Food FAQ

This is being updated. In the mean time:

[spoiler show=”Show the old Food FAQ” hide=”Hide the old Food FAQ”]FAQ v1.1
By Gant
with Justin (Last updated 11-30-09)

Questions that are frequently asked…or those that should be.

Which diet should I use to get 70’s Big?

Any “diet” that has a name won’t get you to the top of the mountain. If you’re counting blocks, forget about it.

The first order of business is getting your protein squared away. Your diet is pass/fail depending on your protein intake. You should consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day if you want to grow (1.5-2 g/lb BW or more may be necessary).

What about carbs and fat?

Listen to me now and hear me forevermacronutrient ratios are largely irrelevant if you’re above 15% bodyfat.

Assuming you comply with the first rule, total calories are your major concern at this point. If you have a compelling need to be lean (e.g. you’re a weight-class athlete) you can start tweaking once you go below about 15% bodyfat mark.

I’m going to ignore your advice and ask about macros anyway.

There are hundreds of books, articles, and blogs out there that discuss this crap. We’re not going there. But here is a simple guide to macros. It is not completely technically correct, but it gives you an idea about the concepts. Protein is for building and maintaining muscle mass, carbohydrates fuel your efforts, and fat fuels your recovery. If you’re falling behind in any of these areas, increase the appropriate macro.

How much do I need to eat?

1) More

2) There is an old business adage, “don’t dress for a job you have; dress for the job you want.” Apply this to your eating. If you want to be 215, you need to eat for 215, not for your 165 pound sprint-Tri doing self. You won’t get 70’s Big by pushing bird seed around your plate at your local hippy bistro. Start with 125-150% of what you’re eating now and see how that goes for a couple weeks.

I can’t eat all the food. Can’t I just train harder?

Eating is training. Beowulf had Grendel. We have Mongolian and Chinese buffets. If you don’t have at least one dining experience every couple of weeks that resembles an epic struggle worthy of telling over beers, you’ll be putting from the rough for the foreseeable future.

We understand that eating for size and strength, especially if you have a high metabolism, is not easy. The body is very good at adjustment to small increases in caloric consumption. You may have to double your current intake to make appreciable gains. That’s why the gallon of whole milk a day works so well for the lean guys.

What about new age diets?

I don’t care if you know a friend of a friend who got “swole” on a raw food vegan diet. It doesn’t matter that your tofu-eating emo buddy finally pulled 205 off the pins. The rules apply, and you must obey them. Whole milk and hamburgers build a sturdier foundation than sprouts and soy.

What do I eat?

Anything that has a face and can run/swim/fly away from you. Anything that comes from such animals. Pretty much anything that grew in the ground, on a vine, or in a tree. Use some common sense, but select the most caloric dense items you can find.

Hey, what about us fat guys?

If you are a bigger guy with a high body fat percentage already, then your approach will be slightly different. A diet consisting of milk, meat, vegetables/fruit, and fat will do the trick — this is essentially a “Paleo”-type diet with milk Your protein requirements are the same (but obviously more), and more of your calories will need to come from fat. Olive oil can be added in to do the trick.

Do you have any example of 70s Big meals?

Of course. This will be updated as time goes by. Here are a few samples.

Three of the basic food groups.

Three of the basic food groups.



3/4 lb. PWO for deadlift days. Not picture: large vanilla milkshake.

3/4 lb. PWO for deadlift days. Not picture: large vanilla milkshake.



This is what your freezer should look like.

This is what your freezer should look like.



Two days’ worth.

Two days'' worth.



Mongolian BBQ is proof that God loves us. Pictured- 1.5 lbs. of steak, chicken, sausage, pork, and other stuff.

Mongolian BBQ is proof that God loves us. Pictured- 1.5 lbs. of steak, chicken, sausage, pork, and other stuff.



K.I.S.S.

K.I.S.S.



Breakfast foods are excellent for getting 70sBig.

Breakfast foods are excellent for getting 70’s Big.



8 eggs. 1/4 lb. bacon. 1/4 lb. brisket. Pico, cheese, and salsa.

8 eggs. 1/4 lb. bacon. 1/4 lb. brisket. Pico, cheese, and salsa.



70’s Big meals can still be presentable for mixed company. Pictured: 3/4 grilled chicken, apple wedges, blackberries, and salad doused in feta cheese and EVOO, all covered with a raspberry glaze.

70’s Big meals can still be presentable for mixed company. Pictured: 3/4 grilled chicken, apple wedges, blackberries, and salad doused in feta cheese and EVOO, all covered with a raspberry glaze.



Back to the basics.

Back to the basics.



Meat sides are a good compliment to meat entrees. So is beer.

Meat sides are a good compliment to meat entrees. So is beer.



The Hill Special: 1 lb. of brisket, ham, sausage.

The Hill Special: 1 lb. of brisket, ham, sausage.



1-lb. hamburgers never get hold.

1-lb. hamburgers never get old.



Rest days=cooking days.

Rest days=cooking days.



Even young girls appreciate 70’s Big. She can lift it AND eat it.

