It's Simple...But Not Really
One of the most important principles in bodybuilding and fitness competition nutrition is to eat the right amounts of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) for your body. By strictly and strategically manipulating these foods your body can and will do amazing things. I always say that training is the easy part. If you're reading this you are already interested in fitness...we can ALL go to the gym and tear it up. Anyone can do that...competitor or not. It is the diet that separates fitness competitors from the rest. Diet is so incredibly important that without adhering to the correct program for you and your body you will surely never reach your physique goals. Breaking down the nutrition is simple…but not really.
Here are some general guidelines for setting up your diet:
1. Protein. As the main source for building muscle, protein is absolutely necessary in building your physique. Take in somewhere between 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (this equates to 130-195 grams for a 130 pound person). This will guarantee that your muscles will be getting the correct fuel for maintaining and building muscle tissue. Some sources are wild, hormone free, unprocessed animal proteins for essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals (chicken, lean beef, fish, turkey, game, eggs), cottage cheese, greek yogurt and high quality protein powders.
2. Carbohydrates. Carbs are a great muscle-protecting energy source for your body. What that mean is that carbs stop muscle breakdown and promotes growth. After you train, for example, if your body has an immediate fuel source from carbs there would be no need to get it from breaking down the muscle. Carbs are very powerful and should be manipulated and cycled as your plan goes along. They will play a major roll in reaching your goals. Be sure your carbs are made up mainly of complex carbohydrates and fibrous sources. Complex carbs include brown rice, wild rice, sweet potatoes, yams, oats, some fruits (not all fruits are created equal), Ezekiel or sprouted products and lots and lots of green, leafy vegetables. Getting enough of these fibrous vegetables ensures you are getting enough fiber, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
3. Fats. You gotta eat fat to burn fat. Healthy fats can replace carbs on certain days to keep blood sugar levels steady and help with feeling full and getting in adequate calories. Good sources include avocado, walnuts, cashews, almonds, olive oil, natural nut butter and some egg yolks.
Things to ALWAYS stay away from: • Concentrated fructose (High fructose corn syrup, sugar) • Trans-fats • Hydrogenated oils • High n-6 oils (refined vegetable oils) • Gluten (wheat, rye, barley). I have nothing against these items I just like to leave them out during contest prep incase there is any chance my body will have a sensitivity to them • Lectins (wheat, beans, legumes). Again, nothing against these items but they may leave gut bacteria and cause bad digestion) • Dairy (may cause digestion issues, mineral imbalance, fat and water retention)
Happy lifestyle changing!
Jessie Hilgenberg, IFBB Figure Pro
Team NLA For Her Athlete
Follow Jessie on Facebook
Follow Jessie on Twitter
Follow Jessie on Instagram