If you want to build muscle mass, lifting weights is only half the battle. Nutrition also plays a key role in how effectively you can build muscle and gain strength. Here are some tips to help you develop an effective bodybuilding diet plan so that you can achieve your goals.
1. Achieve A Good Macro-Nutrient Balance
Your diet should consist of a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. All three of these are very important for building muscle.
– Protein is the major nutrient needed for building muscle. Your body needs to be supplied with adequate amounts of protein on a regular basis in order to create, maintain and repair muscle tissue.
It is recommended that you eat protein five to six times per day. The total daily amount should be one gram of protein for each pound of body weight. So if you weigh 180 pounds, you would want to consume 180 grams of protein per day, spaced out every 2-3 waking hours.
– Carbohydrates are the main energy source that fuels your bodybuilding workouts. If you do not eat an adequate amount of carbs, it can prevent you from being able to workout at your peak performance and maximum intensity level.
– Healthy fats are an important source of energy for bodybuilders. Fat also helps you absorb certain vitamins, keeps your joints lubricated and your skin tissue healthy.
2. Come Up With Your Ideal Macro-Nutrient Ratios
When coming up with your diet plan, you will want to keep a close watch on your macro-nutrient proportions. For bodybuilders looking to build muscle, it is recommended that you aim to consume 15-30% of your calories in protein, 60-65% carbohydrates and 10-20% fat.
3. Good Sources Of The Macro-Nutrients
Some good sources of protein include chicken, turkey, lean red meat, fish and eggs. Protein shakes can be used after workouts or as a supplemental source of protein.
You want most of your carbohydrates to come from complex sources such as wild or brown rice, potatoes, oatmeal, beans and fibrous vegetables (such as salad greens and broccoli).
Some good sources of healthy fats include avocado, olive oil, coconut oil and nuts.
4. Drink Plenty Of Water
Water keeps you hydrated and helps your body regulate metabolic, fat metabolism and energy production processes. You should drink around .70 ounces of water of your body weight. So if you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 140 ounces of water.
5. Eat Multiple Small Meals
Instead of eating the traditional 3 meals per day, it is better to eat 5 to 6 meals per day every 2-3 waking hours in order to achieve optimum muscle growth. Your body can more efficiently absorb a smaller amount of nutrients and calories at a time. Eating more frequently also helps to keep your blood sugar level stable, which provides you with consistent energy levels and improved fat metabolism.
6. Determine The Number Of Calories You Need To Consume In Order To Build Muscle
In order to build muscle, you will need to consume more calories than required for sustaining your current level of weight. This is all based on your own individual body fat/muscle ratio, activity level and metabolic rate. Everyone burns calories at a different rate depending on the above factors.
To determine how many calories you should consume, first keep a journal of all of the foods and liquids you eat for one week. Determine what you daily caloric intake is and then add an additional 400 calories to your diet, while still adhering to the protein/carb/fat ratios discussed above.
If you increase the number of calories you are consuming on a daily basis by 400 calories this should help with add one or two pounds of muscle per month.
Use the above tips to build your own effective bodybuilding diet plan. Make adjustments as needed. You will soon discover that you are well on your way to meeting your muscle and bodybuilding goals.