When one speaks about diets it usually evokes visions of restricted calorie intake, a need to lose pounds, food journals, meal replacement drinks, etc. However, diets are designed to address many different health aspects. For example, a pregnant woman may shift her diet to conform to her baby’s needs, as might a diabetic to help his or her body manage the disease. A less popular view of a diet, is one that aims at increasing one’s weight which may have been lost for many reasons (eating disorder, side effect of medication, etc.), or because one is training for a specific discipline.
Bodybuilders typically engage in gaining weight to help their bodies be at their best by bodybuilding standards. This gains even more importance if the bodybuilder is training for a competition. At the core of the bodybuilder diet is embracing a diet that allows for increased mass while keeping levels of fat in check and as low as possible. The bodybuilder diet involves a lot of number crunching to find that optimal level in which you are eating enough calories to grow in mass, but not so many that your fat content increases significantly. In addition, men and women need to account for the difference in their metabolism. It is known that women’s metabolisms are slower than men’s and the bodybuilder needs to keep this in mind as he or she changes their diet.
For women, it has been recommended to up her calorie intake by about 500 calories a day as she is bulking up and increasing her muscle mass. If the initial 500 calorie increase is not enough, then the bodybuilder should continue to increase her calorie intake until the desired level is reached. However, if the bodybuilder is preparing for a competition, then it is time to tame down some calories in order to truly show his or her best muscles and diminish body fat to a minimum. Bodybuilding is usually judged based on the muscle’s shape and how lean the body is.
If the bodybuilder is in-between competitions, or aiming to bulk up again, it is important to add more carbs to the diet. However, as they prepare for competition, they will want to add more proteins into their diets in the form of egg whites, nuts, avocado and lean meats. Veggies are encouraged as well, always in moderation.
So is a bodybuilding diet a good idea for everyone? In theory, having lean muscle mass and low fat sounds ideal. However, increasing calorie intake excessively is not for everyone. Similarly, forsaking certain food items from your diet is not always a good idea, particularly if you have specific health conditions that may be compromised by a radical change in diet. If you are not a professional bodybuilder and are not exercising on par with the bodybuilder’s diet, you will risk an excess of calories which may even produce weight gain despite your efforts.
How should one approach weight loss, then? If you are not a professional bodybuilder, you should probably steer clear of this diet. Weight loss is achieved when your eating and exercise habits are in line and aligned with your healthy life. Eating good foods in moderation as well as increasing your daily physical activity is what will ultimately result in long-term and sustainable weight loss. Consulting with a professional in how to approach your weight loss plan is always a good idea, as is charting a plan with measurable and achievable milestones to help you through it.
If you are indeed trying to become a bodybuilder, definitely consult with trained specialists to get advice on how to best approach your new goal before engaging in any diet that may affect your body negatively. But if you are not, attempt to lose weight gradually and sensibly through healthier eating and an increase in exercise.
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