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Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
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General Stalin Offline
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Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
I'll preface this by saying I'm basically a total newb at proper body building routine and diet, but I have an idea in my head and would like some advice.

I'm tall, relatively lean, and have a great out-of-the-box metabolism (Currently 6'1" @ 184). I'd like to start making lean gains and training heavy to put on maybe an extra 10 lbs of muscle and cut some of my body fat. I'm not specifically going just for looks but mainly for stellar able-bodied fitness and strength. Not looking to be super huge just strong and lean.

I understand an extremely important factor in this is having the right diet, but there is so much information out there and different techniques, meal plans, etc. it's easy to get lost. I'd like to design a super-basic (boring?) diet that will give me the energy, proteins, and nutrients I need to help me get the results I'm looking for.

I watched a video recently about Kali Muscle where he talked about eating basically tons of Ramen noodles and tuna fish to help him get the gains inside. I'd love to be able to design a diet similarly simple.

I was thinking of doing something along the lines of this:
Morning: Whole Grain oat cereal/oatmeal, bananas, whole eggs
During the day: Whole grain pasta/noodles
Evening: Chicken/Fish (alternate with red meat) and hearty greens (green beans, broccoli, asparagus)

Does this make sense?
10-20-2015 08:55 PM
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redbeard Online
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
First step is don't listen to Kali Muscle.

Second is try one method and trial by error will produce results. I was an idiot when I started and did steak and eggs yet would binge on candy because I didn't understand carbs well enough. But - making that first step and commitment allowed me to fail.

Keep protein high. If you want to gain weight, eat more. If you want to cut, eat less. Everything else is minutia and will be worked out over time.
10-20-2015 10:14 PM
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Hannibal Offline
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
If you want a really simple diet, just eat a pound of meat and a large salad with every meal.

If you have any room left eat some complex carbs.

Eat at least three meals a day.

As far as supplements, I recommend at least five fish oil capsules each day (especially if you're not going the grassfed beef route).

If that sounds like a lot, it is.

Guaranteed you won't be hurting for lean gains and you won't have to count calories either.

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(This post was last modified: 10-21-2015 12:17 AM by Hannibal.)
10-21-2015 12:08 AM
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roberto Offline
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
Can't reccomend eggs enough. Cheap, simple, full of good fats and protein. You can cook them so many ways you're unlikely to get bored of them.

Hannibal is also right about meat and a large salad, it's dead easy. Get an electric grill and some decent fatty cuts of meat. Stick that on for ten minutes, pop open a family size bag of salad, add a bit of olive oil dressing. Couple of boiled eggs on top, and if you've lifted hard and need some carbs a jacket potato. Proper job.

The only trouble I have is finding a plate big enough for all the salad plus the meat and eggs.

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10-21-2015 03:01 AM
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
Super basic diet for you:

- 8 hour feeding time/16 hour fast time - choose whatever you like, can be 8am - 4pm or 11am - 7pm or 2pm - 10pm. doesn't really matter as long as you don't eat between main meals and watch calories intake. if you skip breakfast and you feel weird coffee in the morning will save your life ; ]

- eat 2 meals a day - lunch & dinner or breakfast & lunch [skipping breakfast makes you alert and focused in the morning, very helpful for getting important things done].

- eat more carbs than fats on workout days and more fat than carbs on rest days.

- pick healthy stuff you like to eat [meat eggs fish pasta rice vegetables fruits nuts olive etc], measure how much calories/macros you need [lgmacros.com & 1percentedge.com/ifcalc] and compose your diet around it. create workout day menu and rest day menu. eat the same meals everyday.

- make the after workout meal the main meal [the biggest one].

