Made in Montana - Question about Steve Reeves' nutrition

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dantelis:
Made In Montana, thought you might know more about this, as Reeves relative.

In Building the Classic Physique: The Natural Way, Steve list his daily food intake.  It seems that his calories were pretty low, and I am sometimes surprised that he built his physique with so little. 

Can you elaborate on Reeves nutrition?  How many calories did he eat in a day?

Reeves built and incredible body and was one of the best.  I wonder if during his competition days he actually ate more than he lists in his book.

Thanks.

Made in Montana:
Steve ate 3 meals a day. Depending on his level of activity, he ate more or less at a meal. When Steve was in the service in WWII, he was known as "The Shape" and managed to spend any spare time finding ways to exercise climbing ropes, doing chin-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. to keep his size and shape (this was before he got malaria). Consequently he needed more food than the others because he pushed himself further physically.

The troops would eat at different times because there were so many they couldn't all eat at the same time. Everyone was given a meal card indicating what shift to eat. Steve managed to get 3 meals cards at every meal. At the first meal shift, Steve went to the mess hall dressed very nicely, combed hair wearing a hat and glasses. He asked politely saying please/thank you. Next, he would eat again with the 2nd shift appearing less polished/polite and not wearing glasses. Then during the 3rd shift, he looked a little wild with his shirt undone, uncombed hair and using boisterous colorful language while asking for his food. So...this way, Steve had 9 meals per day and had little trouble maintaining weight and muscle mass.

When you see food/meal pictures in the fitness mags in the nutrition sections on how to eat, you might have for dinner a picture with an 6-8 oz. steak, a baked potato, some green beans and a salad. Well...Steve would eat like that but eat a bigger portion of steak (maybe with an egg on top), 2 baked potatos instead of one. In other words...same kind of whole food--no fast food type of advice but he would eat a little bit more cause he was bigger. He was able to look at your body size, structure, height, weight and ask you a few questions about your training/past weight experience to tell you how much you should eat. Every one is different.



Steve was big on adding amino acids to make more complete proteins. For instance beans have a lot of lysine, but very little methionine. So he would add wheat pasta with beans because wheat has methionine, but no lysine. Same thing with the Knox gelatin--87% protein, but missing 2 key amino acids found in eggs. He thought you get better results (gain more muscle mass) by putting the gelatin with the eggs.

Steve ate more complex carbs the day before training (he trained every other day) starting at lunch...so that he had higher energy level to put more quality effort into a training session. Then after training the following day, he would eat more protein/meat after training in order to rebuild the torn down muscle.

He thought it was important to include all the food groups with a lot of variety in fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, fats, etc. to get as many vitamins, minerals, fiber in your food as possible. His favorite fruit was avocado. It has vitamin E. I know it sounds like common sense, but a lot of bodybuilders have a very limited diet of tuna, chicken, rice and protein shakes. It's good to get the fresh fruits and vegetables in there too.

If you have two people who weigh the same, eat the same amount of the same food and do the same level of activity, but one has 5 lbs. of fat whereas the other has 5 lbs. of muscle...at the end of the year, the one with the 5 lbs. more of muscle will burn up to 20 lbs. of calories more than the one with 5 lbs. of fat. The bottom line, muscle burns more than fat. That's why those exercise machines that tell how many calories you burned are inaccurate at times because even if they register your weight, they may incorrectly register the % of fat/muscle which calibrate metabolism/how much you burn.

So, in other words, you have to adjust what you need to eat and how much based on what you are personally burning and experiencing. If you need to gain muscle, eat more protein and carbs. If you need to gain muscle and lose fat, eat more protein and cut back carbs. Make sure you eat fruit and/or vegetable with your food because the enzymes will break the food down so that it is better utilized in your body. Don't eat fast or stressed out. Relax and enjoy it because it will affect the parotid gland/amylase in your mouth. When food isn't broken down properly, it can lead to inefficient vit./mineral assimulation as well as affect protein/carb utilization. In all things, experiment to see what works best for you...and adjust accordingly.

It was nice what you said about Steve, Dantelis.

dantelis:
Thanks for the great info, MinM.  Do you have any idea how many calories he took in in a typical day during his bodybuilding days?  These days, seems the recommendation for a 225 bodybuilder is 4000 calories plus.  At Reeves top form weight of 215 lbs, seems he'd need at least 3000 calories a day to just keep at this level and more if he was trying to add more muscle.

Made in Montana:
Quote from: dantelis on August 22, 2007, 10:25:44 AM

Thanks for the great info, MinM.  Do you have any idea how many calories he took in in a typical day during his bodybuilding days?  These days, seems the recommendation for a 225 bodybuilder is 4000 calories plus.  At Reeves top form weight of 215 lbs, seems he'd need at least 3000 calories a day to just keep at this level and more if he was trying to add more muscle.


Dan...I'm not very good at counting calories (I just take plate and divide it in half and put veg/fruit on one side and the other side I divide in half again so that 1/4 of the plate is meat/protein and the remaining 1/4 is carbs like rice or potato...and I do that 2-3X/day), but I'll just make a sample list of what he ate in a day and you or someone can help me add it up.

Breakfast:
2 tbs. protein powder
(egg, milk, soy)
1 banana
1 tbs. honey
1 tbs. knox gelatin
3 eggs
14 oz. orange juice

or another breakfast
wheat cereal with strawberries and cream
4 slices of wheat toast with honey
3 glasses of goat's milk
4 fried eggs

(plus a quart of goat's milk/day)

lunch:
cottage cheese
almonds
raisins
apple
pear

dinner:
salad
big steak
2 potatoes

I need to find a calorie counter, then I'll finish adding that up...

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