Derek Lunsford Eats Six Meals Per Day and Two Cheat Meals Per Week During His Off-Season

The 212 Olympia champ is eating for gains before defending his title in December 2022.

At the 2021 Olympia, Derek Lunsford claimed his first 212 Olympia title. He will return to the 2022 Olympia on Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV, with the intent to defend his crown. Given the long off-season afforded to Lunsford, who isn’t competing in any shows until the Olympia, his diet can support packing on even more muscle mass onto his frame before cutting down during his prep to show off his well-conditioned physique.

On June 3, 2022, Lunsford pulled back the curtain on what a full day of eating looks like during his off-season in a video on his YouTube channel. Check it out below:

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The opening meal of the day for Lunsford consists of the following with a lot of seasoning:

  • Egg Whites — 226 grams
  • Steak — three ounces
  • Mushrooms
  • Air-Fried Potatoes — 14 ounces uncooked

Lunsford eyeballed his meal to roughly 50 grams of protein and 75 grams of carbohydrates — the man thinks about his macros but doesn’t track them. It wasn’t entirely clear if Lunsford ate this meal after performing cardio. He said he did 90 minutes on “the stepper,” but his cameraman laughed, presumably thinking Lunsford was joking.

Regardless of whether Lunsford did or didn’t perform fasted cardio before breakfast on his rest day, he crushed his first meal along with his supplement stack.

Meal Two

After a trip to church, Lunsford came home to:

  • Shredded Chicken — Eight ounces
  • White Rice — Eight ounces
  • Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • Light Ranch Dressing 
  • Low-Sodium Seasoning

Lunsford began his off-season diet at 200 carbohydrates per day but doubled that amount by the time he filmed his full day of eating. The additional carbs support his current high volume of training.

Since Lunsford is not eating as many vegetables as he feels is sufficient for requisite micronutrients and fiber, he drinks greens powders mixed with water to make up the difference.

The reigning 212 Olympia champ admits to actively making his meals not taste as good as they could because he wants to avoid temptation. His “dieting pro tip” is if the food tastes blander, it’ll be easier to say no to more even when hungry during a prep.

If it tastes too good, I want to eat more of it.

Lunsford doesn’t have a favorite meal. Not caring about any particular meal allows him a more relaxed mindset around food because he will think less about food when his diet calls for lower calories.


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Meal Three

Meal three is a protein shake. While Lunsford typically uses water as a base, he used almond milk and cinnamon-flavored protein powder on this particular rest day. He likened it to creating a cereal milk flavor that he enjoys.

A unique ingredient he adds to his protein shake for added carbs is cream of rice intended as baby food. He brandished a Gerber brand box with a baby’s headshot:

It literally is baby rice.

He poured 72 grams of carbs from the baby rice into his shake, shook it up, and enjoyed it.

Meal Four 

Lunsford’s fourth meal of the day was another chicken and rice dish. He opted for ground chicken with taco seasoning and approximately nine ounces of white rice.

Even on a rest day, Lunsford will consume at least five meals, and potentially a sixth, each day. During this portion of his off-season, he also indulges in two cheat meals per week. Cheat meals might be sushi or cheeseburgers.

Meal Five & Six

Weighing out his steak for meal five, Lunsford uses scissors to cut the red meat onto his food scale. He aims for approximately 50 grams of protein via meat per meal.

He mixed the steak with white rice and seasoned salt and tossed it in the microwave. He washed it down with another protein shake to finish his day of eating.

Hopefully, Lunsford will share how his diet changes once his contest prep begins as the 2022 Olympia approaches. Right now, he feels satiated and energized by the volume of food he’s consuming. We’ll see if his gains translate into a second 212 Olympia championship.

Featured image: @dereklunsford_ on Instagram