It's important that you understand the best way to eat for reaching your goals, keeping your body in great shape and feeling your best. Here are some great tips from me to you that can help you immensely!
- Know the difference between complete (whole) and incomplete proteins. In order to build muscle, you need complete proteins; these are found in eggs, meat, fish, cheese, milk and most other animal products. Rule of Thumb: If it bleeds or breathes, it's a complete protein. The protein found in plant products tends to be incomplete, though there are exceptions (e.g. soy beans, quinoa, potatoes).
- Eat sufficient amounts of protein. The rule of thumb is that you need between 1 and 1.5 times your body weight (if you are overweight, then substitute your target body weight) in grams of protein. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should eat between 150 and 225 grams of protein per day if you want to consistently gain muscle. Full time bodybuilders can eat two to three times their body weight in grams of protein, and sometimes more, but for most of us that would be overkill.
- Include carbohydrates in your diet in the morning and post-workout. It is important to have carbohydrates so that your body can tap into glycogen (energy) stores within your muscles while you are working out. If you do not eat enough carbohydrates your body will not have energy reserves and will break down your muscles instead!
- Don't skip breakfast. Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day aside from your post-workout meal. Eating breakfast packed with protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber will get your metabolism going. It will also keep your body from cannibalizing any muscle for energy. Remember the saying: "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper." Because you're not on a diet, however, you don't have to be a pauper at any time.
- Eat less food more often. Eat at regular intervals to keep from getting so hungry that you splurge when you do eat. Your body will start to get hungry at the predetermined times you do eat because you've kept a consistent routine.
- Consider supplements. These are an easy way to gain more protein without having to actually eat it. Whey and soy proteins are common. Some doctors say that whey protein is difficult to digest and can strain your liver or kidneys. A high protein diet in general can be straining on the kidneys, so it is important to drink a lot of water. This will flush out your system and negate the negative effects of eating a high protein diet.
- Eat healthy fats. Not all fats are created equal. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that eating healthy fats is actually good for you. You should get about 20% to 35% of your calories from fats.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can mean poor muscle recovery, so make sure you drink lots of water throughout the day. Sip on water throughout your workout. Studies suggest you'd have to drink 30 or 40 glasses of water in a short amount of time to suffer from a potentially fatal case. The recommended daily amount for men is about 3 liters, and 2.2 liters for women.
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