Dr. Jacob Wilson’s 2020 Nutrition Guide For Building Quality Muscle

Start 2020 off right with an easy to apply nutrition guide.

Getting in great shape requires proper preparation. While you could get in some pretty good shape with some consistent training, but having the proper nutrition will skyrocket your gains.

Dr. Jacob Wilson, The Muscle PHD, has compiled an easy to follow guide made specifically for your bodybuilding and fitness needs. The below guide is just one of the many kinds of in-depth manuals featured on Generation Iron that will take your physique to the next level.

Dr. Jacob Wilson’s 2020 Nutrition Guide

It’s incredibly easy to get overwhelmed by the bulk of information available on nutrition and trying to separate the valuable from the questionably dangerous. Part of what makes this so difficult is that some “experts” and “coaches” get so impassioned while arguing their beliefs that they flat out attack other systems and methodologies. That quickly leads to confusion and a lack of confidence in what you may be doing if one of these internet warriors rants about your favorite diet. Luckily, we’re not going to do that here. Rather, we’ll present a general outline of calories and macros and how you can adjust them to meet just about any nutrition goal.

This guide isn’t meant to present you with some strict guideline on how to follow a specific diet to a “T.” We’d rather give you the tools necessary to make just about any diet work in your favor. Remember, the best diet for you is the one that you can adhere to. The less stress you can associate with your diet, the more likely you are to adhere to it. If you love a specific diet strategy, such as IF, keto, etc. that’s great! Stick with it and plan your macros accordingly.

So, in this book, we’ll skip the volatile arguments of what diet is best and we’ll get down to the math of what a diet should generally look like. We’ll present numbers that you can plug and play with on just about any diet and you’ll be able to make progress towards whatever goal you choose. Now remember, the body does not treat all calories the same, so it’s important to focus the majority of your intake on clean foods. Your health and body composition will thank you.

The first step in determining the math behind your diet is by finding your resting metabolic rate, or, RMR. This equation is known as the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation and can be calculated by:

  • Males: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x Age (years) + 5
  • Females: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x Age (years) – 16
  • 10 x (90.9kg) + 6.25 x (176cm) – 5 (30years) + 5 = 1864 calories at rest.

Once you have your RMR, you need to multiply it by your average activity level. These activity factors attempt to account for both NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) and exercise that, in combination, lead to higher overall calories being burned.


Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation


10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x Age (years) + 5


10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x Age (years) -16


200 lb, 5’9”, 25-year-old man 10 x (90.9kg) + 6.25 x (176cm) – 5 (30years) + 5 = 1864 calories at rest.


  • 1.2 Sedentary or little activity
  • 1.375 Light activity 1-3 days/week (gardening, walking, etc.)
  • 1.55 – Moderate activity 3-5 days/ week (jogging, light strength training, etc.)
  • 1.725 Very active 6-7 days per week (intense endurance or strength training or sports practice)
  • 1.9 – Very active 2x/day 6-7 days per week (can be exercise + physical job or training 2x/day)

Let’s say our 200lb 30-year old man is a hardcore bodybuilder training 5-times a week. That probably puts him somewhere between the 1.55 and 1.725 levels, so we’ll place him at an activity factor of 1.60. Therefore, his RMR of 1864 should be multiplied by 1.6 to find his rough total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). TDEE = 1864 x 1.60 = 2982 calories/day


Now that you have your estimated total daily energy expenditure, it’s time to figure out your goals. If you want to maintain body weight, simply eat the same number of calories as your TDEE. If you want to gain or lose weight, try following the “Rule of 15” for simplicity and effectiveness.

The Rule of 15 is a simple rule that allows one to adjust their dietary needs based off their TDEE. If you want to lose weight, subtract 15% from your TDEE and shoot for that number for your daily calorie intake. If you want to gain weight, add 15% to your TDEE and use that number as your calorie intake. This method allows you to lose or gain weight at a healthy and sustainable pace and can be constantly adjusted by whatever your new weight is.

Lose weight: 2982 x 0.85 = 2535 Gain weight: 2982 x 1.15 = 3429

The goal here should be somewhere within a 300-500 deficit/surplus depending on your goals. As you can see, the 15% rule should work pretty well for most people trying to get within this range. Having a deficit in this range should allow you to lose about 1-2 pounds a week which is perfect for maintaining lean mass during a diet and not gaining too much fat during a bulk.


Now the fun part – each total calorie goal comes with a general macronutrient split that can further aid you in your pursuit. One main key to remember is that each macronutrient has a specific amount of calories per gram – carbs have 4cal/g, protein has 4cal/g, and fat has 9cal/g. These splits are another aspect that you can plug and play with. Try a few weeks at these percentages and then mix it up and see what works best for you. This is where keeping a food intake diary helps a ton on a diet – you have to know what you’ve done in the past to plan for the future.

So, let’s see how this works for our subject who wants to gain weight and uses a 50% carb, 30% protein, and 20% fat split.


3429 x 0.50 = 1714 calories from carbs (divide by 4) = 428g carbohydrate


3429 x 0.30 = 1028 calories from protein (divide by 4) = 257g protein


3429 x 0.20 = 686 calories from fat (divide by 9) = 76g fat

Now you’re to the point where you have a solid caloric and macronutrient understanding of what you need to include in your diet. All you have left to do is find foods that fit into your schedule and overall plan to achieve these numbers. Do your best to focus on clean foods and to spread your calories throughout the day and you’re set. Don’t beat yourself up over cheat meals, either. If a cheat meal or, GASP, a cheat day is what you need to adhere to your diet, then so be it! Whatever keeps you on track is what you should be doing. Always remember, in any endeavor, the process is more important than the outcome.

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