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Jim Stoppani's 12-Week Shortcut To Size: Nutrition

Jim Stoppani's 12-Week Shortcut To Size: Nutrition

In 12 short weeks, I can help you build more muscle while skyrocketing your strength. To succeed, your diet must be elite!
Main | Training | Microcycles | Nutrition | Supplements | Meal Replacements | Start Program

No program is complete without proper nutrition, especially when that program is all about building size and strength. What you do in the kitchen can make or break the results you produce in the gym. It'd be shame to train like crazy and then blow it on the (easier) nutrition side.

Shortcut to Size gives you a complete nutrition plan, so there are no excuses for failure!

12-Week Shortcut To Size: Nutrition Overview
Watch The Video - 14:58

Terms You'll Need To Know

Macronutrients: Fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Fats and carbs can primarily be considered as fuel sources, while protein is responsible for building muscle.
Micronutrients: Vitamins and minerals. These co-factors help your body utilize nutrients from foods, whether for fuel or muscle growth.
Amino Acids: The building blocks of protein. Essential aminos (EAAs) are the amino acids your body can't make on its own; you need to get them from foods and supplements. Extra amino acids are needed to maximize muscle growth.

Daily Calories

To build as much muscle as possible and minimize fat gain, it's important to know how many total calories to eat every day. Your caloric requirements are slightly different on training and rest days:

Nonworkout Days: 18 calories per pound of bodyweight, 7 meals per day.

Workout Days: 20 calories per pound of bodyweight, 9 meals per day -- including pre- and post-workout nutrition.

Of course, not all calories are created equal! Check the graphic to see the calories per gram of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Use the calculator below to see how many calories you should be eating, as well as how many grams of each macronutrient, on both workout and non-workout days.

The majority of your micronutrients come from the well-balanced Shortcut to Size nutrition plan, but you'll also want to add extra micronutrients from a multivitamin each day.

Protein

Protein is critical for both building muscle and as an energy source. When building mass, shoot for a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

During the Shortcut to Size program, I suggest upping that to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, and even closer to 2 grams on workout days to really maximize muscle.

Protein is critical for both building muscle and as an energy source.
"Protein is critical for both building muscle and as an energy source."

To a certain extent, more protein produces more muscle mass, but protein isn't all about growth. You also need protein as an energy source. Any excess protein you take in (that's not going to synthesize new muscle) will be used for energy. Complete proteins, like animal proteins, provide all the essential amino acids your body needs.

Lean Animal Protein Sources
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy (cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.)

Protein supplements are an excellent, and sometimes essential, alternative to whole-food protein sources. Not only do whey and casein provide complete amino acid profiles, but they're both extremely bioavailable. Because whey is a fast-digesting protein source, there are specific times it should be used over whole foods.

Whey protein scoop
When To Whey In
  • Upon waking: After fasting through the night, you need to get amino acids to muscles quickly.
  • Pre-workout: Shuttles protein to your muscles for training fuel.
  • Post-workout: Quickly instigates muscular repair, recovery, and growth.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source, particularly during workouts. On rest days, aim for 1.5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. On workout days, since you also have a slow-digesting carbohydrate before the workout and a fast-digesting carbohydrate after the workout, that total rises to about 2 grams of carbohydrate per pound of bodyweight.

Carbohydrate Choices

Low-glycemic (slow-digesting): These carbohydrate sources enter your blood system slowly, causing less of an insulin spike. Low-glycemic carbs are ideal throughout the day, and include fruits, whole grains, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and sweet potatoes.
High glycemic (fast-digesting): Fast-digesting carbs hit your blood stream quicker, causing insulin to spike. Fast-digesting carbs are ideal after a workout. Fast-digesting carbs include white bread, white potatoes, sugars, candy, gummy bears, Pixy Stix, and Swee Tarts. Tropical fruits are also typically fast-digesting.

Fast-digesting carbs are ideal after a workout.
"Fast-digesting carbs are ideal after a workout."

When you're not actively training, you want a carbohydrate that is not only going to provide you a slow and long-lasting energy source, but isn't going to spike insulin, either. Any time you spike insulin, you increase your chance of storing body fat (except after a workout). To stay lean while you build muscle, most of your carbs should be slow-digesting.

Fast Times

1. First thing when you wake up: You've been fasting all night long. Glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrates in your liver) decreases overnight, and your body begins consuming muscle tissue for fuel. Drink a whey protein shake and fast-carb food for breakfast to stop muscle breakdown and encourage protein synthesis.

