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A lot of folks are posting their success stories and many have a lot of questions still.

Here is a little something to hopefully help some people out. It's the same information I've sent out to everyone who has PM'd me.

Nutrition: Everything you wanted to know and how to build the perfect diet!

In this article, I hope to share knowledge that I have gained from many experts and professionals in helping you build a better body. I will give you the basics; however, I can guarantee that with this knowledge, you will be able to significantly get closer to your goals with nutrition: the most important aspect of human performance.


Nutrition is the most important aspect of achieving a higher level in any physical activity, especially bodybuilding. If you do not have proper nutrition, you will not have adequate energy nor will you be able to feed your body with the nutrients necessary for many processes such as protein synthesis (muscle building), biosynthesis of hormones, ossification (bone formation), and the list goes on and on. Too often, people invest large amounts of money into supplements and do not take nutrition into account. Even though you may be working hard in the gym and have the “cutting edge supplements”, you will see a major lack of results (or no results) if your nutrition is not in check.


You know when you look on the back of a nutrition label and see “calories/cals”? This is talking about the amount of energy you will receive from eating that food. You need calories to do any physical activity and when you do physical activity, energy is burned and this is generally expressed as “calories burned”.

The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is defined as the energy required for the functioning of normal body processes. Basically, this is the energy that you burn sitting there and doing nothing and it does not take into account energy expenditure during physical activity. This is an important tool in nutrition as it is one of the initial steps for a nutritionist in designing a meal plan. The methods for calculating BMR will not be expressed here but will be discussed in the later portion when we talk about building your diet.

In nutrition, there are rather general and simple rules when it comes to diet and calories:
1) If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.
2) If you consume less calories than you burn, you will lose weight.
3) If you consume the same amount of calories as you burn, you will maintain body composition.

However, these rules, as stated above, are general and simple; perhaps a bit too general and simple. For instance, let’s say that you are burning 2000 calories a day and you want to lose weight. Does this mean that if you eat 1500 calories of sugar that you will ultimately lose fat because you are eating less than you burn? NO! Any sensible person with the slightest knowledge of nutrition would tell you that this method to losing weight is absurd, but ‘why’ will be discussed further on.


Nutrients are the substances that we consume through diet that are found to be necessary for survival. For instance, water is a nutrient and if you go too long without it, you will end up dehydrated and eventually die.

There are six classes of nutrients:

Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats are called the macronutrients.
Vitamins and minerals are called the micronutrients.

THE MACRONUTRIENTS: Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats

Proteins are found in pretty much everything you eat and vary in amount. Protein is very important for many processes in the body. We get protein from sources like steak, milk, eggs, and fish. Within the body protein makes up many structures such as muscle, skin, and organs.

Protein is composed of subcomponents called amino acids. Most proteins are made up of 20 common amino acids; 9 of which are essential and 11 being nonessential. Essential amino acids are amino acids that we must obtain from our diet as opposed to nonessential amino acids which we do not require from our diet as we can biosynthesize (create) them within our body.

The basic and main processes that amino acids do within the body are:

1) The building up of protein containing tissue like muscle and skin and production of other nitrogen containing compounds in our body such as amine hormones like adrenaline. Only a limiting amount of amino acids can be used for this process and therefore any remaining amino acids goes to the remaining 3 processes.
2) Gluconeogenesis: The production of glucose from carbon skeletons of amino acids by the liver.
3) Production of Energy
4) Storage as fat

NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF PROTEINS = 4 calories per 1 g of protein

Example: Dex consumes 1 scoop of whey protein which consists of 24 g of protein. Therefore:

24 g of protein x 4 calories = 96 calories from protein.

Protein digestion will not be discussed in this article; carbohydrate digestion is of the most significance.

A common target in fad diets; carbohydrates are not our enemy. Rather, they are our best friends when it comes to raw, efficient and powerful energy. Carbohydrates are more than likely the most important macronutrient that is regarded when designing a nutrition plan as it is manipulated in many ways in order to meet the specific performance needs of an athlete. We get carbohydrates from many sources but first we must talk about the main three types of carbohydrates:

Simple Carbohydrates are basically sugars and fall into the category of monosaccharides and disaccharides. Monosaccharides are the simplest forms of carbohydrates in chemical structure and often resemble the formula C6H12O6 (Voila! The sugar from photosynthesis!). There are three (3) monosaccharides:
2) Fructose
3) Galactose

Simply enough, there are 3 disaccharides and are composed of two monosaccharides joined together:
1) Maltose (Glucose + Glucose)
2) Sucrose (Glucose + Fructose)
3) Lactose (Glucose + Galactose)

Examples of sources of simple sugars:
-candy bars
-maple syrup
-fruits (fructose, get it?)
-table sugar

Complex Carbohydrates are simply extremely large chains of monosaccharides joined together to form one huge molecule.

To put these two types of carbohydrates in perspective of one another: imagine that you have a long metal chain; each little component of that chain would be a monosaccharide while the chain as a whole would be the complex carbohydrate.

Examples of complex carbohydrates:
-whole wheat bread
-whole wheat pasta
-oats (a powerful component to any serious athlete’s nutrition)
-yams (Kind of potato)

Fiber is basically a carbohydrate that our body does not have the enzymes, which are components needed to digest food into smaller particles, it needs to digest the fiber. Therefore, fiber passes through our digestive system, mainly undigested (mainly undigested, but in the large intestine, bacteria act on fiber). Fiber does not contribute to calories. If you were to consume 10 g of fiber, that would be equal to zero calories. The benefits of fiber are that it contributes to fullness, helps to protect against bacterial infection like appendicitis, reduces risk of colon cancer and coronary heart disease, helps to stop hemorrhoids and constipation, and the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates is slowed down (Therefore, the body can deal with glucose better).

Examples of sources of fiber:
-whole wheat bread
-whole wheat pasta

As a general rule of thumb, if your carbohydrates are complex carbohydrates, they more than likely will contain a good amount of fiber.

Carbohydrate Digestion:
-You chew it and salivary amylase (a digestive enzyme) works on it in the mouth.
-You swallow it and it travels down the esophagus.
-Your stomach churns it up. (Little to no digestion here)
-Your small intestine receives the carbohydrates and this is where the majority of the digestion takes place; the pancreatic amylase (released from the pancreas into the small intestine) acts on breaking the carbohydrates into the simple sugars (If they are not already in the form of simple sugars).
-Once in the form of simple sugars, these simple sugars are absorbed from the intestine, passed the intestinal absorptive wall, into capillaries which then send the simple sugars to the hepatic portal vein. The hepatic portal vein is basically the nutrient highway to the liver.
-The hepatic portal vein carries simple sugars to the liver.
-IMPORTANT – in the liver, the simple sugars that are not glucose (fructose and galactose), are transformed into glucose.
-Glucose can be stored in the liver as glycogen (long chains of glucose stored in cells as one big energy reserve).
-Glucose leaves the liver and enters the blood stream. IMPORTANT: THE ONLY SIMPLE SUGAR THAT ENTERS THE BLOOD STREAM IS GLUCOSE (Hence, blood glucose!).
-Once glucose is in the blood, this is detected as an increase in blood glucose and therefore, your body reacts by signaling the pancreas to release INSULIN (Considered to be of the most anabolic hormones, including testosterone).
-Insulin acts on muscle and fat cell receptors to basically “open up the gates” and allow glucose to flow inside. Most carbohydrates go to muscle cells.
-Once inside the muscle cell, glucose becomes glycogen (mentioned above).

