How to Create a Bodybuilding Diet

A frequently asked question we get is how to create the correct diet for building muscle. This article teaches you exactly how to do it.

Bodybuilder diet

Ok, so you want to get huge?! You get into the gym, pound weights till you have a big red head, go home and that’s it, you maybe think that all you have to do. Pump the weights. If only it was that simple.

Nutrition plays a very large part of recovery and growth. Without both you won’t put muscle on. Bodybuilding diets are constantly changing due to the increase of your muscle mass; if you put muscle on you have to eat more, if you lose muscle you need to eat less. So how do you keep an eye on what is happening inside the body?

Well, you have two means that would work. The first is the good old scales that sit gathering dust in the bathroom; you should monitor your weight to see if your goal to put muscle on is causing an increase in bodyweight. If the scales show that weight are staying the same or going down then its time to look at the diet and eat more. If the weight is going up then is it muscle? or is the stomach getting bigger? If it’s the stomach getting bigger then you are eating too much. But be cautious, you can expect to put some bodyfat on when trying to put muscle on, but you want to monitor that the dreaded fat isn’t going on to much.

Another good method of checking which is going up, muscle or fat is to use a set of body fat calipers. By using the calipers every two weeks that will show exactly what is happening, if muscle is going down due to not eating enough then that will show with the calipers and you will need to eat more. If the calipers show that bodyfat percentage is going up then you need to eat less. All good gyms will have a set of calipers and as long as the same person does the measurements every time you should be able to get a true reading as to what exactly is happening. Once you have obtained the amount of total millimeters and your bodyweight, the chart that comes with the calipers will show what bodyfat percentage you are. Now comes the clever bit. If you take your bodyweight in pounds and times it by the bodyfat percentage then that will come out with your total bodyfat. Then take this figure from the total bodyweight and that will give you a figure for your fat free mass. The figure is not all muscle but includes internal organs, bones etc. but just use the figure as muscle for our calculations.

The two figures you have just worked out, the total bodyfat and fat free mass, should be written down and kept. Then next time you have the measurements done you will see if the bodyfat percentage has gone up. But more importantly has the total fat stayed the same or gone down?. Has the fat free mass gone up? Which is what we want, or gone down, which we don’t want. You will find that if your food intake is right then with your exercise and nutrition the fat free mass will go up and the total bodyfat will go down. But if your not eating enough then you will find that the fat free mass (muscle) is going down and the bodyfat will go up - not what you want!

Bodyfat Calculations

Example of calculations of bodyfat, and fat free mass, using the weight as 200lb, and a bodyfat percentage of 21%.

Bodyfat Calculations Example
Bodyweight: 200lbs
Bodyfat Percentage: 21%
The calculations...
Step1. Bodyweight x bodyfat percentage = lb bodyfat.
(200 x 0.21 = 42 lb bodyfat)
Step2. Bodyweight – 42 = fat free mass (200 – 42 = 158) (This figure is the total amount of fat free mass).
So now we know...
Bodyweight: 200lbs
Bodyfat Percentage: 21%
Total Bodyfat: 42lbs
Fat Free Mass: 158lbs

The next time you have the bodyfat percentage done ideally, you want to see that the fat free mass has gone up and the total bodyfat has stayed the same or has gone down. That is the ideal situation. But sometimes it doesn’t happen and the fat has gone up and the fat free mass has gone down. The reason that the fat free mass goes down is that possibly you are losing muscle which you are not eating enough food for the amount of work/training you are doing.

Ok, I hear you saying, what if I train at home? Well in this situation we can use the old favorites, a set of scales and the mirror. You know, the one you use to admire yourself in!

The bathroom scales should show an increase in your bodyweight, if it's not going up then your not eating enough. If the mirror is showing an increase of bodyfat around the middle then you are eating too much.

So how do we set about setting a nutrition plan for ourselves? Firstly we need to know how many calories we should eat in a day, on top of the calories required for our body at rest we need to add into the diet calories we expend on daily activities and our training.

