Just as a beginner should stick to the basics in the gym, there’s no reason to complicate the nutritional side of things when considering enhancing your physique. We’ve boiled down the dietary basics to 10 straightforward lessons you need to think about when eating and consuming food at all times of the day. If you’re serious about making a long-term commitment to finish, you’ll learn the ins and outs of solid nutritional education as you go. You will find that these main fundamentals will hold true, regardless of whether there is any new dietary information available.
Table of Contents
- 1 Lesson 1 – The Importance of Protein
- 2 Lesson 2 – Understanding Fat
- 3 Lesson 3 – Eating More
- 4 Lesson 4 – The Right Carbohydrates
- 5 Lesson 5 – When To Use Carbohydrates
- 6 Lesson 6 – Before & After Workouts
- 7 Lesson 7 – Constant Stream of Nutrients
- 8 Lesson 8 – Preventing Fasting
- 9 Lesson 9 – Enhancing Your Supplements
- 10 Lesson 10 – The Start of Stacking
Lesson 1 – The Importance of Protein
Consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily.
Protein provides amino acids, which are the fundamental building blocks of protein muscle. Although mainstream nutritional guidelines recommend less than half a gram of protein per pound of body weight for the average male, research shows those athletes, especially those concerned with adding muscle mass and strength will need to consume twice that amount. Beginners should try to consume about 1.5 grams of protein per pound, per day for the first 6 months of training, since this is when your muscles will respond most effectively. For the average male weighing 180lb, this means consuming 270g of protein per day at the outset and then continuing at a minimum of 180g of daily protein consumption thereafter.
The choices of the types of protein that you should be considering to consume should be along the lines of lean protein sources, such as, chicken, dairy, beef, eggs, turkey and fish. These foods in your diet will enable your body to derive its amino acids from a wide variety of protein sources, meaning that they will provide your body with the essential amino acids it can’t manufacture on its own.
Lesson 2 – Understanding Fat
Try to get 20-30% of your daily calories from fat.
Try to understand that fat is not your enemy, especially if you intend to train at a hard rate and take it seriously. There have been studies that have shown that diets which contain higher levels of fat (in particular saturated and monounsaturated) do appear to help maintain male testosterone levels far better than low-fat diets. When you consider that you are aiming to gain higher muscle mass it is optimal to make sure you maintain your testosterone levels, this will help gain both muscle mass and strength and avoid fat gain.
The general population are quite sedentary and don’t get off their lazy backsides and actually exercise, therefore you will find that most of them are ordered to reduce their fat intakes, but we recommend that you aim to keep your fat calories between 5 and 10% are saturated fats.
When choosing red meats stick to minced beef and particularly steak for high levels of saturated fat (these types of red meat will provide good levels of high-quality protein); avocados, mixed nuts, olive oil, flax seed oil and peanut butter for monounsaturated fats; do not forget consuming fatty fish such as, mackerel, trout, salmon and top of your consumption of fats with a good source of nuts, such as, walnuts as they provide essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fats.
Lesson 3 – Eating More
Eat 20 calories per pound of body weight daily
If you’re looking for a bigger body mass and you want your body to be larger and stronger then you must have a positive calorie balance (consuming more calories than you burn). If you were to burn more calories than you consume, your body would then revert into a conservation mode and there will not be any new muscle growth. When you consume 20 calories per pound it will mean that you roughly consume 3600 calories each day if you weigh around 180 pounds. If you break down these extra calories you should find that between 20%-30% of the calories should come from good sources of protein, 40%-60% from wholegrain carbohydrates and the rest from good fats.
Lesson 4 – The Right Carbohydrates
Consume the optimum amount of carbohydrates for your goals
Although protein is renowned as the most critical macronutrient for hypertrophy, carbohydrates come in at second place. Carbohydrates are stored in your muscles as glycogen; they will keep your muscles full and large and are helpful when participating in arduous workouts. If you are serious about bulking up, you need to consume between 2-3g of carbohydrates per pound of your body weight, this may work out between 360 to 560g of carbohydrates per day for the average 180lb male.
When looking to gain mass you also need to consider that you will need to fuel intense workouts and improve your conditioning, try to take in 1-2 grams per pound of carbohydrates a day. If you are aiming to reduce your levels of fat, then we strongly suggest that you aim to consume between 0.5-1 grams of carbohydrates per body pound of body weight.
For the majority of your meals, stick with low glycaemic carbohydrates that will take longer to digest and turn into glycogen such as beans, oats, sweet potatoes, vegetables, fruit and of course whole grains.
Lesson 5 – When To Use Carbohydrates
Use the right carbohydrates around your workouts
In conjunction with the details in Lesson 4, the majority of your meals should contain slow-burning carbohydrates. Before you start working out you need to think about the correct source of fuel in your workout and the majority of the time it should be fuelled with slow-burning carbohydrates. A number of studies have shown the when athletes consume slower digesting carbohydrates they not only have more energy and less fatigue during exercise but they will also burn more fat during their training and tend not to feel hungry during the remainder of the day. 30 minutes before you intend to start your workout we suggest you think of consuming slow digesting carbohydrates, which may come in the forms of oats, granary bread or perhaps fruit which can be consumed with your protein shake.
