Muscle Building Foods For Skinny Guys: Sample Meal Plan

By Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle Building.

Yesterday I shared the rules and protocols behind my muscle building diet and today we’re going to show you the muscle building foods with a sample meal plan.  Be sure to read yesterday’s blog post before this one.  Don’t worry about the portion sizes of the meals, which are details provided in the muscle building diet post. Instead, understand the logic behind each decision.

Meal 1: The Meat & Nuts Breakfast (Protein + Fats + Veggies) 

8 oz of buffalo patties + 2 whole organic eggs + spinach and tomatoes + 1 oz of mixed nuts.

The logic: The single best dietary tip I learned in 2011 to optimize leanness, energy and concentration is rotating different meats and nuts for breakfast.  This foods combination is excellent for controlling blood sugar levels via the meat and nuts combination. Everyone I’ve spoken to reports improved mental focus and energy instead of the typical high carb breakfast.  Rotate your meats and nuts every few days.  Turkey, chicken, venison, buffalo, ground beef, sirloin or wild game are great. Rotate your nut sources from almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts and brazil nuts.  I add two whole organic eggs and veggies and hot sauce for taste.  This breakfast takes less than five minutes to prepare and has become one of my staples for managing leanness and work productivity.                    

Meal 2: First Pre Workout Meal (Protein + Carbs) 

8 oz of  white fish + 1.5 c ups of quinoa salad (veggies, curry, sun dried tomatoes) + zucchini

The logic: A “pre workout meal” consisting of proteins + carbs does not need to be the meal closest to your workout as many assume. When the fuel is in your muscles, it’s in your muscles. It does not disappear unless you deplete it with activity.  Although I train after my third meal, I have my protein + carbs meal as meal 2, not meal 3.  I rarely ever consume carbs the meal immediately before I train (I’ll explain why below) but instead I consume my carbohydrates 2-4 hours before I train.  This provides more time for my body to completely absorb the nutrients and be available for my workout.

Meal 3: Second Pre Workout Meal (Protein + Veggies) 

4 oz of chicken + 1 cup of egg whites + veggies

The logic: Notice their are no carbs in my pre workout meal. Why? For once, I already consumed them in meal two and by now they are completely absorbed and digested and ready to utilize.   Two, I want high levels of focus, drive and a positive mood and carbs can leave you drowsy and sluggish. Think about the last time you had a huge carb meal before you trained. I bet you were yawning your entire way through the workout.   I find the more focused you are during your workout, the more intensity you can create.

Meal 4: Workout Supplements 

Starting 30 minutes into the workout:

30-60 grams of carb powder + 20 grams of BCAA + 20 grams of Glutamine + 5 grams of creatine + 5 grams of D-Ribose (Sometimes arginine & beta-alanine)

The logic: Liquid carbs provide a fast source of energy and spike insulin to blunt cortisol.  Insulin sensitivity is increased during a workout so we can shuttle nutrients like amino acids and recovery agents to promote muscle growth, energy and recovery.

Immediately after the workout I consume 30-40 grams of protein powder and 1-2 scoops of greens powder.  I never mix my amino acids with protein powder since amino acids are absorbed quicker and I don’t want the aminos to be competing with the protein powder for absorption.  The greens powder combats the acidity produced after a workout and it’s not very practical to eat a huge greens salad on the drive home.

I like rotating my supplements just like I rotate my muscle building foods. The elite line of supplements are Blue Star Nutraceuticals.

First Post Workout Meal (Protein + Carbs + Veggies) 

8 oz of white fish + 2 cups of brown rice + 1 cup of green beans

The logic: I eat a fast-digesting protein always after a workout. Does it make sense to eat a protein source that takes a long time to get into your muscles?  No! I want a fast uptake and protein digested into my system which is why I would never eat a fattier protein like steak, eggs or salmon after a workout.  I normally have sweet potatoes post workout and try not to eat the same carb source more than twice a day but today is an exception.  Slow digesting wild rice for energy and minor insulin spike to move the fish into my muscles.  I don’t go crazy with greens during my first post workout because they can slow digestion and sometimes fill you up too fast preventing you from finishing your protein and carbs.  I always have 5 grams (at least) of high quality fish oils with my post workout meal.  This amount of fat post workout is acceptable. Notice we don’t consume a large amount of fats post workout.


Second Post Workout Meal (Protein + Carbs + Veggies)  

4 oz of chicken + 4 oz of sirloin + 4 oz of mahi mahi (white fish) + 1 cup of brown rice + 1 cup of broccoli

The logic:  Athletes who rotate their protein sources report increased energy levels and lessened requirements for sleep.The problem with consuming the typical “bodybuilder diet” of beef, eggs, diary and protein shakes is that when you consume the same protein foods over and over, you are limited by the weakest amino acid in any one protein.

The brown rice is a complex carbohydrate that contains fiber and other nutrients to slow digestion and these carbs will help restore muscle glycogen that was depleted while you workout .  Carbs create a insulin spike to help move nutrients into the muscle tissue quicker too. The vegetables help slow digestion further and provide a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  I always have at least 5 grams of fish oils in both of my post workout meals to reduce inflammation as well.

Final Meal of The Day (Fattier Meat + Fats + Veggies)

12 oz steak + 2 cups of green beans + 2 oz of avocado or mixed nuts (not showing)

The logic: 2-3 hours leading up to bed we want insulin levels controlled and a slow and steady release of energy to our muscles while we sleep. This calls for long-lasting and slow-releasing foods like a fattier piece of meat such as a steak or salmon.  Combining nuts or avocado will slow the rise in blood sugar even further and the veggies will add extra fiber to allow for a steady release of nutrients while you sleep.  Unless you train in the evening, avoiding carbs before bed is an excellent method to optimize leanness.

 

Above is what I would consider a perfect day of execution for my muscle building diet. Portion sizes will change based on my current level of leanness, training intensity and volume. Unless my training time changes, this is how my muscle building foods and muscle building diet looks except I rotate the food sources from day to day. If I’m not growing at the rate I prefer I look at adding 25% more carbs to meal two, the carb powder and first post workout meal.  That will usually kick start some new muscle growth. The beauty of having a muscle building meal plan is the framework it provides. I can add or subtract portion sizes based on whether I’m gaining my 2-4 pounds of muscle each month.

