Nutrition Principles for a Healthy, Athletic, Aesthetic Body (part 2)


If you haven’t read part 1 do so before you read this.

Determining Goals of Gaining Muscle or Losing Fat

After all that, it’s time to add one last element to the equation. This element is simple; for aesthetic purposes it is optimal to determine whether you’re focusing on either gaining muscle or losing fat. Although it can happen, and it is possible for your body to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously, the body isn’t too good at doing both at the same time. This is certainly true the more advanced, and further developed your body is. I was surprised with my initial results with intermittent fasting, where I noticed I was achieving both muscle gain and fat loss simultaneously. However it didn’t sustain, and eventually I had to resort back to separating objectives.

The bottom line is this that it’s critical to determine whether your primary focus is to gain muscle, lose fat, or maintain. In the future I will go into more depth on this subject, but in essence, your body is only truly effective at one of these body composition goals. This is where most people plateau. They are trying to do too much at once. If you’re serious about getting a ridiculously aesthetic body, you must ‘specialize.’ How this is done is pretty simple, whether you’re trying to gain, lose, or maintain, you must track what’s happening on the scale. Weekly scale measuring is imperative. It is the primary success measuring devise. For example, if you’re trying to drop body fat and after a week of effort you step on the scale and nothing has happened, it means you haven’t cut calories enough and it’s time to simply eat less food. If you’re trying to gain muscle and after a week of effort you have gained no weight, it means you haven’t increased calories enough and it’s time to eat more food.

So here’s a specific example of how you can incorporate what I’m talking about here. This is an example from my life, demonstrated with one of my favorite meals; scrambled eggs mixed with black beans.

Goal: Maintenance
  • 2 eggs, added egg whites (maybe like 20 grams of additional protein or so) a bit of cheese (small handful), and 1/2 can of black beans. This is all seasoned with sea salt and pepper (it’s delicious).
Goal: Cutting Fat
  • 2 eggs, added egg whites (maybe like 20 grams of additional protein or so) no cheese, and 1/4 can of black beans. This is all seasoned with sea salt and pepper (it still delicious, but a bit more blah due to lack of cheese, not to mention it’s a bit less satisfying).
Goal: Building Muscle
  • 4 eggs, added egg whites (maybe like 20 grams of additional protein or so) plenty of cheese (larger handful), and 3/4 can of black beans. Again, seasoned with sea salt and pepper (and again, delicious).

Another thing to consider is dropping and raising your carbohydrate intake depending on your goals. I’ve made a graph that is a useful way of looking at things. Remember, the carbohydrate issue is a controversial one. I do not claim that this graph represents absolute reality or the way the human body handles carbohydrates. However, it is a useful way of looking at things. My recommendation is to play around with your carbohydrate intake and trace the ’cause and effect’ of what happens. Have fun with this. I’ve found that cutting the calories from carbohydrates is probably the easiest way to cut maintain your muscle mass while dropping body fat.
*click to enlarge

Keep in mind that gaining and losing is the hardest part. Maintaining your body weight is fairly simple and takes much less sacrifice. When you’re attempting to lose or gain it generally takes a massive amount effort, energy, focus, and self-imposed pain. Remember this when you are dieting and limiting your calories. “This too shall pass.” When limiting calories, you will be hungry (you’ll also feel ‘light’ which is a good feeling and one of the things I love about intermittent fasting). This is the ugly truth. However, always remember, what’s worse? A bit of self-discipline where there is a terrific reward in the end, or a life of regret, being overweight, ill, and with a lack of physical vitality and energy. I think you’d agree which is the better choice.

“The pain of regret or the pain of discipline, take your pick”

Some Additional General Guidelines and Recommendations

  • Get use to eating mostly plain foods the majority of the time. This doesn’t mean they are gross. It means that they aren’t an un-natural roller coaster ride for your taste buds like a lot of corporate manufactured foods provide.
  • Make meals taste good with sauces, spices, and condiments (that come from nature of course).
  • For the majority of the time, derive joy from other areas of your life, not food.
  • Like I mentioned, be conscious and be real with yourself. See certain vices for what they are; a drug. Even label them that. Occasionally I’ll go get Krispy Kreme donuts. I don’t kid/lie/rationalize to myself and say “it’s not that big of a deal.” I Tell myself the truth, I’m going to ingest a drug. That’s fine, the body can get handle a drug no problem every once-in-a-while. If it’s consistent, it will kill your spirit, and eventually your body (hilarious stand-up comedian Louis CK points this out in a funny way here.)
  • Don’t be perfect. Strive to eat well the majority of the time. What ‘majority’ means is obviously subjective, and for a reason. For me, the ‘majority’ of the time means I eat what I consider perfectly 6 days a week. One day a week I eat whatever I want while still being somewhat considerate of calorie consumption. Remember, this is about sustainability. Striving to be perfect almost always results in failure, frustration, and ultimately quitting. Strive for excellence, not perfection.

