Nutrition Guides


Our online coaching clients don’t rely on supplements.

There are no nutrition ‘hacks’ to achieve physique transformation. The only ‘shortcut’ is setting things up correctly in the first place.

And when you understand the underlying principles, you will no longer find yourself frustrated by plateaus because you’ll know your way through them.


Start with my free book and 7-lesson email course on mastering nutrition setup.

The RippedBody Nutrition Setup Guide - Device Display

Alternatively, read through the nutrition setup guide series on the site starting here. Then finish your nutrition setup with these guides:

  1. 🧮 The Macro Calculator
  2. 👨‍🍳 How to Count Macros and Make Meals Out of Them
  3. 🤔 Should I Bulk, Cut, or Recomp?
  4. 📈 How to Track Your Progress
  5. 🤳 Body-Fat Percentage Pictures


Unskilled dieters are forever losing and gaining the same 10 lbs. Unskilled gainers are forever gaining and losing the same. Learn how to adjust things correctly, and you will avoid this trap.

  1. 🤨 Why Calorie and Macro Adjustments Are Needed
  2. 📊 How Cut and Bulk Cycles Should Look
  3. 🪄 How to Assess and Correct Your Initial Calorie Calculations
  4. 💧 Why We Experience Fluctuations in Weight and Appearance
  5. How Well-executed Mid-diet Adjustments Can Save You Years
  6. 📉 How to Adjust Calories and Macros as You Diet
  7. 📈 How to Adjust Calories and Macros as You Bulk
  8. 🤦🏻‍♂️ Don't Use A Calorie Calculator When You Transition Between Bulking and Cutting
  9. ⚖️ How to Find Maintenance Calories After Dieting (or Bulking)
  10. 🍔 How to Find Calorie Maintenance After a Bodybuilding Contest
  11. 🦧 How to Cut After Bulking
  12. 🦒 How to Bulk After Cutting
  13. 🍔 How to Bulk Up Without Getting Fat
  14. 🤤 How to Use Diet Breaks

Alternatively, consider purchasing my book: The Diet Adjustments Manual 📙


  1. 😅 What to Do Before You Count Calories and Macros
  2. 🏠 How to Manage Your Food Environment
  3. 😡 How to Avoid Protein Powder Scams
  4. 🍺 How to Drink Alcohol and Not Screw Up Your Diet
  5. 🥑 How to Test if Keto Is Right for You
  6. 💊 Training 'Fasted'? Take Whey Protein, Not BCAAs
  7. 🩳 The Leangains Macro Calculator & Meal Timing Guide


Is It True We Can Only Absorb 25 Grams of Protein at a Time?

Q) Is drinking a whey protein shake with two scoops (~50 g) of protein wasteful? Your nutrition setup guide said many fat-loss clients train in the morning after only a big protein shake. They then have just a big lunch and then dinner. But a coworker told me we can…

How to Bulk After Cutting

When transitioning from a cut to a bulk, it is better to calculate the calorie increase needed using your progress data than making a fresh calculation with a calorie and macro calculator. This is because the equations behind calorie calculators only give estimations, and they cannot factor in any reduction…

How to Cut After Bulking

When transitioning from a bulk to a cut, it is better to calculate the calorie reduction needed using your progress data than making a fresh calculation with a calorie and macro calculator. This is because the equations behind calorie calculators only give estimations, and they cannot factor in any bump…

🫣 Here’s How Your Holiday Weight Fluctuation Will Look

We’ve all experienced sudden weight gain the day after we ate “off plan.” People gain 3–5 pounds, which makes them panic. They think they’ve undone the last month of their diet efforts. So they make their diets even stricter, making them harder to sustain. And, of course, that can spiral….

How to Find Calorie Maintenance After a Bodybuilding Contest

This may shock some of you, but my advice to physique competitors after a contest is to get fat again. I wish I could tell you that you could stay shredded all year, but you can’t. Your priority must be regaining body fat to healthy levels before trying to find…

How to Adjust Calories and Macros as You Bulk to Minimize Fat Gain

When we bulk, we want to maximize our rate of muscle gain while minimizing fat gain. (I talked about the consequences of failing to do the latter here.) But how do we do that? To recap from my guide to bulking: This article focuses on the second and third parts….

