Macronutrient Madness – Sample Diets

Towards the end of my previous macronutrient post, I promised you folks sample diets for different goals. Since I hate nonsense talk at 5 in the morning, let’s get down to the good stuff.

Here is the deal…

  • The primary goal here is to eliminate any and all foods with gut irritating potential and only eat foods that are benign and extremely nutrient dense. This ensures that the body, in addition to getting the right macronutrients, is nourished with enough and more vitamins and minerals.
  • All diets here are designed for an imaginary client who weighs 150 lb, works a desk job and gets little to no activity during work hours. Eat more or less depending on your current bodyweight and activity level.
  • It goes without saying that these diets will work only if this imaginary client consistently eats as laid out. And if it isn’t clear, he needs to train hard and smart to see results.
  • Meat eaters – any and all meat needs to be organic and free range or grass-fed or wild caught (as the case may be).
  • All dairy needs to be organic and preferably grass fed.
  • Any whey protein needs to be high in protein (> 20 g per scoop) and low in fat (<3 g), carbs (<5 g), sodium (<15%) and cholesterol (<10%).

– – – – – x – – – – –

Case 1: Health & Longevity

  • Eat about 0.5 gram per pound of bodyweight.
  • Eat enough real food carbs and real food fats.
  • Eat to satiety. Stop before you’re full.

– – – – – x – – – – –

Case 2: Fat Loss

Training:

  • Strength training 3 days/week
  • HIT (Eg. sprints) 1 day/week
  • Low intensity cardio (Eg. walking) on rest days

What to eat on training days:

  • 0.75-1 lb lean meat (Eg. chicken breast, chicken thigh, white fish, lean beef, lean pork)
  • 2-3 organic cage free whole eggs
  • 2-2.5 lb mixed fibrous vegetables (Eg. broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini)
  • 1 cup mixed fruit or 1 medium fruit
  • 1/2 large avocado
  • 1 cup whole milk or whole milk yogurt
  • 1-2 oz cheese or 2-4 tbls cream
  • 1-2 tbls oil (coconut oil/butter/ghee/olive oil)
  • 1 scoop whey protein
  • 200 calories worth of benign starch (cooked white rice or tubers)

What to eat on rest days:

  • 0.75-1 lb moderately fatty meat (Eg. 85/15 ground beef, steak, salmon, bone-in pork chop)
  • 2-3 organic cage free whole eggs
  • 2-2.5 lb mixed fibrous vegetables (Eg. broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini)
  • 1-2 tbls oil (coconut oil/butter/ghee/olive oil)

When to eat what:

  • Number of meals can be 1 or 10.
  • Each meal should contain protein.
  • Starches and protein supplements need to be consumed in the post-workout meal only.

Substitutions for vegetarians:

  • 1/4 lb Paneer/tofu/tempeh + 1 scoop whey in place of 1 lb of lean meat.
  • 1/4 lb Paneer/tofu/tempeh + 1 scoop of whey in place of 3/4 lb of moderately fatty meat.
  • 5-6 egg whites and a cup of cottage cheese will be required to meet protein requirements.

– – – – – x – – – – –

Case 3: Strength Gain

Training:

  • Strength training 3 days/week
  • Low intensity cardio (walking etc.) on other days

What to eat on training days:

  • 1-1.5 lb moderately fatty meat (Eg. 85/15 ground beef, steak, salmon, bone-in pork chop)
  • 3-4 organic cage free whole eggs
  • 2-2.5 lb mixed fibrous vegetables (Eg. broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini)
  • 3-4 cups fruit
  • 2-3 cup whole milk or whole milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup nuts
  • 2-3 tbls oil (coconut oil/butter/ghee/olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2-3 scoop whey protein **
  • 500 calories worth of benign starch (cooked white rice or tubers)

What to eat on rest days:

  • 1-1.5 lb moderately fatty meat (Eg. 85/15 ground beef, steak, salmon, bone-in pork chop)
  • 3-4 organic cage free whole eggs
  • 2-2.5 lb mixed fibrous vegetables (Eg. broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini)
  • 3-4 cups fruit
  • 1 cup whole milk or whole milk yogurt
  • 2 tbls oil (coconut oil/butter/ghee/olive oil)

When to eat what:

  • Eat at least 3 meals per day to ensure adequate calories are consumed.
  • Each meal should contain a significant amount of protein and calories.
  • Whey protein can be consumed throughout the day whenever protein is required.
  • Starch is put to best use when consumed in the post-workout meal.

