Unbeatable Diet Tips
Adjust Your Diet:
- Grains (oatmeal, bran)
- Sweet potatoes
- A limited amount of fruit is fine as well.
Protein should be mostly:
The carbohydrates should be mostly complex carbohydrates such as:
Eat 5 to 6 meals small meals equally spaced throughout the day.
Eat good quality carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores.
Eliminate the fruit as much as possible. Stick with good carbohydrates such as fibrous carbohydrates, green veggies, oatmeal, yams, etc. A good goal is to consume most of your carbohydrates that rate 50 or lower on the glycemic index when possible.
Mix in some medium indexed carbohydrates before weight training and a small amount immediately following your training. Avoid sugars even natural ones (like those in fruit and fruit juices) when leaning out.
Food Nutrient Database!
Find out how many grams of protein, carbs and fat are in the foods you eat, along with the full vitamin and mineral profile.
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Eat Enough Protein To Fuel Your Workout:
Increase your protein to 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. On your very low carbohydrate day increase the protein to 2 grams per pound of bodyweight; eat a tablespoon of peanut butter before training or about 12 peanuts.
Protein helps to build and repair muscle, and it also aids in increasing your metabolism and enhancing your immune system. Some good sources of protein are:
I recommend that your diet be around 40% - 50% protein for you (the number is high because you currently have put yourself on a very low calories diet).
You may have heard that eating too much protein is harmful. It is true that large amounts of protein can put a strain on your kidneys. Ammonia and urea (waste produced by protein assimilation) are removed from the bloodstream by the kidneys and liver and excreted in the urine.
When you have a lot of these waste products in your system your kidneys will have to work harder to keep your system clean. Those with a history of kidney or liver problems should probably not be on a high protein diet.
If your kidneys cannot efficiently remove any excess production of ketones from your bloodstream it will increase your blood acidity, which can lead to other problems. Because your liver is also involved in the process of metabolizing protein, if it is not functioning properly, high protein diets can cause further problems due to the added strain.
However for a healthy person, 200-250 grams of protein will not cause kidney problems, especially because your regimen will now include harder weight training and a 100% increase in cardio. These additional strains and stresses on your body will increase your need for protein therefore there will not be a strain to your system.
Add More "Good Fats" To Your Diet:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Walnut oil
- High fat, cold water fish such as:
EFAs are essential for brain and nerve tissue development; maintain insulin and blood sugar levels that are already at a healthy level, and proper hormone production (to maintain growth, burn fat, etc.). Omega-3 fatty acids are found in:
Omega-3 EFAs are found in sesame and sunflower seeds and other seeds and nuts. When trying to get EFAs from your diet and not through supplementation fish sources are preferred sources because they are the richest sources, and contain both, Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFAs (although more Omega-3s). UDO oil is a good choice because it is a convenient organic blend of unrefined omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.
On the days you drop your carbohydrates you should raise your EFAs as it will support an already healthy metabolism and provide energy for your workouts.
Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oils are also commonly used for this effect. MCTs are shorter chain dietary fats that don't require bile to be absorbed and can go directly to the liver. Because they are soluble in biological fluids, they aren't converted to body fat but are burned for energy.
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Medium chain triglycerides are fatty acids that are more easily digested by the body than other fats.
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They are very important for energy and fat burning for carbohydrate restricted dieters since they supply 2 and 1/4 times the energy of the same amount of carbohydrates. Protein and MCT oils will keep your energy up and help keep you from feeling hungry.
MCTs help to maintain muscle mass because they produce ketone bodies, which are used for energy before the amino acids in muscle are used for energy. MCTs are also thought to increase basal metabolic rate (BMR). Assuming that diet (calorie intake) and exercise (calorie output) remains the same; any increase in metabolic rate would result in a small, slow loss of body fat.
Understand Food Timing:
- Going Against The Grain. - By Dr. David T. Ryan
- Everyone Should Know About The Glycemic Index! - By Fawnia Mondey
- Glycemic Index Food Search - By Bodybuilding.com
- Other Glycemic Index Articles...
