ABCDE Diet – Sample Eating Days

franco and stallone

Here’s a quick run down of the foods I’m using everyday with the ABCDE Diet approach. I’ve been using this exact template the last 5-6 weeks and I’ve still been managing to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week while keeping workout intensity and strength high. The only exercise that has dropped off is the bench press – this article from Christian Thibaudeau explains why the bench press is so often affected with changes in body/water weight and caloric restriction in general. 

Low Calorie Days

Now that I’m on vacation, the low calorie days are very comfortable even with 2 x day training sessions and an hour plus of walking every day. I generally eat my last meal by 6PM so I’m in effect fasting for 13-14 hours until the next day.

On a typical – Medium Low Calorie Day I aim for approx 1700 calories.

Recently I have also been carb cycling my Low Calorie Days. 

e.g

Sunday – High Calorie

Monday – Low Calorie, Low Carb

Tuesday – Low Calories, Medium Carb

Wednesday – Low Calorie, Medium Carb

Thursday – Low Calorie, High Carb

Friday – Low Calorie, Low Carb

Saturday – High Calorie, High Carb. (Usually my first day back of a high calorie cycle is a cheat meal day where I don’t worry too much about calories)

On a Low Cal – Low Carb Day I will have only one cup of rice post workout and eat 4 extra egg whites instead. If it’s a rest day I will also remove the Intraworkout meal of Peptopro and Vitargo. Low Cal-Low Carb days will take me around 1400 cals.

Low Day

Low Calorie – Low Carb Day

On a Low Cal – Medium Carb Day I will keep the diet adding in a cup of rice at lunch and the intraworkouts aiming for 1700 cals

Med Day

Low Calorie – Medium Carb Day

On a Low Calorie – High Carb Day I will add in an extra cup of rice in the Post Workout Meal. Low Cal- High Carb days will take me around 1900-2000 cals.

High Day

Low Calorie – High Carb Day

High Calorie Days

For the High Calorie days I will boost carbs up significantly higher and aim for approx 3000 calories a day.

I maintain the same eating schedule for the high calorie days and instead eat the bulk of my calories around the workout. I’ve found in the past that if I have an appreciable amount of food digesting in my stomach before the gym, my workout suffers. Plus, controlling insulin levels during the majority of the day is a good way for me to keep my energy and general clarity high.

The first high calorie day serves as a bit of a rebound cheat meal and I don’t worry too much about calories or carbs (at least at this stage, but this will change as the comp day draws nearer) If I feel like a bit of junk food on the high calorie days, I don’t deprive myself, but I find that some bread or rice suffices to keep cravings to a minimum. 

I keep the same eating template above but for my Post Workout Meal I will eat a restaurant meal and eyeball the calories (I might have a steak with mashed potato and mushroom sauce, or a family sized pizza with no cheese) Due to the fact that I’ve kept calories low throughout the day, these meals usually put me safely within the range of approximately 3000 cals for the day.

So that’s basically it. I would suggest rotating the kinds of foods eaten so that you maintain a full spectrum of nutritional options and you to prevent any food intolerances arising from eating the same foods all the time. Also, add in some sugar-free Metamucil or a fibre supplement to make sure you’re getting enough fibre for the day.

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  18 comments for “ABCDE Diet – Sample Eating Days

  1. December 30, 2015 at 11:11 am

    hi my friend! tks a lot for this amazing article! you golden.
    Here a MASSIVE number of questions for ya. Ready?

    – If you will aim for 1700 up to 3000 kcal a day i can assume that your TDE is something around 2250kcal? But whats about the 1400kcal days? you go way under that 500kcal deficit on your TDE.. right?! Just to make my math and calculate mine.
    – Egg – white, 132g (1 large): means 132g of egg whites? can’t understand that “1 large” indication.
    – I noticed that you ain’t eating meat at all. I’ll maybe replace talapia with some lean protein animal sources since I don’t eat fish. Everything should fit nicely.
    – 1 cup of cooked rice should be 60g uncooked? noob question i know, but in europe we don’t use the cups to weigh foods, sorry. =)
    – do you feel ok eating only 14g of fats during the day? on hi calories days what are your typical macros?
    – do you think that this program can work extending the cycles to 7 days? just to organize days and weeks better.