Even the young look forward to 70’s Big.



A meat feast should be properly presented and honored before being consumed.

A meat feast should be properly presented and honored before being consumed.



Intermittent carb feeds are sometimes appropriate for the ketogenic diet crowd.

Intermittent carb feeds are sometimes appropriate for the ketogenic diet crowd.



Rip grabbed me in a bar in 1996 and expressed displeasure at my mug of Bud Light. He said "it’s not beer if you can see right through it." He bought me a more suitable replacement.

Rip grabbed me in a bar in 1996 and expressed displeasure at my mug of Bud Light. He said "it’s not beer if you can see right through it." He bought me a more suitable replacement.



My favorite 70sBig dessert. Fudge brownie, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, strawberries, 1/2 bottle of Magic Shell. I DARE you not to grow.

My favorite 70’s Big dessert. Fudge brownie, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, strawberries, 1/2 bottle of Magic Shell. I DARE you not to grow.



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95 thoughts on “Food FAQ

  1. If you have questions about the FAQ or have your own questions about food, leave them here.

    We have assumed that the reader has a basic understanding of nutrition. Let me know if we need a more comprehensive guide to eating.

    The comment section of this page will be pruned periodically as your questions are answered in the FAQ.

  2. I feel that this would be a good place to include an homage to Paula Dean. Anyone who use”s a stick of butter in everything is doing her part to get us all 70s Big.

  3. I love Guinness, but I have to say it wouldn”t be the top choice for getting 70”s Big. It is actually a pretty light beer calorically. There should be a 70”s Big beer rating system based on calories and quality. A good barleywine style for instance. Sierra Nevada”s Bigfoot has 330 calories per 12 ounces. Good stuff.

  4. A more comprehensive guide to eating would be great for me. Nutrition for training is something I”ve had a difficult time getting a good grasp on.

    One thing you might elaborate on is why someone would choose a ketogenic diet as opposed to other options, and what those other options are.

    Another good one could be an example meal log for a day, or maybe a log for a training day vs an off day, assuming they differ.

    Those are a couple I can think of off the top of my head.

  5. I usually use just some Lawlry”s seasoning salt and Montreal Steak seasoning from Grill Mate. Marinating in Italian dressing is damn good too. Also covering anything in gravy makes it better.

  6. AC – McCormicks Montreal Steak is a cheap and easy marinade/ seasoning you can use. I live in Charlotte so I”m sure they have it in Atlanta. Chimmichurri sauce is the best by far- just google the recipe. I also like making my own marinade with EVVO, chopped garlic, salt and pepper.

  7. For chicken and pork – mustard, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper. And I second the chimmichurri, and also pesto.

    Steak doesn”t a marinade.

  8. AC, buy quality and let the meat speak for itself. Good beef only requires a light brushing of olive oil, some kosher salt and crushed black pepper. A little chopped garlic or onion is also acceptable.

    If the meat is less than outstanding, a commercial seasoning (Grill Mate, McCormicks) can be pretty good (I can only do Lawry”s on rib roasts). Omaha Steaks seasoning, especially the crust rubs, are good.

    It”s an individual thing. The most important thing is to eat the beef. But if you put ketchup on it, you”re going straight to hell.

  9. Appreciate the feedback. I have a Wal-mart to shop at so I am not sure about the quality of the meat I can get. . . And Gant, I definitely laughed out loud at your ketchup comment.

  10. Become friends with a local butcher or similar type of store. Pick a place and buy from there frequently. Pretty soon you”ll be a regular and they”ll be throwing in free/extra steaks and other cuts because they like you.

  11. Eat. Meat. Eat a lot of meat.

    “Eat. Now.” This should be on every man”s fridge that doesn”t give a shit about his ”Fran” time.

    Ratios? Easy. For supra maximal largess and the ability to lift tall buildings with a single pull, start by multiplying your desired weight by 15. Thats your starting cals. Divide those calories into 40% protein, 35% fat, 25% carbs. Good place to start, tweak every two weeks. No gain? add a multiplier (16x week two, 17x week four, etc).

    Blowing up like the michelin man? drop carbs by 5% and add more fat. Wait two weeks. Still becoming a lard ass? do the same multiplier changes as the hardgainers, but drop one every two weeks until you find nirvana.

    ex: If I wanted to be 250, 15x would be 3750cals. Macros are approx. 375p/250c/125f or an easy peasy 3p:2c:1f… thats where you START. Work your way up in cals from there. Good steady upgrade and good steady progress.

    Eat like it”s a sport,

    Chef

  12. So, even for a big dudes wanting to get lean, but massive…eat big, right?

    I”m 260, “probably” 22% BF. My goal is to be around 230 – 240 at 10%(+/-)BF, and I”m rolling for two weeks now at 3400 – 3450 kCals, consisting of apprx. 360g Pro, 100g Fat, and 275g, Carbs, daily. It sux…but I love it at the same time. I “feel” good…more energy than I”ve had in a while, actually. But I”m going through toilet paper like a bathroom editor, and my wife says “your gut is getting bigger though”. Should I drop the carbs down as a “Divisor”?