NOTICE: I understand this meal plan might look “impossible” for a normal human to follow but I can reassure you that if you take a One Meal At A Time approach to consuming and preparing your meals, it’s possible. And I understand there are no fancy recipes and this muscle building diet only contains the “bare essentials.”  Stay tuned for next week as I start sharing some delicious muscle building recipes that contain extra super foods and spices to make your cooking super tasty.

Class dismissed. Questions? Comments?  Post below and if that was helpful, hit the LIKE button!  Thank you.

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Comments

163 thoughts on “Muscle Building Foods For Skinny Guys: Sample Meal Plan

  1. Now you may ask “Why do some cattle not have horns?” Well one way to have cows do not have horns is to remove the horns. This is usually done at an early age and the horn “root” has to be removed or the horn will grow back.

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  2. Oh my God. I thought building muscle is just as easy as I thought. It’s also very costly especially in the supplements. It really takes dedication in order to achieve your desired physique. case colombia

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  3. vince,

    thanks for the help you give to people. you seem like a good dude!

    i have been bulking for a little over 3 mo. i have gained 28 lbs. being a hardgainer im real happy with that but now im not happy with my extra fat around the waist (not alot but still). here is a example of my diet.(i train 4 to 5 days a week)

    i have a veggies shake like you made on your video before i eat.

    1.6 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 1/2 cups dry oats.vitamin pack
    2.1 1/2 cups cottage chesse 2 to 3 slices of toast w/almond butter, banana.
    3.pre workout. 1 1/2 cups brown rice, 10 oz turkey
    4. durnig workout. cr8,virtigo,bbca’s.
    5.12oz chicken breast 2 cups quinoa, vitamin pack
    6.a protein and carb.

    im going to swicth to your recommended no carb breakfast and last meal. but then i guess i would have to increase my carbs in my other 4 meals? how many grams of carbs shld i eat? i weight 188 now.

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  4. Hi Vince!
    I usually make two workouts per day (AM and PM). They are very short in time (30min max, no more free time). What about the workout supplementation?
    In 30min I’m finished so, what I do with the carbs, glutamine, etc? What happens if there is only one short workout in a day?

    Best regards

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  5. Hey Vince,
    Great Article, a few questions that I don’t think I saw up there. I only eat chicken and fish, mostly Tilapia for the fish. What other protein sources do you recommend, not a huge salmon fan, unless its canned (I know, weird). Also I train first thing in the morning at 4:30.

    I usually don’t eat and will have a protein shake with unsweetened almond milk and a jar of baby food fruit mixed in. Then I’ll have canned salmon with oats.

    How should I change that up, I can scrap the oatmeal no prob, but should my meals be different since i train early.

    At night I’ll have either a protein shake with 1 Tblsp. Sunflower seed or almond butter, or Ill have a large salad with 3 oz chicken and 2 oz avocado.

    Im a 22 year old female, at 111 lbs, not trying to lose, but gain some more nice muscle.

    Thanks!!!!!

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  6. Vince,
    There have been some discussion on L Citrulline in place of L Arginine, one seller claiming that Citrulline is better. What is your opinion on this? Citrulline is more expensive, but would enough Arginine to do the job be cheaper than Citrulline? What about mixing in a modicul of Citrulline with the Arginine?

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  7. Could I have chicken thighs no skin and grilled in a foreman in the first post workout me post workout meal if I have oats and whey postworkout? Budget doesn’t allow for chicken breast or Carb powder. P.s any really cheap lean proteins.

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    • This diet works I have been training for a long time and I know what works and what doesn’t(for me any way). I eat six times a day and generally eat then Protein shake then eat then protein shake, so I eat 3 or 4 times then have 2 or 3 shakes.

      I tend to have Tuna or chicken and Rice(tuna being cheaper to buy) egg whites, and rolled oats.

      So typically my meal plan is:
      1) Protein shake
      2) 6 egg whites and rolled oats
      Workout
      3) Protein shake after workout
      4) Tuna or Chicken and Rice
      5) Tuna or Chicken and Rice
      6) Protein Shake
      Bed.
      I may add some spices to the tuna as it tastes like cat food

      Now for the cost, I don’t know about America or Canada as I live in England so these are the prices where I live: There is a shop called Aldi that sells:
      Tuna for 0.55p / and Rice that comes in a box of 4 boil in the Bag portions for 0.55p (0.14p a portion) Also they sell pre cooked chicken for £1.99 for 400g (2 portions)
      Also at Aldi they do a 1kg of rolled oats for 0.99p
      A shop called asda that sells 30 eggs for £ 2.50
      I buy a 5kg Tub of whey protein from the Internet for £40.00, it has 40g of protein per 50g serving, Making it 0.50p per serving, its called Anabolic Whey. (Cheap protein but good)

      So Costing:
      Meal:
      1) 0.50p
      2) 0.57p (0.50p for the eggs and 0.07p for the oats
      3) 0.50p
      4) 0.69p add 0.50p if you have chicken
      5) 0.69p
      6) 0.50p
      Total: £ 3.45 a day

      Obviously this is very basic but it does work and when I have extra cash I will eat more chicken than Tuna. I may also have a Banana or 2 with the Protein shake.

      Hope this Helps

      Kind Regards

      Neil Wareing

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  8. Hi Vince, i’m curious, whats the total amount of calories would i be getting in a day by following the exact meal plan?

    You rock,

    Ahmad

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  9. Hi Vince
    I got another question. Why i dont see u eat cottage chesse or low fat quark or joghurt. Is it because it stores water in the body or u dont like it?

    Balthasar

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  10. How do those of us that get our workouts in the morning adjust this meal plan to gain its benefits?

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  11. Hey Vince,
    Do you honestly use “Prograde” supps?
    BTW Great job on your programs bud! Personally loved the nutrition! You really hit “your target” hardgainer market! VERY effective! I’ve a million more questions..

    Cheers brother

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    • Hey Jimmy.

      You’re funny. I rotate my supplements. What I DO use of theirs all the time is their Krill Oil. Excellent product.

