Have you ever questioned why you haven't put on mass or got ripped with your bodybuilding diets? The first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott, remarked in 1965 "bodybuilding is 90% nutrition." Bodybuilders worldwide all tend to make the same errors. One cause is basic misinformation. Another problem is believing the myths, such as that cardio is better than weight training when it comes to getting in shape, the pros are clean and fat is the root of all evil. Here are 10 common nutritional bodybuilding mistakes to beware of:
- Dieting impatiently. A lot of bodybuilders hop from one diet to another without ever giving the first program adequate time to work. It takes no less than three weeks for your body to become accustomed to nutritional changes. You can look forward to seeing noticeable changes after about 21 days if you start a high carb, modest protein, and low fat diet with reduced calories in order to lose fat.
- Believing that real men stick to their diets 365 days a year. Most people say that to build muscle or lose fat you should stay on your diet 364 days a year. For the majority of bodybuilders all that would take place would be an intermittent all out splurges – eating six chocolate bars in two minutes and being afraid of the next meal. It’s better to plan a cheat day every Sunday where you can have a Danish pastry or chocolate bar that you have been longing for all through the week.
- Not eating enough. The purpose after all is to pack on mass. If you aren’t eating adequately, what exactly do you intend to pack on? So devour more calories. To preserve your bodyweight you need to put away 10 calories per pound of bodyweight. This is a line that can stretch for 500 calories. So consuming at least that much more is a necessity, but also for each Joule of energy you use you require calories to replace that expenditure.
- Eating too much. We all know the biology. Surplus calories are stored as body fat. For overeating to be so close to the top of the dietary blunder list is no error. Building muscle is the number one objective of bodybuilding and body fat is the bodybuilder’s number one foe. If a layer of lard hides your muscles, what’s the sense of putting so much blood, sweat and tears into them?
- Not eating frequent, small meals. You should be eating five to six meals per day ranging from 300-1000 calories dependent on your size and targets, for the best results in terms of elevated energy levels, reduced body fat, muscle enlargement, and first-class gastrointestinal health. You should also have a hoard of meal replacement shakes, which have the precise nutrient profiles that you require.
- Late night snacking. Although comfort food seems to taste better right before bed, it is also more prone to stick with us when eaten late at night. It has been confirmed that not eating three hours before bed decreases fat storage during the night. Stop eating for the day no later than 7 p.m. if you go to bed at 10 p.m. Once you have made this a habit you will be overjoyed at the long-term fat loss.
- Judging by the scale. People on a diet are often shocked when they find out how much they’re losing, but as long as it’s fat and not muscle, it’s okay. Of course, the opposite holds true with the weight gainer. Gaining three pounds of muscle is great, while gaining 2.8 pounds of fat and 0.2 pounds of muscle is not. Keep in mind: a caliper and the mirror are your judges, not the scale!
- Not setting goals. The chief mistake a lot of people make is starting a fat loss program without really making a decision. It may appear unimportant, but having a meaningful reason is vital to success. During moments of weakness, when your healthy meals look too bland and all you want is takeout, when you decide you’re too tired to workout, and when you just don’t feel like it, that your decision comes into play.
- Not eating enough protein. For the past half century or so scientists using rudimentary techniques and inadequate study design with inactive people have held firm to the conviction that bodybuilders, strength athletes of various types, runners, and other highly energetic people do not need any more protein than the average couch potato. The fact is, active people do indeed require far more protein than the RDA to keep from losing hard earned muscle tissue when dieting or increasing muscle tissue during the off season.
- Taking “fat-free” at face value. Don’t take for granted that the tag “fat-free” gives you freedom to eat as much as you want of something without gaining weight, because on the whole you’ll still be consuming a lot of calories, many of them empty of other valuable nutrients.Fat-free means that the product you just picked up has less than half a gram of fat per serving.
Amino Acids And Bodybuilding
Why do so many bodybuilders know so little about amino acids and protein, the variations in their form and the best times to consume them? The 23 or so amino acids are the molecular building blocks of protein and muscle tissue. You may not give it much thought when you bite into a chicken breast, but the substance and balance of amino acids, particularly the proportion of indispensable amino acids to dispensable amino acids, is what decides the body and health building value of a protein food or supplement.
One of the best sources of protein is fish. You can buy tuna in cans or in waterless "no drain" packages, which are even more convenient. Salmon is another good source and you can buy it in cans like tuna. Beef, chicken and turkey are also great sources of protein. Red meat got a bad rap back in the 80's but things have started to swing in the other direction. Beef is chock full of protein and nutrients, it's even been dubbed "nature's multi-vitamin."