Dietary View’s

My diet has been an ever changing over these past few years. Recently I have been getting most of my advice from John Meadows.  He is someone that I trust and from the look of him, I would say he knows what he’s doing in terms of nutritional advice.  John Meadows advocates a balanced diet that is high in protein, moderate in fats and carbs.  He points out in a lot of his articles the downsides of restricting certain macronutrients and their repercussions.

My sources of nutrition:

Protein – is always number one in my diet for a variety of reasons.  It fills you up, tastes good, is essential for building and retaining muscle and is highly thermogenic.  There is recent research to show that you only need about half your bodyweight in protein a day to build muscle, but this is the bare minimum.  I don’t see the logic in eating the minimum, because of all the benefits extra protein intake can bring.  I shoot for at least my bodyweight (170grams at 170lbs), but usually go over it.

Greek yogurt with Elite XT protein

Greek yogurt with Elite XT protein

  • Sources
  • Chicken
  • Egg whites
  • Seafood
  • Salmon
  • Lean Beef
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Elite XT protein powder

Fat – is number two in my diet because of the many benefits it has in the human metabolism.  John Meadows recommends at least .4-.5 grams a day per pound of body weight. (68-80 grams for me at 170lbs).  Fat is important for cell metabolism, vitamin absorption and most importantly hormone production (testosterone).  Failing to get in enough fat is a mistake.  More important is that the type actually matters.  Saturated and monounsaturated increase hormone levels the most, which help you build muscle and burn fat.  Polyunsaturaed vegetable oils and trans fat lower hormone levels, slow the metabolism and promote inflammation. (not what I’m trying to do at the moment)  Polyunsaturated usually appear in processed foods.

Protein and Almond Butter mix

Protein and Almond Butter frozen protein bar.

  • Sources
  • Almond butter (eat this rather than peanut butter, because of the increased amount of monounsaturated fats),
  • Fish oil (these are technically polyunsaturated, but it’s not a vegetable oil and have a ton of benefits),
  • Egg yolks (mono, saturated fat and cholesterol, very important for testosterone levels.),
  • Animal fat (the kind that comes naturally in beef and chicken),
  • Coconut  -oil and milk
  • Almond milk
  • Cheese (usually saturated)

Carbs – is number 3 in my diet.  A lot of experts claim carbs aren’t necessary, but their wrong.  Metabolism, thyroid, muscle and liver glycogen, feel good chemicals, brain fuel (to think straight), and hormones go down the drain on chronic low carb diets.  Many of these problems can be avoided by getting in at least 100 grams a day.  What I do is set my protein and fat requirement and fill the rest in with carbs.  Since I exercise every day I burn through a decent amount in addition to the amount I need to maintain normal functioning.  Right now at my caloric level of 2200, carbs are around 150-220 a day.  Sometimes I eat less carbs and more protein, mainly because I like protein more, but I always try to keep it to at least 100 grams of carbs a day.

Pumpkin Oats

Pumpkin Oats

  • Sources
  • Oatmeal – rolled and weight control maple and brown sugar
  • Potatoes – white and sweet
  • Fruit -berries, bananas, apples
  • Vegetables – Broccoli and onions
  • Sometimes – bread, pizza, low fat chips (usually post workout)

Supplements – I always go through phases with supplements, but recently I’ve been ignoring them and focusing on eating more food.  Supplements are very expensive and for the most part I feel they are useless and uneeded.  That being said I always use a few.

  • Sources
  • Multivitamin (costco brand) (unless you eat a really diverse diet, most of the time you are going to be deficient in at least a few essential vitamins),
  • Fish oil (costco brand) (ton of benefits here and one of the only good polyunsaturated fats),
  • Creatine (cheap and effective),
  • Protein powder (Elite XT fudge brownie and vanilla,
  • Quest bars (Dear God these are good)

IMG_1724

Miscellaneous – there a a few foods that don’t really fit into these categories, but since there always a part of my diet, I felt entitled to include them.

  • Sources- 
  • Alcohol (more specifically wine) I usually consume this every weekend and thanks to this article I don’t really worry about it effecting me that much
  • Splenda (Stevia also) I consume these almost every morning with coffee and to sweeten protein shakes. They really do enhance the flavor without adding a ton of extra sugar to the diet.
  • Diet Coke – I consume at least one of these every day and don’t plan on stopping now.
  • Sugar-free syrup – spread this over some berries or oatmeal and it greatly enhances flavor.
  • Coffee – usually two or three cups a day in the morning.
  • A lot of these foods aren’t the healthiest, but as long as I stick to my ratio of 80% healthy foods, the other 20% processed foods don’t really bother or effect me that much.

IMG_1551

Worst Foods – I don’t like demonizing certain foods, but there are a few out there that truly are terrible and have no benefits and a lot of negatives that can really hurt people in the long run.