      I’ll be honest, when I’m in contest mode, I use other stuff.

      Prograde is good for the majority of the population which is why I recommend them to my readers.

      If you got a bigger budget…. I like Life Extension, Blue Star and Charles Poliquin’s stuff. Always go pharmaceutical grade if you can.

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  12. hey Vince
    When do u do only cardio what do u eat after and before? should i use the suplements u mention in your book?

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  13. hey just one other question!

    should the meal plans change at all on off days on the “primer” and “overload” phase program? (21 days to mass) thanks! :)

    Tony

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  14. hi Vince
    i can see there are two differents answear for the question of people who train early in the morning, in one u said we have P and C and the other P and V. what is the difference?which one is more apropiated?
    thank u master

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  15. Vince,

    1. Where do you buy your supplements in bulk from?
    2. What are natural simple sugar sources to eat after a workout?

    Thanks.

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  16. Hey Vinny,

    What if all your Workouts are at 7:00 Everynite Mon -Fri.. How Would You Lay Your Eating Out Then..

    Thanks Dr. Mark

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  17. Hi Vince! Good Post!
    I use you NNMB as my guide for nutrition and routines. I observe slight differences between your book and this meal plan sample. In te book you recommend to take P+C+F for two meals post workout, but in your sample you don’t take fats in those meals. I assume your sample is better choice. Have you thought about the idea of publishing a NNMB updated (nutrition/routines)?
    Another thing that i don’t see in your meal plan are fruits. Do you take them? Only Vegg are enough? What kind of fruits can we take pre/post workout?
    Tnahk you for your time and for sharing your knowledge.

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  18. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but here it goes.

    This diet works I have been training for a long time and I know what works and what doesn’t(for me any way). I eat six times a day and generally eat then Protein shake then eat then protein shake, so I eat 3 or 4 times then have 2 or 3 shakes.

    I tend to have Tuna or chicken and Rice(tuna being cheaper to buy) egg whites, and rolled oats.

    So typically my meal plan is:
    1) Protein shake
    2) 6 egg whites and rolled oats
    Workout
    3) Protein shake after workout
    4) Tuna or Chicken and Rice
    5) Tuna or Chicken and Rice
    6) Protein Shake
    Bed.
    I may add some spices to the tuna as it tastes like cat food

    Now for the cost, I don’t know about America or Canada as I live in England so these are the prices where I live: There is a shop called Aldi that sells:
    Tuna for 0.55p / and Rice that comes in a box of 4 boil in the Bag portions for 0.55p (0.14p a portion) Also they sell pre cooked chicken for £1.99 for 400g (2 portions)
    Also at Aldi they do a 1kg of rolled oats for 0.99p
    A shop called asda that sells 30 eggs for £ 2.50
    I buy a 5kg Tub of whey protein from the Internet for £40.00, it has 40g of protein per 50g serving, Making it 0.50p per serving, its called Anabolic Whey. (Cheap protein but good)

    So Costing:
    Meal:
    1) 0.50p
    2) 0.57p (0.50p for the eggs and 0.07p for the oats
    3) 0.50p
    4) 0.69p add 0.50p if you have chicken
    5) 0.69p
    6) 0.50p
    Total: £ 3.45 a day

    Obviously this is very basic but it does work and when I have extra cash I will eat more chicken than Tuna. I may also have a Banana or 2 with the Protein shake.

    Hope this Helps

    Kind Regards

    Neil Wareing

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  19. hi vince
    for people who train early in the morning u post 2 differentes comments. one you said we should eat P and V and the other you said P and C.what is the difference?dont get it

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  20. Hi Vince,
    Just wondering if you could post a time that you take your meals and workout.
    Thanks a lot for the great info.

    Daylon.

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  21. Hey Vince, what do you mean with: Meal 4: Workout Supplements Starting 30 minutes into the workout – 30-60 grams of carb powder + 20 grams of BCAA + 20 grams of Glutamine + 5 grams of creatine + 5 grams of D-Ribose (Sometimes arginine & beta-alanine)!
    Does that mean I shall take these supplements 30 minutes before the workout or 30 minutes after I have started workout? Sorry, I do not understand the “into” as it is not my mother tongue.

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    • “Into” the workout… ! After 30 minutes of your workouts. Get it?

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  22. Hey Vince, thanks for sharing your meal plan with us, thats awsome info, but i am veg which meal plan sutebal for me

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    • What are you eating now?

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  23. Vince, when you in your meal plan that you have a 12oz steak for instance, is that the cooked amount of it? Or uncooked amount? Just making sure cuz the portions seem large for one sitting? Hopefully youy can clarify this for all your protein portions. Thanks.

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    • Already answered this many times below bro.

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  24. great info Vince; however, I see no mention of fruits: grapefruit, oranges, bananas, apples, berries, etc which are filled with antioxidants, fiber and other health promoting properties.

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    • So what? Fruit is over rated. Get all those amazing nutrients from vegetable and control your sugars better.

      Nothing “wrong” with fruit if you want a “strong and healthy” looking body.

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  25. Hi Vince,
    Great article I just have one quick question. Some sites/athletes strongly recommend consuming casein protein before bed to feed your body over night, yet some (like yourself) don’t. Why is this?
    Thanks
    Dave

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    • Probably because they are linked to a supplement company that sells casein powder…

      Again, liquids are great for super skinny guys who can’t gain weight…. Alternating liquid and whole food meals as prescribe in NNMB is acceptable.

      More than one shake a day for any other reason is just telling me you’re LAZY or have a bad habit.

      Break it.

      Fast.

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      • um not really maybe we have to work and no time for cooking all those food but anyway just a question so all the mmeals plans fron NNMB and SIX PACK are useless now? those was alot of shakes and 2 snacks a day and alot of fruits. oh and Do you know Kirk Fontenot? what do you think about his nutrition of course if you know?

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  26. Hey Vince,
    In Stage Shredded Status you say that you take your BCAA and glutamine shake 30 minutes into your workout, but then you take another shake at the end of your workout with a protein shake about 15 minutes later. Is this more optimal than taking the one shake with the equal quantities as the one?

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    • BCAA and gluatamine are pre digested and absorbed faster and digested almost instantly.

