfect as he or she believes it was.
      To make it clear, I have been lifting on and off for over 20 years now. I have added muscle slowly over time, and lost it. Spend 5 weeks walking all over Japan and you lose weight damn fast. 22 km in one day over decently rugged (yet trailed) pilgrimage walks and you now have the 2nd reason why there are no fat people in Japan. 1st reason is no wheat in their diet at all. And, I was having my ass kicked by a retired 70 year old goju ryu stylist who good humouredly told me “Gee, this walk is tougher than I expected.” as I was sweating and breathing like an obese pig trying to keep up with him.
      Anyone who lifts knows when you return to lifting from a long period away from the gym, you always put on faster than you did initially. The difference was in the context of this weight gain example.
      I was eating less food. I was working out less. But… I was maximizing my diet with good protein supplementation (before and after my workout) AND the best diet I could afford AND… most importantly… rest and recovery. I had never rested between workout this long before. I was expecting the typical 5, maybe 10 lb gain, not 15 pushing 20.
      You don’t put on muscle in the gym or at the kitchen table.
      You put on muscle when you slip under the covers to go to bed and have enough days off to always return stronger and with high energy to KEEP maximizing whatever training and diet plan you have to work with.
      And I stand by my recommendations. Dial in your nutrition. Eat more food. Work out with intensity – focus on whole body compound movement exercises – but keep it short. Get in, get out, eat and sleep. Take a couple more days off than you normally would more regularly. Really let the body recover before going back to the gym and supplement with protein SMARTLY, all around your workout when your body needs it the most.
      Try it first and then report your results. I guarantee you you will see a difference.

      1. I don’t mean to attack you personally, but this claim is something I’ve never heard in natural bodybuilding. I’ve been bodybuilding for over 10 years and its rare for anyone to gain 15 lbs natty lean mass in a year, much less 4 months. That’s 1 lb per week. How many calories could you possibly be getting out of those 3 meals? 1k each if you are stuffing your face. 3-4,000 calories is hard to gain on, not to mention you are only hitting the weights 2x per week.
        I’ve taken a few months off from lifting too. I wish I could gain 15 lbs lean naturally in 4 months from an off cycle. i can gain that easily, I just have to juice and eat 5-6 protein meals daily.
        Even if this claim is true, 1/1000 experienced weightlifters will be able to gain 15 lbs of muscle in 4 months, and the only ones that would have a shot are going to be eating 6-7 meals, 5,000 calories a day.

