When it comes to bulking up, a lot of people begin by just adding more calories to their intake in hopes that their training programs will aid these extra calories to easily turn into muscle bulk. But, if you’re similar to most people, and if you’re not longer a teenage boy, then even with an serious training program the wrong type of food can equal the wrong type of bulk.
Simply adding carbohydrate rich meals to your diet without paying attention to the kinds of calories you’re ingesting will result in fat buildup and, at the very least, decreased lean muscle mass. Although you may be seeking to bulk up quick, simply adding calories will not do you any favors.
When it comes to building bulk a healthy diet plan alongside some good muscle building supplements will be the most effective strategy. Below are some good tips for eating for muscle bulk without succumbing to extra flab.
1. Carb timing: When it comes to building bulk you will of course need carbohydrates. However, you should beware of when and how you eat these. For instance, eating carbs in the morning is always best. Carbohydrates consumed in the earlier hours will not only spare you from that spare tire, but they also can help to take advantage of your body’s natural anabolic capabilities. Since you have fasted for eight hours or so during rest, your cortisol levels are higher.
Eating carbs post workout can also be a good idea, because carbohydrates after a workout will help pull amino acids into the tissue of the muscles. This process gives the muscles the fuel they need to repair themselves. A small carb meal right before a training session can also help to metabolize fats, thereby ensuring that your calories translate into bulk and not flab. Eat this meal at least one hour before a workout for optimal results.
2. Protein: Eating protein is essential to the health and wellbeing of the muscles. Getting enough protein therefore helps you to build bulk without overdoing it on the carbs. Choosing lean proteins like chicken and turkey breasts, egg whites, fish, legumes and beans can all be great ways to go.
High protein meals should be eaten frequently throughout the day and especially should be relied upon in the evenings in order to stave off hunger without binging on carbs.
3. Water: any weightlifter will tell you that hydration is key to muscle building success. Although water retentions is not good, this in fact comes from not getting enough water. If your body isn’t used to consuming eight glasses of good quality water a day and you eat too much salty foods, you may end up feeling bloated. Once you are used to this level of hydration though, you will actually feel and look more ripped.
4. Loading up on high water content fruits and veggies can also help. Watermelon, lettuce, and other water-rich fruits and veggies help keep your body hydrated as well as providing you with a host of vitamins and minerals all necessary for muscle development. Many bodybuilders eat these sorts of foods and drink ample liters of water every day. This is not only because intense workouts dehydrate you, but also because hydration actually makes your muscles look bulkier.
5. Supplements: Because it can be difficult to get everything we need for optimal nutrition, opting for a bodybuilding supplement is often a good idea. Not only can this help to speed up the process of bulking up, but it can also ensure that your muscles get everything they need without you having to count carbs, protein and fats all day long.
Whey protein supplements are a mainstay of bodybuilders, but today there are a much larger variety of bodybuilding supplements to choose from. Testosterone boosters like Yohimbe, or other natural products can help if a hormonal issues is keeping you from seeing the results you’d like. Just remember to follow the recommended doses and consult with a physician if you have any overriding health issues.
6. Meal frequency: Okay, so perhaps you have already loaded up on your protein and carbs and are taking good quality supplements but just can’t seem to put the weight on. In this case you are probably not eating enough. If you are training hard you will need a lot of calories, and there is simply no way of getting around this fact.
So as to increase caloric consumption without stuffing yourself at each meal you’ll just want to eat more frequently. Eating each two to three hours when you’re training is necessary. Double up on your usual eating frequency and opt for nutrient dense foods. Add high protein snacks of nuts, lean poultry, and lentils to your day as well as slow-digesting, low G.I. carbs.
By Dale M Miller
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