I’ve mentioned a few times that my requirements for getting ripped this time around were 1) that it would be comfortable getting to that point, and 2) that once I achieved a ripped state, I would be able to maintain it effortlessly and indefinitely. For me, the single most important and concept in understanding how to get ripped was how to create and follow a basic eating strategy.
When I was cutting fat, I pushed my first meal of the day as deep into the afternoon as was comfortable, which was regularly as late as 2:30 or 3pm and even as late as 5-6pm a couple of days per week (non-lifting days). A late-morning coffee was particularly helpful in blunting any mild hunger I might have otherwise experienced. I must stress that I did my best to prevent myself from becoming very hungry. If I was very hungry at 1 or 1:30, I would eat at that time. It took some experimentation to understand what very hungry meant to me. Since I really enjoy eating later in the evening, I would typically follow the following type of meal setup that allowed me to ramp up calories and consume some very energy dense food right before bed.
- Ate first meal as late as possible, regularly around 2-3pm, but sometimes as late as 5 pm. 300-400 calories. Limited carbs (below 30g) with a good mix of fat and protein.
Ate a small meal with my family around 6pm 300-400 calories, less than 30g carbs with a good mix of fat and protein.
- Ate a huge salad around 7:30pm. I mean huge as in a full family-size salad bowl meant to serve 5-6 people huge. Organic greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and shaved carrots. 1Tbsp of fat in the dressing. Would add 1oz of cheese depending where my calorie count was at that time. Might have added a couple ounces of a lean protein like turkey or chicken breast. Sometimes added nuts and seeds or raisins/ dried cranberries depending on how I was feeling. Sometimes added a half an apple diced, half an orange or watermelon.
- At around 8, had 5oz red wine and an ice cream bar or some 100% dark chocolate or all three depending on where my caloric intake was at that time.
- At 815 or 830, prepared and ate a Fast-Slo Forever pudding.
- At 845 prepared and ate Sleep Dynasty Oats, or a few cups of popcorn and 20g of 100% dark chocolate, then to bed at 9ish.
The above is just an example, but hopefully it provides a sense of how I approached caloric intake. It really let me load calories at the end of the day, which is great for me.