  13. TOBYWON –

    I”m no expert, so maybe someone else will chime in here, but I think a ratio closer to the following would suit you better if you”re intake is 3400 calories:

    340g Protein, 227g Carbs, 113g of fat.

    That is using the math that Chef used above. This is a 3p:2c:1f ratio.

    So, like Chef said, I think if you drop your carbs down and add more fat, you”d start to lose the gut.

  14. So, how does cholesterol fit into eating to get 70s big? I don’t want to sound like some 90s health food wuss, but I also don’t want to have a heart attack before I’m 40.

  15. Total Cholesterol as a measure of health is largely overrated. It only loosely correlates with lower incidence of heart problems and has no correlation at all with total mortality.

    Besides, your body needs cholesterol as a precursor for certain hormones. Trigs and VLDL are probably better numbers to worry about. You can keep those down by laying off the sweets and junk. That”ll give your liver a break too.

  16. Weighing 260 and eating 3,400 calories is not going to allow proper recovery in strength training.

    This is very individualized though, and there is no blanket statement.

  17. Also, rift, you need to remember that this isn”t a diet you will use for the rest of your life. Like Justin said in another thread, you might only eat this way 6 months to a year in order to make the gains you”re looking for.

  18. Im around 260 right now as well, and I take in lower calories (3000) but ramp it up on the weekends more (especially Saturday or what I like to call faturday, which is also a brutal training day). Would like to be at about 225 lbs. Recovery hasnt been a problem and continue to make strength gains while adding conditioning in as well. I do Wendler”s 531 and usually sprinting or complexs for conditioning.
    Rip mentioned at the barbell cert that around 3000 calories would be good for me but to definitelty watch it on the recovery. I think it would be a bit too low if not for the faturdays in there.

  19. For birthday/Christmas presents, do what I do. Ask your friends and family to buy you gift boxes from Omaha Steaks. I suggest the lasagna from them, and the potatos are particularly delicious. Plus all the meat, meat and more meat you get in these gift boxes. They arrive in a styrofoam cooler to keep the meat fresh.

    Also, all of you asking for steak marinade/glazes, here”s what I use:

    1/4 cup ground mustard powder
    1/4 cup wocester sauce
    1 lime
    White pepper
    Kosher salt

    You combine the mustard and wocester sauce in a bowl. Spread this mixture over the steak(s). Now squirt the lime juice on the steaks (use a real lime, the crap that you buy in the bottle is weaker than minnow piss). Add white pepper and salt to taste. I normally put a generous coating of the pepper since white pepper isn”t all that spicy.

  20. This might sound really stupid, but I”ve always be confused by the ”prep all your food on sunday advice”. I guess you freeze it and then thaw it out on the day and microwave it. Does it not all taste like shit? Any advice here would be appreciated.

  21. I cook 8-10 chicken breasts on the grill, then put them in a big ziploc and keep them in the fridge. No reason to freeze them after they”ve been cooked. Chicken and steak will last in the fridge after they”ve been cooked at least 5 days or so in my experience. Pull one out of the bag, heat it up in the microwave (or eat them cold like I do), and you”re good to go.

  22. I weigh 225, around 22% BF last time I checked about a month ago and was wondering if I should adjust the carb intake to help with the fat loss. I don”t want to be a skinny little bitch or anything, but less fat is good. Should I just keep training hard and eat like a madman? Any help is greatly appreciated as I”d like to be able to throw a station wagon across a parking lot one day.

  23. Yeah, I”ve McGangbanged and WhopGangbanged(the Burger King version) I haven”t McRibbanged yet, but just because I”m not in college any more doesn”t mean there is no more time for experimentation, right?

  24. I have a couple rules of thumb for gaining weight. These are based off a 6”4″ beanpole base:

    1) Eat 3x a day. No more.

    One of the worst things an underweight trainee can do is nibble throughout the day. He never gets hungry, and eating becomes a chore. Instead, wait 5 or 6 hours between meals … and see what that does for your appetite.

    2) Calories: 30x whatever bodyweight you are at.

    That”s what works for me.

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  26. This question is for the avid deer hunter in the crowd. Approximately how many pounds of meat does one dead deer yield? If I”m going to get 70”s Big why not eat an entire mammal?

    I”m taking up bow hunting.

    Shinebox97

  27. I work totaly counter to fluxboy- I eat pretty continuously, fat & protein. Snack often, fat and protein. Fruit in between keeps me hungry. More fat and protein. Vegetables are largely optional, but once a day they can be nice. Ice cream is crucial.

  28. General perscription for bigger dudes is paleo with lots more meat (easy on the starchy carbs and loads of veggies/eggs/meat/fruit/nuts) and probably just eat til satisfied

  29. Aha! Thanks very much for the replies. Ill get this sorted straight away.

    but another question, just quickly. My body fat is at 20%, so shall I ignore the P/C/F ratios and just go straight for the calories? (keeping in mind I will be trying to eat paleo foods mostly). And am I expected to read Starting Strength by Rip to be able to get my workout plans?

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