- it's just a guideline. so don't sweat the small things. don't wait for specific time to eat out of discipline or obsess over carbs/fats ratio. it will work as long as you stick to overall framework.

it can't get more boring than this. but it's practical
(This post was last modified: 10-21-2015 03:53 AM by XXL.)
10-21-2015 03:52 AM
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blck Offline
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
(10-20-2015 08:55 PM)General Stalin Wrote:  I understand an extremely important factor in this is having the right diet, but there is so much information out there and different techniques, meal plans, etc. it's easy to get lost. I'd like to design a super-basic (boring?) diet that will give me the energy, proteins, and nutrients I need to help me get the results I'm looking for.

A Workout that'll give result is about 3 things:
- Diet (Calories I/O)
- Consistency (How much you train and for how long)
- Intensity(Form / Load / Time under pressure)

The basic of diet is not what you eat per se but how much calories you ingest and how much calories you're able to burn each day.
If you eat salad it'll be easy to burn with a light workout instead of some french fries and burgers.

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10-21-2015 04:45 AM
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H1N1 Offline
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
The meat and vegetables suggestions are good ones, as far as lean gains are concerned. However, I'd counsel paying close attention even then to how much you are eating.

Respectfully, I'd disagree slightly with Hannibal on the quantities. 1lb of 20% fat beef mince is about 1400 calories, and 120 grams of protein. eating that 3 times each day (which I long to be able to do) is 4200 calories. Unless you're working manual labour, that is a lot of calories for a guy who is sedentary/lightly active for his job. You will absolutely gain muscle optimally on that diet, but I suspect you would also gain a reasonable amount of fat, 'clean' as such a diet would be.

For your goal, I think XXL is on the right track, unless you are highly active for a living. Base two big meals around protein, throw in some good carbs and some vegetables, and train consistently with enough intensity for a whole year, and you'll be well on your way to reaching your goal.
10-21-2015 05:09 AM
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Captain Gh Offline
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
First off General, You must listen to Kali muscle and some of the other Youtube guys with a huge grain of salt since most of them are on Steroids. Nothing wrong with that, but since Roids are illegal without a prescription they simply can't come foward with that without incriminating themselves. Dieting is like Game. If you want ok results, then you can kinda track you macros and see where it goes, but if you want Banging results, just like Banging Hot chicks, then you must get to it!

I would first recommand that you jolt down what you regularly eat just to get an idea of how much your maintenance calorie needs are to give you an idea. Since you mentioned that you're currently 184 lbs, I would recommend that you try to eat 2x you body-weight in carbs for a total of 368 Grams of Complex carbs such as Oatmeal, Rice, Potatoes, Salad and whole Bread ( only time that it's ok to take some fast acting carb such as a Gatorate or Chocolate is after your training session).

Protein wise it really depends on what your budget is. General rule of thumb is 1 to 1 1/2 Gram per body-weight so that would be about 185 Grams for you. Try to get as close to that depending on your $$$. Since you're Bulking, you can afford to get some fattier meats for your protein needs so don't worry about it for now. Then the last portions are your fats. Keep you fats at 20 to max 30% of your total calories since it's all you need.

At that amount, it is sufficient to support your hormonal level but going over that ratio could make you too fluffy. Keep in mind that protein and carbs are 4 calories / gram and that fat is 9 calories / gram. I know counting macros ain't too much fun but it leads you to the right path so it must be done to achieve your goal efficiently. I've got to go, so let me know if you've got some questions! I Can talk about nutrition all day!
10-21-2015 05:38 AM
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Hannibal Offline
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
I should have clarified with a pound of chicken breast. Where I'm at, chicken is like $2.00 a lb so I hardly ever buy beef anything.

That comes in at right about 500 calories per pound (cooked). Some sources say a pound of cooked chicken is a lot more than 500 calories. I really don't know who to believe, but I go with the 500 calorie one.

[Image: ovenRoastCLabel.png]

At 3 times per day, that's 1500 calories. 300+ grams of protein is definitely overkill, but protein is satiating (which is good for not overeating).

A large bag salad (we're talking 12 cups here) is less than 200 calories, so vegetables are basically unlimited. A cup of (dry) oatmeal is 300 calories, a cup of dry white longgrain rice is pretty close to 700 calories. Altogether that would be ~2700 calories. You might want to bump up the calories a bit after a few weeks, some people gain weight easier than others.

