Meal planning can be as complicated or easy as you make it. Some of us love to spend a whole Sunday preparing dozens of tasty meals while others might be happy with chicken and rice. Whatever the case, we all need the right nutrients to bulk up, lose weight, or stay healthy. Before you can throw on your bodybuilding clothes and power through your training sessions, you need fuel. But that doesn’t mean you need to overthink it. Here are six pillars to remember to help guide you through your bodybuilding nutrition.
Eat Throughout the Day
It’s possible to grow muscle or lose weight while eating the classic three meals daily. However, it’s much easier to hit your calorie and macro goals by eating a few small meals and healthy snacks throughout the day. This can help fuel your body while controlling blood sugar levels while your metabolism adapts to your training plan.
Adjust Calories on Off Days
Are your lifting clothes getting too small too soon? You may be making the mistake of eating the same number of calories daily. On training days, you need extra fuel for your workout to help your body repair itself. However, those are extra calories you don’t need on off days. You will probably want to increase calories on training days, sourcing them from proteins and carbs. This can help fuel your peak performance on training days.
Limit Processed Foods
Generally, you don’t want to limit too much in your diet. However, you might want to remove high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods. This can not only help you stick to your meal plan, but your cravings might also decrease. Instead of processed foods, make the conscious decision to eat whole, nutrient-dense options.
You will want to stay hydrated with water and zero-calorie beverages to keep your body at peak performance. Water plays a crucial part in essentially every major body function, helping you perform at your best. Water can help suppress appetite and decrease retention and bloat. The goal is to avoid thirst, which is why you should drink water throughout the day.
Be Smart About Carbs
Pay attention to the type of carbs you eat. Starchy carbs like rice, pasta, and bread can raise your blood sugar quickly. On the other hand, non-starchy carbs such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables slowly raise blood sugar and are higher in fiber. As you plan out your meals, be sure to pay attention to your carb source.
Lean on Lean Protein
You can stimulate the release of fat-burning hormones while maximizing muscle growth by eating protein every few hours. High-protein foods should be your first priority. This includes meats, nuts, and other options. Additionally, quality whey protein powder can help you hit your daily protein goals.
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