2. Right after you work out: You deplete glycogen levels while you train, so you need to restore glycogen levels with fast-digesting carbs. Spiking your insulin at this key time won't cause fat storage, but will enhance muscle growth.

Fun Fats

Fats are also known as lipids. Fats provide energy for the body, but they also offer myriad health benefits. The essential Omega-3 fats, for example, can support heart health, joint recovery, and can even aid fat loss.

Good Souces of Fats

Omega 3 fats: Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Anchovies
Monosaturated Fats: Nuts, Olive Oil, Avocados
Saturated Fats: Beef, Pork, Chicken Thighs

Saturated fats, which normally get a bad rap, also provide a benefit. Research shows that athletes who consume a higher intake of saturated fats, as well as monounsaturated fats (nuts, avocados, olive oil), actually have higher testosterone levels. Fat intake is critical to keep testosterone levels high. For a male, that's important when you're trying to increase size and strength.

Fats provide energy for the body, but they also offer myriad health benefits.
"Fats provide energy for the body, but they also offer myriad health benefits."

During the Shortcut to Size program, you will take in slightly over half a gram of fat per pound of bodyweight. A 200-pound guy would eat about 100 grams of fat per day (about 30% of daily total calories). Fat intake on the Shortcut to Size program is lower than carb and protein intake because fat is so calorically dense.

Tips for Nutritional Success
  1. Cook food in bulk: You can always reheat it
  2. Pack meals iwth cooler bags: Food Safety is key
  3. Keep Protein Bars and RTDS Handy: Cover you bases

Shortcut to Size

Nutrition Plan

For Workout Days

Buffer workouts with specific pre- and post-workout shakes, shown in the meal plan below. Or, combine the pre- and post-workout shakes into one large pre/during/post-workout shake and drink about 1/3 within 30 minutes before the workout, another 1/3 during the workout, and the final 1/3 at the end of the workout.

Breakfast 1 (Immediately Upon Waking)
  • Whey Protein Whey Protein

    1 scoop
    Calories: 130 Fats: 2 Grams Protein: 24 Grams Carbs: 4 Grams

  • Cantaloupe Cantaloupe

    1/2 medium cantaloupe (~275 g)
    Calories: 94 Fats: 524 Milligrams Protein: 2 Grams Carbs: 23 Grams

  • BCAAs BCAAs

    ~5 grams if preferred

Breakfast 2 (30-60 Minutes After Breakfast 1)
  • Whole Eggs Whole Eggs

    3 eggs
    Calories: 220 Fats: 15 Grams Protein: 19 Grams Carbs: 1 Grams

  • Egg Whites Egg Whites

    3 whites
    Calories: 220 Fats: 0 Grams Protein: 12 Grams Carbs: 0.9 Grams

  • Olive Oil Olive Oil

    1 tablespoon
    Calories: 115 Fats: 13 Grams Protein: 0 Grams Carbs: 0 Grams

  • Low-Fat American Cheese Low-Fat American Cheese

    1 slice
    Calories: 38 Fats: 1.47 Grams Protein: 5.17 Gramm Carbs: 0.74 Grams

Scramble eggs cook in olive oil and add cheese to melt.
Breakfast 2 Alternative
Late Morning Snack
Mix pineapple in cottage cheese.
  • CLIF BAR CLIF BAR

    1 bar
    Calories: 230 Fats: 3.5 Grams Protein: 9 Grams Carbs: 44 Grams

  • BCAAs BCAAs

    ~5 grams if preferred

Lunch
  • Albacore Tuna Albacore Tuna

    1 can
    Calories: 70 Fats: 2 Grams Protein: 13 Grams Carbs: 0 Grams

  • Whole Wheat Bread Whole Wheat Bread

    2 slices
    Calories: 159 Fats: 3 Grams Protein: 7 Grams Carbs: 28 Grams

  • Light Mayonnaise Light Mayonnaise

    1 tablespoon
    Calories: 57 Fats: 4.9 Grams Protein: 0.13 Grams Carbs: 3.5 Grams

  • Fruit Fruit (apple, orange, banana, etc.)

