Waterbury Diet for Muscle Growth

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.

Stay Focused,

59 thoughts on “Waterbury Diet for Muscle Growth

  1. Chad,
    What do you suggest if I work out early morning? How should I modify this diet for maximum muscle gain/muscle retention?

    CW: As mentioned, have a protein/carb drink post workout, then follow the fasting phase as recommended, then eat at night. You can gain muscle doing that protocol.

  2. Chad I’m going to see if I can put this together correctly let know of any changes.
    Monday Wednesday Friday 2 workouts per day HFT before feast
    8 am 20 g protein
    10 am preworkout supps
    10-1130 am strength workout
    1130 am post workout surge recovery fish oil
    2/230 pm 20 g protein
    530 pm 20 g protein
    6-8 pm mma workout
    8 pm surge recovery
    830-bedtime feast
    Tuesday Thursday Saturday Sunday HFT before fast
    8 am – 7pm Fast morning curcumin, superfood, multi
    7 pm- bedtime feast
    Possible all day vegetable juice fast Saturday because of no training saturday sunday
    I can’t begin to show my appreciation for these articles and the individualized comments that follow

    CW: Looks good.

  3. awesome chad, cutting edge stuff.

    This is particularly pertinent for someone like me who’s had to have surgery due to poor gut health.

  4. Hi Chad
    I am a 22 year old male doing his Ph.D. I play soccer and weight train 4 days a week. So I have an AM session of soccer followed by a PM session of strength training…how do I modify my diet?

    CW: Have the protein/carb drink after morning soccer, have the same drink after strength training later in the day, then start the feeding phase.

  5. Chad,
    Is 10-20g or thereabouts in BCAA’s every 2 hours a decent substitute for protein powder for those who just can’t or choose not to stomach protein powders? I use Xtend pre and post workouts, and this would likely be my choice to “pulse” on during the 3 days.
    Cheers Chad

    CW: 6 grams of BCAAs every 3 hours is sufficient.

  6. Great stuff Chad. What do you think of paleo diet? can i mix it with your diet?. For example: day off: waterbury diet, day on training: paleo diet?

    If i follow your diet, i’m eating carbs in the evening. But i’m training twice a day (one session: hiit cardio, one session: strength/hypertrophy).
    If i want to follow your advice (waterbury diet, fasting and 4 hours feeding), can i eat some carbs after the first hiit cardio session in the morning (fruits (bananas), veggie, greens natural energy bar?) with protein (eggs or chicken). the 2nd training are just before the feeding phase.
    I know that we usually do strength training before cardio but with the fasting/feeding phase, i think it’s more intelligent to place the strength training with the biggest need of calories intake for bulking (in comparison with cardio hiit training).

    What do you think of taking powder veggie superfood stuff or greens natural energy bar when we are on the fasting phase? Is it counterproductive?

    CW: You can mix those diets if you prefer. Consume the protein/carb drink after HIIT in the morning instead of banana and eggs. Superfood powders during the day are good. Energy bars should be avoided to give the GI tract a break.

  7. I think I’m convinced enough to try it now, Chad. Great stuff!

    How quickly did your or your clients’ GI health improve once you started this? And how could you tell? Did you notice something significant? When switching should we go to the pure fast for a while to let it take before moving to the muscle growth diet?

    Regarding protein: Proventive’s Harmonized Protein is Canadian! Do you know how awesome that is?!? I’ve been importing Biotest’s protein for years.

    CW: Clients saw improvements in gut health within a few days. Benefits range from clearer skin to less bloating after eating. Either plan will work so there’s no need to do the fat loss version first, unless you need to lose a lot of fat.

  8. Nice article Chad.

    By the way, raisins are definitely not alkaline. They are high in sugar and leave an acidic residue once metabolised by the body. The reason they are often thought to be alkaline (like many other foods such as bananas) is that when they are heated to very high temperatures to leave an ash, that ash is alkaline… but the human body is not a furnace and there is no ash in our bodies. And heating up food causes the water and often the alkaline minerals to be lost, which is what most often results in an alkaline food. Still, they do taste good.

    A minor point on a good article but I thought I’d chip in; hope that you don’t mind.

    CW: According to data compiled by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association “Potential renal acid load of foods and its influence on urine pH,” raisins are rated one of the most alkaline fruits.

  9. Chad, thanks for your amazing articles, they really help!!

    I’m always dissatisfied with the way I eat. I really would like to give a try to this diet, but a few things stop me from doing it.