Use This Calculator to work out your calories per day. As a basic starting point, we use a ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fats (PCF) of 30% protein, 50% carbohydrates and 20% fats. Remember that protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, fat contain 9 calories per gram.

An example: The calculator has given us a value of 2900 calories per day, so use the following calculation to find the PCF ratio:

  • Protein: 30% of 2900 = 870 calories / 4 = 217.5g per day.
  • Carbohydrates: 50% of 2900 = 1450 calories / 4 calories = 362.5g per day.
  • Fat: 20% of 2900 = 580 calories / 9 = 64.4g per day.

So now you know exactly how much food you require per day. Now you will need to find out how much food you require (approx) per meal. You should be using frequent feedings and as such should divide the grams of food given above into as many meals per day as you can fit in, usually between 5-8 meals per day.

So to work the above amount of grams of food per day you use the following calculation:

  • Total meals required per day 6. (Figures rounded off)
  • Protein: 217.5g / 6 = 36g of protein per meal x 6
  • Carbohydrates: 362.5g / 6 = 60g of carbohydrates per meal x 6
  • Fat: 64.4g / 5* = 13g of fat per meal x 5*

* Note: In the after training meal you want the nutrients to be digested quickly and fat delays the digestion of the meal, so fat is omitted in this meal only.

Below are listings of the best foods for our nutrition plan, and for our recovery and growth from training. The amounts have been put as per ounce (28g) of each food for easier calculation.

So to work out a meal you have to look at the lists given below and choose what foods you want to use in a particular meal to give you the amounts required per meal.

Example: Evening meal.

(Requirements, protein 36g, Carbohydrates 60g, Fat 13g)

Food Protein(g) Carbohydrates(g) Fat(g)
Beef (sirloin grilled) 3oz 27.9 0.0 8.4
Brown rice (cooked)6oz 4.2 38.4 1.2
Carrot (2 large) 2.0 14 1.2
Cabbage (2oz) 0.8 3.2 0.0
Green beans (2oz) 1.0 4.0 0.0
Totals: 35.6 60 10.8

So you can see by the above meal that you are very close to the total amount that is required per meal, you can have larger meals for the main meals like breakfast, lunch and evening meal, and smaller meals for mid morning, mid afternoon, and supper time.

Use the charts below to calculate your meals for your given calculations, you will find that after you have done it a couple of times how easy it is, and you will also get to know what the portion size you require for that given amount of food.

Once you have your food sorted out, give the plan two weeks for the body to adapt to your new eating plan. Then if...

  1. You're not gaining weight. Eat twice the amount of carbs and 1.5 times as much protein at two of your meals per day.
  2. You're gaining weight, but its as much fat as it is muscle. Eliminate carbs at your last two meals of the day, (excluding your post workout meal.
  3. You're gaining weight and losing bodyfat. Follow the directions in rule (1) above at every meal.
  4. You did fine at first, but now your bodyfat has increased. Halve your carbs at your last two meals. If the bodyfat falls in two weeks, increase your carbs.

Best Foods For Muscle Building

Below is a list of the best bodybuilding foods and their macronutrient profiles, with the information below you can build a diet based on your own particular goals, mass building, getting lean, or just basic maintenance of your diet.

Meat, Fish, Poultry. (per ounce, 28g)

Food Calories Protein(g) Carbohydrates(g) Fat(g)
Atlantic Salmon 56.6 7.7 nil 2.4
Bacon back (grilled) 27.0 3.4 nil 1.2
Beef (mince-lean) 53.0 8.0 nil 2.1
Beef (silverside) 54.4 8.7 nil 1.8
Beef (sirloin-grilled) 64.0 9.3 nil 2.8
Beef (topside) 54.7 9.9 nil 1.5
Catfish (fillet) 46.6 8.0 nil 1.2
Chicken (breast) 49.7 9.6 nil 1.2
Chicken (drumstick) 23.6 3.7 nil 0.9
Chicken (thigh) 33.6 4.3 nil 4.3
Cod 32.6 7.1 nil 0.3
Crab (Alaskan) 30.1 5.9 nil 0.6
Deli roast beef 15.5 2.5 0.6 0.3
Halibut 43.5 8.4 nil 0.9
Ham (sliced-lean) 40.7 6.2 0.3 1.5
Lamb (leg) 63.7 8.2 nil 3.7
Pork tenderloin 51.0 8.7 nil 1.5
Scallops 27.3 5.2 0.9 0.3
Shrimps 30.8 6.5 nil nil
Tuna (bluefish-fresh) 57.2 9.3 nil 1.8
Tuna (canned-white) 39.8 8.0 nil 0.9
Turkey (breast) 42.9 9.3 nil nil
Venison (tenderloin) 46.3 9.3 nil 0.6

