What you put into your body is vitally important for your body building plan because if your body is to create those muscles, it needs the right raw material to do so. But many of us may not be sure as to the type of diet plan we need to have to support carving out that perfect shape. So, here are a few pointers for those looking to bulk up and put on muscle.
1. Aim for the opposite of a caloric deficit
You aim for a caloric deficit (burning more than you consume) when you want to lose weight. To build muscles, you will want to actually increase the total number of calories that you consume. This doesn’t mean that you simply eat everything in sight. Eat quality protein and nutrient dense foods to make the most gains.
2. Keep your carbs-starch-fat ratio right
Most experts will advise that 40% of your total calories should come from protein, 40% from starch and 15 to 20% from fats. So that is a ratio of 2:2:1 of these three elements on your plate.
3. Have about 6 meals a day
You want your metabolism to be up and running all day so keep feeding yourself through the day with smaller, more frequent meals. This is a better idea than 2 or 3 large meals.
4. Get good quality protein
Good quality protein comes from lean cuts of meat such as lean pork, beef and lamb, chicken and fish. Other sources include Greek yogurt, cheese and whole eggs (there’s too much goodness in the yolk to throw it away).
5. Get good quality fats
Get your fats from healthy sources such as oily fish, nuts, and seeds. As a cooking medium, use healthy options such as olive oil, rice bran oil, canola oil, etc. to fuel muscle building.
6. Get good quality carbs
Avoid refined starches as far as possible; instead reach for whole grain breads, pastas and cereals. Other good sources of good quality carbs are brown rice, yams, sweet potatoes, quinoa and oats.
7. Pay close attention to after-workout meals
Feeding the muscles after the workout is particularly important. So, see to it that you don’t skip this part.
8. Tailor your meals to your body type
You may need the advice of a professional here, to dovetail your meal plans to your body type. It’s because what works for a friend may not do the job for you.
9. Snack smart
Treat your body like a temple and don’t put junk into it. If you need to snack, don’t reach for the chips; reach for a cup of yoghurt instead.
10. Don’t forget hydration
Body building experts recommend that if you weigh about 180 lbs you should drink more than 3 liters of water a day; i.e. 60% in ounces what you weigh in pounds.