IMPORTANT: Insulin will be discussed with high regard throughout this piece (eventually in higher detail) and it is, in my opinion and many others, the most important factor in maintaining a good diet. KEEP THIS IN MIND AT ALL TIMES.

Interestingly enough, another hormone called glucagon, acts on cells and makes them breakdown the glycogen and release it back into the blood stream as glucose.

Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas and is secreted in response to increased blood glucose levels. The body likes to be in internal balance and this internal balance is called homeostasis. When blood glucose levels get too high, they are not in homeostasis and this is why insulin is secreted. Too much glucose in your blood can be dangerous.


What is insulin sensitivity? Insulin sensitivity relates to how sensitive the receptors are on your cells to insulin. If the receptors are sensitive (which is a good thing), the insulin attaches and has no problem with moving glucose from the blood into the cell. However, if you are insulin resistant (something you must avoid), the receptor cells are not responding to the insulin and therefore, will not let as much glucose in. Obviously this is scary because we want to keep blood glucose levels normal and if we can’t do that, then we may face problems like hyperglycemia.


In the small intestine, carbohydrates are broken down by pancreatic amylase into simple sugars. They must be simple sugars before they can be absorbed by the intestinal absorptive wall.
Remember the above statement; I cannot stress how important it is. Now, let’s look at complex carbohydrates vs. simple sugars and their digestion.

If a complex carbohydrate enters the small intestine, it is a much larger molecule and therefore requires more time to digest. Remember that all complex carbohydrates are just like big chains of simple sugars. So as pancreatic amylase acts on complex carbohydrates, there is a slow release of simple sugars from the larger carbohydrate molecule and these simple sugars are then absorbed into the intestinal absorptive wall. This allows for a nice steady release of glucose into the blood system (after it passes through the capillaries, hepatic portal vein, and liver). With a nice release of glucose into the blood stream, insulin can be released at a nice steady rate and therefore it can deal with the glucose at a calm and steady rate and is usually able to get the majority of glucose into muscle cells, as opposed to fat cells (this of course depends on current glycogen stores in the muscle cells). But it is a general rule that you consume complex carbohydrates in order to regulate the release of glucose into the blood stream and therefore allow your insulin to deal with lowering blood glucose levels in a calm and orderly fashion. Ultimately, this will lead to good insulin sensitivity and will help prevent fat gain and promote fat loss. Why? Check out what happens when simple carbohydrates are consumed:

So as opposed to the large molecule that needs to be worked on for a while to be digested and will digest gradually and calmly into the blood stream, the simple sugars are much faster. Why? THEY ARE ALEADY IN THE SIMPLE SUGAR FORM AND REQUIRE LITTLE OR NO DIGESTION IN ORDER FOR THEM TO BE ABSORBED INTO THE INTESTINAL ABSORPTIVE WALL AND THEREFORE ENTER THE BLOODSTREAM FAST. THIS CAUSES AN INSULIN SPIKE. An insulin spike is when blood glucose levels are increased rapidly and the homeostasis is thrown out of balance greatly and this causes a strong response from the pancreas and it releases a lot of insulin to deal with the dangerously high glucose, hence, an insulin spike. So basically, the insulin goes nuts on getting the dangerously high blood glucose back to normal and tries to shove it into any nearby cells. So here we have the muscle cells and the insulin is beating down on their insulin receptors and the muscle cells can only accept so much glucose. But, because there is such a large amount of insulin, due to the insulin spike, the insulin keeps beating on the insulin receptors, regardless of whether or not the cell can take more glucose. To get the blood glucose levels down, insulin works on insulin receptors of fat cells and therefore, glucose enters the fat cells too for three ‘main’ reasons: 1) Mainly because the blood glucose is high and it has to eliminate this threat fast and it cannot store all the glucose in muscle cells fast enough so glucose will go to fat cells too. 2) Muscle cells fill up with the glucose and therefore the glucose has to go somewhere else: fat cells. 3) Also, the muscle cells may be insulin resistant and the fat cells are still insulin sensitive: this leads to fat cells taking in glucose.

So the problem with simple carbohydrate consumption is two factors: 1) insulin resistance from the insulin constantly beating down on the insulin receptors of muscle cells and 2) fat storage due to the said reasons.

The conclusive message: You will want to consume complex carbohydrates for almost all meals with the exception of post workout meals, as you will see. This is to promote healthy insulin sensitivity and to prevent dangerous blood glucose levels, prevent insulin resistance, and prevent fat storage.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF CARBOHYDRATES = 4 calories per 1 g of carbohydrate

Example: Dex eats 1 cup of oats which contains 60 g of carbohydrates. Therefore:

60 g of carbohydrates x 4 calories = 240 calories from carbohydrates

Fats, scientifically known as lipids, are a component in the body that are often said to be bad and told to be left out of the diet. If someone says this to you, they’re an idiot. That is not to say that you should eat a ton of fats, as some fats are definitely bad for you, but there are also good fats that are essential (Essential Fatty Acids [EFA], we will learn more about this later on). Fats, when digested are broken down into fatty acids. Fatty acids play many key roles in our biology.

Fats serve many purposes such as:
-Some vitamins are fat soluble
-They provide a lot of dense energy
-They make you feel fuller
-Are a major component of cell membranes

There are three types of lipids in the body:

Three classes of fat/lipids are:
1) Triglycerides – 95% of lipids within foods and humans are triglycerides.
2) Phospholipids – These are a major component of cell membranes.
3) Sterols – Yes, cholesterol is a fat/lipid.

Triglycerides are the main type of fat found in humans and food. Adipocytes, or fat cells, are filled with triglycerides; the more triglycerides you have, the fatter your fat cell. It is also important to note here: 18-24 months after birth, our body stops making fat cells. Thus, fat cells only can get bigger as they gain more and more triglycerides (or smaller as they lose more and more triglycerides).

Triglycerides are basically structured like this:
-1 glycerol molecule
-3 fatty acids
(Hence tri(3 fatty acids) and glyceride(glycerol))

Fatty acids are composed of chains that are 8 – 22 carbons in length. At one end of the fatty acid there is a methyl group (CH3) and at the other end there is an acid group (COOH). The rest of the carbons form bonds with hydrogen and bonds with each other. WHETHER A FATTY ACID IS SATURATED, MONOUNSATURATED, OR POLYUNSATURATED DEPENDS ON HOW MANY BONDS CARBON MAKES AVAILABLE FOR HYDROGEN ATOMS TO BOND TO (EXCLUDING THE METHYL AND ACID GROUPS). NOTE: If you don’t know your chemistry, read this anyway, you can still grasp the concept.

Saturated Fatty Acids are fatty acids where the carbon atoms have made all their bonds (aside from the methyl and acid groups) available for hydrogen bonds, hence, it is completely saturated with hydrogen atoms where possible. Basically, the maximum amount of hydrogen is being attached to the fatty acid.

Saturated fats (fats that contain saturated fatty acids) are solid at room temperature and can be found in foods such as animal meat. Ex: fat on a steak.

