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Bodybuilder / Mass Gainer Nutrition – What to eat and not to eat?
Build Lean muscle / Gain Mass Nutrition - Proper Bodybuilding nutrition
There’s plenty of advice out there for people trying to lose weight, but what if you struggle with gaining lean muscle mass? It’s a more common problem than you think! Even if you’re working with a Las Vegas personal trainer to build muscle, it can be difficult for some people to put on weight. As anyone who has ever researched bodybuilding nutrition can tell you, there is lots of information (and misinformation) out there. But what experts generally agree on is that there are a couple of tried and true dietary rules for putting on weight:
- Eat more calories than you burn.
- Eat a variety of foods that are rich in protein, healthy fats, and a mix of complex and simple carbohydrates.
Those are the basics, but what a lot of hard gainers fail to realize is that meal timing is crucial to gaining lean muscle mass. You’ve probably heard the adage, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” If you’re trying to put on weight, this saying is doubly true. After waking, your muscles are already in a catabolic, or muscle-wasting, state, and it’s important to put a stop to it by getting the right combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Fast-acting protein, such as that found in eggs or fish, is ideal to prevent catabolism, as well a mass gainer protein shake. Try a mixture of simple and complex carbs, like oatmeal, for lasting energy. It’s important to get a good dose of essential fatty acids (EFAs) through nuts or healthy oils, too. Your lunch should be somewhat similar in composition. Just make sure you’re going for low-glycemic carbs that will boost your energy, instead of putting on the wrong kind of mass- fat.
Dinner and Good Night Shake
Choosing the right foods for dinner is very important as well, since they will probably be the last foods you eat until breakfast the next day. Your goal is to get enough slow-acting proteins, like those found in poultry and red meat, to sustain an anabolic (muscle-building) state throughout the night. A small amount of complex carbs without a lot of sugar, and plenty of healthy fats round out a healthy meal. Dinner is the time to eat big! Eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before going to bed and have a casein protein shake 1 hour to half an hour before going to sleep. That will ensure your muscles will not starve and degrade while you sleep as casein is released slowly throughout the night nourishing your body.
But what about all that time in between meals? It’s best to have mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks two to three hours before lunch and dinner to keep blood sugar levels stable and energy levels up. Choose a low-sugar protein or meal replacement powder and combine it with full-fat milk to maximize protein and calorie intake. Energy bars and trail mix are also great for between-meal snacks, but be sure to check the sugar content. You want to eat a lot of calories but they are not all created equal. Avoid sugar, fried foods, and have saturated fats in moderation. Healthy fats, like the ones in avocados, nuts, and olive oil are good for you and help you absorb nutrients from other vegetables like spinach, that your body would otherwise partially waste. So add olive or canola oil to your salad, avocado to your sandwich, and some nuts to your low sugar yogurt.
Maximizing Calorie Intake
It can be tough to eat in a calorie surplus. Stopping to eat every two hours can be inconvenient without proper planning, and many gainers at first find that eating so much so often feels unnatural and unpleasant. Fortunately, there are a number of protein powders on the market that are designed with the sole purpose of assisting in weight gain. Protein shakes can really pack in the calories, and are easy to take on the go. They’re much less filling than other nutrient-dense foods, and don’t require a lot of preparation. They can even be blended with milk and sugar-free Greek yogurt for the ultimate protein boost.
Remember: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like the ones in avocado, nuts, and vegetable oils are healthy and your friend! Keep processed and refined sugars to a minimum, but feel free to add fruit to your shakes, salads, yogurt, etc. Fruit sugar is metabolized and processed differently than refined sugar in your body and overall healthy as they provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can also add unprocessed cheese and quinoa to your salads and sandwiches, nuts and granola to your yogurt, raw oatmeal to your shakes, etc. Be creative! There are plenty of ways to add healthy calories to your meal.
Eat Quality Food
Sure, working out and making it to the gym regularly play a big role on achieving your fitness goals but your results are directly related to your diet as well. Eat quality foods! If you make the right eating choices on a daily basis your results will come a lot faster. Choose brown rice over white rice, whole wheat pasta and bread over regular pasta and white bread, eat a sweet or baked potato as your meal side instead of that greasy and artificial mac and cheese. You would be surprised as to how much little things on a daily basis add up and how fast they translate into great fitness results. The hardest part is to get started but don't feel discouraged. Planning your meals can be very advantageous to keeping you on track. If you can take a couple hours on the weekend to plan most of your meals for the following week you will find it easier to keep a healthy eating routine. Make one change at a time and once you are used to it, move on to the next, and you will see how you will be eating like a true mass gainer in no time and with little effort!
Ask Your Professional Las Vegas Personal Trainer
With great work comes great results! And your professional Las Vegas personal trainer is here to help you. Don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have about how to build strong muscles and bodybuilding nutrition! A professional personal trainer can put you on the right path to gaining the body you want and help you get and stay motivated.