How you train is crucial. But what you eat is just as important. You’ll need to make sure that you are getting the right mix of foods. This will give your body the nutrients it needs to put on muscle mass. Plus, it will determine how much energy you have and how you feel heading into the gym. Here are some of the things you need to know when making your meal plan.
What Types of Foods Do You Need to Use?
There are a few types of foods that bodybuilders will need to make sure that they are getting. First, you will need to make sure that you are getting plenty of lean protein. This is needed to facilitate muscle growth. There are a few foods that are packed with protein, these include:
- White meat and fish
- Greek yogurt
- Protein powder and bars
You will also need to make sure that you are getting enough starches. These are the body’s main forms of carbohydrates. This is how you will be able to get energy. There are two types of carbohydrates.
First, types that will quickly release their energy into the body, slowly raising the blood sugar. These can give you a faster hit, but they won’t be as effective as a form of energy. A good example of these is fruits.
Secondly, you have those that take longer for the body to absorb. These are things like pasta. These are preferable, as they will be better during the recovery process. There are a few types of foods that will give you plenty of starches, these include:
- Brown rice and quinoa
Thirdly, you’ll need to make sure that you are eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. These contain a huge range of beneficial nutrients. Try to eat a wide variety, rather than sticking to a limited number. You’ll also need to make sure that you are getting plenty of oils. These help create healthy cell membranes. You can get Omega oil by eating fish products. You can also healthy oils by eating nuts and seeds.
Spread Your Meals Out
When you start working out, you’ll need to be providing your body with constant energy. This will give your body the fuel it needs for muscle growth. Plus, you will be able to control your blood sugar, which is linked to your metabolism. This is most common among those who are new to working out, as their bodies struggle to adjust to the new regime.
When you are spreading your meals out during the day, it’s best to break them down into small snacks, rather than bigger meals. These smaller items will be a lot easier for your body to digest.
It’s also important to be strategic about when you are eating these meals. For example, it’s best to have a meal that is high in carbohydrates immediately after a workout. This will give your body the energy it needs to recover. This will help you retain your lean physique.
Reduce the Number of Processed Foods You Eat
It should go without saying, but fast-food and other processed foods aren’t good for your body. They don’t contain many helpful nutrients and will be loaded with sugar and fat. When you first try to stick to your new menu, you might find that you are getting cravings for these processed foods. This is normal. But if you stick it out, and resist the temptations, they will start to go away.
Drink Plenty of Water
You’ll need to make sure that you are drinking plenty of water. The last thing you want is to become dehydrated. This can become a significant health problem. Because of this, you might want to use an electrolyte mix after an intense workout. This will allow you to regain any fluids that you lost.
You will also need to look at the drinks you are having during the day. You should avoid anything high in salt or sugar. So, soft drinks and coffee will be out. The good news is that there are plenty of healthy, low-calorie drinks for you to choose from.
An Example of a Meal Plan
Now that we know some of the rules that you should be following when putting this meal plan together, let’s look at a sample meal plan. This will tell you what you should be doing.
First, you’ll need to decide how many grams of calories, carbs, protein, and fats you need to eat each day. This will depend on your age, weight, and how active you are. It will also depend on what your targets are. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, you will need to lower the number of calories you are eating.
You will need to have five meals a day. They should be structured like this:
- Breakfast, which should include some starchy carbs. For example, you might want to have some oats and fresh fruit.
- Snack, stick to something that doesn’t have a lot of carbs. You can use a a protein bar
- A low-carb lunch. This can be a salad with lean protein.
- Post-workout snack. You should aim to include some starchy carbs. You might also want to use a shake.
- Dinner, which has some starchy carbs. For example, you might want to have some seafood, salad and some rice.
It should be noted that this is just a basic meal plan. Sometimes, when you are bulking, you will need to increase the number of carbs you are eating. As a result, you might need to have seven or eight meals a day. You can consult with a dietician when coming up with this plan, to make sure that it’s right for your body.
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Sticking to Your Meal Plan
Developing your meal plan is only part of the issue. You also need to stick to it. The key to doing this is getting organized. For example, you can cook the meals during the week and separate them into containers. Then, all you need to do is pull them out of the fridge and eat.
It’s also important to get plenty of variety. You don’t need to be stuck with chicken as your lean protein all the time. There are plenty of other options that you can use. You can use some Greek yogurt, white fish, or get some protein powder. Just because you are on a strict diet doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy delicious foods.
Thirdly, you’ll need to make sure that you are giving yourself a cheat day. You can do this once a week or once a fortnight. To reward yourself for all your hard work, you can enjoy some of your favorite unhealthy foods. Just make sure not to overdo it, or you might wake up feeling nauseous.
For many people, the word bodybuilding will conjure images of people sweating in the gym. But, in reality, what you are eating will determine the gains you are getting. This is why getting the right meal plan is so important. You need to give your body the nutrients it needs. Now that you know what to look for, you just need to put this plan into effect and start watching your muscles grow.