What I Ate Yesterday

This post is way too long, but I want to give you a quick look at what yesterday looked like for me. Keep in mind that this week, I am focusing on cutting fat so I am limiting my overall intake.

  • Skipped Breakfast: Coffee with a bit of half and half (see intermittent fasting post)
  • [12:00 pm] 45 minutes of intense weight training immediately followed by 50 grams of whey protein
  • [1:15 pm] Post workout meal 30 mins later: around 2 cups of low fat cottage cheese mixed with around 2 cups of raspberries (or so) and a couple large spoonfuls of peanut butter
  • [5:00 pm] around 2 cups plain low fat yogurt mixed with 25 grams of casein protein and a small handful of pure shredded coconut
  • [6:30 pm] 30 minutes of intense HIIT training (10 sets of running the stairs of doom)
  • [7:00 pm] Went out with friends to Chilis. I ordered the Salmon meal with asparagus and a spinach salad
  • [9:00 pm] around 1 cup of plain Kefir

I didn’t count my calories, I don’t care to. I know I was in a deficit because I could feel it. I felt light (good feeling) with a slight sense of hunger (okay feeling, nothing wrong with it) for alot of the day. Keep in mind that I wasn’t in such a caloric deficit that I couldn’t train intensely. This is a balancing act. Getting enough calories to still train hard, yet also being in a caloric deficit.

The end.


In case you skipped over it in part I, here are links to my favorite supplements and the stuff I generally use somewhat regularly. These are products and brands that have taken me along time and a lot of experimentation to discover. I do get a small percentage kickback on any sales through these links, so if you want to support this post and this site and you feel like trying some new stuff out, please order by clicking through these links (for those that aren’t aware, is a great place to order supplements; fast shipping, good service, cheap prices)

Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Optimum 100% Whey Protein is my favorite protein by far. Great taste, great pure quality, great price. There is a natural product Optimum makes which does not use artificial sweetners that is great too . $21.99
Optimum casein Optimum Gold Standard 100% Casein is great to mix things up. You can literally make a protein pudding/fluff with the stuff that is great. I’ve also found that this protein also makes me feel full for longer. $28.99
muscle milk CytoSport Muscle Milk is the best tasting stuff you can find, in my opinion. This is not a pure protein, it contains some fat and also some carbs in it. Great for ‘desert.’ Use with caution however as it’s as good as candy and can be over eaten easily. $23.98
multi men Optimum: Opti-Men is a great option for a simple multi-vitamin for men $13.99
Optimum: Opti-Women Optimum: Opti-Women is a great option for a simple multi-vitamin for women $9.99
USPlabs: Jack3d USPlabs: Jack3d is the best pre-workout drink you’ll ever use. However, after using it for a month you’ll find that it won’t work quite as well. I recommend this product for days when you’re dragging. Warning: don’t get addicted. $26.99
USPlabs: Modern BCAA USPlabs: Modern BCAA is the best tasting branch chain amino acid product I’ve tried. This is the best stuff you can get for fasted workouts. $28.99
Optimum: Fish Oil Softgels Optimum: Fish Oil Softgels is a high quality fish oil product. This supplement is critical for getting proper amounts of omega 3′s. Make sure you’re taking adequate amounts: around 2 g EPA and 1.5 g DHA per day. I consider this one of the most essential supplements anyone can take (for both health and fitness). $6.99
NOW: Vitamin D-3 NOW: Vitamin D-3 is also critical. If you don’t get sun on a regular basis you’re likely vitamin D deficient. If this is you, take 2000-5000 iu’s day. $4.55

Final Thoughts

This may seem like a lot. My goal with this post was to be an over-view, or condensed resource of what has taken me literally years to figure out (and hours upon hours to write and articulate). I didn’t cite any scientific references because of the nature of it being an over-view. I’ve been a maniac about looking into studies and science behind nutrition for quite awhile now and this is the most condensed, simple, and sensible overview of all my findings. Obviously there’s a lot of theories and ideologies behind nutrition, and I’ve had to weigh many differing opinions. However in the end I’m really only interested in one thing; results. My experiences working with people and the fact that I’ve been able to completely transform my body makes me confident in my recommendations and of the validity of everything I’ve talked about in this article. In future articles, when I go more into depth on each issue at hand, further studies and more detailed personal experiences will be cited.

