Top 5 Rules Of Bodybuilding Nutrition

The most common mistake bodybuilding beginners make is being more serious about their workout than about their diet. It is crucial to know straight away that massive muscle gain does not come without a bulletproof nutrition plan. If you are wondering where to begin, these golden rules of bodybuilding nutrition can help you get your diet on track and make every second you spend at the gym count.

Fitness man holding a bowl of fresh salad on dark background

Plan & Prep Ahead

Rule #1: Do not grab that burger from the nearest fast food joint after your workout session. Or before, for that matter.

Your pre-workout and post-workout meals do not only serve to boost or replenish your energy. They directly affect your gain. What your body needs to build muscle are lean proteins, good carbs, and moderate amounts of healthy fats. In other words, it does not need anything that you can get at a drive-through.

The safest way to make sure you are really eating for muscle is to plan your meals ahead. Take the time to figure out what you are going to eat during the week and prepare your meals a day or several days in advance.

If you have not yet mastered the art of bodybuilding meal prep or do not have the time to plan, shop, and cook, that is ok, too. You can simply get premade bodybuilding meals and stock up for the whole week in a few clicks.

Some of the best bodybuilding meal delivery services let you order whenever you like, decide how much food you want to get, and even customize each meal in your deliveries. You can get a pre-designed bodybuilding meal plan if you are not sure what to eat or make a custom plan that suits your needs. Whichever option you choose, you are sure to save a bunch of time and more importantly, avoid eating the wrong foods just because you have nothing prepped and you are too hungry to cook.

Eat More (Often)

Rule #2: If you want to bulk up, you need to eat more calories in smaller portions.

The general rule is that you should increase your calorie intake by 15% in comparison to your maintenance intake if you want to gain muscle mass. This translates to about 500 extra calories a day. However, large meals can make you feel too full to work out, which is never good. You should aim for 5-8 smaller meals and snacks per day. That way, you can get all the macros and calories you need without feeling sluggish before or after your workout.

Eat Clean

Rule #3: Eating more calories does not mean that it does not matter what kind of calories you eat.

Think of it this way. If you were trying to lose some extra pounds and get slim, you would likely switch to healthier food choices. You would eat less sugar, avoid processed foods, add more veggies to your plate, and so forth.

The same logic applies when you are trying to gain muscle mass. If you eat fattening foods, you gain fat, even if you work out all the time. To bulk up while staying lean, you need to eat lean and clean. This means sticking to high-quality chicken breasts, salmon, beef, eggs, dairy, grains, good fats like olive oil and avocado, and all kinds of veg. That way, you are making sure you are getting all the nutrients while avoiding empty calories.

Watch Your Macros

Rule #4: You need to get your macro ratio right.

While virtually everybody knows that eating more proteins helps build muscle, the value of good carbs and fats is often neglected. Science has shown that the ideal macronutrient ratio for bodybuilding is 55% to 60% carbs, 25% to 35% proteins, and 15% to 20% healthy fats.

You can distribute your macros any way that works for you, depending on your workout plan. However, you do need to eat all your macros in the right quantities every day, without exceptions. Only then can you see the results you are hoping for.

Cheat Smart

Rule #5: Cheat for a minute, not the whole weekend.

There is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself every once in a while by enjoying something you are not really supposed to eat. You should simply avoid making it a habit and you should never have cheat days, only cheat meals or snacks. If you eat fast food and drink sugary drinks or alcohol for an entire weekend, it may take a long time to make up for the damage. On the other hand, if you take a few bites of something deep-fried once a month, that is perfectly fine. Just savor every bite and you may feel inspired to hit it even harder at the gym the next day.

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