Apply These Strategies To Your Diet And Transform Your Physique From Doughy To Ripped
Shortcuts to packing on new muscle mass and getting ripped are peddled constantly in infomercials and online, but sadly, you wont get there with quick fixes or next-day miracles. You can, however, implement dietary practices that, over time, will guarantee real results. Yes, getting in your best shape requires hard work in the gym, but without the proper nutrition to fuel your gains, youre dead in the water. Feeding your body the right way is just a matter of repetitionlearning and developing the kinds of dietary habits that leave your body with no choice but to respond with size, strength, and detail. By applying the bulk of these 16 strategies to your diet, youll find that things really do fall into place automatically, even if they dont happen overnight.
Adding new muscle to your frame is an admirable pursuit, but no matter how much weight you lift in the gym, youll never obtain a tight, shredded look without chipping away at your bodyfat stores. Many people mistakenly think that losing fat is simply a matter of exercising more and eating less, but its really about striking a balance. These tips will help you get lean without losing that hard-earned muscle.
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Why Eating Too Much Protein On Keto Is A Myth
Many keto dieters beginners and experts alike believe that eating too much protein can increase the amount of blood sugar present in the blood through a metabolic pathway called gluconeogenesis.
Gluconeogenesis is the creation of new glucose in the body from non-carbohydrate sources such as lactate, pyruvate, and protein.
Its name has the following three components:
Gluco: Meaning glucose.
- Genesis: Meaning origin or creation.
GNG is literally the creation of glucose from anything but carbohydrates.
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Your body uses compounds like lactate, amino acids , and glycerol to create glucose when no carbohydrates are present.
By this very definition, its safe to assume that gluconeogenesis should be avoided at all costs. After all, when glucose is present, it means your body cant produce ketones and use it as the main fuel source.
But some glucose is required for us to live.
In fact, your cells use gluconeogenesis to ensure you dont die when there are no carbohydrates present in your system.
The three main responsibilities of GNG include:
- Preventing hypoglycemia
- Fueling the tissues that cant use ketones
- Replenishing glycogen stores
Do not consume lower amounts of protein to avoid gluconeogenesis. Too little protein is worse for your health than too much.
Its Flexible And Easier To Stick To
With IIFYM, its easy to plan your meals around your lifestyle without feeling limited.
For example, if you know youll be dining out, you can look up nutrition information ahead of time and then adjust the rest of your meals for the day as needed.
This flexibility can make IIFYM easier to stick to since youre less likely to feel restricted.
IIFYM works for all sorts of people, including those following special diets like vegan, vegetarian, paleo or gluten-free.
Since there are no special restrictions, all types of cuisines and cooking styles fit into the IIFYM plan.
IIFYM is a flexible alternative to traditional dieting. Since all foods are allowed, many people find it easier to stick to, increasing the likelihood of reaching their goals.
While there are many benefits to IIFYM, it has some downsides as well.
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The Reason Why No One Else Can Tell How Much Carbs You Need
The carbohydrate is the primary source of energy for our day to day task. For example, if you need 2000 Kcal energy per day and you are providing 50-75% of energy through carbs, then your body will remain in an anabolic state. But, if in case the carbs intake is less, say 20-30%, so to compensate for that energy deficit, you body will use protein and fat as energy source.
What happens now is that, the protein you were eating for building muscles is now being used as an energy source, which is a very bad deal, as you all know protein is much-much expensive than carbs. If the carbs intake is even lower, then after using the protein in your food, your body will start breaking down your muscles for energy. You might have seen people who get lost in some stranded place for a very long time, they lose major portion of their muscle mass.
So, for building muscles, you need to have ample amount of carbs. And, when I say ample I mean the amount which will satisfy your energy need and refill your muscle glycogen levels. But, is this amount equal for everyone? Obviously not. The energy consumption of every individual is different. A person who sit all day on the chair needs less energy than a person with a job that requires constant walking.
So, next time someone tells you to eat 2000-3000 Kcal without knowing the amount of physical activity your body engage in, tell him/her to shut up.
Want To Know How Much Protein Carbs And Fat To Eat Heres How To Calculate Your Macros
Over the years, youve no doubt heard different percentages for how much protein, carbs, and fat to eat to lose weight, but what are the right percentages and how do you figure them out?
Ive got the step-by-step scoop.
Set your daily target calorie intake amount since all your calculations will depend on it.
FitWatch has a really great Total Daily Calorie Needs calculator to help you get that going.
Calculate how much of each MACRONUTRIENT you want to consume.
Protein: This macronutrient helps you build, repair, and maintain your muscle mass. Not only that, but it also helps rev your metabolism AND its known as the most satiating macro, keeping you feeling full for hours after eating it. Shoot for 10% to 35% of your calories from protein.
