Everybody wants to look better, and working out your muscles is one of the best ways to achieve it. But, do you know that about 80% of your efforts mean nothing if you don’t eat properly?
How much do you have to eat
You have to calculate the amount of calories you should eat every day by knowing your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the number of calories your body needs to burn for the automatic and basic functions, such as pumping blood and powering your brain.
It is very useful to calculate your BMR and the number of calories and macronutrients your body needs, so you can follow up on your progress and keep track of your goals.
In general terms, there is no special “bodybuilding diet.” You have to base your eating decision in common sense, starting from your BMR and taking into account the amount of extra calories you are burning when you exercise. You can follow any diet you want: ketogenic, paleo, vegan… As long as you achieve your protein and calorie targets, you are doing fine. Although, as a general guideline, you can follow this chart for orientation:
So, your body needs a particular amount of protein to operate and to build new muscle. One simple way to calculate your daily protein requirement: Multiply your current weight in pounds (measured when you wake up — before eating breakfast) by 0.8 to get the minimum grams of protein you should eat daily.
Proteins are good for the body:
- They regenerate tissues
- Provide cells with energy
- Structure of our DNA
- Generate antibodies
- Facilitate digestion.
Proteins do most of the work of cells and are necessary for the structure, function, and regulation of body tissues and organs, as well as for the growth and maintenance of both.
What food do you have to eat
The ideal goal is to get the maximum quantities of every macronutrient from your diet. Go for healthy and balanced food combinations, prioritizing real, fresh ingredients and avoiding processed food.
It is certainly tricky to reach all your protein needs from your food. It is very easy to get all carbs and fats without any trouble, but with proteins you have to be particularly careful of what you eat and how you cook it if you are interested in maintaining a calorie budget and calculated macros.
It will be a lot easier if you keep track of what you eat, for example with an app for your phone. And it will be VERY useful to have a list of great varied high protein foods and recipes, so you will not get bored of eating the same every day and give up. It is especially tricky with the chicken because usually, we don’t think of many healthy and tasty ways of cooking it.
It may appear to be more challenging to do that if you are a vegan or vegetarian, but you can find great vegetarian or vegan high protein recipe compilations that can help you out too.
Your body structure is basically made up of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. The muscles, among other things, will allow us:
- Move more efficiently and effectively
- Better protect our bones
- Avoid injuries and muscle aches (low back pain, tendonitis, sprains…)
- Increase our metabolism and that will help us lose weight
Eating and sleeping are as important as working out when building muscle. Not getting enough calories or sleep will completely cancel your muscle gains.
Proteins are crucial.
When you are looking to build muscle, your diet is going to be the most important factor that you have to get right. Studies confirm that dietary protein supplementation significantly enhanced changes in muscle strength and size. And that is more important as you are getting older (yes, every day you are getting older, but don’t worry, the good news is that you can fight aging by eating and exercising!)
While it is true that with strength training we can achieve high levels of muscle mass, we insist that the most important factor is the gasoline we give it. In other words, what we eat. Our muscles are especially nourished by high protein foods.
Here are some guidelines that we can adopt to grow your muscles:
- Add some more protein to your diet (meat, fish, eggs…)
- Consume some amount of fat. By consuming fat, you let your body understand that it’s better to use it as the main source of energy. Thus you will have a body that will pull glycogen (carbohydrates) when it needs it and pull fat the rest of the day, with the aim of not using your protein (muscle). The protein you eat is needed to help your muscles get stronger, not to use it while you sleep or watch television.
We hope that this information is useful for you to take into account the importance of diet and the special place that proteins have when taking care of your body, especially if you are interested in bodybuilding.