One thing that is important to realize is that it is important to also understand when to eat certain foods. Certain foods are digested quicker than others (like carbohydrates are digested quicker than most proteins). Within these classes there are also differences.
Certain carbohydrates are digested quicker (see the glycemic index) which can mean quicker storage as body fat, etc. There are also benefits sometimes.
Related Glycemic Index Articles:
So it is important to understand what foods should be eaten at what times to maximize muscle gain and minimize stored body fat. For example, a large chicken breast is not the appropriate protein to take immediately before or following training.
A better source would be a quick acting whey protein, some free form amino capsules and additional branch chain amino acids. Likewise, if you are on a low carb diet the carbohydrates should be taken immediately following your training, unless you are doing cardio, then it should be after the cardio.
It is very important that when you are limiting carbohydrates that they are therefore taken when they will be used optimally to replenish glycogen stores. High glycemic carbohydrates should be avoided because of insulin spikes (which negatively impact fat burning). Additionally they are not needed if you have spread your complex carbohydrates out and times them properly.
I recommend that the whey drink be 40 grams of protein, with no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates within an hour of training (before and after). I also recommend supplementation (6 grams of amino capsules with each meal, and taking 6 grams of branch chain amino acids) taken immediately before and after training. Also try to avoid carbohydrates after 6 pm.
Track Your Food Intake:
I would also recommend that you track how many carbs you eat and whether they are simple or complex carbohydrates. This will serve several purposes. First you will see what you are eating now, and how many calories it takes to maintain your current physique. Two it will serve as a reminder to eat. Once you know your average food intake and the calories you burn you can set up a "smart" diet, so you continue to burn more calories than you eat.
Do Not Misunderstand What A "Cheat Day" Really Is:
There is very little science that will support the idea that cheat days (eating high fat, or high calorie nutritional empty foods) will help you reach your goals faster. Forget the assertions that "half of the calories will not be digested" or it will jump start your metabolism, because there are better ways to do this (see my tip regarding food cycling).
The reason a cheat day is often advised is some people need it, while others want to believe in it. For others, without it will binge. However, the bottom line is cheat days will slow your progress and perhaps prevent you from reaching your goals.
If you have self control, and will not binge, use the food cycling method I will discuss below in place of your cheat day. Consider the day with the highest calories as your cheat day and if you must "cheat" add the piece of fruit we are restricting to get ripped.
On this higher calorie (higher carbohydrate) day it will feel like a "cheat day" because you will be able to have more carbohydrates. What this day is really called is a "refeed day" since it is not only designed to keep your metabolism higher, but it is also used to reefed or refill your muscles back up with glycogen.
Another things to consider about unabashed "cheat days" is as you diet and your taste buds reemerge and your body learns to do without all the excess fats, salts, processed foods, etc your body changes. By shocking your body with pizza, burgers, fried foods, etc. except to wreak havoc on your stomach and digestive system.
Expect to feel poorly, sluggish, and make extra trips to the bathroom. Expect this to hydrate you, negatively impact your training, and to reinforce future cravings for sweets. Most competitive bodybuilders only binge, once they give into this cycle of carb craving carbohydrates. Eliminate the cheat day to get more ripped and to eliminate junk food (or carb) cravings.
Cycle Your Food:
Once you know the average calories you will eat I strongly recommend cycling your carbohydrates and calories to keep the body from being able to lower its metabolic rate and adjust. The body always wants to reach a steady state (homeostasis) because it expends less energy this way (a built in survival tool).
Add Muscle To Burn More Calories:
Doing high rep training will not get you any leaner (a myth) however it will keep you small. Intense weight training with a focus on developing lean muscle will since muscle raises your metabolic rate. Use different exercises, equipment, vary the weight, pace and rest periods to challenge your body and shock it for new growth.
Use different cardio equipment occasionally to challenge your body. You will get a better workout and burn more fat.
