I’ve known both extremes of weight. Until the age of about 21, I weighed roughly 175lbs – which is pretty light for a guy who’s 6 feet, 3 inches tall. I later let myself get out of shape and hit my peak weight at 259lbs, when I was 26 years old. At 31 years of age now, I weigh 204lbs – and I feel great. I’d like to maintain my current muscle mass and shed more body fat down to about 195lbs – we’ll see if I can get there!
Early on, I was eating nowhere near enough. Later on, I was ingesting far too much. It took me a while to figure out an effective muscle-building diet that both allowed me to gain good mass while keeping off the bad. It definitely takes work, and eating right is hard at first – but finding a good routine and sticking to it is key.
Here’s an outline of what a typical daily diet looks like for me:
0630am – Dymatize Protein Isolate with 1 cup of almond milk (pre-workout) – 140cal, 27g protein
0800am – Dymatize Protein Isolate with 1 cup of almond milk (post-workout) – 140cal, 27g protein
0930am – 5 egg whites, scrambled with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and ketchup drizzle – 160cal, 34g protein
1100am – 4oz grilled chicken (cooked in air fryer), ketchup or buffalo sauce drizzle – 100cal, 22g protein
1200pm – 4oz grilled beef, 96% lean (cooked on grill), ketchup or buffalo sauce drizzle – 140cal, 24g protein
1300pm – 4oz grilled chicken (cooked in air fryer), ketchup or buffalo sauce drizzle – 100cal, 22g protein
1530pm – Dymatize Protein Isolate with 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water – 135cal, 26g protein
1800pm – 4oz grilled salmon (cooked in air fryer) with soy sauce, small serving of vegetables; broccoli, mostly – 150cal, 25g protein
2100pm – Dymatize Protein Isolate with 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water – 135cal, 26g protein
End of day calories / protein from above main intake: 1200 calories, 213g protein
I also do some light snacking during the day between meals. I’ll often have a few saltines with a small amount of peanut butter and honey drizzled on top; or if we have ice cream in the freezer, I might have a single spoonful of ice cream to quench a sweet tooth. Add in 3 fiber supplements between meals at 15 calories a pop, then a few additional calories from the sugar/truvia blend I put in 3 or 4 cups of coffee I like to drink in a day. By the time we add up the rest, that likely puts my general calorie count up to around 1500 calories per day.
I like Dymatize Protein Isolate because 1) any given flavour is usually pretty good, and 2) it has a good calorie-to-protein ratio. A lot of other brands are much worse in that respect – higher caloric intake per scoop.
I do a generally low-carb diet as you can see above. I think my daily carb intake rarely exceeds 50g on any day.
What about the weekends?
Nobody wants to have to watch what they eat all the time – we all need to relax here and there. On weekends, I tend to be a *bit* more lax. I might allow myself to snack a bit more than normal, or take in a few beers – but I never simply open the floodgates. In my experience, I can put on a solid 5 lbs in a weekend if I let it all loose – and then it takes me all week to lose it again.
I do indulge in a “cheat meal”, however. Once per weekend, I’ll allow myself to have a full course meal in which I eat whatever I want – including dessert. No kidding, a good cheat meal is a true carrot-on-a-stick that helps me get through the week. If you start eating right and hold yourself genuinely accountable, then the promise of a cheat meal will help motivate you to diet correctly. If I’ve had a good week of eating right, then I can enjoy that enormous burger, fries, and milkshake without any guilt – and finish the weekend without having gained weight.