Diet is critical in any bodybuilding or fitness regimen. Muscle gains and performance can be offset by not eating the right foods at the right time of the day. Achieve your objective of building lean muscles or losing body fat and get the most out of your workouts by learning some basic nutritional principles used by professional bodybuilders.
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 don't 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 healthier 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. Eat at the right time. Nutritionists recommend eating 5-6 light meals at regular intervals in a day to maintain a steady blood sugar level. Developing this habit will keep your appetite in check preventing you from overeating in a meal. Combine this with tip number one above to maintain your energy at the time when you need energy the most - during workouts.
3. Take advantage of pre and post-workout windows. Eating before and right after your workouts can greatly enhance your training results. You see, our body use up a lot of energy when we workout so eating a high-protein snack complemented with some healthy carbohydrates can give enough fuel to our body to last us throughout a session. Our bodies then become very receptive to nutrients after our workout. Take advantage of this by eating a high-protein meal after your work out.
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.
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