    1 large piece (~140 grams)
    Calories: 100 Fats: 1 Grams Protein: 2 Grams Carbs: 24 Grams

  • Fish Oil Fish Oil

    2-3 grams

  • CLA CLA

    2-3 grams

Lunch Alternative
Afternoon Snack
  • Whey Protein Whey Protein

    1 scoop
    Calories: 130 Fats: 2 Grams Protein: 24 Grams Carbs: 4 Grams

  • Peanut Butter Peanut Butter

    1 tablespoon
    Calories: 92 Fats: 8 Grams Protein: 4 Grams Carbs: 3 Grams

  • Jam Jam

    1 tablespoon
    Calories: 42 Fats: 37 Milligrams Protein: 88 Milligrams Carbs: 12 Grams

  • Whole Wheat Bread Whole Wheat Bread

    2 slices
    Calories: 159 Fats: 3 Grams Protein: 7 Grams Carbs: 28 Grams

Chase peanut butter sandwich with shake.
  • BCAAs BCAAs

    ~5 grams if preferred

Pre-Workout (Within 30 Minutes Before Workouts)
Post-Workout (Within 30 Minutes After Workouts)
Dinner
  • Salmon Salmon

    8 ounces
    Calories: 349 Fats: 11 Grams Protein: 59 Grams Carbs: 0 Grams

  • Chopped Broccoli Chopped Broccoli

    1 cup
    Calories: 27 Fats: 319 Milligrams Protein: 3 Grams Carbs: 5 Grams

  • Mixed Green Salad Mixed Green Salad

    2 cups
    Calories: 9 Fats: 0.13 Grams Protein: 0.84 Grams Carbs: 1.76 Grams

  • Salad Dressing (Olive Oil and Vinegar) Salad Dressing (Olive Oil and Vinegar) Salad Dressing (Olive Oil and Vinegar)

    2 tablespoons
    Calories: 138 Fats: 15 Grams Protein: 0 Grams Carbs: 769 Milligrams

Dinner Alternative
Before Bed Snack
  • Casein Protein Casein Protein

    1 scoop
    Calories: 110 Fats: 0.5 Grams Protein: 23 Grams Carbs: 4 Grams

  • Peanut Butter Peanut Butter

    1 tablespoon
    Calories: 92 Fats: 8 Grams Protein: 4 Grams Carbs: 3 Grams

Non-Workout Day Totals
  • Calories: 3100
  • Protein: 265g
  • Carbs: 260g
  • Fats: 110g
Workout Day Totals
  • Calories: 3700
  • Protein: 335g
  • Carbs: 340g
  • Fats: 110g
Meal Replacements

I do NOT recommend you eat the same meals for all of those days. Consider this list as a good source to consider when you're not looking forward to yet another piece of salmon or bowl of oats.

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Main | Training | Microcycles | Nutrition | Supplements | Meal Replacements | Start Program

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About The Author

Jim holds a doctorate in exercise physiology and has been the personal nutrition and health consultant for numerous celebrity clients...

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JonathanWinbush

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JonathanWinbush

Wow I dont even eat close to what Im supposed to number intake wise its like double the calorie and protein intake of what I do now

Apr 2, 2012 6:13pm | report
 
HRBEK

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HRBEK

My understanding is that you don't really need to eat that much to build muscle-mass... It just makes it more certain that you will because you will almost certainly be consuming anough protein thorughout the day, and will always have some digesting in your stomach. I eat about 350 Calories less than what he recommends on non-workout and workout days.

Oct 14, 2012 7:03am | report
5alviati

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5alviati

I can say right off the bat that the suggested protein intake is way too much (more than necessary). Studies have shown that gains max out at 2 grams PER KILOGRAM of body weight. These studies are the sort that NCSA bases its personal training and strength conditioning textbooks off of. I challenge Jim Stoppani to correct me, since he's endorsing this prescription.

Feb 11, 2013 4:50pm | report
Whoolery

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Whoolery

You seem really proud that you know something that Jim doesn't. Who cares?

Feb 13, 2013 1:43pm | report
Whoolery

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Whoolery

You seem really proud that you know something that Jim doesn't. Who cares?

Feb 13, 2013 1:43pm | report
trusolman

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trusolman

i love the 140lb guy chiming in that the suggested protein intake is way too much. keep taking what the text books tell ya buddy!

Mar 31, 2013 10:07am | report
npatel7

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npatel7

According to American heart and American dietetic association, Protein consumption for "normal people" is 10-15% of total daily kilocalories ~0.80 g protein/kg body weight per day, more advanced athletes it's 1.2 to 1.7 g protein/kg body weight per day. That's "text book". It's also crap. Why? Bc you cannot give everyone the same amount of protein and expect them to be fine. Example, athlete weighing in at 150lbs in shape and athlete weighing in at 250lbs in shape. These averages for protein intake will not suffice.