H1N1 Wrote:Respectfully, I'd disagree slightly with Hannibal on the quantities. 1lb of 20% fat beef mince is about 1400 calories, and 120 grams of protein. eating that 3 times each day (which I long to be able to do) is 4200 calories. Unless you're working manual labour, that is a lot of calories for a guy who is sedentary/lightly active for his job. You will absolutely gain muscle optimally on that diet, but I suspect you would also gain a reasonable amount of fat, 'clean' as such a diet would be.

Lol, you're right about the ground beef, dude would probably get a coronary. A half a pound per meal or less would work if he goes with 80/20 ground beef.

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If you want some PDF's on bodyweight exercise with little to no equipment, send me a PM and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
10-21-2015 05:45 AM
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General Stalin Offline
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
Thanks for all the information guys this is extremely helpful. Lots of great data here.

I love beef and it is the biggest source of protein per weight so I don't mind using beef as my primary protein source. I love the beef and salad idea with complex carbs mixed in. That sounds super simple to do.

My whole thing is that I was really trying to stay away from having to get a lot of pen & paper involved with carb counting, macros, on/off meal schedules, etc. Call it cutting corners or just trying to be minimalist. Maybe thats wishful thinking and I'm trying to dumb it down too much? I do know there are different schools of thought on it and people get great results a number of different ways as there is no "golden rule" exactly except basically eat more than you think you should and bust ass in the gym with heavy weight.

I understand though if you want the best result you do have to kinda become a nerd with it.

I put my weight into the lgmacros calculator that XXL linked (I selected Protein 1.1g/lbs) and I get this for bulking:

Lean Bulk (+450/+100)
Training Day Macros (TDEE+450kcal)
Carbs (g): 402
Fat (g): 60
Protein (g): 211
Total Cals: 2,986


Rest Day Macros (TDEE+100kcal)
Carbs (g): 112
Fat (g): 149
Protein (g): 211
Total Cals: 2,636
10-21-2015 07:52 AM
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
(10-21-2015 07:52 AM)General Stalin Wrote:  Thanks for all the information guys this is extremely helpful. Lots of great data here.

I love beef and it is the biggest source of protein per weight so I don't mind using beef as my primary protein source. I love the beef and salad idea with complex carbs mixed in. That sounds super simple to do.

My whole thing is that I was really trying to stay away from having to get a lot of pen & paper involved with carb counting, macros, on/off meal schedules, etc. Call it cutting corners or just trying to be minimalist. Maybe thats wishful thinking and I'm trying to dumb it down too much? I do know there are different schools of thought on it and people get great results a number of different ways as there is no "golden rule" exactly except basically eat more than you think you should and bust ass in the gym with heavy weight.

I understand though if you want the best result you do have to kinda become a nerd with it.

I put my weight into the lgmacros calculator that XXL linked (I selected Protein 1.1g/lbs) and I get this for bulking:

Lean Bulk (+450/+100)
Training Day Macros (TDEE+450kcal)
Carbs (g): 402
Fat (g): 60
Protein (g): 211
Total Cals: 2,986


Rest Day Macros (TDEE+100kcal)
Carbs (g): 112
Fat (g): 149
Protein (g): 211
Total Cals: 2,636

Honestly it depends how much you want to live the life of a bodybuilder, because it does take a lot of time, effort and dedication to commit to a macro counting, precision bulking/cutting diet. Equally, that's how you'll see the best results, as has been said - but you can still be ripped and muscular and not obsess over the numbers. The intermittent fasting approach, or Hannibal's approach are, to my mind, the best way to live a normal balanced life where you have other hobbies than bodybuilding, but still see great gains. Check out Kinobody.com for what guys are managing to do with a very healthy approach to training that gives them great quality of life.

