Abs get made in the kitchen! It may sound cliché, and you might have heard the same phrase a ton times, but it’s true. Whatever fitness goals you may have, be it gaining muscle, losing fat, or toning your body, you have to give top priority to your nutrition. No number of hours at the gym can compensate for a poor diet. Maybe this is why Vince Gironda, the low carb pioneer said: “Bodybuilding is 80% diet.”
Even if you train at a cheaper gym, you can still have excellent fitness if you have the right nutrition. With the eight nutrition tips below, and you have every chance to get your dream body.
1) Determine your calorie needs
You might look up nutrition plans online that are ideal for bodybuilders who are contesting. But you shouldn’t follow the diet plans that are not geared towards your body. You should first consider your current body weight and calculate your calorie needs. If you want to increase muscle mass, you have to consume extra calories. Not to mention, you will put on some fat while gaining muscle. But, it’s alright if muscle gained is higher than the fat.
2) Consume adequate proteins
Protein is critical irrespective of your fitness goal. Whether you want to increase muscle or reduce fat, you have to consume adequate proteins in your meals throughout the day.
Ideally, for muscle building, you need to consume 1 gram of protein per bodyweight. For instance, if your body weight is 140 pounds, then you have to have 140 grams of protein to pack up muscle. The protein should come from your food, and you can also supplement it with protein shakes.
3) Split small meals across the day
It’s not advisable to consume only two to three meals a day packed with enormous calories. Instead, you should split your protein and carbs intake into five to six small meals across the day.
Such small meals will keep your energy level high, help reduce body fat, promote muscle growth, and also ensure good gastrointestinal health. So, it’s wise to have six meals a day with 300-1000 calories depending on your fitness goal.
4) Know different sources of carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for your body. You must keep the focus on eating complex carbs rather than eating simple carbs. Simple carbs such as sucrose and dextrose, refined white flour, can make you feel lethargic.
Complex carbohydrates will provide you with a sustained source of energy throughout the day. So, complex carbs will help you have an energetic session at your fitness center.
5) Power your workout with a pre-workout meal
Of course, you should never train while your stomach is full. There needs to be a gap of an hour or two, depending on the type of meal you had.
But, it’s ideal to have a balanced meal packed with carbs before an hour or so of working out. So, eating a well-balanced meal before visiting the health clubs will provide you with energy throughout your workout and prevent muscle breakdowns.
6) Ensure a quick post-workout meal
After 30 minutes of working out at your gym, you should have a post-workout meal. It should have 20-30 grams of protein to help recover the micro-tears in the muscles made during your workout.
That’s the best time to consume whey protein shakes in water. It encourages faster recovery for your muscles. Also, don’t forget to include some fast-digesting and fat-free carbohydrates in your post-workout meal.
7) Include the right fats in your diet
You don’t have to fear the fats because it’s not going to make you fat even if the name suggests the same. Fats get used when the glycogen levels in your body are low.
Unsaturated plants derived from plant sources are healthy for your body. You can eat food with high Omega-3 like salmon, and you can also supplement your diet with flax oil or fish oil, etc.
8) Stay hydrated at all times
Your body is essentially 60% or more water. That number is enough to emphasize the importance of water in your body. You may spend hours at the ‘gym classes’ and also eat the right diet, but if you are not drinking enough water, then you’re harming your body.
A dehydrated body cannot function properly, whereas an adequately hydrated body will lead to optimal kidney functions, a healthy liver, and the most amount of fat burning.
These are eight practical nutrition tips you need to follow if you want to achieve the fittest version of yourself. Your diet is responsible for replenishing your body fuel and recovering after a workout, so if managed and followed well you should see the best fitness results.