I firmly believe that this is THE bodybuilder’s diet. Nothing is going to pack on mass quite like it.
You are about to be introduced to a diet that will allow you to build NEW slabs of muscle without adding any body fat.
This diet acts as a biological TRIGGER to jack up your body’s anabolic hormones.
In fact I’ll say this: Meaningful gains in muscle mass will ONLY happen once you accept the fact that you must create an optimal anabolic environment inside your body.
Half of the story is training correctly (see 12 steps to building max muscle). The other half is diet and is fully covered in this article.
NOTE: I have a free MuscleHack calculator that will automatically calculate your daily protein & calorie requirements. You can use it and even download it if you prefer. If you would like access to it, just type in your email below.
You don’t have to go to your email to click a confirm link; the info you need will appear immediately after you enter your email. Enjoy the calculator…
AN OPTIMAL BODYBUILDING DIET
Let’s face it, what is it that we all want out of a bodybuilding diet? I’d say it’s the following:
(1) Most importantly to fuel the ANABOLIC process to 100% of its capability i.e. build maximum muscle
(2) NOT add any fat while accomplishing step 1 i.e. you CAN stay lean!
(3) Be tasty and not overly-restrictive
GLAD is the diet I formulated that accomplishes all 3! Best of all – it’s a breeze!
JACK UP ANABOLIC HORMONES
Now pay attention because this is how it works…
The GLAD diet will create an environment in the body where you maximize the BIG 3 anabolic hormones. They are:
- Growth Hormone
- Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)
Your body will be PRIMED for adding rock-hard muscle – all the time!
And you WON’T get fatter…
You CAN build MAXIMUM muscle without adding fat, but ONLY if you control the body’s release of insulin. This nutritional approach will take care of this without you having to think about it.
I believe GLAD to be the current best approach to bodybuilding nutrition because you:
- Reap the benefits of the POWERFUL anabolic hormone insulin on muscle growth
- Have less, if any, lipogenesis i.e. creation of body fat
- Naturally MAXIMIZE serum testosterone & growth hormone through lower insulin levels and sufficient dietary fats
- Easily meet your daily protein requirements for fueling muscle growth
- Have stabilized blood sugar throughout the day and a steady supply of energy
- Have an abundance of healthy essential fatty acids (EFAs)
- Eat VERY tasty meals
- Have a better lipid profile / a lowering of heart risk factors
- Stay looking younger for longer – this is a truly anti-aging diet
- Have an easy, enjoyable lifestyle with a wide variety of food choices
Sounds good, right? It is. GLAD delivers – big time!
HOW TO EAT TO BUILD MUSCLE
G.L.A.D. is superior to both low-carb and low GI lifestyles because of 1 crucial point…
G.I. is a QUALITATIVE measure only i.e. it ONLY accounts for the glycemic index of carbohydrates; the amount of carbs per serving is ignored. Low-Carb is a QUANTITATIVE measure i.e. it ONLY accounts for the AMOUNT of carbohydrate in the diet.
GL takes BOTH these important factors and marries them into a GREATER WISDOM. It shows HOW a particular food affects blood sugar. It is the actual LOAD placed on blood sugar per unit time that is important.
What I have done is thoroughly researched this field and made the necessary amendments to create an ANABOLIC glycemic load diet, or the Glycemic Load Anabolic Diet.
WHAT ARE GL’S?
GL points are the GLUCOSE EQUIVALENT of a given food in grams (Glycemic Load is sometimes referred to as GCE or ‘Glycemic Glucose Equivalent’).
Put simply, that means that a meal with a GL of ‘7’ means that you just consumed the equivalent of 7 grams of glucose, as far as impacting your blood sugar is concerned – that’s pretty cool! It’ll also prevent arterial damage caused by high blood sugar.
However, on this new version of GLAD, you don’t need to actually count GL’s. It’s automatically taken care of by implementing the 5 GLAD rules below.
If you’ve no idea why carbs and insulin can encourage fat storage and still are of the mindset that a calorie is a calorie no matter where it comes from, read this article – Carbs & Weight Loss.
THE 5 G.L.A.D. RULES
(1) Eat REAL, Natural Fats
Dietary fat plays a MAJOR role in maximizing our anabolic hormone profile. However, for this to work, they need to be real fats – both saturated and unsaturated. So avoid fats from unnatural sources. Eat butter instead of margarine. Only eat natural peanut butter. Eggs, cheese, and full-fat milk are also on the GLAD menu. As a bonus, dietary fat in every meal helps further reduce the glycemic impact of the food.