How Bulk and Cycles Should Look

If you are anything like me, once upon a time, you dreamt of getting as jacked as your favorite movie star. (Being an 80s child, naturally, mine was Arnold Schwarzenegger.) You gave up on that dream when you realized the level of steroid abuse that would require. So you set…

How to Assess and Correct Your Initial Calorie Calculations

There are two types of assessment and adjustment needed to be successful. The first involves assessing your initial calorie calculations and correcting them if you need to do so. I will cover this for both bulking and cutting in this article. The second type are the ongoing adjustments needed to…

Why is my weight going up and down while dieting

Why is My Weight Going Up and Down While Dieting

In my articles on how to set calorie intake and when to bulk vs cut, I presented the following sketches representing fat, muscle, and weight changes for cutting and recomp phases over several months: But in reality, the body weight line will look more like this: The short-term fluctuations rule…

Why Calorie and Macro Adjustments Are Needed As We Diet

Why Calorie and Macro Adjustments Are Needed As We Diet

We need to make adjustments to our calorie intake as we diet if we’re to be successful with our fat loss goals. This is because a calorie and macro calculator can only give estimations, and our energy needs change over time due to various compensatory mechanisms. Weight fluctuations often mask…

Turkesterone – The Supplement Industry’s Latest Scam

Turkesterone! The same muscle-building benefits of anabolic steroids, but without the side effects or legal consequences of taking them? — Sounds a bit too good to be true. But is it? Absolutely. 🤣 What Is Turkesterone? Turkesterone is a type of phytoecdysteroid. These are compounds that plants use to defend…

Is Citrulline Malate Supplementation Now Worth Considering?

A recent meta-analysis looked at all the studies assessing the acute impact of citrulline malate supplementation on strength endurance. Compared to placebo, it appears that supplementing with 6-8 g of Cit.Mal., preferably in a 2:1 ratio, about an hour before exercise, delays fatigue and enhances strength performance.

Am I Lean Enough To Bulk?

Am I Lean Enough To Bulk?

Q) Hi Andy, am I lean enough to bulk? A) This is something I help coaching clients decide on all the time. If you’re past the point where you’re achieving both muscle growth and fat loss at the same time, you need to choose between cutting and bulking. And if…

How Most People Use Macro Calculators Incorrectly

How Most People Use a Macro Calculator Incorrectly

Experience tells me that most people don’t know how to use a calorie and macro calculator. People get in their heads that they can calculate their macros, and if they adhere for long enough, they’ll get shredded (or jacked, if you’re bulking). But unfortunately, macro calculators don’t work like that….

Won't That Break My Fast?

Won’t Eating That Break My Fast?!

Will a protein shake break my fast? Q) Hey, I’ve heard you recommend having a protein shake before my morning workout. Doesn’t that break my fast? A) I’ve been skipping breakfast for the past 10 years. Many of my online coaching clients opt to do that as well. This is…

Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

I’m no fan of supplements. I despise the sleaze of the supplement industry. However, as I said in my supplements for fat loss and muscle growth guide, of all those claiming to improve performance out there, creatine is one of only two with vast amounts of research showing benefits. But,…

What You Will Notice As You Cut

Things You Will Notice About Your Measurement and Weight Data As You Cut

You know that your macro calculations are just a start point, and you will need to adjust your diet to keep progressing. But what are you likely to see in your body measurement and scale weight progress tracking data? What’s normal? What signals that you’re doing something wrong? If you…

How I Stopped Stress Killing My Training Progress

The Importance of Managing Stress for Your Training

All forms of stress in your life dip into the same pool of what we will call (for simplicity’s sake) “adaptive reserves.” Essentially, your body has both a specific response to each specific stressor it encounters (for example, if you stress your muscles with weight training, they get bigger and…

A checklist for getting a better night's sleep

Advice For Getting A Better Night’s Sleep

I like to joke that Vitamin S is the most potent supplement any trainee can take. Sufficient sleep! Poor sleep when dieting will lead to muscle losses. Similarly, when bulking, insufficient sleep makes it harder to accrue muscle. This means more of the caloric surplus you eat will be stored…

A Visual Guide To Body-fat Percentage

Body-Fat Percentage Pictures — Compare Your Body Fat Level

In the Nutrition Setup Guide, I talked about using body-fat percentage to guide your decisions on when to cut, bulk, and chase recomp (simultaneous muscle gain and fat loss) phases. But as I firmly stated, ALL the body-fat measurement methods we have available have horrible inaccuracies on an individual level,…

The RippedBody Nutrition Setup Guide

What’s Changed in the 2020 Nutrition Setup Guide

The 2020 version of The RippedBody Nutrition Setup Guide is finally here. It combines an ebook, macro calculator, and 7-day email course guiding people through all the ways people commonly screw it up. Think of it as the less-advanced cousin of The Muscle and Strength Nutrition Pyramid book. The original…