SATURATED FATS are important in the production of testosterone.

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids are fatty acids where ONE double bond is formed between two carbons (called the point of unsaturation) and since the bond is being used between two carbon atoms, this makes it so the maximum amount of hydrogen cannot attach to the fatty acid. (C=C)

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids are fatty acids where double bonds are formed between TWO OR MORE carbon pairs. This makes the fatty acid even less saturated than the monounsaturated fatty acid. Therefore, the amount of hydrogen atoms able to attach to the fatty acid is further reduced. (C=C-C=C)

Unsaturated fats (fats with unsaturated fatty acids) are liquid at room temperature and are often called oils. Example: Fish oils and vegetable oils.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS are fatty acids which we must get from our diet or cannot make in sufficient quantities (similar to essential amino acids). They serve mainly to:

-help with the body's immune system
-play a role in the regulation of blood pressure
-oversee blood clot formation
-plays a role in handling infections
-help with the regulation of blood lipids

Two essential fatty acids are:
Linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) (polyunsaturated fatty acid)
Linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid) (polyunsaturated fatty acid)

Note: “omega-x” just describes the chemical structure of the fatty acid but is negligible in importance for this article.

Sources of essential fatty acids:
-fish and fish oil
-I do not recommend using flax seed oil because a conversion must take place to achieve the essential fatty acids. However, fish oil already has its essential fatty acids and does not require conversion.

TRANS-FATTY ACIDS are fatty acids that are chemically produced and rarely found in nature. What is the difference between these and other fatty acids? They are usually chemically produced in a process called hydrogenation where carbon bonds are freed up and hydrogen atoms join. This causes the fatty acid to become saturated. So is this just a saturated fat? NO! Saturated fats have a ‘cis’ structure (bent structure) while the trans-fats have a ‘trans’ structure (straight structure). So is straightening out the fatty acid a big deal? YES!

Trans-fatty acids are something you always want to look out for on nutrition labels and are often used in deep frying. You will definitely want to avoid trans-fatty acids as they have been shown to:
-cause coronary heart disease
-increase LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and decrease HDL (“good cholesterol”)
-increased C-Reactive protein
-lead to diabetes and obesity

Examples of sources of trans-fats:
-French Fries
-Pretty much anything that is deep fried

Phospholipids help in the formation of cell membranes and are materials for special functions such as the eye and nerve sheath. The phospholipids will not be focused on for this article.

Cholesterol is a sterol and it helps in the production of steroid hormones (like testosterone!), and also is used in the synthesis of bile and vitamin D.

Examples of sources of sterols, mainly cholesterol:
-Whole eggs

Fat Digestion will not be addressed in this article; Carbohydrate digestion is of the most significance for this article.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF FAT = 9 calories per 1 g of fat

Example: Dex consumes a whole egg that contains 5.3 g of fat. Therefore:

5.3 g of fat x 9 calories = 47.7 calories

THE MICRONUTRIENTS: Vitamins and Minerals
This article will hardly focus on vitamins and minerals and will be very basic.

Vitamins – Vitamins are organic compounds and there are various types that can be found in various foods. They are needed in minute amounts and do not provide energy/calories. They help with chemical reactions and other processes for growth. For instance, vitamins are used in the Krebs Cycle. They also help with reproduction and general health.

Water soluble vitamins are not stored in large amounts within the body and consist of the C and B vitamins. These vitamins are easily lost in urination and it is hard to consume enough water soluble vitamins to have a toxic effect.

The Fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. They are absorbed along with fat in the small intestine. Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored and Vitamin A and D in excess can be toxic.

General Vitamin Notes:
-Almost all foods contain some vitamins.
-Vitamins are not that stable; they can be destroyed by chemical processes such as heating, and change in pH.

Minerals - Minerals are elements of the periodic table that are needed by the body in tiny amounts. They help in the construction of our body and also are utilized in chemical reactions within the body.

Major Minerals


Trace Minerals


Water is so important and yet so many people avoid it. Why? Probably because they don’t like having to use the washroom all the time, but believe the bodybuilding community: it is highly anabolic. Water has many benefits and this article will not address each and everyone but some important ones as they pertain to athletic performance.

-clears out toxins
-Makes supplements like creatine more effective because creatine pulls water into muscle cells and for this you need a lot of water.
-A lot of vitamins are water soluble so you need water to make the vitamins function properly.
-for every gram of glycogen stored in cells, 3-4 grams of water will be stored. This can cause some serious cell volumization.
-helps to regulate body temperature.

WATER NUTRITIONAL VALUE = Does not contribute calories.

This all depends on your goals, your height, your weight, your sex, your age and most importantly, your metabolism. As bodybuilders, we usually want to eat a diet either higher or lower than our Basal Metabolic Rate in order to either gain or lose weight.

Metabolism plays a huge role in how many calories you are going to be consuming. You can either be an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph.

-Ectomorphs tend to have high metabolisms and therefore burn a lot of energy.
-Mesomorphs tend to have a “good metabolism” in which a lot of nutrients go to muscles.
-Endomorphs tend to have a slower metabolism and a lot of nutrients go to fat.

NOTE: The following recommendations are general and quick formulas that work great. If a calculated calories is not working for you and you are not seeing results, there is a number of variables to take into account. The first step for bulking is to add or subtract 500 calories based on fat/muscle gain; if you are gaining too much fat, lower by 500 calories, if you are not gaining enough mass, increase by 500 calories. The same goes with cutting, but with different numbers, if you are not losing any weight, decrease by 250 calories. If you are losing too much weight, add 250 calories.

BULKING CALORIES: To gain weight and lean muscle mass
This is the process where we eat over the Basal Metabolic Rate in order to put on weight. In order to calculate the amount of calories that a bodybuilder should consume to bulk we use the formula:

Bulking Calories = (18 or 19 calories) x lbs of bodyweight.

Example: Dex weighs 160 lbs. Calculate his bulking calories.

Bulking Calories = 19 calories x 160
= 3040 calories

Bulking Rules
-let the mirror be the judge of whether or not you are making progress
-even though the mirror is the judge, still use the weight scale as a general judgment; if you are gaining more than 0.5 – 1 lbs a week, then you should probably decrease your calories

CUTTING CALORIES: To lose weight

Cutting Calories = (12-13-14 calories) x lbs of bodyweight

Example: Dex weighs 160 lbs. Calculate his cutting calories.

13 x 160 lbs = 2240 calories

Cutting Rules
-the mirror is the judge.
-if you are losing more than 1-2 lbs per week, you may want to increase calories slightly in order to make sure that you are not losing muscle mass too.

Note: I actually cut on 3000 – 4000 calories because I have an extremely fast metabolism.

Calories and macronutrients are pretty much equally important when designing a good diet.

Note: This article will not include cutting macronutrients as I think it would be better for users to look into Carbohydrate Cycling (I will be doing an article on this eventually). I used this method and it is complex. Therefore, the following will be for BULKING and adding lots of muscle mass.

This is such a grandiose topic of argument and debate. It never stops. Too much protein can lead to loss of bone calcium which makes weaker bones. Too little protein and well, you’re not going anywhere. So the goal is to get a muscle building and safe amount of protein:

I generally recommend: 1 – 1.5 g of protein per lb of body weight.