(2) Avoid Sugar and Processed Carbs. These are trash carbs
They are nutritionally bankrupt and cause fast rises in insulin. Stick to the type of carbs I am about to list for you. Point (1) above will only work so well if don’t get this part right! Using low GL carbs stabilizes insulin and it is this that allows for higher levels of growth hormone in the body.
(3) Eat No More Than Your Sufficient Calorie Requirement For Building Muscle
There is an amount of calories that your body needs to:
- sustain itself (resting metabolic rate)
- carry out your day to day activities
- perform exercise
- repair and grow from the effects of that exercise…
This is what I’m referring to as your Sufficient Calorie Requirement (SCR). The usual advice from meat-heads is to work out how many calories your body needs for the first 3 factors above, than add on about 500 extra calories per day for no.4 – Repair & Growth.
No wonder almost everyone looking to ‘bulk up’ is just getting fatter. Folks, there are only 600 calories in a pound of muscle (compared to fat’s 3500 per pound).
500 extra calories per day for growth alone comes to 3500 extra calories per week. Unless you honestly believe that you’re going to build a few pounds of muscle every single week (this isn’t possible), you can EXPECT to get fatter.
Be smart – eat your SCR. In previous posts I advocated around 200-300 calories for growth of muscle tissue.
You can use my free calorie calculator here or manually calculate it by taking the steps below…
- (I) Resting Metabolic Rate – The best way of calculating your Resting Metabolic Rate is with something called the Katch-McArdle formula.
RMR = 370 + (21.6 x lean weight in kg)
(To get from pounds to kg simply divide pounds by 2.2)
You’ll also need know your body fat percentage. This is where a cheap pair of body fat calipers comes in very handy.
- (II) Calories Burned From Daily Activity/Job – Different daily activities obviously have different energy requirements. That’s why it’s important to factor in your occupational calorie burn.
Light work – multiply your RMR by 1.5
Moderate work – multiply your RMR by 1.7
Heavy work – multiply your RMR by 1.9
- (III) Calories Burned From Exercise – Exercise obviously expends energy so we need to factor this in too.
Here is list of activities and their calorie burn for 1 hour:
520 – Aerobics (high intensity)
865 – Boxing (sparring)
385 – Cycling (10 mph)
760 – Judo
445 – Rowing machine
750 – Running (9 min/mile)
615 – Squash
630 – Swimming (fast)
270-450 – Weight training
A typical 40-50 minute weight training session (like THT) will expend roughly 200-250 calories.
Now add your figure from step (II) to step (III).
- (IV) The fourth and final step is to add those growth calories and NOT overdo it. 200-300 additional Calories as a ‘growth allowance’ is good. Now you know how many calories you need, let’s move on…
(4) Eat 4 Times Per Day
This should be fairly self-explanatory. Eating small and often will produce smaller increases in blood sugar. More level blood sugar means less chance of going into fat-storage mode AND a healthier you!
However, there’s no need to overdo it and eat 6, 7, 8 or more times per day as some suggest. If you’ve been led to believe that you need to eat 6 or more times a day because your body can only absorb 20-30g of protein per sitting, you need to read this article.
(5) Eat Protein & Fat at Every Meal with your Carbs
Carrying on from above, we’ll have a steady supply of muscle-building protein with this approach, but also, protein and fat help slow the digestion of carbohydrate in the meal. This is why you should combine all 3 macros at every sitting.
Wondering how much protein you need? Use the following formula…
Lean Mass Weight (Kg) x 2.75 = Daily Protein Requirement
Example…A person weighs 160 lbs with 15% body fat.
This means they carry 24 lbs of fat.
160 – 24 = 136 lbs lean weight
136 / 2.2 = 61.8 Kg
61.8 x 2.75 = 169.95 – let’s call it 170g of protein per day.
So, that’s the 5 GLAD rules thoroughly covered.
NOTE: You don’t have to count GL’s. In an older version of this diet I recommended readers consume a maximum of 90GL’s a day. However, since you’ll be:
- eating the right type of carbs
- spreading your calories over at least 4 meals
- eating protein and fat with every meal
- eating no more than what your body needs for growth…
You’ll be hitting under 90GL’s on autopilot without the tedious task of having to count it up.
You’ll automatically strike a balance that allows for maximum muscle growth and also effectively SHUTS DOWN the fat storing mechanism at the same time!
WHAT ARE THE MACROS?