      Throwing some gluatmine in with your protein shake is not a big deal…. i try not to take BCAA with protein powder or they compete for absorption…. seperate them.

      Keep in mind…. these are TINY LITTLE TRICKS…. they are not ‘make or break’ concepts UNLESS you’re a professional bodybuilder or competitor.

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      • Hey Vince when you said to separate the protein powder from all the other supplements like creatine BCAA and so on separeta like take them on different times of just not to mixed them together? cuz i saw one of your videos while you was showing how to make protein shakes and you was mixing protein powders with creatine and some other supplements?

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  27. I’ve been eating steak and eggs for breakfast with 2 cups of broccoli and a serving of nuts and I love the way it makes me feel. . . that was one of the best tips I ever got bro, thanks. I’ve been using dextrose lately for my mid workout and post workout shake and it makes me feel sick to my stomach every time and fucks up my appetite for the post workout meal so i ditched that strategy because I’d rather be able to eat a good meal post workout. Do you still use dextrose or is there another carb source you use that doesn’t make you feel like crap in those shakes?

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    • Hey Brian just read below he uses Vitargo and Karbolyn instead of dextrose.

      oly

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    • Brian

      Start taking HCL after your workout… will boost your appetitive.

      It’s normal to get bloated after using the same carb source all the time as you experienced.

      That’s why i say – ROTATE. Gatorade, karbolyn, Vitargo and now I’m trying out Charle’s poliquin’s stuff called Quadricarb which is 4 different carb sources in one.

      Just use your sugars on your back and leg days. BIG days.

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  28. Hi Vince, apologies if this has already been asked but what does the nutrition breakdown look like in terms of total calories, protein, carbs and fats consumed with the above plan.

    Kind regards

    oly

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  29. Vince, what would be diet for a diabetic person.

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    • Samuel. Diet above is fine.

      In fact, ALL humans should eat like diabetics in the first place.

      Just cut out the sugars.

      And please consult with your dietician. I’m not a doctor or a dietician.

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  30. I really would love to eat as much as that but the problem is that my appetite does not cooperate with my eating plans. How can I boost my appetite to the maximum level? Do you have any suggestions on how to boost my appetite? I’ll be waiting for your response. Thank you.

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  31. Vince,

    What to do for us vegetarians out there? What’s the appropriate way to eat for mass muscle gain for us vegetarians? You got any great resources for me on that…would love to invest in the right nutritional guidance for my circumstances.

    Cheers man!

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  32. Look like à Poliquin meal’s plan … :)

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    • I’m actually spending the next FIVE days here in Rhode Island getting some exclusive coaching with Charles Poliquin. Pakulski and I are here together… going to be intense!

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      • im vegeterian kindly tell me about vegeterian diet polan

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  33. Hi Vince,

    Great to be your fan from long time and I hope this article would bring some change in me.

    I have problem Vince, I’m not sure whether i’m suffering with any worms in stomach because I’m not growing my weight at all even I have been eating a lot of meat and protein.I have got checked with many doctors everyone ruled it out.

    Would you please suggest me how to proceed, I’m unable to take decision what to do next?

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    • Could be SO many different factors….

      Try adding one freebie meal a day. Anything goes. See if that helps.

      Then find out if you have any food allergies…

      Again, hard to say.

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  34. hey vince is it bad to have good fats before a workout i think u said that before in ur livin large season just maikn sure bro im just confused lol

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    • Having some fish oils before you train is no big deal…. No more than 10 grams of fat (minimal to none is better)

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  35. Hi Vince,
    Great informative post. So much insight is gained from when to eat protein/fats/carbs in relation to training and individual goals, it would be great if you could do the same for fat loss goals.

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    • Hi Sue.

      It’s actually all the same for fat loss. Nothing changes. Calories and portion sizes are just lower.

      Why would you change your food sources… and strategies when it comes to fat loss?

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      • Hi Vince,

        Thanks for the response. I understand that the food souces wouldn’t change for fat loss…. it just seemed like a lot of food so wasn’t sure if I needed to eliminate a meal to help reduce calories.

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  36. Vince, this looks good but very different to FMB nutrtion. Do you recommend this plan for an afternoon workout time over the fmb nutrition where carbs are eaten at breakfast and at the first pre workout meal? And do you recommend any different nutrion timing choices in the primer phase? Cheers

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    • Fred,

      Good question… I’ve answered this many times. Carbs in the morning is not “bad” but no carbs in the morning helps optimize leanness by controlling blood sugar levels.

      The answer comes down to your level of leanness. If you’re trying to lose weight, no carbs in the morning is a better approach. If you’re super lean and trying to gain muscle weight, carbs in the morning is fine.

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  37. Hi Vince,

    What uf your not skinny but muscular and want to put on more solid muscle…Can you still use this type of meal plan?

    Also, how coudl u modify this on non workout days?

    and can you take casein in your last meal pre bed? instead of the meat?

    Thanks

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    • Mak.
      1. yes
      2. eat the same one off days
      3. sure… but not as optimal

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  38. Hey Vince can you make any suggestions I am trying to gain muscle and have been 176-180lbs. for about 4 years now 8 % body fat (6 pack status). I have a meso-ecto body type, and a very high metabolism. The workout I do right now is Mike Gillets Savage strength full body workout monday, wed and fri. Any suggestions would be appreciated my brotha. I have not been taking my fish oil but I usually take 3 capsule in the morning. And take prograde protein, but going to switch to blue star.

    meal 1: 2 whole organic eggs, 1/2 cup egg whites, 3 pieces of Turkey bacon, sometimes a little avocado and 1/2 a grapefruit with athletic greens supplement for my multi vitamin

    meal 2: depends but chobani yogurt with hand full of brazil nuts or spinach salad + spring green leaves + cut up cucumber and cherry tomatoes + turkey squares or some source of protein

    meal 3: depends but tuna in a bag + fruit or a Dales raw foods protein bar consisting of 22 g protein

    meal 4:protein shake + fruits + 1 hand full of baby carrots + might add some almond butter

    meal 5: some source of animal meat like chicken, salmon or tilapia + a huge serving of veggies and typically 1/2 avocado.

    meal 6: 2% cottage cheese + raw honey and brazil nuts

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    • Hey Jordan.