“Rome wasn’t built overnight.”

If you are new to all this, no problem, take baby steps. Try making small changes. One small change per week for example. Then add to that small change with another small change the next week. Build upon your success. Don’t try to change all at once, or you will surely fail. Remember, Rome wasn’t built overnight. For the people reading this that are more advanced in your body development, I hope this provided you an easy way to look at nutrition that will allow you to take things to the highest level possible while still maintaining the quality of your life in all other facets. Remember, ultimately this is all about simple decisions; that’s it. And finally, one last time, always keep in mind:

there is a lot on the line with how you conduct yourself, the decisions you make, and the habits you form will quite literally determine the long term quality of your life on this earth.
DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind this is assuming you are a generally healthy person with no current illnesses. I’m no doctor, and this is not medical advise; just my opinions and experiences. I think I’m suppose to say something like “consult your physician before you try any diet program” here too…… ;)

***this took a massive amount of effort for me to articulate and write, at some point it may even be expanded and turned into a book. If you found it valuable, please share it with your friends***

About Sam Lloyd

Hey, I'm the creator of theSAMeffect. I share ideas that help you live a bad-ass life. Click here to learn more. Twitter | Facebook | Subscribe


  1. Orinn says:

    Thanks so much for a great post Sam. In regards to you training day meal example above what was the overall calorie count and macro breakdown as it seems very low for a traing day or is that the point. For example what is your current weight and do you eat very low calories for 6 days and then have cheat days. Sorry for the questions but want to get an idea of your frame work so I can utilise it myself. Cheers, Orinn

    • Sam Lloyd says:

      Orinn, I love questions!

      Okay so here’s the deal; I am focusing on losing fat this week. So yes, the calories are below maintenance. I didn’t count them, but because of years of experience I know that they were below maintenance. This is what I mean by having an ‘intuitive sense.’ I also know they were below maintenance because I’ve lost a bit of weight on the scales in the past 10 days (I’m experimenting with cutting for 2 week episodes, followed by ‘bulking’ for 2 week….I don’t know if I want to recommend it at this point, but that’s what I’m doing).

      And the final reason I know they were below maintenance is because I was slightly hungry and felt ‘light’ all day. To me, counting calories is not a sustainable lifestyle. I don’t want to plan out everything I eat, everyday. When trying to cut fat, I’d rather just eat natural foods, rely on my body’s hunger signals (hunger = good in this case), and watch the scale and make slight eating adjustments based on this feedback. The only thing that I ‘count’ or track is protein consumption. I do make sure I’m hitting the daily goal for that (around 200 grams).

      • Orinn says:

        And I love Answers!

        Cheers Sam, that clears things up for me.

        I will keep you posted on progress.
        PS. Is there away that we can be notified to our email address automatically when someone replies?

        • Sam Lloyd says:

          Orinn your question inspired me to add this to the first part of the post: “What this post is not about is specific calorie counting. It is also not a traditional ‘meal plan.’ Meal plans aren’t sustainable. I’m in this for life, and I hope that you are too. That’s the bottom line.”

          I’m not sure about automatic email updates. I thought it should have been sending them. This is annoying, I’ll look into getting it fixed.

        • Sam Lloyd says:

          Figured it out. There’s now a check box where you can get email updates on new comments. Thanks for pointing that out.

          • Orinn says:

            Sam, when you are bulking how do you increase your calories if you do not take starchy carb’s…do you increase your fats as well as protein? Back to an earlier discussion about your BJJ activity, I am a massive fan of the Gracie family and followed Royce and more importantly Rickson Gracies career, who I rate as the best of them all.

          • Sam Lloyd says:

            Yes. I’ll just add quantity of everything I normally eat.

            Here’s an example of one of my favorite meals:

            2 eggs, added egg whites (maybe like 20 grams of additional protein or so) a bit of cheese, and 1/2 can of black beans.