    last question: can i hope in an article talking about the training approach?

    tks mate. i’m almost ready to start. just need to figure out some little things!
    stay MASSIVE!
    M

    Like

  2. December 30, 2015 at 11:32 am

    uh just one more question: when you were not on carb cycling your macros were similar to a low-cal_medium-carb day?
    tks again
    M

    Like

  3. December 31, 2015 at 3:48 am

    1) Yes, I do dip low some days, but I’ve found that throwing a few curve balls at the body in the form of lower than normal days sometimes shocks the body into moving that fat. I’ve found a massive correlation between actually feeling hungry when dieting and losing boy fat…..I don’t know if it’s bro-science or what, but if I’m not hungry, I don’t feel/look as things are progressing enough.

    2) Shit sorry for the confusion – it’s 6 egg whites and 8 egg whites respectively. I just boil up the whole egg and throw the yolk.

    3) I love meat and sometimes I’ll swap out the fish for chicken. I usually eat kangaroo because it’s lean and hormone free. Steak is just too caloric. And, I get more fish for my caloric buck. Back in Australia, I don’t eat much fish, so it’s been a nice change here.

    4) I weigh the rice cooked – 160grams to a cup usually.

    5) I feel ok at the moment – really good actually on low fat. Typically my fats are quite high and I use macadamia nut oil for cooking. But, I’m shaking things up for these last 6 weeks (I need to be ready 4 weeks before I feel) and lowering fats to a minimum. Even on my high days, I’m raising the carbs, lowering the protein and keeping fats low. I’ll properly calculate my next coming high day so that I can be exact in what I tell you. 🙂

    6) Yes, I suppose that could work, especially if you were training HST, because you could do your low cal days on the low intensity days and high cal days as the intensity picks up.

    7) Yes, when not carb cycling I stuck with the medium-calorie days. However, when i was in Australia for those medium calorie days I was eating much higher fats in the form of macadamia oil and whole eggs.

    I’ll definitely stick to this way of eating post contest, because I just enjoy it a lot. Occasionally I’ll throw in protracted 6 week bulks, but no more long-term permabulks like before.

    I’ll update a training article in the next few days also 😉

    Thanks for reading.

    Like

    • December 31, 2015 at 10:48 am

      hey mate! tks a lot for your time, patience and dedication.
      almost everything seems clear to me! giving a look on a sample of your hi-cal day would be amazing, really appreciate that, tks a lot!

      3) 198g means 8 whites, 132 obviously 6! i was quite sure because of the nutritional information =)

      5) so no testosterone drops even with 10% fats.. and you feel good.. no laziness, no headache.. just good. gotta give a try.. usually when i go way too low with fats i feel horrible.. but let’s try.

      i just need to figure out what kind of training associate with this diet.. advices are very very veeeeeeery welcome! =)

      ps: never eaten kangaroo! in europe is just impossible but i think that should taste very very good =D
      pps: do you instagram? =D

      have a nice day man and an happy new year!
      tks again for your time and patience
      M

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Schimi
    December 31, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Well set up calories and carb rotation buddy and in my next contest prep I’m gonna incorporate some really low “everything” days as so did I find out that days like that really improve fat loss and give the whole digestive system a break. I’m huge on meat sources rotation and during my prep I stuck to mainly 3 fat sources,shit loads of omega 3′,good amount of MCT and the rest forms animal and plant fats.

    I’d only suggest training really fooking heavy on low cals and carb days as one feels really amped up and in touch with body. Ideal for explosive and power type of training, on those days I go as high as 95% intensity within 85%-95% 2-4 reps, sets are obviously autoregulated. Volume ain’t too high and the whole neurotransmitter thing is really primed;-)

    Also when I diet I eat lots of good quality beef or duck breasts as my last meal of the day as it slowly release the protein over night. Next day I start with wild alaskan salmon and organic eggs with “greens”shake. The whole contest prep I go from decent amount of cals phase to low and than slightly upwards towards the show as by that point body is burning through food like a wild fire;-) white fish and all that low fat fast acting meats I have roughly from 6-4 weeks out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 1, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Schimi – YES! Really interesting how you feel that about the low calorie days too. A string of them are horrible (although, eventually adaptable once you move through the 5 stages of grief and reach “acceptance”) – but strategically placed, the mental “high” and subsequent training focus makes for a surreal kind of lifting experience. Kind of like when you have a shit work day, forget your meals/supplements etc at home, then go and train legs and have the best session ever.