Maximizing Fat Burning Through Cardio Timing:
To maximize fat burning perform two cardio sessions, one in the morning and when after you train in the afternoon. This technique works so well because of a cool effect that occurs after you do cardio.
After a good cardio session your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is higher and you actually will burn extra calories for several hours later. The calories that you will burn literally while doing nothing, will most probably exceed the calories initially burned during the exercise.
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Doing cardio in the am before eating carbohydrates is beneficial because your body's glycogen levels will be lower in the morning (assuming you last ate at dinner time and have essentially fasted for 10-12 hour fast). Doing cardio without eating causes your body to mobilize more fat because of the unavailability of glycogen.
After fasting your insulin levels are the lowest. When you consume a meal, especially one with carbohydrates your body releases insulin, which interferes with the mobilization of body fat. Because there is less insulin present before eating after a 10-12 hour fast more body fat is burned when cardio is done in the morning.
Note: this is also why many "fat burning" or carbohydrate blocking products contain several ingredients. Eat immediately before cardio also inhibits fat burning because you will first have to burn off what you ate first before your body will burn stored body.
When you do cardio in the morning, your metabolism stays elevated for a period of time after the cardio workout is over. Cardio in the morning will also give you an energy boost throughout the rest of the day and can also regulate your appetite and assist you with controlling cravings and binging.
By doing an afternoon session you will be able to elevate your metabolism a second time for another period of a few hours. Therefore your body burns extra calories while doing no extra work. This is similar to the calories that will be burned by extra lean muscle you develop.
Once you add the muscle you burn more calories without doing any additional exercise. Isn't that great? These are those little tricks that must people do not hear about.
Add The Right Supplements To Your Program:
- Overload & Force Your Muscle To Grow! - By James Kohler
- Category 5 Workout Intensity. - By Peter C. Siegel, R.H.
- Turn Up The Intensity! - By Lisa Sutton
- Other Increasing Intensity Articles...
Supplementation is so important because dieting will reduce your food intake and thus reduce the vitamins, minerals and nutrients to your body, at the same time your added intensity will increase the body's the need for key vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
Related Increasing Intensity Articles:
If you do not get the right nutrition your body will burn protein (in the form of muscle), which will lower your metabolism. To avoid this state it is important that you not only eat consistently spaced meals that include high quality protein, and complex carbohydrates, but that you supplement your diet with key vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
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Multivitamin and mineral supplements are perhaps the most important single supplement that can be consumed by bodybuilders and athletes.
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Proper eating and good supplementation will give you an edge when trying to burn fat and gain muscle simultaneously.
Drink Adequate Amounts Of Water:
- What Is The Importance Of Drinking Water? - By Topic Of The Week
- The Importance Of Water: A Full Explanation! - By Jen Heath
- Water: Your Secret Weapon. - By Matt Weik
- Other Water Articles...
Water is the single most critical nutrient for health, growth, and development. It is not only the most important nutrient in the body, but also the most abundant. Water, like oxygen, is essential for our body to operate efficiently. Water helps regulate our body in temperature. Water is also required for effective nerve impulse conduction, proper metabolism, food processing, waste elimination, and a healthy immune system.
Related Water Articles:
Your body needs water even more than usual when you are burning fat and training hard. While you train hard lots of water is lost. Remember the average amount of water loss per day is 10 cups (six cups through urination and bowel movements, two cups through breathing, two cups and through invisible perspiration). This total does NOT take into account visible perspiration, excessively dry air, or excretion due to caffeine or diuretic consumption.
As a male bodybuilder, drink at least 2 gallons of water each day, spread throughout the day. 3 gallons would be better. Drink 2 big glasses before you sleep and immediately upon wake up so you will not be dehydrated while sleeping.
If you drink enough the following day's athletic performance can be affected. One important thought, once you are thirsty, you are already causing problems for yourself. You need to drink before you are thirsty. That is a new habit you need to build.