Dairy & Egg Products. (per ounce, 28g)

Food Calories Protein(g) Carbohydrates(g) Fat(g)
Egg (whole-1 large) 74 6.0 trace 5.0
Egg (substitute-50ml) 53 8.0 trace 2.0
Egg (white-1 large) 18.0 4.0 trace trace
Low fat buttermilk (250ml) 98.0 8.0 12 2.0
Ricotta cheese (part skimmed) 38.3 3.13 1.3 2.24
Yogurt (plain fat-free) 15.8 1.6 2.1 trace
Cheddar Cheese (reduced fat) 54.8 7.8 1.1 2.2
Swiss Cheese (reduced fat) 56.0 8.9 1.1 1.1
Skimmed Milk(250ml) 86 8.0 12 trace
Cottage Cheese (2%) 25.0 4.0 1.0 1

Nuts Seeds and Oils. (per ounce, 28g)

Food Calories Protein(g) Carbohydrates(g) Fat(g)
Almonds 183 6.7 6.7 15.6
Almond Butter (1 tbsp) 101 2.5 3.5 9.5
Canola oil (1 tbsp) 124 0.0 0.0 14
Flaxseeds (1 tbsp) 59 2.3 4.0 4.0
Olive Oil (1 tbsp) 119 0.0 0.0 14
Peanut butter 96 4.0 3.0 8.5
Peanuts (dry roasted) 186 7.8 6.7 15.6
Walnuts 207 4.5 4.5 21.2

Grains, Breads, and Pasta. (per ounce, 28g)

Food Calories Protein(g) Carbohydrates(g) Fat(g)
Bagel, plain (1 small-3”) 190 7 37 1
Barley, pearl (cooked) 33.7 7 7.7 0.1
Bran Muffin (1 small) 178 5 32 5
Brown Rice (cooked) 31.1 0.7 6.4 0.2
Corn, tortilla (1) 58 2 12 1
Couscous (cooked) 30.8 1 6.4 trace
Crumpet (1) 134 4 26 1
Flour, tortilla (8”dia) 146 4 25 3
Macaroni (wholewheat) 39.3 1.4 8 0.2
Oatmeal (cooked) 17.2 0.7 3.0 0.2
Rye bread (1 slice) 83 3.0 16 1.0
Sourdough Bread (1 slice) 88 3.0 17 1.0
Spaghetti (wholewheat) (cooked) 39.3 1.4 8.0 0.2
Wheatgerm (1tbsp) 26 2.0 4.0 0.5
White rice (cooked) 31 0.6 6.8 trace
Wholegrain Cereal 84 2.0 21.4 0.9
Wholegrain Crackers (5) 90 2.0 14 3.0
Wholemeal Bread (1 slice) 73 3.0 13 1
Wholemeal Pitta (1) 170 6.0 35 2.0
Wholemeal Pretzels 115 3.3 21.4 0.9
Wild Rice (cooked) 28.1 1.1 5.9 0.1

Fruits (per ounce, 28g)

