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fit girl jumpropeIt is recommended that you consult your physician before starting this or any diet or exercise program.
How do most people train? They pick a pre-designed program (eg HST, WSB, HIT, 5×5, 3×3, TP-PT, etc.). Then, they just get in the gym and follow the program. Some may tweak the program to fit their individual needs, but they still start with a detailed plan. Even for those who design their own programs, they incorporate what they have learned from the detailed plans they have read about or used in the past. What about supplements? Well, that is even easier: 2 pills, 3 times per day, 5 grams per day, etc. Detailed.

What about diet? Most people have a general idea of how many calories to consume for a given goal. They may have a general plan regarding certain macronutrient intake. The challenge seems to be in implementing this plan in the real world and on a daily basis. The reason being that most diet plans are much more general and less detailed than the training program or supplement regimen. It is not that most people couldn’t take one of these general plans and put them into practice, but most people are too busy and/or lazy to actually do so. So, many people just end up winging it on the diet part, which is contrary to everything else they do regarding their physique and/or performance goals and which is why many people fall short of reaching these goals.

Thus, I present to you: The Modular Diet.

The Modular Diet is designed to provide a basic starting point for those interested in easily keeping track of their diets. This diet provides 18 Modules to choose from. Each Module is a meal designed to be easily prepared and to provide about 500 calories. The average macronutrient breakdown of each Module is: 60 grams of carbohydrates, 44 grams of protein, and 10 grams of fat. While the Modular Diet may or may not be considered optimal for bulking and/or cutting, it may be used for either (basic thermodynamics still apply to either endeavor). Again, once you get comfortable with the basics, feel free to tweak it.

Before you can construct a Module, you need raw materials. Here is your shopping list:

Protein
6 oz. cans of chunk white tuna (because chunk light is nasty)

7 oz. pouches of chunk chicken breast (found near the canned tuna)

Low fat cottage cheese

Whey powder
Bags of pre-cooked chicken strips (e.g. Tyson’s® Grilled Chicken Breast Strips)

Bags of pre-cooked chicken breasts – flavored (e.g. Tyson’s® Honey Mustard Chicken Breast Fillets)

5 oz. cans of chunk white chicken (found near the canned tuna)

Bags of cooked and peeled large cocktail shrimp (found in frozen food section)

Carbohydrates
Instant brown rice (e.g. Uncle Ben’s®)

Cheerios®

Boxes of low fat graham crackers

Bananas (~8”-9” long)

Sweet potatoes (~7” long)

Instant stuffing mix (e.g. Stove Top®)

Small apples (~3”-5” tall)

Instant oatmeal (e.g. Quaker Oats®)

Skim milk

Whole wheat bread

Fats
Fish oil caps (providing ~1g fat ea.)
Condiments
Dill relish

Sugar free preserves (e.g. Polaner®)

Salsa

Soy sauce

Fat free mayonnaise

Chili sauce

Light vegetable spread (e.g. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter ®)

As previously stated, one aspect of the Modular Diet is that each Module is designed to be easily prepared—hence the use of pre-cooked protein sources. Each Module can be made in ten minutes or less. Also, anything that needs to be can be heated with a microwave. So, if like most people, you don’t want to prepare a week’s worth of food in advance, it is easy to make things up as needed.

The Modules

Module A

Cals: 502
Carbs: 66
Pro: 42.5
Fat: 7.5

Tuna (6oz can x1)

Dill relish (2tbs.)

Instant brown rice (2/3 cu. dry/1-1/3 cu. cooked)

Fish oil (x3)

Module B

Cals: 497
Carbs: 74
30
9

Low fat cottage cheese (1 cu.)

Sugar free preserves (1 tbs.)

Cheerios® (2 cu.)

Small apple (x1)

Fish oil (x1)

Module C

Cals: 500
Carbs: 53
48.5
10.4

Low fat graham crackers (x9)

Whey shake (~40g of protein)

Fish oil (x2)

Module D

Cals: 504
Carbs: 61
Pro: 38
Fat: 12

Flavored chicken breasts (x2)

Large sweet potato (x1)

Fish oil (x2)

Module E

(from Wendy’s®)

Cals: 496
Carbs: 66
Pro: 32
Fat: 11.5

Grilled chicken (no bun, no sauce)

Sour cream and chives baked potato

Fish oil (x4)

Module F

Cals: 505
Carbs: 56
Pro: 54
Fat: 7.3

Chicken (7oz. pouch x1)

Instant brown rice (2/3 cu. dry/1-1/3 cu. cooked)

Module G

Cals: 502
Carbs: 45
Pro: 49
Fat: 14

Low fat cottage cheese (1 cu.)

Sugar free preserves (2 tbs.)

Cheerios® (1 cu.)

Whey shake (~20g of protein)

Fish oil (x3)

Module H

Cals: 503
Carbs: 58
Pro: 47.5
Fat: 9

Low fat graham crackers (x4)

Whey shake (~40g of protein)

Fish oil (x2)

Banana (x1)

Module I

Cals: 513
Carbs: 51
Pro: 48
Fat: 13

Chicken strips (~2 breasts)

Instant stuffing* (1 cu.)