I prefer 1.5 g of protein per lb of body weight.

Example: Dex weighs 160 lbs. How much protein should he consume if wants to add bulk and add mass?

1.5 x 160 lbs = 240 g of protein

Therefore, Dex will be getting 240 g of protein and 960 calories from protein.

Good protein sources/foods are located at the end of this article.


I generally recommend taking in 20% of your total bulking calories as your fat calories. What do I mean? Observe the equation:

Fat calories = 20% of total bulking calories

Therefore for the equation, we write:

Fat calories = 0.20 x Total Bulking Calories.

Example: Dex weighs 160 lbs. How much fat does he take in?

Total Bulking Calories = 19 calories x 160 lbs = 3040 calories

Fat calories = 0.20 x 3040 calories
= 608 calories

Therefore, Dex will be getting 608 calories from fat and 67.55 g of fat (608 / 9).

Remember, saturated fats are important for testosterone production! Therefore, I recommend that 25% of your fat calories come from saturated fats. Therefore we use the formula:

Saturated fat calories = Total fat calories x 0.25

Using the example above:

Saturated Fat Calories = 608 x 0.25
= 152 calories

Therefore, Dex should be getting 152 calories from saturated fat which is 16.88 g of saturated fat.

What about Cholesterol? Negligible. Just make sure that you are not consuming too many whole eggs as these are high in cholesterol.

What about essential fatty acids? I recommend fish oil pills, especially NOW Salmon Oil. I suggest using 4-6 capsules a day of fish oil or equivalent to max 720 mg EPA and 480 mg DHA.

Keeping in mind that you want 25% of your fat calories from saturated fats, you can easily pick out some fat sources from my suggestions at the end of this document.

Good fat sources are located at the end of this document


This is the easiest to calculate and it is done last as you will see why according to the equation:

Carbohydrate calories = Total calories - protein calories - fat calories

Example: Dex is 160 lbs. Calculate his carbohydrate calories.

Solution: Using the information above, we just plug in the numbers:

Carbohydrate calories = 3040 calories – 960 calories – 608 calories
= 1472 calories

Therefore, Dex should be consuming 1472 calories from carbohydrates (386 g from carbohydrates)

There will be carbohydrate selections at the end of this document.

What about macronutrient ratios? These are so general and with a few minutes of mathematics, you will realize that they are frustrating and perhaps even useless. I suggest using the method that I have proposed above. The main reason I disagree with them is that people are highly individualized and require different amounts of macronutrients.


Every bodybuilder knows that you should take in at least 1-2 gallons of water (4-8 L) per day. I even went as high as 9 – 11 L of water per day. Have a problem with this? Man up and get a Nalgene bottle and drink it through out the day.


You will want to have 6-8 meals per day. This will help to keep your metabolism up. Think about it this way, you will turn your body into a energy burning factory because it is always “expecting” more energy in the form of food so it always has to be ready and at high burning capability as opposed to three meals a day where it only has to be geared for three meals. Therefore, have 6-8 meals to keep your metabolism up.

Furthermore, this is why we suggest the protein intake rule of 1 – 1.5 g of protein / lb of body weight because you want to stay in positive nitrogen balance or more simply, make sure that your body has a steady source of protein throughout the day. I recommend that each meal contain ~30 g of protein. Any more than this may be wasted, except for post workout. So when designing your meal plan, which is to be customized by you, you will want to spread them out by 2-3 hours of each other to stay in positive nitrogen balance.


This is approximately 1-2 hours before you workout. You will want to consume complex carbohydrates, some fat sources and approximately 30 g of protein along with adequate water.

Work out should be approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to avoid overtraining. With this being said, you are staying within the 2-3 hour range limit that allows you to stay in positive nitrogen balance.


Most advanced bodybuilders use something during this time. A popular choice is BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) and/or EAA (Essential Amino Acids) supplements. However, one thing is ultimately necessary: water. Do not mess around, take your water.


This is the most important time for nutrition: You are done your workout, your muscles are starving, your muscles are pumped up, you are insulin sensitive, and you are ready to uptake nutrients and undergo anabolism. This is also known as the window of opportunity.

AT THIS TIME TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR ANABOLIC ENVIRONMENT. Remember how bad I said simple carbohydrates are? Well your muscle cells are depleted of glycogen and now is the time that they are more insulin sensitive and they can handle the blood glucose spike as uptake of nutrients is highly increased. Basically the idea at post workout nutrition is to get nutrients to the muscle as fast as possible. So, we consume simple sugars that will digest quickly but we will also consume some complex carbohydrates to avoid beating down on the insulin receptors too much. We also consume whey protein as it has a high bioavailability and a superb protein score; it is highly anabolic and digests fast. You can usually take in more protein at this time. My suggestions:

-1 banana or dextrose (20-30 g of simple carbohydrates) (Dextrose = pure glucose, by the way)
-1 – 2 cups of oats
-1.5 – 2 scoops of whey protein.

Why no fats? Your body doesn’t want fat right now! It wants glucose to refill its energy stores!


This is the meal that you eat right before you go to bed. People sit there and are wondering about this one, asking, “Doesn’t it make you fat?” No, not if you eat the right foods. At night you release a large amount of growth hormone and therefore grow a lot. It is also the time where you are repairing yourself, so you want to provide the necessary nutrients to your body to do this. The goal here is PROVIDE THE BODY WITH SLOW DIGESTING NUTRIENTS TO LAST OVER THE NIGHT. We use foods like cottage cheese which contains casein protein and this digests slowly over 7 hours. Further, we use fat sources as they slow down digestion. We can use all natural peanut butter or raw almonds. A whole egg can also be good. Furthermore, we can use spinach which contains fiber (slows down digestion) and is overall good for you with its phytochemicals and antioxidants. So what I suggest:

-1 cup of spinach
-1 cup of cottage cheese
-1 -2 TBS of all natural peanut butter
-1 whole egg

I highly suggest usage of the basics:

-Whey protein (Optimum Nutrition or Dymatize Elite)
-Creatine Monohydrate (Creapure)
-Fish Oil (NOW Salmon Oil)
-Multivitamin (AST Multipro 32x)

If you want to go advanced, hit up the forums for more information! This article is made to address nutrition basics.

VEGETABLES AND FRUITS – You definitely want to implement these into your diet as they have many antioxidant properties and are fibrous. The phytochemicals present have numerous benefits. Reducing free radicals with consumption of antioxidants helps you build muscle; the free radicals won’t be running around destroying your gains.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS – Trust me, you will not have a problem with your vitamins and minerals if you are eating healthy and are taking a multivitamin (which contains minerals too).
AST Multipro 32x is a great choice.