Tip: People who work out more generally need more protein to help with recovery.
Fat: Your body needs fat to be healthy. Among other things, fat helps your body convert and use several vitamins and minerals. Experts recommend getting between 20% and 35% of your daily calories from fat.
Carbohydrates: The remaining percentage should come from carbs. Major health organizations recommend you get between 45% and 65% of your total calories a day.
Fiber: This is another number you will want to keep in mind. Its recommended you get between 25 to 30 grams of fiber from food sources each day.
30% x 2000 = 600 calories from protein
25% x 2000 = 500 calories from fat
45% x 2000 = 900 calories from carbohydrates
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Resistance Training Increases Your Protein Requirements
People who engage in weight lifting, other forms of resistance training, and endurance-type exercise likely need more protein than people of the same height and weight who are sedentary.20
If you perform strength training, aim for a protein intake at or near the top of your range, especially if your goal is gaining muscle. A total protein intake of up to about 1.6 g/kg/day may help increase muscle mass.21
However, keep in mind that even with rigorous training, there is a limit to how quickly you can increase muscle mass, regardless of how much protein you consume.
How Much Protein Should I Eat Every Day
Getting the right amount of protein neednt be complicated or stressful. Most of the time, youll end up within your target range by simply eating an amount that is satisfying and paying attention to when you begin to feel full.
Here are the amounts of food you need to eat to get 20-25 grams of protein:
- 100 grams of meat, poultry or fish
- 4 large eggs
- 240 grams of plain Greek yogurt
- 210 grams of cottage cheese
- 100 grams of hard cheese
- 100 grams of almonds, peanuts, or pumpkin seeds
Other nuts, seeds, and vegetables provide a small amount of protein, roughly 2-6 grams per average serving. You can see a more detailed list in our guide on the top 10 high-protein foods.
The image above shows 20 grams of protein in four different ways. Almonds, salmon, eggs and chicken thighs.
Below youll find examples of three different levels of daily protein intake using the same foods:
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Some Basic Macronutrient Knowledge
Macronutrients are the nutrients that provide us with the energy needed by our bodies for growth, metabolism and other functions. The prefix macro means large macronutrients are needed in large quantities in contrast to micronutrients .
Proteins, fats and carbohydrates make up the group of macronutrients. Let us take a moment to briefly look at each of these macronutrients.
Carbohydrates: These are a major source of energy for our bodies and are stored in our muscles and liver for later use. Foods that contain large amounts of carbohydrates include fruits, grains and roots . Carbohydrates provide 4 Calories of energy per gram. Check out this post to learn more about carbohydrates.
Proteins: Our bodies use proteins to grow tissue and muscle, repair organs and to create hormones and enzymes proteins are also used for energy when carbohydrates are unavailable. Foods that contain high levels of protein include poultry, fish, beans, diary, nuts and legumes. Proteins provide 4 Calories of energy per gram.
Fats: In order to absorb vitamins, our bodies need fats. Foods that contain a high percentage of fat include cooking oils, butter, nuts and cheese. Of the three macronutrients, fats contain the highest number of calories per gram fats provide 9 Calories of energy per gram.
Table 1. IOMs Macronutrient Ranges Recommendations
How To Calculate Your Macros
The first step in getting started on the IIFYM diet is to calculate your macros.
Most people use the free macro calculator on the IIFYM website, but you can also calculate them manually.
The general process is:
For weight loss, the main idea is to reduce calories and increase protein to preserve lean muscle mass while losing body fat.
After doing all the calculations, the final IIFYM plan should tell you how many calories and how many grams of protein, fat and carbohydrates to consume each day.
Online or manual calculations are used to determine the appropriate number of calories needed to meet your weight goal. Then, the ideal ratio of macronutrients is determined based on your current body weight and allowed calories.
Will I Lose Weight If I Eat Low
It’s true that a diet high in fat can lead to weight gain. But it takes more than just limiting high-fat foods to lose weight. You must also watch how many total calories you eat. Remember, extra calories even from fat-free and low-fat foods can get stored in the body as body fat. Choosing lower-fat options is a good idea to help reduce total caloric intake, but also pay attention to caloric intake from carbohydrate and protein, too. Also, substituting fat with highly processed carbohydrate-rich foods and sugars is an unhealthy trade-off some foods labeled as low-fat, reducedfat, or fat-free have more added sugar.
To lose weight, you need to have a calorie deficit. One way you can achieve this is by eating less fat and fewer calories and exercising. Exercise burns calories.
What’s The Difference Between Fat And Calories
Fat is one of six nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. The other five nutrients are:
Of these six nutrients, carbohydrates, protein and fats provide calories. Each gram of carbohydrate and protein yield 4 calories/gram. Each gram of fat yields 9 calories.
