A gym is a place where one goes to exercise and maintain their health. Going to the gym helps to increase self-confidence as well as ensure a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Just working out is not enough for body building. One has to follow a proper diet according to the nutrient requirements of the body. Without a good nutrition plan one cannot reach their desired body goal. Good nutrition combined with physical activity helps to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases as well as raise overall health.
However, many people still cannot reach their goals even though they have the determination and also show the drive and are consistent in their efforts. The first step of trying to achieve the perfect body is finding a personal trainer with proper experience and proven methods. The next step is to follow the workout and diet plans devised by the trainer and adapting it to one’s body weight, height and daily routines.
21 Dietary Tips for Gym Guys
Consume Protein Rich Foods
Protein is considered as the muscle building nutrient. It repairs and generates muscle in the human body. One should aim to eat at least a gram of protein for every pound of one’s body weight. This is the approximately the highest amount a person’s body can utilize in a day as written in a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. One should consume protein rich meats like chicken, turkey and lean cuts of beef as well as eggs, fish, nuts, milk and milk products like cottage cheese. Whey-protein powder can be used to prepare protein shakes before working out. This raises the protein synthesis capability of the human body. It also results in an insulin spike which in turn increases the glucose absorbing power of the muscles and refills the energy stores of the body.
Instead of avoiding carbohydrate rich foods like bread, pasta and rice there is a technique referred to as carb cycling that helps people by burning fat and gaining muscle. It involves consuming higher quantities of carbohydrates on days of workouts and lower quantities on the days of rest. Eating carbohydrates causes the pancreas to release insulin which stores extra calories as fat. However, creation of demand for carbohydrates causes them to be stored as muscles. Alternating between high carbohydrate intake days and low carbohydrate intake days in the best option as it allows a person to receive all the major benefits without the drawbacks.
Consume Healthy Foods
Eating healthy food in conjunction with training goals is the considered as the backbone of one’s training goals according to most trainers. The fuel of the body for reaching goals is food. One is likely to not reach body goals without proper nutrition. Maintaining a balanced diet is essential including proteins, fats which are healthy, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and roughage.
Practice Meal Prepping
One tends to resort to eating unhealthy foods when one is tired or unwilling to cook after a hard day’s work. Meal prepping in advance is a good way of resolving this issue as well as keeping an account of the calories consumed as well as ensuring that a balanced diet is being maintained. This helps to ensure that nutrition goals are accomplished by preparing a mix of foods according to one’s diet plans. Preparing meals in advance reduces the pressure to consume unhealthy foods along with the tendencies to skip meals.
Increase the Number of Meals per Day
Three square meals per day are not ideal for guys working out regularly. Insufficient eating is a huge reason for negligible weight loss in most guys. One should try to eat five times in 1 day with a gap of three hours in between each meal. Metabolism is stimulated in this way. It is also advisable to include two mini-meals within the three main meals of the day. As the day progresses one should reduce their consumption as activity levels falls as the day continues.
Working out means frequent eating so attention should be paid to portion sizes. Chicken breasts and other meats should be at most the size of one’s palm. Using smaller utensils for consuming food will help in portion control as it has been seen in various studies that people using larger plates tend to consume 20% to 40% more food.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water rehydrates the body and helps in the digestion of food. Working out produces sweat and the body loses water as well as salts. Drinking water replenishes this loss and prevents dehydration. It is a misconception that drinking a lot of water does not help a person to lose weight. It only helps in the reduction of appetite. Drinking water also cleanses the system and keeps the gastrointestinal tract healthy. Daily fluid intake should be monitored. One should consume about 3.7 liters of water in a day, which should be spread out equitably throughout the entire day. Drinking ice cold water on an empty stomach in the morning naturally promotes metabolism by at most 24% for about one and a half hours.
Dietary Supplements Should Be Wisely Chosen
According to certain trainers, a key role is played by supplements in increasing muscle gains. Protein supplements are very popular but there are other supplements that can be tried out. For example, Creatine is a supplement which is considered highly effective in strength building as well as size building. Peppermint is a performance booster. It helps by altering the perception of the difficulty level of a workout. It makes it easier to finish by making it appear less strenuous as well as at a much slower pace.
Drink Beet Juice
The greatest enemy during endurance training is fatigue. Drinking beet juice is a good way to fight against it. Beet juice is full of healthy nitrates which can enhance a person’s cardiovascular functioning. Beets help in the improvement of stamina by almost 16%. They also aids muscles in producing higher amounts of energy in a much more efficient manner which makes exercising feel less exhausting.