Since calories and GL’s are taken care of, you DON’T need to be super-strict on macros. Like I said at the beginning, GLAD is EASY! However, for information purposes, GLAD will work out around a 40/30/30 (carb/protein/fat) diet – or perhaps 35/30/35.
THE GLAD CARBS
Carbs are the only macronutrient that you need to watch in relation to regulating blood sugar. So to help you get started, I’ve listed common foods that you’ll use on this diet. While you don’t need to count GL’s, I’ve listed them here for your information:
- Rye kernel (pumpernickel) bread (1 slice) – 6 GLs
- Volkenbrot (wholemeal rye bread) (1 slice) – 7 GLs
- Wholemeal Rye Bread (1 slice) – 8 GLs
- Rough Oatcakes (1 oat cake) – 2GLs
- Cheese Oatcakes (1 oat cake) – 3GLs
- Fine Oatcakes (1 oat cake) – 3GLs
- Wholemeal Pita – 9GLs
- Wholewheat Tortilla Wrap – 8GLs
- 30g Rolled Oats Cooked – 10GLs (some have this listed as 2GLs! Please check your own brand)
- 50g Original Granola (1 medium bowl) 5GLs
- 30g All-Bran™ (1 small serving) 6GLs
- 150g boiled Quinoa – 8 GLs
- 150g boiled Kamut – 9GLs
- 80g Brown Basmati Rice boiled – 7GLs
- 150g New Potato – 10GLs
- 190g Avocado 1 medium 1GL
- 75g Green beans 1 handful 1GL
- 75g Kale 1 handful 1GL
- 100g Broccoli 1 handful 2GLs
- 125g Asparagus 1 handful 2GLs
- 180g Onion 1 medium 2GLs
- 70g Tomato 1 medium 2GLs
- 80g Pumpkin 1 serving 3GLs
- 80g Carrots 1 small 3GLs
- 80g Green peas 1.5 tbsps 3GLs
- 250ml Glass of Milk – 3GLs (full-fat is lower than skimmed and semi-skimmed)
- 200g Low-fat yoghurt with fruit & sugar 10GLs
- 200g Non-fat Natural yoghurt (plain, no sugar) 3GLs
- 60g Regular Ice cream (2 scoops) – 10GLs
Legumes & Nuts
- 150g Soy beans 1GL (limit your intake of soy)
- 30g Hummus (chickpea dip) 0.5 small tub 1.5GLs
- 150g Peas, dried, boiled 0.5 cup 2GLs
- 150g Pinto beans, boiled in salted water 4GLs
- 150g Borlotti beans, boiled 4GLs
- 150g Lentils 5GLs
- 150g Split peas boiled 6GLs
- 150g Butter beans 6GLs
- 150g Baked beans 7GLs
- 150g Kidney beans 7GLs
Spaghetti & Pasta
- 90g Pasta, wholemeal, boiled – 8GLs
- 90g Spaghetti, wholemeal, boiled – 8GLs
- 250g Tomato soup 1/2 can (1 serving) 6GLs
- 250g Minestrone 1/2 can 7GLs
- 250g Lentil, canned 1/2 can (1 serving) 9GLs
- 16g Peanut butter, no sugar (1 tablespoon) 1GL
- 30g Blueberry spread, no sugar (1 dessertspoon) 4GLs
- 120g Blackberries – 1GL
- 120g Blueberries 120g – 1GL
- 120g Raspberries – 1GL
- 120g Strawberries, fresh, raw – 1GL
- 120g Cherries, raw, – 3GLs
- 120g Grapefruit, raw (1/2 medium grapefruit) – 3GLs
- 120g Pear, raw (1 medium) – 4GLs
- 120g Plum, raw 4 plums – 5GLs
- 120g Oranges, raw 1 large – 5GLs
- 120g Peaches raw (or canned in natural juice) 1 peach – 5GLs
- 120g Apricots, raw 4 apricots – 5GLs
- 120g Apples, raw 1 small – 6GLs
- stevia – 0GLs
- truvia – 0GLs
- erythritol – 0GLs
- 20g xylitol – 2GLs
- splenda – 0GLs(if you don’t mind artificial sweeteners)
- Blue Agave Nectar – Make this your staple GLAD syrup – 1GL for 10g serving
What’s on the GLAD Menu?
