The Lean Body/Lean Bulk Diet

by Dr Minkoff March 11, 2024 5 min read

The Lean Body/Lean Bulk Diet

While the calories you will be consuming are tailored to you, the types of foods you will be eating or not eating are very exact and there are specific reasons for each one, which we’ll cover here or in later articles.


Only Whole Foods: On this protocol we’ll only be consuming whole foods — no packaged, processed foods or processed sugars. Not because of how many calories they have, but because of how they affect our hormones, making it harder to lose fat and keep it off.

There will be no protein bars, protein powders, collagen powders, BCAAs or individual amino acids taken. These will only get in our way on this protocol as they have lower protein utilization rates and higher actual calories. And BCAAs and individual amino acids, alone, are almost wholly converted to sugar in the body.

We need real foods and they need to be organic. We need real fruits, real vegetables and real meats — organic and grass-fed.

Protein: You will also be consuming more protein than you are used to and most likely will not be up to that at the very beginning. This is because the amounts of processed sugar and foods, and lack of enough protein that most people have had for decades, have lowered most people’s ability to fully digest proteins.

Digestive Enzymes: For this you will be taking digestive enzymes. These ensure the proteins and fats you consume are fully broken down so they can be used. You’ll be consuming a high amount of protein and fat on this protocol, more than you’re used to, and you will need this at first.

Omega 3: We will also need you taking Omega 3 fatty acids. I cover more on why these are necessary later on, but they are the key fat source that helps to lower cortisol levels. It would also be smart to consume fatty fish like salmon during this protocol as they are very high in Omega 3 fatty acids.

Note: this is not Omega 3-6-9, but only Omega 3.

Cruciferous Vegetables: These have many functions, but one of them is in helping to balance hormones, specifically removing excess estrogen from the blood stream which helps to increase thyroid, progesterone and testosterone. In fact, their benefit is so much that you will not be counting calories from any cruciferous vegetables or leafy greens in your macros.

Your meals should include at least one salad and/or serving of cruciferous vegetables per day. And for this, any dressing should be a vinaigrette — the olive oil is going to help you. (Due count the olive oil in your macros).

Transition Period: There is a transition period of a few days to a few weeks where your body readjusts to the above. This is in digestion, in burning more fat than carbohydrates (sugars) for energy, and also hormonally.

During the first part of this you will experience cravings for processed or sugary foods. These cravings are usually the heaviest between days 2-5.

During this time your energy levels may go down a little bit, you may have trouble sleeping, and your mood may shift easily.

This is just withdrawals. Keeping in high protein and healthy fats and plenty of PerfectAmino is what will help you through this the fastest. So don’t skimp on these.

You will come out of it if you keep going. And you will be very happy that you did once you see how you feel.

But this is necessary. We don’t just want to help you build lean muscle for 30 days. We want to help rebalance your hormones so that building lean muscle and staying lean is easy. And if you do splurge and gain some unwanted body fat in the future, it will come off more quickly and easily.


If you’ve done a lot of Bulking & Cutting in the past, then these calories may seem too low.

And that may be the case. But these are just starting calories. During the first week we dial them in to our own personal needs, as you’ll see.

But first, realize one thing here. You’ve most likely been consuming processed foods for your bulking & cutting. And whey or other low-utilization protein powders.

These give less nutrition and usable protein than whole food protein sources do.

And more hidden sugars.

In fact, while you may get “less” calories on this protocol, you may actually have more trouble consuming all of it.

This is in part because of your digestion. Most people aren’t up to eating this much real food. And processed foods, sodas, and heartburn medications have lowered most people’s digestive abilities.

This is why digestive enzymes are so important when starting this.

On this protocol, consuming only whole foods with digestive enzymes, you will most likely be giving your body much more nutrition than it normally gets, despite eating less calories than you would think are needed.

This is so much so that most people’s biggest problem is getting it all in.

That said…

As everyone will do a somewhat different intensity of workout…

And as different people will have different amounts of muscle they’re starting with…

Some people will need more or less calories for energy and repair than others.

That’s why the numbers below are the starting numbers and we will tweak these as we go.

So if you start, and have a hard time getting in this much natural protein and fat, the direction is to work to get as close to the number as you can each day.

But if you find yourself going hungry, even at the very beginning, then we need to increase.

Most people can't get it all in at first.

However, one person had to increase their protein levels by 50% right off the bat before they were getting enough due to a very high metabolism and large amount of starting lean muscle.

So if you’re already on higher protein levels or feel you need more — get ready to increase. We’ll cover how below.

But a firm rule on the Lean Body/Lean Bulk protocol is: You should never be hungry. Yes, even while leaning out.

You’re not eating processed sugars or foods or low-utilization proteins that can create un-needed cravings. You’re eating real food and building lean muscle.

So if you need to eat more to maintain and grow, then we eat more. And we do this by simply raising the macro amounts across the board.

You’ll probably spend the first week dialing in your macros, while getting through any “cravings” that can cause confusion between sugar cravings and real hunger.

Then we’re off to the races to build and lean out,and we go fast.


Take two servings of PerfectAmino prior to your workout and 1 serving after.

If you have more servings to take based on your weight, then take two more servings 4 hours before bed. (Taking PerfectAmino too late at night can keep some people up.)

If you have more servings to take, take them first thing in the morning before food.

If you experience any cravings late at night, it’s most likely you need to raise your macros. Eat some protein, go to sleep, and in the morning recalculate.

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