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Submitted by: Troy Van Spanje
What To Eat For Lean Muscle Gain And Fat loss
Macronutrients and Their Importance
Macronutrients are an essential part of your diet. What are macronutrients? Macronutrients arent as complicated as they sound theyre just nutrients that your body requires in large amounts. These nutrients provide energy or calories.
The three macronutrients include:
Proteins Proteins provide four calories per gram
Carbohydrates Carbs provide four calories per gram
Fats Fats provide approximately 9 calories per gram
The body needs all three of these macronutrients, as well as water and micronutrients (which well talk about later) to function optimally.
Lets take a closer look at each macronutrient and how you can figure out the right balance of each macronutrient to optimize your muscle gains.
The Role of Proteins in Muscle Building
Protein plays an important role in muscle building because the body uses proteins to construct all body tissues. Your body uses proteins to help repair muscles after a tough workout, which is why its so important to get enough protein. Its also essential to make sure that youre eating the right kind of proteins.
All proteins are made up of amino acids. Certain amino acids can be made by the body, while others cannot. Your body doesnt need the amino acids it can make on its own. However, the amino acids that the body cant make must be taken in through your diet. The body must have all the essential amino acids in order to repair or build tissue.
Proteins are broken into two categories:
Incomplete Proteins Incomplete proteins do not contain all of the essential amino acids and these proteins generally come from non-animal sources, such as nuts, veggies, and beans.
Complete Proteins Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids, and they generally come from animal sources.
A way to calculate your protein needs to make sure that approximately 30% of your calorie intake comes from protein.
Whole Eggs Whole eggs offer an excellent amount of protein and eating whole eggs makes sure that you get all the nutrition found in the egg yolks. One egg contains about 7 grams of protein and 70 calories, making it easy to add a lot of protein to your diet without adding a huge amount of calories. Here are a few ways to add whole eggs to your meals:
Dice eggs into salads
Make an omelette for breakfast
Boil the eggs
Make a meat, potatoes, and egg hash brown
Make your own egg protein cupcakes with egg, cheese, and diced meat.
Beef Beef offers plenty of protein, iron, creatine, vitamin B12, zinc, and other essential nutrients that aid in muscle building and fat loss. Beef comes in many differ forms, including stakes and ground beef. Add it to your meals by:
Making tacos with ground beef
Stir fry with veggies
Season and eat a nice steak
Whey Protein Isolate Enjoy whey protein isolate in your meals by:
Making whey protein shakes
Adding a scoop to your oatmeal
Take it on the go with a shaker and add liquid for a quick protein meal on the go
Chicken Chicken is also a protein start, offering a low-fat way to consume protein. It also contains magnesium, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin A. Youll get 26+ grams of proteins in a 3oz chicken breast for only 142 calories. Great ways to use chicken in your meals include:
Top a salad with cooked strips of chicken
Make healthy chicken strips
Spice up chicken with a salsa and sour cream sauce
Grill chicken and glaze with a fruity glaze or BBQ sauce
Salmon Salmon is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a great choice for a muscle building diet. It also provides important vitamins, such as vitamin D, vitamin B3, and vitamin B12. Use salmon in your diet by:
Making salmon tacos
Glazing and baking the salmon
Flaking salmon and cooking with pasta in a garlic sauce
Add flaked salmon to a salad
Other great sources of protein include:
Carbs for Muscle Building
Its important to eat enough carbs each day to make sure your body has plenty of calories to use for energy. This ensures that the protein you eat is left to support the growth and repair of muscles.
Carbohydrates come in two different groups:
Complex Carbs Complex carbs take longer to digest and they contain more nutrient, such as important fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Since these carbs are digested more slowly, the body enjoys a more stable release of energy
Simple Carbs Simple carbohydrates are carbs that are quickly digested. This often leaves you feeling hungry, which may make you start eating more than you should. Simple carbs also lead to spikes in blood sugar. Its important to limit simple carbs, such as sports drinks, sodas, white breads, pastries, etc.
About 40% of your calories should come from carbs when youre focusing on lean muscle building. Grains, beans, and vegetables offer a great source of complex carbs. Some of the best nutrient dense carbs to add to your diet include:
Whole wheat bread, tortillas, and pastas
Shredded wheat cereal
Fats for Muscle Building and Fat Loss
You also need fats to achieve your muscle building goals. Many people make the mistake of trying to avoid fasts when theyre working to build muscle. Even if your goal is fat loss and muscle gains, you still need to consume enough fat. Fats are essential to your body, and certain types of fat are essential for muscle growth, muscle recovery, joint health, brain function, and more.
