Are you a diet schizophrenic? One week you're trying to lean out, and the next, you're trying to bulk. I have one thing to say to you: Let the madness END!
Pick one goal and stick with it. Want to build lean muscle? Reveal that sought-after six-pack? Make the major leagues? Train for that goal, supplement for that goal, and don't forget to eat for that goal.
Nutrition is often left behind due to lack of knowledge, busy schedules, and the deer-in-the-headlights stare when you're standing in the kitchen. What you need is a personal chef. But if you're anything like the rest of us, that's outside of your budget and out of the question.
Instead, you get this! Three complete daily meal plans for you and two friends. Why do I say for you and your friends? Because you should choose one goal and stick with it until you see the results you're looking for.
But practically everyone knows someone else who wants to build muscle, lose fat, or improve at a sport. With one meal plan for each goal, you can share your new "personal online chef" with friends and get instant accountability for staying on track with your nutrition.
Goal No. 1: Cut Down Body Fat and Rock That Bikini
Meal plan number 1 is designed to help your metabolism burn, baby, burn ... like a disco inferno—but a healthy disco inferno that won't rob you of hard-earned muscle tone and leave you stringy or skinny-fat.
But this plan is not just for ladies wanting to turn heads at the beach. Guys, if you're ready to go through a cutting phase, this meal plan can work for you too. Just remember to adjust the meals and calories to fit your needs according to height, current weight, and training intensity.
This meal plan is hardcore awesome because it doesn't just help you burn fat but also fuels your workouts. You should be lifting weights 3-5 days a week and also doing 2-3 additional cardio sessions—HIIT is recommended. You should be eating every 2-3 hours.
The calorie ratio here is appropriate for a person weighing 150 pounds. You'll notice there's a ton of protein, and that's because we want you to preserve lean muscle. Some women might think they can cut out the extra protein in order to lose fat faster—WRONG!
Protein is your key to losing fat and achieving that fit, sexy body like pro-bikini champ Amanda Latona or world-famous cover model and Bodybuilding.com spokesmodel Jamie Eason. Plus, protein keeps you fuller longer, making those long dieting days easier to endure.
If you weigh less than 150 pounds, reduce the calories of this meal plan-take out more carbs than protein, though, keeping the protein ratio high. If you weigh more than 150 pounds, eat a bit more to fuel your body. Increasing protein and a bit of healthy fats is a great way to do this.
- Calories: 1852
- Fats: 48.5g
- Protein: 169g
- Carbs: 193g
Goal No. 2: Build Lean Muscle to Make the Cover of Iron Man Magazine
I call this the "clean gains" meal plan. Yes, this one will probably appeal more to males, which is why the calorie and nutrient ratio is designed for a 180-pounder. This diet works best when you eat every 2-3 hours and work out 4-5 times a week-but not those sissy 15-20-rep-range sessions. We're talking Dorian Yates-style, murdering-your-muscles-type workouts.
But you can leave these words at the door: huge, jacked, massive, behemoth-like, etc. No, this meal plan is geared toward keeping your body fat low while you build a solid physique like the guys you see on the cover of Iron Man-much like the BodySpace spokesmodels Ben Booker and Steve Cook.
Here's a note for women: Don't be afraid to try this meal plan! If you've been working out for a while, doing mostly cardio, don't you think it's time to push your physique to the next level? The hottest bodies out there weren't crafted on the treadmill: they're sculpted with iron through weight training. You won't get bulky on a meal plan like this. Granted, you probably won't lose fat, but you'll be able to fuel hardcore workouts and chisel out a toned, shapely physique.
As before, if you weigh more or less than 180 pounds, tailor the calories and nutrients to fit your specific needs. But remember, this meal plan is meant to be slightly more than you need so that your muscles can take that fuel, rebuild, and grow.
- Calories: 3149
- Fats: 84g
- Protein: 290g
- Carbs: 308g
Goal No. 3: Improve Your Game and Lean Out for the Season
The last meal plan is designed for athletes. Whether you're dream is to go pro or improve your hops for a local 3-on-3 basketball tournament, you're going to need a special meal plan.
You should be training in the weight room, practicing sports-specific skills, and being in the game to top it off. You're going to need a lot of fuel, especially a boost of carbs, to keep up, keep recovering, and lean out to look your best.
Men and women can follow a similar meal plan to support athletic performance as well as healthy fat loss. The calorie count and nutrient break down is appropriate for a 150-pound athlete performing six to eight total training and workout sessions per week. As always, adjust your caloric intake if you weigh more or less than 150 pounds.
- Calories: 2232
- Fats: 41.5g
- Protein: 177.5 g
- Carbs: 287 g
So next time you're feeling confused as to what you should eat to achieve your goals, refer to the above meal plans for a quick guide. You can use the calorie counts, measurements, and meal frequency as a base and then fill out the menu with your favorite healthy foods.
Read a lot of food labels and nutrition facts to make sure you keep the ideal ratio of clean proteins, carbs, and healthy fats. And share the wealth! If you know someone struggling to come up with a nutrition plan for their fat loss, muscle building, or improving at a sport goal, you can be their diet lifesaver!