    1) May I train in the morning/at midday? Then i would have my post-workout early in the day…
    Maybe i could try to get time for short workouts in the evening.
    2) Would the post-workout “meal” be part of the feeding phase?
    3) I don’t really like taking protein powders, and i’m lactose intolerant. Still, I can take common cheese without problems. May i have my proteins during the fasting phase from lactose-free milk and cheese? I think lactose free milk contains milk proteins.

    Thank you for all your awesome work!

    1) As mentioned, you can train earlier in the day if you have the protein/carb drink post workout.
    2) No, the post workout drink is a stand alone part of the equation. But if you train at night you’ll have the drink before the feeding phase.
    3) That can be too tough on the gut during a time when it should be rejuvenating. Give Sun Warrior protein a try.

  10. Hey Chad, great article! I’m just starting out on your 10/10 plan along with the PLP challenge and I wanted to know what you thought about doing the Waterbury diet for muscle growth in the hypertrophy phases and the Waterbury diet for fat loss in the other 2 phases. Or is it better to stick to the program as it is?

    CW: That would work.

  11. Chad – this is great. I did the 7 day “detox” you outlined and lost 9lbs, now I’m on the Waterbury Diet for fat loss and so far so good. I will transition to the muscle building phase when I lose the fat I’ve been trying to get rid of for the last few months. My questions is regarding morning cardio. I do cardio in the morning when I wake up because of my work schedule. I do 5 rounds of heavy bag (will gradually increase as my conditioning gets better). My rounds consist of 2 minutes heavy bag following by running hard in place for a minute. I know if you advise consuming protein after lifting weights but what’s the rule of thumb post-cardio? Protein or stay fasted until the 4 hour feeding phase

    CW: Since your morning cardio is intense, have a scoop of protein immediately after.

  12. Hey Chad would it be possible during the 3 day ‘protein loading’ phase to use EAA or BCAA powder instead? From Lyle McDonalds Protein Book, he suggest for signaling anabolism about 10g of EAA powder would trigger the same response at 20g whey protein.

    Only reason i thought of this was because there is a smaller calorie content in EAA powder which would lessen the impact on the Fasting / Undereating phase. It would also mean that i could effectively follow the same meal plan as the fat loss plan but just add a few ‘hits’ of EAA powder during the day and more PWO carbs.

    I like your PWO carb suggestions. I read in a recent research paper covered in Alan Aragon’s Research Review (AARR) that they found raisins to be just as effect as sports drinks for recovery and refeuling muscle glycogen over the course of a number of hours.
    Would non-sweetened dried figs, apricots or prunes (dried plums) be a good choice PWO?

    CW: I wouldn’t worry about the calories from one scoop of whey protein. My clients get great results using it. Dried figs/prunes/plums are good, too.

  13. hi chad
    what do you think about intra-workout supplementation for further muscle growth effects?

    CW: It can help, but what I mentioned works great. If I covered all those variables the blog post would turn into a book.

  14. Chad would this work with a HFT plan of:

    For 30 days, 100 reps of :
    Handstand push ups
    Pull ups
    Push ups
    Inverted Rows
    Glute Hams
    Single Leg Squats

    I wanted to experiment with something similar to the waterbury challenge and the 30 day mass plan, i say this because when doing the waterbury challenge i ate more then ever and i pretty stayed lean. I guess it doesn’t look like enough food, but then again if i have an unhealthy gut perhaps it will work.

    CW: That’s a lot of work. First, take one day off per week if you’re doing that many exercises. Second, you’ll never get 100 reps of the GHR per day. Most guys can’t do one full rep correctly with their body weight when they don’t use a GHR bench (the body weight version with the heels hooked is tougher than using a GHR bench). Do the GHR every other day for 3 sets of as many reps as possible.

  15. Chad I know am off the topic because this installment is about muscle growth, but wanted to know how much fat can I expect to lose weekly on the Waterbury diet for fat loss. I am 28 y old 166 lbs at about 13-14% bodyfat, working out with kettlebells (but also have barbell and dumbells) 3 times per week. And how much you would estimate it will take to reach 6% bodyfat. Thanks!

    CW: The rate of fat loss will be different for everyone. But after 8 weeks you should be close to your goal.