      A few things.

      1. try fish or chicken or turkey instead of yogurt for meal 2.

      2. tuna is okay but chicken, turkey or white fish would be better for meal 3

      3. you don’t have many complex carbs at all. Add 1 cup of rice before you train and 8 oz of yams/potatoes after your train.

      4. cottage cheese is okay every once and a while but eating some salmon or beef for meal 6 will make a big difference.

      You’re doing great bud!

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  39. Hi Vince thanks for the insight to your diet, could you expand on why you replied to Miguel that he was taking to much protein powder?
    my recent meal plans in week whilst at work are made up of at least 3 protein shakes

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    • Protein shakes are not even CLOSE to optimal compared to whole food… protein shakes cause a little insulin spike (because of how fast they are digested) and they empty out of your stomach within 1 hour…

      Think of it this way:

      If you want to look SOLID you have to eat SOLID foods.

      ONE shake a day MAX unless it’s on the rare occasion for a busy day.

      Too many shakes can be toxic too…

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    • Hey bud

      Like yourself I work without mid morning or afternoon breaks and my shakes are made up from eggs, Oates, nuts and water but Vince recommends whole food but how when you even get a long lunch break! I think Vince would find it hard to answer this q :(

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  40. Hey Vince,

    I am a night shift worker I work out 4 times a week but sometimes there not consistent like I might train Monday and Tuesday then ill work and probably wont train till Friday and Saturday night, is having such a big break going to slow me down from getting leaner and muscular??? Also Ive been eating 5 times every day I have 3 main meals and in between those are my snack times like nuts, fruit etc and there all a healthy low carb low fat high protein portioned meals is this OK to stick too?? As I have only just started this I’m not sure whether its going to work..

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  41. Barney Vincelette January 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Vince,
    I am a vegitarian, but I do eat eggs and dary products, low fat cheese and cottege cheese, raw vegitables and fruit, whole grain pasta, nuts, olive oil, sprouted grain bread, and protein shakes. I do not want to eat meat because I do not believe in unnecessary killing of animals who are sentient and want to live.
    What suggestions do you have for people like me. I am 65, I have been exercising with weights for more than 10 years, and I have been doing the 1000 rep challenge plus extra sets and more often 10 reps but some 5 reps.

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    • Hi Barney.

      Food combining and mixing which is what you’re doing.

      I’m not a expert in this area. I encourage you to read as much as you can from vegetarians in the fitness arena.

      Variety is your biggest asset.

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  42. Hi Vince,
    Fantastic advice as usual on the meal plans. I spend 3 days lifting weights where I hope to follow the above plan. I also practice yoga twice a week and feel more comfortable eating lighter on these days. Any advice on how to rearrange the above plan to suit these days please?! Also, was wondering what your rest days meal plan is like?!
    Thanks for your help.
    Joe

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    • Joe.

      Eat the same on your rest days. Nothing changes.

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  43. Hey Vince,

    Just wanted to say that you are a huge inspiration and I wish you great success in the future!

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    • Thank you Dr Jerf for the thoughtful words.

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  44. Hi Vince,

    I bought your No Nonsense program a couple yrs ago and I started to re-read it again. I am now reading the nutrition section. Should I dismiss what you said before and follow this meal plan instead? E.g high intake of carbs should be focused around breakfast, pre and post workout (dextrose and protein powder)

    You didn’t really recommend glutamine either but I see that it’s included in your workout supplements

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    • Rennee.

      Read some of the other comments i’ve posted. Depends on your level of leanness.

      NNMB was written for ULTRA skinny guys which is why i have carbs with breakfast and pre and post workout. And the approach is a little more simplistic. Not wrong… just different.

      If you’re ULTRA skinny, follow NNMB as is. You’re free to take a few of the new teaching and incorporate them.

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      • Hi Vince,

        I am female and I read the No Nonsense Body Shaping (Female Version). I am not ultra skinny nor am I fat. I am 5ft 4″ and 124lbs. I was 130lbs but I dropped those lbs very quick. I wasn’t working out at much either so I assume it’s muscle mass that I lost.

        I think I will try the program and see how it goes.

        Thanks for your feedback.

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        • Hi Renee – don’t know you but i guarantee you did not lose muscle.

          I know based on your body fat being on the upper end. You won’t lose muscle unless you’re under 13% fat and eating bird food and living in the gym.

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  45. what do you suggest after being very ill?

    i am 52-56k at 40.. i am wanting to be well again, but with lack of appetite, energy, and no will for excercise, I am wondering seriously what you may suggest..

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    • You may want to check with a doctor or nutritionist. Vitamin B1 in food or supplements may improve appetite. Calories can provide energy. Since you have posted here, you have the will–let me be the first to encourage you to build on it.
      Good health to you.

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  46. Thanks for sharing Vince great info!

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  47. Hey Vince,

    Appreciate sharing your diet, have 2 small Q’s if you please:
    1- You said never consume bcaa post workout with protein, shall I consume them pre and during and maybe also after post workout meal then?
    2- Fast carb 30 min during workout as u said will spike insulin, as I know it is not good to spike insulin except post workout, am I right?
    Kindly advise.

    Many thanks buddy!

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    • 1. Yes, drink your BCAA during your workout. Before is fine too.
      2. No, it takes 13-45 minutes for the “insulin spike” to actually occur so that’s one reason we take it during the workout… will “kick in” by the time workout is over.

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  48. thx for your website man but i cant feel any change
    in my body what should i do for a bigest muscul ?
    thx

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  49. I work out in the morning about 7 or 8
    and I can do the method you described above
    should I also add the protein drink after I work out…and then the P+C when I get home

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    • Rob… I answered this to someone else…. skim for the reply.

      but… yes.

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  50. Hey Vince, thanks for sharing your knowledge. Regarding the Greens supplements, I was wondering what brands would you recommend to take because I know that you have to cycle them or your body will get use to it. I live in Montreal and I buy the Green + Multi + supplement from Genuine Health but I would like to try another one that you think is not scam.
    Thank you very much.

    Ivan Escalante
    Montreal, Canada

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    • Greens+
      Progressive Greens
      SuperGreens (from Living Fuel)
      Genesis (from prograde)

      Those are 4 brands i’ve used.

