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"the straight skinny on diet and nutrition for the body building athlete"

by christian griffith -

Nutrition: Nutrition is the most important part of athletic/fitness achievement.
A proper nutrition program is eighty percent of an effective fitness program! P
roper eating habits must be consistent, efficient and persistent. Adhering to pr
oper and consistent nutrition will ensure maximum performance for your workouts
and maximize results achieved from your exercise program. If you choose not to f
ollow a good nutrition program, you can plan on seeing about twenty percent of t
he results that would be possible.
Water: Water is the most important nutrient in your body, and is essential to a
good, healthy diet. You must drink at least 80-100 oz. (10-12 glasses) every day
. No exceptions!
Foods: Your daily food intake should consist of 30% protein, 50% carbohydrates a
nd 20% fats. Eat good, lean sources of protein such as fish, chicken breast, tur
key breast, egg whites, or any of numerous protein powders/shakes that are on th
e market. Its best to consume complex carbohydrates such as white and brown rice
, sweet and white potatoes, fresh fruit and vegetables, Low-fat whole wheat brea
d or wheat/oat bagels. You do need to allow for some fat in your diet, but try t
o avoid saturated fat from animal protein. Try to get you fat from monounsaturat
ed sources like, olive oil, walnuts, peanuts, almonds and various others. Allow
yourself one small dessert daily (don't go overboard). A little treat can take t
he edge off, but that's it, only one time daily! Oh, if your not already a label
reader you are going to need to become one. Unless you're a dietitian or nutrit
ionist you're probably not going to always know what you're eating, so always re
ad the nutrition label.
Avoid : High calorie foods and dishes containing fatty dairy products, and high
saturated fat. If you must eat something really fattening, eat only small, cauti
ous and infrequent portions. Whenever possible avoid rich dressings and dips alt
ogether. Don't eat desserts before bed and avoid anything two hours before bedti
me if possible. You do not burn a lot of calories while sleeping. Calories in yo
ur stomach during sleep risk being stored as fat.
Try to get in the habit of eating for what you are going to do, instead of what
you have done. If you are going to be burning a lot of calories, eat more comple
x-carbohydrates. If you are going to be lying around, eat less.
Multivitamin/mineral and Protein supplements: As your diet may be lacking in the
essential vitamins and minerals, it is a good idea to get a time-released multi
vitamin. Get something a little better than Centrum. Most gym and health food st
ores offer a variety of good and effective vitamin formulas. A power/shake mix i
s another useful aid in your quest for a faster, more efficient metabolism. It i
s an easy way to get in a quick meal replacement, but don't make these the bulk
of your diet. Try to limit yourself to around two liquid meals daily with the ot
her 2-4 meals being solid meals. The shakes contain high quality protein; some e
ven contain carbohydrates, so pick one you like and use it in conjunction with y
our food. Supplement shakes are a quick alternative to eating a meal. A shake ca
n be blended up on the run, quickly and efficiently.
Meal Frequency: Meals need to be eaten more frequently and in smaller portions,
three to four hours apart. Frequent meals are important in helping to speed up y
our metabolism. Speeding up your metabolism is the only way to permanently lose
body fat and obtain lean muscle mass. When you begin eating your meals more freq
uently your body will begin to burn energy at a faster rate. A faster metabolism
will result in more calories being burned during the day, as well as giving you
higher levels of energy. Eat 4-6 small meals each day!
The Cooler Plan: Avoid eating out at all cost! This may be extremely hard for so
me and easier for others. Restaurant food simply is not going to be low in fat.
If a restaurant does serve some lean dishes, you are probably not going to be lu
cky enough to have ordered it. The bottom line is you don't always know what you
are getting. It is amazing how it always taste better at the restaurant. Have y
ou every wondered why? Fat and sodium that's why! Good old grocery store food wi
ll be leaner every time (nobody said it would taste better!). You are going to n
eed to get in the habit of precooking/preparing your meals! Here is where Mr. Co
leman and his products come in handy. A hand held carry cooler will save you eve
ry time, provided it is packed with your low fat, home cooked meals. You are goi
ng to need to plan ahead of time (always) in order to have meals prepared to eat
. Find low-fat foods that you can tolerate, and stick to them. You need to allow
time to ease into your new way of eating. Some may need only a couple of weeks
others may need a few months, but your efforts must be consistent. Consistency i
n your meals and efforts are required for successful transition to living a low
fat, high protein, frequent meal, and lifestyle. A drastic change in your eating
habits is not something that you can just jump into.
