For every new body builder, the rules for nutrition and diets vary significantly from the rules that apply to experienced body builders. Irrespective of what lead to the sudden decision of taking up body building, you will need to keep a few basics in mind. There are a few nutritional pitfalls that new body builders can get trapped in, and this article will throw some light on these specific areas.
Whether you just discovered that your social life is suffering from your obesity or were recently diagnosed with a disease that has made you take your health and body more seriously, taking up body building is a great way to train your body and mind for an overall healthier body composition. However, there is often so much information available on the internet about the Dos and the Don’ts of Body Building, that a beginner finds it very difficult to process all that information and make use of it in a positive way. So, without going in to how you can achieve your body building goals faster, we will discuss the biggest mistakes that new body builders often make, which also have a significant impact on their progress.
Error No #1 To Avoid: Don’t make the mistake to count calories right from the beginning
Yes, you will eventually need to count calories to ensure that you are consuming enough to fuel those workouts, but not so many that your body will store extra calories as fat. In the beginning, concentrate on ‘What’ you eat, not ‘How Much’ you eat.
To begin with, make sure that you are creating a smart diet chart that includes:
1. Eating small meals, about 6 to 8 every day
2. Adding more fresh vegetables and fruits to your diet
3. Drinking 2 to 3 liters of water every day
4. Cutting out empty calories that come from sodas, chips and alcohol
5. Focus on consuming high quality lean protein from good sources like legumes, meats, eggs and soya
6. Limiting intake of sugar
7. Avoiding all pre-packaged food and sticking to freshly made meals
8. Replacing unhealthy fats like Ghee, Refined oil and Butter with good fats like Olive Oil, Oily fish, Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids and nuts
For the first month, consistently follow these 8 rules and start counting calories only once you have mastered these and they have become a lifestyle choice for you. Only once your regular eating habits are clean and well planned, can you take on the more advanced step of counting calories from each of the 3 macronutrients. If you do that before, right from the beginning, chances are you will be too baffled by all the changes you are making and leave more room for error.
Error No #2 To Avoid: Don’t start searching for the ‘Right’ Diet right away
For almost everybody who has taken body building in order to lose weight, the starting point is the ‘right’ diet. There is no such thing as ‘The One Right Diet’ for anyone. A well balanced diet that helps you lose weight and gain lean muscle mass is specific to you, and will differ from one person to another. However, this is a diet you come to understand slowly, as you progress with your weight loss and bulking up goals.
The problem is not as much with a strict diet, as it is with sticking to it. New body builders go on hard diets, advertised by pros, only to realize they are very tough to follow and often find themselves cheating here and there, which only makes the process that much harder.
Please understand – you are not a professional body builder, you are just starting out!! And you need to cover your own journey and find out what works for you and what doesn’t by trial and error. And don’t be impatient about it either. Give any diet idea a month at least to see positive results. At the very core, all diets follow the same 8 guidelines as mentioned above. They just use different approaches to get the same results.
So don’t get baffled by all the diets out there and start trying them one after the other, only to leave each before it showed results. Stick to a balanced diet that follows the above mentioned 8 commandments that will help you achieve your own unique diet that results in weight loss and muscle gain. You might take 12 weeks to achieve results while your friend might need 20 weeks to see the same results. The key lies in consistency.
Error No #3 To Avoid: Don’t start trying every idea thrown at you but rather make a fool proof plan
As a new body builder who is desperate to lose weight and gain lean muscle mass, you will find that everyone has some piece of ‘very important advice’ to give to you. From your mother, your doctor, your gym trainer, your colleagues and your friends – each person who hears about your new endeavor will offer you advice. Our advice – Don’t follow any piece of advice until it is part of your plan! What you need is a plan, and to lose weight and bulk up, you need to follow that plan diligently.
Your plan will include weekly meal schedules that will make sure every single meal will:
1. Concentrate on getting quality proteins in to your body for more amino acids
2. Making sure you replace all simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates
3. Staying hydrated and taking quality supplements to boost muscle growth
4. Eating healthy fats every day
Apart from these decisions that must become your plan, you need to forget about all other advices that come your way and work whole heartedly towards correcting your diet and exercising regularly with some basic weight training to begin with.
As you become more experienced and understand more about your body’s nutritional and workout needs, you will be able to avoid any pitfalls and stick to a regimen that works for you. Until then, simply avoid these 3 major mistakes that haunt most beginners, and enjoy your journey towards a healthier, fitter and leaner you!
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