uilding muscles, or in other words bodybuilding, is very much in trend these days considering all the benefits it has. Who would not like to have a body that is in great shape?? It would be the dream of every person out there. Bodybuilding is centered around building your body muscles through various exercises like weightlifting and maintaining a high-calorie diet. It is often referred to as a lifestyle and it involves the time you spend both in and out of the gym. To get the best results for building muscles, it is very important to focus on your diet as eating the wrong foods might have a detrimental effect on your bodybuilding goals.
There is a vast difference between bodybuilding and powerlifting or Olympic lifting where the physical appearance is judged more than the physical strength. In bodybuilding, it is the physical strength that matters. As such, bodybuilders desire to develop and maintain a well-balanced, lean, and muscular physique. To do this they follow a routine of training and dieting which is divided into two phases. The bulking phase and the cutting phase. During the bulking phase which can last from months up to years, they follow a high-calorie diet rich in protein and lift weights intensely with the intention of building muscles. The cutting phase focuses on losing as much fat as possible by keeping the muscles gained in the bulking phase intact. This can be achieved through specific changes in diet and exercise for about 12-26 weeks.
Now let us see all the benefits of bodybuilding. To maintain and build muscles, bodybuilders exercise frequently undergoing a wide range of strength training and aerobics. These aerobic exercises in turn keep your heart in good shape and reduce the risk of heart diseases which is a huge health risk these days. And since bodybuilding needs a lot of focus on diet, the body gets all the required nutrients in adequate amount. So, the body is not deprived of anything which also reduces the risk of other chronic diseases.
To build muscles, it is very important to keep a tab on the calorie intake. The easiest way to determine how many calories you need is by recording your weight three times a week and keeping track of everything you eat using any of the calorie tracker apps that are available these days. If your weight stays the same, then the daily number of calories is your maintenance calories which means neither are you gaining weight nor losing it, but maintaining it. During the bulking phase, it is recommended to increase calorie intake by 15%. For example, if your maintenance calories are 2000 per day, then you have to increase it to 2450 calories (2000X0.15) per day during the bulking phase. During the transition to the cutting phase, you will have to decrease the calorie intake by 15% which means you will consume 1550 calories instead of 2450. Make sure to continuously monitor your weight to increase your weight during the bulking phase and decrease the calories during the cutting phase to lose weight. Make changes in your diet accordingly.
Now that we know the basics of bodybuilding, let us focus on the nutrients that we need and the types of food that we need to eat and the ones to avoid to get better results. Once you establish the number of calories you need, you can calculate the macronutrient ratio. So, it is most recommended that you get about 50% of your calories from carbs, 30-35% of calories from proteins, and 15-20% of your calories from fat. You can plan your diet depending on the calorie intake for each macronutrient. Eating the right food in appropriate amounts provides your muscles with the nutrients they need to recover from the strain due to exercises as a result of which they grow bigger and stronger. Below given are few foods rich in calories that will help you build muscles.
Meat, eggs, poultry, and fish – high on calories and a good source of protein.
Beans and legumes – include a variety of dals(lentils), kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, etc.
Vegetables – increase consumption of vegetables like cucumber, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, spinach, leafy vegetables, broccoli, and peppers daily.
Dairy – including a good amount of cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Seeds and nuts – almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds are a good source of protein and also omega fatty acids.
Grains – rice, quinoa, corn, oatmeal, and cereals can be consumed as they are a good source of carbs.
Make sure to include a lot of olives and avocadoes/butter fruit also because they are high-calorie rich foods.