Since you’re reading this article, it’s highly probable that you’re looking for ways to meet your body goals and become bigger and essentially stronger and that you’ve also realized that that’s easier said than done.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat“. While nothing can replace a killer workout in building your muscles and strength from within, a proper diet complements your efforts and speeds up the progress of your workouts.
We all know the basic rules of a good diet like avoiding alcohol and greasy food. However, in order to obtain optimum results, you require a few more professional nutritional tactics.
So here are seven nutritional rules to follow to rev up your strength and bodybuilding progress:
1. Power Up Protein
It’s a commonly known concept that the protein is directly responsible for muscle and strength building and hence, choosing the right protein is of vital importance.
For example, most people choose skinless chicken breasts as a staple source of protein. However, if portions are adjusted properly, the entire bird is fair game while limiting the dark meat and skin.
Also, while choosing beef cuts, remember that cheaper cuts like round or chuck have much lesser protein and way more fats than top sirloins, so try and choose the expensive cuts to get better results.
Moreover, quit buying the watered-down carton liquid egg whites as real whole eggs are way more nutritionally dense. Keep in mind to consume at least 1g of protein per pound of your bodyweight per day.
2. Fish Carefully
While some cheaper and low-calorie varieties of fish like tilapia are extremely popular choices of fish being farmed fish, they pose a lot of health risks. Hence, while shopping for fish, pick the oily variety, such as halibut, salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines.
Being rich in proteins with 21g per 3 ounces and 4g of omega-3 fats per 1⁄2 fillet, these fishes are not only incredible for brain function and provide high levels of different vitamins and minerals but also prevent disease-causing inflammation.
3. Choose Super Meals
Choosing the right meals throughout the day ensures lasting energy without experiencing sudden energy crashes later. Start your day with a healthy breakfast like a cup of oats which contains 166 calories, 6g of protein, 4g of fiber and 8 vitamins and minerals.
Being a slow-digesting carb, it will neither cause a sudden spike in blood sugar nor a crash later. For your lunch or dinner, consider a serving of mollusks like oysters which rev up the production of collagen and elastin for your connective tissue.
Don’t forget your vegetables and Vitamin K in foods, such as cabbage, kale, spinach, sprouts, etc which are also rich in vitamins A, C, B-6, and minerals like Calcium and magnesium.
Also, while it’s important to cut down on desserts during strength training if you’re craving, opt for some jiggly Jell-O, which is great for building muscles.
Composed of gelatin, which is made from the connective tissue of animals, Jell-O would help boost your ligaments and tendons.
4. Munch On Fats
As much as it’s commonly believed that fats are an evil standing in the way of your body goals, they are quite an irreplaceable element of your diet.
Your body relies on this necessary evil to generate energy for muscles during strenuous activity without which working out wouldn’t be possible for very long. As a general guideline to follow while planning your diet, ensure that your meals comprise of about 20-35% of your net calorie intake.
It is also important to choose heart-healthy fats like pistachios, walnuts, almonds, canola oil, olive oil, avocados, etc. To ensure a healthy yet limited intake of fats, always carry a few servings of nuts to snack on.
5. Maintain The Carbs
Much like the fat, while you might have been commonly advised to banish the carbs from your diet during strength building, you can’t pull on for very long without these old friends.
Carbohydrates, which are stored in your muscles in the form of glycogen, provide them with the energy to perform during and heal after a strenuous workout.
Hence, if you are strength training, it becomes imperative to consume half of your daily calories from carbs at least twice a week. However, that does not mean you turn to bagels and pizzas for your carbs.
Try to incorporate healthy, low-fat, slow-digesting carbohydrates like brown rice, whole-grain bread, cereals, sweet potato, cranberry, skimmed milk and yogurt in your snacks and meals to get the maximum benefits of your strength training. Ideally, you should include around 1-1.5g of carbohydrates per pound of your bodyweight per day in your diet.
6. Regulate Food Timing Chart
Food timing is often underestimated and ignored because, hey, what does it matter when you eat it if you’re eating the same thing, right? Wrong.
It is well known among trainers and dieticians that consuming a combination of fast protein and slower carbs immediately before you slip on your favorite heart leggings and after your workout can help in burning more fat and build significantly more muscle and strength.
The fast protein provides an immediate boost of amino acids for your muscles to function with, whereas the slow-burning carbs help in keeping you going for a longer period of time.
Approximately 20g of protein along with 20-30g of carbs within half an hour pre and post-training can noticeably benefit your progress. However, remember to have higher fiber foods immediately before or after workouts.
7. Stay Hydrated
This might seem obvious but we can’t stress this enough. Dehydration will likely set you back twenty steps in your strength training by draining your muscles of their energy and hence significantly hold you back.
Do remember to carry a bottle of water whenever you hit the gym and consume at least 13 glasses of water in a day when you’re having such a high level of activity.
So, these were 7 ways how the right diet can make you stronger, bigger and healthier.