'Protein only' days are a very useful technique for shocking the metabolism and helping bulking up. I would only suggest this procedure for the intermediate and advanced bodybuilder, not the newcomer or hard gainer. Generally, you should be consuming a bodybuilding diet much like the one in Figure 6 or the deluxe plan in Chapter 16, varying your food choice and portion sizes. The procedure involves having one, two or three consecutive days every six to eight weeks where you consume extremely low amounts of carbohydrates and base you diet on protein foods only. Include a small amount of complex carbohydrate at breakfast and at the evening meal, for example one slice of bread, and you must avoid fruit. Most of your carbohydrate intake will be from the small amounts in your vegetables and from MRPs.
The idea behind this technique is to 'shock' your metabolism into fasting mode. Your body needs regular carbohydrate intake to keep the metabolic rate working efficiently, so if these foods are omitted, the rate will slow down. Regular quality protein intake is imperative to maintain muscle mass. The meal plan below in Figure 7 gives an idea of this technique. It is also essential that you up the intensity of your workouts for this short period, and maybe also include some more intense cardiovascular exercise to help glycogen deplete.
'Protein only' days are easy to follow for one day, but by day two, you will be craving carbohydrate foods and feeling weak. If you choose to follow it for three days your body may go into ketosis, a condition whereby your body uses ketones for energy (see Chapter 18). For the two days following this technique, go back onto your regular eating pattern, with high intakes of simple and complex carbohydrate foods, in fact eat whenever you are hungry, and you will be hungry!
Although during the depletion phase you will lose a little weight, have little strength and generally feel awful, on the days following you will gain a few pounds, feel strong and great. It is also a great appetite stimulant technique. You must not have 'protein only' days too often, otherwise you will not get the benefit of its in bulking. You must also try this when you have no outside distractions for a few days. It is very similar, though not as strict, as the carbohydrate depleting and loading technique used in pre-contest bodybuilding, discussed in Chapter 18.
Figure 7 is merely a guide, but the principles are plenty of high quality protein food regularly, very low carbohydrate intake and plenty of vegetables to fill up on.
Figure 7 : Example menu plan for protein 'only' days.
Time Food Protein
7.30 1 scoop whey protein in water 20g
8.00 breakfast 1 slice of dry toast
1 MRP in water 42g
10.30 / scoop whey protein in water 11g
1 small chicken breast (120g) 36g
12.30 Tuna (95g) 22g
/ small chicken breast (60g) 18g Huge salad
3.00 / scoop whey protein in water 11g
1 small chicken breast (60g) 36g
5.00 1 MRP in water 42g
6.30 (after training) 2 scoops whey protein in water 40g
/ small chicken breast (60g) 18g 1 tblsp brown rice Huge salad / vegetables
10.00 / scoop whey protein 11g
/ small chicken breast (60g) 18g
11.30 1 scoop whey protein in water 20g
TOTAL PROTEIN 365g
The other great thing about the protein 'only' days is that you really enjoy eating afterwards!
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