60 Days to Fit: Nutrition Overview

Maximizing your results relies on your diet, too. Follow these eating guidelines as you follow the program.

So let’s jump right into it. Calories.

We’ve all heard the saying “calories in calories out,” implying that it’s as easy as consuming the amount of calories that you burn in a day to maintain weight, creating a deficit in calories to lose weight – or creating a surplus to gain weight. Now, there is a bit of truth to this but unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. All calories are not created equal. There are certain macronutrients, meaning fats, carbohydrates, and proteins that our bodies need on a daily basis, but that vary in calories. To add to that, there are different sub-types of each macronutrient and your body reacts to each differently. We’ll simplify all this below. It’s not as complicated as you might think.

You may have heard of a recent trend called IIFYM or “IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS” which seems to be an attempt to make a nutrition plan easier to follow. The concept is that as long as you are getting your target amount of each macronutrient, you don’t have to worry about total calories. Now, this is partially true and I agree with the general concept, however, the problem is you can’t generalize everything just for the sake of simplicity. Later on you’ll understand the subtle flaws of this program.

Going back to calories for a second – like an IIFYM plan, we are not going to count calories. As long as you follow the basic macronutrient plan that I lay out, you will get the proper amount of calories needed to build muscle without adding unwanted fat.

Protein

Now, let’s talk protein. We all know that we need more of it to build muscle, but that still leaves the question of how much – what kind and when. Let’s first talk about how much:

When trying to build muscle, you definitely need more protein than the average sedentary person. My personal rule, when trying to add muscle, is to get 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

So if I weigh 180 pounds, multiply that by 1.5 and that comes out to 270 grams of protein per day. This would be the equivalent of roughly 1,000 calories a day. Later on we’ll use this number and compare it to our rough caloric intake needed to build muscle, so that you can see how this macronutrient approach stacks up to counting calories.

Now that we’ve talked about how much we need, let’s talk about what kind of protein. Good food-based sources are going to include lean beef, buffalo (which by the way is leaner than beef and tastes awesome), chicken, fish, eggs and dairy. Now there are vegetable sources, but it does make it a little more challenging to get adequate amounts to build muscle.

Now that we know the importance of protein in your diet let’s talk fat. This is one macronutrient that most people have been conditioned to wrongly fear. It’s not always your enemy like we’ve been conditioned to believe. Fat can actually be a great ally when consumed properly for building muscle, and believe it or not, losing unwanted bodyfat.

Fat

There are three primary kinds of fat – polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and saturated fats. I’m not going to bother talking about trans fats since you should already know to avoid those. Now you may have heard about Omegas or EFAs – also known as Essential Fatty Acids. These both fall into the “good category” of fats – which are your poly and monounsaturated fats. This leaves the saturated fats, which come from food sources such as meat and dairy. We’ve all been told to stay away from the saturated fats, but recent research shows that saturated fats are very important for healthy testosterone levels in men. With that being said, we still want to keep our saturated fats lower but since testosterone is key to building muscle and strength, that saturated fat we get in our whole food protein sources, is going to work to our advantage. My personal preference is to keep saturated fats to about 20 percent of my total dietary fat and then split the other 80 percent between polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Now, I don’t directly break down those ratios – that’s far too much work for us normal people. Instead I try to be mindful of it and focus my effort on just keeping the saturated fats to a minimum. You’re automatically going to get enough saturdated fats in your whole food protein sources so at that point, I put my attention to getting adequate poly and monounsaturated fats from food sources such as salmon, tuna, flaxseed, olive oil, canola, safflower, or avocado, as well as certain nuts such as walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds. Using your bodyweight to calculate your total fat intake, like we did with protein, you should focus on getting about ½ gram of fat per pound of bodyweight.

If you’re 180 pounds, multiply that by .5 which equals 90 grams of fat. This is the equivalent of 810 calories. Later on, we’ll add that in to our macronutrient equation and see how this stacks up.

Carbs

Our last macronutrient category is carbohydrates. Now, like fats, we’ve heard mixed messages about carbs. This started with all the low-carb and no-carb diets. Let’s go ahead and wipe that out of your memory. When it comes to building muscle and gaining strength, carbs, or more specifically the right kind of carbs, at the right time, are your friend. As a matter of fact, we’re going to get the majority of our total caloric intake from carbs – over 40 percent to put a number on it. To calculate this, you’re going to take your bodyweight and multiply it by two to find out your total carb intake for the day.

