Getting the Most Out of Your
Efforts in the Gym
The Key to Diet
by Mr. Seth at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you read my first article you should have a basic idea that weight lifting is the "key" that starts the engine towards muscle growth. It is the ignition if you will. What I will touch base upon in this article is that what you eat is your "fuel."
The word diet is often a misunderstood conception in American society that highly promotes fast food. All you have to do is view international social customs in regards to dietary habits and you will have a clear picture of what I am talking about. France for example prefers croissants and cheese for breakfast. I know because I spent some time out there. It is also safe to assume that the American male will typically be heavier than the French male. No offense to anyone intended. I am just showing an example.
Have you heard the saying "You are what you eat?" In a way, this is often true. Now remember, these sets of articles I am writing are geared toward the beginning bodybuilder who is looking to gain muscle at all costs. If you are looking to trim down then I recommend looking elsewhere for advice, because this article is all about gaining weight.
Now let's get back to what I was starting on. It is true that Americans eat well, sometimes too well. You may have heard someone advice you that if you are trying to "bulk up" just eat everything in site. Now this is true, to only a small extent. If you in fact eat a ton of junk, you will look like a ton of junk. If you eat only small portions, you will remain small. Let's continue…
Nutrition is extremely complicated. Some people major in Nutrition Science in college and take final exams more complicated than building a rocket ship for NASA. Okay, well almost as tough. But I plan on explaining the basics to just get you started.
Micronutrients & Macronutrients
To make you life easier, we will start with
Micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals. Yes your mother was correct
when she made you take them and as an adult you must continue to take them.
Going through life without taking vitamins is like running your car on gas from
Joe & Harry's Gas shop. Sure your car might still run, but not as good as if
you had filled it up with Mobil or Shell.
As a bodybuilder you ought to take a multi-vitamin that will work well for you.
1)GNC's Mega Men Multi-Vitamin
2)Vitamin Shoppe's Especially for Men Multi Vitamin
Take two a day; one with breakfast and one with dinner and you will be fine!
This is a key measurement, just as important as how much weight you lifted yesterday. Calories serve as your energy source and are a key determinant in weight gain vs. weight loss. A key rule of thumb is if you consume more calories than you burn off you gain weight. If you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight. Simple!
Are all calories the same?
Would you ask the guy who owns a Mercedes trade you for your beat up hunk of junk? Of course not, because they are not the same! Calories are similar. They come in different varieties and although you do need all types, some are more important and more crucial at varying times of the day.
Protein breaks down into amino acids. Protein and amino acids make up 30% of your muscles, while water is the other 70%. So of course, protein is absolutely crucial!
Milk (1% preferred)
Eggs (whites preferred)
Fish (cans of tuna are a great convenience)
A terrific rule of thumb, is that if it comes from an animal, or is related to an animal as in dairy products, then it is mostly consisting of protein.
Carbohydrates get very tricky when dealing with weight loss and diets that suggest you eliminate carbohydrates such as the Atkins Diet are highly controversial. The benefit to you is that yes, carbs do help you gain weight!
Complex vs. Simple:
To save you a boring chemistry lecture, carbs are molecules like everything else. Complex ones have varying attachments while simple carbs are just that much simpler.
What this means is the complex carbs digest at a much slower rate. Simple carbs, which are primarily sugars, digest very rapidly.
Remember, as a fuel to your body, you want energy that will stay with you and not crash quickly when you need it. Stick with complex carbs!
Sources of Complex Carbs:
Cereal (not the sugary type, example Special K)
Sources of simple carbs/sugars
Just about everywhere: candy bars, juice, soda, desserts, and all the good stuff!
The rule of thumb is do not purposely consume fat, but do not go out of your way to avoid it. As a beginner trying to gain size, some extra calories from fat will help. However, I am not referring to a Super-Sized Extra Value Meal as your source of lunch Monday through Friday either.
Sources of fat:
Your fat should be a by-product of foods that offer you high protein.
Structuring Your Diet
1. Start eating 6 meals per day.
Even if it is only a turkey sandwich, an apple, and water this is fine. The reason you want to eat so often is because you want to keep your body always full with nutrients so that it will have to gain size in your muscle cells. Rule of thumb is to eat every 3 hours.
Scary thought: Your body goes through a process called catabolism, where your muscles begin feeding on their own protein stores for energy. To avoid this meals with a high protein content (about 25-40 grams per serving) every 3 hours AND eat breakfast as soon as possible upon waking up.
Sample meals: (each has 25 or more grams of protein with a supply of calories as well from carbs and fats).
· Tuna sandwich with 3 slices of bread and one can tuna
· Turkey sandwich using cold-cuts turkey (6 slices)
· Bowl of oatmeal, glass of milk and 4 eggs.
· Steak, potatoes, and a salad
· Chicken with rice
· Etc, etc, etc…
2. Priming your body for your workout and
I always preferred lifting later in the day. It allowed me time to eat many meals, so I have plenty of calories to use for energy. If you must lift early on in the day, be sure to at least eat a large breakfast with plenty of protein and carbs.
As one of only two supplements that I will ever recommend to you (the first being multivitamins), take a protein shake mixed with juice after your weight training workouts.
Protein shakes, in their liquid form digest much faster…mixed with juice (a source of simple carbs) your body is getting the benefits of fast absorbing protein and carbs and sucking them right up to the muscles you just worked. (Please Note: This is the only time I highly advise consuming sugar, as it now has a valuable purpose.)
3. Last meal of day.
If you are in desperate need of gaining weight, eat a fairly large meal, consisting of large quantities of protein before bed. This will allow you to stay well fueled before breakfast.
If you are looking to gain muscle, but at the same time fighting rolls of fat or a potbelly keep this last meal consisting of only protein (as carbs generally digest poorly late at night.)
A can of tuna, or some egg whites (3.5 grams of protein per egg white) should do you fine!
Any questions email Seth: email@example.com.
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