Road to INBA

I honestly hate writing this topic. Not because its hard to explain, I just had enough of it and its super boring. Been doing macro from July to September for my contest prep. No healthy lifestyle I have experienced is as unenjoyable as doing a 12 weeks strict macro diet. But since I received a lot request from Youtube and Twitter asking me to share my diet while I'm cutting or gaining. Its not so easy to just talk it out, so I decided to write it down like a blogger. Before I start I need to tell you what I'm going to say may not be all right, and I can not guarantee it will also work for your body. Its just what I learned and the experience I gained from my very first natural bodybuilding competition.

Lets clear some air first for some beginner.

QuestionWhat "macro" is?

AnswerIt stands for macronutrient ratio, which is commonly used to cover your carbohydrates, protein, and fats daily intake. Its not rocket science, everybody can do it.

QuestionWhat "macro" can do to your body?

AnswerIt can help you build muscle, maintain weight or lose some fat, as long as you know what your fitness goal is. And its no risk to your health.

If you google "macro" "bodybuilding" you will get a lot information and online calculators about it. Most of those tip articles reads like science essay, boring and only make it more complex. Those online calculators, forget about them, they are pretty much toys with no useful results whatsoever.

Simply list down my macro is no useful for you either. You have to understand what's the real way to get your very own macro. To get yourself a macro you need to track your normal daily intake first, use app MyFitnessPal to record what you ate and how many you ate for a few days in a regular base. Then based on the results the app shows you to determine whether you had too much carbs too much fat or less protein based on your fitness goal. BTW, ignore the daily goal that app sets for you, thats no useful either.

My normal nutrition intake

Since you and me and everybody have different body weight, body fat percentage, training intensity, workout splits, muscle amount... all those stuff. It means we all need different macro for our own.

After you get your regular daily macro, you have to learn what they are doing to your body and what are the impact they would make if you make few adjustment of them. I will explain it as easy as possible, and skip the metabolism part incase it confuses you.

Carbs (carbohydrates), you need to eat a lot to build muscle if your goal is to gain muscle. If your goal is to lose some unwanted fat, you need to drop some carbs intake with careful. Drop it too quick and too much, you lose muscle fast. So take it easy, and based on your normal intake adjust about 10-20grams up or down every week to see how your body responds to the change. Last thing is if you do workout your legs, make your carbs intake higher on that leg day.

Protein, you love it, you know its on the top of bodybuilding nutrition list. What it does is help your body fix and rebuild muscle tissue after its been broken during your heavy workout. While you are trying to gain muscle, you need some not "a lot" lot. You are gonna need a lot protein when you cut, that's how you maintain pure muscle while losing unwanted body fat.

Fat, don't be afraid of eating fat. In fact, you are gonna love it when you starts your macro. You need to understand there is lot healthy fat out there, such as natural peanut butter and coconut oil. So when you track your fat intake you need to weight in the cooking oil you use as well. I know it sounds crazy detail to a beginner, but thats exactly what I did. You need fat to support your daily bases activates. You don't take in enough fat your body will starts break down muscle, and if you take too much it will store in your body become excess fat. Its very hard to have just right amount of fat.

The macro I'm gonna show you is the one I used to prepare my contest, which helped me to lose excess fat as much as I can and maintain those muscle.

8 July 2014 | before I started my macro

July 9th

Leg day: 380g carbs, 205g protein, 50g fat

Non-leg day: 250g carbs, 225g protein, 60g fat

13 Aug 2014
25 Aug 2014

Aug 26th

Leg day: 320g carbs, 225g protein, 50g fat

Non-leg day: 200g carbs, 240g protein, 55g fat

Sep 9th

Leg day: 300g carbs, 225g protein, 45g fat

Non-leg day: 180g carbs, 240g protein, 50g fat

15 Sep 2014

Sep 15th

Leg day: 275g carbs, 225g protein, 45g fat

Non-leg day: 160g carbs, 240g protein, 50g fat

My weight dropped from 70KG to 67KG by follow this macro circle, 3KG sounds like nothing right? But its actually the best part. Because my body fat percentage dropped significantly from 12% to 5% even tho my weight didn't change a lot, that means I lost a lot unwanted body fat and still kept my muscle. For average people, when they talk about fat losing they only care about how many body weight they have dropped, and barely think about how many muscle they have lost.

Till here you might think to average fitness lovers being this accurate is not necessary. I agree, you came here probably just wonder what I eat for breaky, for lunch or for dinner. Well, ingredients doesn't really bothers me, its worse than macro. Because it gets so limited when I'm in a contest prep circle. Chicken breasts, extra lean beef, white rice for 12 weeks. You can't imaging how boring it was. Makes you hate eating. Control your ingredients only works when you know what food works for your muscle. Its complicated because you need to keep trying different ingredients to find the proper one. For example my muscle pumps up more after I eat white rice rather than brown rice. Hence, what I eat doesn't really matter, I can eat anything I want as long as they stick to my macro and works for my muscle.

Okay, that was the cutting part. What I eat while I'm bulking? As a matter of fact I never really be in a bulking phase, nutrition is always a problem to me too. I felt like ate more when I cut. Basically I eat "anything" before I started cutting. But when I say "anything" its still "clean", no fatty or junky. There's no secrets here, if you still curious what I ate. I go Korean BBQ a lot, eat a lot rice every day, which is main carbs source. And I like having ramen in midnight. I don't get fat? Yes a little, but everything is still under control. About 12% body fat I have when I'm not cutting. One reason is I have genetically lean body type, it makes my body hard to gain fat or muscle. Another reason is I have higher pure muscle percentage than average people (I worked out hard to gain it), they cost more energy to move them around, which means when I'm workingout and after workout my body burns more fat than your body does.

To sum this up, "eat clean", "eat healthy" and "eat smart". If you still have any question wanna ask, feel free to leave it below in English or Mandarin.

If you are interested in my bodybuilding progress, go follow my Instagram.