            2 eggs, added egg whites (maybe like 20 grams of additional protein or so) no cheese, and 1/4 can of black beans.

            4 eggs, added egg whites (maybe like 20 grams of additional protein or so) plenty of cheese, and 3/4 can of black beans.

  2. Orinn says:

    No problem Sam.

    Keep up the good work and keep um coming.


  3. Nice work man! Epic. We share the same goals! The framework here is perfect. You’ve left out some details obviously, but I haven’t seen the basics laid out better anywhere else. A poet!

    You’ve even helped me out! I’ve been maintaining single-digit body fat % for over a year now, but haven’t been satisfied with my muscular development. I’m pretty strong, but at this point I should be getting REALLY strong.

    New goal: eat more! Haha. I can always cut the fat later if I gain any. I guess I was trying to do both at once! Live and learn.

    Great work man. Keep it coming.

    • Sam Lloyd says:

      Thanks for the props Graham. I keep editing this to make it as close to a perfect overview as possible. I think it’s important to ‘merge’ the truths behind all dieting philosophies. Focusing on one goal or another obviously comes from the bodybuilding community. It’s SO freaking important to clarify your goals. For general health obviously this doesn’t necessarily apply, however for aesthetics, it does. Big time.

  4. gonneke says:

    hi sam thanks for the great post …it helps a lot

  5. Mallory says:

    hm….so do you not eat meat on days you lift??? i think i woudl starve lol

    • Sam Lloyd says:

      Yeah I am not a big meat eater. I try to eat fish and wild game as often as possible. My roommate is a hunter so he shares his elk meat with me and we have it occasionally. I have nothing to back this up, but my suspicion is that the lifestock that our modern day society consumes in mass isn’t ideal. I get almost all my protein from dairy products because of this. I still support alot of the ‘paleo’ or ‘caveman’ diet philosophies, however, when it comes to meat I don’t think substituting a cow with a deer is really equivalent, and I don’t think dairy is bad either….. at all. You would have to be a real dummy to kill a chicken or cow if you lived 10,000 years ago. Why would you when they would provide you with food on a daily basis (milk and eggs). These are just my thoughts and I’m not necessarily recommending this for other people.

      The bottom line is personally, I really don’t care for meat too much.

      • My thoughts on this are definitely different. Dairy is cow’s milk. Its meant for baby cows. That’s a very obvious truth. Most of us CAN digest it (some of us really can’t though), but its not optimal for anyone, except BABY COWS. The protein is good, but is it really all that natural if a lot of the fat is taken out? Not sure myself…Also, the cows people in en masse are generally steers (bulls that were castrated at birth). The ‘cows’ (female cattle) are mostly used for dairy, and when they don’t produce anymore…all beef hot dogs!

        95% of the meat consumed in the United States (and most of Canada…we’re no different) are from factory-farms where the herd is fed primarily corn and soy (not to mention chicken feces…). Cattle are meant to eat grass…corn kills them. Fattens them up quick, but when they get to slaughter they are so sick from corn (sometimes, some cows do better than others) that they were going to die anyway. We eat sick cattle. Gross. Those same cows being fed corn create dairy. Its even less ideal in my opinion.

        Grass-fed/Grass-finished beef? ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS, and I have yet to see anything more nutritious. I get it delivered by a farmer who raised the cattle himself, so I know I can trust him. He lets the dairy go to where its used best: calfs. Pastured lamb, pork, chicken, eggs…its all good! Just a bit hard to find. You won’t get it at the grocery store.

        I’m not attacking you here Sam, I just want to make sure the message is clear: meat is not bad, at all. Meat from sick animals is bad, but so is the dairy! And the 10000 years ago argument? They picked them off the herd to keep numbers down – that’s nature! Without predators, the prey eat too much, reproduce too much, run out of food, and die. We need to kill individual animals to keep the species thriving. Its ‘evolutionary pressure’.

        You can definitely attain your goals (health, athleticism, aesthetics) without a lot of meat, but you can also do it WITH meat.

        Like Sam says, his feelings on meat are personal – nothing wrong with that. I eat the stuff (grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, pastured lamb/pork) almost every day, and am quite lean, strong, and healthy.

        The stuff for $1.99/lb from the grocery store?…ummm….I’m siding with Sam on that one. Pass me some wild elk instead!!

        • Sam Lloyd says:

          Good thoughts Graham. I agree with basically all of it.