What To Do Before You Start Counting Calories And Macros

It’s more than 50 years since we figured out how to put a man on the moon. And yet, with all our technological advancements since, we live in a world where 95% of people fail their diets. We fail because we attempt to oversimplify things by following stupid fad diets…

The Problem With Keto

Keto is trendy right now, in a way that the paleo diet was a few years ago, and many other diets before it. The problem is that when something trends, the algorithm’s reward extreme claims. The loudest voices rise to the top, muddying the waters for all…

The Problem With Genetic Testing

I had a friend tell me the other day that he can’t drink dairy. “I also learned I should lift with high reps because my body type isn’t suited to strength work, and I need to do HIIT cardio to optimize fat burn.” Oh boy, people rarely respond well to…

Should I Count ‘Net Carbs’ Or All Carbs?

In this article, I argue that for simplicity, people should count all carbs (including sugar alcohols) as 4 kcal per gram, and ignore the net carb concept. Only counting ‘net carbs’ is a mistake. If you google, “what are net carbs?” you currently get this pop up first: “The term…

Updated Bulking Guidelines

I’ve made changes to the rates I recommend people aim to gain weight at when bulking. This was sparked when I received a comment from a reader last week on the Calorie and Macro Calculator, asking why the calculations there did not match what I have in my How To Bulk Without…

Optimizing Vegan Diets for Performance and Muscle Growth

This article focuses on the extra nutritional considerations for vegan readers looking to minimize any performance and muscle gain compromises. There are three key areas: protein quality and quantity, fat intake, and the supplementation that may be necessary. In late 2019 I wrote an article titled “Debunking ‘The Game Changers’…

Thanksgiving & Christmas Eating Tips

For Thanksgiving (or Christmas), the main thing is that you don’t use it as an excuse to binge eat. I imagine you’ll eat a very good-sized meal and probably have a dessert too. At the high end, that’ll be something like 1500 kcal over your usual consumption for the day….

The Game Changers Debunked — Netflix Puts Views Over Facts, Again

‘The Game Changers’ documentary is little more than a cleverly-disguised attempt to scare people into being vegan with false health and performance claims. Netflix benefits their view count from the outrage; the backers (James Cameron, among them) benefit financially from their vegan product investments. There are plenty of legitimate reasons…

The RippedBody Macro Calculator

The Macro Calculator

This calculator is built on the back of 9 years of experience coaching people online, full time. They’re based on the recommendations in my book, The Muscle and Strength Nutrition Pyramid, which is a 290-page, fully-referenced guide for powerlifters and physique athletes. But if you think you wondering whether the…

Reverse Dieting — The Diet Myth That Needs To Die

Reverse dieting — the latest thing the fitness kids have decided to flex their orthorexia about. I thought this shit had died a few years ago, but alas, I’m getting a fair few questions about recently, so let me put this one to bed before explaining how to finish a…

How to Cut Weight for a Powerlifting Competition (Without a Caloric Deficit)

If you’re a fan of boxing or MMA, you may have wondered how professional fighters can walk around in the ring some 15–20 lbs heavier than they weighed in the day before. The answer, for the most part, involves an extreme level of water manipulation. Professional fighters with a 24-hour…

Bulk vs Cut - The Definitive Guide

Should I Bulk vs Cut (or Recomp)? The Definitive Guide

The “should I bulk or cut?” question is probably the most commonly asked among the fitness community. This is for a good reason — the answer to this question depends on more than just your current body composition.

Metabolic Damage Isn’t Real (But Relative Energy Deficiency Syndrome Is)

The term ‘energy availability’ refers to whether or not you have adequate energy to maintain not only the energy demands of exercise or sport but also of normal physiological function. You can be at energy balance, maintaining a stable body mass, but be in a state of ‘relative energy deficiency’…

How to Systematically Test if Keto is Right for You

Keto is currently trendy, and I’m sick of answering questions about it. So, what does the science say about high-fat diets for people that lift like us? Here’s an excerpt on the topic from our Muscle and Strength Pyramid Nutrition book.

How to Hit Your Macros Exactly When You Fall Short

If you keep finding yourself frustratingly short of hitting one or two of your macros at the end of the day, this guide will teach you how to fix that. The implicit assumption I’m making is that you understand the benefits of focusing on macro targets, have calculated your macros, learned…

Protein Spiking

How to Avoid Protein Spiking Scams [Checklist + Examples]

Here’s a little protein powder scam that few people know about: supplement manufacturers dumping cheap ingredients into their powders so that they can pass tests to claim a higher protein content than they truly have. Scandalous, right? Well, that’s the supplement industry for you. Here’s how it happens and what to…

BCAA vs Whey (or EAAs) — Which Best Supports Muscle Growth?