Fats come in three main groups, including:
Saturated Fats Saturated fats are fats that generally come from animal sources, such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. Some people think that saturated fats should be avoided, but you dont need to completely eliminate saturated fats. Consuming both saturated and unsaturated fats can help you maintain high testosterone levels, making it easier for you to gain muscle.
Unsaturated Fats Unsaturated fats generally come from vegetable sources and they are known as good fats because they help to raise your levels of good cholesterol. Some unsaturated fats even have the ability to reduce your risk of heart disease. Some excellent sources of unsaturated fats include nuts, fish, and vegetable oils, such as olive oil.
Trans Fatty Acids Trans fatty acids are a type of fat that you do want to avoid as much as possible. They have the ability to raise bad cholesterol while lowering good cholesterol levels.
How much fat should you have on a daily basis? Approximately 25-30% of your calorie intake should come from fats. However, since youre focusing your efforts on muscle building and fat loss, you do need to focus on your fat intake on healthy fats that will improve muscle growth. Great foods and oils that offer you a great source of health fats include:
Peanut butter (as long as its not high in sugar)
The Importance of Micro Nutrients
Although macronutrients are required in large quantities, you also need to take in small amounts of micronutrients to support your muscle building and fat loss efforts. What are micronutrients? Micronutrients are parts of food sources that dont offer caloric energy, yet they still perform many different physiological duties and are essential to maintaining good health.
Important Vitamins and Minerals Your Body Needs
Do you know what vitamins and minerals your body needs? Heres a list of essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs:
B Complex Vitamins
oB5 (pantothenic acid)
oB8 (ergadenylic acid)
oB9 (folic acid)
Great Sources of Micronutrients
How do you make sure you get plenty of micronutrients in your diet? First, cut out the junk food, since most junk food does not contain high amounts of important micronutrients. Second, focus on eating a wide variety of healthy foods. Some great foods to add to your diet to ensure that you get plenty of micronutrients to support your muscle building efforts include:
Fruits Fruits contain large amounts of important micronutrients, such as potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and more.
Veggies Veggies offer a wide range of micronutrients, from vitamin K to vitamin C.
Grains Grains are a great source of micronutrients, particularly if the whole grains include the endosperm, bran, and germ intact. Whole grains offer great micronutrients, such as selenium, magnesium, and B vitamins. For the most micronutrient intake, avoid refined grains, which remove many of the micronutrients by removing the germ and bran.
Dairy and Meat Animal based products, such as dairy products and meats, are a great source of micronutrients. Eggs, poultry, and fish provide iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, and B vitamins. Dairy products offer vitamin D, potassium, and calcium.
Common Nutrition Mistakes to Avoid
Mistake #1 Not Getting Enough Calories
Mistake #2 Not Eating Enough Real Food Another big nutrition mistake to avoid when youre focusing on muscle building is not eating enough real food. Supplements to improve your micronutrient intake are great. Adding protein powders to your diet can help you to add more protein to your diet in an easy way. However, you need to make sure that youre eating plenty of real food. Try to focus on eating a real, whole food diet first. Then you can figure out where you need to add some supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps. Remember, supplements should only be an addition to your diet they shouldnt be replacements for your diet.
Mistake #3 Failing to Be Consistent Do you find yourself eating great, muscle-friendly meals on one day, and then the next day you have a tough time meeting your nutrition goals? Your body is going to show your inconsistencies. If you want real muscle building results, its essential to make sure that you follow a good nutrition plan consistently. The best way to improve your consistency is to start scheduling your meals for the day and planning what youre going to eat to make sure that you get all the nutrients that you need. Sporadic eating will make it difficult to see muscle gains and fat loss. Taking the time to do some planning in advance and sticking to your plan will make it easier for you to be consistent with your muscle building diet.
Mistake #4 Failing to Pay Attention to Pre and Post Workout Nutrition Dont make the mistake of failing to pay attention to your pre and post workout nutrition. Its easy to focus on your meals throughout the day, but you need to really think about what youll be eating right before you work out and right after you work out. If youre having a tough time seeing the muscle building results that you want, even when youre working out hard, you need to start paying attention to your nutrition right before and after you work out. Before you work out, make sure you have about 50-60 grams of complex carbs and 20-30 grams of healthy protein. Once youre done with your workout, fuel up with 40 grams of fast-acting protein and 50 grams of simple carbs, which you can get from a sports drink.
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About the Author: Troy van spanje is a personal trainer and Muscle building expert.