  1. Trans Fat – inflammation, heart disease, screws with you healthy fat balance, lowers hormones
  2. Soy – decreased testosterone, increased estrogen (more fat, less muscle), disrupts healthy thyroid output (slows down the metabolism)
  3. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils – basically the same negatives as trans fat, but people consumer way too many of these thinking these oils are healthy.  Stop eating these and start eating more monounsaturated and saturated fat; these taste better and are more natural then polyunsaturated anyway.

Foods that get criticized too much

  1. Sugar – this gets blamed for just about everything, but trust me people are fat for a whole lot more reasons than eating lots of sugar.  Within a balanced diet, sugar can fit it in just fine and may even have a few benefits, especially after a hard lifting workout.  Sugar can decrease stress and fill liver glycogen which helps with hormones that help you build muscle and burn fat.  Moderation is needed, but too much and too little is not good.
  2. Gluten – Unless your a celiac and eating a balanced diet, gluten is not likely to make up a large portion of your diet.  It definitely has some negatives, but gluten is getting blamed for all obesity just as sugar has in the past.  Its pretty annoying to read all of this gluten free bandwagon info, from people who have much bigger problems then too much gluten intake.

 

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10 comments

  1. Hey micheal!

    More great info! as usual, we share alot of the same outlook on things.

    I am a little confused when it comes to your nutrition articles particularly when it comes to Macros (protein/carbs/fats) and supplements (some have herbs some dont etc.) because it seems to be different in each of your articles and i dont know which is more recent or that you support more. Perhaps a New full breakdown like the one oabove would be good unless this is very recent* already!.

    Thanks keep running this webpage like a champ!

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  2. Hey Carson,

    Haha yeah I like trying out different things, especially this year, I like to call it the year of experimentation to see what works best for me. Recently been doing a cut, with some refeeds thrown in, but I feel like there’s a certain level of carbs my body tolerates well and its certainly not a huge amount. If I had to put a number on it, it would probably be a 33/33/33 setup between protein, carbs and fats. This ratio more or less stays the same no matter what level of calories I’m on. I used to like keeping protein and fat constant and just increase carbs, but I feel like that just too many carbs and not enough protein and fat. There’s definitely a big consequence of cutting out all carbs, but eating too much just leads to fat gain. Dietary fat has to be at least 1/3 of bodyweight, but I think more is beneficial. Protein seems to be overkill once it gets above 220 grams.

    I plan on starting a semi – cycling diet, where I eat around 1800-2000 calories on rest days and 23-2500 on workout days. I feel like any more calories than that I just start to put on fat.

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  3. Dietary fat 1/3 bodyweight in percentage of macros? or like 1/3 your weight in pounds x Grams (confused what you mean by that.
    Why the big increase in protein from your previous point of view? I do believe the .82 assessment is valid. Interesting take in the perfect health diet book I think you have read it where the authors do mention that too much protein can be bad when taken overboard I think there suggestion of 1.875 gram/kg is kina what I have followed.
    Im always cautious when consuming too much fats more than .35% id say, particularly after reading lyle mcdonalds take on how we gain fat through macros.

    Always so many different rationales as usual! lo what do you think?

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  4. Carson,

    Haha yeah man it gets contradictory no matter who you listen too. But Ill give you an example of the above 33/33/33 split. Lets say I wanted to hit 2600 calories on a workout day, then I would eat 215/215/95 Carbs/Protein/Fat. Pretty balanced macros overall, but nothing is really excessive. Fat is pretty high, but fat also has some interesting anabolic properties when gaining muscle. Carbs are high, but not excessive. The most important thing to get right when gaining muscle is making sure to have enough calories. This macro split isnt set in stone either, because I’m always tweaking to see what works best.

    When I look to cut fat, I still do refeeds on certain days and these are days I aim to hit really high carbs and low fats.

    As for the protein, sometimes I just find it easier to eat enough when protein is included.

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  5. Ah Fair enough!.

    I think the big take away is that there is no perfect macro ratio and that it is sometimes just preference (although vegan 80-10-10 is just ridiculous lol). For instance protein i dont think you need more than .82 to build muscle but for satiety reasons its proabbly number one (Martin Berkhan puts that as his top reason for mass amounts protein)

    Carbs are completely all over the map and with the amount of different views my head fucking spins sometimes lol. I deffenitley think that wether the source is glucose of fructose makes a huge difference. (Glucose #1)

    Fats i agree with one of your articles completely that as long as there under .35 its great so in that .3 to .35 seems bullseye like.

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    1. Yeah Im really getting into nutrient timing and also increasing fat a bit. A good way I would structure a workout days would be:

      Meal 1
      50 grams protein
      50 grams of fat
      low carbs

      Meal 2
      50 grams protein
      50 grams of fat
      low to no carbs

      Meal 3 – Right before /during or right after lifting
      Protein 50 grams
      Fat minimal
      Carbs 100 grams

      Meal 4 –
      Protein 50 grams
      Fat minimal
      Carbs 150grams

      Balanced nutrients eaten when they can be utilized the best. The rest day would be very similar except the the first 3 meals would all be protein and fat and Meal 4 would only have around 100 carbs and minimal fat in it.