Substitutions for vegetarians:

  • 1/4 lb Paneer/tofu/tempeh + 1 scoop whey in place of 1 lb of lean meat.
  • 1/4 lb Paneer/tofu/tempeh + 1 scoop of whey in place of 3/4 lb of moderately fatty meat.
  • 5-6 egg whites and a cup of cottage cheese will be required to meet protein requirements.
  • An extra cup of milk/yogurt will be required to get adequate calories.

– – – – – x – – – – –

Case 4: Endurance

Training:

  • 60+ min endurance training 3 days/week
  • 1 strength training session/week
  • 1 yoga session/week
  • 2 rest days/week

What to eat on endurance training days:

  • 0.5-75 lb lean meat (Eg. chicken breast, chicken thigh, white fish, lean beef, lean pork)
  • 2 organic cage free whole eggs
  • 2-2.5 lb mixed fibrous vegetables (Eg. broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini)
  • 700-800 calories worth of benign starch (Eg. cooked white rice, tubers)
  • 300-400 calories worth of fruit or dried fruit
  • 300-400 calories worth of squashes and root vegetables (Eg. butternut squash, beetroot)
  • 1 tbls oil (coconut oil/butter/ghee/olive oil)

What to eat on rest days:

  • 75-1 lb moderately fatty meat (Eg. 85/15 ground beef, steak, salmon, bone-in pork chop)
  • 2 organic cage free whole eggs
  • 2-2.5 lb mixed fibrous vegetables (Eg. broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini)
  • 300-400 calories worth of squashes and root vegetables (Eg. butternut squash, beetroot)
  • 300-400 calories worth of fruit or dried fruit
  • 1 tbls oil (coconut oil/butter/ghee/olive oil)

When to eat what:

  • Eat at least 3 meals per day on endurance training days to ensure the body is fueled adequately.
  • Each endurance training day meal should contain starch and/or fruit.
  • Refer fat loss section for strength training day guidelines.

Substitutions for vegetarians:

  • 1/4 lb Paneer/tofu/tempeh + 1 scoop whey in place of 1 lb of lean meat.
  • 1/4 lb Paneer/tofu/tempeh + 1 scoop of whey in place of 3/4 lb of moderately fatty meat.

– – – – – x – – – – –

Why is ‘eat real food’ special?

1. There are many diets that will help you lose weight or gain strength or provide calories for endurance activities, but how many diets actually help you reach these goals while making you healthy? Any idiot can come up with a diet plan that has the required macronutrient split, but show me a diet plan that is as packed with micronutrients!

2. Any calorie restricted diet will help you lose weight. But it will also leave you hungry, weak and depressed if it is filled with grains and fruit juices . On the other hand, a real food based diet, which is 95% whole real foods, will leave you energized, satiated and strong.

3. High protein/fat/carb diets are not sustainable in the long run and results in repeated ‘falling off the wagon’. The ‘eat real food’ diet plan contains enough of all three macronutrients which lends itself to great tasting recipes which in turn results in long term adherence. You’ve got meat, cheese, veggies, fruit, nuts, dairy, rice and other starches to play around with. What more do you need?

– – – – – x – – – – –

Summary:

I understand that this is probably not the usual ‘diet plan’ you see on other websites. But, as you know, I like to keep things real and legit. Once you have a list of what you need to eat, you can figure out when and how you want to eat them. I believe in ‘freedom within constraints’ since it always makes people more creative, in control, accountable and hence more successful.

How do these things come together? What “meals” should I eat Raj?

Seriously? Maybe we’ll find a time that works for both of us and I can feed you? Figure out your own meals! If you eat what is listed, your macros will be pretty much spot on and how you eat them doesn’t matter as much (as long as you don’t destroy the food in the name of cooking!). Make foods that suit your style and cuisine. Start by looking at recipes that I have previously posted in the blog and visiting www.eatrealfood.in regularly where you can find a bunch real food recipes.