To calculate Bulking calories:

19 x body weight (lbs)

Calculate Protein Intake (g):

1.5 x lbs in body weight

Calculate Fat intake (calories):

Total calories x 0.20

Calculate Carbohydrate intake (calories):

Total calories – fat calories – protein calories

-Drink lots of water
-Eat vegetables and fruits.
-1.5 g of protein per lb of body weight.
-20% of calories are fat calories. 25% of fat calories are saturated fats.
-Creatine, Whey, Multivitamin, Fish oil
-Include night time nutrition
-6-8 meals
-mainly complex carbohydrates to the exception of post workout where you can have some simple carbohydrates
-30 g of protein per meal except for post workout where you can consume more.
-Pick foods from my suggestions

-Egg whites
-Lean Beef
-Whole Eggs
-Whey Protein
-Casein Protein
-Cottage Cheese
-Low fat cheese
-Lean Beef
-Lean Hamburger
-Crab meat
-All other types of fish, pretty much

Note: A large portion of your fats will come from your other foods selected
-Raw Unblanched Almonds
-Almond Butter
-All Natural Peanut Butter
-Whole Eggs
-Fish Oil (Not flaxseed)
-Various other nuts
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil

-Whole Wheat Pasta
-Whole Wheat Spaghetti
-Whole wheat breads
-Whole Wheat Macaroni
There are so many possibilities that you can use here to make great meals!

So many good ones to choose from, but these are some of the best. General rule; the darker the green, the better.

-blue berries
-black berries
-all types of berries

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Ripped to Shreds Nutrition: Lose Fat Super Fast!
Ripped to Shreds Nutrition: Lose Fat Super Fast!
by Dexterium

So you want to get ripped? I’m not just talking about losing a few pounds and hardly being able to tell the difference – I am talking about being able to take your shirt off and everyone won’t be able to stop staring at your crazy ripped physique. Ripped to Shreds Nutrition is an advanced protocol that utilizes the secrets of nutrition to literally melt the fat off of you. So you have just gained a lot of muscle and now you want lose the fat to show off the muscles? Or maybe you have a bit too much fat in the first place and just want to get ripped for the beach? Whatever your goal is, you can be sure that after reading this article that you will have the knowledge to lose fat as fast as possible while maintaining muscle.

Getting ripped is all about nutrition, cardio and optionally, the right fat burner. So many people unfortunately believe that getting ripped is as easy as going for a walk and getting a salad from McDonalds, but wow are they wrong. Getting ripped requires a complete change in lifestyle, direction and thought. The more body fat you have, the longer it will take for you to get ripped, obviously, but if you have what it takes, you will be very happy with your results and so will the ladies. Trust me, it doesn’t matter how you look now, you can get ripped to shreds, just like the guys in the magazines – all it takes is determination, dedication, discipline and the knowledge I will give you. Let’s go get you ripped to shreds.

Table of Contents

• Approximate Calories for Fat Loss
• Calories for Fat Loss Specific to You.
• Introduction to Carbohydrate Cycling
• Proteins: Anabolic, Anti-Catabolic, and a Huge Thermic Effect
• Fats: Dense Energy and Testosterone Production
• During / Intra-Workout Nutrition: Anti-Catabolism.
• Cardio: What should you do?
• Fat Burning Supplements: The edge that brings out your cuts!
• High Carb Day, Low Carb Day, No Carb Day: Building the perfect cutting diet.
• Conclusion
• List of High Quality Foods

Approximate Calories for Fat Loss

The very first thing to realize about fat loss is that you can have all the best supplements, the best training, and the healthiest foods but it all doesn’t mean anything unless you understand that in order to lose fat, you must burn more calories than you consume. With that being said, let’s calculate your approximate calories for cutting. Note: There are two methods below that you can use to find your approximate cutting calories and neither is better than the other as they are providing only your approximate calories – you will find out how to find your true calories in the next section.

The Mathematical Method: You first need to find your basal metabolic rate (BMR) using the Harris-Benedict Equation (HBE) and then apply a physical activity factor (PA). The BMR is the amount of calories you need just for natural body processes and the PA takes into account the energy burning movements that you do throughout the day. The HBE formula for men is:

BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.76 x age in years)

The PA factor that applies to bodybuilding exercise is 1.55. After calculating your BMR multiply it by 1.55. Here is an example: Jon is 23 years old, 5’6 (12 inches in one foot x 5 feet + 6 inches = 66 inches) and weighs 165 lbs. Calculate Jon’s calories for basal metabolic rate and apply a physical activity factor.

BMR = 66 + (6.23 x 165 lbs) + (12.7 x 66) - (6.76 x 23)
= 66 + 1027.95 + 838.2 – 155.48
= 1777.67 calories

BMR x PA = 1777.67 x 1.55 = 2753.84 calories

So now you know that Jon requires 2753.84 calories but this is the approximate calories required to stay at his current weight. Taking the fact that one pound of fat is 3,500 calories, you would then conclude that in order to lose one pound of fat per week, you would have to burn 500 calories per day OR consume 500 calories less per day (500 cals x 7 days = 3500 cals per week). Therefore, subtract 500 calories from 2753.84 to give 2253.84 cals. 2254 cals is Jon’s approximate calories to lose fat.

The Fast and Easy Method: Take your body weight and multiply it by 13.5 and this will give you an approximate amount of calories for fat loss. Using Jon as an example: 165 lbs x 13.5 = 2227.5 cals

Calories For Fat Loss Specific to You

Alright so you have calculated your approximate calories but everyone is different! For instance, Michael Phelps is said to eat around 12,000 calories per day. If you want to find out how many calories you really need, you have to experiment. Remember that your goal is to lose as much fat as possible while keeping as much muscle as possible. With that being said, you should aim to lose 1 – 2 lbs per week. If you are losing more than 2 lbs per week, there is a chance that some of it may be muscle so increase daily calories by 250 until you get back into the 1 – 2 lb range. If you are not losing at least 1 lb per week, then you should either increase cardio length or decrease daily calories by 250 until you do start losing at least 1 lb peer week. This is how you find fat loss calories specific to you: through experimentation.

Introduction to Carbohydrate Cycling

Today we are faced with many diets that are all about zero carbs. But are carbs really the enemy? No. The truth is that carbohydrates are our main source of energy. Most bodybuilding exercise exists in the 8 to 12 rep range and lasts for 30 to 40 seconds and glycogen is the main source of energy.1,2 Furthermore, a study confirms that when carbohydrates are limited and therefore glycogen levels are lowered, performance is impaired.3 Also, a very important component of building muscle is cell volumization which is literally increasing the volume of the muscle cell. Studies show that when you increase a cell’s volume, you increase protein synthesis (muscle building).4,5,6 Why is this important? Because for every gram of carbohydrate stored in muscles, 3 – 4 grams of water are also stored.7 Therefore from this research, it is clear that if you want to perform well in the gym and maintain / gain muscle while losing fat, then you should not eliminate carbohydrates from your diet. Furthermore, all of today’s top professional bodybuilders eat massive amounts of carbohydrates while dieting because they do not want to lose muscle, lack energy or have a “flat” look which is due to lack of glycogen (stored carbohydrates) in the muscles.

However, one thing we do know about no-carbohydrate diets is that the body will switch over to fat for energy, thus making them very good for fat loss (but not so much for performance and muscle gains as mentioned above).

So the question is: How do we get the muscle building and performance enhancing effects of a diet that includes optimal amounts of carbohydrates while also trying to get the accelerated fat loss effects from a no-carbohydrate diet? The answer is Carbohydrate Cycling and it essentially tricks your metabolism into burning more fat and still keeps your workouts intense.

Carbohydrate cycling is all about eating different amounts of carbohydrates on the three different days: High Carb Day, Low Carb Day, No Carb Day. However, it is not as simple as just saying to eat a certain amount of carbohydrates for a specific day – you must also have the carbohydrates at specific times during the day.

