When and what to eat. Sample meal plan


The benefits of eating the right foods diminish if Vou don't get the frequency and timing right. These two factors can be summed up pretty easily: Eat five or six small meals throughout the day, whether your goal is pure muscle growth (without significant fat accumulation) or pure fat depletion (without significant muscle loss).

Think of your body as a fireplace, suggests Douglas Kalman, R.D., a spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine who helped compile the preceding charts. Would you expect a fireplace to burn consistently throughout the day, keeping your living room at a steady temperature, if you threw logs into it two or three times a day and left it alone the rest of the time? Hell, no. If you wanted the room to remain at a consistent, comfortable temperature, you'd replenish the tinder every couple of hours. And you'd never throw a huge stack of wood on the fire at any one time-the room would get too hot.

Now you know why it seems that lean, muscular people are always eating. When you're trying to build muscle, frequent small feedings allow you to get enough calories throughout the day without ever wolfing down 1,000-caloric meals. When you're trying to lose fat while sparing inuscic, five or six small meals and snacks at regular intervals let you cat less overall without feeling ravenous and deprived.

Here's the best, simplest way to schedule your meals.

- Hat your first meal as soon as you can after getting up in the morning-you want your fire to start burning as quickly as possible.

- Try to eat every 3 hours after that.

- Have a pre-workout snack or drink about an hour prior to exercise and a post-workout snack or drink within 1 hour of completing your exercise.

You'll recall that chapter three mentioned the need for carbohydrate and protein right before a workout and then again soon after. Most research shows that a carbohydrate-protein ratio of between 2-to-1 and 4-to-l works best. You don't need fat in your pre- or post-exercise meals or drinks, since it could blunt the fat-burning, muscle-building effects of growth hormone.

You can eliminate macronutrient guesswork with the prepackaged powders and bars you find in GNC and other sports-supplement outlets—these products arc formulated to the proper ratios. You just have to read (and understand) the nutrition information on the labels. Here's a quick tutorial: The first number in the chart is always fat, and the last is protein. Carbohydrate is listed in the middle, and total calories are listed to the left or above the chart.

A post-workout shake is one of the great pleasures of the muscle-building process—provided, of course, that your shake tastes like something other than chalk. Here are a few recipes we like, courtesy of Kalman. Each has a 2-to-1 carbohydrate-protein ratio, with just enough fat to provide some flavor and texture.


1 teaspoon protein powder in the flavor of your choice 1 cup 1% milk 1 banana

THE GRAPEFUL BLEND (330 calories)

1 scoop vanilla-flavor Met-Rx Protein Plus 1 teaspoon flaxseed oil

1/2 cup fat-free, sugar-free plain or vanilla yogurt 1 cup grape juice

THE PB SHAKE (245 calories)

1 teaspoon protein powder 1 teaspoon natural peanut butter 1/2 cups fat-free milk 1 banana


Here's an example of a 1-day muscle-building meal plan featuring the healthful foods and schedule that we recommend, again provided by Kalman. Its 3,271 calories include about 44 percent carbohydrate (a whopping 358 grams per day), 24 percent protein (an aggressive 192 grams), and 33 percent fat (a reasonable 119 grams). Note that it doesn't include a pre- or post-workout shake, so if you choose to take advantage of those, you'll have to cut back on some of the other food.


Omelet made with one whole egg and three egg whites, 1/2 cup diced

mushrooms and peppers, and 1 ounce reduced-fat cheese 2 slices whole grain toast 6 ounces orange juice Water


1 cup reduced-fat yogurt


Grilled skinless chicken breast 1/2 cup brown rice

1 cup steamed mixed Italian-blend vegetables

Small side salad with 1 tablespoon olive oil-and-vinegar salad dressing



8 ounces grilled sirloin steak 1 baked sweet potato

1 cup steamed mixed vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower

Small mixed-green salad with 1 tablespoon olive oil-and-vinegar salad dressing


1 apple

1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

Here's a day's worth of fat-trimming, muscle-maintaining meals totaling 2,039 calorics, with 30 percent carbohydrate (150 grams), 40 percent protein (209 grams), and 30 percent fat (67 grams, which will help you stay fuller longer and maintain your testosterone levels).


Scrambled eggs made with one large egg and four egg whites

2 links turkey sausage 1 cup 1% milk


1 packet Meso-Tech meal-replacement supplement 1 apple


Sandwich made with 2 slices multigrain bread. 6 ounces fat-free turkey lunchmeat, 1 tablespoon mustard, 2 slices tomato, and 1/2 cup spinach or other dark green leafy vegetable

1 cup fat-free milk


3 pieces string cheese 1 cup 1% milk


Hamburger made with 1/2 pound 90% lean ground sirloin on multigrain roll with 1 teaspoon mustard, 1 teaspoon ketchup, 2 slices dill pickle, and 1 large slice tomato Water

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