If you need more guidance with respect to nutrition (and training) and have questions on more intricate aspects like meal pairing, meal timing, meal frequency, allergies etc. you can always make use of the online consultation and telephone consultation options that I offer. Email me requesting a consultation and we’ll take it from there. And if you’re new around here, be sure to join my Facebook group for recipes and a wealth of information regarding nutrition and follow me on twitter to stay abreast of all the latest nutrition and fitness mumbo jumbo.

So what do you guys think? Too much food? Too little? Questions/comments/concerns… please post in the comments section. I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts!

Peace out.

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10 responses to “Macronutrient Madness – Sample Diets

  1. Vizeet June 1, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    This article is really packed with info for everyone, gr8 job Raj!!!

    I would add some point for health and longevity:
    Fasting (water+lemon+salt only) at-least once a week should be part of routine. Not eating between meals and leading an active life is also important. Skipping dinner and taking light breakfasts are good practice. Remember for longevity good sleep and happiness is very important and so any diet or routine which effects them should be avoided.

  2. lavanya June 1, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Hey Raj, great post! Thanks a lot… I am happy that u take time and effort in putting things together… Meal times are important, however with people working round the clock we can only look at eating healthy I guess!!!

    • RG June 2, 2011 at 8:13 am

      Thank you Lavanya.

      Meal times arent as important as previously believed. Your body will do fine eating 1 meal or 10 meals a day. In certain special cases, eating multiple small meals might be appropriate, but that is rare and for the majority of the population, 1-3 meals a day is plenty. Just ensure you eat what you should eat and only what you should eat to reach your goals and you’ll be well on your way.

  3. Anju June 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Hi Raj,
    I think in case of “Health and Longevity” you meant 0.5 g ‘protein’ per Kg bodyweight.

    I feel that in the fat loss case, the quantity of food on work out days seems quite a bit, atleast for me. If I ate a kg [2.2 pounds] of vegetable a day I wont be able to eat anything else. I think a pound of vegetables, eggs and butter, cheese, some whole milk yoghurt and panneer fills me up nicely. i eat two meals a day, once at lunch time and once post workout at abt 8pm.
    on resting days i dont eat the eggs.. but i love my cheese and paneer too much, I have them everyday 😀 I have fruits and avacodos 2-3 times a week.. whenever i find i need a snack..
    I get the basic idea that you suggest eating the extra protein [whey] and carbs [fruit, rice] on the days you train.. will try to fit this concept into my eating habits..
    As Vizeet commented, whats your take on fasting. i know you believe intermittent fasting works. how about those longer than 24hrs?

    • RG June 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm

      Anju – 0.5 lb per lb is right. If you’re 150 lb, 70 g of protein is approximately what you’d need. It works up to ~ 14% in a 2000 cal diet.

      The point of eating real food is to ensure satiety. So eat as much as you can (even when you’re trying to lose fat), as long as you’re still eating within what is recommended.

      IF is legit. Has plenty of healthy benefits. Fasts up to 36 hours have been documented to be beneficial. Anything more than that seem to be more catabolic than helpful. But any fast nearing 24 hours should be done under physician supervision.

  4. Swapna Mazumder June 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Raj,
    Informative and educational articles. I am 99% grain free and it took me close to six months to get to this stage, realistically at this point I am not ready to give up my Sunday morning croissant and coffee yet, the only wheat and grain product I indulge in. However, I am past the weight loss stage and wanted to concentrate on reducing body fat and the next step would be to gain strength. I wanted to follow your reccommended diet/training on fat loss, but it seems like a lot of food. Any suggestion on how to adjust it to my needs, I am 49 year old female and weigh 145 lbs, 29% body fat and ~ 100lb muscle mass. Thanks.

    Swapna

    • RG June 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm

      Swapna – Eat only as much as your appetite/hunger allows you to. No need to stuff yourself. Focus on eating as much meat and veggies and work down the list from there. If you have to dump stuff from the list, dump fruit, dairy and whey. That bodyfat% will drop in no time.

  5. Pingback: Grains – Friend or Foe? « Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

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