Bodybuilders are among the few people out there who stick to a strict diet (or are at least supposed to). However, this is more than just your ordinary diet. The most determined bodybuilders religiously track, measure, and check the nutritional value of every meal consumed. In addition to this, meal timing is an important element in a bodybuilder’s diet. Bodybuilding diets are somewhat different from other diets because in bodybuilding, the more you train, the more you’ll be required to eat to meet your body’s needs in terms of what is lost from your activities.
In this piece, we’ll be shedding more light on the pros and cons of a bodybuilding diet and how it works.
How A Bodybuilding Diet Works
In case you’re a beginner or an aspiring one, one thing to note is that proper nutrition is important in bodybuilding. Your gains from lifting will largely depend on the type of the foods you eat, the weights you lift, how often you exercise, and the extent to which you do so. Your genetics may also play a significant role. But provided you are on a bodybuilding diet and you stick to a workout routine, you should be able to see some changes within not so much time. There are three main stages in a bodybuilding diet, these include:
Stage 1 – Overeating (bulking)
In this stage, you’ll need to increase your calorie intake by about 15%-20%. Your diet should not be an all-protein diet but it’s important to ensure that you minimize your fat intake. The calories will help to provide you with enough energy to sustain your daily activities and ensure fat metabolism while promoting muscle growth and toning. This is also the stage where bodybuilding supplements will come in handy.
All the same, supplementation requirements may differ from one person to the other. According to bodybuilding experts from Fitness Informant, you should never shy away from asking your gym instructor or nutritionist if in need of information regarding the best bodybuilding supplements. Additionally, bodybuilding supplements are available in a range of varieties, including protein bars, pre-workout supplements, muscle builders, pump supplements, and fat burners, just to name a few. This is why it’s always important to consult your nutritionist, professional gym instructor, or doctor before choosing a bodybuilding supplement.
Stage 2 – Weight Training
The extra calories you take should be burnt in the gym by commencing on a weight training program. It’s important that during this time, you target all the larger muscles including, your arms, chest, shoulders, back, legs, and the core muscles.
Stage 3 – Cutting, Losing, And Shedding
The bodybuilding diet may cause you to add more fat to your body. In this stage, you’ll need to cut the extra calories you added in stage 1 and exercise extra hard to shed off the extra fat gained. This will leave you leaner and more masculine. As mentioned earlier, fat burning supplements are available to help you out.
The Pros and Cons of a Bodybuilding Diet
In our introduction, we briefly mentioned that bodybuilders are among the few people who stick to a strict diet. This is because a bodybuilder’s diet is a regiment in nature. Most bodybuilders make a living out of what they do and it’s this strict nutrition plan that ensures successful results. Like most professional athletes, discipline plays a crucial role in a bodybuilder’s career and without this, following such a diet and a workout schedule can seem like a painstaking undertaking.
Allows You to Be In Control Over What You Eat
A bodybuilding diet allows you to be in control over what goes into your body. The best part about a bodybuilding diet is that it encourages you to prepare your own meals. This type of diet also comes with a fine blueprint on how to calculate the quantities and the value of the foods you are supposed to take. Most importantly, you’ll also learn how your body works and how it reacts to different types of foods.
Enhances Meal Frequency
With a bodybuilding diet, you need to eat at least every 3-4 hours. This is not at all prescriptive, but it allows you to form a habit and a good eating template that allows you to advance with ease towards your fitness goals. The major components of a bodybuilding diet include proteins and carbohydrates. One thing to note about these two is that they don’t last for too long in the body. So to ensure that you sustain your proteins and carbs, it’s important to keep resetting this balance every 4 hours or so.
Unhealthy Eating Behaviors
While there exist different types of bodybuilding diets, some DIY diets can lead to some unhealthy eating behaviors and habits. This is because of some of these diets overemphasis on protein consumption and over supplementing. When consumed in large quantities, certain nutrients such as proteins and zinc can cause various health risks. In addition to this, it can also affect your overall performance in the gym.
Complicated and Complex
When working with a bodybuilding diet, you need to ensure that everything is tailored precisely to ensure success. This means counting your macronutrients, timing your meals, planning your snacks, knowing the right bodybuilding supplements to use, and never missing the gym. To the ordinary person, this can seem like a lot to ask. This is not to forget that you may need to have your scale every time you dine in restaurants just because you want to track your calories!
Now, as you can see, it all boils down to your overall inclinations because adopting a bodybuilder’s diet is ultimately a personal decision. But if you genuinely want to improve your appearance, become a professional bodybuilder, or just want to keep fit, a bodybuilding diet will help you to achieve this and more. Luckily, you have the pointers above to guide you.
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