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  6. Dear Michael, I’ve gone through your website and feel very connected with what you say. I am 30 now, but I have had weight issues since I know myself. I was a chubby kid, then lost some weight during college with a strict diet, but recently I have gained few back. I think I have tried all types of dieting so far in my life, but I hate them, really, and I feel like they don’t work. I feel that I am doing wrong somehwere else which I have recently discovered after 2 years of therapy about self-confidence: I am listening to everyone else except for me, my body!!! It would take pages and pages for me explain what I have gone through 😉 By te way, I have to say I am not bad at exercising for the last couple of years. I take hiphop-breakdancing classes 2 to 3 times a week which is a very good cardio that I really like and don’t feel like a boring exercise. I also like cycling a lot, but don’t live in a place convenient for it in terms of the weather and city life. But I still try to cycle once a week, probably at the weekends when there is no dancing class, for 24-km. What I really wanna do is to lose some weight especially from my female lower body 🙂 I am 172cm, and my weight is 72 kg. I gained some weight after starting dancin classes which I suspect can be muscles. So, I don’t really what I should focus on, losing weight or fat, to look leaner? When it comes to eating, I am sick and tired of following shitty eating plans, believe me I tried like all types of them. I just want to allow my body to eat whatever it wants which is actually not that much different than what you say here about nutrition. For years, I have tried to eat less carbs, and eat them early. But actually I wanna eat them in the evening bcs I feel like that’s when my body wants them and I feel that it’s very normal considering the fact that my exercises are around 8pm in the evening in my current lifestyle. I feel very unhappy when I am not eating carbs in the right amount and right time; I don’t want to punish myself anymore. I feel that I need a good coach whom I can consult to make a good meal plan for me considering my goals, my exercises, the food I like eating and most importantly my permanent decision that I don’t want to punish my body anymore with boring diets and exercises but still wanna look leaner in the lower body. I need somebody who can really listen to me, not somebody who will give me his or her opinions about what I should eat. Anyway, I am currently living in the Middle East, so I am gonna need somebody to help me through Internet. Do you have anybody that you can recommend me about this, or do you even do such coaching to people? Thanks for what you are doing here, it’s motivating, realistic and positive, and sorry my looooong post 🙂

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    1. Thanks for the comment Pinar.

      I no longer do coaching and honestly dont know any personally that I could recommend. I know a few good ones, but they are considered experts and are very expensive. However I dont mind helping you out on here with some tips that I have found to be very effective for me currently.

      The first thing I would do is ditch cardio. It may sound strange, but it can dramatically increase your appetite, especially for carbs. The less cardio I did, except for natural walking around when shopping or at work, the leaner I got. Your weight is largely about diet. Diet is key and always will be no matter what people tell you. Also weight training is a close second when compared to diet. Weight Training doesnt increase appetite like cardio does, it builds muscle, positively influences anabolic hormones and builds muscle, strength and tone over time, which will increase your metabolic rate and nutrient partitioning (what your body does with calories when you eat them).

      Since you like carbs at night (most people do as it positively influences sleep and diet adherence) I would look into diets similar to the warrior diet or intermittent fasting. I like to eat “underfeeding meals” during the week, like beef jerky, protein shakes with minimal carbs and fat and low calories and keep my calories between 400-800 calories during the day. This allows me to eat 1000-1500 calories at night and still hit my fat loss calories for the day. I also eat enough protein during the day to increase thermic effect of food and to build/maintain muscle. If you want to lose fat then try eating 10-11 (multiply by 2.2 for kilograms) calories per pound of goal body weight. Hit this amount consistently and you will lose fat. You can slip up 1-2 days a week and be fine as long as you maintain your normal fat burning calorie diet over time. If you dont feel like counting caloires then I highly recommend Intermittent fasting or using underfeeding meals as it eating a big feast at night like that can feel like your cheating on you diet, but in reality you only really hit 1200 calories because you created a huge deficit during the day and one 1000 calories meal was not enough to break that deficit.

      Hope that helps.

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      1. Thank you so much for your fast and detailed answer Michael. It’s very helpful, I also believe that for losing weight, it is a lot about calorie counting. I have been eating by counting calories since you wrote me, for 2-3 days, and I think I already lost a pound. It still allows me to eat whatever I want; I am just trying to control very few things like not overeating, not using too much oil, etc. It feels very achievable and natural like this, and it gives results. I stopped weight training when I started dancing because it feels so boring to go to gym alone 😁😁 But I’ll try to push my husband to come with me 😉 I also checked Warrior Diet, but to be honest it’s too strict for me, I am not dying to lose weight as soon as possible, so I will just go on calorie counting for now 😀😀 Anyway, really thanks for all your suggestions!

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