It is a nutritional outline that a bodybuilder follows to achieve their training goals. But what sort of bodybuilding diet should you follow? Well, this will depend entirely on your goals. Whether you want to build muscle, lose weight, burn fat or maybe just maintain your current physique.
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You will also have to take into consideration any foods you may be allergic to or simply don’t like. Though most bodybuilders will consume some foods they don’t like just for the nutritional value. Let’s take a look at some key factors about bodybuilding diets.
Obviously your bodybuilding diet is made up of your nutrition plan. Your nutrition is the most important factor in developing your physique. It’s true what they say. You are what you eat. There are a few nutrition plans you can go on for your bodybuilding diet, but this will entirely depend on your goals.
This diet will typically consist of a split of three lean sources. They are protein, complex carbs, essential fats and acids, and little to no cheat meals. The goal of the bodybuilding diet is to stay lean with a low body fat percentage. While also still getting enough protein and carbs to build muscles.
The bulking diet is performed when someone wants to put on lots of weight. This consists of adding a calorie surplus to your diet in to put on weight. There are generally two ways to perform this. The quick way and the slower way. The quick way is usually called a dirty bulk. This is when someone eats pretty much whatever they want along with some good foods to pack on some weight. They combine this diet with a bodybuilding workout routine and gain muscle.
The slower ways called a lean bulk. The person will still eat a lot, but the goal is to put on as much weight with the least amount of fat possible. This way they don’t get the fat, bloated, and less defined look that a dirty bulk can bring on. A bulking diet is normally followed by a cutting diet. Also known as a fat loss diet. It was popular for 70’s bodybuilders to have a mostly clean diet but not worry about excess fats or calories because they would train so hard.
Weight Loss Diet
This diet is so common that it has unfortunately spawned an unholy amount of fad weight loss diets. These are invented just to get your money. Most of them make you feel nauseous and can have bad side effects. A typical healthy weight loss diet is the same as a bodybuilding diet except it uses a caloric deficit. Having this is scientifically proven to assist weight loss. You should never stop eating to lose weight.
Fat Loss Diet
The fat loss diet is also known as shredding in the bodybuilding world. This is when the person wants to cut a lot of body fat while still maintaining their muscular size. This will involve calorie cycling and H.I.I.T training along with a strict bodybuilders diet.
Macros are short for macronutrients. They are protein, carbohydrates, and fats. You may have heard people telling you to count your macros. The majority of bodybuilders will do this depending on their chosen diet. Counting macros is when you tally up the balance of macros to consume each day. This will also depend on what sort of diet you are following.
Here are some popular examples of macro ratios for different goals:
Bodybuilding Macros Maintenance Macros Bulking Macros Cutting Macros
45 / 35 / 20 35 / 45 / 20 50 / 10 / 40 30 / 50 / 20
P C F P C F P C F P C F
These are just some common examples. It is best that you discuss an ideal macro ratio for you and your goals with someone qualified in nutrition.
Protein is referred to as the building block of muscle. There are many benefits of protein that the body can use. It is an essential staple in any bodybuilding diet and should be in everyone’s diet. Even vegetarians need to consume protein. When it is consumed, protein will break down into amino acids and aid in cell growth and repair.
You may have heard to consume protein immediately after your workout. This is because the protein will assist in healing and building your muscles faster. It is important to consume protein right after exercise to recover faster.
Why do we need carbs? Carbohydrates are the source of energy that powers our workouts. This is the energy that gets used first while working out. It is important to have a pre-workout meal with a good source of carbohydrates to fuel your workout. Many people will say that carbs will make you fat. This is not entirely true.
What you need to be consuming are complex carbohydrates to fuel your body and your bodybuilding workouts. Complex carbohydrates get broken down slower, which in turn provides a gradual energy release. Unhealthy sources or carbohydrates can and will be converted into fat because of the low nutritional value.
Yes, you need to be consuming fats in your diet. There are good fats and bad fats. Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats are the best types of fats. These are consumed in all bodybuilding diets and should be a staple in any diet. These fats can improve cholesterol and greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. The bad fats are saturated and trans fats. These basically have the opposite effects of the good fats.
A calorie is a unit of energy that we commonly associate with food. Carbohydrates are believed to put on weight. While is is true to a degree, calories are, in fact, what will make you put on weight. All bodybuilding diets will have an amount of calories per day you must consume. This is based on your body weight and fitness goals. You can use the calorie calculator on the right sidebar to find out your recommended daily intake.
The timing of your meals plays a crucial role in the way you look. Eating heavy meals loaded with calories before going to bed will turn some of the food into fat. This is because there is not enough time for the body to convert your meal into energy as you are about to sleep.
Timing is also critical throughout the day. You should eat soon after you wake up to activate your metabolism. Bodybuilders consume meals high in protein and carbs before they workout. This gives them sustained energy for their workout. They also consume protein right after their workout to aid in muscle growth and repair.
Sample Bodybuilding Diets
There are virtually countless bodybuilding diets out there. Choosing the right one may be a hard task. So without writing a bunch of them down and making it hard to find what you are after. We have made a list of good bodybuilding diet sources for you depending on your goals. Enjoy!