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    Theres no doubt that everyone that came to this site with one thing in mind. Steroids! I want to get big and i want to get lean! Well I hate to burst your bubble, but steroids are just the tip of the ice burg. They're like the topper on the top of a Christmas tree. Makes it look pretty, but without a tree, you just have an ornament. The tree? The tree is food. Its the most basic, yet most important, building block in body building. To continue my Christmas tree analogy, nutrition is the base (tree), then you have the lights (training), and finally the topper (AAS). Sure, each one on its own can be pretty, but if you want that WOW factor u have to have all three. And the base (nutrition) is what i want to cover here. Its not going to be super technical and most of it is experienced base with a side of scientific study. Its an overview of how you should not only eat, but think, and live.

    First thing you need to do is find a starting point. People new to the sport or lifestyle in general typically fail because they don't know where to start, get overwhelmed and just quit. I don't want that to happen, so I'm going to simply put you on the starting line and point you in the right direction. To get started your going to really need just two stats.

    1. Body weight.

    2. Estimation of your body fat percentage.

    You can use this template to decide, or post pictures in the forum to let others help you determine your body fat percentage. And don't be timid, no one knows you here and we don't care what you look like, only that you're improving.


    Once you've gotten those two stats, we can figure out at what your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). Now you can get this number from doing all sorts of calculations of several different formulas and they will all come out different. I personally like to use a very simple one to put us in a ballpark (because that's really all this is, a good guess at best).

    1 - figure out your lean body mass (LBM)

    example stats:
    body weight: 200 lbs
    body fat percentage: 15%

    200lbs x .85 = 170lbs lbm

    then use this formula:
    LBM x 15 = ?
    170 x 15 = 2550 calories <---these are your maintenance calories, you should neither lose or gain weight.

    This should be a good place for you to start. You may need to adjust this if you have an abnormally fast or slow metabolism. I recommend someone that is unfamiliar with this to put together a diet (Ill get to that in a little bit), let it be critiqued and tweaked in the forum and run these calls CONSISTENTLY for about a month to see if it is a good baseline. If you are accustomed to eating junk and drinking sodas, you might want to give it a hair longer. switching to clean food (even with equal calories) will cause you to lose weight almost instantly. After the (possibly drastic) weight change, keep a log for the next few weeks and chart the weigh changes. If its +/- a few pounds your good to go, if its +/- 5 pounds, add or subtract 500 calories and 500 cals for each additional 5 pounds there after and that should get you in a pretty decent starting range for your goals.

    You should also have a definitive goal in mind. Nothing will hinder progress more then being wishy washy and switching between cutting fat and trying to put on size every few weeks. That will get you no where fast! In a caloric sense, for you to cut weight you have to be in a hypo caloric state. Meaning you have to be consuming less calories then you burn. for putting on mass, you must be in a hyper caloric state, consuming more calories then you burn. A good starting point for fat loss is around a 500 cal deficit. Meaning if your maintenance cals are 2550, you need to have a caloric intake of about 2050. As far as putting on mass, until you really get the in's and out's of nutrition down, I like to see people start out with a caloric surplus of about 300 (2550+300=2850 cals). This will add mass a little bit slower, but be much leaner gains.

    Whichever your goal, I'm a believer in your results being directly correlated with the food that you put in your body. Eat junk, your results will be junk. Great food choices, great results. There are so many conflicting ideas on nutrition these day that it can be overwhelming on what food choices to make, and what advice to take. My thought on this is; sure there may be a chance you can eat not so "clean" foods and get results, BUT eating clean is PROVEN by RESULTS. Body builders for decades have eaten primarily clean foods, in my eyes, that's no coincidence. And personally, I really don't care what a nutrition study says, what I care about is RESULTS! My macro split (we will get into that here in just a sec.) is some what unorthodox. I've had plenty of people tell me your crazy, you'll never see results with that diet and this study says so! Well over the past couple years since I've been experimenting and perfecting my diet, I arrived at this nutritional plan, and for those that have known me over the past several months can attest to the changes that have occurred to my body. Which leads me to stress that there is not one diet, one macro split, or one set of foods that will work for everyone. Those that insist so, don't know their ass from a hole in the ground!

    Ahhh...the illustrious macro split...

    What is a macro split? It's the percentage value assigned to your three macronutrients. Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat. Usually in this form, 50/30/20(hypothetical numbers), 50 being 50% of your caloric intake is from protein. 30% of your caloric intake is from carbohydrates and 20% from fats. Now usually the amounts of the macronutrients on nutritional labels are in grams (g). To be able to come up with this you have to know three values. read them...learn them...write them down...memorize them...i don't care, but you will need these three numbers on a regular basis.

    1 gram of protein = 4 calories
    1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
    1 gram of fat = 9 calories

    Now were not going to pull this macro percentage out of the sky, if u did that might as well not utilize it!

