Hello, my name is Zidane.
I like this community. I'd like to make my contribution, as my speciality is nutrition and fitness.
Anyway, I've created this spreadsheet which I've attached below.
It's a very simple concept, which I will discuss below. Essentially, this spreadsheet will work out your macros and caloric requirements depending on your needs (i.e. maintain, cutting and bulking). This is perfect for someone who can track their intake (pretty easy to do when you're organised) and body composition, but can't work out the calculations of what they need, or needs something easier.
Bulking and Cutting Spreadsheet: Basic Guidelines
I have pre-filled the days and dates into this spreadsheet.
The data I've entered is just fake data to demonstrate how the spreadsheet works. Delete the columns as indicated by dragging the top layer to the closest Sunday you are starting from.
Here's a basic video demo if you don't know what I mean https://www.dropbox.com/s/xcgjc664vj9nras/How%20to%20Use%20Spreadsheet.mp4?dl=0
Every Sunday, you will conduct a body composition analysis. You will need the following:
This is done with either skinfold calipers (sum of 7 done with a competent friend or trainer), Skulpt (what I use), or a bodyfat scale (highly inaccurate, but some can be decent).
Get the measurement (make sure to triplicate for accuracy) and then enter the data.
This is done in the morning at 6am, before fluids are ingested. Try not to go on a bender before this. Enter in kg.
Next, you’ll just grab a tape measure and measure the circumferences of each body part. Once you complete each box, your hip to waist ratio will automatically be calculated, as will the total combined circumference.
This measures fat and musculature changes and is super important.
Every day, you need to enter how many calories you ate. You can use My Fitness Pal to do this. At the start, we aren’t prescribing any calorie intake. Just eat what you normally would and enter it in.
The spreadsheet will figure out what to do next once we get to it.
The spreadsheet now works out your fat mass and lean mass from the data you entered.
Let’s talk about what happens now.
Calorie Intake Calculations
Below these data points are 5 boxes marked as follows:
•\tMaintain (no fat gain)
We’ll talk about M/F ratio in a second.
On the first week’s entry, there are no in these boxes, but on week two, there is.
This is because the spreadsheet needs to see how calories affect your body composition. In other words, you’ll need to track for one week and do one follow up.
Essentially, we are using math and what happens to our body composition to figure out ‘the next step’ in terms of what the appropriate caloric intake is.
For me, this is easier than having to constantly do math equations myself. I like my time, so I want these things to be efficient and effective. Just do my weekly measures, go to the gym, track my dietary intake and you're good to go.
Once you enter all your calorie data for each day and the follow up body composition data, the spreadsheet will pop out some numbers for you to look at (day 05/03/2017 in the example).
Let’s take a look at what each one does.
Maintain (no fat gain) AKA Smart Calorie Intake
This intake is designed to give you calories to maintain weight.
You shouldn’t gain fat eating this amount. This is your ‘Happy Zone’ if you want to call it that.
Eating this amount should be optimal for your overall health, and is designed to shed some fat. Just following this number is a good overall strategy if you aren’t specifically aiming to shred into a god or you are already a god and want to stay in that shape.
This number will drop if you start gaining fat from week to week.
It’ll be sensitive to you fucking up (i.e. not tracking properly or doing something wrong) as well. Basically, this number is designed to try prevent you from getting fat.
So even if messed up how many calories were in your meals, this spreadsheet will account for that by reducing the calories for you.
This is designed for cutting.
This is where things are good, because this will adjust each week to what is going on with your body. With a cutting diet, you don’t just go to say 1800 calories and then do that for 20 weeks or however long.
You change it over time, incrementally reducing depending on how your body responds. Metabolic rate decreases on a cut (it's a fact of life) which means you can expect a plateau if you aren't adapting. The spreadsheet automatically detects plateau and responds appropriately for you. No dramas.
In other words, just follow the number that’s calculated each week and keep following that for as long as needed until the goal body fat is achieved (8-10% body fat achieves a lean and chiselled physique).
This functions the same as the cut, but with the opposite purpose in mind.
This is optimally done at a body fat below 15% (very important). Commencing a bulk over this body fat will simply result in poor nutrient partitioning (I’ll get to this in the M/F ratio). This is due to the level of aromatase that is released from visceral fat (binds to testosterone).