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  51. Hey Vince. What is the name of the carb power in the picture? Where could I purchase it? Thanks.

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    • That’s Surge from Biotest.

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  52. Hi Vince!

    I had a couple of questions:

    1. Is anybody maintaining the forums these days, seems like there aren’t any admins, and a really low number of other active members which is sad since I just started NNMB. Also some of the functions don’t work, like the search function.

    2. I have been thinking about using stevia instead of fruits or whatever for every meal except from breakfast and post workout, in order to keep my insulin levels as low as possible for the most part of the day. Is this a good idea? Also considering it has 0 calories and fruits have more than that, what should I replace to in order to keep the same caloric intake?

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    • Hi Lloyd

      1. Let me investigate.

      2. Stevia is good. Everything in moderation. Eat at least 1 cup of veggies with EVERY meal.

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  53. Vince,

    I’ve been told that one gram of protien is equal to 15 grams of cabs. energy wise. Do you believe this? Ted Arcidi used very few carbs, mostly protien diet. I have followed suit, shying away from carbs.

    I’m concerned that carbs will do nothing more than pack on fat. I have no energy problems without carbs (very few carbs). Should one change this? I consume about 2x in grams to body weight of protien. Only carbs are comming from milk.

    I’ve dropped my weight down from 178lbs to 134, and am lifting more in less time. Please explain what benefits I would see from adding carbs.

    I’m confused on this, as I hate that “bloated” look that looks like one has overdosed on “T”. (rounded face, arms, compaired to a lean face, and blocky build)

    Thanks for your imput, and thank you for sending these meals, I may just try them out on days off.

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    • Scott,

      1 gram of protein = 4 calories. No idea what your guy is trying to say…

      Carbs are NOT evil. Too many… wrong kinds… wrong times will make you fat.

      As you get leaner you need MORE calories to prevent plateaus… it’s almost counter intuitive. Just follow the rules in the blog… increase around meal 2, workout and post workout by 25% to gain size.

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      • Actually, that would make sense, wouldn’t it? Because muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you have a higher proportion of muscle… Sounds pretty intuitive to me :)

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  54. Hi Vince,

    Just wondering how you would modify this on non workout days?

    Can you still have this plan?

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    • I do not modify my meal plan on non workout days for fat loss or muscle building. The only thing different is there is no workout supplements obviously.

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      • Hi Vince,
        First of all, thanks for giving your time into providing nutritional education! My only concern is the timimg of the meals as I workout at 5 – 5:30 am due to my work schedule. Can you detail the meals and time with my workout schedule? Also I am 313lbs @ 29%bf. I am 46 yo 6’2 male.

        Thanks for your time!

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        • So start your first meal right after you train. Every 2.5 to 4 hours is an ideal eating frequency. Just keep it consistent.

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  55. Great info once again, quick question, I usually train mid morning (930am or so), do you recommend prior to working out,the meal with fats/nuts or the meal with carbs, if I had to choice one or the other. I usually wake up and take a shake and fruit and then after workout, protein/fat/carbs. Any help will greatly be appreciated. Thank you.

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    • Hey Alex.

      Your approach could be totally fine.

      How do you feel? When comparing your approach vs my approach, use your results and bodies feedback for the answer.

      Try both approaches and let me know.

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  56. Great info. But I was wondering if that same meal plan would be beneficial to me being that I work a desk jobs from 9-5 and don’t workout til about 7 pm when I gEt out. Please help!! I’m so confused.

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    • Ivan – Re read the LOGIC behind each meal so you can accommodate it to your schedule. If i was training at 7pm i would do:

      P + F + V

      P + C + V

      P + C + V

      P + F + V

      Workout Supplements

      P + C

      Optional late pm meal: P + F + V

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      • But let’s get real.

        Most people spend the majority of the day behind a desk or perhaps working a manual job. Either way your plan requires ALOT of preparation and cooking.

        Not the most realistic thing ever.

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        • You create your own realty Yuppy! Isn’t that right?

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  57. Are the meats cooked weighed or raw? And what changes are made on non training days with diet. Thanks.

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    • Proteins are weighed raw.

      Carbs are weighed cooked.

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  58. Hi Vince, are the portions of the meats you outlined cooked weight, or raw? Is the steak 12oz cooked? Also what changes are made if not training in the diet.

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  59. hey vince-

    im doin the 21 days to mass program it’s way good, i was just wondering, when i go into the overload phase, how much should i switch up the meal plans during the week? it gives about 3 different ones i think. or should i just keep rotating through those days?…if that makes sense haha. thanks your stuff is great by the way ! love the workouts! :)

    Tony

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    • Any method is okay.

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  60. Very good info Vince, straight at the point, very well explained !!
    I would just like the objective of just having the intra workout supllements 30 mins into your workout, i have them thru my whole workout, is that ok ?

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    • Sure… understand WHY you take intra workout supplements… re read the logic behind the strategy.

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  61. Great article Vince. How might this meal plan look if training first thing in the morning? I’m up at 5am so I can be at the gym by 6am. That is the most effective time for me to train based on my work schedule and family responsibilities.
    Thanks!

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    • If you’re training first thing in the am… you could do this:

      P + F (optional) + V

      Workout Supplements

      P + C

      P + C + V

      P + F + V

      P + F + V

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      • Is blending up the juice and meat of a young coconut along with 2-3 eggs as a pre workout shake ok at this time in the morning?
        That is basically what I have been doing, the only thing I worry about is that it is pretty high in fat. will this clash with the simple carbs I will have around 45mins later during my workout? As my insulin levels are raised will it send that fat that is still digesting into storage?

        Regards,

        Daniel

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      • Hey Vince,

        I am a night shift worker I work out 4 times a week but sometimes there not consistent like I might train Monday and Tuesday then ill work and probably wont train till Friday and Saturday night, is having such a big break going to slow me down from getting leaner and muscular??? Also Ive been eating 5 times every day I have 3 main meals and in between those are my snack times like nuts, fruit etc and there all a healthy low carb low fat high protein portioned meals is this OK to stick too?? As I have only just started this I’m not sure whether its going to work.