          For me, eating grassfed got dang expensive really quickly, and it’s really really really inconvenient. So I got to a point where I was like “why am I spending all this money weekly on meat I don’t really like anyways?” Generally speaking, I would much rather mix up cottage cheese and fruit than eat a chunk of flesh.

          Paleo enthusiast, who know nothing about anthropology (I’m not claiming that I do either btw), love to speculate about what primal man ate. They also love to talk about how our ancient ancestors didn’t drink milk or consume dairy products. Oh yeah? Why not? In a environment where survival was tough, why wouldn’t you? I have seen dang good arguments and reasoning on why our genome is meant for vegetarianism too. So what’s the real answer? What if you lived on a coast line? Wouldn’t you eat pineapple and bananas all day long with very little protein? Wouldn’t it vary GREATLY what ancient man ate?

          I’m to the point where I don’t believe anyone knows what the hell they’re talking about in regards to the question of what ancient man ate. As far as health (and everything else in life) is concerned, I’m not interested in some ideology. I’m interested in results. The study of healthy societies is the real starting point for studying health, not some evolutionary speculation. I think Weston Price’s book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” is a good starting point for people interested in this way of looking at things. Some of the societies he studied drank milk. Some also ate grains. That’s why I still scratch my head about certain issues regarding carbs. Another good resource is this blog: for anyone interested in really studying health.

          As you can probably tell, I’m totally disillusioned with the ‘paleo community’ at the present moment. haha. I’m not trying to be a jerk btw. Just stating some thoughts. :)

          • Mallory says:

            I agree, with both of you. Dairy is such a debated topic…should we eat/drink something that comes form a cows utter? And, a cow that has been fed hormones, their milk pasteurized and stripped of nutrition and then RE-fortified from outside synthetic chemical/vitamins???? that’s odd/gross and sounds like chemical food. not to mention the 10 extra additives in dairy products. i love raw grassfed dairy, but again the inconvenience factor is as bad as the grassfed beef not to mention expense(especially b/c this chick eats like 3500 cals a day!)

            so yea i am torn both ays but i didnt mean to start debate just curiosity. this statement is money though:
            “I’m to the point where I don’t believe anyone knows what the hell they’re talking about in regards to the question of what ancient man ate.”

            sooooo true :)

  6. Haha – you’re NOT trying to be a jerk?! jk

    I suppose I’m still a little more enamored with the paleo community than you are. They really changed my life! What can I say? As much as some of the doctrines piss me off (see ‘calories in vs. calories out), I have seen SO MANY people get much healthier by “going primal”. I do eat dairy sometimes (good cheese, greek-style yogurt, butter), but I do recommend that most people get their protein from animal flesh primarily. Includes fish, and eggs. I think we both know that the protein from nuts and beans is pretty weak. I’ll also eat potatoes sometimes – they seem to sit fine. Hard-core paleo adherents think its poison, but I agree that its ignorant. As Martin Berkhan says – MACROS HAVE CONTEXT!!

    ‘Generally speaking, I would much rather mix up cottage cheese and fruit than eat a chunk of flesh.’

    And cottage cheese grosses me out! We all have out preferences.

    Good chat man.

    • Sam Lloyd says:

      So what was the causal factor behind them getting healthier? Was is ‘going primal?’ Or was it that they finally starting doing SOMETHING proactive and finally stopped eating so haphazardly? The biggest take-away I’ve gotten from the paleo community is limiting processed carbs. Honestly, I think that alone will drastically improve people’s bodies from the inside out.

      • Orinn says:

        The bit I don’t quite understand with Sam’s strategy and the Paleo way of thinking is that if you eat a non starchy carb or low calorie diet for a number of days doesn’t your leptin levels drop and slow down metabolism and that’s why people have refeeds every now and again to raise the levels and this is normally in the form of starchy carbs. If there is another way to avoid this without eating starchy carbs whilst keeping the metabolism at a high fat burning level then please let me know.

        As for the non dairy, pro dairy school of thought I think sites like Sam’s are ideal for learning and debate

  7. Orinn says:

    The bit I don’t quite understand with Sam’s strategy and the Paleo way of thinking is that if you eat a non starchy carb or low calorie diet for a number of days doesn’t your leptin levels drop and slow down metabolism and that’s why people have refeeds every now and again to raise the levels and this is normally in the form of starchy carbs. If there is another way to avoid this without eating starchy carbs whilst keeping the metabolism at a high fat burning level then please let me know.