Food Calories Protein(g) Carbohydrates(g) Fat(g)
Apple 1 (med) 72 trace 19 trace
Apricots (3) 50 2.0 12 trace
Avocado (1/4) 80 1.0 4.0 7.0
Banana (1 med) 105 1.0 30 trace
Blueberries 50.6 0.1 3.9 trace
Cantaloupe 9.4 0.1 2.2 trace
Cherries (tart) 14 0.3 3.4 trace
Grapefruit (1/2 Medium) 41 1.0 10 trace
Grape Juice (100 ml) 45.2 trace 19 trace
Grapes (seedless) 20 0.1 5.4 trace
Melon (cubed) Honeydew 10 0.1 5.4 trace
Mango (cubes) 18 0.1 4.7 trace
Nectarine (1 medium) 60 1.0 14 trace
Orange (1 navel) 69 1.0 18 trace
Orange Juice (100ml) 44.8 0.8 26 trace
Papaya (cubes) 10.9 0.1 2.8 trace
Peach (1 med) 38 1.0 9.0 trace
Pear (1 med) 96 1.0 26 trace
Pineapple (cubes) 13.3 1.0 20 trace
Plum (1) 30 Trace 8.0 trace
Raisins (loose) 86.3 0.7 23 trace
Raspberries 14.3 0.4 3.3 0.1
Strawberries 9.1 0.1 2.2 trace
Watermelon (cubes) 8.5 0.1 2.2 trace

Legumes (per ounce, 28g)

Food Calories Protein(g) Carbohydrates(g) Fat(g)
Lima Beans (baby) 33.8 2.0 6.1 trace
Black Beans 36.8 2.3 6.5 trace
Chickpeas 46.9 2.4 8.0 0.7
Kidney beans 34 2.4 8.0 trace
Lentils (cooked) 32 2.5 5.6 trace
Tofu (raw) 45 4.9 1.1 2.5
Soya beans (cooked) 79 6.8 6.2 3.1
Split Peas (cooked) 32.4 2.2 5.8 trace

Vegetables (per ounce. 28g)

Food Calories Protein(g) Carbohydrates(g) Fat(g)
Artichokes (1 medium) 60 4.0 13 trace
Asparagus (4 large spears) 16 2.0 3.0 trace
Aubergine (cubed) 7.0 trace 1.4 trace
Beats (sliced cooked) 2.35 0.8 2.8 trace
Broccoli (florets raw) 7.7 0.6 1.2 trace
Brussels sprouts 10 1.2 2.0 trace
Butternut squash 11.5 0.3 3.0 trace
Cabbage (shredded) 6.8 0.4 1.6 trace
Carrot (1 large) 30 1.0 7 trace
Cauliflower 7.0 0.5 2.0 trace
Chinese cabbage (cooked) 3.3 0.5 .05 trace
Collard greens (chopped) 1.6 0.1 0.3 trace
Corn, kernels 22 1.0. 5.0 0.3
Courgette (chopped) 5.0 0.4 0.9 trace
Cucumber (sliced) 4.3 0.2 1.0 trace
Garlic (1 clove) 5.0 trace 1.0 trace
Green beans 3.7 0.5 2.0 trace
Green peas (raw) 24 1.6 4.3 trace
Kale (chopped) 6.5 0.6 1.5 0.2
Mushrooms (sliced) 6.0 0.8 0.8 trace
Onion (chopped) 11.5 0.3 2.8 trace
Pepper (green) Chopped 5.6 0.2 1.3 trace
Potato (1 med) Baked 161 4.0 37 trace
Potato (boiled) 24 0.0 6.0 0.0
Potato (mashed with milk) 23 1.0 5.0 0.0
Pumpkin (fresh) 5.6 0.2 1.2 trace
Romaine lettuce (shredded) 6.2 0.6 1.2 trace
Spinach 7.0 1.0 1.0 trace
Sweet potato 1 med, baked) 103 2.0 24 trace
Tomato (1 lge) 33 2.0 7.0 trace
Tomato juice (100ml) 16 0.8 4.0 trace

In Summary...

Remember that if...