        1. No offense taken at all and I understand your skepticism. Let’s see if I can address your concerns.
          First… you are focusing on calories. Notice how many times you refer to numbers/intake. It’s not the calories that count, per se. It’s protein and feeding your body protein at the optimal time when your body needs it the most.
          That 15 lb rebound gain at 40 is because I have NATURAL muscle memory from prior mass phases over the past 20 years of lifting.
          If you are someone who has never taken long periods away from the gym, you might not see this effect. I am talking a year or more, not just a few months. No exercise at all or very minimal maintenance where you barely work up a sweat, just get the body and weights moving. You also lose the muscle mass you gained over the time away from the gym. You get smaller.
          In the specific case I am talking about, I returned to the gym at 40 after not hitting any weights for over a year, almost two years. I was stiff as a board and wondering if age was finally starting to catch up to me. I was also fatter. Not a lot, but a lot more than I have ever been.
          Trust me… I was as shocked as you are and I think the key here is the longer rest and recovery periods. Training is hard work. It takes a toll on not just your muscles, but your digestive and immune system as well. I think the standard 3-to-4 days per week for months on end, over years, with some minimal breaks, only to go right back to the same intensity trying to break plateau’s etc, is what you are referring to. Breaking training and weight plateaus is much harder and takes longer. But regaining what you once had once built? Easy.
          Here is my proof. I am back to 180lbs right now, but I am not gaining anymore. I will gain, if I increase my calories, but not anywhere near the rate I have been. That said… I bounced back this time with 5 meals a day and good protein supplementation. Hence, I underwent a 20 lb gain in only two months!!!.
          I am not shitting you. First week of December to end of January. 162 lbs to 180 on the nose. I am curious if this gain was also do to calorie deficient diet (Japan) for 5 weeks and then massive calorie increase on return (much like after contest).
          This kind of rapid muscle gain is possible with muscle memory. To go PAST that will require more food/calories. But again, I think if more natural builders focused on rest and recovery, they might see faster gains with less food than they could have ever thought.
          If you are having trouble with gaining muscle despite good diet and training, I would suggest stepping out of the gym for 6 months to a year. Seriously. Find an athletic activity instead like martial arts or soccer/basketball. Stay fit, stay active, but see to it you are not exercising at an intense level more than twice, maybe three times a week at most. Just let your body recover and recuperate. Give it the time needed to adjust to a new, stable level of weight and musculature. Perhaps even shed 5 or 10 lbs, naturally, from simply not training/eating as much.
          Then… go back to the gym. But before you do, seriously sit down and look at your diet and training. Can you change it up? Can you dial it in even sharper? What can you do to try and gain muscle faster than you did before? If you are telling me there is “nothing left” you can do to make better gains, I would suggest you are not looking hard enough at your training/diet or, perhaps, have given up because you are just not see the gains you want.
          I think my fast muscle gains are also do to the training I talked about in part one. Taking advantage of muscle fibre types and training them in a specific order. I did not have a regular training routine, but an optimized one for actually building strength and size, not just x number sets for y number of reps over z number of weeks. Can you see the attitude difference?
          My first real mass phase took me from just under 160 to 185 in about 6 months. I bulked and was fatter, but I grew muscle for the first time.
          The second mass phase… I bounced back from 160 to 180 in two months… but it took another 4 months to get to 195 pushing 200 lbs. At that point, it really was the calories and getting enough protein in my diet. It is hard, it’s a lot of food.
          This third mass phase… I went from 165/70 to 180/85 (15 lbs) in two months again but with fewer workouts and more rest. (The one you are skeptical about).
          This fourth and current mass phase – 20 lbs in two months with an avg of three times a week and perhaps two weeks off during that time. (So we are talking like 6 weeks total training time in the gym).
          It is possible. Good food. Good protein around your workout. Lots of sleep and rest. Intensity in the gym and compound moves (squat, bench, deadlift, pull-up).
          I am not trying to sell anything here. I am just relating my personal experience and perhaps, there is some genetic advantage I might have and never considered before in light of your training and experience questioning mine.
          All that said… if you doubt this is possible, read all my articles, look at your own training with an objective and critical eye, and give what I am suggesting a try. You might surprise yourself.

  7. I don’t have a problem waking up early to work out or finishing that one last painful rep. My problem is the amount I have to eat. And how I’m always hungry. That’s the hardest part about working out.

        1. Well, the wheat we have been eating for the past 50-60 years is a hybrid, Im sure that has something to do with the upswing of gluten intolerance

    1. Do what works for you. Personally I know I function better without wheat but I still love to eat bread. Nutrition-wise, wheat foods in general are really vitamin poor, as opposed to other carbs like broccoli and sweet potato. I think it’s better to eat a more vitamin dense diet.

    2. No… it’s not. I did not say cut out wheat entirely… 100%. I said reduce it. IF you want to stay lean longer year round, the less wheat you take in, the better. I recently spent 5 weeks backpacking around Japan. There are almost no fat people in Japan. Once you hit Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo (i.e. the larger centers), you will see the odd overweight person here or there, but I can count on two hands with lots of fingers left over the amount of fat people I saw over 5 weeks. Note as well… fat people, not obese. I did not see ONE obese person in Japan. Not one. In 5 weeks. Can you guess what western diet staple is completely none existent in the Japanese diet that is known the world over for engendering the longest life spans on earth? You only get one guess.

      1. NVM, I misunderstood the point (I skimmed over the article the first time I read it and when back).

        1. Their culture is unforgiving and will shame fatasses so hard they commit suicide. lol.

        2. You know that ramen in Japan is made from wheat, right?
          Tempura too is wheat-based.
          The major difference between Japanese and modern Western diets is;
          a) They don’t eat vast quantities of factory farmed, fast food meat like us.
          b) They eat less calories.

  8. I’m currently on IF and I struggle with eating enough. It’s actually surprising how fast the body gets used not to eat for 16-hours periods.

    1. IF is tough man. I tried and failed big time. I’ve seen people get amazing results but I couldn’t do it. Good luck.
      I also had no luck with Keto or carb cycling.
      IF, keto and carb cycling all will work but it’s really hard and my lifting numbers pretty much tanked.

