Most people hit the gym and train hard to shed off fats or achieve a muscular body. But wouldn’t it be more satisfying and rewarding if by working out hard, you get both? Yes, it’s possible. The answer lies in your diet. Here are the things you should know about your food intake to achieve this feat.
- Essential Nutrients
Proteins – amino acids as the components of proteins are vital to the formation and buildout of muscle tissues, protein synthesis and fat loss. You can get protein from a variety of food such as fish, chicken, red meats, beef, yoghurt, low-fat cheese, and protein powders.
Fat – Good fat is vital for hormone regulation, heart and joint conditions, as well as muscle growth. Fat has more calories than protein and carbohydrates, so caution is needed when choosing foods with a high amount of fats. We can get fat from olive oil, natural peanut, all kinds of nuts, avocado sunflower seeds, almond butter, and even egg yolk.
Carbohydrate – Carbohydrates have an essential effect on the energy, blood sugar and insulin levels, and affects muscle building and fat burning as well. Good sources are 100% whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta, white and sweet potato, fruits, and vegetables.
- Planning your Diet
The protein content of your food will relatively be constant throughout the diet. You can start with 1-1.25 grams per pound of body weight. But if you notice a slow gain of muscles, you can increase up to 1.5 grams.
Fat intake will depend on how much carbohydrate you consume. Fat needed will be .25grams per pound of bodyweight or around 20-30% of total calorie daily intake. You can intake good fats up to 50% during low carb days to make up for the loss of energy, and maintain hormone function.
Carbohydrates would be the primary concern in this diet. Depending on the number of workout days and intensity levels, you should have a low, medium, and high carbohydrate meal.
A low carb day should allow you an intake of .5 grams per pound of body weight. Your activities may include cardio or light exercise and off day from the gym.
During the medium carb day, you need to intake 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. These days will be for your regular upper-body training.
High carb days will allow you 2.25 grams per pound bodyweight, and it should be the days for high-intensity workouts like intensive leg day or continuous weight training for the whole body.
Written By Jeraine Aspiras.