  1. You're not gaining weight.
    Eat twice the amount of carbs and 1.5 times as much protein at two of your meals per day.
  2. You're gaining weight, but its as much fat as it is muscle.
    Eliminate carbs at your last two meals of the day, (excluding your post workout meal.
  3. You're gaining weight and losing bodyfat.
    Follow the directions in rule (1) above at every meal.
  4. You did fine at first, but now your bodyfat has increased.
    Halve your carbs at your last two meals. If the bodyfat falls in two weeks, increase your carbs.

Want more information about building muscle, fitness and working out? Come and Join our muscle building community! We have thousands of like-minded members who can help you reach your muscle&fitness goals.

About The Author
Doug is an ex-competitive bodybuilder with over 20 years fitness experience, specifically diet & nutrition, weight management and training techniques.

270 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 12/23/2009 - 12:46

i like reading articles about fiteness, im working at it to get my self fit for 2010 a new year

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Posted Sat, 03/20/2010 - 20:00

when bulking on a high protein diet do i need to eat big everyday or just on training days ?


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Posted Wed, 04/20/2011 - 21:16

It matters how much you work out everyday, and how high your metabolism is.

So if you work extremely hard one day you can eat good amounts of food that day and the next even if you don't work at all the next day

Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 03/21/2010 - 08:21
Steven can best reach Doug via the forum.

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Posted Wed, 03/24/2010 - 10:06

After reading this it has made palnning my diet far, far easier. I will get the body i want now being able to understand this


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Posted Wed, 06/30/2010 - 20:12

i want to lose weight and gaion muscle

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Posted Thu, 09/02/2010 - 23:12

I'm 18 and my parent barely feeds me food. It gets me angry because I go everyday expect the weekends and show no progression. My mom is crazy I eat only 1,500 cal I think and she thinks I eat a lot. I'm moving out. Sorry if I'm negative

I'm losing muscle very fast I go to the gym but don't get tired. This explains everything.

I only have one question what if you don't get any calories at all? Should I just eat fast food and protein shakes to compensate to the 2,900 cal will I gain muscle or will I still need to eat raw protein. I have money for fast food I'm just afraid since most of it is bread I'll gain fat. I'll probably just might experiment...

HUGE Thanks!,

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 09/03/2010 - 14:28

Hi Alex,

When I was in college I didn't have access to a perfect diet. It is better to make due with the foods you have than to undereat. Just make sure you are eating "about" 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours, if possible.

Instead of spending your money all on fast food, get some whole milk. It is calorie dense and inexpensive.

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Posted Sat, 09/08/2012 - 02:09

hey steve from the comments im seeing that you are the go to guy. Im looking into getting into bodybuilding hardcore. Im currently fighting MMA and instead of dropping weight i want to continue to get huge and cut. Ive got the workout schedule nailed on the head, but its my eating that needs to improve. I work and train so much I dont eat enough. So i was thinking about 6 meals a day and trying 2 things out. Either do all 6 meals with some salad, baked chicken, a type of fruit and a little rice or some type of noodle. Or.... trying 3 of the meals salad, chicken, and fruit, and have 3 of my meals be strickly noodles for the carbs like going back in forth. Any insite on what you think would work best in my situation?

thank you,
Michael "hurricane" Houck

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Posted Sat, 10/06/2012 - 10:33

Hi Alex,

I was in your shoes as my folks love thier junk food therefore I had to take it upon myself to start porviding get yourself a goerge foreman and a microwave, grill your meats, microwave your eggs and do cous-cous with boiling water ready in three minutes you dont need to be a chef to get big just survive on the big body building foods porridge, brown rice/pasta, eggs, lean meat/fish you can combine these so many ways and if your serious about reaching your goals you will

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Posted Tue, 04/15/2014 - 02:21

Dude I had the same problem. I over came it by buying and cooking my own food. Muscle is a good starting point. My calories went from 1200 by eating 2 meals a day to near 3000 atm maintain a weight near 13st. I started at 9st

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Posted Sun, 05/18/2014 - 13:08

NEVER eat fast food! Yams and brown rice are not that expensive and if you get eggs from Costco (the organic ones) you can get all the basics you need for less or the same as what you would be spending on fast "food."