180 pounds multiplied by 2 equals 360 grams of carbs. This equals 1,440 total calories. At the end we’ll add this up with our calories from fat and protein to see how we did for total calories.

So, just like fats, not all carbohydrates are the same – you may have heard a bunch of confusing and sometime conflicting terms like complex carbs, simple carbs, low-glycemic carbs, high-glycemic carbs, slow-digesting carbs or fast digesting carbs. Sometimes some of those terms mean the same thing and sometimes they don’t. OK, so that’s confusing right? So, for the sake of simplicity let’s stick to one set of terminology, which is high-glycemic versus low-glycemic.

High-glycemic carbs are those that are higher on the glycemic index, meaning that they are digested more quickly and consequently raise blood sugar levels higher and faster. High glycemic carbs include foods with a high sugar content like soft drinks, cake, candy and fruit juices. Those are the obvious ones, though. What are some of the not so obvious? That would include white bread, white rice, potatoes, and most cereals, just to name a few.

Now low-glycemic carbs digest more slowly, and in turn slowly release glucose into the bloodstream – which means you’re not getting those big spikes in insulin. We’ll talk about what that means in a minute. Low-glycemic foods would include rolled oats, bran, most vegetables, beans, whole wheat, whole wheat, brown rice, sweet potatoes and even most fruits.

So, why a fruit is low glycemic and fruit juice is high glycemic? The answer is fiber. You’ve heard that fiber is good for you but some people just think about digestive cleansing or heart healthy. The reality is that fiber plays a very important part of managing blood sugar levels (again, hang with me for a minute and I’ll explain what this means for building muscle). Fiber slows down the digestive process, which in turn results in a lower insulin response. Fruit juice has all the natural fiber from the fruit stripped out – that’s why one is fast glycemic (aka bad for you) and the other one high glycemic (good for you).

High glycemic carbs spike insulin and low glycemic carbs help regulate it. What’s good about insulin and what’s bad? Well, let’s look at what carbs are in the most simplistic way – they are energy. Now what is fat? Fat is just stored energy. Without getting too complicated, high spikes in insulin can cause your body to store that energy as fat. OK, so to avoid storing fat, we want to avoid spiking insulin levels, which means we want to stay away from high glycemic carbs correct? Well, almost. There is one exception to this rule that plays a big part in building muscle – and that revolves around that post workout nutrient window that we keep talking about. During this window your body is ready to replenish your depleted energy stores – in other words, it’s the perfect time to replenish glycogen stores, also known as CARBS. During this time you want fast digesting, or high-glycemic carbs, that your body can rapidly digest and replenish those energy stores. Now there’s a secondary benefit as well. Remember us talking about insulin and how high-glycemic carbs cause spikes in your insulin? Well in this post-workout window, this can be a great thing. Insulin also has the ability to be very anabolic, because of its ability to shuttle muscle building nutrients (aka your post-workout shake and amino acids). This is why post-workout, you actually want those fast acting carbs – yes even sugar! Just don’t get carried away. This is the exception to the rule. The rest of your meals you want to make sure are based on low-glycemic foods.

Now, that you understand the differences between the different sub-types of macronutrients and the proper timing of each, you can see why an IIFYM plan doesn’t work. It’s not quite as simple as just getting a set amount of each type of macro, any time of the day. Too many of the wrong carbs, or even the right carbs at the wrong time, can cause unwanted fat storage. The same is true of fats and even protein. Eating the right foods at the right times will maximize muscle gain and minimize fat storage.

Calculating Your Daily Intake

To properly count calories, you first have to calculate your BMR or basal metabolic rate. This is basically how many calories you need a day with no additional activity. If you’re an average 180 pound guy, 5’10” and 30 years old, you’re going to have a BMR requirement of about 1,900 calories a day. If you’re training hard and need a surplus of calories to build muscle you’re going to multiply your BMR by about 1.8. So this brings us to about 3,420 calories. This is inline with your average calorie recommendations for building muscle of 18-19 calories per pound of bodyweight (3,240-3,420).

So let’s see how our macro estimates stack up.

For protein we had 270 grams of protein, equaling 1,080 calories (270g x 4 cal per gram of protein=1,080)

For fats we had 90 grams of fat, equaling 810 calories (90 x 9 cal per gram of protein=810)

For carbohydrates we had 360 grams equaling 1,440 (360 x 4 cal per gram of carbs=1,440)

This brings us to a total of 3,330 total calories. As you can see this is right on target, and therefore no need to count calories – just be aware of them and use them as a way to make sure you’re on point.

