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I am re-evaluating my daily diet and was looking for some advice on how I can improve it.

Background: I am a 24 year old male, weigh 68kg/150lb, and do the StrongLifts program 3 days a week. My ultimate goals is to gain weight (mostly muscle, limited fat), but I am also concerned with making sure I am getting enough nutrients and that there isn't any severe deficiency in my diet.

I haven't been tracking specific calories of my meals, but suffice it to say I am never hungry so it is unlikely I'm eating at a deficit.

Currently, my diet looks like this:

Breakfast: Tall glass of milk; 2 boiled eggs

Morning snack: Handful of almonds; Handful of granola; Cup of yogurt; Bowl of oatmeal; Orange

Lunch: Bowl of salad; Handful of mixed berries; Handful of Nuts; One serving of fish/poultry; 18oz protein shake

Afternoon snack: Banana; Handful of almonds

Post-workout: 18oz protein shake

Dinner: Bowl of salad (no dressing); One serving of fish/poultry; Tall glass of milk

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How many calories is this? –  user3085 Aug 15 '12 at 23:14
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In case you haven't been tracking, you can use Wolfram Alpha to get quick estimates of your calorie intake: wolframalpha.com/examples/FoodAndNutrition.html –  user3085 Aug 15 '12 at 23:31
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How much salad? How much fish/poultry? What kind of dressing? How much milk? –  Dave Liepmann Aug 16 '12 at 1:08
    
I'd just increase all amounts by eg. 10% and see if that helps. –  VPeric Aug 17 '12 at 9:27
    
@DaveLiepmann I usually have a pretty decent sized bowl of salad made up of leafy greens, assorted veggies, nuts/granola/mixed berries, and no dressing. I have noted this in my question. –  Moses Aug 17 '12 at 22:43
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Let's start with basics.

To keep it simple - if you want to gain weight you need to be in calorie surplus. I'll guess you are 6 feet tall, rough estimation of your TDEE (calorie you need for maintainning weight) is 2715 kcal per day. To gain pound a week you need calorie surplus of 500 kcal, which puts your energy demands around 3215 kcal. How much fat and how much muscle you would gain, depends on several factors (genetics, training, hormons, rest, etc.). I would suggest eating 3000 kcal per week and to track your progress. One very important thing here - like i said, this TDEE is rough estimation, and your actual TDEE can be as slow as 2500 or as high as 3200 (if not even higher or maybe even lower). To be sure about your TDEE, you'll have to learn your body and for that you need time and bodyweight scale. Also, note that with gaining extra pounds of lean body, your TDEE will go up.

The second thing you need to learn is to keep your eating diary. And by this I mean - "I ate 200g of milk and 120g of eggs". If you say - "I ate 2 eggs for breakfast", it doesn't mean anything. Is it 80g of eggs, or is it maybe 140g of eggs? What kind of eggs (chicken / goose / etc.). Kitchen scale is a must! After you learn to count weight of your food, use online diary like Cronometer or Myfitnesspal (just to name few) and track both of your macronutrients and micronutrients.

The next thing which you should improve is to set your protein intake at 1g per pound (in your case minimum of 150g of protein per day). Fat shouldn't be lower then 50g (below 50, you might experience lots of problems connected with hormons, like unable to get erection), 100 is even better. Rest carbs. To give you better picture, if your calorie intake is set at 3000kcal, 150g of protein equal to 600 kcal, 100g of fat equal 900kcal, which means you should take 375g of carbs (1g of protein and carbs = 4 kcal, 1g of fat = 9 kcal).

When you say protein shake, I guess you mean whey powder, right? Drink it only in the morning with your first meal and after workout. Whey is a very fast protein (to keep it simple, I'll call it "fast protein") and around lunch there is high chance you'll still digest proteins from earlier meal. If this is a case, whey will be turned into glucose (sugar).

All in all, until we see your precise food intake (measured in grams), there is not much I can tell you more.

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Protein shakes are meant to be supplements, not replacements. Real food uber alles. It doesn't look like you're eating enough food to justify a shake anytime but post-workout. If you think you need liquid supplementation, do GOMAD. If you can't do GOMAD but want to supplement, eat a dozen eggs a day (or two).

Six eggs would be more appropriate for breakfast if you're trying to gain weight, or five plus a piece of meat or yogurt with berries. Same goes for the salads--I don't understand why you're not using salad dressing. Fat is good. Eat fat.

If you're not gaining weight (as noted in your other question), and you want to gain weight, I'd stop worrying about snacks and just aim to double the size of your meals. If the snacks help you, you could try converting them to a helping of meat, like tuna salad.

I prefer to eat more veggies, but this looks like a good diet, though not one that would make someone grow bigger.

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