Different types of diets have different rules and guidelines to be followed. Bodybuilding diets are no exception. An effective bodybuilding diet has just a few simple rules and is designed to supplement a consistent workout routine. While the diet alone can get you eating healthy and make it easier for you to build body mass, the muscle bulking portion will still need to be achieved thru rigorous training. Following a few easy rules when choosing a diet that works for you and your bodybuilding routine can help you achieve greater results in the gym.
Calorie intake is the major factor in most diets but is especially true in a bodybuilder’s diet. The first step to any diet is finding the calorie intake needed to maintain your current body composition. There are plenty of tools, online or in-person, to find the right number of calories for your body. Once you have determined the number of calories needed to maintain your weight (base calorie intake), the next step is to adjust that intake based on whether you are in the bulking or cutting phase of bodybuilding. While in the bulking phase, the recommended number of calories you need is 15% more than your base calorie intake. In the cutting phase, you will need to do the opposite - reducing your calorie intake by 15% from your base calorie number. Until you find the number of calories needed for each phase, adjust the increases or decreases in small increments to avoid over-shooting your own goals.
Protein consumption is a huge factor in any bodybuilding diet, and timing your consumption can help maximize the effect on your body. The optimal timeframe is every 4 – 6 hours. There are a number of excellent protein sources that allow you to achieve this goal without getting in a rut of consuming only protein shakes. Sticking to this framework will help you maximize your potential.
Just like protein, carbs are an integral part of a diet as well. Eating a meal rich in carbs about three to four hours before a workout is recommended to fully optimize a workout. “Carb loading” before a workout is something that can help maximize a workout and greatly affect the results post workout.
Although supplements aren’t generally a key factor in a diet, they can target the base levels of certain aspects of a diet, which in turn can maximize the results you want to see. Sometimes following a diet to a “T” day in and out can be a difficult task to accomplish, so having the convenience of supplements to help you on a busy day can give you some consistency in your bodybuilding routine.