When one sets a body goal, the first thing to know is that it is the food that you eat that determines whether you will achieve the desired results. In this article, we seek to look at the diets one must follow if they are looking to get fit, lose weight or build muscle. When pursuing either of the goals, it is crucial to follow the diet to support that particular workout regimen. So, let’s see what that is about.
The thing about building muscle is that calories count. Putting it simply, on the days you workout, you need enough calories to build muscle. On the days you don’t workout, you need calories to not lose the muscle that you have gained.
To make the right estimate of the required calories, one must know your BMR, which is the Basal Metabolic Rate. These are the calories that one burns by, well, just existing. From the time you wake up to the time you go back to sleep, your body uses a certain amount of calories even if you don’t exercise or workout, or even move from the couch.
We are sure that you don’t sit on a couch for a living, so you must be moving out and about. Which means that if you are looking to build muscle, you must consume calories above your BMR. A bodybuilding diet is just basic nutrition mixed with daily calorie intake. The diet you choose would be the middle ground of convenience, affordability and preference.
Any food that you consume should be high in proteins and fats. Some of the foods that you should include in your diet are eggs, salmon, chicken breasts, Greek yogurt, soybeans, shrimp, cottage cheese, beans, protein powders, quinoa, chickpeas, peanuts, tofu, milk, almonds, brown rice, etc. These are options for vegetarians and vegans as well.
Depending upon when you workout, you must adjust your meals accordingly. Consume a high fat meal before your exercise and after you come out of the gym, consume some protein. Your other two meals of the day must account for the rest of your calorie intake and nutrition.
For the days that you are not working out, your calorie intake still needs to be high. You can distribute it throughout your day as per your preference.
The diet plan is as simple as that. The science behind gaining the strength to lift a rocket is much easier than the rocket science you must have been expecting it to be.
When you are looking to lose weight, you have to take a diet that is high in protein and fibre while still being deficient in calories.
To lose weight, the first step would be to cut out all foods with added sugars from your diet.
Your breakfast should be high in protein and fibers, your lunch should have some fats, vegetables and a side of protein. It can be anything from chicken breast, eggs, chickpeas, salmon etc. Your dinner should be something light, just keep the hunger away.
For snacks, you can switch to fruits and nuts or vegetables with a hummus dip. The most common mistake people make in a diet to lose weight is that they design it in a way that they are hungry most of the day. Calorie deficit does not need to mean that. You just need to include more protein and fiber in your diet, which will keep you full throughout the day. For energy, instead of carbs, you should eat more healthy fats like avocados, plant-based milks, clarified butter etc. This will keep you running throughout the day without your stomach making gargoyle type noises because you did not eat properly.
Losing weight is also about portion control. Often, we tend to overeat without noticing. When you do portion control, it’s about eating enough food to last you till your next meal.
Much like bodybuilding, the principle here is to maintain basic nutrition while going in a calorie deficit. As long as that is done keeping the above points in mind, you can lose weight without stressing about it. And isn’t that the point of it all – to be able to stress less about things. So do it the right way and you will genuinely find yourself enjoying it, instead of feeling it as a punishment as it is generally made out to be.
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It really depends upon what you mean when you say you want to get fitter. If it is losing weight or building muscle, the diet plans are written above. If it is about a generally healthy lifestyle, the principle doesn’t change much from the other two. It is basic nutrition mixed with the numbers you can completely utilize in a day. To get fitter, the first step would be to cut out foods with added sugars from your diet like aerated beverages, chips, candies etc. Eat more for vegetables and greens. Replace your snacks with fruits, nuts and yogurt. Try to eat more home cooked food. if it is suitable to you, you could consider going dairy free.
There should be adequate protein in your diet distributed throughout your day. A high fiber and protein breakfast is recommended for any person seeking to eat healthy. Lunch should be rich in healthy fats, vegetables and protein and dinner should be more fiber intensive.
Check with your doctor if you need supplements of any kind. Regulate your caffeine intake. And the most important thing – just drink lots of water. Hydrating is the master key to any and everything.
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Something we would like to mention is that you should always respect and be kind to yourself and your body. If ever you give in to temptation and go off the rails for a meal or two, don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s not a major derailment to your journey. Just get back to doing what you were doing before and you will be back on track in no time.
Also Read: Keto, Paleo, Vegan: How to Choose What is the Best Diet for You | 5 Best Veggies Packed with Protein