Proteins: Anabolic, Anti-Catabolic, and a Huge Thermic Effect

During a fat loss program, you will want to have a lot of protein because it will help you to stay anabolic (build muscle) and also anti-catabolic (prevent the breakdown of muscle for energy). Furthermore, high protein intake is very important for fat loss due to its large thermic effect. The thermic effect of food is an increase in energy expenditure above basal metabolic rate due to the energy required to process the food. The thermic effect of protein is approximately 30%,8 whereas carbohydrates is only approximately 7%.9

Fats: Dense Energy and Testosterone Production

Since carbohydrates will be manipulated in this diet, fats will go as high as 35% of daily calories. Do not be worried, this is fine -- you will still be a fat burning machine. Besides, fats are important for testosterone production. Make sure that you are consuming fish oil for some of your fat calories so that you can get the benefits of improved blood flow, improved cholesterol, healthy joints and more.

During / Intra-Workout Nutrition: Anti-Catabolism.

One of the biggest trends in the supplement world today is intra-workout / during-workout supplements. A lot of the stuff out there is garbage / unnecessary but one thing that has proven itself is BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids). When the body breaks down muscles for energy, it will break them down to get the BCAA. Supplementing with BCAA during your workout will do two things: 1) Prevent the breakdown of muscles for energy; BCAA are extremely anti-catabolic. 2) Provide you with leucine which will help increase muscle protein synthesis.

Cardio: What should you do?

All fat loss programs require cardio to really get that ripped look. What cardio you should do is actually subjective. If you are trying to get ripped as fast as possible then you may want to do some jogging and sprints. However, if you want to maintain the most amount of muscle, do walking for 30 – 60 minutes per day. Walking is great because it uses only fat for energy whereas jogging / running uses mostly carbohydrates and some fat for energy – with this program where carbohydrates are limited sometimes, it may be beneficial to do only walking for cardio to spare the carbohydrates for your workouts.

Fat Burning Supplements: The edge that brings out your cuts!

There are so many products and fat burners out there that are complete garbage and the only weight you lose is in the wallet. Fortunately there are some products out there that really do help you melt the fat off. If you like a stimulant fat burner, then the best fat burner out there right now is OxyElite Pro by USPLabs. The energy that you get from this product is absolutely insane and it takes your workouts to a whole other level. And nothing works faster than cardio + nutrition + OxyElite Pro to rip the fat off of you. Nothing.

Now, for those who like a non-stimulant fat burner, there is USPLabs Recreate which I give a close second place compared to the first place OEP (OxyElite Pro). Recreate burns fat via an amazing 23 different path ways and kills your appetite. It’s one of those products that you can slightly feel working but then you take a look in the mirror and realize its silent power as you watch the fat leave your body rapidly.

Trust me, take OEP or Recreate with the Ripped to Shreds Nutrition plan and I can guarantee your results will come so much faster and you will be that much more ripped.

High Carb Day, Low Carb Day, No Carb Day: Building the perfect cutting diet.

We will now discuss how much carbohydrates to eat and when to eat them for each day. When reading the following recommendations, you may ask why it is that the carbohydrates are recommended to be eaten at these times but realize that carbohydrate uptake is greatest at breakfast and post-workout and carbohydrates before a workout help to fuel the muscles with energy and provide a pump. Each day you want to have 5 – 7 meals in order to keep metabolism high. In our example, we will use 5 meals per day on High Carb Day and Low Carb Day but use 7 meals on No Carb Day. I am only providing you with the grams of each macronutrient to consume, but to build your own diet, you can simply use the foods that are provided in a list at the end of this article and go to Nutrition facts, calories in food, labels, nutritional information and analysis – NutritionData.com and find out how much you need of that food.

The principle of carbohydrate cycling is to trick the body into burning more fat but also to make sure that our workouts are still intense. That is exactly why we strategically plan what day we will have our high, low and no carb days. The Carbohydrate Cycle should be somewhat similar to: High, Low, Medium, High Low, Medium, etc. But realize that it is more important to adapt the cycle to your training: for high carb days, you should have them on your most intense workouts and using the Massive and Ripped Training Program as an example, we would of course want to have High Carb days on the squat days and deadlift days. The Low Carb days would be used on upper body days and the no carb days used on the off days. Here is a weekly schedule for example:

Monday – Off day / No Carb Day

Tuesday – Shoulders / Medium Carb Day

Wednesday – Squats, Legs, Calves / High Carb Day

Thursday – Lats, Biceps / Medium Carb Day

Friday – Off day / No Carb Day

Saturday – Chest, Triceps / Medium Carb Day

Sunday – Deadlifts, Traps / High Carb Day

Now let’s see how to build a diet for each day:

High Carb Day – “Lower Body Day”

Meals to consume carbohydrates: Breakfast, Pre-workout Meal, Post-Workout Meal

Macronutrient Distribution: 40% Protein / 40% Carbohydrate / 20% Fat

Example using Jon:

Protein: Cutting Cals x 0.4 = 2254 x 0.4 = 901.6 cals ÷ 4 cals per g of protein = 225.4 g
Carbohydrate: Cutting Cals x 0.4= 2254 x 0.4 = 901.6 cals ÷ 4 cals per g of carb = 225.4 g
Fat: Cutting Cals x 0.2 = 2254 x 0.2 = 450.8 cals ÷ 9 cals per g of fat = 50 g

7:00 am – Meal 1 (Breakfast) – 45 g of protein, 63 g of carbs, 12.5 g of fat

12:00 pm – Meal 2 (Lunch) – 45 g of protein, 12.5 g of fat

4:00 pm – Meal 3 (Supper / Pre-workout meal) – 45 g of protein, 63 g of carbs, 12.5 g of fat

5:30 – 6:30 pm – Training – ModernBCAA during.

6:30 pm – Meal 4 (Post-workout meal) – 45 g of protein, 100 g of carbs

11:00 pm – Meal 5 (Pre-bed meal) – 45 g of protein, 12.5 g of fat

Low Carb Day – “Upper Body Day”

Meals to consume carbohydrates: Breakfast, Post-Workout Meal

Macronutrient Distribution: 55% Protein / 20% Carbohydrate / 25% Fat

Example using Jon:

Protein: Cutting Cals x 0.55 = 2254 x 0.55 = 1239.7 cals ÷ 4 cals per g of protein = 309.9 g
Carbohydrate: Cutting Cals x 0.20 = 2254 x 0.20 = 450.8 cals ÷ 4 cals per g of carb = 112.7 g
Fat: Cutting Cals x 0.25 = 2254 x 0.25 = 563.5 ÷ 9 cals per g of fat = 62.6 g of fat

7:00 am – Meal 1 (Breakfast) – 62 g of protein, 40 g of carbs, 16 g of fat

12:00 pm – Meal 2 (Lunch) – 62 g of protein, 16 g of fat

4:00 pm – Meal 3 (Supper / Pre-workout meal) – 62 g of protein, 16 g of fat

5:30 – 6:30 pm – Training – ModernBCAA during.

