There have been a lot of people asking for more details on my meal plan. I am going to briefly touch on the main key points here, as I have something coming along that will go into much greater detail!
First I’ll talk about my particulars… I am somewhere between 18-22% body fat therefore I need to eat more fat to meet my energy needs and not take too big of a deficit. This is where calorie cycling comes in. There are a couple different ways to cycle. You could eat at say a straight 20% deficit for three weeks then on the fourth week eat at maintenance; this is a simple straight forward approach. I choose to use a three tier approach and cycle with my training. Cycling a low, medium and high calorie day paired with the intensity of my training. Low being rest days and high being my most intense workout.
I also incorporate circadian weighted meal timing. This optimizes meal timing and content of meals to coincide with our bodies’ natural rhythms which are regulated by day night cycles. There are three aspects to this.
- First is the general idea to eat when you are active, therefore during daylight hours and to have all your meals in before night fall.
- Second that body has different times when fat and muscle tissue is more or less insulin sensitive and this affects when we should be eating the carbohydrates contained in our diets.
- And thirdly, Breakfast should be the biggest meal and less for lunch and less for dinner, and partially over laps with the second point above.
I also implement a TKD (targeted keto diet) protocol. This is a method for consuming some quick absorbing carbs right before training to help fill muscle glycogen to support great effort.
Lastly I also aim to maximize MPS (muscle protein synthesis) so no snacking, all food is eaten with a meal, and these meals are spaced to allow the body to refill ATP and for plasma levels of leucine to fall back to baseline, and set up for the next time MPS is triggered. Also enough leucine is eaten at each meal to trigger MPS in the first place.
I really concentrate on getting enough leucine and therefore about 2/3 of my protein for the day comes from cheese like swiss, parmesan and cheddar. I find that as long as I keep the cheese to meals, and DO NOT snack on it, it does not negatively affect me at all! And since I have always loved cheese it makes my meals very enjoyable. The meats I generally eat are things like chicken breast, sirloin or ny strip steak, salmon, eggs (whole and whites) and ground beef of varying fat contents to meet my macros. I actually eat salmon every night for meal 3; this optimizes omega fatty acids as well. I include some veggies in my first two meals; such as broccoli, asparagus, spinach and green beans.
This is really the nuts and bolts of my meal plan. As you can see I aim to optimize a lot of different areas, and I feel that it is really paying off! I am eating 1650-2200 calories and losing 1-2 lbs a week. I am very close to goal, and generally losses like these are not realized with so little weight left to lose. I lift intensely in the gym and do very little cardio.
Please stay tuned I have some exciting things coming up in the near future! Hoping you all success in your weight loss / muscle gain efforts!
Meal Timing & When to Eat
Insulin sensitivity/Insulin Resistance (IR) & Muscle Protein Synthesis (Ketogenic Dieters Facebook Group Post)
Here are is some further reading on circadian rhythms.
Further reading on TKD
Videos and further reading on MPS
Dr. Layne Norton presents on Refractory Phenomenon
some further reason not to snack
Cheese Rocks for protein and leucine especially Swiss, Parmesan & Cheddar
List of some meats to reach leucine threshold for mps (Ketogenic Dieters Facebook Group Post)