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Posted Sun, 09/12/2010 - 12:38
Chris Gill

In the meal building part of this can I count protien shakes as 3 meals?

Thanks Chris

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 09/16/2010 - 13:24

Hi Chris,


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Posted Thu, 09/30/2010 - 00:36

what does "trace" exactly mean?

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 10/01/2010 - 13:36

Generally a very unimportant, or negligible amount.

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Posted Thu, 09/30/2010 - 19:55

Hi, i'm a junior in high school who works out 5 times a week at my local gym. I've been working out there for a couple of months and I haven't seen much results. I know I work out hard, but I've been eating 3 meals a day with bad snacking in between, causing me to have a bad diet. I'm trying to change my diet because I know it will do a lot when it comes to results. My overall goal is to cut fat and put on a lot of muscle. I've researched a bunch online, but I figured I should get someone's opinion first. Here's my drafted meal plan for an average school day:

6:30=scrambled eggs(1 normal, 3 egg whites) w/ turkey sausageand whole grain toast
9:15=chicken breast w/ brown rice
12:30=peanut butter sandwich w/ almonds
3:30=chicken breast w/ brown rice
5:45=whey protein shake w/ banana
7:45= small dinner, mostly protein(not a lot of carbs)
10:30=casein shake

How do you think this looks, and where should I modify my plan?

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 10/01/2010 - 13:38

Hi Matt,

On paper this looks solid. keep in mind that overall calories are important. Watch the scale. You want to gain at least 1-2 pounds per month when you are training hard and new to the weights, and if you aren't gaining weight, you will need to eat a bit more.

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Posted Sun, 10/31/2010 - 07:57

how much weight would I need to gain before I start adding another 500 calories to my diet

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 11/02/2010 - 10:46

Hi Dan,

I don't understand the question.

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Posted Wed, 11/03/2010 - 17:03

sorry, should have made it clearer what I meant is as I gain size(weight) I will need more calories so what is a good amount to gain before bumping up my calories again so my gains do not stop as my calorie consumption would be to low, sorry I am new to this I hope i'm not just talking garbage

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 11/04/2010 - 14:00

Hi Dan,

As long as you are gaining weight, month in and month out, I wouldn't add calories. The more muscle you gain, the slower the future gains are. So as long as the weight gain is still coming, I wouldn't add any calories. If weight gain comes to a standstill, I would bump the calories up 300 per day and see what happens.

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Posted Wed, 11/03/2010 - 14:54
Josh Frias

Lets ask the a dedicated bodybuilder finishing up my senior year, my goals are to keep lifting! My diet and lift plan is solid and i have little questions there. My main concern is im gaining muscle at a good rate but when i step on the scale i seem to weigh less?? Im wondering why and should it be tripping me out??

Your response will be taken into good consideration.
Thanks - Josh

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 11/04/2010 - 14:01

Hi Josh,

If you are sure that you are gaining muscle, then it sounds like you are losing fat as well. You maybe undereating slightly. Once your gains slow, and they will, undereating might start to make it harder for you to make future gains.

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Posted Sat, 10/06/2012 - 10:36

Josh you have to remember your daily output might be more than it used to be and changes in output will need to be couuntered with input

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Posted Tue, 11/09/2010 - 12:34

hi master STEVE ,
acctly u sent this page's link on another page , as i said u tat i ve abdominal packs but which r not visible coz i ve fat under my skin ..
in this page hw i ve to maintain a diet ..
n pls tel me wat supplement i can take ..
regards ..

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 11/09/2010 - 14:44

Hi Arvind,

I've detailed a solid supplement plan here:

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Posted Sat, 11/20/2010 - 01:21

i train 4 times a week at 7am till 9 30am i eat oats with whey and a spoon of honey at 5 30am and straight after i have a whey shake & a bananan.but someone said i should train on a empty stomach is better
what do you reckon mate ??? thanks

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 11/22/2010 - 13:52

Hi Gary,

I would NOT recommend training in the morning on an empty stomach. Your approach looks great.