Is it better to take Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) or whey protein when training fasted? Though the difference in outcome is likely small, it is exactly this kind of question that clients pay me to know and advise them on. If you do your weight training fasted (in the morning…

2017 Results – Success Explained In My Client’s Own Words

I’d like to share some of those longer-term client success stories today from the past year and I thank them for giving their permission to do so. In 2016 I started working with people for longer than a three month period. It has enabled me to get to know my…

A Guide to Finding Deep Meaning: Why My Clients Succeed

Do you know what I think when I see a guy who has a body carved out of granite like the guy above? That man has discipline. There is an immediate feeling of respect. Plenty of guys have muscle, but very few have the abs that they want. We are so desperate…

Keep It Simple – How to Not Fail Your New Year’s Resolution

I want you to imagine it is the end of March. In January you committed to taking care of yourself better. You dusted off your gym membership and spent the last three months hitting the gym every morning. But you have just quit like two-thirds of the other January returnees.…

James Krieger on the Issues of Tracking Body Fat Percentage

On this episode of the Rippedbody Podcast, I interview James Krieger. James is a published scientist, author, speaker, fitness competitor, statistical wizard and the mind behind the immensely popular blog and membership site, Weightology.net. We discuss the different methods available for tracking body fat percentage [06:15], the two-component model used by…

Physique Progress Tracking

How To Track Body Measurements and Weight for Physique Progress

If you are putting in a serious amount of effort with your training and nutrition, you owe it to yourself to take the ten extra minutes each week to track your progress seriously. This will help ensure you get the results you deserve. I’d go as far as to say…

How To Manage Your Food Environment (To Make Dieting Easier)

I want to tell you about a powerful tool that often goes neglected among both fitness enthusiasts and people who are just beginning to diet. Imagine that you’re in the following situation: You come home from work. You’re exhausted. You’re hungry. You’ve had a long and stressful day and you just don’t…

The US Navy Body-fat Percentage Estimation Calculator

The US Navy Body fat Calculator

[Last Updated: April 9th, 2020] Finding your body-fat percentage is an imprecise endeavor. The methods that we generally have available to measure it range from being ‘acceptably accurate’ to ‘very poor,’ and they are nearly all useless for tracking changes over time. – They’re all marketed as being really accurate of…

Maximum Muscular Potential — Brian Whitacre

Maximum Muscle Potential — What is your genetic muscular potential?

The guy you see is legendary Korean bodybuilder, Kim Jin Ho. This photo was taken of him at the Bodypower Pro show in Birmingham in May, a qualifier to get into the Mr Olympia competition 212lb division. Mr Olympia is bodybuilding at the highest level. The contestants are not tested for…

How to Bulk Without Getting Fat

How to Bulk Up Without Getting Fat

There is an absence of quality diet advice out there for people trying to bulk. ‘Eat more!’ lacks the detail and finesse to optimize things, ‘Calculate your macros, train hard’ – misses the fundamental point that as we progress, calorie and macronutrient needs change and adjustments are necessary to keep us progressing.

How to Find Maintenance Calories After Dieting (or Bulking)

You can eat a lot more and maintain most, if not all of your leanness, after dieting. But people screw this up. They either diet blindly without ever thinking how they were going to maintain it, diet too hard for too long and then can’t maintain it, or they mess up a calculation…

Why The ‘Best’ Macronutrient Ratio Does Not Exist

There is an idea out there that ‘golden’ macronutrient ratios exist that can transform a person’s physique. The idea was born in bodybuilding forums by people looking at someone else’s body transformation, asking their macro intake, then reverse engineering it to come up with a macro ratio that is assumed to be somehow special.

How To Count Macros and Make Meals
The Essential Guide

This visual guide to counting macros will teach you how to build meal plans out of foods that you love. The guide offers an easier and more sustainable method to counting your macros than entering every single food and drink you eat, every day, into a nutritional calculator. The trade-off…

Nutrition Pyramid - The Best Supplements For Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

The Best Supplements For Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

[Last Updated: 20th March, 2020] Supplements are the least important part of any nutrition plan. Very few work. Those that do, do little. The little that they do cannot make up for any of the other four things being screwed up. However, some supplements can be useful, so I’ll cover…

Nutrition Pyramid - A Nutrient Timing Guide To Maximize Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

A Nutrient Timing Guide To Maximize Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

[Last Updated: March 19th, 2020] It appeals to us that something as simple as changing the timing of things can have a potent effect. But can it? This guide covers when to eat relative to when you train, calorie cycling, macro cycling, and my latest thoughts on intermittent fasting.

