Healthy Eating For Good Muscle Growth
There are basically two types of diet – the unhealthy and healthy one. If you want to gain lean muscle, your muscle diet must be high in protein and low in saturated fat. Protein is composed of amino acids known as the foods for the muscles. These building blocks help repair tissues, restore muscles, build organs, produce enzymes and hormones, support immune function, control hunger and promote fat loss.
You will need at least 30 grams of protein per meal to feel fuller for longer, achieve high energy and keep you alert. This is a major help in speeding up your metabolism and maintaining muscle mass. Per AMDR (Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range) and Institute of Medicine (IOM), the recommended protein intake daily for men and women is 0.80 grams per kilogram or 1 gram per pound. This is up to 35 percent protein of your total daily energy intake.
Start with a Personalized Meal Plan
Overeating doesn’t guarantee muscle growth. Mostly in an unhealthy diet, a binge eater may not know that the foods he is taking are high in saturated fat and trans fat that don’t build muscle. It is the same when someone embarks in a crash diet. Simply cutting down on food leads to poor nutrition and does not increase the muscle mass in the body. Such poor eating habits may lead to loss of energy, poor immunity and loss of muscle mass. It may also increase your risk of developing certain diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart attack and even cancer.
If you want to build your muscle and improve your overall fitness level, always start with enough water and a well-balanced meal plan. Your diet program must include sufficient amounts of macronutrients (protein), micronutrients from plants, phytonutrients, fiber and water that are needed by the body.
Why water? An average human body is composed of 50-60 percent water. Keeping the body hydrated is crucial in muscle development. Our body needs at least 3-4 liters of water a day to increase nutrient intake and wash out the toxins and other harmful substances. Even bodybuilders need up to 6 liters of water to help replenish and maintain their energy during workouts.
Body composition is more important than the body weight, thus, make sure to incorporate foods that are high in protein and low in saturated fats in your muscle diet.
Here is a list that you may want to consider:
- Fish – One serving of fish is equivalent to 300 kcal only. It contains high quality protein and is also abundant in Omega 3 known as the good fat. It is also a good source of Vitamins A & D, magnesium, selenium, iodine and phosphorus. Tuna and salmon are the most popular when it comes to fish meat. Just 100 grams of tuna is equivalent to 30 grams of protein while you can have 20 grams of protein per 100 grams of salmon.
- Chicken – Get 27 grams of protein per 100 grams of chicken with only 3.8 grams of saturated fat (found in chicken skin). One portion (the size of your palm) is also equivalent to 300 kcal only. Pork and beef are also good sources of protein; however, you will be at risk of getting high levels of fat and cholesterol from these foods. One portion of pork or beef is equivalent to 600 calories, which doubles that of a chicken/fish.
- Soy – The best form of soy is the protein isolate, which contains up to 90% protein. According to experts, it would be best to combine soy with peas or rice to get more amino acids. It is low in saturated fat and rich in iron, which transports oxygen to the muscles.
- Whey protein – It is said that whey is an abundant source of amino acids. It helps in reducing your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases while also speeding up the recovery process. You may get at least 80 grams of protein per 100 grams of serving.
- Eggs – You may get 7 grams of protein from one whole egg and 35 grams from seven egg whites. On the other hand, four egg whites in an omelet contain 14 grams of protein already. Eggs contain less than 200 mg of cholesterol, which is relatively low but high in monounsaturated fat.
Other foods that are also high in protein are nuts and seeds. Good examples of these are walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, flaxseeds and dried pumpkin seeds. Just one ounce serving of nuts can provide 6-8.5 grams of protein. Legumes, beans and fruits also make up the list. Lima beans and green peas contain 5-6 grams of protein per one cup of serving while fruits such as guava, passion fruit, avocados, dried apricots, raisins, dates and prunes contain around 2-3 grams of protein for every 100 grams per servings.
Train and Build your Muscles
The muscles in our body play an important part in our daily activities. The body burns up to 30 kcal/kg of muscle compared to fat that burns up to 6 kcal/kg only. That is why choosing the right food for an effective muscle diet is a must. However, do not forget that exercise is also a vital part in quickly building muscles and in maintaining your cardiovascular health. Physical activities increase blood flow to the brain, make muscle six times more energetic, enhance mental stimulation, reduce stress and keeps positive outlook in life.
To build your muscles through exercise, focus on resistance and strength trainings for at least 3-4 times a week. Examples of these exercises are bodyweight lifting and the use of free weights and weight machines such as barbells, dumbbells, bench press, shoulder press and others. It is also important to keep your muscular body balance, so make sure to train both your upper and lower body.
At some point, you need to be progressive and increase the number of repetitions for your workout sessions. Doing the same thing over and over again may not be productive and will stop you from improving over time. Keep track of the number of repetitions that you have made for the day so you can set bigger goals in your next session.
During exercise, the fibers in our muscles are torn up as a result of stress. These muscles regenerate themselves so enough rest should be observed for faster recovery. Building more muscles requires more fuel intake, so take your protein before and after exercise for faster regeneration and muscle growth. Do not miss that healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner and take snacks between your meals. Remember the list of your high-protein diet together with carbohydrates taken from whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
It will not take 24 hours to build those cuts and muscles that you have been dreaming of, but it will also not take forever for someone who has hard work and dedication to achieve a certain goal. Eat right, drink plenty of water, exercise and have enough rest. And lastly, wait for those muscles to grow!
Remember it will take 80 percent good nutrition, 20 percent exercise and 100 percent mindset to achieve a healthier life. Today is the right time to feel good and look good about yourself. Look for a source of motivation and start your muscle diet now.