Healthy Snack Habits
Healthy snacks help to curb cravings without having to compromise on one’s diet. Eating clean and eating healthy does not necessarily mean giving up on flavor as there are various healthy snacks that can be enjoyed which can be considered as nutrient packed mini-meals. These help in assisting one’s fitness goals, keeps one’s body healthy as well as stop one from making a mistake like crossing the nutrient count for the day. Some healthy snacks include edamame, roasted chickpeas and dates.
Avoid Carbonated Drinks
Carbonated drinks such as soda and energy drinks are filled with sugars which may lead to lowering of blood sugar level while exercising. Although sugar is known to give a sudden burst of energy, this sudden spike which leads subsequently to a fall in blood sugar level may make one feel tired and weak which in turn hinders the benefits from working out. Flavored water as compared to sodas is a better option if one is trying to reduce weight. Most of them have no calories and is a good alternative for people who are prone to drinking sodas. They also have vitamins and minerals in them which help to increase a person’s nutritional intake.
Post Workout Eating
Glycogen levels tend to drop post workout. Eating complex carbohydrates like sweet potato helps to replenish them. They release energy slowly and help to augment one’s energy level throughout the day. Another good post workout food is salmon. It contains bioactive peptides, which help in the reduction of inflammation as well as regulate insulin levels and provides joint support.
Consume Fiber Rich Foods
High fiber foods help to maintain a lean and healthy body. They make one feel fuller without adding to the calorie intake as they form the major part of a person’s diet.
They also tend to lower the rate at which digestion occurs thereby lowering the nutrient absorption by the body. This helps in weight loss, maintaining energy throughout the day as well as managing hunger. Some fiber-rich foods are broccoli, lentils and oatmeal.
Consume Healthy Fats
Consumption of healthy fats is essential for reducing body fat and to live a healthier life. Trans fat is the most unhealthy type of fat. Saturated fats are also not great for the body. It clogs the arteries as well as the heart as it solid at room temperature. Healthy fats include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. These are in the liquid state at room temperatures. The body requires polyunsaturated fats to function normally, that is, they are essential fats. Omega-3 fatty acids along with Omega-6 fatty acids help in the prevention and treatment of heart disease as well as stroke. A few healthy high fat foods are fatty fish, avocados and whole eggs. Fish oil is helpful in body building.
Fruits aid in losing weight quickly. They provide with vitamins and minerals which make our body function effectively and efficiently. Fresh fruits contain antioxidants and phytochemicals necessary for good health. Bananas help in bulking up. It contains potassium which prevents muscle cramps during exercise. Grapes are a good post workout fruit as they have a higher glycemic index compared to other fruits. Other good fruits include cherries and grapefruit. Fruits should be consumed at the correct times.
Professionals recommend eating fruit 45 minutes prior to working out or immediately after completing a workout.
Green, leafy vegetables like spinach contain calcium which strengthens bones. Vegetables help to build muscles as well as in burning fat. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals.
Try New Foods
Trying new foods helps one to stay on the path of eating right without getting bored. Eating only certain specific foods may cause vitamin deficiencies which can in turn lower one’s energy level. Experimentation can be carried by out by trying exotic fruits and vegetables and various types of grains. Quinoa can be substituted for rice in a few meals.
Nutrition Labels Should Be Read
Reading packaging labels keeps one informed about what goes inside the body as well as to ensure proper portion sizes. It also helps one know about the unhealthy ingredients contained in processed foods. It ensures that one can keep a calorie count as well as an idea about the nutrients that he is consuming.
Cook Simple Foods
Cooking should be made simple and not feel like a chore. Preparation methods should be healthy. Frying should be replaced by baking, grilling and steaming. Seasoning should be done using fresh/dried herbs instead of salt. Substitute healthy alternatives in case of ingredients wherever possible such as olive oil instead of butter.
Control Consumption of Processed Foods
One should try to remove processed food from one’s diet as they are generally high calorie foods which are not rich in nutrients.
Observe Cheat Days
Cheat days are consist of a meal in a week where one can indulge in the foods that has been removed from the diet. It helps a person as he/she has to enjoy in the future by keeping them on his current meal plan. It also helps to boost metabolism because one is motivated to exercise harder the rest of the week. Cheat meals also decrease ghrelin, which the hormone that makes one feel hungry and increase leptin, which is the hormone that makes one feel full. This reinvigorates training and makes one happy.
The most important thing to remember is to not get stressed and enjoy the process of being healthy and making changes to one’s life workouts and diet to ensure a longer and fuller life.