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The Diet for Bodybuilding

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Here is an interesting article on a bodybuilding diet. Diet and nutrition are just as important as lifting when it comes to bodybuilding.

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The Bodybuilding Diet Explained

By Janos Kovacs

Many people tend to glorify the term 'bodybuilding', associating it with the muscle-bound competitive bodybuilders that you so often see on television. The truth, however, is that the term 'bodybuilding' has a much simpler and less extravagant definition - it is simply the pursuit of greater muscle mass. Scientists place great emphasis on following a proper bodybuilding diet if you are pursuing the goal of gaining greater muscle mass. Thankfully, a great bodybuilding diet is available that is simple and also easy to stick with.

With so many fad diets gaining popularity, you should remember that following a proper bodybuilding diet will not be anything like those other diets. The key to developing a great physique is regular and intense training sessions coupled with a well thought-out bodybuilding diet and overall approach to living. At its core, bodybuilding is not simply an activity, but an entire lifestyle.

Perseverance, discipline, and patience are the core attributes that one requires in order to lead a bodybuilding lifestyle. The advantage of choosing to adopt bodybuilding as a lifestyle is that the improvements to your physique will be maintained over the long-term, without the rapid deterioration that so many people experience over time. With a consistent daily approach to training and maintain a bodybuilding diet, you will not experience the disappointment of short-term weight loss and muscle gain, only to have those improvements completely disappear after a relatively short time. The bodybuilding diet and lifestyle is habit-forming, and definitely works to give you a more defined physique and also improve your overall health.

The key to a successful bodybuilding diet is simplicity. Complexity and consistency are often mutually exclusive, so by keeping things as simple as possible, you are ensuring that you are better able to stick to your bodybuilding diet once you start on it. The first thing to do when you start on a bodybuilding diet is to reduce the size of your meals, but increase the frequency. Instead of 3 meals a day, you should eat 5 or 6 meals each day, and each meal should consist of a variety of carbohydrates, protein and fats. Doing this will increase your metabolic rate and keep it going throughout the day.

When it comes to protein intake, the appropriate level will vary from person to person, depending on variables such as gender, age, weight, etc. The general rule of thumb should be 25 to 50 grams of protein with every meal. A guideline to appropriate protein ingestion for a typical healthy male would be 1.5 grams of protein for each pound of weight. A 200 pound male should therefore consume 300 grams of protein daily - meaning 6 meals of 50 grams of protein each day. Ultimately, if your workout program is intensive, then you will need the protein in order for your body to build muscle.

Fish, egg whites, lean meat, whey protein and low-fat cottage cheese are all excellent sources of protein. Some foods that you should avoid, however, are fatty meats. Also, when it comes to preparing your food, avoid frying it in oil and opt instead for healthier options such as grilling or baking.

Carbohydrates are slightly more complicated, as there are different types of carbohydrates. The 3 main categories of carbohydrates are complex carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates and vegetable carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are found in bread, potatoes, yam, grains, cereal, rice and pasta. Simple carbohydrates are found mostly in fruit and vegetable carbohydrates, as the name suggests, come from vegetables.

Contrary to popular belief, some fat is also necessary even in a bodybuilding diet, but there are certain sources which you should get your fats from. Nuts, extra virgin olive oil, fish oil and flax seed oil are sources of good fats.

For a simple bodybuilding diet, you should include one portion from the complex carbohydrate group, vegetable carbohydrate group and protein group in every meal. The size of the serving for each group should be approximately equal to the size of your own fist. You should include a serving from the fats group in 2 to 3 of your meals, and only have simple carbohydrates for the first meal of the day in the morning and immediately after you complete a workout.

The above bodybuilding diet is great for anyone not overly concerned with weight loss and more concerned about building greater muscle mass. If you are also concerned with weight loss, however, then you should keep complex carbohydrates out of the last 2 or 3 meals of the day, and instead have lean meats and salads.

A more extreme form of bodybuilding diet is the 'three day on, one day off' routine. For this diet, you only eat complex carbohydrates for the first meal of the day and immediately after any workout for three consecutive days. Then on the fourth day, you can eat anything you feel like. Pasta, pizza, cakes - anything goes. This particular bodybuilding diet has been found to be particularly effective, and is also a good way to control your cravings. Being able to tell yourself that you can indulge in three days or less whenever cravings strike, you will be able to better exert self-control and stop yourself from giving in to your cravings.

At the end of the day, a bodybuilding diet and lifestyle will only work if you have the perseverance and self-discipline to stick to the programs that you decide on. If you do, then you will be rewarded with fast and dramatic results.


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