Often, when people think of bodybuilding, they think only of lifting weights. However, lifting weights isn’t the only aspect of bodybuilding. Nutrition is a vastly overlooked factor and can be the biggest component of a bodybuilder’s life. And no, it doesn’t mean drinking just protein shakes all day either. Establishing a healthy nutrition plan created specifically for bodybuilding is tremendously important. Here are some tips to get started:
There are two main phases of a bodybuilder’s life when it comes to nutrition: bulking and cutting. The goals of these two phases are vastly different, and the number of calories required differs significantly. During the bulking phase, you want to eat as many nutrient dense calories as possible along with lean proteins to build as much muscle mass as possible. In the cutting phase, bodybuilders look to shred fat while maintaining muscle mass. Both of these phases require careful meal planning and specific types of foods and styles of eating to maximize the results.
Calories are the backbone to any bodybuilder’s nutritional life, and the phase you are in will determine the number of daily calories you will need to consume. While in the bulking phase, the recommended number of calories you need is 15% more than your base calorie intake (the number of calories needed to maintain your current weight). In the cutting phase, you will need to do the opposite - reducing your calorie intake by 15% from your base calorie number. Whether you are trying to bulk or cut, you need to stay on top of the weight fluctuations and diet requirements in order to achieve your desired results.
The most important factor in any nutrition plan is to understand the types of food you will need. During the two phases, there is not much difference when it comes to the types of foods, but like previously stated, the number of calories will change. Focus on meats, chicken, and fish for the cornerstones of your diet, as they are great sources of protein. Other foods such as nuts, seeds, egg whites, and dairy products are also key. For more information on these foods and their benefits, check out my blog, 6 Great Foods For Body Building. Establishing and maintaining the proper diet are the most important things you can to as a bodybuilder to achieve your goals.