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ESSENTIAL NUTRITIONAL GUIDELINES FOR BODYBUILDERS



For bodybuilding, the classical recommendations are a diet composed of 50%–60% carbohydrates, 25%–30% protein, and 15%–30% fat.


Some nutritional guidelines literally advocate zero carbohydrates. Some take a more cycli-cal approach and others a more traditional approach.

With zero carbs, no matter how mentally tough you are, you will not be able to train as hard as you could with adequate carbohydrates.


Following a traditional approach, if you needed 3,000 calories to continue slow muscle growth during the off-season, for example, you’d be getting 450 calories from fat (15% of your daily calories), 750 calories from protein (25%), and the remaining 1,800 calories from carbohy-drates (60%). Of course, these calories are di-vided by the number of times you eat each day (five to six times).


NUTRITIONAL GUIDELINES


Here are some considerations to help with dietary choices to help you look and feel your best.


  1. Consume high-quality complex carbohydrates every 2–3 hours. Similarly, consume high-quality protein every 2–3 hours. You are putting a great deal of stress on your muscles, and they need to repair and grow stronger. High-quality proteins are critical for muscle repair.

  2. Eat high-quality complex carbohydrates several times throughout the day. This is a bit like an insurance policy to make sure you are getting all the energy your body requires.

  3. Fats are an essential part of your diet. Howev-er, carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source, and fat alone is not a suffi-cient energy source for high-intensity weight training.

  4. Eat 5–6 meals a day.

  5. Eat 1–2 servings of vegetables at every meal.


In bodybuilding, for years some have believed that nutrition is responsible for as much as 80%–90% of bodybuilding success.


Think about it.


If that were true, all bodybuilders would need to do is spend 80%–90% of their time on nutrition and just 10%–20% of their time on the unim-portant items like going to gym, doing the right exercises in the right way at the right time with the right intensity . . . and they’d be champions.


Yes, nutrition is critical, but so is training; it’s at least half of the equation. You can’t just simply eat your way to bodybuilding success! Champi-ons are made by following both sound nutrition-al and training strategies.


The key is to follow sound nutritional strategies and do your best to avoid having to bulk up too fast with a “dirty bulk” or needing to cut weight rapidly.


It is sad but true that some recreational gym lifters ignorantly dismiss the importance of nutrition. No matter what workout routine they follow, they will never look or feel their best without a sound nutritional strategy.

While three meals a day is certainly a better plan than what is followed by many sedentary folks, that strategy will not fuel a hard-training bodybuilder.


Remember, your goal is not to sustain life but to maximize muscle mass and minimize body fat. By eating one to three meals a day, you can stay alive, but your physique and strength will suffer.


You need to eat five to six meals daily, or every two to three hours. This allows your body the necessary amount of time to use, digest, and oxidize the nutrients in the meal.


Additionally, spreading out your calories steadily throughout the day, over five or six meals, will decrease the chances that excess calories will be converted to fat and that your body will cannibalize your muscles for the nutrients it lacks.


Eating meals more frequently will cause your me-tabolism to speed up and minimize body fat while helping maximize muscle and strength gains.


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About

My name is Steven Goldstein

With over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry, I have worked with clients of all ages and fitness levels. From professional athletes to individuals aiming to lose weight, I have helped countless people achieve their goals and improve their overall health through customized training and nutrition plans.

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Consistency leaves clues

Hundreds of clients of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities have put their health in our hands over the years and achieved truly remarkable results. 

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