1. How Many Carbs Should You Eat?
Now before you take all your bread, pasta, and rice and beans and throw them away, listen up: Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for our bodies... if you don't consume enough, your body will break down muscle for amino acids it can convert into glucose. Glycogen is the stored form of Carbohydrates in the body, and under normal circumstances, the body can store about 400 grams at a time.
So next time you crack open that Family Size bag of chips and dip and use the excuse that your "bulking", take that into consideration. When it comes to just weight lifting alone, your carbohydrate requirement is going to be based on volume (sets x reps x weight) and intensity (rest between sets, drop sets, free weight exercises like squats, deadlifts etc.).
Before You Start Feasting On Chips Remember Your Body
Can Only Store 400 Grams Of Glycogen At A Time.
2. When Should You Eat Carbs?
Another important time for the consumption of carbohydrates is 1 to 1 1/2 hours pre-exercise. However pre-exercise carbohydrates suppress lypolytic activity (fats being metabolized during exercise)3. This is okay however, because in caloric surplus becoming leaner is almost impossible unless you're a novice weightlifter or you have good genetics. Just be sure to be wary of the glycemic index (a grading scale of how much different forms of carbohydrates spike insulin).
Wake Up To Counter High Cortisol Levels.
3. How Do You Make Use Of The Glycemic Index?
Have you ever heard someone say, "Ever since I stopped drinking soda and sugary juices I lost a couple pounds without doing anything"? For sedentary people (those who don't exercise on a regular basis) this can actually happen.
The fact is that the during the "low-fat" diet revolution that has been going on in the U.S. over the last few years, obesity rates have doubled (coinciding with "fast" and processed foods and also sedentary lifestyles). In an attempt to avoid fat, Americans have increased carbohydrate intake which has consequently increased their consumption of processed high glycemic foods (from high GI white bread, to high sugar fat free products)4.
For Sedentary People Cutting Things Like Soda
From Their Diet Can Result In Weight Loss.
4. Why Shouldn't We Avoid Fats?
Supplementing with Omega 3 or eating fish at least twice a week is highly recommended as well. Omega 3 fatty acids help to keep blood pressure in check.
Bodybuilders put there blood pressure through the roof every time they're in the gym.
Decrease triglyceride levels (blood fats), which can aid in the decrease of atherosclerotic plaque (reducing plaque that causes blood clots) and reducing your chances of heart disease in general. As well as aiding in reducing inflammation; this is good for your immune system and joints.
The best example of a moderate fat diet that has the most proven long term success is the Mediterranean diet.
Despite the advocacy for healthy fats, moderate amounts of saturated fat should not be feared.
Don't be scared of the saturated fat in your oils and peanut butter, and keep the saturated fats from your red meat in check (have your white meat chicken and turkey on a regular basis, switch it up with fish twice a week and steak once or twice a week so you don't get bored).
In a study done in the Journal of Applied Physiology they found that serum levels of testosterone were elevated following exercise with subjects who consumed a diet that was relatively high in fat.
It is also well known that moderate amounts of fat while dieting for a contest are all a natural bodybuilder can do (outside of high intensity exercise of course) to make sure cortisol (a catabolic stress hormone) doesn't completely evaporate testosterone. Just be wary of the fact that high amounts of saturated fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Mono-Unstaturated Fats For Most Of Your Fat Intake.
First off, your goal for weight gain according to them should be 1 pound every one to two weeks for an intermediate lifter and one pound every one to two months for an advanced lifter (a bulking period for a natural bodybuilder should be about 6 months).
Through my own experiences with bodybuilding, I definitely agree with this (gaining weight any faster while natural is usually associated with great genetics, fat gain, or water retention/muscle volumization).
Taking in an extra 250 calories a day above what is expended (from metabolism and physical activity) is recommended for weight gain as well.
During a good bodybuilding routine, usually a good 300 calories are expended and should be taken into account when trying to increase calorie intake.
Protein intake should be 1.4-1.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight or .65-.8 grams per pound. I tend to agree with taking in the upper range of .8-1.0 grams per pound, although adequate water intake is essential when it comes to increasing protein.
How About An Example?
If you're using the moderate fat method we just discussed, then the ratio for your weight would be 40-25-35 (carbs-protein-fat). They usually have preset rations for things like the zone diet and the low carb diet, but I personally prefer calculating your daily protein requirement and then going from there. The fats should be about 30-35% and the carbs should be 40-45% of you total calories. So for the 3,150 calories for bulking of a 6 foot 180 pound young individual.
315g Total Carbohydrates
- 80-90g carbs for breakfast
- 70-80g carbs for lunch
- 60-70g carbs 1 hour before lifting and
- 80-90g carbs after lifting
185-195g Total Protein
- 30g per meal, chicken or turkey mostly with fish two maybe three times a week try to limit red meat to twice a week.
122g Total Fat
- 20 grams per meal
- Almonds as a snack
- Oil and vinegar on sandwiches and salads
- Supplement with Omega 3’s
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