Nutrition Pyramid - How To Cover Your Micronutrient Needs

How To Cover Your Micronutrient Needs

[Last Updated: March 18th, 2020] Long-term micronutrient deficiencies will impact your health and torpedo your training efforts. But by observing a few simple rules of thumb regarding your daily fruit and vegetable intake, you minimize your risk of deficiencies.

Nutrition Pyramid - How To Set Macros For Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

How To Set Your Macros for Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

[Last Updated: March 18th, 2020] Energy balance determines whether weight is gained or lost, macronutrients determine whether that change is fat or muscle mass. This is how you should set them to maximize the results of your cut, bulk, and recomp phases.


noun Disease where an individual (usually male) suffers deluded notions that the enormous amounts of  weight gained due to purposeful overeating combined with weight training in the winter months is actually mostly muscle, that they can remove the ‘few pounds’ of fat gained with a quick cut in the spring, and…

Diet Break - How to Implement Diet Breaks for Fat Loss to get Shredded Lean

How to Use a Diet Break for Fat Loss to Get Shredded Lean

A diet break is a planned and purposeful break from dieting, anything from one day, up to two weeks. I get all of my clients to take them, as they help prepare them psychologically and physiologically for the next phase of dieting. Adherence is easier, results are better, skip implementing…

Clean Eating Is Nonsense – Here’s a Better Way to Think About Food

On a near daily basis I find myself linking to JC Deen’s article, “Clean Eating is a Scam and Why you Need to Abandon It”. I consider it a must read for those tempted by, but scared of eating that NY cheesecake in the Starbucks display. You can imagine by…

How To Adjust Macros As You Diet To Keep Progressing

How To Adjust Calories and Macros as you Diet To Keep Progressing

In the previous article, we covered Why You Need To Make Adjustments as You Diet. This is the guide on how to do it. Your diet progress has slowed or come to a stop for 2-3 weeks, diet adherence has been good, you’re sleeping well and there is no additional stress…

The 3 Reasons I Recommend You Stop Trying To Track Body-fat Percentage

I don’t use body-fat percentage as a measure of progress with clients. There is no way to accurately and consistently measure body-fat percentage that makes tracking it worthwhile, and it’s destructive to the assessment and decision-making process to try to do so. People get obsessed over this number as if…

If it ain’t broken…

Let’s say your rich uncle dies and leaves you his Gallardo. On your first track-day you get spanked. To make matters worse it’s by guys in cars half the price. They are laughing. Do you get out your spanners and start fiddling with stuff in the hope this will make…

Patience: A Key Tool for Diet Success

Patience. When to wait and when to make a change? As a coach, this is the hardest part of the job. Everyone wants results now. There’s pressure to make the change, but you can’t bow to it. You have to stay objective. Have to choose the right moment. – That’s what the…

How to Travel and Maintain Your Physique

So you’ve built up a good physique or are looking your best; have you ever thought twice before booking a vacation? Did you double-check that the place had a gym, perhaps even turned down the opportunity of travel because you didn’t want to ruin it? I can relate to that.…

Want to free a friend from his ‘6 meal’ habit?

It’s funny, nearly everyone that finishes up says the same thing. But really though other people’s diet habits shouldn’t concern you. Two meals, six meals, breakfast skipper or not, it really doesn’t matter as long as people are happy. Sometimes though you see that your friend has made a full-time job of…

Need Motivation? Look to Your Ancestors

Updated 27th Jan 2013: My Nan slipped away just after the new year. She was 93, the only grandparent I ever knew, and we were close. At Christmas when I was a child she used to say to me with a smile and love in her eyes, “you don’t know…

The Leangains Guide — An Overview and Detailed Meal Timing Guide

The RippedBody Leangains Guide

Skip breakfast, eat big meals, train hard and heavy. These are the core principles of Leangains – a style of diet and training system pioneered by Swedish nutritionist Martin Berkhan. There is a school of thought that it can be beneficial for nutrient partitioning (and therefore body composition changes) to…

A Guide To Alcohol and Fat Loss

I’m often asked by clients, “How can I drink and not screw up my diet?” Good question. I never say no to alcohol with my clients diets as it’s not realistic. Often, the all or nothing mindset sets people up for failure, because once they have one beer, they decide, “Oh well,…