Bodybuilding Diet: How To Feed Yourself To Better Muscles

Bodybuilding … It’s not just pushing the gym door and training hard to get a muscular, well-sculpted body. Bodybuilding is also following a proper diet program , eating the right foods and nutrients. In short, bodybuilding is a way of life in itself that requires the follow-up of certain rules to better achieve its ultimate goal. In this article, my goal is very simple: to give you all my advice on bodybuilding for men and give you some tips to follow your food program.

Calculation of your daily energy expenditure: the first step

Before discovering which diet is used in bodybuilding, it is important to know your daily energy expenditure  obtained from your basic metabolism and your energy expenditure in accordance with your physical activity.

The basic metabolism is the necessary energy you need to survive. The basic metabolism is essential because it allows your heart to be in shape, to renew your cells at rest … To know it, you can use various formulas including that of Harris-Benedict. The equation for a man is:

66.5 + 13.75 x weight (in kg) + 5 x height (in cm) – 6.77 x age

Once your basic metabolism is calculated, it will be necessary to multiply it to a coefficient of activity according to your situation:

  • Rest: 1.
  • Sedentary work and little sport (less than 30 minutes): 1.2.
  • Sedentary work and sport practiced during 30 mn: 1.4.
  • Sedentary work and sport practiced between 1h and 1h15: 1.6.
  • Sedentary work and sport practiced between 1h30 and 2h: 1.7.
  • Physical work and sport practiced between 1h30 and 2h: 1.8.
  • Physical work and sport practiced between 3h and 4h: 2.

Example: you are a 32 year old man measuring 175 cm and weighing 73 kg, your basic metabolism will be:

66.5 + 13.75 x 73 + 5 x 175 – 6.77 x 32 = 1728.61 kcal.

If you do physical work and you play sports between 1h30 and 2h per week: MB x 1.8 = 1728.61 x 1.8 = 3111.50 kcal.

Your daily energy expenditure will be 3111.50 kcal.

A diet in accordance with your objective

Your diet must be consistent with the goal you want to achieve:

  • If you are looking to lose weight or dry, you need to adjust your calorie intake to suit your purpose.
  • If you want to gain muscle mass, you must maintain a satisfactory intake of protein . Unlike a dry period, you must increase your calorie intake, but in a controlled manner and without excess.

If you do not adapt your diet to your goal, certainly you will have results, but they may not be the ones expected and you risk to take fat (or lose it). So remember to determine your goal before following any food program!

Bodybuilding nutrition: the importance of consuming all macronutrients

In bodybuilding, no macronutrient should be put aside. The three most important are:

  • Lipids.
  • Carbohydrates.
  • Protein.

These three must be integrated into your diet! But why are they important? What is their role in the food program?

Proteins are essential for muscles and they play an important role in recovery. However, it is advisable to favor proteins of animal origin (dairy products, meat, eggs, fish …) which are easier to digest and richer in amino acids (the latter are more adapted to our needs). In your diet, it is recommended to include between 1.5 and 1.8 g per kilo of weight  (a larger amount of protein does not cause any improvement in bodybuilding).

For their part, carbohydrates are also important. Their intake is governed by many factors and when you exercise intensely, a sufficient intake of carbohydrates is essential. In addition, if you put carbohydrates aside, in the long term you expose yourself to the risk of fatigue, a decrease in your performance and therefore a decrease in your motivation. Carbohydrates are essential!

Finally, lipids are also essential. There are good and bad ones; be careful to distinguish them! Good lipids are polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6 in particular). They bring energy to the body and help build cell membranes.

Here are the contributions for each macronutrient:

  • Protein: 50%.
  • Carbohydrates: 30%.
  • Lipids: 20%.

These data should be considered in caloric intake and not in weight. Read the labels well to better identify you!

Which foods to choose?

After determining the right food categories to eat, let’s look at the choice of foods.

Proteins :

  • Low-fat dairy products: cheese, cottage cheese, yogurts.
  • Meat low in fat: chicken, turkey …
  • Fish: mackerel, salmon …
  • Peas.
  • Lenses.
  • Soy.

Carbohydrates :

  • Complete foods: pasta, rice.
  • Quinoa.
  • Rice cakes.
  • Oatmeal.

Lipids :

  • Oils: coconut, almond, olive, nuts.
  • Nuts.
  • Lawyers.
  • Linseed.

In addition to proteins, fats and carbohydrates, it is also important to eat vitamins , because during each training session, your body eliminates them. Fruits and vegetables are essential! These are very rich in vitamins, minerals and help reduce the acidity produced during each training session.

Good to know: if you eat little vegetables, this acidity can taint your body and cause a feeling of fatigue on a regular basis.

It is therefore essential to eat fruits and vegetables in the evening or in the morning.

If you are a man practicing bodybuilding, your diet must be complete. No macronutrient should be put aside, do not forget it!

Bodybuilding diet: eat normally and multiply meals

If you are a beginner in bodybuilding, you may have in mind the image of a man regularly drinking special bodybuilding drinks. If you thought that multiplying shakers in the day was the best way to build muscle, think again! The foods listed above are much better for your body! Indeed, these foods are solid and especially remember that your meals must be composed of three macronutrients essential to your muscles : protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Practicing bodybuilding is also multiplying meals. Indeed, who ever asked you how many times a day did you eat? Well know that answering 5, 6 or 7 times is normal and logical. In addition, eating several times a day is not only for big bodybuilders, but also for you. But why eat more than once ? Simply, to feed your muscles, you avoid overloading your digestive system and limit peaks of blood sugar. Eating many times has advantages!

In bodybuilding, it is advisable to eat three solid meals during the day (morning, noon and evening) and to take three snacks (in the morning, before training and before sleeping).

Think about cheat meals

“Cheat meals” in French, “cheat meals” are meals known to all bodybuilding enthusiasts! The cheat meals are meals during which you can indulge yourself and give yourself some excesses. And if you are afraid that this pleasure meal will make all your efforts come to the water, rest assured! This allows you to boost your metabolism and motivate you more to continue your momentum.

So take the opportunity to eat what you want and for the frequency, opt for  once a week !

And food supplements?

In your bodybuilding program, incorporating a dietary supplement can be helpful, especially to supplement your mineral intake . However, even if these supplements may be interesting for you, it is important not to bet on them alone: ​​they combine with solid meals .

Bodybuilding diet: some additional tips

Remember to hydrate yourself

Hydration is essential! Indeed, during your training sessions, you lose water; it must be renewed by drinking regularly . If you drink little, the risk of injury also increases. So do not forget your bottles of water during your bodybuilding sessions!

The basic metabolism requires 1 liter of water a day, but when you do weight training, this figure increases. So remember to drink before, during and after your workouts. Do not wait until you are thirsty; drinking must become a ritual. Also, between several exercises, do not drink in large quantities, but prefer small sips.

And if you’re tired of drinking plain water, add a little lemon in it.

Cook without fat

Cooking without fat is good for your health and is the best way for foods to keep all their nutrients.

After reading this article, you know what diet to adopt in bodybuilding if you are a man. You also have a better idea about the rules to follow in bodybuilding nutrition and thanks to all these tips, you now know which foods to include in your food program. All you have to do is follow these tips and train yourself for a muscular and sculpted body as you wish!

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