    As for the non dairy, pro dairy school of thought I think sites like Sam’s are ideal for learning and debate.

  8. Amanda says:

    I have a question about how much I should be eating. My goal would be more on the loose fat side, but of course, want to gain muscle as well. I have never counted calories and do not want to. I also haven’t paid too much attention to how much protein/carbs/fats (I pay attention, but I’m not too detailed about it). With that said, I want to make sure I am eating enough and at the same time not too much. What I eat is definitely considered “clean.” I’ve decided to give the fasting a try and think it will work perfectly into my schedule. My question is how can I figure out what my body needs without going crazy about it. Any tips? Thanks!

  9. Amanda says:

    Hey, I just wanted to add one more question. You talk allot about being intense in your workouts and I want to make sure I understand your terms of intense. It’s hard for me to get to the gym so anything at home is better. I have debated between Crossfit (just following it home) and P90x. I’m quite sure Crossfit is more intense, but have had great results with the P90x in the past….not sure if this is considered intense, however. Although, I realize it also depends on how much I personally push myself with any program. Thanks.

    • Sam Lloyd says:

      Well crossfit uses equipment usually so if you don’t have some sort of a home gym, that may not be an option. I think p90x is a great option for home workouts. Obviously, as you know, pushing yourself is the key and you can easily go through the motions with ANY workout and not see results. One of the best things you can do to supplement those is to go to the park and do sprints a few times a week also. There is nothing more intense than full-on sprints. :)

  10. Amanda says:

    My husband has set up the minimal needed to do crossfit in our garage so that’s no problem. Sprints is a great idea. I can fit that in on the weekends…or during the week with a stroller if I really want :) Any tips for my calorie intake? Thanks again.

    • Sam Lloyd says:

      That’s great. I think crossfit is a terrific option and system for general fitness and body improvement. I don’t like how a lot of ‘crossfiters’ treat it like a religion, and many people that are involved seem to have a cult member-type mindset, so please don’t turn into one of ‘those’ ;) Just have fun with it.

      The biggest thing with calories is you must start to track what’s going on. I don’t believe in any sort of ‘formula,’ and I don’t believe in strict calorie counting (not sustainable or enjoyable). I have no idea where you’re at, but I would start by trying to consume around 2000 per day of quality natural foods that are protein rich, for a week, with your new exercise routine and see what happens on the scale. If no weight has been lost after this week, it’s probably time to bump it down a bit, which would really translate into simply ‘eating less food.’

      The end goal is to simply become conscious of consumption, and interrupt the pattern of haphazard eating, while ending that old way of living forever. :)

      • Amanda says:

        Those are good tips and maybe I’m already there and simply over analyzing. My biggest flaw is bakeing…I love bakeing for my family and I love eating it all! Other than that I eat very good and as far as how much…I’m 5’2 and weigh 135…so I already know 2000 would be too much. I actually counted calories yesterday and I ate around 1100. That would be normal for me. I guess I’ll just see how it goes as you said.

        My goals are to get to where I want to be (weight and muscle) and find a way that I can truly live doing so. I pressed so hard in the past (and was pretty close to my goal), that it burned me out and I ended failing. Which leads me to where I am now. I have 4 young children so I have to find a way that is realistic for me and my family.

        Next question….after researching the IF I found an interview with Mark Berkhan. He stated that he tends to find women work better on a 14hr fast rather than 16. Any opinion on this? Today was my 1st day to fast and around 13hrs I was feeling it. Not sure if it’s something I need to let my body get use to or if 14hrs is better for me. Sorry if this is so long…thanks so much :)

  11. Amanda says:

    Oh and you are so right about crossfiters! I’ve seen it happen to my husband! Although I have to say, I like the idea of support that the “religous, cult member-type” would have in crossfit. I’m all about support and encouragement. Though, I wouldn’t have that in my garage!

  12. cliff tan says:

    i stay in singapore and every damn food is imported from other country.
    it is too expensive to buy and eat grassfed beef.
    so i eat factory beef and supptment with fish oil to balance my 3 to 6.

    and i eat eggs and chicken too.
    yes, factory cheicken and i lose 10 kg so far.

    i need to follow my bugdet!

    do you eat chicken? if not, why?

    thank you

  13. ray says:

    i am very interested in IF. just started yesterday and will follow this blog. thanks guys.

