Budget bodybuilding diary pt.2 – Kevin Ryan

Figuring This Diet Sh*t Out!

Well, it looks like I’ve bitten the bullet now and decided I’m going to compete with the big boys at the UKBFF Scottish championships in 2016.

I need to get this diet nailed down and make sure it’s going to fit this tight budget of mine, shopping at Aldi and Lidl. After the last few years of counting macros and now realising I have been overeating with this and consuming too much in way of calories, I need to make sure I get this bang on as this time as I’m not looking to make an arse of myself on that stage in May.

I have messed around with all types of ratios for my diet over the years, and been really impatient with them – changing it after a few months, not seeing results quick enough. Stupid, I know as I haven’t given any of them a proper chance to start working. So this time round I’m sticking to it and will be keeping a week by week diary of measurements and weight to make sure I’m not turning into a fatty.

Kevin Ryan bodybuilding meal prepThe show is being held on Sunday the 8th of May, so I have a bit of time to bulk on some muscle before the dreaded cutting diet kicks, and I turn into a psycho.

I’m going for the 40% Protein, 30% Carbs and 30% fats ratio. Now, I know a lot of you guys and girls out there will slate me for having so much fat in my diet, but I have done a lot of research into it (as I always do when making these decisions) and fat is not the enemy that people make it out to be.

There are numerous studies that say even saturated fats aid in building muscle and losing fat, so while I’m bulking I need those fats to keep my testosterone high as the studies have proved. Not to mention my sex drive, or the wife will be looking to trade me in for a new model!

The carbs are moderate to high, to give me that energy and glycogen needed for my muscles to build, and I will be timing when I have my carbs throughout the day, as again I have looked into the studies and found that the timing of when to take in various macros makes a difference to my body. It’s not just a case of ramming it all in there throughout the day, and it all works out the same – as some of the idiots on the forums will have you believe.

It’s the same with the fats in my diet, as although people will say they are high, I’m looking to time them – in order to get the most benefit from them. Now that I have managed to work out my macros for the bulking phase, I need to find out what sort of calorie intake I need to get the dense muscle I’m looking for.

So I messed about online looking at loads of different calorie intake calculators, and Jesus Christ they vary in answer. They ask you for all your details like weight, age, height etc. and spit out a number for what your goal might be like losing fat or building muscle. I tried a few out and for building muscle the calorie intake ranged from around 4000 calories a day to 2800 calories a day! You can probably see my dilemma here, but after years of following the bigger number of these and ending up putting on too much fat (with the muscle), I decided to play it safe and go for around the 3000 calorie mark for my bulking phase, as I already have a good amount of muscle to work from. My big challenge will be shredding the fat off.

So, now I have my macros all sorted for the bulk, and all I need now is to figure out a diet to suit me and the timing of my meals I mentioned earlier. Of the studies I’ve been looking at, one of the most recent is endorsed by one Ben Pakulski  – IFBB Mr Canada 2008 – who is a unit of a man, and admits himself that his genetics aren’t the best for bodybuilding (however he looks amazing). This study basically states that when you break your fast (breakfast) you should be consuming high fat to low carb meal in order for your body to burn more fat throughout the day. It does this by using your fat for fuel as there are no carbs to take up, so the consequence of this is that your body will dive into your fat stores for the rest of the day looking for fuel – instead of using carbs that you take in.

Now, this doesn’t mean go mental on fats, but do it smart and it can work wonders. I’m going to be working out in the morning, before work, as my 1 year old loves to wake up at 5.30am for a wee bottle of milk and a change of nappy, before going back to sleep for an hour or so  – which means I’m up sorting her out and well as may stay up and get to the gym. So I don’t have an excuse to miss the gym later on after work when I’m shattered.

What I’m going to do is have a strong black coffee first thing in the morning. To this coffee, I’m going to add some coconut oil (not an affiliate link) to help start off with healthy fats for that break of fast I was on about earlier – and slip in a wee tablespoon of natural peanut butter (not an affiliate link) to further kick the fat intake into high gear.

The next thing is get to the gym and smash a heavy workout.

On leaving the gym, I’m going to be looking to have my first carbs of the day, and the best thing is with it being a post workout meal I get to have high GI carbs and sugars. So that means white rice, white bread and all that other stuff you’re not allowed on a diet!

The reason I get to have these is after a workout your muscles need the glycogen restored, along with an insulin spike to aid recovery and speed up those nutrients getting to your muscles. I’m going to be using this as my sort of mini cheat-meal – so the diet doesn’t become really boring as, let ,e tell you, when I’m on the cut shit's going to get real! I will be probably making this my biggest meal of the day, and load it with most of my carbs for that day, and I will change the meal this is each week to keep me sane.

During the rest of my day at work, I’m going to be having just Olympus Health Pro-XL protein shakes.

I will be having 2 protein shakes through the day, with a double serving in each of them to make sure I get a good amount of protein in before I get home at night. I get home at about 6pm, so generally need to cook all the dinners for the family (the wife’s great at a roast dinner but struggles with anything else) and, with her on a diet, my teenager hating anything that’s not full of shit like pizza, steak bakes and all that crap and my 1 year old just needing a wee mini portion of what I’m eating, then I’m cooking 3 separate meals every evening when I get in!

I don’t stop when I get home, and I crack on with the cooking. I bang a pizza in the oven for my teenager, cut up a chicken breast and shove some spices on it for my wife and then for my 1 year old I generally heat up a wee mini portion of food that I have made up for her over the weekend and shoved in the fridge. Once I’ve sorted my girls out, I shove something on for myself so its either a prepped meal that I have made up, and is in the fridge waiting to go in the microwave, or it’s a bit of chicken (with some sort of seasoning on it) with brown rice or a sweet potato mash or something to that effect, as I need the carbs in this to be low GI, and slow acting.

This meal for me has to be low in fat, high in protein and moderate carbs, as I’ve left the rest of my carbs for the day till my dinner, and then a protein and oats shake later in the evening. These are my last two meals of the day, and with my workout being first thing in the morning, I’m going to need the energy to power me through a hard workout again at 6am.

So, looking at my day its high fat morning, high GI sugary carbs post workout, moderate low GI carbs later at night and high protein all day. I will get some of the recipes for these meals down with the macros and costs throughout this blog and you can give them a bash and see how you like them but in the meantime I need to find the right training plan to turn me into a unit!

Follow big Kev's journey – including recipes for budget bodybuilding meals – here on the blog, or search #OlympusJourney on social media.