  16. Another awesome article Chad. I won’t be able to use this info right now but hopefully I’ll be able to in January or February(probably February). In the mean time, I had a couple questions about some of the details of the protein feedings. First, is it necessary to have complete proteins for the 3x/day protein feedings or can we use bcaa’s? I ask because the bcaa products I’m thinking of mix into a drink with the consistency of water and I’d probably prefer that over protein shakes 3x/day. I’ve really gotten over any hunger issues during the fast period and I usually prefer to have an empty stomach most of the day.

    Second, if we should use protein powders, should we use protein powders that low(ish) carbs for the 3x/day feedings? Or does it not matter? I only ask because I’ve got two bottles of protein powder that have about 1g carbs for every 2g of protein and I didn’t want to waste them.

    Thanks again for another great article Chad.

    CW: BCAAs are fine. I wouldn’t use a protein powder with that many carbs, but it’s not the worst thing. Go ahead and use them so they don’t go to waste.

  17. Hello Chad,

    this is great if you train in the afternoon or in the evening. What changes if you can only train in the early morning?

    Pre-, during- and post-workout drinks? What kind?


    CW: Take the protein/carb drink post workout, do the fasting phase, then eat at night.

  18. Great article are always, Chad. I have so many questions though…

    1. Is cycling the two Waterbury diets for life a recommended way of dieting (from both healthy life and training point of view)?
    2. I have some L-leucine left. I see it isn’t on the list of supplements. It isn’t recommended? If it’s OK, how much and when do I use it for both diets?
    3. The same as question no2 but regarding micronized creatine monohydrate (again for both diets).
    4. And a bit off topic, but I can’t seem to find an answer. Is it safe/recommended to use creatine monohydrate every day for life?


    CW: 1) Yes, you can eat this way indefinitely if you prefer.
    2) Add leucine to your post workout drink.
    3) Use before or after your workouts.
    4) 3-5g per day seems to be okay for many people.

  19. “However, you don’t need a lot of carbs post-workout –” & “I also recommend that you get plenty of carbs during the Feeding Phase.”

    So wut do I do? I’m John Averageguy who works 9-5 and works out from 6pm to 7pm with a feeding phase of 7-10. What is my post-wo, what is my feeding phase? I’m lost.

    How about I get done working out and eat a sh*tload of carbs before bed? Is that a good synopsis?

    CW: The carb/protein content is listed in the article based on your body weight. Take that drink post workout to replenish glycogen. Then have carbs from the sources I listed in your feeding phase. That covers your needs.

  20. Chad, this is really interesting stuff. I am interested in increasing muscle mass, though not at the expense of health, I am a family man in my mid thirties and past that point. I was wondering if you could provide a little guidance.
    1) On this diet, I would eat little during the day. Is there a calorie range or should it be just a light breakfast and lunch.
    2) I work out at about 7:00 p.m. and go to bed about 10:00, so should my feeding phase begin prior to my workout?
    3) I know you recommended Sun Warrior protein, but I cannot pay that much. What about a bulk brown rice protein concentrate powder (70% protein)? Would whey concentrate be more effective?
    4) Lastly, could you prescribe a workout for muscle gain? I can train 3 times a week, have a job and family, and I am currently 6’5″ and 187 pounds at 12% bodyfat.

    1) Follow the fasting phase guidelines listed in the first installment.
    2) No, your feeding phase starts after your workout. It doesn’t have to be 4 hours long.
    3) Whey is better.
    4) Pick up a copy of Huge in a Hurry on Amazon since it contains all my best programs. It’s only $17.

  21. Hi Chad …
    very interesting and motivating article ! I have only only a question…
    The nutritional intake during a growth phase associated with this intermittent fasting protocol is everyway the same (i.e. LBM x 16 as you said in Muscle Revolution) whit the only difference than is assumed in the feedeng window?

    CW: Don’t worry about calories during the feeding phase. That info from MR applies to normal eating. For this diet, eat until you’re completely satisfied.

  22. Chad, on an earlier post you told someone who works out early in the morning (like I do) that the 20 hrs starts after the protien drink post workout. Is that accurate/. That means the hours sleeping are gone and 20 hours after a 6am drink is way too late at night. Does not seem right.

    CW: No, that’s not right. If you train in the morning have the protein drink, then start the fasting phase, then eat at night.