6:30 pm – Meal 4 (Post-workout meal) – 62 g of protein, 73 g of carbs

11:00 pm – Meal 5 (Pre-bed meal) – 62 g of protein, 16 g of fat

No Carb Day – “Off Day”

Meals to consume carbohydrates: Preferably None.

Macronutrient Distribution: 65% Protein / 0% Carbohydrate / 35% Fat

Example using Jon:

Protein: Cutting Cals x 0.55 = 2254 x 0.65 = 1465.1 ÷ 4 cals per g of protein = 366 g
Fat: Cutting Cals x 0.25 = 2254 x 0.35 = 789 ÷ 9 cals per g of fat = 88 g

7:00 am – Meal 1 – 52 g of protein, 12.5 g of fat

10:00 am – Meal 2 – 52 g of protein, 12.5 g of fat

12:00 pm – Meal 3 – 52 g of protein, 12.5 g of fat

3:00 pm – Meal 4 – 52 g of protein, 12.5 g of fat

6:00 pm – Meal 5 – 52 g of protein, 12.5 g of fat

9:00 pm – Meal 6 – 52 g of protein, 12.5 g of fat

11:00 pm – Meal 7 – 52 g of protein, 12.5 g of fat


So now you know how to get ripped. I hope you’re ready for all the stares you will eventually be getting and you’ll have to get body guards to keep all the women away. By the way, when you’re ready to get massive, check out my beyond advanced nutrition article “Massive and Ripped Nutrition”.

If you feel that the above nutrition program is too intense, then please see my article “The Simple Nutrition Program to Lose Fat Fast!”

Best of luck and enjoy the results!

List of High Quality Foods

-Egg whites
-Lean Beef
-Whole Eggs
-Whey Protein
-Casein Protein
-Cottage Cheese
-All other types of fish, pretty much

-Oats / oatmeal
-Whole Wheat Pasta
-Whole Wheat Spaghetti
-Whole wheat breads
-Whole Wheat Macaroni
-Brown Rice

Note: A large portion of your fats will come from your other foods selected
-Raw Unblanched Almonds
-Almond Butter
-All Natural Peanut Butter
-Whole Eggs
-Fish Oil
-Various other nuts
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil


1. MacDougall, J. D., Ray, S., Sale, D. G., McCartney, N., Lee, P., Garner, S. (1999). Muscle substrate utilization and lactate production. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, 24, 209-215.

2. Katz, A., Broberg, S., Sahlin, K., Wahren, J. (1986). Leg glucose uptake during maximal dynamic exercise in humans. American Journal of Physiology, 251, 65-70.

3. Balsom, P. D., Gaitanos, G. C., Soderlund, K., Ekblom, B. (1999). High-intensity exercise and muscle glycogen availability in humans. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 165, 337-345.

4. Hauussinger, D., Lang, F., Bauers, K., Gerok, W. (1989) Interactions between glutamine metabolism and cell-volume regulation in perfused rat liver. European Journal of Biochemistry, 89, 1153.

5. Ingwall, J.S., Weiner, C.D., Moreales, M.F., Davis, E., Stockdale, F.E. (1974). Specificity of creatine in the control of muscle protein synthesis. The Journal of Cell Biology, 63, 145-151.

6. Haussinger, D., Lang, F. (1991). Cell volume in the regulation of hepatic function: a mechanism of metabolic control. Biochemica et Biophysica Acta, 1071, 331-350.

7. Olson, K., Bengt, S. (1970). Variation in Total Body Water with Muscle Glycogen Changes in Man. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 80.

8. Flatt, J.P. (1978). The biochemistry of energy expenditure. Recent Advances in Obesity Research, 2, 211-228.

9. Schutz, Y., Thiebaud, D., Acheson, K. J., Felber, J. P., DeFronzo, R. A., Jequier, E. (1983). Thermogenesis induced by five different intravenous glucose/insulin infusions in healthy young men. Clinical Nutrition, 2, 93-96.

Even more...................!!!!!!!

Calculating Calories and Macro's
Basic Terminology
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate): This is the amount of calories you need to consume to maintain your body if you were comatose (base level).
2/ NEAT (Non-Exercise Associated Thermogenesis): The calorie of daily activity that is NOT exercise (eg: washing, walking, talking, shopping, working). ie: INCIDENTAL EXERCISE! It is something that everyone has a good amount of control over & it is the MOST important factor in your energy expenditure. It is what helps keep 'constitutionally lean' people LEAN (they fidget)!
3/ EAT (Exercise Associated Thermogenesis): The calorie requirements associated with planned exercise. Unless someone is doing a whole heap of exercise (eg: two or more hrs training a day) it usually doesn't add a stack of calories to your requirements (30 minutes of 'elliptical training isn't going to do it')

4/ TEF (Thermic effect of feeding): The calorie expenditure associated with eating.REGARDLESS of what myths you have been told - this is NOT dependent on MEAL FREQUENCY. It is a % of TOTAL CALORIES CONSUMED (and 15% of 3 x 600 cal meals is the same as 15% of 6 x 300 cal meals). It varies according to MACRONUTRIENT content and FIBER content. For most mixed diets, it is something around 15%. Protein is higher (up to 25%), carbs are variable (between 5-25%), and fats are low (usually less than 5%). So -> More protein and more carbs and more fiber = HIGHER TEF. More FAT = LOWER TEF.
5/ TEE (Total Energy Expenditure): The total calories you require - and the sum of the above (BMR + NEAT + EAT + TEF).

How much do you need?
There is therefore a multitude of things that impact a persons MAINTENANCE calorie requirements
- Age & sex (males generally need > females for any given age)
- Total weight & lean mass (more lean mass = more needed)
- Physiological status (eg: sick or injured, pregnant, growth and 'enhancement')
- Hormones (eg: thyroid hormone levels, growth hormone levels)
- Exercise level (more activity = more needed)
- Daily activity level (more activity = more needed)
- Diet (that is - macronutrient intake)

In order to calculate your requirements the most accurate measure is via Calorimetry [the measure of 'chemical reactions' in your body & the heat produced by these reactions], either directly (via placing a calorimeter where the heat you produce is measured) or indirectly (eg: HOOD studies where they monitor how much oxygen you use/ carbon dioxide and nitrogen you excrete over a given time). But although accurate they are completely impractical for most people & we mostly rely on pre-set formula to calculate our needs.

