The Science Behind the Size
Once you get your optimum numbers dialed in, the flexibility of your diet opens up. That’s because research shows that as long as you account for calories and macronutrients, meal frequency is irrelevant in terms of changing body composition. If that’s the case, choosing the right diet structure for you is about making your plan as realistic, functional, and sustainable as possible, and not about clinging to bro-science.
Theoretically, you could eat your 2,800 calories over six small meals, three average-size ones, or one to two large meals and get equally impressive results. But which one is the most practical in the real world of a working professional—plastic containers and clock watching or consistently nailing down a solid lunch and dinner?
I advocate following an intermittent feast eating structure—going light and low-carb during the day, and then eating the majority of your calories and carbs at night—simply because it is the easiest plan to follow for the majority of guys out there. It fits in with our business and social patterns. It aligns with our natural instincts. It breaks dietary obsession.
Human beings evolved on a fasting and feeding cycle. We spent the majority of our existence fasting or eating lighter during the day while actively tracking, hunting, and gathering our food. Then we spent the evening relaxing and feasting on the majority, if not all, of our daily food intake. Train. Feast. Repeat.
This method is extremely effective on a physiological level. It controls insulin and blood sugar levels, and maximizes fat-burning hormones and cellular factors like growth hormone (GH) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) during the day. This ensures that you are burning fat for a large portion of the day. It also boosts energy and improves cognitive function.
Going big with a nightly feast maximizes muscle-building hormones and additional cellular factors like cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). And with depleted energy reserves and damaged muscle fibers from training, you’ll be more than ready for a chowdown throwdown. The best part is you’ll be craving foods that serve a metabolic purpose—high-quality proteins, clean carbs, and healthy fats. The desire to dirty bulk with crap and eat useless foods will be dramatically reduced after eating a complete, satiating, wholefoods dinner.
What the heck does this mean outside of the lab in the real world of the gym? You get to bulk the right way, and you build muscle while keeping body fat in check—all without compromising your overall health.