Your ability to gain muscle efficiently without excessive fat gain is impaired when you are fat.
If you are over 15%, use the cutting diet and my diet recommendations I've written below this document.
This is a higher intake designed for the following:
•\tBone skinny guys.
These guys need more fat and calories in general, so that’s what they are going to get with this. This isn’t designed for anyone else to follow so use caution. There was a study performed in 2002 (Rozenek et al) that found newbie trainers were able to eat up to 2000 calories on top of maintenance for 3 months and gained no fat whilst training 4 days a week.
Suffice to say, if you're brand new then this will be the plan for you.
Finally, we have the M/F ratio which is the ratio of muscle to fat gained.
This is a measure of nutrient partitioning when bulking up, which is extremely important. If you have good sleep, training schedule, nutrient intake, haven’t starved yourself, or eaten a diet of absolute crap, and avoid stress then you should expect the number to be close to 100% or over. In other words, 100% of your calories are being used for energy production or muscle.
This is perfect.
If you are getting numbers close to 0% then things are going bad. Either you are eating way too much, or your diet is sub-optimal. Poor sleep can also impair this metric.
Overfeeding studies find the average sedentary person has an M/F of about 40% (elderly is much lower). So, 40% whilst training shouldn’t be a seen as a good outcome.
I’d be aiming for at least 80% as a good target (for both cutting and bulking).
Using this number, adjust the diet and prescription.
If you bulk too aggressively, you gain way too much fat.
This number only works for bulking at the moment, so don't apply it to cutting (working that one out). Studies have found that some experienced trainers don't need a 'bulk' per se but rather just maintain a steady caloric intake. If the M/F ratio is bad on your bulk, then consider dropping down to the maintenance intake for a week or two and then trying again.
Also look at your measurements to cross reference the M/F results. Obviously if your waist is getting a bit big, then you can expect that some fat was gained.
Once you’ve selected the appropriate diet, the boxes below the main spreadsheet will give you the numbers you should target for each macronutrient.
Just to clarify
Maintain = To maintain and not get fat or lose a little more fat without too much dietary sacrifice. Happy zone.
Cut = More sacrifice, but designed to get you ripped.
Bulk = If you are under 15% body fat and need to gain big muscles.
Aggressive Bulk = If you never touched a weight in your life or are a bone skinny guy.
So for example, if you select Cut, and go to fat it might say 47g (look at the example). That means, you should divide each meal and get the number of fat for each meal.
If you had 3 meals a day, that means you’d have 16g of fat (rounded) each meal. If you are familiar with the concept of exchanges this should be very easy to now relate to planning a meal (if you aren’t familiar with this strategy, the let me know).
A 5g fat exchange is typically used, which equates to 1 tsp of oil.
In other words, you’d plan a meal by adding 3 tsp of oil to your 3 cutting meals and so forth.
Constructing the Diet
If you need help constructing a diet please review the guides on here. Sadly, everyone has a different GI system and genetics. This will greatly vary the response people gain from diet.
However, I think it is better to just start from a diet that works for basically everyone, and then just cut out all the bullshit that won't work for a lot of people. From there, you can use your own judgement on what you can and can't have based on your own body.
Remember, the Golden Rule of Nutrition is:
If it makes you feel like shit, it is shit.
•\tLean fresh, grass fed (where possible) meats. Eat a range of different meats throughout the week, don’t just be a chicken breast guy.
•\tWhole eggs (remember to consider the fat in your meal plan).
•\tOlive oil, coconut oil, butter.
•\tWhite rice and potato.
•\tSpinach, watercress, lettuce, silverbeet, sprouts.
•\tCapsicum, broccoli, mushroom etc. (vegetables).
•\tFruit, mainly banana, blueberry, strawberry, nectarine.
•\tPeanut butter (for bulkers).
•\tCheese (for bulkers and if you don’t have a dairy allergy or intolerance).
•\tOats in small amounts (can be digestively challenging if you don't eat the soaked oats)
•\tSmall amounts roasted nuts, seeds (ground).
•\tYes, you can eat fun stuff as well, but try to include good stuff as part of it (e.g. instead of crappy pizza, make your own with chicken, spinach and pumpkin, with gluten free base). Try to work around the macronutrients as best as possible.