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Posted Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:43

I'm curious to understand why it is NOT recommended to train on an empty stomach.
Can you explain Steve?



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Posted Thu, 11/24/2011 - 02:57

Hi Christian,

Many find eating on a empty stomach not as effective as having a fuller stomach. This is because Once you start working out your muscles are tearing, without proper nutrients consumed the muscle will take alot longer to repair and musle growth won't be as effective. Besides that you will have a low blood sugar level resulting in poor performance and being lethargic.

On the other hand it can serve you well if you are looking to cut body fat. As you have nothing stored in your stomach, your body will look for other sources of nutrients to fuel it, hence stored body fat is used.

However if you are looking to cut body fat I would recommend having a pre-workout shake (Whey isolate), about 30 mins before your workout, then goto the gym to start your standard weight lifting workout then afterwards do around 15 to 20 mins cardio. This will be way more beneficial and you will still tap into the stored bodyfat. This method will also avoid your body going into a catabolic state. (Where muscle loss could occur).

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Posted Mon, 11/22/2010 - 01:43

Hey Steve, Im 17 and I have busy days at school, I can fit 3 solid meals in my day and I currently srink Muscle Milk after my workouts. 50g protein per two scoops and I take 2 after each workout. My question is, does this sound like a decent meal plan to build muscle?

Morning 8:30(Breakfast)- Only have time for a quick bowl of cereal. I try to stick healthy like Raisin Bran or Vector

Lunch- TO busy at school and I skip this

Workout 3:30- followed by my muscle milk shake

After workout meal 530- I usually eat meats like chicken, porkchops, steak. With rice and baked potato

8:00- Same as above

And I know its late to be eating but I literally crave food after workout for hours so my last meal is around 10:00 and I eat the same thing I absolutely love potatoes/rice/chicken/steak

Appreciate your feedback Steve

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 11/22/2010 - 11:40

Hi James,

I would use whole milk in your cereal for breakfast. That will help bring up daily calories.

As far as the meal will be tough to add much muscle with a 9 hour fasting period. A healthy lunch would really help.

s there any way you can take a shaker with a weight gainer to school and add water and chug it for lunch? And keep almonds in your locker to snack on for additional calories?

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Posted Tue, 11/30/2010 - 05:45


i need help with this i did that bmr calculator but it said i need 15000 calories a day, it seems like heaps ive made a breakfast with all the figures to those calories but it seems like a massive meal to me, its confused me and how much do i need to add to ain weight roughly?

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 12/02/2010 - 13:27

Hi Andy,

What is your height, weight and age?

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Posted Fri, 12/03/2010 - 08:04

62kg 1750cm and 19 years old, i made a nutrition thingy and it ended up being 4125 calories a day and it seems like a lot of food to me

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 12/03/2010 - 11:55

Hi Andy,

I would try 3500 per day for 2 weeks. If you aren't gaining any weight, add 200-300 more calories per day. If you add more than 2 pounds in 2 weeks, cut back the daily calories by 300.

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Posted Fri, 12/03/2010 - 21:04

thank you very much =]

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Posted Sun, 12/05/2010 - 01:09

I'm 21, weigh 175 and I'm 6'2". I using the 5-day power, muscle, burn pinch and I'm wanting to put on lean muscle not gaining any weight. The bmr calculator said I need 3300 calories a day. I eat 5-6 meals a day but I just feel full and heavy when I intake that many calories. I have also heard I should try and stay a little hungry. Should I just suck it up and take in the calories or eat comfortably? Any advice is greatly appreciated.



Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 12/07/2010 - 12:53

Hi Hunter,

Let's put it this way...if you undereat and are not gaining weight, you are wasting your hard efforts. Sometimes even adding only 300 calories per day can help.

I recommend trying 3500 for a month with the goal of gaining about 2 pounds. If you don't gain 2 pounds, add 300 more calories per day.

Because you feel full, it's wise to focus on calorie dense foods that don't fill you up. Whole milk, almonds and nuts, natural peanut butter, dark chocolate, bananas and weight gainers. If you can add one large of whole milk to each meal, you will add a substantial amount of daily calories.

