This article talks about the importance of a good bodybuilding meal plan. Although many of us may have some inkling on what a bodybuilding meal plan looks like, many of us do not put enough attention on the nutrition side of things. It is very hard to determine how many calories we should be eating, and then what the makeup of those calories should be. Even if we figure this out, to keep it fresh and change it up so we are not eating the same foods week after week, poses an even bigger challenge.
Calories are fuel for your body, and much like a car without fuel you cannot go anywhere. So if you want to go far (get big) you need to have extra gas in your tank (calorie surplus). The more challenging aspect is finding the right make- up of foods to fill those calories. The make-up of your calories are called macronutrients, they consist of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The percentage of each is really dependent on a person’s body type and what their goals are. For more information on this check out our resource page.
One plan DOES NOT fit all
Meal plans are not simple things to put together, at least if you want to do it right. Everyone is different and meal plans need to be tailored to a person’s body type and goals. Body type plays a big role in determining a person’s macronutrient ratio. Hard gainers usually benefit from a 50/30/20 ratio of carbs/proteins/fats. On the other hand more typical athletic types will do just fine with a 40/30/30 carbs/proteins/fats ratio while targeting muscle gain. If you are looking to cut weight you are better off with a 30/40/30 carbs/proteins/fats ratio.
To understand this better take a look at a meal plan for someone who wants to consume 2,500 calories with a body type of Ectomorph (this is a hard gainer) compared to someone that is Mesomorph (athletic) body type for the same calorie range.
Timing of your meals also needs to be considered as it is best to put these calories and macronutrients to work at certain times. For example it is good to get high glycemic carbs directly after a workout to refuel your bodies depleted glycogen level. On the other hand it is good to have slow absorbing proteins such as casein before bed so your body does not start to breakdown your muscles while you sleep and your body fasts.
Spreading out your calories over the course of a day between meals and snacks also aids your body in processing and absorbing the nutrients from the foods you eat.
What to eat
- First of all go brown. Brown rice and wheat pasta are best. Stay away from the white rice and regular pasta as they have more calories, carbohydrates and less dietary fiber than their brown counterparts.
- Stay away from processed foods as much as you can. If you don’t understand how it was made, it’s probably best to avoid.
- Oil. Always use olive or coconut oil over any other as they offer a good source of healthy fat. These two provide great health benefits such as prevention of heart disease and certain cancers. Olive oil also has anti-inflammatory benefits similar to ibuprofen.
- Greens. Go for spinach, broccoli and kale. These pack many nutrients and ward off certain types of cancers. Also Popeye had it right when he was always popping open cans of spinach because spinach packs almost as many grams of protein as it does carbs per serving.
- Fruits. Go for berries on this one. Not only do berries make for a delicious smoothie or post recovery drink, they also pack in some of the best nutrients out there. Blueberries promote good nutrients that help everything from your skin to your brain. Their antioxidants makes them a super food.
- Proteins. Go for chicken, fish and lean cuts of beef. Buy organic whenever you can so that you are not filling your body with whatever weird food is being fed to these animals. Look for cuts of beef with minimal fat content from cows that were grass fed. Chickens should have a vegetarian diet, the same goes when you buy eggs. Fish such as tilapia and salmon are both good choices as they are high in protein, and packed with leucine. However STAY AWAY from farm raised fish because these are usually higher in fat content and the food they consume leads to pollutants in their bodies-Garbage in Garbage Out!
Now make a meal plan out of all of this- Are you kidding? Who has time?
Making a meal plan can be overwhelming. Even if you get through the entire calorie and macronutrient calculating, coming up with fresh good tasting meals will be challenging. Many people end up eating the same thing over and over because it’s easy and they end up hating a lot of foods in the end. Let’s face it; cooking can be just as bad and intimidating. The last thing you want to do is put time into a meal that turns out tasting like dog food or worse.
The good thing is you no longer have to worry about this, Bulking diets is here. We will provide you with custom meal plans specific to you calorie needs and macronutrient ratios. In addition, we give you an itemized grocery list to minimize your time in the store and step by step instructions that will have you cooking like Wolfgang Puck.
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