  14. Desi says:

    Hey Sam,
    I just spent almost 2 hours on here, I’ve learned so much and am excited to start intermittent fasting!

    Anyway, I’m 5’2″ and 115-118 lbs (it fluctuates). My goal is to lose body fat and tone up a little. Would you recommend that I buy protein powder and supplements? If yes, what kinds?
    Or do you think I won’t necessarily need them?

    Thanks in advance!

  15. Marius says:

    Hey Sam!
    Until now I’ve only used gainers after workout. I wanna experiment with whey protein.
    Here is the question: you don’t get any carbs at all after workout? Wouldn’t some of that whey protein (50grams, no carbs) be wasted being used as an energy source?

  16. Tim says:

    Alright Sam, now I’ve got a nutrition question for you. You seem to have a pretty solid idea of how to use carbs. Do you do carb cycling when you are trying to gain mass or when you are trying to cut fat? Also, what are you thoughts on being able to gain lean muscle and lower your body fat percentage simultaneously?


    • Sam Lloyd says:

      When I’m trying to gain mass I up the carbs quite a bit, especially post workout. When I’m cutting I drop most carbs, and cycle a day or 2 where I’ll cycle them in (cheat days).

      As far as gaining lean muscle and lower body fat simultaneously, it can be done, especially for people just starting. But the more advanced you are, and the longer you’ve been lifting, the harder it is to do. It seems to become nearly impossible once you’re at a certain point. I recommend people to get their bodyfat percentage below 15-20% before they even start thinking about ‘bulking.’

  17. Theresa says:

    Hey Sam! I have done IF twice (both 24 hours) but want to try 16 hours for a week as an experiment. :) With a lot of the IF information I have read, the workouts come in the afternoons but I have to get mine done in the a.m. Since my workouts are usually at 7, would I then stop eating by 4? Thanks in advance and thank you for taking the time to write this piece!!

    • Sam Lloyd says:

      Well what are you goals? Just weight loss?

      • Theresa says:

        oh sorry I guess that would be important.. yes. I am 5’11 and 160 lbs at the moment. I am shooting for 10-15 lbs but really just want to get my BF % down so I’m not too focused on the scale. I’d like to get to 15, and I’m at 21 now.

  18. Scott says:

    What are your thoughts on brown rice, and spelt bread?

    I know you mentioned in this article that you want to avoid breads and pastas, but both of these carbs are whole grain and slow releasing.

    I would love to hear your opinion about this.

  19. Rayca says:

    I really like your style, Sam. I’m SO used to countrng calories or having several meals. Heck, when I’m on a cut, that’s only about 250 kcals. for the size girl I am. It’s so liberating the way you do it. I’ve just GOT to give it a try. –Thanks a bunch.

  20. Danae says:

    Hi Sam,

    I have been looking for a weight loss solution for years and I have tried many diets that haven’t worked for me. Your website has honestly been such an inspiration to me and your passion to share your knowledge with others has truly motivated me to take this approach on board and to change my lifestyle and the way I lose weight.

    The quote ‘there is alot on the line with how you conduct yourself, the decisions you make, and the habits you form will quite literally determine the long term quality of your life on this earth’ has become my desktop background, as it is such true words that I need to be reminded of every day! Love it!

    I simply wanted to say thank you soooo much for all this information and to keep it coming! Love your writing style too, very informative yet so casual, entertaining and an easy-read at the same time.

    Danae :)

  21. Frank says:

    Hi Sam, I have a question about carbs from vegetables, according to your graph, the sweet spot indicates approximately 125 grams total carbohydrates a day, are carbohydrates from fibrous vegetables to be counted toward this number, or are you talking about carbs from whole grains , beans ect.? Thanks!

    • Sam Lloyd says:

      Total carbs is what I mean. This isn’t a hard rule, just a principle. When you eat vegetables and fruits, maybe add in a little rice, beans or yogurt, you’ll likely end up in that range.

  22. Hunter says:

    Hey Sam I was wondering if you ever had problems with binging and how you stopped? This has kept me from my goals for a long time. My calories are not that low, it’s just Sunday afternoons I am inside all day and seemed to get stressed about the week….wondered if you had any suggestions. Thanks.