I highly recommend you start from scratch in your kitchen and throw out everything and start again. Build up meals from the beginning. I recommend starting with no more than 3 meals, literally just eating those three meals.
For example, you could have:
-Protein Smoothie (banana, blueberry, protein)
-Chicken and potato.
Literally just eat these three things. Why?
Because our main objective is to get results and ask questions later. What's more important? A full course menu of 50 meals, or just getting the results from foods that don't fuck you up, either making you feel like shit or causing you to overeat (e.g. I've never felt great eating pasta).
In fact, if worse comes to worse, I recommend the Extreme Protocol of just basically drinking protein based smoothies. That's it. Literally just 3-5 smoothies a day for as long as it takes to get yourself in proper condition (and taking multi-vitamin supplements as well). This helps train routine and deliberateness.
Trust me, many people need this. I've come across many hopeless people that have tried too many fancy things and failed miserably. They need to go back to basics.
Benefits of Spreadsheet
This spreadsheet is good if you don’t like having to calculate numbers too much.
You just track what you are doing, enter your weekly data and daily calories and voila. You just need to be able to look at your goals (i.e. you want to lose body fat or gain muscle) and M/F (marker of partitioning.)
The spreadsheet spits out your macros and you just select what diet you want. If you want to keep the fat loss going, select the cutting plan for example.
You don’t have to stay on the spreadsheet for ever.
Once you get to your desired condition, I’d use the maintain number, get the macros for that and then enjoy myself as much as possible with those stipulations. However, if you really need to get some results then I recommend hard-core adherence to the spreadsheet until you get to where you need.
Downsides of the Spreadsheet
You have to enter your calorie data each day.
However, you should be building a database of Meals in my Fitness Pal that you regularly eat (and remember, if you are really struggling to get this shit together I recommend the 3 meal protocol or the more intense 1 smoothie option until you get results).
Mostly, you should be eating similar stuff each day anyway, and most of my clients IRL just like to similar things each day. In fact, the guys I see just say that it's easier to eat the same stuff every day, so I just give them a rotating menu of say 6-7 meals which have the same/similar macros and they just have to say 3x meals (whatever they like)/day.
This seems to work better than a rainbow of 76 different meals, in 700 different varieties. I've found complexity is for retards that don't get shit done.
Training and Workout Nutrition?
Of course, if you train Monday and Tuesday and rest the other days then it will be no surprise your calorie intake should be higher on those days.
So of course the cut/bulk and maintain numbers aren’t going to be able to adjust to that.
However, you really shouldn’t be doing that anyway. I recommend daily, or close to daily sessions. Moreover, the 1-2 rest days you are having your anabolic window will still be ‘open’ so to speak and therefore still requiring nutrition as other days.
Moreover, it’s all going to balance out over the week anyway.
If you are smart, you’ll be placing your nutrition carefully around training (AKA ‘Sandwiching’), but keep in mind this isn’t going to lead to gargantuan alterations in result. Most people need to simply focus on amounts and eating the right foods, rather than whether they had their shake at 3:01pm or 3:45pm that day.
Nutrient Partitioning: More Discussion
Many factors affect body composition.
Stress, for example, leads to high cortisol which binds to testosterone. This leads to shitty erections, poor muscle performance, increased insulin response, lowered thermic effect of food (i.e. less energy expended), increase appetite. Cortisol is a normal hormone released to mobilise fuel, but in chronic high doses (AKA bad lifestyle, stressful stuff, bad romance) can totally mess your physique into pieces.
Sadly, our society likes to whine which subconsciously passes onto us, sadly we don’t live in a Red Pill vacuum (AKA 'Utopia'). Therefore, framing and other topics of choice on this sub, avoiding the plague of BP lifestyle can be beneficial to your mind and body.
Sleep is another major factor which impairs hormonal production and recovery.
Genes play a role as well, and if you have really fattening genes you should find your maintenance calorie numbers dropping lower.
Questions and Comments
Please leave your comments below.
I use this spreadsheet for my own results and wanted to share it in the community.
Be aware, I will be updating this spreadsheet to include a M/F calculation for cutting phase (to be updated within the next 2 days) and potentially some minor alterations to the calculations (however, they should be very good already).
Any queries about it let me know.
Best of luck. Any questions, let me know.