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  62. Hi Vince,
    It seems like you are not using the dextrose that you had mentioned in your book. I recall reading using alot of dextrose before, during, and after your workout but now it seems like you have strayed away from that and are now using Ben Pakulski’s diet? Can u explain this? Thanks.

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    • Hi Joe.

      In NNMB, I recommend dextrose because that was the fast-acting sugar I was familiar with at the time. Since then, I’ve discovered Vitargo and Karbolyn which serve the same purpose.

      Methods have not changed at all. Just the TYPES of fast acting sugars.

      Make sense?

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  63. Vince just wondering how much money you spend on food and supplements a week-

    also what is your advice for some one who has to drive an hour to work and antoher hour home from work 5 days a week, work outside with no mircowave or any way to cook food-

    any advice for what the average person meal plan should look like, with living in ontario and a food budget of 5bucks a day-

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    • Fred… usually $100 a week and there is two of us so about $200 a week.

      Supplements… not sure because I buy them in a bulk a few times through the year…

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      • Hey Vince so the food is really cheap in Califas well I think is where you live Don’t you? cuz here in MN i use $100 a week but i never can get the food you got just one pound of beef is $5 and so the chicken.

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  64. Outstanding post Vince! Can I move in ;)

    Who says that a bodybuilding diet is bland and boring? Your daily meal plan is full of variety and flavor.

    Do you ever consume a post workout shake?

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  65. Hi Vince,

    Your material is first rate. It’s great to finally find someone who has done their research and has been able to put it all together so well.
    I basically follow the principles you have set out above and I’m finding things have been working better ever since.
    The only part I am struggling with a bit is that sometimes I have to do my workouts pretty much as soon as I get up before work, and I am not really sure what to eat just before, or as it is so close to the workout if I should eat at all. Should I just have some supplements etc beforehand?

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  66. Vince,
    You might consider this to be the perfect meal plan for you, but do ever stop to consider the animals and environment which are affected by your decisions?
    Don’t you think that eating is more than just about the person doing the eating?
    And while you might not think that your physical results could be obtained by sticking to a plant-based diet, don’t you think that the trade-off would be worth it?
    Anyway, just some food for thought, so to speak. And thanks for your general help with things fitness-related.

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    • Trevor, you are a sadly misguided individual I am sorry to say… We are part of the food chain and unfortunately for the animals, we are at the top of that food chain… The tradeoff you are asking Vince to consider is definitely not worth it!!! We were meant to hunt and consume our pray… We are carnivores by nature. Our muscles are made up of protein, animal protein… NOT tofu!!! You need to do some more research Trevor, before attacking someone else!!! I’ve done mine and eating a vege base diet only is not meant for the human being.!!!

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      • We are omnivores, not carnivores, but aside from that I have to agree with you and not Trevor. Studies have shown plant based diets are healthy and studies have also shown that a paleo diet is even healthier.

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    • Trevor you sure are on a mission to get the message out to all of us fitness pros and our readers that we should be eating a plant based diet ;)

      I appreciated your email and I appreciate your perspectives. And there is nothing wrong with trying to encourage others to embrace the lifestyle that you’ve chosen… that’s what Vince is doing, that’s what I do, and that’s what others are doing too. Your lifestyle may resonate with some and not others. Just as Vince’s choices aren’t resonating with you. That’s ok.

      It is disturbing to see the conditions in how some animals are raised for slaughter. I do hope that something is done about that. We need to get back to the days where the animals were raised with respect even though the final outcome was known that they would one day be served up on our dinner plates.

      I give thanks to the animals for allowing me to survive. It’s the circle of life.

      PS Plants have feelings too you know ;)

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      • lol great have you watch the informational movie colled food ins.? in how the big bussines are controlling the goverment and the food regulations and not the other way around great information there.

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    • Hi Trevor.

      Actually I’ve never given that much thought.

      I’ve never really felt convicted to not eat meat…

      Thanks for sharing.

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      • What would you recommend to someone who did have that kind of convictions? And in particular, someone who cannot consume soy products?

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      • PS I’m not trying to be provocative here. I personally have medical reasons to avoid both animal proteins and soy. So it is a matter of personal interest to know how to tweak the diet you recommend so that people like me can get a piece of the muscle-building action :)

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        • You may want to check out combinations of (vegetarian) foods with complementary proteins. Beans and corn are an example, I’ve heard. Since you mention medical reasons, it might be a good idea to consult a doctor or dietitian.

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  67. Hi Vince, you may remember that I posted a question on an earlier thread regarding the 21day calorie cycling – I was coming off a 10wk cut and you advised going straight into the over eating phase.
    Well I have followed the advice and am just entering week two of increased calories and am happy to report that I am 6lb heavier and looking forward to seeing how things progress.
    My question relates to your sample meal plan. Specifically, I only ever get the chance to workout in the evening. how does the following look to you:

    Training – Typical Food Day

    Breakfast (7am): Meat and Nuts

    Mid-morn (10.30am): Meat and Nuts

    Lunch (1pm): Meat + Carbs + Nuts

    Mid-aft: 1 (3.30pm): Meat and carbs
    2 (5pm): Meat and veggies

    Intra-workout (7-7.45pm): IntrAbolic

    Post-workout: 1 (7.45pm): Surge Recovery + Greens
    2 (8.30pm): White Meat + fast carbs + veggies

    Pre-bed (9.30pm): Red Meat + Nuts + Veggies

    Also, on a non-training day, what modifications are necessary?

    During the 14 day overeating phase of the 21 day plan, the only question that has occurred to which I am unsure of the answer is whether to keep the calorie intake the same on non-training days or not (in order to hit the calorie doubling requirement)?

    Cheers … Al

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    • Hi Al.

      This looks really good. Just make sure you’re getting 1 cup of greens with most of those meals.

      Maybe some avocado instead of nuts all the time.

      Keep your nutrition the SAME on non training days except no “intra workout” nutrition obviously.

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  68. You guys do realise of you just get 1g of protein per 1lb of bodyweight and 0.5g of fat per 1lb of bodyweight no matter where its from you will get the same results right? Just adjust your calories tp your daily goals…

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    • Hi Tom, not true I am a working man with Kids and I eat 6 times a day on a low budget all 6 meals costing 3.50 english pounds, about 5 dollars a days for all food and protein shakes, and i train 6 days a week for about 45mins at a time. if you want to know more about my diet send me an email.