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Posted Tue, 12/07/2010 - 17:24

Good information u have here. I'm about 6 ft and weigh about 170. I'm pretty happy with my weight and all that, but I'm definitely not happy with my bf. I had a dexa scan a few months back and I had 22%(!!) bf. Ive currently switched to a low carb/sugar diet, and started lifting about 3 months ago. I know it's kind of impossible to bulk up when you're on a low carb diet.Would I be better off doing the 50%carb 30%protein 20% fat diet to cut down my body fat and bulk up? Thanks in advance.

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Posted Wed, 12/08/2010 - 08:57

Hi Francis,

It can be hard to add muscle on any diet. You can certainly try, but a lower carb approach will generally be the hardest diet to gain on. I would recommend reading the following article. It will help you lose fat in an efficient way, and you may be able to add some muscle in the process.

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Posted Thu, 12/26/2013 - 10:14

Hello Steve, I really appreciate your help towards all the visitors on the website.
I weigh around 72-73 kg, height is 5 '10'
I am confused about what my diet plan should be, including the timings. I am training for the last 1 year but have experienced little increase in muscle size, i suspect that the lack of improvement is due to improper diet. If you could help me with my diet plan i will be grateful :)

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Posted Thu, 12/26/2013 - 10:15

Hello Steve, I really appreciate your help towards all the visitors on the website.
I weigh around 72-73 kg, height is 5 '10'
I am confused about what my diet plan should be, including the timings. I am training for the last 1 year but have experienced little increase in muscle size, i suspect that the lack of improvement is due to improper diet. If you could help me with my diet plan i will be grateful :)

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Posted Wed, 12/08/2010 - 16:07

Thanks, Brotha!

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Posted Mon, 12/20/2010 - 01:09

Ok, I'm turning 44 soon got back into it for a month now.I'm 5' 9" ,180 lbs., 34" waist.I would like to trim up & gain some decent size again. No plans to get huge. Where do I go from here? Also, The calculator figures I go for approx. 200 g of protein. Other info here says .75 grams per pound which is quite less. Your feedback is great and appreciated! Love the site.Thanks

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Posted Mon, 12/20/2010 - 10:09

Hi Dave,

You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight. Find a muscle building workout that suits your schedule and best motivates you to train.

2) Eating to maximize muscle retention while cutting fat. Here are two articles that can help:

Protein - a good average guideline is around 30-35 grams every 2.5 to 3 hours.

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Posted Sun, 12/26/2010 - 22:21

I have a very basic question. The BMR calculator states I need 3,260 calories a day. I am trying to lose 10-20 pounds, prefereablt more. I am doing 30-45 minutes of cardio in addition to weight training. I do not consider myself a beginner, but I am having some real issues dropping weight. Factor in that i am in Afghanistan where my diet is somewhat regulated, but the foods are not the best. I do not have the option of eating 5-6 small meals a day. I do have access to protein supplements, as well as some others types. I need some help! 40 years old, 5'11, 230lbs. My body fat % is probably around 28% +/-. I have a gym and use it regularly. Just looking for some assistance in beating the weight off! Thanks in advance!

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Posted Thu, 01/06/2011 - 16:15

Hi Todd,

I would focus on eating 3 square, healthy meals per day and taking a protein drink it between meals if you can. 3200 is a bit high. I am guessing you should try 2300-2500 calories per day. I would start there, and look to lose around 2 pounds per week. If you're not losing weight, drop your daily intake by 2-300 calories.

I am 43 and have a hard time losing weight above 2000 calories per day, but I am probably slightly less active than you.

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Posted Wed, 05/22/2013 - 02:06
umesh atak

Hi Steve, i have join gym just before 11 months back and my present wight is 68.7Kg. i am trying to gain my muscles and wight but from last 1 year its constant . now i got a good shape of muscles but it is not grown up as per my workout . daily i work out about 1 hrs. so kindly guide me what should b my daily diet and should i take protein or supplementary to gain my muscles.