Shopping List

To ensure you are set up for success in this program, we've provided a grocery list giving you specifics on what you should buy to help fuel your body, gain muscle, and stay on track. Additionally, the supplements recommended to accelerate your results are also itemized right here for you. No excuses, just results!

Proteins

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Tuna (water packed)
  • Fish (salmon, seabass, halibut)
  • Shrimp
  • Extra Lean Ground Beef
  • Protein Powder
  • Egg Whites or Eggs
  • Ribeye Steaks or Roast
  • Top Round Steaks or Roast (aka Stew Meat, London Broil, Stir Fry)
  • Beef Tenderloin (aka Filet, Filet Mignon)
  • Top Loin (NY Strip Steak)
  • Eye of Round (Cube Meat, Stew Meat, Bottom Round, 96% Lean Ground)
  • Ground turkey, Turkey Breast Slices or cutlets (fresh meat, not deli cuts)

Complex Carbs

  • Oatmeal (Old Fashioned or Quick Oats)
  • Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
  • Beans (pinto, black, kidney)
  • Brown Rice
  • Multigrain Cereal
  • Whole wheat Pasta

Fibrous Carbs

  • Lettuce (Green Leaf, Red, Leaf, Romaine)
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • String Beans
  • Spinach
  • Bell Peppers
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery

Healthy Fats

  • Peanut Butter
  • Olive Oil or Safflower Oil
  • Nuts (peanuts, almonds
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Avocado

Dairy & Eggs

  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Eggs
  • Low or Non-Fat Milk
  • Greek Yogurt

Other Produce & Fruits

  • Cucumber
  • Green or Red Pepper
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Bananas, apples, grapefruit, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • Lemons or Limes

Condiments & Misc.

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Chili powder
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Steak Sauce
  • Sugar Free Maple Syrup
  • Chili Paste
  • Mustard
  • Extracts (vanilla, almond, etc)
  • Sea Salt

At this point you’ve already gone through the training overview. If not, I highly recommend going back to review before you start. I also recommend that you read and watch the progress-boosting tips next. And just remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Next:

60 Days to Fit: Nutrition Overview

Maximizing your results relies on your diet, too. Follow these eating guidelines as you follow the program.

So let’s jump right into it. Calories.

We’ve all heard the saying “calories in calories out,” implying that it’s as easy as consuming the amount of calories that you burn in a day to maintain weight, creating a deficit in calories to lose weight – or creating a surplus to gain weight. Now, there is a bit of truth to this but unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. All calories are not created equal. There are certain macronutrients, meaning fats, carbohydrates, and proteins that our bodies need on a daily basis, but that vary in calories. To add to that, there are different sub-types of each macronutrient and your body reacts to each differently. We’ll simplify all this below. It’s not as complicated as you might think.

You may have heard of a recent trend called IIFYM or “IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS” which seems to be an attempt to make a nutrition plan easier to follow. The concept is that as long as you are getting your target amount of each macronutrient, you don’t have to worry about total calories. Now, this is partially true and I agree with the general concept, however, the problem is you can’t generalize everything just for the sake of simplicity. Later on you’ll understand the subtle flaws of this program.

Going back to calories for a second – like an IIFYM plan, we are not going to count calories. As long as you follow the basic macronutrient plan that I lay out, you will get the proper amount of calories needed to build muscle without adding unwanted fat.

Protein

Now, let’s talk protein. We all know that we need more of it to build muscle, but that still leaves the question of how much – what kind and when. Let’s first talk about how much:

When trying to build muscle, you definitely need more protein than the average sedentary person. My personal rule, when trying to add muscle, is to get 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

So if I weigh 180 pounds, multiply that by 1.5 and that comes out to 270 grams of protein per day. This would be the equivalent of roughly 1,000 calories a day. Later on we’ll use this number and compare it to our rough caloric intake needed to build muscle, so that you can see how this macronutrient approach stacks up to counting calories.

Now that we’ve talked about how much we need, let’s talk about what kind of protein. Good food-based sources are going to include lean beef, buffalo (which by the way is leaner than beef and tastes awesome), chicken, fish, eggs and dairy. Now there are vegetable sources, but it does make it a little more challenging to get adequate amounts to build muscle.