      I’ve been dabbling in a bit of duck since I’ve been here in Thailand the last few weeks. Amazing taste. Easy to get a lot of awesome tasting food here, but the quality is lacking compared to Oz. One thing I’ve noticed this week on the fish meals is that I’m STARVING again about an hour later….I don’t notice that same deprived hunger with other meats. Leaving fish for the last 6-4 weeks sounds good. I’ll just accept that I’ll have to eat less volume of food for satiety’s sake.

      When’s your next show?

      Like

      • schimi
        January 1, 2016 at 5:13 pm

        Hi Shawn, that’s it lol running on fumes and hitting heavy session after shitty day at work usually delivers superb workout! 😉

        I’ve always personally felt better on more filling foods while dieting and that “struggle phase” left towards the end so game meats,beef,all kinds of livers works wonders for me and white fish with white potatoes or jasmine rice was placed as a post workout meal cos it goes through me like water.

        When approaching the “struggle phase” than first few weeks I’m eating fish with mostly boiled veggies and switching over to raw veggies for last 3 weeks and by that point I’m close to walking zombie 😀

        As for my contest there are several shows in June/July on UKBFF schedule so I’ll pick one of them,just contemplating what category to choose as I’ve been tempted to try classic division but tbh I’d have to strip quite a bit of muscles to fit in my category so it’s a tough one as I’ve trained my ass off for “them gainzzz”
        I’ll see how the whole dieting process goes and if I keep size really well than I’ll try to come in ripped and dry around 89/90kg weighing in the morning of the show and fill up throughout the day as my class was usually around 6pm in the evening so I could be 92 on stage by that point.
        For classic class I’d have to be around 83/84kg if I remember well…

        Like

  5. January 1, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Metal Sir – hehe, yeah I know what you mean about the low-fats making you feel lousy. This is probably just for a few weeks to shock things up a little. I know how vital healthy fats can be to the health-endocrine-training-fat-loss equation, so I don’t want to tempt fate too much. I’ve just found that sometimes when I “do the exact opposite” to what I’m used to, it really gets things moving again in a positive direction.

    If you’re going to give this diet a run, start out doing what you know works for you and tweak it as you go. We’re all a biological universe unto ourselves at the end of the day. 🙂

    Kangaroo is delicious and low calorie. Kind of a gamey taste, but I buy it as hamburger patties so I can close my eyes and pretend I’m eating McDonalds.

    Training update coming your way soon. Happy New Year.

    P.S – No I don’t have Instagram…I’m not pretty enough for that. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Happy new year man! tks a lot for your feedback!
      I think that i’ll start my first cycles with a bit more fats i dunno why but i’m really sensitive to fats deprivation.
      How cycles have you done right now? How many cycles do you this it’s possible to do without losing effectiveness?
      I was thinking about some kind of “cycling the cycles” by extending a reducing the periodization. Something like 5 days cycles, up to 7 days (or 8, why not), back to 5days, progressing to 6 etc.. just to keep messing up things. Not at first, obviously, but as soon as you start to became used to the diet.

      so, i’m going to calculate my TDE, and just cutting 500kcal on one side and adding 750kcal on the other. That’s it. As simple as that, right?

      I’m going to use your macros, maybe just adding some fats on top.

      You add 30min of cardio on fasting days? How many times a week? Do you do cardio in the training days?

      While waiting for your next article can I just ask what training protocols do you use in each phase? Just the name, so that i can start to figure out how can i manage that.

      Tka mate!
      M

      PS: if your physique is the same I have seen in your previous posts you definitely should have your Instagram! If you decide to Instagram tell me, I’ll follow and support you. =)

      Like

  6. January 2, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Great stuff, always interesting to see different approaches to dieting. Physique is looking sharp as well, keep it up!

    Like

    • January 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks mate. Hope you’re enjoying the new year season. Keep those blogs coming – I gave your awesome site a shout out in my 5 Bullet Friday post last week – seriously, one of my fave reads in a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 3, 2016 at 5:46 pm

        I saw! Thanks so much. Am really enjoying your book reviews and training blogs. In fact I ended up ordering Mark Dugdale’s book after today’s email!