A calorie is a measurement, just like a teaspoon or an inch. Calories are the amount of energy released when your body breaks down food. The more calories a food has, the more energy it can provide to your body. When you eat more calories than you need, your body stores the extra calories as body fat. Even a fat-free food can have a lot of calories. Excess calories in any form can be stored as body fat.
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Calculate Your Carbs Target
In contrast to protein and fat, carbohydrates have only one role, but its a big one. They provide your body with energy. Therefore, your carbs intake also needs attention, especially if youre a regular at the gym and need to fuel your workouts.
The RDA for adults is 130 grams of carbs/day, which is the least amount you need for having enough energy. And if we are thinking about percentages, the usual recommendations revolve around 45-60%. But again, these are just general numbers, which might not match with your targets. Your actual ideal carbs intake can depend on your gender, age, fitness goals, diet preferences, and so on.
First and foremost, if youre en route to weight loss, you wont want to consume the same amount of carbs as those whore building muscles.
Probably the most common tip you hear for weight loss is the low carbs diet. But the real question here is how low is that low. As discussed previously, carbs are your energy source, so you should still consume enough of it. Therefore, we recommend a moderate intake of 35-45% of your daily calories to be carbs. Aim for the lower end if youre not that active, and for the higher end if youre regularly hitting the gym.
Recommended carbs intake/day for weight loss: 35-45%
Recommended carbs intake/day for muscle gain: 50-60%
Macro Recommendation for Ketogenic Diet
Macro Recommendation for Paleolithic Diet
Recommended carbs intake/day for Keto Diet: 5-10%
How Can I Know How Much Fat I Am Eating
- Read nutrition labels on food packages. Nutrition labels show the number of grams of fat per serving. Compare this number to your budgeted amount of fat for the day. Food labels also show the daily percentage of fat provided in each serving. In other words, if the daily percentage of fat per serving is 18%, each serving provides 18% of the total fat you should eat for the day. Consume higher-fat foods in moderate amounts to keep calories under control if you are trying to lose weight.
- The fat content of foods can be found online and with the use of apps and in fat and calorie-counting books. When choosing information, look for those using the USDA Food Composition Databases.
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The Quality Of Your Diet Still Matters
Calories are useful for tracking how much you eat, but they dont tell you much about the quality of your diet .
When it comes to foods and the human body, a calorie is not necessarily a calorie.
For example, 100 calories of broccoli will affect your health differently than 100 calories of french fries.
This is important because your overall diet and the types of foods you eat have an effect on your health .
High-quality foods not only provide health benefits, but they also make it a lot easier to consume fewer calories in the long run.
Basing your diet on minimally processed foods is beneficial for long-term health and weight loss.
How Much Protein Do Athletes Need
Protein supports exercise, but not by serving as a primary fuel source. It has too many other more important functions in the body. Of course, dietary protein is needed for muscle repair and growth, but it is also needed to make enzymes proteins that assist with thousands of chemical reactions that take place in the body including the production of energy from food.
Hormones, such as insulin and glucagon that help to regulate the levels of sugar in your blood, are made from the amino acids in the proteins that you eat. And, your body uses the protein in your diet to manufacture antibodies proteins that help your body fight infection.
Recommended protein intakes are often expressed as a percentage of total calories, but sports nutritionists prefer to calculate protein needs for athletes according to bodyweight.
It should make sense that athletes require more protein than sedentary people since they generally have more muscle mass.
- The standard recommended protein intake for endurance athletes is in the range of 0.5 to 0.6 grams per pound of body weight .
- Strength athletes need a bit more and are advised to take in about 0.7 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight . That means that a 180-pound athlete might need a minimum of about 90 and 110 grams per day to support endurance activity, or roughly 130 to 150 grams a day to support strength training.
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Why Should I Track Macros
Know that you don’t need to track macros to be healthy, lose weight, build muscle or reach any other health goal. The only time you actually need to track macros is if your doctor told you so.
In fact, logging your every bite can be frustrating and time-consuming, but it’s worth noting that you’ll get pretty good at eyeballing portions if you make tracking a habit.
Tracking macros can definitely be useful for some things, such as preparing for a bodybuilding show or optimizing athletic performance. It can also be helpful if you want to implement “flexible dieting,” or the practice of eating any foods you want, as long as they fit into your macronutrient ratio.
Counting your macros may also be the key to finally eating less processed foods, as processed and packaged foods tend to be high in fats and carbs , and adding in more superfoods. Many people who want to create a calorie deficit to lose weight prefer tracking macronutrients instead of counting calories, as it takes the emphasis off of weight loss and shifts the focus to nutrition. This is helpful for creating long-term healthy habits.
Additionally, many people enjoy tracking macros because it helps them understand what types of foods work best for their bodies. Give it a try to see if it works for your lifestyle, but don’t feel like you ever need to track your macros.