  23. Very good article, I love all the good info coming out on the subject. I’ve tried IF in the past (two days a week) and had good results with strength gain and fat loss. I think this maybe perfect for my next bulking cycle but I have a question regarding protein. I’m recently started using pea protein and, to be honest it taste’s really bad mixed with water. I currently create a super shake by mixing it with Spinach, nuts and sometimes some fruit. Is it possible to include spinach in the 3 hourly protein shake to help with the taste, or would this cause issue’s with the fast? Worse case I will stick with it mixed with water but I’d rather be able to look forward the shake instead of dread it.

    CW: Adding spinach is fine. But avoid nuts during the fasting phase.

  24. Chad,

    Great stuff like always. I have a question regarding fish oil supplementation and its tremendous benefits. Do you advocate additional digestive enzymes/bile salts for those unfortunate souls who’ve had their gallbladders removed? I’ve heard that additional help might be needed to digest fat. Thanks for everything!

    CW: This is a question for your doctor, but I will say that I do recommend additional digestive support because you probably need it.

  25. Hey Chad,

    Excellent follow up to your Fat loss diet post. I like how you modified the Warrior’s Diet. I have been wondering about this diet as well and am glad you talked about how to build muscle eating this way.

    As far as the proteins you consume 3 times during the fasting phase…. can you use eggs, fish or chicken? I wondering if whole foods would be better than supplemental protein and I don’t do the milk thing anymore. Or are you trying to keep these liquid protein fixes?


    CW: If you ate eggs, fish or chicken it wouldn’t be a semi-fast. The purpose of protein powder (the ones I recommend) is to give your gut a break and reduce inflammation. Eggs, fish, and chicken are great during the feeding phase but they don’t allow the gut to detox/rejuvenate during the fasting phase – avoid them.

  26. What if you trained hard and the next day your sore and it’s your day off, how would you go about getting enough protein and calories to repair muscle tissue? would you just have 3 meals throughout the day that would be filled with protein, calories and some carbs? what would be the best way to go about recovering from intense session on days off.

    CW: Just because you’re sore doesn’t mean you need more calories at that exact time. The day after the protein feedings should consist of the fasting phase followed by the feeding phase.

  27. Chad-

    Enjoy this take on IF. I’ve done EatStopEat and Leangains and like you take on the minimal things that you can eat if necessary. One question I had is that you say this is focused on gut health, what aspects lead to improved gut health? Is it that fact that per unit time we are placing a much smaller load on our digestive system?


    CW: Correct. When you look at each 24 hour phase, 20 hours of it allow for gut rejuvenation.

  28. Thanks for the answer 😉 Do you know the protocol leangains? it’s similar of what you propose but it’s much easy to follow ( 16h fasting 8h feeding). What do you think of this intermittent fasting protocol?
    I try it now, first meal 17:30 pm , training 19:00pm, 20:00pm big meal after the workout, then last meal 23:30 pm and fasting (18h fasting). I try this for a while after i will try your version (harder lol)

    CW: I’m not familiar with it. But you’re right, it would be easier to eat for 8 hours but I don’t think it’s nearly as effective.

  29. Hi Chad,

    I am about to finish 30 days of 50 pull-ups and 100 pushups daily while doing the Get Big phase of HIAH, although I extended it out a week and haven’t done the unloading phase yet. I have put on more size in my chest, lats and arms than I think I ever have in a month’s time. I am looking to continue putting on size for another month or so before going back to a cutting phase with BOF and your warrior diet. My plan is to move to the total body HFT after an unloading week; any other thoughts or suggestions? Thanks for your continued dedication and work.

    CW: The total body HFT will take care of all your muscle building needs. Good work!

  30. What do you think about alternate day fasting? Eating plenty on workout-days and than fast for 24h from one dinner to the next.
    What can I do if I have problems digesting the needed amount of food in one meal?

    CW: Any fasting throughout the week is better than none, but I don’t like fasting for more than 20 hours since it’ll eat up muscle. You shouldn’t have any problems with digestion, especially when you take the digestive aids I recommend. My clients are blown away by how much they can eat at night without incurring any bloating, indigestion, etc. That’s because the body is using up all the food.

  31. Is there an advantage to using this protocol rather than a 16 hour fast, 8 hour feeding window?

    CW: Yes, I think 4 hours of feeding is better for the gut and better for nutrient assimilation.

  32. I want to follow that diet because fasting is good for the gut and it is a healthy wellness diet. If i don’t want to eat on fasting phase (no protein around training because it’s better for the gut health to eat nothing, right?), can i have workouts 2x time a day ( like with your hft protocol)?
    If i train on the morning, and i will eat only on the evening (with the 2nd workout), Am i in catabolic state?