Now that we know the importance of protein in your diet let’s talk fat. This is one macronutrient that most people have been conditioned to wrongly fear. It’s not always your enemy like we’ve been conditioned to believe. Fat can actually be a great ally when consumed properly for building muscle, and believe it or not, losing unwanted bodyfat.

Fat

There are three primary kinds of fat – polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and saturated fats. I’m not going to bother talking about trans fats since you should already know to avoid those. Now you may have heard about Omegas or EFAs – also known as Essential Fatty Acids. These both fall into the “good category” of fats – which are your poly and monounsaturated fats. This leaves the saturated fats, which come from food sources such as meat and dairy. We’ve all been told to stay away from the saturated fats, but recent research shows that saturated fats are very important for healthy testosterone levels in men. With that being said, we still want to keep our saturated fats lower but since testosterone is key to building muscle and strength, that saturated fat we get in our whole food protein sources, is going to work to our advantage. My personal preference is to keep saturated fats to about 20 percent of my total dietary fat and then split the other 80 percent between polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Now, I don’t directly break down those ratios – that’s far too much work for us normal people. Instead I try to be mindful of it and focus my effort on just keeping the saturated fats to a minimum. You’re automatically going to get enough saturdated fats in your whole food protein sources so at that point, I put my attention to getting adequate poly and monounsaturated fats from food sources such as salmon, tuna, flaxseed, olive oil, canola, safflower, or avocado, as well as certain nuts such as walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds. Using your bodyweight to calculate your total fat intake, like we did with protein, you should focus on getting about ½ gram of fat per pound of bodyweight.

If you’re 180 pounds, multiply that by .5 which equals 90 grams of fat. This is the equivalent of 810 calories. Later on, we’ll add that in to our macronutrient equation and see how this stacks up.

Carbs

Our last macronutrient category is carbohydrates. Now, like fats, we’ve heard mixed messages about carbs. This started with all the low-carb and no-carb diets. Let’s go ahead and wipe that out of your memory. When it comes to building muscle and gaining strength, carbs, or more specifically the right kind of carbs, at the right time, are your friend. As a matter of fact, we’re going to get the majority of our total caloric intake from carbs – over 40 percent to put a number on it. To calculate this, you’re going to take your bodyweight and multiply it by two to find out your total carb intake for the day.

180 pounds multiplied by 2 equals 360 grams of carbs. This equals 1,440 total calories. At the end we’ll add this up with our calories from fat and protein to see how we did for total calories.

So, just like fats, not all carbohydrates are the same – you may have heard a bunch of confusing and sometime conflicting terms like complex carbs, simple carbs, low-glycemic carbs, high-glycemic carbs, slow-digesting carbs or fast digesting carbs. Sometimes some of those terms mean the same thing and sometimes they don’t. OK, so that’s confusing right? So, for the sake of simplicity let’s stick to one set of terminology, which is high-glycemic versus low-glycemic.

High-glycemic carbs are those that are higher on the glycemic index, meaning that they are digested more quickly and consequently raise blood sugar levels higher and faster. High glycemic carbs include foods with a high sugar content like soft drinks, cake, candy and fruit juices. Those are the obvious ones, though. What are some of the not so obvious? That would include white bread, white rice, potatoes, and most cereals, just to name a few.

Now low-glycemic carbs digest more slowly, and in turn slowly release glucose into the bloodstream – which means you’re not getting those big spikes in insulin. We’ll talk about what that means in a minute. Low-glycemic foods would include rolled oats, bran, most vegetables, beans, whole wheat, whole wheat, brown rice, sweet potatoes and even most fruits.

So, why a fruit is low glycemic and fruit juice is high glycemic? The answer is fiber. You’ve heard that fiber is good for you but some people just think about digestive cleansing or heart healthy. The reality is that fiber plays a very important part of managing blood sugar levels (again, hang with me for a minute and I’ll explain what this means for building muscle). Fiber slows down the digestive process, which in turn results in a lower insulin response. Fruit juice has all the natural fiber from the fruit stripped out – that’s why one is fast glycemic (aka bad for you) and the other one high glycemic (good for you).

