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August 22, 2015

Ultra Jacked Program-Nutrition Part 1

Andrew McInroy, B. Sc. Nutrition
By Andrew McInroy, B. Sc. Nutrition

Introduction - You can have the best weightlifting program, best supplements and even the best illegal drugs but none of it will matter unless you have a good nutrition program. This nutrition program is built for people who want to gain maximum muscle mass while staying lean and ripped and getting super strong. Let’s go!

Calories – If you are working out hard, you need extra calories to promote anabolism. An easy way to determine how many calories you should be consuming for bulking is to take your bodyweight and multiply it by 18. Example with 170 lb man. 170 x 18 = 3060 cals.

You should be aiming to gain 0.5 lbs – 1 lb per week. A pound of muscle is A LOT. If you are gaining more than this, then it might be fat. Therefore we have the following rules: If you are not gaining at least 0.5 lbs per week, then increase calories by 500 until you start gaining weight. If you are gaining more than 1 lb per week, decrease calories by 250 until your weight gain is in the range of 0.5 – 1 lbs per week. If you develop a meticulous diet plan, then you can actually pin point how much calories, protein, carbs and fats are optimal for you!

Protein – Protein is one of the most important things in a diet for muscle gain. You need a lot of protein to grow and especially to recover from hard workouts. Furthermore, protein has a high thermic effect which makes it great for fat loss and staying lean!

Protein recommendation: Consume 1.5 g of protein per lb of bodyweight. Example for a 170 lb man: 170 x 1.5 = 255 g of protein.

Why do I need this much protein? A few reasons:

  • You want to provide your body with protein all day so that you stay anabolic. You want to consume around 6 meals per day. So let’s say your recommendation was 300 g of protein, you would be getting 50 g at each meal. Have about 3 hours in between your meals.
  • Protein has a high thermic effect which is great for fat loss
  • Leucine is an amino acid and it has the role of regulating the translation initiation of protein synthesis. Essentially it is needed to turn muscle protein synthesis on. Studies have found that getting 3 to 4 g of leucine from your protein sources are best for stimulating muscle protein synthesis. The following are examples of how much protein you would have to consume from different sources to achieve 4 g of leucine: 33 g of protein from whey protein isolate, 47 g of protein from eggs, 54 g of protein from chicken.

Therefore, you should view the 1.5 g of protein per lb of bodyweight recommendation as a safe estimate that allows you to achieve these leucine recommendations which is indeed the most important factor for muscle gains. Also, do not worry about high protein diets and whether or not they are bad for your health. Studies have shown that high protein diets are not hard on the kidneys just as long as your kidneys are already healthy. High protein diets and bone health are not an issue either – calcium intake from a balanced diet is more than enough to offset any calcium loss from a high protein diet. There are lots of studies to prove this, too.

Best Protein Sources: Chicken, egg whites, whole eggs, whey protein, casein protein, cottage cheese, seafood (haddock, tuna, salmon, etc.), turkey, lean steak.

Dietary Fats – You will want 20% of your calories to come from dietary fats. For the 170 lb man: 3060 x 0.20 = 612 / 9 cals per gram of fat = 68 g of fat.

There are many dietary fats out there but a diet high in “healthy fats” (polyunsaturated including omega 3s and monounsaturated) help to promote healthy blood pressure, blood triglycerides, blood cholesterol and more. They also help to deal with inflammation and promote healthy testosterone levels. You definitely want to include dietary fats in your diet for optimal performance!

Best fat sources: All natural peanut butter, almond butter, almonds, walnuts, flax seed, salmon oil, avocados, extra virgin olive oil.

Note: a large amount of your dietary fats will be consumed through the other foods that you eat.

Carbohydrates – Once you have determined your calories, amount of protein and amount of dietary fat, the remainder of your calories will come from carbohydrates. For instance with the 170 lb man:

  • Total Cals = 3060
  • Protein = 255 g = 1020 cals
  • Fats = 68 g = 612 cals
  • Carbs = 3060 – 1020 – 612 = 1428 cals / 4 cals per gram of carb = 357 g of carbs

Make sure all of your carbohydrates are complex! This means that they will digest slow and thus not spike your blood sugar or insulin. Complex carbohydrates have an easier time being stored in muscle cells and not fat cells. Your post-workout meal can contain some simple / fast carbs if you want such as a banana.

Make sure to spread your carbohydrates out evenly among 5 meals – one of your meals will be directly before bed and you don’t want to have carbs before bed; you only want protein and fat at this meal.

Best Carbohydrate Sources: Quinoa, wheat free oats, sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, Ezekiel bread.

How to Set Up your Diet: You want protein at all 6 of your meals, carbs at 5 of your meals (no carbs before bed), and dietary fats at 5 of your meals (no dietary fats with your post-workout shake – this slows down absorption of your carbs and we don’t want that – you want your carbs to get to your muscles fast!). So divide your protein by 6, carbs by 5 and dietary fats by 5 and then set it up like this:

  • Protein: 255 / 6 = 42.5 g per meal for 6 meals
  • Carbs: 357 / 5 = 71.4 g per meal for 5 meals
  • Fats: 68 / 5 = 13.6 g per meal for 5 meals

So here is how you could set up your day:

  • 8:00 AM: Meal 1 = 42.5 protein, 71.4 carbs, 13.6 fats
  • 11:00 AM: Meal 2 (Pre-workout) = 42.5 protein, 71.4 carbs, 13.6 fats
  • 2:00 PM: Meal 3 (Post-workout) = 42.5 protein, 71.4 carbs
  • 5:00 PM: Meal 4 = 42.5 protein, 71.4 carbs, 13.6 fats
  • 8:00 PM: Meal 5 = 42.5 protein, 71.4 carbs, 13.6 fats
  • 12:00 AM: Meal 6 = 42.5 protein, 13.6 fats
Please note that these are just targets. It will be almost impossible to hit the number perfectly and you should be more concerned with your daily totals.

Pre-Bed Nutrition – You want to consume a slow digesting protein like casein protein powder or cottage cheese (which contains a high amount of casein). It digests slowly over 7 hours while you sleep and this is perfect because you release a lot of growth hormone while you sleep so you should provide your body with the amino acids that it needs to grow and recover!

Pre-workout Nutrition – You want to consume a meal 60 – 120 minutes before your workout. The meal should contain complex carbs which will help to give you intense energy and a good pump.

Post-workout Nutrition – First thing you are done your workout you want to eat food. This is because your muscles are ready for uptake of nutrients. A good post-workout meal is a banana and wheat free oatmeal mixed with whey protein. Whey protein digests extremely fast and is a great post-workout protein.

Carbohydrate Considerations – If you are gaining too much fat from the above recommendations, you may be sensitive to carbohydrates. Consider keeping calories the same but lowering the amount of carbohydrates and increasing the amount of protein and dietary fats. It is up to you to find out what works best for you so feel free to experiment! The above are just general recommendations that work for many bodybuilders but everyone is different!

Conclusion – You now have an excellent base for nutrition guidelines which will help you to get ultra jacked! Remember to never stop learning about nutrition because it is one of the key factors in achieving the body of your dreams. Make sure to read the other parts of the Ultra Jacked Program in order to get the most out of your training!