Your idea of beef and complex carbs with salad, assuming it has a dressing on it too, is not necessarily as good as it may seem on the surface. Again, it depends on your activity level, but I believe that a high protein, high dietary fat, and high carb diet is a pretty sure way to gain weight. Personally, however you're eating, I would always recommend trying to keep either dietary fat, or total carb intake pretty low.

To give you an idea, I am 10lbs heavier than you at the same height, with abs, and I'm eating about 2400 calories a day, getting stronger and building muscle. I feel very strongly that the amount you need to eat is seriously over exaggerated by most online strength coaches, who realise that if you put on 5lbs of muscle in a year following their program, and also put on 5lbs of water weight, and 5lbs of fat, whilst increasing your numbers, then they are looked on as top coaches designing killer programs. This is partly why the 'just eat' mantra gets pushed so much. Yes, diet is critical, but you also have to recognise that most people have short attention spans, and coaches need to build their reputations on the opinions of people who follow their programs.

The reality is that building appreciable muscle at a rate of 5lbs each year is pretty good going for most of us, and will have a transformative effect on our strength, appearance and athleticism, and that to achieve at this rate is mostly a matter of consistency and intensity, irrespective of the program.

Yes diet is important, and yes you should eat clean and eat sufficiently to support your training. However, it is easier to build 10lbs of fat than it is to build 1lb of muscle, and many people advocating big eating are carrying much more fat than they are aware of. Long story short, you should do trial and error, as I believe Hannibal said, but my own opinion is that eating 3000 calories each day unless you are 20 or extremely active for your job is way more than you need and will most likely make you fatter over time.
10-21-2015 08:21 AM
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
Not a whole lot left to cover.

Quick tip: If you ever get tired of weighing quantities and figuring shit out step by step (still a valuable skill, I'm not knocking it), you can basically get a food calculator and figure out three or four meals to rotate endlessly. Put these on notecards, leave them in the kitchen, and shop accordingly.

Cyclical keto diets are also pretty effective. PSMF is very effective for fat loss but it's definitely not a lifter's diet.
10-21-2015 11:28 AM
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
If you work out regularly and intensively [whether gym or other intense sport] pick more protein in that calculator, at least 1.5g preferably 2g.

There is not too much to calculate actually. Like i said just take what you would like to eat regularly everyday and check its calories/macros.

For example i like eggs and tuna [proteins] and that is what my dinner is based around. so then the only question is how much of it fits my calories intake.

start at the end. take few of your favorite meals and fit them in eating plan. it's simple. main meal full of meat fruits veggies or rice or pasta for lunch. other lighter stuff for dinner.
10-21-2015 11:45 AM
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
I do realize that it might be me, but putting down your macros and counting them doesn't seem time consuming at all for me! You simply put down some music and the time just go by!

The challenge for you General is that if you fallow the eating plan that you've put down is that Beef (or pork I always confuse the 2) is 20g of protein and 17g of fat for a 100 grams.

If you want to meet those protein requirements from Beef alone you're toasts cause you'll be getting 170 g of fat in your diet and it'll screw you up!

I'm a fan of macros and I understand that everyone will not enjoy it, but at least a minimal amount of preparation is required to not screw yourself up.

I'm a fan of bulking while staying as lean as possible and doing so without checking macros is just too dangerous for me. Getting lean while freestyling is passable since most undereat and loose muscle mass, but the opposite can be negative. Proceed with caution if you bulk on Beef alone. Sorry if the paragraphs are all messed up since I'm on my cell
10-21-2015 11:54 AM
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
I eat the exact same thing every single day, M-F about 90% of the time. Not many people can do that. This way, I never have to guess if it fits my macros or not. On weekends I try to stick to it as well, but not as anal. I use a 50/30/20 carb/protein/fat split since I'm trying to put on weight.
10-21-2015 01:36 PM
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
Just want to thank everyone for the thoughts on this thread. Been trying to approach my workouts with a bit more thought and the food thing drives me crazy. Some of the experts have a daily meal plan that would require me to spend hours shopping. I'd rather just eat the same thing every time than trying to figure out a whole menu for a day. I'll just add hot sauce to it Big Grin

There is so much info out there, a lot of it is nonsense it seems, I appreciate how you guys cut out the BS. Thanks so much.

