If you want to increase your lean muscle mass and decrease your body fat percentage, you know that you need to be working out. That one is obvious. What’s less obvious is how you should be tweaking your diet to help with your muscle building goals.
First of all, you need to increase your consumption of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair muscle tissue. Without lots of protein available to your system, a tough workout can actually do more harm than good, as your muscle fibers will be broken down and your body won’t have the necessary building materials to repair them. I recommend Optimum Nutriton: 100% Whey Gold Standard. It is by far the best as you can see from this review.
You also need to make sure that you are drinking lots of water. By lots, I mean more than a gallon per day on active days. Your body needs water, again, to repair and build muscle tissue. You also need water to flush toxins out of your system, such as lactic acid, after a workout. Water is the single most important nutrient you can put into your body.
Mix your protein meals with high-quality complex carbohydrates. You want to get around thirty grams of protein at every meal, as well as a serving of complex carbs. The carbohydrate portion of your meal should be something like whole grain bread, oats, or brown rice. Avoid processed carbohydrates.
Cut down your fat and sodium intake. These do nothing to help build muscle, but they will contribute to body fat and bloating, which can negate all your hard work at the gym. While some fat is necessary in a healthy diet, most Americans eat way more fat than they need. Worst of all, these are bad fats, coming from animal sources. The fat in your diet should come from fatty fish, olive oil, and natural peanut butter.
Overall, you want to make sure that your diet contains more calories than you burn at the gym. A calorie deficit means that you will be losing weight. If your intent is to put on muscle mass, you don’t want a calorie deficit! With a balanced, low-fat diet, you will burn off body fat while working out even if your diet has more total calories than you burn. The extra calories will be used as fuel for building new muscle.
There’s more to building muscle than just lifting weights. You have to feed those muscles too, with water, lean protein, and good fats. Balance your diet and you’ll see muscle gains in no time.