A critical component of any bodybuilding or fitness regimen is the diet; not eating the right types of foods at the right time of the day can offset many muscle gains and make it very difficult to perform at your best. Learning some basic nutrition principles and guidelines used by professional bodybuilders can help you get the most out commitment to working out, and help you achieve your goals of building lean muscle mass or losing body fat.
Successful bodybuilders and athletes have to consistently watch their diets and are often responsible for mapping out a nutrition program that works with their lifestyle, workout routine and their tastes and preferences. If you do not take charge of what you’re eating every day, you may be setting yourself up for failure with your bodybuilding program. Here are some diet and nutrition essentials you need to keep in mind when your goal is to increase muscle mass:
1. Understand the importance of nutrient-dense foods. Not all calories are created equal; 250 calories of oatmeal is a much healthier choice than 250 calories of sweetened cereal, even though they seem to provide the same amount of energy. The reason why oatmeal is a healthy choice is because it is absorbed slowly by the body, delivering a steady stream of energy; it’s also packed with fiber and protein, which can help improve digestion and power up your muscles. The sweetened cereal will give you a quick boost of energy, but will probably leave you craving food within an hour or so. Learn to select nutrient-dense foods at every opportunity so you’re feeding your body with foods that actually nourish and support it on a daily basis.
2. Get the timing right. Eating between 5-6 small meals at regular intervals through the day will keep your blood sugar levels in check and also prevent the overwhelming feelings of hunger. Controlling your appetite will become a natural process, so you’ll rarely be in a situation where you’re ravenous for food. As your body adjusts to this schedule, you’ll go through your days without feeling hungry all of the time, and selecting the right nutrient-rich foods (see # 1) will help you maintain the energy level you need for your intensive workouts throughout the week.
3. Make the most of pre and post-workout ‘windows’. What you eat immediately before and after your workout is especially important for bodybuilding or fitness success, because your body will quickly absorb or burn up the fuel you provide during these ‘peak’ times. Eat a high-protein snack before your workout with some healthy carbs to give you enough energy to get through the session. Eat a high-protein meal after your workout, a time when muscles are ready to absorb every calorie that you ingest. By eating the right foods at the right times, you’ll actually support your body during the high-stress time of the workout, and then in the recovery and recuperation periods afterwards. Plan your meals accordingly to maximize your results!
Understanding some key principles of nutrition and diet is essential for increasing muscle mass and fine-tuning your results. Take the time to learn these three key principles as you develop a solid training program that works for you.
Source by Michael Marrs