        Like

  7. January 7, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Today was day 4 of my 1500kcal phase. Man today my hunger is SAVAGE. Right now I just finished my LAST meal and the only thought in my mind is “FUCK I NEED TO EAT SOMETHING NOOOOOW.”
    But I believe that if you are not hungry then you are not cutting enough. The strange fact is that my hunger is exponentially getting bigger day after day. The first day I was quite satisfied throughout the day. The second day I felt just a bit of discomfort. The third day the concept of DIET hit my face like a TRAIN. Today, day four, I’m starving. LOL there is a voice somewhere in my mind yelling at me: “dude you got a NICE idea when you decided to extend these cycles to 7 days. you GOLDEN.”

    But let’s look forward to my BULK cycle. How should I manage my macros?
    Right now I’m not carb-ciclyng and i’m going for 50% proteins, 30-35% carbs and 15-20% fats.
    I really don’t wanna use the same macros of the CUT phase. Way too much protein. Over 350g of proteins for a 66kg guy is not a smart idea IMHO. Am i wrong?

    Another point that is driving me mad (because of my hunger i think) is: do you “dirty” bulk on the HiCal days? I mean: do you just eat your proteins and then EAT LIKE A MONSTER WHATEVER YOU SPOT or you keep eating clean?
    Let me be CLEAR with you: one of the gyms were I work is right in between a McDonald and a BurgerKing. In these days I’m DREAMING those burgers&fries.

    SO.. =)

    what am I suppose to do on this BULKING phase? =)
    Tks man
    M

    Like

    • January 14, 2016 at 3:57 am

      Yep – the low cal days are tough, but that’s life, haha. You might adjust to the low calorie days. You might not, but the good thing is the high days are always within sight, so it’s good for building mental discipline.

      I don’t find the high calorie days to be that high, so you have to watch the dirty bulks. I’m trying to keep water retention low and maintain a contest prep schedule, so I’m cautious about dirty bulks at the moment. In saying that, I’ve had a few of the dirtiest bulk days in the last few weeks where I’ve just gone crazy and hit the 4500-5000 cal mark some days. I’ve reigned it in now, and on the high cal high carb days I’m just getting extra rice. I fucking love white rice and could eat it by the bucket.

      On your high cal days I would go (ideally) 70% carb, 20% protein and 10% fat or thereabouts.

      Like

      • January 14, 2016 at 1:50 pm

        Right now i feel like I could cut more on the cutting days.. Otherwise on the bulk days overfeeding it’s very hard.. I’m having very hard times to eat 2750kcal. Maybe due to some bad meal choices. When you have some free time can you show me a typical bulk day for you? Tks man. Btw.. Strange but eating much more is bad affecting my training. I feel lethargic and kinda ‘slow’..

        Like

      • February 21, 2016 at 4:59 pm

        you know, i just read an interesting article that made me think. Just jumped here to hear your take on this. As you know I extended my ABCDE to 7 days just using the same math of the 5 days periodization. Just read that could be a big mistake. I moved the famous “delta 1250” up to “delta 1750”.
        To be honest I’m seeing good mass results but very very little progress in therms of losing bf.
        Could be a smart move just eating less on both phases?
        Any advice could be very helpful!

        tks man

        article here: http://thinkmuscle.com/community/threads/the-abcde-diet.18674/

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 22, 2016 at 10:46 am

        Hey mate – I’ll jump on that link later and read what they have to say, but in regards to slower fat loss, I think you have to play with the calories a bit and experiment with your own personal happy medium. Be honest and strict with your macro recordings so that you’re not overeating and you should be seeing your weight dip during the low cal days. Be conservative on the high days and don’t eat too much shit which can make you hold too much water.

        Like

      • February 22, 2016 at 11:23 am

        Very nice, tks a lot for tour help! I’m trying to understand if could make sense cut more and aim for a lower delta ed eventually were should I cut.. Maybe on both phases.. Plus, this new cycle I’m gonna multiply my bodyweight with the slow metabolism multiplier (12). Should I follow ABCDE even on the decondictioning 2 weeks? 😮

        Like

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