Body-for-LIFE Nutrition Specifics

  • With as many questions that get asked here, I wanted to address some specifics regarding nutrition.

    I want to address them because Bill Phillips avoids the fine details and for good reason. You can over analyze these details, but if you never get a firm grasp of the basics, then it doesn't matter. If you keep eating snicker's for lunch, then counting up macros really doesn't mean jack squat. Cause you gotta start eating better foods.

    Q: Charlie, who is this thread for?

    A: Everyone! Who is interested in starting BFL, or for anyone who wants a fine tuned grasp of nutrition, the BFL Way.

    In my own use and the use of my clients, this is how I teach nutrition.

    First I get the client to understand that of our food, protein is the most important, carbs we can eat, but in a controlled environment and fats in a small amount too.

    What I am about to write out is for the goal of stripping body fat and becoming very lean. For those who seek muscle gain as your main goal, the food intake would be MUCH different. When I say very lean, I a targeting a 7-8% for men, 12-14% for women year round maintenance. This is how I get 'em there and keep you there, because after all, we wanna keep ourselves looking great for our entire life and not just for a 12 week time period.

    First lets talk about Protein.

    It's a first priority as we all know.

    We all know by looking at the food list here on and in the book what foods to eat, this is going to be geared towards a specific amount because I find that the biggest question that I always get is in regards to portion amounts. And for those who like to keep track and know specifically what they are putting into their body, then this is for you! Keep in mind these are starting recommendations.

    Egg whites/Whole egg - 4 whites, 1 whole egg for women. Men, 8 whites, 1 whole egg.

    Chicken, turkey, fish, steak, seafood, (all animal protein) - Women 4 oz, Men 8 oz

    Whey - Women 1 scoop, Men 2 scoops

    Carbs - Women 1/3c, Men 1/2c. Meaning when you measure out your oatmeal in the morning, that is 1/3c for you ladies dry measure. Men, 1/2c dry.

    Beans, brown rice and carbs that are cooked, it's 1/3c brown rice cooked portion for the ladies, 1/2c cooked for men.


  • Potatoes - I just say eat one potato. When you go to the grocery store, the bag of 5 or 10lbs that they sell, those potatoes are fairly small and a

    good portion size. Its the potatoes that you buy individually that are usually much bigger.use a tbs


    Fats - Like the book says, 1 tbsp unsaturated oil daily. I like to  use that tbsp of olive oil in a pan with my egg whites/whole eggs for breakfast to fry em up

    You can also use a tbsp of natural peanut butter in your oats or in your myoplex shake. Just be creative about how you like to eat and add accordingly.


    Vegetables - A cups worth is a good rule for men and women. The obvious health benefits in vegetables and the low caloric content allow us to eat

    freely. Especially your green leafy ones like spinach. 1 cup = 6 calories, you get the point :)


    That is pretty much it for nutrition. Remember these are starting points for those who are targeting fat loss. As you become leaner, but you are not

    satisfied with your body yet, you may have to reduce your carb intake for a little bit to obtain that leanness. Several champs have had to do so.


    Any questions? Feel free to ask.

  • Charlie,

    Thanks for the post. I have been on bfl almost for 4 complete weeks. I did a bad thing today and weighed myself, which I kinda knew it would, but it let to disappointment. The 1 pound I lost a couple of weeks ago, I gained back. I wanted to see some improvement with all the work I have been doing. Is this normal??? So then I started to think about my eating, which led me to your post. I thought the hardest part was going to be the exercise. This week also has been hectic, with family get togethers, etc.... I missed 2 workouts this week, but I just did them the next day. In reading your post, I will have to change how much carbs I'm eating, I was having 1/2 cup. Here's what I usually have and you can tell me if I'm way off base. ( I work graveyards)

    1900   Workout

    then I have a shake an hour afterwards

    2300 Turkey Sandwhich, with mustard, whole wheat bread and a low sodium V8

    0100-0200   4oz of meat sauce (Ragu no sugar added and meat)  1/2 cup of whole wheat noodles. Sometimes a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.

    0430-0500  Hawaiian pizza (bfl recipe, whole wheat pita, mozzarella cheese, ham, pineapple and Ragu no sugar added) or I make taco pasta. Low sodium V8 or I add peppers and onions to my mixture.

    0700  1/2 cup cottage cheese and fat free yogurt

    0930   protein powder

    I am one of those people who have been on alot of diets, so I'm used to a restricted menu, this seems like alot of food. Thats a matter of changing bad habits. I get hungry every 2-2 1/2 hours. Let me know what you think, please.

  • In regards to your gaining that 1 lb back, do you know if it is reallly body fat? Could be water weight if you were eating more. Remember for every gram of carbs you eat, 3 grams of water follow.

    When people are starting out, I like to eat very simple omitting sauces and recipes like spaghetti etc.

    I want you to try some simple meals like egg whites and oatmeal. 4 whites, 1 whole and 1/3c oats.

    Chicken *** and brown rice, top sirloin and sweet potato etc. It's much easier to keep track of and monitor your fat loss when you start eating like this. Things like v8 I omit as well. Not the best thing to be consuming for fat loss. That and breads are at the bottom of the list in terms of carb choices. One sandwich a day you should be fine, just don't overdue it. The rest of your plan looks solid.

