Weightlifting/Body Building in the build/bulk stage requires eating a calorie surplus, in my case calculated to 2,800 calories. In the past year+ I’ve been cooking a lot more because I’ve been researching and focusing on my nutrition. Getting in my daily exercise operates on auto pilot, as I find it easy, regardless of how I feel, to workout daily. Eating is a day-to-day thing. I do not plan out my weeks menu and cook as such. Usually the night before I’ll give it some thought, and I’m always shopping ahead so there are many choices in the house.
Here was my menu today:
My daily Shakeology meal replacement shake. I get a jumpstart on my overall nutrition and calorie goals as this weighs in close to 800 calories. Added to my scoop of chocolate Shakeology – 2 tbsp. each of unsweetened shredded coconut, flax see, PB2 chocolate, wheat germ; 1 tbsp. Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa; 2 cups of mixed fruit; 2/3 cup low-fat chocolate milk; 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk.
I went out to lunch today to a nice place in Falmouth, MA called Crabapple’s. I ordered Baked Haddock & Scallops with sides of mashed squash and a fruit cup. I asked to go light on the butter (that’s still engrained in my head – eating lean).
I cooked at home while watching the pre game of Monday Night Football. On the stove I grilled a 6 oz. center cut pork chop – cooked in Worcestershire Sauce, 1 tsp. coconut oil, 2 tbsp. pica de gallo. In the rice cooker, I mixed 1 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 cup black rice – served myself 2/3 cup cooked.
Mid morning – 3 oz. baby cut carrots with a tbsp. humus; 1 cup Puffins Peanut Butter cereal. Afternoon – 5 oz. dark meat turkey. Before dinner – bakery bread 1 slice death by chocolate (my cheat for being cheat free last week).
Post workout shake consists of Dymatize Elite Gourmet and Hammer Recoverite. Right before bed (waiting for me in the fridge) – Dymatize Casein and 1 tbsp. Natierra Trail Mix. I drink plenty of water during the day – a minimum of 8 glasses, and sometimes up to a gallon.
I use MyFitnessPal (www.myfitnesspal.com) to track my food, and do this daily. I find it to be an invaluable tool if you really want to take your nutrition to the next level. I can quickly see my calories, proteins, carbs, fats sugars. All foods originating from home are measured. I do my best at restaurants to estimate portion sizes. There is a margin of error in tracking daily nutrition. I am fairly detailed, but estimating at a restaurant suffices. Sometimes I’ll use the bar code scanning feature of MyFitnessPal to quickly upload a food. The above is just a representation of one day. Foods like avocados, almonds (nuts), salmon, etc. are part of the mix. I don’t eat the same menu every day.
The above logged in as follows: 2,808 calories, 322g carbs, 75 g fat, 243g protein, 28g sat fat, 120g sugar. I’m guessing I could add 100-200 calories for the margin of error.
I’ll probably take away the cereal as that’s added sugar, which I get plenty of eating fruit (I was using it as a starch portion). There are many theories as to the amounts of macros needed to gain muscle mass based upon many factors like weight, where I am currently at 153 lbs.. The most important factors to me are that I’m getting my protein in, timing my carbs for workout fuel, and supplementing where I see fit. You can judge for yourself if you consider this a “healthy” day, but right I’m working hard at fueling my body to gain muscle.
Whether you are bulking like myself, or you are eating to lose weight, the approach to nutrition should be the same. Have fun with it, with the realization of how very important it is to living a healthy lifestyle, more so than the workouts. Exercise and nutrition need to work in unison.