In my first installment of the Waterbury Diet I covered the approach I recommend for fat loss and gut health. Basically, you’ll eat very little during the day, take supplements, and then eat the majority of your calories at night during a 4-hour period. This is essentially what Ori Hofmekler’s Warrior Diet is, and that was the impetus for the Waterbury Diet.
If you haven’t read my first installment, please check it out because it contains the overview of this diet. Without that information, very little of the following will make sense. You can check out the first installment at this link.
The ultimate goal of the Waterbury Diet is simple: improve gut health so your body can use what you put into it. For years, naturopathic doctors and gastroenterologists have been telling us that it’s not what we put in our body that matters: what matters is what our body can assimilate. Proper digestion and absorption are absolutely critical for growth, repair and health.
You will never gain muscle or recover quickly if your gut is unhealthy. I guarantee that 99% of you fall under the category of an “unhealthy gut” or “a gut that’s not as healthy as it should be.” And I’m talking about myself here, too. I always considered myself healthy, but it wasn’t until I started eating this way that I realized just how messed up my GI health really was.
So this brings me to my approach for muscle growth on this diet. One of the primary reasons why most of us hard-training guys and gals have gut problems is because most of the supplements that promise muscle growth are destroying our GI tract. That’s why the system I use for muscle growth builds on the original Waterbury Diet for Fat Loss.
Waterbury Diet for Muscle Growth
There are two primary changes that should be made when fast muscle growth is your goal. First, consume an easily digestible protein source every 3 hours during the fasting phase three days per week to flood your body with muscle-building amino acids. Second, add carbs to your post-workout meal and Feeding Phase.
1. Consume more protein: you already know how important protein is for muscle growth, but you can’t cram crappy protein powders or supermarket beef into your body every few hours and expect your gut to respond well. Frequent meals and high assimilation rates don’t go hand-in-hand. However, our gut can cope with a few, high-quality protein sources.
Which protein sources to use:
1. Whey protein from cattle that were raised without hormones. I prefer grass-fed whey.
2. Vegan protein powders for those who don’t tolerate whey. Sun Warrior’s Raw Vegan protein powder is fine choice.
3. Foods that contain milk proteins such as greek yogurt and cottage cheese. I’m only mentioning these because some people get tired of protein powders. However, if you have abdominal distention, or experience any allergy symptoms after consuming milk proteins, remove them from your diet because they’re doing more harm than good.
When to use the protein:
You’ll consume around 20 grams of protein from any of the above sources every three hours, three days per week. Why not every day? Because stuffing protein in your body every day will reduce your assimilation rate and it won’t give your body the fasting phases it needs throughout the week to keep your gut health in check.
Ideally, you’ll consume the protein feedings on the days you lift weights. So if you lift on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, those should be the days you take in extra protein. Just make sure you don’t have the protein feedings two days in a row, even if you lift weights two days in a row.
2. Consume more carbs: it’s extremely difficult to add muscle without a healthy dose of carbs because they release insulin, an important muscle building hormone. This is especially true immediately after your workouts when your muscles are starving for glycogen replenishment. The amount of carbs you need post-workout depends on how much muscle you have. A 250-pound powerlifter needs more carbs than a 150-pound woman.
However, you don’t need a lot of carbs post-workout – just enough to generate an insulin response so the carbs will be shuttled into your muscles. These carbs should be consumed with around 20 grams of protein powder. Here are the recommendations based on your body weight.
150 pounds: 30-35 grams of carbs with 20 grams protein post-workout
200 pounds: 45-55 grams of carbs with 20 grams protein post-workout
250 pounds: 55-65 grams of carbs with 20 grams protein post-workout
Which carb sources to use post-workout:
1. Organic cherry juice. Research by the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that consuming cherry juice post workout reduces soreness. As an added bonus, cherry juice contains a healthy dose of melatonin so you’ll sleep better.
2. Organic raisins. Raisins are an alkaline food so they help offset acidification from training. Also, they have a high glycemic load so the carbs can be quickly shuttled into your muscles.
3. Fresh pineapple. Pineapple is great post-workout because it contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps your body assimilate protein and reduce inflammation.
To gain muscle, I also recommend that you get plenty of carbs during the Feeding Phase. Your muscles can take a lot more carbs than you gave them post-workout because they haven’t had any for almost a day.
The ideal sources for carbs in your first meal of the Feeding Phase are: rice, potatoes or pasta. Eat as much of those carbs as you want, with protein, until you’re completely satisfied. If you get hungry a few hours after dinner, and if it’s still within the 4-hour Feeding Phase, eat again. At this time mixed nuts, natural cheese or almond butter are good options.
Overview of the Waterbury Diet
As mentioned, there are differences between eating for fat loss and eating for muscle growth. You should read both installments to understand the whole plan. However, the following gives a brief description that shows the difference between the two.
For fat loss: eat very little during the day, consume protein post-workout on the days you lift weights, eat until you’re satisfied during the 4-hour Feeding Phase at night.
For muscle growth (3 days per week): consume protein every 3 hours during the “fasting” phase, consume protein with carbs post-workout, eat until you’re satisfied and include plenty of carbs during first part of the 4-hour Feeding Phase at night.
For muscle growth (4 days per week): eat very little during the day, consume protein with carbs post-workout on the days you lift weights, eat until you’re satisfied during the 4-hour Feeding Phase at night.