Remember when I told you that bodybuilders are obsessed with their food?  It’s not just a source of pleasure – which it is because I’ve learned to love this food – it’s my FUEL.  What I eat, when I eat, and how much I eat, makes a huge difference in how I’m able to train and the progress I can make.

When I look back at my food journal for the last few weeks, it looks like I kept my daily calories about the same, but I cycled the carbs based on my workouts.  This day had about 100 grams of carbs and that would be a “moderate” carb day for me right now.  (Important: 100 grams is considered a low amount of carbs for most people.  I feel good at this level and have been eating like this for a long time. )  Most days are moderate for me.  There will be one sucky low carb day (50 grams or less) on a rest day and one high carb ‘reload’ day (250-300 grams) about once every two weeks.  I schedule a reload day to be when I have a more intense workout planned- like a leg day or a dead lift day.  On a reload day, the food is pretty much the same, but I add in more pasta or bread to increase the carb grams.  I eat for maintenance on that day, which means calories in = calories burned.  Every other day, there is a calorie deficit.

I’m sharing a “moderate” day of food with you.

Breakfast: 6 egg whites scrambled with Mrs. Dash Tomato-Basil-Garlic (my favorite), 1 slice Ezekiel bread with 1 tablespoon fresh ground almond butter, 1/2 cup strawberries

 299 calories, 29.5 g protein, 25.2 g carbs, 9.3 g fat

 Morning  (post-workout) Snacks 1, 2, & 3: Whey Protein Shake, 1/2 grapefruit with 1 packet of Stevia, and 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (forgot to take a pic of the cottage cheese)  These are eaten at different times.  After I lift, I get HUNGRY so I spread the food out to fool myself into thinking I’m eating a lot.

248 calories, 36.2 g protein, 17.4 g carbs, 3.9 g fat

Lunch: 4 ounces chicken breast, a plate of mixed spring lettuce and spinach (I don’t measure lettuce), 1/4 avocado, 1 ounce red bell pepper, 1 tablespoon organic roasted red pepper dressing

338 calories, 41.9 g protein, 8.6 g carbs, 15.1 g fat

Afternoon (pre-workout) Snack: an apple with low fat string cheese (almonds would have been a better choice, but I was craving cheese)

151.4 calories, 8.3 g protein, 22 g carbs, 4.5 g fat

Drive home as fast as possible for post-workout meal…

Dinner (last meal before bed, usually around 6 pm): 2.5 ounces ground beef patty (85% lean), 1/4 avocado, 1 tablespoon feta cheese, 1/2 plate of mixed spring lettuce and spinach, 1 teaspoon raw sunflower kernels, 1 tablespoon roasted red pepper dressing, chocolate protein smoothie

609.3 calories, 61.3 g protein, 23.4 g carbs, 35.7 g fat

(FYI – about half of those calories came from the protein smoothie.  It’s got a bunch of goodness in it for my muscle recovery over night.)

OK, so that’s one of my days.  So far, so good.  Over the last few months, I’ve been losing fat and gaining muscle with the food plan I’ve put together.  Over the last two weeks, I’ve lost 6 pounds. After being stalled for a while, something has changed.  Sleep? Body composition?  Metabolism?  Don’t know.  As the show date gets closer, I’m prepared to make the changes necessary.  I’ve always said that I wanted to be as healthy as possible as long as possible, but assumed “scary” diet would have to kick in around 8 weeks out.  Today is 8 weeks and 5 days, so I’ll be researching this week about what needs to happen over the next two months.   As long as I’m losing weight and still setting PR’s with most of my lifts, I’m assuming everything is on track for right now.

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