        1. I will research it on Monday after i am done fucking lonely women on valentines day

        2. I’ve been curious about IF but never stuck to it. The weightroom lethargy sucks. Moody too, and that was only after a few stabs at it. My guess is that the T-spike from fasting is the body’s initial reaction to it. Your body is alarmed at first and goes into a type of hormonal emergency, dumping out testosterone in response to the threat state. But how long does that last? I can’t see your body keeping that up for years on end. It seems your body would become used to the 16 hour daily fast (or whatever interval) and not really react to it. At the same time, you’re simply less nourished and your body is under more stress as you rip up muscle via lifting without providing the steady building blocks to recover. If you’re happy walking for exercise and fasting then that is likely a good plan for a long life. A long, low-T life, but a long life nonetheless. The bottom line is that fasting is supposed to actually cause the body to produce more. How can that be maintained long term? Sooner or later, your body will produce less if you’re giving it less to work with.

        3. I tried it a few year’s ago. 2 days a week, didn’t eat anything, just drank water. Tuesdays and Thursdays usually, about 32 hours. Didn’t change my regular eating habits but then they weren’t too bad at the time. Didn’t give up alcohol, need to break out on Fridays. Worked out most mornings for 30 mins, didn’t go heavy.
          It’s difficult for the first few weeks but then your body adjusts. I managed it for 6 months. Was in great shape. I cycle and was leaving the rest of the guys behind on the inclines.
          Bad year this year but gonna get back on track again….

  9. Good article. I recall reading an article on t-nation about the three most important things to avoid (aside from the obvious junk food like candy, cakes, pies, ice cream, pizza etc.)-wheat, milk and fruit juice. Since I only drink water and tea, the latter two weren’t a problem. Giving up wheat was more difficult but once you get over it you don’t miss it.
    Giving up all alcohol had a profound effect on my strength gains. Wish I had quit years ago…

    1. Fruit juice? You mean the ones you buy at the supermarket right? Because fresh fruit/vegetables juices that you press yourselves are among the best thing you can give to your body.

        1. The sugar from fruit is counteracted by the fiber and the insulin spike is muted. If someone has convinced you that eating fruit is bad for you then you better run a check.

        2. Modern fruit is hybridized to have fructose content. Have you ever eaten an non-hybridized apple?

      1. Yes, supermarket fruit juice, which is basically liquid candy with loads of added sugar.
        IIRC, even freshly pressed fruit/vegetable juice, while infinitely better than store bought, can still cause a large insulin spike, as the food is already broken down and offers little in the way of a digestive challenge. I may be mistaken on that however.

        1. True, it’s all about the timing. Probably best to keep carbs low/lower on rest days as they are more likely to be stored as fat.
          Since I’ve cut out wheat, pretty much all of my carbs come from potatoes these days.
          I agree with the author that weight gainers are a waste of money, but I feel that protein powders are unnecessary as well. Stopped taking them four years ago with no ill effects.
          I’ve cut back on a lot of supplements as well, except for Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, krill oil/astaxanthan, Curcumin/turmeric & CoQ10.

      2. No they’re not. Way too much sugar and way too much insulin response. Just eat the fruit instead. Most absorption is done through the intestines. Liquids are released into the bloodstream immediately and never make it to the intestines. You’ve been duped.

  10. 600-700ml of white rice(raw volume)……boil it…..add 50 grams butter, salt/sugar as you fancy…..EAT. 2000 calories.
    Then get started on your protein intake, try and get 100-150 grams….
    Forget about paleo, just avoid High PUFA vegetable oils that are in everything and excess sugar(fructose is bad for your liver in large amounts). Eat 400g carbohydrate a day. Get most of your fat from dairy, meat and coconut. Avoid excess fiber….eating lots of vegetables is overrated

    1. After eating rice for 5 weeks in Japan, coming back home to potatoes and pasta (even if reduced by my standards)… I found potatoes to be the densest (i.e. just sits in the stomach) starch carb. Pasta was next, but not as bad. Definitely upping my rice intake now.
      The Japanese have rice with every meal. And the pure white stuff too. A big bowl of it. I did not gain any weight and had plenty enough energy to get around. I also lost a lot of weight from all the walking (they walk everywhere because the train/subway system is so efficient). I had less muscle mass but I also had a much lower BF% than when I left.
      That experience has completely changed my view of white rice as a bad carb (it is usually lumped together with bread and pasta). It is a carb, but I think it is the cleanest burning carb. Kind of like regular vs high octane performance fuel. That is strictly my personal opinion. My stomach never felt full or bloated no matter how much rice I ate. My whole body just felt cleaner and more energetic.
      Agree with your paleo thoughts as well. But I would not reduce vegetables. I have met a couple of vegans and they always look younger than their age. Skin is incredible on female vegans.
      I have also found that at my age, I need to find a more vegan friendly way to get my protein. I can still scarf down 200g or so of lean raw beef after the gym, but it just sits longer in my stomach and I feel fuller than I would in my 20s. I think age is a factor in meat consumption. The older you get, the less your stomach can handle it. Chicken is still ok and fish… Japan again… is incredible to digest.