High glycemic carbs spike insulin and low glycemic carbs help regulate it. What’s good about insulin and what’s bad? Well, let’s look at what carbs are in the most simplistic way – they are energy. Now what is fat? Fat is just stored energy. Without getting too complicated, high spikes in insulin can cause your body to store that energy as fat. OK, so to avoid storing fat, we want to avoid spiking insulin levels, which means we want to stay away from high glycemic carbs correct? Well, almost. There is one exception to this rule that plays a big part in building muscle – and that revolves around that post workout nutrient window that we keep talking about. During this window your body is ready to replenish your depleted energy stores – in other words, it’s the perfect time to replenish glycogen stores, also known as CARBS. During this time you want fast digesting, or high-glycemic carbs, that your body can rapidly digest and replenish those energy stores. Now there’s a secondary benefit as well. Remember us talking about insulin and how high-glycemic carbs cause spikes in your insulin? Well in this post-workout window, this can be a great thing. Insulin also has the ability to be very anabolic, because of its ability to shuttle muscle building nutrients (aka your post-workout shake and amino acids). This is why post-workout, you actually want those fast acting carbs – yes even sugar! Just don’t get carried away. This is the exception to the rule. The rest of your meals you want to make sure are based on low-glycemic foods.

Now, that you understand the differences between the different sub-types of macronutrients and the proper timing of each, you can see why an IIFYM plan doesn’t work. It’s not quite as simple as just getting a set amount of each type of macro, any time of the day. Too many of the wrong carbs, or even the right carbs at the wrong time, can cause unwanted fat storage. The same is true of fats and even protein. Eating the right foods at the right times will maximize muscle gain and minimize fat storage.

Calculating Your Daily Intake

To properly count calories, you first have to calculate your BMR or basal metabolic rate. This is basically how many calories you need a day with no additional activity. If you’re an average 180 pound guy, 5’10” and 30 years old, you’re going to have a BMR requirement of about 1,900 calories a day. If you’re training hard and need a surplus of calories to build muscle you’re going to multiply your BMR by about 1.8. So this brings us to about 3,420 calories. This is inline with your average calorie recommendations for building muscle of 18-19 calories per pound of bodyweight (3,240-3,420).

So let’s see how our macro estimates stack up.

For protein we had 270 grams of protein, equaling 1,080 calories (270g x 4 cal per gram of protein=1,080)

For fats we had 90 grams of fat, equaling 810 calories (90 x 9 cal per gram of protein=810)

For carbohydrates we had 360 grams equaling 1,440 (360 x 4 cal per gram of carbs=1,440)

This brings us to a total of 3,330 total calories. As you can see this is right on target, and therefore no need to count calories – just be aware of them and use them as a way to make sure you’re on point.

Shopping List

To ensure you are set up for success in this program, we've provided a grocery list giving you specifics on what you should buy to help fuel your body, gain muscle, and stay on track. Additionally, the supplements recommended to accelerate your results are also itemized right here for you. No excuses, just results!

Proteins

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Tuna (water packed)
  • Fish (salmon, seabass, halibut)
  • Shrimp
  • Extra Lean Ground Beef
  • Protein Powder
  • Egg Whites or Eggs
  • Ribeye Steaks or Roast
  • Top Round Steaks or Roast (aka Stew Meat, London Broil, Stir Fry)
  • Beef Tenderloin (aka Filet, Filet Mignon)
  • Top Loin (NY Strip Steak)
  • Eye of Round (Cube Meat, Stew Meat, Bottom Round, 96% Lean Ground)
  • Ground turkey, Turkey Breast Slices or cutlets (fresh meat, not deli cuts)

Complex Carbs

  • Oatmeal (Old Fashioned or Quick Oats)
  • Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
  • Beans (pinto, black, kidney)
  • Brown Rice
  • Multigrain Cereal
  • Whole wheat Pasta

Fibrous Carbs

  • Lettuce (Green Leaf, Red, Leaf, Romaine)
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • String Beans
  • Spinach
  • Bell Peppers
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery

Healthy Fats

  • Peanut Butter
  • Olive Oil or Safflower Oil
  • Nuts (peanuts, almonds
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Avocado

Dairy & Eggs

  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Eggs
  • Low or Non-Fat Milk
  • Greek Yogurt

Other Produce & Fruits

  • Cucumber
  • Green or Red Pepper
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Bananas, apples, grapefruit, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • Lemons or Limes

Condiments & Misc.

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Chili powder
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Steak Sauce
  • Sugar Free Maple Syrup
  • Chili Paste
  • Mustard
  • Extracts (vanilla, almond, etc)
  • Sea Salt

At this point you’ve already gone through the training overview. If not, I highly recommend going back to review before you start. I also recommend that you read and watch the progress-boosting tips next. And just remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Next: