If you are dreaming of a six-pack or eight pack like your ideal movie-star or bodybuilder and hitting the gym diligently, you must remember to concentrate on a scientific Body Builder Diet plan that will make you realize your goal easily. A nutritious and well-planned bodybuilding diet is the key component of achieving your target successfully. It goes hand in hand with a supervised gym workout routine. Weight training without a properly balanced diet is a useless venture.
First and foremost you must understand that ‘diet’ in no way means starving yourself! Diet is simply the food that we consume on a regular basis. The most vital thing is what we choose to eat and how much we eat! For example, if you choose to have only fruit juice the whole day at regular intervals, you are on a juice-diet. But simply following a diet blindly does not make you achieve anything at the end. What contributes in achieving your long term bodybuilding goal is a well balanced diet plan with the vital nutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals in right proportions.
A good Muscle Building Diet follows three basic rules:
1. Eating in smaller quantity frequently throughout the day
This type of a feeding practice increases your metabolism and favors burning more unwanted fat in your body. If you starve your body or do not give it food for long three-four hours at a stretch, your body actually switches to a catabolic mode. This state favors storing fat and losing on lean muscle tissues. Your aim for bodybuilding surely should not be losing muscles and gaining fat!
2. Consuming a Balanced Diet
Your meals should be planned in such a way that the ratio of carbs, protein and good fat should be perfect in every meal i.e. 40% Carbohydrates, 40% Protein and 20% Fats. You must keep in mind that your body cannot absorb carbohydrate without protein. Thus if you are consuming a portion of carbohydrate like brown bread, brown rice or oats, you must balance it with a portion of animal or plant protein like egg white, tuna, chicken, pulses, soybean, etc. They are incomplete without each other. Similarly you must choose the good fats or monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats over the saturated and trans varieties for overall good health and nutrition. But your balanced diet is also incomplete without the vital micro-nutrients like essential vitamins and minerals.
3. Calorie Cycling
If your calories are cycled on a regular basis then the body’s metabolism does not get used to a specific calorie level. Just the way your gym instructor makes moderation with your regular workout regime, the body builder diet plan must also constantly change your calorie intake cycle for better result. For example, bodybuilders wanting to increase muscle mass can follow 5 days of higher calorie and 2 days of lower calorie intake, while those looking at losing fat along with muscle building can follow a reverse plan of 5 days low calorie and 2 days high calorie intake.
When you are planning to go all out for a great body there are certain food items that every body builder incorporates in their Muscle Building Diet. It is important to know that you require 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein approximately per pound of body weight. Example, if you are 200 pounds, you will need 200 and 240 grams of protein per day in your diet plan. The richest sources of body-building proteins and good fats that go a long way in helping you to build your muscles are:
Egg Whites – This is unquestionably the best form of protein that body builders can rely on. It has a great 60:1 protein-fat ratio and is a good source of vital vitamins and minerals. The great biological value makes egg whites a much preferred choice for muscle building.
Chicken / Turkey – For packing on pounds the chicken and turkey breasts should be a staple diet for bodybuilders. They are extremely low on the undesirable trans and saturated fat and super high on protein that ensures good lean muscle building.
Fish – Fishes like salmon, sardine, trout and tuna are excellent sources of healthy essential fatty acids like omega-3, that support muscle building, along with protein.
Lean Red Meat – This is an excellent source of protein, zinc, iron and Vitamin B and an excellent mass building food source. However you must rely only on the lean cuts of red meat as red meat in general is also rich in saturated or trans fat and can be incorporated in moderation in your diet.
Beans and Legumes – In the vegetarian category beans are a superb source of protein and fibre. They are highly delicious and nutritious. As fibre is essential for regular bowel movement and proper insulin response, you cannot ignore the power of legumes in your body building diet plan.
Whey Protein – This is an easy to prepare great dietary supplement that you can add on to your protein-rich diet plan for healthy muscle building.
While planning for a Body Builder Diet you must be attentive to your pre-workout and post-workout meal plans.
A pre-workout meal should rightly consist of slow-burning or low glycemic carbohydrates to energize and fuel your muscles before and during exercise. During workouts your body extracts energy from your muscles that store carbs and decreases the muscle glycogen level, thereby degenerating them. In order to stop muscle degeneration and get a steady flow of energy, you must snack on slow-acting carbs like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, low fat milk, low fat yogurt or wheat bread before hitting the gym. Whey protein mixed in low fat milk also makes for a great pre-workout meal choice.
In order to replenish your body’s energy stores and repair your muscle tissues, you need a carbohydrate and protein rich meal within 30 to an hour of after a heavy workout. You need 0.3 – 0.6 grams of carbohydrate for each pound of body mass and one-fourth that ratio of protein to promote insulin release immediately after exercise for recovery and improvement of your consistent training ability. A nutritious post-workout meal consisting of a protein and carbohydrate drink or homemade protein bars You can make these highly nutritious protein bars at home with 2 cups of whole oats, 1lb of fat free cottage cheese, 3 scoops of chocolate flavored whey powder and 4 tablespoons of natural peanut butter!
Thus keeping in mind the basic rules of a Body Builder Diet and the pre and post workout meal plans incorporated along with your exercise regime, you can achieve your goal of a six pack or eight pack ab in no time!