    CW: You should have a scoop of protein right after your workout, even during the fasting phase. Your muscles need the nutrients and your gut health won’t be affected.

  33. Awesome work, Chad! As always. I have such question: won’t so many carbs at night every day cause fat gain? I’ve experimented with WD and IF in general and I can say that it’s possible to gain fat on this diet from too much carbs when you get used to it. What’s your experience on this question?

    CW: Carbs at night, when fasting during the day, won’t add fat. In fact, I’ve seen the opposite with every client who has started this diet. Once you get to single digit body fat, you have to tighten things up (ie, limit carbs to one serving of rice, potato, etc) but beyond that fat loss still occurs.

  34. This might be a dumb question…but is muscle growth and muscle mass the same thing here? I currently started HIAH phase 1 Get Big and was wondering if I should follow this diet for mass gain or the one listed in HIAH. Could I get away with doing either?

    CW: Yes, those terms are interchangeable. If you’re skinny with a fast metabolism, do the HIAH diet first.

  35. Thanks of the answers,
    1) Can i use bcaa powder instead of protein powder?
    2) what is the best bcaa for taking in fasting phase? My supplement seller (french customer) offers two type of bcaa powder: – A ratio: 4 parts of leucine for 1 of valine, and 1 of isoleucine
    – B ratio: 2 parts of leucine, for 2 of valine, and 1 of isoleucine.,?
    3) Can i mix the BCAA powder in a bottle of water and drink it before, in the workout, and after?
    4) How many do i take of bcaa powder during the workout of fasting phase? (5g, 10 g, 20g)?
    5)Is it best for the gut health and to don’t break the fasting phase to take bcaa instead of protein powder?

    1) Yes.
    2) Use the version with more leucine.
    3) Yes.
    4) 10g before and after works well.
    5) Either will work.

  36. Dear Chad,

    I’ve just completed a week on the Waterbury Diet. Here’s my experience so far:

    For the fasting stage, the first 2-3 days were rough (especially the fasted workouts), but now I’m feeling the benefits of the fasting. I don’t have an energy crash during the day, I’m more alert, I sleep better at night, and my fasted workouts are great.

    But for the overeating stage, I get full (and bloated) surprisingly fast. I’m not if I’m eating too much, eating too fast, or my gut just not being used to take in all that food at once?

    – If I don’t get hungry during the fasting stage, is it ok to skip eating during the fasting stage entirely?
    – I’m getting bloated after eating dinner, even with the recommended suppliments. What could be causing this and what can I do to prevent this from happening?
    – My goals are to both put on muscle and lose body fat to look great with my shirt off. I’m around 14% bodyfat now. I have Huge in a Hurry – should I use Get Big and the Waterbury Diet for muscle growth or Get Lean with the diet for fat loss before putting on muscle?

    Thank you,

    That’s odd to hear you’re bloating during the feeding phase – for most it’s the opposite. Are you taking digestive enzymes with your meal as I recommended? That will help. Also, consider the foods you’re eating at night might not be ideal for you. Start mixing up your food choices at night and see if that helps.
    Yes, you can skip eating entirely during the fasting phase (that’s what I do). Get lean before you worry about adding more muscle. You’ll look more muscular when you’re leaner, too.

  37. Chad,

    Didn’t see my last comment go through?

    Can you please speak to the anti-nutrient contents in most pasta? What type of pasta do you recommend to avoid this for greater gut health?


    CW: If pasta causes a problem with your gut health, avoid it. Stick to white rice since it’s easiest on the gut. Sweet potato works well too.

  38. Chad,

    Do you feel that just as much lean muscle can be gained eating this way as eating every 3 hours?


    CW: Yes. However, for some guys with super fast metabolisms and a skinny body, more frequent meals might be better.

  39. Chad,

    One more thing…I just remembered. When doing HFT on consecutive days and/or twice daily (calves) should I be injesting any carbs (raisins) with the protein immediately following the workout? Thanks!

    CW: If you workout during the fasting phase, just use protein. If you train at the end of the day right before your feeding phase, add carbs.

  40. Hi Chad,

    Great Article like always.
    I work out after work usually around 5-6pm 4 days a week(Tue, Thur, Sat, Sun).
    I plan on taking the 3 shakes throughout the day for the Muscle Growth.
    Would it be more beneficial to take my Whey Shakes on the days i dont train or on the days that i do train?
    Would the extra protein benefit me if i take it on Training days which would be taken before my session when there isnt much Muscle breakdown, or would i be better off taking the extra protein on rest days.

