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Beginner's Bodybuilding Program - DIET And Tips

Beginner's Bodybuilding Program - DIET And Tips

To support your new, more active lifestyle, you need to review your daily nutritional intake. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the "perfect diet", but there are some common guidelines you can use whether you're a skinny teenager or an overweight 40-something.

Cut out the junk. Really, this is your single most important step. Fast food, candy, sugary sodas and other crap will not only pack enough calories to turn you into the Michelin Man, it also fills you up with empty calories preventing you from getting the nutrition you really need!

Increase your protein intake. Muscle is protein, and in order to repair muscles effectively your body needs the building blocks to do so. Try to get more lean, protein-rich foods like chicken, tuna, lean beef, no-fat milk and tofu into your daily eating habits.

Beginner's Bodybuilding Program - DIET And Tips

If you're like most people, you don't eat enough fruits and vegetables each day. Unless you're big on rough bread or eat bran flakes for breakfast, chances are good you're not getting enough fiber.

This is a big mistake, as fiber is a necessity for keeping your digestive system in shape. You need a stomach that can keep up with your new, more intense nutritional needs without acting up, so make it a habit to get some type of fiber with each meal you have (except immediately after workouts).

The importance of water cannot be overstated. If you get dehydrated, your ability to function properly drops like a rock. The negative effects range from sluggishness and fatigue to headache and mental meltdown. Make sure to drink water, not coffee or soda, through the day, even on non-workout days.

Many bodybuilders make a gallon of water a day a good goal, but you probably want to adjust that number to your body size, climate and level of activity.

Try to divide your meals into several smaller meals rather than a few big ones. This will help stabilize your blood sugar levels and ensure a continuous flow of nutrients for your body. Avoid carbohydrates late at night. Carbs are your primary source of fuel for workouts, much like gasoline works for your car.

However, unlike a car you can't fill up the tank and have it stay nicely filled until morning. Instead, a big load of carbs before bedtime is more likely to be processed and stored away as body fat since there is no immediate need for the surplus energy.

To continue the car-analogy, this leaves you with a mostly empty tank by morning but you'll have gained an extra pinch of fat. If you want a late-night snack, go for something entirely or mostly protein, since protein is unlikely to be stored as body fat and has the added advantage of providing extra "building blocks" for the time when your body goes into repair-mode, i.e. sleeps.


Beginner's Bodybuilding Program - DIET And Tips

At this point your goals are to clean up your diet and to get in the habit of tracking exactly what goes into you on a daily basis. We'll dive deeper into strategies for gaining or losing weight in the Intermediate chapter, but let's start with establishing a baseline of sorts for yourself.

First off, get a diet log that you can bring along in your daily life. This may be another section of your training log, it can be an app on your phone, or it can be a small notepad that you carry in your back pocket.

Either way, you should have a grid with columns for when, what, and calories. If you want to make it easier for yourself down the road you can also add columns for protein, carbohydrates and fat.

Your next step is to start writing down everything you eat through the day. Keep a close watch on yourself so that you stay honest if you have a candy bar, write it down immediately so you don't conveniently "forget" later on.

Most prepackaged food is easy to track since federal law dictates that they must have nutritional information clearly marked on the packaging. Simply copy down the numbers into your log, but beware!

Manufacturers often try to make their products seem less calorie-dense by using dwarf-sized servings. Adjust the numbers to match your real serving size. In my humble opinion, anyone who honestly considers a pint of juice to be two servings is weird.

As for non-prepackaged foods, such as fruits and cooked meals, you can buy a cheap calorie-counting book that should give you an approximation based on weight or volume. Pick ones that shows the protein/carb/fat-breakdown of different food types.

Tracking your eating patterns will help you resist junk food binges, simply because you are now forced to face up to just how many calories each such occasion really adds. Ignorance may be bliss, but ignorance certainly won't help you get ripped.

Further improve your eating habits by adhering to the basic pointers outlined earlier in this section. Simply put; clean up your diet and establish new, healthier eating patterns so that you're ready for the more advanced stuff later. Here is a basic, clean diet plan for an active weightlifter looking to pack on muscle.

Beginner's Bodybuilding Program - DIET And Tips

Beginner's Bodybuilding Program - DIET And Tips

Beginner's Bodybuilding Program - DIET And Tips

Beginner's Bodybuilding Program - DIET And Tips

Beginner's Bodybuilding Program - DIET And Tips


Sport supplements can be a great aid in your efforts. Not only can smart use of supplements ensure you get enough of all nutrients you need to function well, you can even give yourself an extra edge in terms of strength, recovery speed and injury prevention.

However, navigating the seemingly endless list of supplements with the most fantastic claims can be challenging for experienced bodybuilders and daunting to beginners.