muscular man drinking protein shake
No matter how much iron you squat, curl, or press, if your diet isn’t on par with your training plan, your gains can become losses. If you don’t eat enough or hydrate properly, you’re likely to experience fatigue and problems building muscle. To gain muscle, aim to consume up to 18 calories per pound of body weight per day. If fat storage increases or stays stagnant, cut it to 14 calories per day. 

Your macros will be higher during the first four weeks, as you’re looking to build muscle, compared with the last four, when the mission is to reach peak condition. Use the following numbers as a working template, but anticipate the need to make adjustments to coincide with your progress. 

  • Add Muscle: 0.4g of fat per lb, 1–1.5g of protein per lb, 2g of carbs per lb
  • Shed Fat: 0.4g of fat per lb, 1–1.5g of protein per lb, 1g of carbs per lb

Nutrients: Macros vs. Micros

Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are macronutrients—substances needed by the body in relatively large amounts. Micronutrients are needed only in trace amounts and include vitamins (B6, C, D, K, E, folic acid), minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium), and trace minerals (zinc, fluoride, manganese). 

To further your results, incorporate a supplementation plan alongside proper nutrition. Get the scoop on Hi-Tech supps here.

Meet the Macros


Why: Make each meal protein-centric to deliver amino acids that spur muscle growth. 

Best Sources: Skinless chicken breasts, fish, shellfish, lean ground beef, flank, sirloin, or round beef (trimmed of fat), bison, pork tenderloin, turkey breasts, whole eggs. 

Tip: A palm-size serving of most meat has about 25g of protein. 


Why: Carbs create energy. Reserve simple carbs (foods high in sugar) for the first meal of the day and post-workout, as the insulin spike will shuttle nutrients into muscles, setting the table for anabolism and recovery, respectively. During other meals, scarf down slow-digesting carbs to keep insulin levels steady. 

Best Sources: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, whole fruit, berries, oats, whole grains, ancient grains (like quinoa, farro, and spelt). 

Tip: A fist-size serving of rice or potatoes has about 40g of carbs. 


Why: Healthy fats aid testosterone production, help keep joints healthy, support fat loss, and improve protein synthesis. 

Best Sources: Avocados, nuts, seeds, cooking oils (avocado, olive, coconut). 

Tip: A tbsp of oil has about 15g of fat. 

healthy food

Get to Know Your Micros

VITAMIN A: Supports bones, teeth, soft tissue, skin health. Found in egg yolks, beef, fish, and dark-colored fruit (berries, plums, grapes). 

VITAMIN C: An antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals. Found in dark leafy greens, chili peppers, strawberries, and broccoli. 

VITAMIN D: The “sunshine” vitamin is fat-soluble but tough to get from food (canned tuna, swordfish) alone. 

CALCIUM: Moves blood through the body; builds strong bones, including teeth. Best sources are dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese) and leafy greens (kale, broccoli, cabbage). 

MAGNESIUM: Helps lower risk of diabetes; regulates muscle and nerve functions, blood-sugar levels, and blood pressure. Best sources are legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and leafy greens. 

IRON: It’s best to fully absorb iron when consuming lean meats, poultry, and seafood. Iron helps create hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of your body. 

POTASSIUM: Required to balance the body’s chemical levels. Potassium deficiency has been linked to hypertension and heart disease. Best sources are fruits and veggies (bananas, potatoes, squash, leafy greens, citrus) and even dried fruit. 

ZINC: Found in oysters, red meat, poultry, shellfish, whole grains, and legumes, zinc wards off bacteria and viruses. 

tuna, salmon salad
Claire Benoist

Sample Meal Plan


Cottage Cheese and Fruit

  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese 
  • 1½ cups diced cantaloupe or honeydew 
  • ¼ cup granola 
  • Optional: 1 cup coffee with ¼ cup low-fat milk and 1 tsp agave syrup 

The Macros

Calories Protein Carbs Fat
473 35g 53g 14g


Mini Tuna Salad

  • 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce 
  • 1 plum tomato 
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced 
  • 6 oz chunk light tuna (canned in oil) 
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar 
  • Pinch of black pepper 

The Macros

Calories Protein Carbs Fat
348 45g 18g 9g


Chicken Quinoa Bowl

  • 1 cup shredded kale 
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa 
  • 4 oz grilled skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced 
  • 5 grape tomatoes, halved 
  • 2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese 
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley 
  • 1 tbsp slivered almonds 
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette (preferably homemade) 
  • 2 lemon slices

The Macros

Calories Protein Carbs Fat
627 45g 60g 24g

shrimp stir fry


Avocado Smoothie

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 14 oz almond milk
  • 2 scoops protein powder (like Hi-Tech NitroPro)
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp cacao powder  

The Macros 

Calories Protein Carbs Fat
511 48g 37g 22g


Shrimp Stir Fry

  • Marinate 6 oz shrimp in 1 tbsp each: low-sodium soy sauce, agave syrup, and fresh lemon juice, plus 1 tsp Dijon mustard.
  • Stir-fry marinated shrimp in 2 tsp sesame seed oil with 3 sliced mushrooms and ½ cup sliced red or yellow bell pepper.
  • Serve over 1 cup cooked brown rice or sorghum and top with 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds.
  • Serve with a side of ½ cup blueberries or raspberries. 

The Macros

Calories Protein Carbs Fat
661 48g 82g 17g

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