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(This post was last modified: 10-21-2015 02:49 PM by samsamsam.)
10-21-2015 02:48 PM
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
(10-21-2015 02:48 PM)samsamsam Wrote:  Just want to thank everyone for the thoughts on this thread. Been trying to approach my workouts with a bit more thought and the food thing drives me crazy. Some of the experts have a daily meal plan that would require me to spend hours shopping. I'd rather just eat the same thing every time than trying to figure out a whole menu for a day. I'll just add hot sauce to it Big Grin

There is so much info out there, a lot of it is nonsense it seems, I appreciate how you guys cut out the BS. Thanks so much.

Exactly this has been a very succinct thread and I appreciate the feedback.
10-21-2015 03:33 PM
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
The advices here are solid.

I just want to add two things:

1: Get a DEXA scan so you know exactly how many kilos of fat you've got, and plan to lose some accordingly.

2: Know your daily macros (protein / carbs / fats). Track them with an app (like MyFitnessPal), stick to a ratio that works for you.

The first is trivial, the second is also very easy but requires discipline in the first month or so.

Without them, you're just shooting blind.

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10-21-2015 07:45 PM
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
(10-21-2015 12:08 AM)Hannibal Wrote:  ...As far as supplements, I recommend at least five fish oil capsules each day (especially if you're not going the grassfed beef route)....


I've read that while high quality fish oil capsules are good & all.
High quality Krill oil capsules will be just that much better in comparison.

I took a heavy blow to one knee, which strained (although didn't snap) my ACL.
Been a thorn in my side ever since. Yet a couple of Onnit Krill oil capsules plus a MSM / glucosamine mix each
night seems to lube my knees quite well.
(This post was last modified: 11-28-2015 02:52 AM by CynicalContrarian.)
11-28-2015 02:51 AM
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Post: #20
RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
I believe there isn't one diet which has not been cover and that is a vegan diet for lean gains. A vegan diet is super simple, cheap, packed with nutrition and so effective that you don't have to keep count of macros. I am not saying you are allow to pig out, but intuitive eating is the best formula to follow if you want simplicity without over stressing your intake of macros. And before I get heat about meat being a complete source of protein and which can't easily be matched, I'll state before hand that any legume and rice(brown rice preferably, but white will do) will provide you with a complete source of protein easily. In my experience, this diet keeps me lean without putting extra effort(or any) into supplementing with various capsules such as fish oil, vitamins and minerals (zincs seems to be a big deal).

Here is what a typical day looks like:

Morning: Oatmeal, with banana and apple, topped with unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, and black-strap molasses (this stuff is so heavily packed with minerals that you can discard the notion of taking any form of mineral supplements - magnesium, zinc, iron, etc -).
Lunch: Various type of grains, which can all be cooked in a simple rice cooker, but let's go with barley. Cooked Barley with shredded( or steamed) carrots, diced tomatoes, broccoli, green peas, avocado and ground flax seeds for omega-3s. You can throw in any type of spice into the rice cooker along with your barley (or any grain), but I strongly suggest that you always incorporate dry ginger, and turmeric daily. I know fresh is always better, but I don't have time for that.
Dinner: It can be a repeat of lunch or something new. Tonight, I'll have boiled navy beans with barley and the usual veggies and prices.
Snacks: Nuts and seeds, in moderation, fresh fruits most of the time and occasionally dried fruits.
Supplement: B12 - this is the only supplement which you'll need to take. That's it.