NP
B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science
Certified Fitness Trainer

Apr 10, 2013 3:55pm | report
YoungLAD

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YoungLAD

yeah it is pretty common knowledge to know what you weigh is how you base your food consumption. Jim breaks it down for you people. very simple. I didn't need a degree or certificate to know that.

Mar 15, 2014 10:16am | report
Rivertime

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Rivertime

so i know it says he does not recomend us to eat this all of these days. but if we wanted to we could?

Apr 2, 2012 6:33pm | report
 
jordanak88

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jordanak88

Sure you can. its all about getting those nutrients. how you get them doesnt matter.

Apr 2, 2012 8:33pm | report
Bodice

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Bodice

My guess is he doesn't recommend it because the average person would have a breakdown from the repetition. Give it 3 weeks, you'll begin to look forward to every meal regardless of if it's your usual or not.

Apr 17, 2012 7:19pm | report
calvinengle

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calvinengle

Yes you could. He recommends (I believe) to change it so that you are not bored with the food by day 8 and fall of the beaten path.

Apr 30, 2012 5:38pm | report
tgore90

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tgore90

The main reason you don't want to eat the same thing everyday is because your body will acclimate to your diet just like it does to your workouts. You can't expect to go to the gym and do the exact same thing everyday and expect continuous results eventually you'll stop making progress. Open the e book their is a good guide that tells you what you can substitute foods for.

Jul 5, 2012 12:17am | report
101PeteN

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101PeteN

also you get different aminos from different protein sources and a variety of sources leads to a more ehalthy well rounded diet

Jul 19, 2012 10:33am | report
Spawn8214

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Spawn8214

I make a meal plan that has a variety of protein sources, carb sources, and fat sources for my 7 meals. I then eat those same meals everyday, but switch when I eat which meal in the beginning (meal 1, 2, 3 one day; then meal 2, 1, 3, etc.). My last two meals after my post workout shake are always the same though (lean beef, broccoli, and peanut butter | Casein and olive oil).

I like this better because then I always know exactly what groceries to buy, exactly how much to budget for, and I can cook and prep an entire weeks worth of meals easily and quickly. I couldn't imagine trying to cook a weeks worth of meals at once using completely different meals each day... let alone grocery shopping and budgeting for that.

Jan 15, 2013 12:14am | report
YoungLAD

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YoungLAD

tgore90 says it best

Mar 15, 2014 10:19am | report
jwilliamson76

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jwilliamson76

That is a lot more than I have been use too. Is it possible that we are supposed to calculate our intake based on our lean mass weight or is it in fact our total body weight?

Apr 2, 2012 7:24pm | report
 
jordanak88

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jordanak88

Total body weight

Apr 2, 2012 8:34pm | report
blastbarrier

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blastbarrier

I have the same question. For me it's a 500 calorie difference (185 lbs versus 210 lbs) so really does seem to matter.

Apr 2, 2012 9:56pm | report
NorthDragon

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NorthDragon

Yes, lean mass.

Apr 2, 2012 10:08pm | report
Jalexander1994

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Jalexander1994

Total body weight. You're putting a lot more calories in, but you're gaining more muscle.

Apr 11, 2012 4:12pm | report
danyxxxtreme

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danyxxxtreme

enough with the bro science please

Dec 1, 2012 3:24pm | report
Spawn8214

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Spawn8214

If you feel it's too high and you should use your LBM, then use your LBM and track your progress. If you make gains, then all is well.

But, if you don't make any gains, then use your TBM and track.

I did this when I started getting into fitness and nutrition and found that for me, using my TBM is the way to go.

Jan 15, 2013 10:15pm | report
Sylker

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Sylker

I've been always afraid of go so high in calories intake, but I am following @Spawn8214 advice. First I tried LBM calculation and I must say it was very effective to lose body fat, but the gain in muscle mass was very little and I even lost a bit after a couple of weeks. Now I am starting with the TBM calcs. Let's see.

Oct 25, 2014 7:38pm | report
ndangelo308

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ndangelo308

how is whole wheat bread a slow digesting card with a glycemic index of over 70? Personally I find carbs to be drastically overestimated in terms of importance for energy. Anyone interested in nutrition should read 'Why we get fat'. It'll truly change the way you view how our bodies work.

Apr 2, 2012 8:15pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 561 Comments

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