Nutrition for Muscularity
The most important factor for anyone trying to change their body composition is nutrition; not training. This article will outline clearly and specifically how to increase muscularity through nutrition.
The following guidelines should be followed as closely as possible:
- Aim for at least 5 meals per day. 6-8 are optimal.
- Stay well hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.
- Eat plenty of vegetables (3-5 servings) and moderate amount of fruits (1-3 servings). Juices do not count and should generally be avoided.
- Take a multi-vitamin designed by a well-know supplement manufacturer.
All food consists of macronutrients. The 3 macronutrients are (1) protein (2) carbohydrates (3) and fat. The key to altering your body's look and composition is controlling the type and amount of macronutrients you consume.
What Types of Food Should I Be Eating?
Protein is the cornerstone of all diets. It's the macronutrient that is most lacking in people's diets. The average North American's diet is high in refined carbohydrates and fats creating a society of overweight individuals. Protein on the other hand is not easily stored as fat. It is used to build and maintain the body's muscles. Protein is the key to having a healthier, leaner body. Good protein sources include:
?Protein Powders ? Lean meat ? Fish ? Eggs ? Low-fat dairy ? Soy?
Carbohydrates are your body's main energy source. The most important factor in determining which kind of carbohydrates to have in your diet, is the glycemic index. High- glycemic carbs enter the bloodstream very quickly, flooding your body with blood glucose. Unless your body can use these carbs (like after a workout or endurance activity) they are stored by your body as fat. You are soon left hungry. High-glycemic carbohydrates are ideal after a workout. Low-glycemic sources of carbohydrates enter the bloodstream slowly, supplying your body with a steady but not overwhelming source of energy. These are the best sources to be eaten as part of a regular meal. Generally whole foods rank the lowest on this ranking. Remember, high-glycemic carbs post-workout; low-glycemic carbs at all other meals. You can find the glycemic rating of your favourite foods at www.glycemicindex.com.
- Oatmeal (non-sweetened)
- Yogurt (non - sweetened)
- White bread
- Sugars and sweets
There are 4 types of fats:
(1) Monounsaturated fats should amount for the majority of fats eaten. Examples include:
?Almonds, peanut/peanut butter, most nuts ? Olive oil ? Avocados?
(2) Polyunsaturated fats consist of Omega 3's, 6's and 9's. Omega 6's and 9's are very common in foods and should not be supplemented with. Omega 3 fats are very scarce in our diets and are essential to muscular. The best source of Omega 3's is flax oil. Fish fats are also good and provide other health benefits.
(3) Saturated fats should be avoided. They occur naturally in foods so it's impossible to eliminate them from your diet. Small changes like removing skin from chicken and eating leaner meats can go a long way.
(4) Trans fats are the most evil of all fats. Stay away from fried foods and hydrogenated oils. By law, trans fats do not have to be labelled on food but this does not mean you can't calculate them for yourself. Add up the mono, poly and saturated fats on the nutrition label of a food. Subtract that number from the total amount of fat and what's left over is the amount of trans fat.
Of course eating and avoiding these specific foods all of time would be very boring and difficult. You don't have to memorize these foods, simply READ THE LABELS of the foods you eat. Everything you need to know about a food's nutritional value can be found on its label.
What Amount of Food Should I Be Eating?
Protein - Eat 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want to eat 150-225 grams of protein per day.
Carbohydrates - Eat 1.5-2 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want to eat 225- 300 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Fat - Eat .5-.75 grams of fat per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want to eat 75-112 grams of fat per day.
Note: The recommended amounts above are for males. Females should eat only 60% of the above amounts.
Work yourself up to progressively higher amounts of protein, carbs and fat based on your body's changes. Find a level where you become more muscular and defined. If you begin to gain fat, cut back on the amount you are eating. Your weight should not fluctuate very much during this program.
- Supplementation for Muscularity
- Training for Muscularity
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