Edit: I just wanted to mention that I consume nearly 3500 calories without gaining weight (fat) and don't count macros at all. You should just note to keep oil to a minimal because they don't carry much or any nutritional value.
(This post was last modified: 12-15-2015 09:39 AM by Raccoon.)
12-15-2015 09:32 AM
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RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
(12-15-2015 09:32 AM)Raccoon Wrote:  Here is what a typical day looks like:

Morning: Oatmeal, with banana and apple, topped with unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, and black-strap molasses (this stuff is so heavily packed with minerals that you can discard the notion of taking any form of mineral supplements - magnesium, zinc, iron, etc -).
Lunch: Various type of grains, which can all be cooked in a simple rice cooker, but let's go with barley. Cooked Barley with shredded( or steamed) carrots, diced tomatoes, broccoli, green peas, avocado and ground flax seeds for omega-3s. You can throw in any type of spice into the rice cooker along with your barley (or any grain), but I strongly suggest that you always incorporate dry ginger, and turmeric daily. I know fresh is always better, but I don't have time for that.
Dinner: It can be a repeat of lunch or something new. Tonight, I'll have boiled navy beans with barley and the usual veggies and prices.
Snacks: Nuts and seeds, in moderation, fresh fruits most of the time and occasionally dried fruits.
Supplement: B12 - this is the only supplement which you'll need to take. That's it.

[Image: 19-cat-diet-.jpg]

Tell them too much, they wouldn't understand; tell them what they know, they would yawn.
They have to move up by responding to challenges, not too easy not too hard, until they paused at what they always think is the end of the road for all time instead of a momentary break in an endless upward spiral
12-15-2015 10:33 AM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
UPDATE:

So I've taken the plunge to get real serious about lifting and getting big, strong, and staying lean

I'm working with an experienced trainer with an extensive background in wrestling, powerlifting, and strength/fitness training. He's helping me put together a basic daily macros goal (starting point):

2700 cal
270g Carb
270g Protein
60g Fat

Initial thoughts: It is somewhat difficult to take in adequate protein while avoiding a lot of fat. The easiest way around this I see is trying to keep my protein intake primarily to egg whites and nonfat greek yogurt. Getting protein from beef is super easy as it gives you a lot per serving, but that comes with hefty fat intake sometimes as well depending on how lean of beef you are consuming.

I may incorporate intermittent fasting at some point but not to start - I want to get comfortable eating the foods I need to eat in the quantities I need to eat them first, then I will play around what when to eat them.

So far my current menu consists of:

Boneless chicken breast
93% lean ground beef
Tilapia
Canned chunk light tuna in water
Nonfat greek yogurt
Liquid eggwhites
Whole eggs
100% Whole grain wheat bread
Natural crunchy peanut butter
Mixed nuts (lightly salted)
Bananas
Broccoli
Green beans
Green peas
Long grain brown rice
Sweet potatoes

The idea is to gain mass. Goal is 1lb - 1.5lbs of lean weight a week. I will be going to the gym 4-5 times a week.

Thoughts/suggestions?
(This post was last modified: 02-28-2016 12:35 PM by General Stalin.)
02-28-2016 12:34 PM
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Hannibal Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
How much do you weigh?

“I have a very simple rule when it comes to management: hire the best people from your competitors, pay them more than they were earning, and give them bonuses and incentives based on their performance. That’s how you build a first-class operation.”
― Donald J. Trump

If you want some PDF's on bodyweight exercise with little to no equipment, send me a PM and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
02-28-2016 12:37 PM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
190lbs. 6'1.5"
02-28-2016 12:58 PM
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Hannibal Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Diet Gurus: Simple Balanced Diet for Lean Gains?
The calories might be a bit low so if you don't get anywhere for a week or two, just bump them up a bit (200-300 calories) and go from there.

Overall the diet looks solid.

“I have a very simple rule when it comes to management: hire the best people from your competitors, pay them more than they were earning, and give them bonuses and incentives based on their performance. That’s how you build a first-class operation.”
― Donald J. Trump

If you want some PDF's on bodyweight exercise with little to no equipment, send me a PM and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
02-28-2016 01:00 PM
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