      1. I married to a Thai. After marriage I went from buying rice in little boxes to 25 lbs bags. Southeast Asian food is basically two groups: Rice and other than rice.
        However, I found the heavy rice diet was almost as bad as eating lots of pasta. Both my wife and I dropped weight when we started to cut back on the rice.
        I guess the diet experience is different for everybody….

        1. Agreed. Again… eat for the activity you are about to do. If you don’t need the calories, don’t be slamming back bowl after bowl of rice. What I did find with rice is that it is way cleaner and less filling for fuel than pasta or breads/potatoes.

      2. White rice is only marginally different than brown rice. The whole “whole grain = healthy” is a total myth. In terms of glycemic levels, brown rice and white rice is nearly identical. Brown rice does have more fiber. And it is said to eat quick glycagen spiking sugars post training and only eat whole shelled carbs after.

      3. Same thing happened to me when I went to Japan. All the walking/heat and sushi/rice leaned me out so much, that my bodyfat was lower when I returned. I wondered what would have happened had I stayed a few months and began weight training there.

  11. I found cutting down on sugar and carbs (pasta in particular) really did help in working out / losing fat. I added more protein and animal fats (I already ate lots of veggies). The latter allowed me to eat a lot less yet still feeling full. My cholesterol and triglyceride numbers also improved dramatically (I had an issue before with high LDL).
    One thing that really helped me was vitamin supplements. Pantethine in particular (it is a form a B-5). I originally took it to help my cholesterol issue. Turns out it also can improve adrenal function. My endurance and time to recovery improved dramatically after taking 900 mg of Pantethine a day.
    The one annoying issue I have is though I have put on a lot of muscle and lost a lot of fat, I can’t seem to get rid of the belly fat. The rest of my body is pretty lean right now, except for my gut. It is kind of annoying because it makes me look a lot fatter than I am. Especially after building up my core muscles significantly.

  12. 90% of health problems can be fixed with eating REAL food. Fuck all these medications the doctor gives you, Its only for profit and to brainwashed you to believe you need drugs to get better.
    80% of people that thought they were eating healthy food weren’t. Everyone needs to watch the video below.
    If you haven’t heard of ‘Paul Chek,’ he is the Jesus of fitness and food. His book was recommend to me by the people that work in my national’s fitness department. His book is a MUST read!!!
    How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!
    by Paul Chek

    1. Yeah,, lately I’ve been sticking to food in which the ingredients are the same name as the food;
      Strawberry….ingredients; strawberry
      Beef….ingredients; beef
      banana…ingredients; banana
      Etc. I’ve been trying to get closer and closer to a 1:1 ratio between my food and the ingredients therein.

      1. Right on! I started to take some dried fruit and raw nuts with me as an afternoon snack. Nothing enormous, just a small (1/2 cup) portion. This idiot tried to tell me how bad dried fruit was blah, blah, blah……I noted to her that dried fruit has been consumed since the dawn of time. The dummy just kept blabbering.
        One food, one ingredient.

        1. Dried fruit is really good for you. I’ve heard prunes have about the highest antioxidant count you can find. And you can get used to them quickly. You won’t just fill your trunks every time you eat three or four of them. Your body adapts in no time. The ones to watch out for are the dried mangos and papayas from the Phillipines and Thailand. I think those are pretty well caked in sugar. Added sugar, that is, not just the natural sugar. You can likely find sugar free ones.

  13. Oh fuck, wheat is bad? Guess I need to lay off the whole grain bread and bagels I’ve grown accustomed to.

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  15. I won’t name the program but in 2 months I was able to gain 1 lb of muscle which isn’t impressive but I lost almost 20 lbs of fat. So you can lose fat without losing muscle….

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