The Functional Bodybuilder Diet

What and when you eat are of principal concern if your goal is to reach your physical zenith. Hydration, gut health, nutrient intake, protein synthesis, and meal timing are primary; calorie intake is secondary. In my experience, calorie counting is an unsustainable and unnecessary method for losing body fat. A recent study in JAMA(1) showed that subjects who cut back on processed foods(refined grains, flour, breads), and eliminated added sugar(sweets, sweetened beverages, etc.),  lost significant amounts of body-fat without counting calories and it didn’t matter if the subjects followed a low carbohydrate or low fat diet. Instead, the subjects were instructed to increase their intake of whole foods(lean proteins, vegetables, fruit, etc.). The quality and timing of food intake is the key to achieving and maintaining a lean, muscular, and healthy physique. Simply, the quality of food consumed is what determines the efficiency of your mitochondrial function, insulin sensitivity, and neurotransmitter production; and these factors are what regulates metabolism and fat accumulation.

The Functional Bodybuilder Diet is designed to achieve 3 Objectives:

  1. Maximize the ratio of lean muscle to body fat

  2. Increase physical capacity and mental performance

  3. Optimize health(gut and metabolic)

In order to achieve these 3 objectives we must implement 5 strategies that will influence metabolic health and mitochondrial function:
1) Optimize Hydration
2) Eliminate digestive disruptors(wheat, gluten, soy, corn)
3) Optimize Micro-Nutrient Density
4) Maximize Protein Synthesis
5) Fixed Meal Frequency and timing(no grazing)

(1) Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion: The DIETFITS Randomized Clinical Trial.Gardner CD, Trepanowski JF, Del Gobbo LC, Hauser ME, Rigdon J, Ioannidis JPA, Desai M, King AC. JAMA. 2018 Feb 20;319(7):667-679.

The Functional Bodybuilder Diet Outline

General Guidelines:

  1. Drink 8-14 cups of clean Water/day

  2. Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night

  3. Prepare meals ahead of time

  4. Eat a protein rich meal every 3-5 hours

  5. Do not graze between meals

  6. Allow a 12 hour fast between last meal and first meal of following day

  7. Consume the listed foods in the servings recommended below

Meat, Poultry, Eggs, Fish(3-6 serving/day; 1 serving = 25-75 grams protein)
Beef, preferably grass-fed(fat trimmed)
Wild Game(Venison, Elk, Ostrich)
Free-Range Chicken(skinless)
Organic Free-range Eggs and egg whites
Whey Protein
Wild Alaskan Salmon

Fibrous Vegetables(2-4 servings/day)
Romaine Lettuce

Starchy Carbohydrates(2-4 servings/day)
Sweet Potato
White Rice
Old Fashioned Oatmeal
Brown Rice Grits

Fruits(1-3 servings/day)
Avocado(½ medium)
Apple, Green (1 small)
Banana (1 small)
Orange (1 small)
Cherries (1 cup)
Tart Cherry Juice(8 oz)

Dairy(1-2 servings/day)
Icelandic Skyr Yogurt (5.3 oz container)
Goat Milk(8 oz)
Unhomogenized Milk(8 oz) Mill-king or Kalona brand

Fats(2-3 servings/day)
Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
Organic Ghee(clarified butter), 1 tsp
Organic Butter, 1 tsp
Organic Nut Butter, 1 tbsp

Specialty Foods(1-2 servings/day)
Bone Broth(Pacific foods, or Kettle & Fire) (8 oz liquid/serving)
Raw Cocoa Powder(Navitas or Cocovia) 1 serving/day
PB2 powdered peanut butter(2-4 tbsp/day)
Cod Liver Oil, 1 tsp

Sweeteners(1-2 servings/day) optional
Maple syrup, 1 tbsp
Unfiltered Honey, 1 tbsp
Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses, 1 tbsp
Stevia, 2-3 packets per day

Tea, green and black*
*limit caffeine intake to 1-2 cups per day, no caffeine after 1 pm

Spices, Seasonings, Condiments, and Garnish
diced bell pepper
diced Onion
Black pepper
Sea Salt
Low sugar Ketchup(1-2 tbsp/meal)
Low Sugar Steak Sauce(1-2 tbsp/meal)
Pickles (2-3 slices/meal)

Sample Menu for Fat Loss
Oatmeal, ½ cup dry
Apple diced and cooked with Oatmeal
Eggs, 2 whole, 4 whites scrambled(1:2 whole egg to egg white)
Bone Broth, 1 cup

Post Workout Shake(9:30am)
Whey Protein, 1-2 scoops in water
Cacao powder, 1 tbsp added to protein shake
creatine monohydrate, 1 tsp

Grilled Chicken breast, skin removed
Baked Sweet Potato w/cinnamon
Steamed Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower

Mid afternoon snack(3:30pm)
Whey Protein, 1-2 scoops mixed in water
1 serving of fruit

New York Strip, broiled or grilled
Large Romaine Lettuce Salad w/olive oil and vinegar dressing
Icelandic Provisions Skyr yogurt(1 serving),flavor of choice

Sample Menu for Muscle Growth
Brown Rice Grits, ⅓ cup dry, add 1 tbsp of molasses or honey
Power scramble: Steak (1-3 oz diced), Eggs(2 whole + 4 whites), bell pepper and onion, scramble in 1 tsp Ghee
Orange, 1 small
Bone Broth, 1 cup

Post Workout Shake(10am)
Whey Protein, 1-2 scoops in water
Cacao powder, 1 tbsp added to protein shake
creatine monohydrate, 1 tsp
Tart Cherry Juice, 8 oz

Grilled Chicken(dark meat), skin removed
Baked Potato w/butter and plain yogurt
Steamed Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower

Mid afternoon snack(3pm)
Whey Protein, 1-2 scoops mixed in milk
1 serving of fruit
1 tbsp nut butter

Protein Bowl: Ground Bison, Rice, ½ Avocado, Sauteed Spinach, diced and combined in large bowl, add sauce of choice
Icelandic Provisions Skyr yogurt(1 serving),flavor of choice

Erick Minor