    • Sam Lloyd says:

      Yeah I binge occasionally. Everyone does. My thing is I have days where I ‘cheat’ and just eat junk food. I don’t junk food on top of my normal diet like I use to, I just eat junk food. So my goal on days like this is to just keep my total calories somewhat in check, and not worry about macro-nutrients. Works for me. :)

  23. nathan says:

    hi sam im 6 foot.n weight 260lbs been training for years on and off .its took me till now to realize its all about the nutrition ! ive lost about 3kg in a month but seem to be struggling nw with all the eating so ive decided to try your amazing strategy id say im like you put on mass easy but also bf and also id say im big heavy boned if thas the way to say it . i train around 12 noon also so if i fasted from 9 pm till 1pm after gym in the morning while in fasting can i have a protein shake? also what time should i stop all carbs or is it ok to eat them up in till 9pm? seems very hard to get my head around it but im sure i will lol also how many times should i eat in my 8 hour window any help would be well appreciated cheers nathan

  24. nathan says:

    also sam sorry to bombard you if i was to eat my egg whites say 9am n protein shake,then train at 12 could i just stop eating at 4pm till 9am the next day will the if still work as id still be food free for 16 hours cheers sam for any info keep up the good website man

  25. mike says:

    This was an awesome post. It’s informative and summarizes many popular theories. My only concern is after all the talk of natural foods, it appears your mainly eating processed whey protein? From what I have read, it’s potentially harmful if treated with high heat during the processing.

  26. Rayca says:

    ****Where the heck do you get your glucose fueled workouts from? I’m not being rude, I really mean it. You’re obviously low-carb. I’ve tried eating almost identical to your sample meal and I’m wiped out when doing a 40 minute intense weightlifting session. I’m trying to cut body fat and I keep my workout extremely low volume with plenty of rest time in between sets and still, exhausted during it. Low carb diets are notorious for being very bad for weightlifters (except that final few pounds on a cut). I’m also a girl at 5’2″ and I eat about as much as you in your sample, so I should have plenty in the tank to fuel my workouts, but no luck there. I’m always wondering (and in awe) of how you guys do it.

  27. S Ali1802 says:

    Hey Sam, just stumbled across your blog, which I am enjoying reading. I am really desperate in need of sone advice. I have adopted the IF routine., where on my fasted days (Mon & Thu) I only drink water. The other days I’ll have 2 meals a day, which usually consists of porridge in the morning and veggies/Fish in the afternoon. My aim is to lose body fat and attain that athletic form.

    I have recently signed up to my local gym, where my routine has been on my fasted days (i.e mon & thu) I spend 30 mintues using weight and resistance bands. I don’t know whether to incorporate any cardio in a fasted state, as I usually get really dizzy and nauseous when lifting weights.

    The other days, where I usually work out in the mornings after I’ve had a bowl of porridge. This usually entails an hour on the bike or cross trainer. I have read a few articles on performing cardio first thing i the mroningon an empty stomach, which apparently is really good for fat loss. I tried this, and failed miserably wiithin 10 min as I was left really dizzy and unable to continue. Is there anything you can advise me on how to combat this?

    Also, the routine I have adopted as explained above, do think it is effective in what I am trying to achieve ( fat loss). I am currently 70 kg (female, 24), and would like to lose 15kg. I am hoping to doing this in 3 months. Do you think that healthy and realistic. My apologies for all these questions, unfortunately I known very little about the field of fitness.

    I thank you in advance for your time and advice!

  28. Hennni23 says:

    Hi i am planning on starting IF tomorrow but my main workout has been insanity if i take BCAA is that too intense? im a 17 year old girl btw

  29. jayWall says:

    Hey Sam,

    First off, thanks for the article and for the site!  They’re very helpful!

    One thing that I’d like to know, though… You mentioned that you increase your carbs when bulking… How many grams do you increase it to?  On average, do you find yourself consuming around 200g of carbs a day when bulking? 

    Also, do you shoot for certain macros when you’re cutting vs bulking vs maintenance? For example, when cutting do you find yourself consuming 50% Protein, 40% Fats, 10% Carbs?  

  30. Racko says:

    This is great dude ur doin a lot of gains!!!..I’m doin IF this past 2 weeks just a little concern about my workout routine.. I’m lifting 4 days split then the 3 days is sprinting and hardcore basketball I’m 5″7 132 lbs 18% bf . I don’t know if when is my rest day lol..I usually end up eating my whole week as training days.. So can I cycle carb like yours? And during when? cardio days? I’m not yet there but my abs are showing one by one and I want to lose more fats dude!!! HELP

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