    Lets start with protein. I like to see 1.5g of protein per pound of LBM if training naturally, slightly higher if utilizing steroids. Well use the lbm from above. 170 x 1.5 = 255g of protein. 255g x 4 calories = 1020 calories. You should be getting 1020 calories of your diet from protein. Which is 40% (1020/2050 = .40). So the first number in your macro split should be 40%


    The protein portion is not that hot of a topic, but the next two numbers are. Should you have high carbs and low fats, or low carbs high fats. Well the definitive answer is, that's up to your body and how it reacts and partially depending on your goals. I'm a believer that once you get your diet dialed in to suite your body you can both bulk and cut with the same diet and just a calorie increase/decrease to a certain extent. Once you get down into single digits, and possibly low double digits for some, its harder to lose fat and most definitely harder to maintain that level of body fat. That however, is a talk for a different day.

    A safe place to start on the carbohydrate/fat split is 40% carbs and 20% fats. You cant start at 30/30 because if your not losing weight while cutting or gaining fat while bulking, you don't know if its the carbs or fats causing it. I particularly don't like to use the scale as a judgment of progress, sometimes it gives a false perception of what's happening. You can be maintaining a steady weight but loosing body fat and gaining muscle. I prefer visual cues and measurements vs. scale. Ok, enough of that tangent, back to splits. You figure out your carbs and fats just like the protein. Monitor your results for at least a month before you change your plan. If you feel like your not progressing, change it up. And don't be afraid to ask for help on what to do. It's just not possible for me to go over all of the scenarios and variables that should be taken into account. This is just an overall guide to point a noob in the right direction.

    Now you know how many calories you need and how to figure up a macronutrient split now you just need to find good food sources that fit into this plan. This will take time and can be tedious but is a necessary evil. I have found that to stay consistent at first its best to figure out an exact diet plan and eat the same thing every day or if you really want to put the time in you can figure something out for each day of the week (tried that, sucks lol). Over time you will be able to figure out a suitable substitute on the fly. I still eat the same thing every day because its easier, becomes habit and is much easier for me to stay consistent. There is a sticky with useful foods for a bodybuilder and they are all great places to start when implementing your diet.

    Now you know what to eat, but theres still the question of when to eat. Another hotly debated topic. Some nutritional say you can eat one meal a day and get all your calories in and if your still in a deficit or surplus, you will lose weight or gain mass. Then, there are some that say you should eat every few hours for optimal results. Again, I've seen compelling arguments on each, and have come to the conclusion that it does not need to be taken to extremes on either accounts and meal frequency should be somewhere in the middle and based off of what is going to keep you the most consistent. For example when I'm in a mass adding phase, i will eat 4 or 5 meals a day because if I eat 7-8 meals a day I'm constantly full and get miserable around the 6th meal and don't want to eat anymore. But if I have time between the meals I have no problem scarffing down 4 or 5 meals of 800 to 1000 calories. But when I'm trying to shed fat I'm eating substantially less calories and if I eat 4 or 5 meals I'll feel hungry in between meals and end up eating more then I should. Where as if I eat more meals, I have the mental illusion of eating more, while eating less! So I feel that as long as your not taking things to extremes and staying consistent with your needed caloric intake and macros then you will be successful.

    I would like to stress that proper dieting is probably the HARDEST part of this sport or lifestyle. It will take time to adapt and to perfect your technique, but your results will be exponentially greater with good sound nutrition.

  • #2
    ill be the first to admit, im no professional writer and there are probably plenty of mistakes in here. but the nutrition forum was looking grim, so i thought id put something up for someone that is new to nutrition and get them headed in the right direction.


    • #3
      This is a very good post, I am stickying this thread. Great general starter information for those who need to understand the basics and fundamentals of diet, and how to adjust it to achieve desired results.
      Chief writer for
      Formerly known as Atomini the world's largest informational resource on anabolic steroids and all things performance enhancing drug related!
      "Strongest minds are often those whom the noisy world hears least" - William Wordsworth


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dan C View Post
        This is a very good post, I am stickying this thread. Great general starter information for those who need to understand the basics and fundamentals of diet, and how to adjust it to achieve desired results.
        Thanks, if there's anything I didn't touch on that you think should have been touched on, let me know. It was an off the top of the head kinda thing.


        • #5
          Very sexual. I enjoyed the read... Funny how none of us thought to tell people that nutrition is #1 lol


          • #6
            Why am I looking forward to christmas so soon? Really good read TroN. Very informative.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mini-G View Post
              Very sexual. I enjoyed the read... Funny how none of us thought to tell people that nutrition is #1 lol
              It's because all of us "founding members" are no stranger to the game. We know and we take it for granted, but some people have no idea where to even start and I know those people will come along sooner then we think. Now we can refer instead of retype the same thing over and over again lol


              • #8
                Originally posted by warmouth View Post
                Why am I looking forward to christmas so soon? Really good read TroN. Very informative.
                Thanks, I tried to stay unbiased to all of the nutrition tactics there are and give the vitals that they all have in common and a basic structure for someone that's at the beginning of their transformation that will show progress.


                • #9
                  Absolutely brilliant, well done and thank-you.