A: To get rid of excess fat deposits, you must eliminate from your diet sugar, assorted sweeteners of all kinds and grains of all kinds, including their subsidiary products. Examples of subsidiary products of grains to avoid include derivative oils and powders. By reducing your intake of sugar and the other unhealthful items named above, you will be lowering your carbohydrate intake in favor of added protein and fat. Also, don’t drink your calories—always strive for improved ingredient quality; for example, grass-fed beef over grain-fed beef. Basically, if it can’t be recognized as a “food,” don’t eat it. Finally, eat all your carbs in the evening.
Q: What kind of diet should I follow to gain strength and mass?
A: That depends. Do you want to gain strength and lean mass or just strength and mass? If the answer is the latter then follow the lead of many heavyweight-class powerlifters and turn your mouth into a vacuum cleaner. Jesse Burdick recently admitted that he gained much of his mass from gorging on Doritos, while Dave Tate discussed eating an entire pizza covered in olive oil in a single sitting. Tales of powerlifting gluttony abound.
If, however, your goal is to gain lean mass, then I would follow advice similar to the that given above for fat loss but with the following caveats: Include rice and corn as carbohydrate sources, but eat them only in the evening. Make sure you’re eating plenty of meat, especially red meat, plus vegetables of all kinds, especially cruciferous. Finally, fear no animal fat. You will need to have some kind of caloric overload, which can be achieved by a general policy of overfeeding at every meal and/or eating very quickly to fill your tank before the satiety hormone leptin can effectively signal stomach fullness to your brain.
This, of course, assumes that you’re following a strength-training protocol that is anything other than absolutely boneheaded and based primarily on heavy-ass barbell lifts with an eye toward progressive overload. If you are overweight or metabolically compromised in some fashion, that protocol isn’t for you. If the goal is purely gaining mass, you’ll need to treat eating as a job—literally! Either way, it may mean having to reconceptualize food as fuel and not as a purely hedonistic pleasure.
Editor’s note: Ben White won his first IFBB professional bodybuilding contest, the Tampa Pro, in 2010. He is also a champion powerlifter and frequently competes in the World’s Strongest Bodybuilder contest at the Olympia. His best competition bench press is 711 pounds. He is an MPH athlete, www.MHPStong.com. IM