Small apple (x1)

* prepared with 1 tbs. of light vegetable spread

Module J

Cals: 496
Carbs: 63.3
Pro: 44
Fat: 8

Tuna (6oz can x1)

Salsa (2 tbs.)

Instant brown rice (2/3 cu. dry/1-1/3 cu. cooked)

Fish oil (x2)

Low fat graham crackers (x1)

Module K

Cals: 498
Carbs: 59
Pro: 47.5
Fat: 8

Whole wheat bread (x2 slices)

Tuna (6oz can x1)

Fat free mayo (2 tbs.)

Dill relish (1 tbs.)

Low fat graham crackers (x4)

Fish oil (x2)

Module L

Cals: 500
Carbs: 63.3
Pro: 44
Fat: 8

Tuna (6oz can x1)

Soy sauce (1 tbs.)

Instant brown rice (2/3 cu. dry/1-1/3 cu. cooked)

Fish oil (x2)

Low fat graham crackers (x1)

Module M

Cals: 507
Carbs: 69.5
Pro: 41
Fat: 7.3

Whole wheat bread (x2 slices)

Chicken (5oz can x1)

Fat free mayo (2 tbs.)

Dill relish (1 tbs.)

Low fat graham crackers (x6)

Fish oil (x2)

Module N

Cals: 500
Carbs: 50
Pro: 49
Fat: 11.5

Low fat cottage cheese (1 cu.)

Small apple (x1)

Cheerios® (1 cu.)

Whey shake (~20g of protein)

Fish oil (x3)

Module O

Cals: 491
Carbs: 66
Pro: 41
Fat: 7

Cocktail shrimp (x9 large)

Chili sauce (2 tbs.)

Instant brown rice (2/3 cu. dry/1-1/3 cu. cooked)

Fish oil (x5)

Module P

Cals: 503
Carbs: 53
Pro: 49
Fat: 12

Oatmeal (1/2 cu. Dry)

Small apple (x1)

Sugar free preserves (1 tbs.)

Whey shake (~40g of protein)

Fish oil (x4)

Module Q

Cals: 499
Carbs: 74
Pro: 36
Fat: 6.5

Cheerios® (1 cu.)

Skim milk (1 cu.)

Whey shake (~20g of protein)

Small apple (x1)

So How Does it Work?

First, you need to determine your daily calorie needs. A good starting point is multiplying your weight (in pounds) by 11-15, depending on your activity level. This gets you in the general ballpark as to the number of calories it takes to maintain your current weight. To “bulk” add 500 calories and to “cut” subtract 500 calories.

Then, determine the number of Modules needed by dividing your daily calorie goal by 500. For example, a person targeting 2000 calories per day would divide 2000 by 500 to get 4 Modules per day. Simply consume a Module every 2-3 hours and you will meet your calorie goals. Additionally, using the values provided, one can also determine the amount of each macronutrient consumed per day as well.

Obviously, it is not going to work out nice and round for everyone (e.g. 2300 calories). Here are a few things you can use to mix and match to get you where you want to be:

Whey shake #1 Cals: 120 Carbs: 3g Pro: 22g Fat: 2.5g

Whey Shake #2: Cals: 240 Carbs: 6g Pro: 44g Fat: 2.5g

Banana (~8”-9” long) Cals: 135 Carbs: 31g Pro: 1.5g Fat: 0.5g

Small apple Cals: 60 Carbs: 15 Pro: — Fat: —

Fish oil (x2) Cals: 18 Carbs: — Pro: — Fat: 2g

Preparation Notes

    • If it’s not obvious, you are going to mix things like the relish, salsa, soy sauce, mayo and chili sauce with your various protein sources and your sugar free preserves with your cottage cheese. Also, feel free to swap some of these with low-carb/no carb barbeque sauce, low-carb/no carb chocolate sauce, etc.
    • For the modules that have Cheerios (and no milk listed), eat them dry or mix some or all with your cottage cheese. They wash down easy with water or another no calorie beverage.
    • In order to microwave a sweet potato: (1) pierce with knife or fork; (2) wrap in paper towel; (3) run under faucet to wet paper towel; (4) microwave on HIGH for 5-7 min.
    • Note that Module E is a Wendy’s® meal for those on the go. Not all fast food is bad
    • If in a real time pinch, since most instant brown rice has already been cooked once and is not as tough as the uncooked variety, I have been known to just eat it dry and wash it down with water or a diet soda.
    • If you don’t feel like measuring all the time, a few good rules of thumb: 1 cup ~ 1 fist; 1 tbs. ~ 1 thumb tip. Just eyeball it for fractional amounts, close is close enough.

I plan on finishing up an Excel spreadsheet for keeping track and posting in the forum but until then this is how I would document the diet:

Date

Time
Module
Cals
Carb
Pro
Fat

——————————————————————————–

Other food

——————————————————————————–

——————————————————————————–

——————————————————————————–

——————————————————————————–

Total

So, there it is. Again, this is designed to give you a baby step start in tracking your diet. It is also designed for those who are busy with other things and do not have time to prepare meals days in advance, take the time to keep detailed diet logs, etc. Good luck!

Note: If there is interest, I will post more modules and/or an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of things in the Avant Labs forum.

Questions or Comments? CLICK HERE to pose your questions and receive live feedback from Danny Waterhouse, as well as the Mind and Muscle staff and fellow readers!
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