Here I’ve also detailed an example Daily GLAD Menu to make the transition to this way of eating as smooth as possible for you:
Breakfast (meal 1) – Cereal & Shake
- 50g Granola in 150ml full-fat milk – 8 GLs
- 35g Whey Protein Isolate in 200ml full-fat milk 3GLs
- 1g (1 capsule) fish oil – 0GLs
- TOTAL GLs – 11
- TOTAL CALORIES – 680
(Meal 2) – Chicken Pita
- Wholemeal Pita – 9GLs
- 100g chicken – 0GLs
- 30g full-fat cheese – 0GLs
- 2 x tablespoons salsa – 0GLs
- TOTAL GLs – 9
- TOTAL CALORIES – 550
Post-Workout Shake (in water for the fastest absorption)
(Meal 3) – Rice, Broccoli, & Beef
- 100g Broccoli – 2GLs
- 160g Brown Basmati Rice -13GLs
- 15g Butter (melted into the rice) – 0GLs
- 120g Minced Beef – 0GLs
- TOTAL GLs – 15
- TOTAL CALORIES – 800
(Meal 4) – Proats & Yogurt
- 1 serving ‘Proats‘ (Protein Oats) – 10GLs
- 200g Natural Yogurt with 120g Blueberries – 4 GLs
- TOTAL GLs – 14
- TOTAL CALORIES – 570
TOTAL GLS – 49
TOTAL CALORIES – 2760
If it’s a workout day, make sure you include that post-workout shake in there.
As far as Post-Workout Carbs are concerned, research suggests that they do nothing to increase protein synthesis beyond that which protein can do by itself. However, if you are determined for some reason to chug some glucose after a workout, use this formula to calculate how much to take so you don’t overdo it…
0.8 x lean bodyweight in kilograms (Kg = pounds /2.2)
The Role of Dietary Fats on the GLAD Diet
Don’t avoid fats on this diet. Dietary fats are important:
- Fat is REQUIRED for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K)
- Anabolic Hormones – Fats are required to keep testosterone levels up
- Reducing the GL of any meal
- Heart Energy – Yes indeed. The heart gets 60% of its energy from fat
- Lipid Profile – Omega 3 fatty acids improve lipid profile and reduce heart-risk factors. Take 1g at breakfast
- Protein Synthesis – Omega 3 has also been shown to improve protein synthesis levels. A good idea is to take 2g AFTER your post-workout shake and within an hour of finishing your workout.
So let’s wrap this up with the steps you’ll now need to take to start this healthy, muscle-building lifestyle.
How to get Started on GLAD
Here’s the simple steps on how to start using this diet to build muscle & stop fat accumulation dead in its tracks.
(1) Work out your Sufficient Calorie Requirement using the above formula or use my free calculator
(2) Work out how many grams of protein you need
(3) Plan to eat 4 times per day to include protein, real carbs, and real fat at every meal.
(4) Go shopping and replace your old high GL foods with some of the above
(5) Prepare a few days or a week’s meals in advance so you don’t get stuck. Once you’ve been doing this a week or so you’ll have it mastered and not need to prepare so much in advance.
Further GLAD Resources
You should definitely bookmark the following sites for quick reference:
The Glycemic Index Site – Holds GI and GL values for almost everything (click on the ‘GI database’ tab to the left)
Patrick Holford’s GL database – Search for GL values here
Carbs Info Site – Contains a table listing GL values for popular foods
Do you measure foods in ounces, not grams? No probs – make use of Google’s ‘Unit Converter’ tool.
QUICK NOTE ON CHEATING
No one eats perfectly all the time. You should allow yourself some indulgences periodically. When on GLAD I recommend you just forget the GL and simply count the calories of the cheat meal towards your daily totals. Over the course of a year this will add up to a few pounds of fat, but so what, it comes off pretty easily when you know what you’re doing.
I hoped you liked this article and are excited about getting started on a brand new, anabolic lifestyle. With this knowledge, you’ll be building more muscle and feeling much better in no time!
It took me a long time to both research and write this article for you. If I could ask you guys to help spread the word any way you can, I would really appreciate it. Like it on facebook, tweet it on twitter, tell your readers if you have your own site; anything you could do would be a great help. Thank You!
Eat Well & Get Big!
P.S. I know that putting together a diet for mass gains or getting shredded abs can be a pain in the butt, especially if you are new to this – that’s why I offer a service where I will do all the tough ground work for you.
You probably don’t know how many calories you need, or how many grams of protein, carbs or fat you need (based on your personal stats)…BUT I DO. Then I can take these numbers and create an exact meal plan for you to hit those numbers spot on! You’ll know what foods to eat and even when to eat them. All you have to do…is do it. No thinking involved. If you’d like me to take care of this for you, see the Get Me Shredded option on my Coaching Page here.
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