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      • Sorry post was meant for Craig wight

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    • Actually that’s not quite true Tom.

      A calorie is not a calorie.

      Protein sources from cheap protein powders and soy are not going to have the same response as wild meat or wild fish.

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    • Hi Craig, not true I am a working man with Kids and I eat 6 times a day on a low budget all 6 meals costing 3.50 english pounds, about 5 dollars a days for all food and protein shakes, and i train 6 days a week for about 45mins at a time. if you want to know more about my diet send me an email. njwareing@btinternet.com

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    • Hey Craig

      I won’t deceive you… eating like this feels like a “full time job” in itself…

      … Did I mention all the cooking, cleaning and shopping that goes into this too?!

      Do your best based on your reality!

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  69. Vince these last blog posts have been incredibly valuable!!! Thanks a lot. I’m learning a lot. I have been a follower of you for some time no. Just finished reading 21 day, and at the current moment I’m in the middle of Ben’s program. I am applying all your protocols, my struggle has always been diet related. This because I train first thing in the morning , and can’t stomach food at that time. I take as a pre wo half a cup of oatmeal and hone scoop of idrolized whey protien. Post wo I take another half cup of oatmeal and 1.5 scoop (40grs) of protein plus creatine 5 grs. I have glucose intolerance and I dont want to take any simple carbs. One hour post wo I take another scoop of hydrolized prt, chicken 8oz ezequiel bread (2 slices) . I still have been at te same weight for a while now, I am having gains mirror wise and strength. I still feel I could be making more noticeable gains. Thank for every thing an please let me know if this peri wo nutrition is to little. I weigh 165 with 13% bf total cals 2200, 50% prt 30 %carbs 20 fats. I am very sensitive to carbs; they go straight to my abs.

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    • Too much protein powder – have fish or turkey after you train or even egg whites.

      One shake a day MAX. Unless you’re VERY busy.

      In the morning, try liquid egg whites and a small piece of fruit.

      If you’re sensitive to carbs, make sure you’re doing your interval cardio 3x a week for 20 minutes. That’ll improve your uptake of carbs.

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  70. Hi Vince

    Love ur stuff, thanks al lot for you advice.
    But i have a question, its a detail:
    Workout supplements, you say 30 – 60gr of carbs 30min befor training. But whats about the Groth Hormon and the advice from Ben (MI40): 1)Keep insulin levels, and therefore carbohydrates LOW (under10g)? Maybe i didnt understand well cause my english? This advice from Ben dont mean stop drinking extra carbs bevor train?

    Thank
    Balthasar

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    • Hey bud. I start the carbs 30 minutes INTO the workout, not BEFORE the workout. Re read that.

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  71. Hey Vince, thanks for sharing your meal plan with us, thats awsome info, my question is…I work out at 6am in the morning and often dont feel like, or dont have time to eat a big meal that early, and definatley not 2 pre workout meals like you do, how would you adjust your meal plan if you had to work out at 6am in the morning?

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    • Great question Gary.

      If you train in the morning… these would be your meal combinations for the day for

      protein + carbs

      workout (start liquid nutrition)

      protein + carbs

      protein + fats

      protein + fats

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      • Thanks Vince, ill ut it to the test.

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  72. You forgot to mention at what time of the day you take your roids lol

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    • Any one in the Game can see that Vince is a Natural Athlete.

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      • haha. THanks Neil.

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  73. Excellent info Vince. Q. dyou get the 5grms of Fish oil from capsules or a liquid oil & can you reccomend a good value source or are you counting in the content of the fish you eat

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    • Robert – it doesn’t really matter…haha

      Fish oil is fish oil whether it’s in a capsule or liquid :)

      I do Omega 3 from Blue Star, Krill Oil from Prograde and Nutrasea.

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  74. Hey vince this is awesome man. Invaluable information. Thank you.

    One concern I do have. This seems an incredibly expensive food day for the average or less than average Earning person?

    Nutrition wise – amazing
    Finance wise – ???

    Nevertheless. Amazing post. Keep it coming brother!

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    • Hi Anton check out my earlier post, with my budget about, 3.50 pounds / 5 dollars a day for 6 meals including protein shakes. want to more email me. njwareing@btinternet.com

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    • HI Anton.

      I’m not going to kid you – eating healthy IS not cheap and some days I walk out of the grocery store thinking, “Jeez, that’s expensive!”

      It’s definitely cheaper than eating out… and cheaper than paying for a lifetime of illness though!

      Decisions YOU must make my friend.

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  75. Great article Vince. Any chance of providing some recipes for the meals like the quinoa salad?

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    • Next week I’ll hook you up with a recipe resource!

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  76. i try to eat at least 2 avocados a day and eat nuts like almonds, cashews,pistachios,Brazil nuts along with a serving of vegetables like broccoli and swiss chard for my potassium during the day while i do my sit-down job from 9 to 5. I work out after i get off work then after I’m done i usually have an egg whey green protein and then i have my bison or grass-fed beef, lamb, veal or fish along with another serving of vegetables like my second avocado and sweet potatoes and yams and thats been working wonders on helping me stay very lean and building muscle too.

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    • No surprise… you have lots of AMAZING nutrients in that diet!

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  77. Hey Vince, thank you so much for the valuable information you posted on your website for all your subscribers. I wanted to know which Creatine supplement do recommend for pre-workouts? Is Extreme Rush by Blue Star or Creatine Monohydrate by Pro Lab good products to take?

    You Rock Vince,
    Fredrick

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    • Hey Fredrick

      Yup. Both great options.

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  78. Awesome article Vince! One thing I noticed in post workout carb/protein meals, is that you have brown rice for both meals. Does the rule of changing your protein up every meal apply to carbs also? I understand the reasoning behind protein and fats. Can you develop allergens with eating the same source of carb 2x each day?

    Thanks for always setting the bar higher for us!

    To your fitness and success,

    Travis

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    • Carbs are not as important to rotate then proteins and fats Travis… I’ll look into why..

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