  • Thanks for responding. I'm gonna make those changes and hopefully that will do the trick.  Patience has never been one of my finer qualities. Any other advice just let me know!!!!!

  • I want to add to what Charlie said in keeping it simple is the easiest in the beginning. For example you need 6 meals per day...and the portions are as Charlie stated (or fist/palm method, whatever works for you)

    morning: portion protein, portion carbs (ie egg whites/yolk and oats in the right portions for you)

    mid morning: portion protein, portion carbs (ie. fat free yogurt mixed with  protein powder)

    Lunch: portion protein, portion carbs and veggies (ie. Chicken ***, sweet potato and raw veggies or salad)

    mid afternoon: portion protein, portion carbs (ie. chicken or fish or cottage cheese with a portion of fruit OR brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, corn etc)

    dinner: portion protein, portion carbs and veggies and good fat (ie. Fish, brown rice or quinoa, veggies with one tbsp Olive oil)

    evening: portion protein, portion carbs (ie. fat free or low fat cottage cheese and  veggies or a starchy carb like sweet potato or brown rice if you like)

    And the best thing to do in the beginning is eat the same thing (or combos of foods) til you get the hang of it, then you can get more can sub in supplements like clif bars and protein shakes where you like if convenience is an issue for you.

    Charlie has some really good tips. Keep asking!!

  • Also I would like to confirm if the protein amounts you listed Charlie are cooked weight or raw?My guess..cooked.

  • Cooking in olive oil does not count for your healthy fat.  Once heated, you lose the good fat. 

    Natural PB is a terrible source of healthy fat. 

    Also, no fat in the meal after working out.  For the same reason that people choose whey after working out and casein at night, you want that meal to be without your healthy fat.  Fat slows the system and you want it then to be revved up.

    FISH OIL is your absolute best source of fat.  You cannot get the proper fat from other sources. Fish oil is Omega 3 EPA and DHA, which is what your body mostly needs.  PB is Omega 6.  Most people get plenty of that from other sources.  Olive oil is Omega 3, but in the form of ALA.  ALA converts to DHA/EPA at a rate of 2.7%.  It's just not helpful.

    Amounts are specific to the person and their size, not necessarily by gender.

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Personally I have one tsp of pure fish oil everyday in addition to my olive oil or other good fat in the day.

    They are both good fats.

    Extra Virgin Olive oil is best drizzled on salads etc rather than heating. Use Pam for the frying...

    Fish oil has tremendous benefits as well as flaxseed oil. Let us not forget using raw almonds other nuts and various seeds as sources of good fats as well.

    If you are eating fish such as salmon you are also getting good fats in.

    The idea is to try and get some good fats in our diets. Do not be afraid of fat.

  • That fish oil is a good call.  I do a few tablespoons (lemon flavored). 

    Flaxseed is Omega 6.  There's nothing wrong with it, or nuts, which are Omega 6, but you don't need much at all. 

    Salmon is great, but you actually ruin the fish oil when you cook it in most cases.  That information recently came to light and makes me feel better about hating salmon.  :-)

    Good fat is necessary.  Agreed.

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • This is a great post, thanks!

    If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten!

    My FOURTH Challenge: May 23-Aug. 14, 2011.  Began First BFL Challenge on June 21, 2010

  • Thank you all for your information. It looks like I have some refocusing to do. For the most part I eat the same things everyday, just since I'm the only one eating it and I make large portions to last awhile. So I'm hoping with the re-adjustment of my food, my results will be a bit greater. I do have to admit that I am able to increase my weights when I work out and every time I get on the treadmill I am running faster every time. Never thought that would happen. I dreaded the treadmill, but now it's a challenge every time.

    A yummymommy, you mentioned yogurt mixed with protein powder. Is that it, no other ingredients? Sounds good so I wanted to make sure.

    Also does anyone know how much eggbeaters is a serving?


  • "A yummymommy, you mentioned yogurt mixed with protein powder. Is that it, no other ingredients? Sounds good so I wanted to make sure."

    Yes. All you need is fat free plain yogurt and add a scoop of protein powder (whatever flavour you like!). Another alternative is to use greek yogurt with a bit of sugar free syrup mixed in... caramel...ummmm tastes like pudding!


    Good luck, keep coming back for advice and good luck. Remember, this is a marathon not a sprint! It may take time but you can do it and will be happy you did!

  • There is so much bro science coming form miss mighty max, I'm not sure where to begin.

    Back to the issue at hand. This is not a thread to argue about who is right or wrong in regards to nutrition.

    This is a thread for people who are disappointed in their prior results, for people doing more challenges, and being that it is the new year in 2 days, it is for new members who want to give body for life a try.

    The recommendations above will work and it will give you a much better starting point than the ever so vague palm/fist method.

    And for the record, my first meal (post workout) was always had whole eggs with my whites and peanut butter in my oatmeal and it never hindered fat loss. In fact, in 2 back to back challenges, I went from 280 - 214.

    Keep the questions coming.


  • Hi Charlie, great post. Direct and un-complicated. Just wanted to ask a question regarding cup size. Would a cup portion be like a regular coffee cup (that you might get with a saucer) rather thank a Starbucks size 'Mug'?

    Sorry if it's a stupid question. It just always struck me from reading the book as well - there is a lot of different cup sizes out there.