You can lift weights and exercise as much as possible, but if your diet and nutrition aren’t that great, to begin with, your hard labor in the gym will all be for nothing.
Unfortunately, this is an all too common mistake that people make, especially those who are just starting their bodybuilding journey.
That said, one thing you can do is to take care of your nutrition and your diet habits.
No, we’re not just talking about the foods you eat but also about when and how you eat your foods and even tips on making your diet as efficient as possible. Let’s start.
Eat More Calories
People think that cutting down their calories will make their bodies gain more muscle. Yet, that’s very far from the truth. Reducing your calorie intake is essential to reduce weight and body fat.
However, when it comes to building muscle mass, the opposite is true. Your muscles will not grow if you don’t have a regular caloric surplus.
Why? This is because your muscles need calories, and one way to do this is to intake more calories than the amount your body burns. If you follow famous bodybuilders, you’ll see that their bodybuilding diets consist of many things, and their meals are usually enormous.
If you’re starting your journey into bodybuilding, you can aim for at least 500 calories more than your body burns for its daily energy needs. Luckily for you, keeping track of your caloric intake is made more accessible by the countless apps and sites you can see online.
Water is essential, not just to avoid being dehydrated but also for building muscle mass. Dehydration reduces motor neurons in your brain, making you feel more fatigued.
Also, without proper hydration, your body will secrete more cortisol and less testosterone, which is very important in building muscle. To keep yourself hydrated throughout the day, you should drink at least eight glasses of water every day.
Eat Every Three Hours
Eating at the right time is crucial if you want more muscle mass. First, you can do the usual three meals daily: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, you should also intersperse that with pre and post-workout meals and two snack times.
By keeping your food intake up, you won’t be as hungry before the three important meals of the day. Also, eating more small meals rather than big meals can decrease your stomach size.
This is because you’ll feel fuller quickly, and your waist will trim nicely. Also, it will reduce your cravings significantly.
Protein, Protein, and Protein
One way to boost your muscle mass is to intake more protein for every meal. Luckily for us, protein can be found in many food items and even protein supplements from sites like buzzrx.com.
You should eat at least 1 gram per 454 grams of body weight to achieve more protein. That will be at least 200 grams daily if you weigh 91 kilograms.
If you’re wondering which food items you should eat to get more protein, here are some of them:
- Red meats like pork, lamb, and beef
- Poultry: duck, turkey, chicken, etc.
- Fish: Salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc.
- Eggs, including the yolk.
- Some veggies like nuts, seeds, tofu, and lentils
- Dairy: Milk, cottage cheese, cheese, quark, yogurt, etc.
- Whey. They are not necessary, but they are good alternatives for pre and post-workout snacks.
Eat Healthy Fats
If you’re having problems with fats, then you should look into eating more healthy fats. This will increase your weight loss, and not to mention; they are perfect for your health because of their benefits.
You should balance your fat consumption more and avoid trans fats. If you’re wondering where you can find these healthy fats, they are commonly found in vegetable oils, including oils from sunflower and olive, seeds and nuts, and oily fishes like salmon and mackerel.
Eat More Whole Foods
If you’re eating many processed foods, you’re doing it wrong. What you should be doing is to have at least 80% of your meals be whole foods.
This is because processed foods tend to have substances that could destroy your diet and are just plain unhealthy for your bodybuilding diet. In short, avoid processed foods as much as you can.
Whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined items such as fresh meat, poultry, fresh veggies, eggs, etc. By being unprocessed, their vitamins and minerals are intact.
On the other hand, processed foods contain added sugars, bad fats, etc. Some processed foods are pizza, sausages, frozen meals, cereals, etc.
Your bodybuilding journey is only as good as your workout routine and diet plan. If you labor away every day in the gym without having a great diet plan to pair it alongside, you’re wasting a lot of your time and effort.
Remember, without good nutrition and diet, your workout routine wouldn’t be as efficient as you want it to be.