The use of slow-burning carbohydrates changes slightly when you consider your post workout meal, you need to now start consuming fast burning carbohydrates. When you think of fast at burning carbohydrates imagine, white bread, white bagels, a handful of Gummy Bears, a banana, a baked potato, or sports drink (such as Lucozade, Gatorade, Parade, etc…) consumed with a protein shake. By consuming a fast digesting or high glycaemic carbohydrate your body will then spike in insulin. There are a number of high-quality carbohydrate supplements available that can be consumed as a drink during and after working out. This is another option in contrast to eating fast digesting carbohydrates.
At any other time of the day, a spike of insulin is considered a bad thing and it shouldn’t be something to aim for. But after a post-workout session or even while you work out your body starts producing a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol damages muscle growth, that is all you really need to remember about cortisol at the moment, it hinders your body’s ability to increase your muscles and maintain muscle mass. What Insulin will do is block the hormone Cortisol which means the muscles will not be damaged or broken down in any way and it will help increase muscle mass and maintain muscle mass. It is vital that you use this window of roughly 30 minutes to an hour and a half post workout where you can consume high-glycemic carbohydrates in conjunction with a solid protein shake. This will maximize muscle gain and minimise muscle loss.
Lesson 6 – Before & After Workouts
Protein before and after your workout
Well, your diet should really consist of unprocessed whole grain foods and lean meats, there are times of the day where you are unable to consume high levels of protein, and you physically cannot digest it and consume it. It is therefore essential that you supplement your diet with a protein shake before and after workouts, this will increase your protein consumption by approximately 40 grams of protein a day on top of your diet. We recommend that you drink a protein shake roughly between 90 and 30 minutes before your workout and then again in a window of 30 minutes to 1 hour and a half after your workout.
Lesson 7 – Constant Stream of Nutrients
Aim to eat every 2 to 3 hours
When you consume gradually throughout the day it will help you can both gain muscle mass and stay lean by providing your muscles with a constant supply of energy and amino acids. The key here is to try and keep every meal roughly the same size. If you like to be a pig and consume a huge 1,500 calorie lunch, then you’ll be less likely to want to eat within the next 3 hours and you could gain the wrong type of weight since any excess calories will be stored as fat. Aim to try and eat 6 meals a day or even after 8 meals, which for the average 180lb man will mean roughly 500 to 600 calories per meal.
Lesson 8 – Preventing Fasting
Eat before bedtime
Think about it, just before you go to sleep your body is about to fast for the next 7-9 hours. Where do you think it is going to get its fuel from as it maintains its muscle mass? If there is no food available the body will turn to its muscle fibres for amino acids which is certainly not a good thing if you wish to get bigger and leaner. So the answer, unfortunately, isn’t to sleep less than 7 to 9 hours per night, as your body need that precious to rest and recover, no, the answer is rather to eat correctly before you hit the sack.
When preparing your meal looks to combine healthy fats with a slow digesting protein as they will both
take longer to digest and provide a string of amino acids into your body as you sleep, therefore reducing the chance of your body’s tendency to revert to muscle breakdown for cellular fuel. The ideal protein to be consumed here is casein protein, which is derived from milk. Cottage cheese acts as an ideal bedtime snack or a casein based protein shake. Before bed every night we recommend that you consume 30-40 grams of casein protein in a shake or half a tub of low-fat cottage cheese with 2-3 tablespoons of flaxseed or peanut butter, perhaps with mixed nuts.
Lesson 9 – Enhancing Your Supplements
Enhance your protein shakes by adding 5 to 10 grams of BCAAs
BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) include isoleucine, leucine and valine. While leucine is certainly the most important when starting muscle growth, all three of these amino acids work well to provide you with greater energy, muscle size strength and the prevention of potential fat gain. BCAAs will boost levels during workouts as they are used directly by muscles for energy and then in a way to prevent the brain from recognising fatigue.
Research shows that BCAAs also helps in lowering cortisol levels during workouts. And we know now that cortisol is a hormone that we wish to control as it breaks down muscles and can affect testosterone levels in the body. Look to add 5-10 grams of BCAAs into your pre and post workout protein shakes. In addition to consuming BCAAs before and after your workouts we recommend that you add BCAAs to your morning breakfast protein shake and last meals of the day period
Lesson 10 – The Start of Stacking
Creatine to be added to your pre and post workout shakes
Not only is protein one of the most effective supplements that you can add to your diet but creatine can be used by players of the following physical sports; American football, basketball, athletics, bodybuilders and weightlifters. Many scientists, doctors and nutritionists all agree that creatine is highly effective in gaining muscle mass and works very well regardless of how old you are your race or your gender. There have literally been hundreds of studies that confirm that creatine is not only highly effective but entirely safe. When consuming creatine you are more likely to gain lean muscle and boost your strength in the gym then you are by not taking it and with very little side effects.
Do you work out, if so we would like to hear from you with your opinion of our basic fundamentals of how your diet should look like if you want to increase you strength and muscle mass.
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