Truth time: there are no shortcuts to getting a rock-hard body. There are, however, some smart ways for you to achieve your physique goals without wasting time or - worse - doing things that undercut your efforts.
Here are 7 crucial nutrition tips to get you on track toward a lean and ripped physique.
Track Your Food Intake
First, a bit of a surprise: You don’t necessarily need to put in more gym time, working out is really only 15% of the equation. Instead, you’ll be spending more time at the grocery store and in the kitchen as the diet is 85%. We suggest tracking what you eat to start with, so you can then look at how to tinker with it. Focus on macros first, and then move forward from there.
Focus On Fiber
Major chiseling means seriously changing up your carb intake. We recommend focusing on fiber-full legumes, vegetables, and berries, especially on the days you’re not working out. Many studies have found that people experience increased satiety, lower insulin levels, and greater weight-loss success on a low-carb/high-fiber dieting approach.
Don’t Skip Carbs Entirely
No carbs at all means no ready energy. Therefore, increase carbs slightly on hard workout days. The less impactful carbs that are found in sweet potatoes may be eaten one to two times per week and post-workout. Limit it to a small portion, though, such as half a sweet potato or a half-cup of quinoa.
Increase Protein And Fat
OK, so most carbs are out. What’s in? Protein and fat, of course. We suggest a diet of 40 percent lean protein, 30 percent healthy fat (such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados), and 30 percent fiber-dense carbs.
Don’t Skip Meals
When looking to lose, people sometimes think skipping meals is the way to “save up” calories. We say this is a no-no. The body doesn’t work like that: It needs food to burn more calories. If you skip meals, it thinks it’s starving, and the liver starts to produce more glucose and this results in insulin resistance. This is all a recipe for more fat storage when you do eat.
Calculate Your Calorie Needs
So how much should you be eating? Determining calorie count is very individual, and will vary based on height, weight, age, daily activity level, body composition, and weight-loss or gain goals. As a quick rule of thumb, you could take your goal weight and add a 0, and then factor your physical activity. (More active, add a couple hundred calories.)
A more detailed way to determine a baseline calorie need is with this formula:
(10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) - (5 x age in years) + 5; then multiply by an activity-level value from 1.2 (sedentary) to 1.9 (extremely active)
Drink Lots Of Water
Your muscles are 72 percent water and a hydrated muscle is a stronger muscle. To that end, being well hydrated is more important than what you eat before a workout to power you through. Your body doesn’t have a water reserve for storage, so you need to replace fluids every day. Our recommendation: Be sure to drink 16 ounces one hour before a workout and 24 ounces for every pound lost during a training session (weigh yourself before and after you work out to measure this).
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- October 04, 2017
- Jonathan Kay