Power eating. It is not that dude who can eat 110 hot dogs in 10 minutes. It's about fueling your body for the purpose of performance. There are many variables that contribute to success when it comes to building. Besides having a powerful mind, you must master the diet.
You can't create something out of nothing. So if you're looking to get BIG you need to eat BIG. If you want to lose weight, you cut calories; but for the purposes of growth, you need to feed your body so it has the tools to build mass (aka muscle). This means getting enough macro nutrients: carbs, proteins, and fats.
Aim for 1 and 1½ grams of protein per pound of body weight.
For total calorie intake, aim for 15 times your weight. If you tend to put on fat easily, try between 10-15 times. If you have a quick metabolism, try between 15-20 times.
As a guideline, start with a 25% protein, 55% carbs and 20% fats combination.
EMBRACE HEALTHY CARBS
Carbs have their time and place - just like fats and proteins. Carbs are a crucial source of energy. They help recuperate after a workout, keep your mind sharp, balance blood sugar levels, reproduce and repair cells, and more. Moderation and balance is key.
If you have a high metabolism, you may need more carbs than the average, but keep them healthy and whole.
Make sure you're getting lots of fiber-rich carbs. These help keep your bowls moving, keep you fuller longer, and also aid fat-burning.
KEEP IT BALANCED
It's easy to pick a healthy meal and stick with it. Builders are notorious for having one of the most boring and bland diets. Although this may keep calories in check, a monotonous diet does not give your body all the nutrients it needs. When building, you are stressing out your body. In fact, you are constantly hurting it - tearing and bruising muscle while challenging joints, ligaments, and tendons. Your body needs a combination of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to keep it running, repairing, and efficient. Make sure you introduce a combination of foods into your diet.
Switch out the kinds of fruits you eat.
Lou likes to have red meat at least once a week but sticks to chicken and fish most days.
Try some color in your salads. Different colors mean different vitamins are present.
Don't go hog wild on the protein powder, get some natural protein as well. Although non-animal proteins like whey are digested quickly (making them perfect for immediate use after a workout), animal proteins are more effectively used by the body long term. If you don't eat animal protein, make sure you're getting some natural protein in like soy.
BUILD YOUR MEALS TO YOUR LIFESTYLE
What you eat when matters. Decide when you are working out, plan to eat every 3 hours, and then build an eating schedule to match. Also pay attention to your most energetic time of day and your work schedule. Getting the right energy balance and staving off hunger will give you optimum growth and fat burn.
Eat most of your carbs early in the day. Taper off.
Have protein with every meal.
It is recommended that your pre-workout meal be low in fiber. This provides for quicker absorption into the system and helps avoid GI issues or complications during your workout.
A protein shake right after a workout helps your body keep working until you can get cleaned up and out of the gym for a proper meal.
Have some yogurt or some other form of casein protein before you go to bed to keep the body building muscle while you sleep.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is true for anything you attempt. And you need to apply it to your diet. Plan out what you're going to eat and when on a weekly basis. This way you can do your shopping once, make sure only good foods are at the ready, and you are always fueling yourself. This is not only important to keep your body's machine going, but it will help your mind stay focused and your energy levels consistent. Without planning, you're likely to grab fast food or anything at arms reach which may not be optimal for your goals.
Try keeping your go-to foods on note cards and switching them out depending on what you're in the mood for. This makes for easy planning after you've done all the calorie math.
Buy in bulk. It will keep your costs low and cuts down on time.
Keep a cooler in your car or office. Fresh food is good food. Unfortunately, a lot of foods that are good for you spoil quickly and need to be refrigerated.
Don't be afraid to brown bag it while others do take out. It's easy to pop out for a deli sandwich, special at the cafeteria, or drive-thru when you have limited time to eat, but it's even easier to pop something in the microwave. And, while you're eating your healthy meal, you're saving money too.
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