Estimating Requirements
The simplest method is to base your intake on a standard 'calories per unit of weight (usually kilograms)'. Typically:
- 26 to 30 kcals/kg/day for normal, healthy individuals with sedentary lifestyles doing little physical activity [12.0-14 kcal/pound]
- 31 to 37 kcal/kg/day for those involved in light to moderate activity 3-5 x a week with moderately active lifestyles [14-16 kcal/ pound]
- 38 to 40 kcals/kg/day for those involved in vigorous activity and highly active jobs [16-18 kcal/ pound].
For those involved in HEAVY training (eg: athletes) - the demand is greater:
- 41 to 50 kcals/kg/day for those involved in moderate to heavy training (for example: 15-20 hrs/ week training) [18.5-22 kcal/ pound]
- 50 or above kcals/kg/day for those involved in heavy to extreme training [> 22 kcal/ pound]

There are then a number of other formula which calculate BMR. This means it calculates what you need should you be in a coma.
1/ Harris-Benedict formula: Very inaccurate. It was derived from studies on LEAN, YOUNG, ACTIVE males MANY YEARS AGO (1919). Notorious for OVERESTIMATING requirements, especially in the overweight. IF YOU CAN AVOID IT, DON'T USE IT!
MEN: BMR = 66 + [13.7 x weight (kg)] + [5 x height (cm)] - [6.76 x age (years)]
WOMEN: BMR = 655 + [9.6 x weight (kg)] + [1.8 x height (cm)] - [4.7 x age (years)]

2/Mifflin-St Jeor: Developed in the 1990s and more realistic in todays settings. It still doesn't take into consideration the differences as a consequence of high BF%. Thus, once again, it OVERESTIMATES NEEDS, ESPECIALLY IN THE OVERWEIGHT.
MEN: BMR = [9.99 x weight (kg)] + [6.25 x height (cm)] - [4.92 x age (years)] + 5
WOMEN: BMR = [9.99 x weight (kg)] + [6.25 x height (cm)] - [4.92 x age (years)] -161

3/Katch-McArdle:Considered the most accurate formula for those who are relatively lean. Use ONLY if you have a good estimate of your bodyfat %.
BMR = 370 + (21.6 x LBM)Where LBM = [total weight (kg) x (100 - bodyfat %)]/100

As these are only BMR calculations To convert BMR to a TOTAL requirement you need to multiply the result of your BMR by an 'activity variable' to give TEE.
The Activity Factor[/u] is the TOTAL cost of living and is BASED ON MORE THAN JUST YOUR TRAINING. It includes work, life activities, training/sport & the TEF of ~15% (an average mixed diet).
Average activity variables are:
1.2 = Sedentary (Little or no exercise + desk job)
1.3-1.4 = Lightly Active (Little daily activity & light exercise 1-3 days a week)
1.5-1.6 = Moderately Active (Moderately active daily life & Moderate exercise 3-5 days a week)
1.7-1.8 = Very Active (Physically demanding lifestyle & Hard exercise or sports 6-7 days a week)
1.9-2.2 = Extremely Active (Hard daily exercise or sports and physical job)

How Accurate are they?: They give rough ball-park figures and are still 'guesstimations'. So the aim is to use these as 'rough figures', monitor your weight/ measurements for 2-4 weeks, & IF your weight is stable/ measurements are stable, you have likely found maintenance.

Using the Above to Recalculate Based on Goals
You then need to DECREASE or INCREASE intake based on your goals (eg: lose or gain mass). It is not recommended to use a 'generic calorie amounts' (eg: 500 cals/ day). Instead this should be calculated on a % of your maintenance. Why? The effect of different calorie amounts is going to be markedly different based on someones size/ total calorie intake. For example - subtracting 500 cals/ day from a 1500 total intake is 1/3rd of the total cals, where 500 cals/ day from 3000 total intake is only 1/6th of the total. The results will therefore be markedly different on an individuals energy level & weight loss. Generally:
- To ADD weight: ADD 10-20% calories to the total above
- To LOSE weight: SUBTRACT 10-20% calories from the total above
Then monitor your results and adjust as required.

Macronutrient NeedsOnce you work out calorie needs, you then work out how much of each macronutrient you should aim for. This is one of the areas that is MOST often confused but This should NOT be based on a RATIO of macro intakes. (eg: '30:40:30 or 40:40:20') Your body doesn't CARE what % intake you have. It works based on SUFFICIENT QUANTITY per MASS.

So to try to make it as simple as possible:
1. Protein: Believe it or not - Protein intake is a bit of a controversial issue. In this, the general recommendations given in the 'bodybuilding' area are nearly double the 'standard' recommendations given in the Sports Nutrition Arena.
The GENERAL sports nutrition guideline based on clinical trials suggest that in the face of ADEQUATE calories and CARBS the following protein intakes are sufficient:
STRENGTH training -> 1.2 to 1.6g per KG bodyweight (about .6 / pound)
ENDURANCE training -> 1.4 to 1.8g per KG bodyweight (about .8 / pound)
ADOLESCENT in training -> 1.8 to 2.2g per KG bodyweight (about 1g / pound)
BUT researchers acknowledge that protein becomes MORE important in the context of LOWER calorie intakes, or LOWER carb intakes.
Recent evidence also suggests that protein intakes of 3g/kg help with physiological and psychological stressors associated with high volume or intense training

It is important to note that ADEQUATE v's OPTIMAL is not discussed. And one also needs to consider thermogenics/ satiety/ and personal preference.

General 'bodybuilding' guidelines for protein would be as follows:
- Moderate bodyfat = 1-1.33g per pound TOTAL weight [or ~ 1.25g/pound lean mass if bodyfat known]
- Very Low bodyfat or Very Low Calorie = 1.25 - 1.75g per TOTAL weight [or ~ 1.35 - 2g/pound of lean mass]
- Very HIGH bodyfat, Inactive, = 0.8 to 1g per TOTAL weight [or ~ 1 x LEAN mass]
Anecdotally, most find these HIGHER protein intake better for satiety, partitioning, and blood sugar control. So UNLESS you are specifically guided to use the GENERAL sports nutrition guidelines, I would suggest the BODYBUILDING values.

2. Fats: Generally speaking, although the body can get away with short periods of very low fat, in the long run your body NEEDS fat to maintain general health, satiety, and sanity. Additionally - any form of high intensity training will benefit from a 'fat buffer' in your diet - which acts to control free radical damage and inflammation. General guides:
Average or lean bodyfat: 1 - 2g fat/ kg body weight [between 0.40 - 1g total weight/ pounds]
High bodyfat: 1-2g fat/ LEAN weight [between 0.4 - 1g LEAN weight/ pounds]
IF low calorie dieting - you can decrease further, but as a minimum, I would not suggest LESS than about 0.30g/ pound.
Note 1: Total fat intake is NOT the same as 'essential fats' (essential fats are specific TYPES of fats that are INCLUDED in your total fat intake)...

3. Carbs: For carbs there are no specific 'requirements' for your body so - but carbs are important for athletes, HIGHLY ACTIVE individuals, or those trying to GAIN MASS. [carbs help with workout intensity, health, & satiety (+ sanity)].
If you are an athlete involved in a good volume of training I would suggest you CALCULATE a requirement for carbs as a PRIORITY - then go back and calculate protein / fat:
Moderately active: 4.5 - 6.5 g/ kg (about 2 - 3g/ pound)
High active: 6.5 - 8.5 g/ kg (about 3 - 4g/ pound)
INTENSE activity: + 8.5g / kg (more than 4g/ pound)

For 'other folk' - to calculate your carbohydrate intake you simply use it to fill in the calories left over from fats/ protein:
carb calories = Total calorie needs - ([protein grams as above x 4] + [fat grams as above x 9])
carbs in grams = above total/ 4

Last edited:
Some good stuff here. I've seen the first article before. I've seen Dex on AM before. He's a USP rep, so I take his supp recommendations here a little lightly.
Some good stuff here. I've seen the first article before. I've seen Dex on AM before. He's a USP rep, so I take his supp recommendations here a little lightly.

I tried editing out the supplements but may have missed a couple references. The way it is laid out is pretty easier to understand than the last article even though they are the pretty much explaining the same thing.
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