Ade Rai is Indonesia’s most famous bodybuilder and a passionate advocate of good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. As a big man with a lot to say, he enjoys going against stereotypes.
Every second week, he will be offering professional advice through his column.
Hi Ade Rai,
I have a personal trainer who is also a competitive athlete. He seems very successful in building his physique. I want to follow his diet routine and want to know how much of his diet is actually healthy? He eats a lot of lean red meat, brown rice and some vegetables with every meal. He also relies on protein powders, creatine and BCAA. Do you think I should follow his diet so I can look like him?
Janoko – Jakarta
Thanks for writing in. There are plenty of ways to look like a solidly built bodybuilder. I prefer the healthier way. This is not to say your personal trainer’s type of diet isn’t healthy. But I believe there is still some room for improvement even for his type of diet. Here’s a modified version of his diet, which I believe he can also follow to build his muscles and stay healthy at the same time: Eat 2 grams of protein per every kilogram of bodyweight. If you weigh 70 kg then your daily protein intake is around 140 grams. It’s just a guideline of protein intake to follow, a little less or more wouldn’t do any harm. Most protein sources have about 15-20 percent protein by uncooked weight. So, 140 grams of protein is around 800 grams of uncooked protein like fish, chicken, tempeh, tofu, soy beans, and nuts; spread over three big meals and two snacks.
Vary your sources of protein, it’s better to combine multiple protein sources in your diet than to just rely on one or two sources. Beef, although it scores high in protein biological value, has a downside, it contains a lot of uric-acid that thickens the blood and lowers your blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Besides, all proteins have certain unique amino-acids, some are high in certain amino acids. By combining the sources, we are able to even out on the supply of all amino acids. White proteins from chicken, fish, soy, tempeh, tofu, red beans, mung beans and nuts have their place in a healthy diet. They are natural food sources like beef that contains a lot less uric-acid, and provide unique health benefits.
Prioritize on getting just as much vegetables. When it comes to vegetables, the less processing involved, the better. Many can even be consumed raw. There are concerns that a lot of vegetables today actually contain less nutrients that the same vegetables planted and harvested 100 years ago. So, to guard yourself with enough essential nutrients from this food group, you may need to blend some of those vegetables.
As for supplements, try going the new “whole food” routine for awhile and see how far it gets you … which I believe will be pretty far. But if you want to have some nutritional supplementation, I would recommend you cover the important basics like daily multivitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids (Omega-3), vitamin C, calcium-magnesium and vitamin D.
Ask your personal trainer to push you harder during training and really pay meticulous attention to your exercise form at all times. And remember to have sufficient recovery time. The most common mistakes that aspiring fitnessgoers make are being disciplined only with training and nutrition but playing down the importance of rest and recovery.
Last but not least, we all have our individual yet unique bone structure, muscle shape, muscle fiber composition, learning pace, consistency, recovery ability, hormonal profiles, desire to win, ability to withstand the most strenuous of exercise challenges … all that affect how fast we can develop our muscles and how much we can grow. It’s good to have a role model in your personal trainer, but it’s even greater to identify your own potential and be the best Janoko you can be.
Hello Ade Rai,
I love cooking and will try just about any new recipe out there. Over the years, I’ve gained quite a fair bit of weight because of tasting and eating all those foods. How do I lose weight and keep a healthier weight range, and still being able to do what I love doing? I have tried running and attending yoga classes twice a week since last year, and I stopped gaining weight for awhile, then it went back up again. I am 163 cm tall and at 66 kg right now. I was at around 52 when I started this cooking hobby. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing. Let me address your hobby first. It’s a great hobby and you don’t have to quit it. What you can do is to elaborate and modify certain recipes so the food can be healthier. For example, the seven most fattening food additions in our diet are sugar, flour, cooking oil, butter, margarine, creams (coconut, whipped, sour) and MSG. Although the latter does not contain calories, it triggers our senses to eat more than we should.
What you can do is to use less of the ingredients I mentioned above and try to find substitutes. I found some on my own, like blended tofu (with water) as a decent substitute for creams, and blended tomato as a gravy base for goulash, curry and some stewed dishes. Try doubling up on herbs and spices, and identify taste characteristics of each spice, for example: cinnamon or nutmeg to have a creamy aroma and taste, while onion, clove, coriander, lemongrass, citrus leaves and galangal are more to the fresh and sweet side, but ginger, turmeric, garlic may add a salty taste with a minimum of salt.
As for your exercise, you may want to raise the intensity of what you already do by increasing the pace or total amount of exercise time, or you may simply introduce resistance-training prior to doing your cardio or yoga. When in doubt, hire a personal trainer to guide you through a customized program.
Thank you for all your questions. Please keep them coming to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be more than happy to answer them for you. Stay strong and stay healthy!