Weight Training Diet – 5 Tips to Get Muscular and Lean With Food!


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Do you bust your butt in the gym? Do you train like there’s no
tomorrow in an effort to achieve a lean, muscular physique? If so, good
for you, but that’s only half the battle! Any good bodybuilder or weight
lifter will tell you that diet is essential to your success. You can
train your heart out, but you will never gain muscle if you aren’t
eating enough of the right foods. Here are a few tips on how can
optimize your weight training diet:

Weight Training Diet

1. Get Big or Get Lean?

Before
you design your weight training diet, you’ll have to figure out exactly
what your goals are. Specifically, do you want to focus on getting
bigger and more muscular, or on trimming some fat? Don’t say both!
Attempting to gain significant muscle mass while losing fat is a futile
effort for all but the most genetically gifted athletes – and they
wouldn’t be bothering to read this kind of article, anyway.

If you
are having trouble deciding, think about what is really important to
you. Are you already in decent shape? Do you want to get pro-bodybuilder
huge and powerlifter strong? If the answer to both of those questions
is yes, then you’d do well to go ahead and focus on gaining size for a
few months or even a couple of years.


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On the other hand, if you
are currently dissatisfied with how you look and feel because of excess
body fat, you probably want to lose it first. You may have long term
goals of getting huge and muscular, but you’ve got to be happy with how
you look along the way. Just to be clear, this advice doesn’t apply to
skinny-fat guys who weight a buck-fifty but have no muscle mass to speak
of! Those guys need to just start training hard and eating big. I’m
talking about genuinely pudgy dudes who need to lose a few pounds before
embarking on the journey of getting big.

2. Make Protein a Priority!

If
someone was trying to get bigger and asked me to make their weight
training diet as absolutely simple as possible, I would say two things.
First, get enough overall calories to slowly gain weight. Second, get
enough protein! Proteins are made of amino acids, which are the
“building blocks” your body uses to construct new muscle tissue. If
you’re eating a lot but not getting enough protein, you’re just going to
get fat!

A good rule of thumb is to aim for one pound of protein
per pound of body weight per day. A 150 pound guy trying to gain weight
would thus aim for 150 grams of protein per day. To get this much
protein, focus on animal foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and
perhaps some dairy if your stomach can handle it. Don’t count incidental
amounts from grains, legumes, and the like, as those proteins are not
complete and do not help you build muscle the same way animal products
do.

3. Counting Calories?

Most people who concentrate
on their weight training diet also get obsessive to the point of
counting calories. This might work, but it’s not necessary! Your body is
too complicated to be able to predict exactly how many calories you
need to eat, anyway. The important thing is that at the end of the day,
you have achieved a positive calorie balance. Simply put, you need to
eat more calories than your body uses for energy so that the extra can
be used to manufacture new muscle tissue.

Ideally, you will get
500-1000 calories more than what you require to maintain your weight per
day. However, that is not a hard and fast rule, and some days will
require less or more. The best way to make sure you are consistently
eating enough food is to simply do what most people do – eat the same
kinds of things day after day. They don’t need to be the exact same
things, but just be consistent with your meal times and food choices.
Except for the occasional “cheat” meal, eat only foods that you know are
good for you, like whole grains, healthy fats, fresh produce, and of
course all of your proteins.


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4. What’s the Deal With Carbs and Fats?

Carbs
and fats are both nutrients that various nutritionists like to either
praise or vilify. The truth is, they both have their merits in certain
situations at certain times of the day. Carbs can certainly make you fat
if you eat too many or eat them at the wrong times, but without them,
you can’t build muscle! Focus on eating most of your starchy carbs
(grains, breads, pastas, etc.) in the hours after you train. Hard weight
training allows your body to utilize carbs for muscle building and not
fat storage. At all other times of the day, focus on healthy fats and
fruits and veggies. You should be eating your protein at EVERY meal!

5. Putting it All Together

So
now you have chosen a concrete goal to work towards, and you hopefully
understand the basics on protein, carbs, and fats. You know how much
protein you need, but how many carbs? How much fat? How many calories?
The truth is that every individual is different. Some guys can gain
muscle on seemingly paltry diets while others need to eat everything in
sight to make any progress. What you will need to do is pay attention to
how your body is responding to various types and amounts of food and
adjust from there.

If you’re trying to get leaner, the number on
the scale should be slowly decreasing, and your strength in the weight
room should be staying the same or even increasing. Your clothes should
be fitting looser in all the right places, but your muscles should still
look as big and full as they did before you started dieting. Not
happening? Eat less carbs and fats.

If you’re trying to get
bigger, your bodyweight should be increasing 3-5 pounds per month, you
should be getting stronger every workout, and you should be gaining
minimal body fat. Some fat gain is acceptable, but a lot means you are
eating too much or not training hard enough. If you’re not gaining,
start adding in carbs and fats and see how your body responds.


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