    CW: Use extra protein on days you train, as mentioned.

  41. Hi Chad,

    Great post as always. I have a quick question regarding heavy lifting during this diet. Should going for low rep, high weight squats and deadlifts be tougher than usual on this diet because of the lack of calories, or is this what the protein shakes are for 3 days a week? I usually get to the gym around 4 or 4:30 in the evening as this is the best time I can work out. Thanks again Chad!


    CW: At first your strength will decrease, but once your body gets accustomed to training in a fasted state your performance/strength will bounce right back.

  42. Another question … Coach…
    In the protein morning can i also eat with protein the fruit or vegetables than you advice for the fat loss diet (apple, cherry juice otc. etc.) ?
    again … what you think if i would choose to eat the protein feeding in the morning following the evening workout of the previous day (for better recovery and muscle’s growth)


    CW: Protein only is best to control insulin. Insulin should only be released around a workout.

  43. Hey Chad,
    I’m a huge fan of your diet. I’m currently a college student and this style of eating is really conducive to the hectic life on a college campus. I was just wondering about the cottage cheese or greek yogurt that can be eaten during the 20 hour fasting phase – would you recommend full fat or reduced fat cottage cheese/greek yogurt? I’ve currently been eating 2% greek yogurt and I was wondering if I’ve been following the diet correctly.


    CW: 2% is fine, but protein powders are better during the “fast.”

  44. I’ve started experimenting with the Waterbury diet and ordered the Warior’s diet book so I can read more about it this style of eating. I’ve been following what you recommend here for muscle growth and really like this approach so far. After a week on this my abs are showing through. However, I’m curious whether this will work for an ectomorph looking to gain 20lbs or so? Would you make any changes or take a different approach? Part of me is wondering if I should overeat all day on my training days doing the 6 meals a day approach and then switch to the undereating 20/4 window for my recovery days. Although, I’m not sure that this is necessary given what you outline here.

    Thanks Chad, keep doing what you do! 🙂

    CW: Follow the Waterbury Diet plan for muscle growth and you’ll gain muscle.

  45. Hi Chad

    Thanks for the article.

    I have HIAH which states that I should have 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. I weigh 150 pounds. If I am trying to build muscle, on my off days I will eat no protein during the fasting phase. However, during the feeding phase, do I try to get my full 150 grams of protein in 4 hours?
    How many grams of protein per pound of bodyweight would be ideal during the feeding phase on off days, if I had no protein during the fasting phase and I am trying to build muscle?


    CW: You can get 150 grams in the 4 hour window with the help of protein powders. 8 ounces of fish with one scoop of protein at 6pm and 8 ounces of chicken with a scoop of protein at 10pm, for example.

  46. Chad,
    I’m 29 year old, 5’10” and weigh 210 lbs. My BMI is 1 point short of obese. Should I start with the weight loss diet first, and then move on to the strength training? Because, speaking of the latter, I haven’t had any for over a year and am badly out of shape. Is there a starter course available? And by the way, where is the link to all of your books and training materials?

    CW: Diet first. Follow the Waterbury Diet for fat loss or get the Warrior Diet book.

  47. Hey Chad,
    I’m about 6 weeks in and loving this diet, I don’t know if I’ll ever go back! Just wondering 2 quick things.
    1) I want to start doing some morning sled work, just loading it up and walking laps around the garage, should I have any protein or BCAA’s with that session
    2) Most of my Muay Thai classes are just before my feeding period, if I do any mid-day do you think I should have any protein BCAA’s there either? There a good mix of conditioning and technical drills

    Thanks again for everything!

    CW: 1. Either is good. 2. Yes, use protein or BCAAs around all workouts.

  48. since i’m on a bit of a diet could i use regular whey protein intstead of the micronized protein?

    CW: Any clean whey protein (non-hormone fed cattle) will work.

  49. Chad,
    Is there anyway i could lose fat while gaining muscle on the ‘Waterbury Diet For Fat Loss’? For example,would doing sprints and hard burning endurance workouts (on the days i dont lift) and lower my carbs and calories for those days. Would this work or would I jusrt not gain muscle as fast?

    CW: Yes, you can gain some muscle on that plan but not as much as the muscle growth version.

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