Stage One: Calorie Harmonisation.
Nutrition is THE single most important aspect when trying to build a muscular physique. Without it all your hard work in the gym will plain and simply go to waste. When you use the tools at MyBodyCalc we automatically calculate the optimal macro-nutrient ratios to fuel muscle growth.
Know the difference between complete (whole) and incomplete proteins. In order to build muscle, you need complete proteins; these are found in eggs, meat, fish, cheese, milk and most other animal products. The protein found in plant products tends to be incomplete, though there are exceptions (e.g. soy beans, quinoa, potatoes).
Eat sufficient amounts of protein. The rule of thumb is that you need between 1 and 1.5 times your body weight (if you are overweight, then substitute your target body weight) in grams of protein. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should eat between 150 and 225 grams of protein per day if you want to consistently gain muscle. Full time bodybuilders can eat two to three times their body weight in grams of protein, and sometimes more, but for most of us that would be overkill.
Proteins that are great for building muscle include:
It’s important to include plenty of quality carbohydrates into your diet plan during strength training and muscle building. Your body uses carbohydrates as fuel which helps improve your performance and intensity when training. If you are limiting your carbohydrate intake you will be taxing your protein supply, which can lead to a decrease in muscle mass. Carbohydrates generally serve as the body’s main source of fuel. Carbohydrates are not vital for survival though. Energy can be used from the calories in protein alone. The only problem is that if protein is being used as an energy source, your body will have a difficult time building any muscle mass. Incorporating the right amount of quality carbohydrates into your diet is essential for building muscle while strength training. Try to select carbohydrates low on the Glycemic Index, which are healthier and release their energy more slowly. Good examples are:
Eat healthy fats. Not all fats are created equal. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that eating healthy fats is actually good for you. You should get about 20% to 35% of your calories from fats. Eat monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are the "good" fats. They include:
Stay away from saturated and trans fats. These are the "bad" fats. Make sure saturated fats make up no more than 10% of your total calorie intake, and that trans fats make up no more than 1% of your caloric intake. Bad fats include: Ice cream, candy bars, and packaged snack foods. High-fat cuts of meat. Lard, stick margarine, and vegetable shortening. Fried foods.