Challenge: Getting and maintaining a consistently low body fat is something that
requires a certain amount of personal challenge and sacrifice. For many, this w
ill require a lifestyle change. Let's face it! There are not a lot of really lea
n folks out there, and with today's fast pace society it can be difficult to eat
frequently. Eating a small meal every three to four hours can be done. It may r
equire a bit more time, but if you learn to think and plan your grocery store vi
sit and your meals, well ahead of time, you are certain to be successful. I reco
mmend making a priority list. Make a List your priorities and remember that a se
rious diet needs to be way up there on your list! Your quest for a faster and mo
re energy efficient metabolism needs to be your focus, as you make changes in yo
ur eating habits.
Effective Time Management: Many people fail in their quest to get lean because t
hey do not utilize time better, and more efficiently. Allocating time to eat in
frequent intervals and to religiously perform cardiovascular work combined with
weight training is the core to lowering your body fat. It is simply a matter of
giving up leisure time to prepare meals and workout! Certainly, a learner health
ier body is worth a few hour of your leisure time. If you are going to get lean,
you must plan your day thoroughly. Spontaneity will kill your lean and frequent
eating habits every time. Plan out your day, everyday, and work your plan!
Eliminate Negative Influences: Getting away for those negative influences in you
r life is a huge part of getting lean. This bad influence could be anyone, broth
er, husband, wife, best friends, etc. I am not saying that you should completely
block them out of your life, but resist the negative statements, comments or ac
tions that they may have towards your fitness goals. If your particular negative
influence is not a loved one, try to eliminate hanging around them all together
, at least for the first few months of starting this program. Remember, a person
that does not care about getting lean and physically fit, is prone to drag othe
rs down with them. Do not let anyone, or anything sideline you. Stay focused on
your goals!
Cardiovascular Exercise: (Running, Walking, Stepper, Treadmill, Bike, etc.) Cons
istently performing cardiovascular exercises is essential to speeding up your me
tabolism and effective in burning away fat, as well as strengthening the heart.
Your card exercise is best done when blood sugar is low. First thing in the morn
ing or after you workouts, are the best and most effective times to do your card
io. You need to do at least 20 min. and no more than an hour per session. In ord
er for cardio to be effective, it must be done no less than three times weekly.
It needs to be somewhat difficult, really working hard but not to the point to w
here you can't talk or hold a conversation (don't go so fast that you are gaspin
g for your breath) but get moving! Keep your pulse rate at your target heart ran
ge (Take 220 minus your age), then work at 60-75% of that for the endurance of y
our session. For Example: If you are 40 years old (220-40=180) to get your maxim
um working heart rate. Then 180 multiplied by .75=135 Beats per min. 135 beats p
er minute being your target heart rate, and needs to be maintained during you ca
rdio session. Oh yeah, vary your cardio exercises, maybe do the stepper for 15mi
n. and then the treadmill for 15. Variation may prevent burnout, and shock your
muscles, but remember to sustain 60-75% of your maximum heart rate. Maintaining
a certain amount of intensity during your cardiovascular exercise will help ensu
re that your metabolism speeds up.
Recovery: Your body will need rest to achieve your fitness goals. Never workout
more than 4 days a week and be sure to get 6-8 hours of sleep nightly. One of th
e most common mistakes among gym patrons is over training! Don't fall victim to
over training. Too much of a good thing can be bad.
Consistency: is the most important thing of all, in both your eating habits as w
ell as your weight training and cardiovascular exercise. You must perform at lea
st three days of each in order to see results! Less than three days a week just
doesn't cut it for most. Remember that in order to keep fat off permanently, you
must speed up your metabolism. A faster metabolism will result in more calories
being burned during the day. Your metabolic rate will not speed up unless you a
re consistent in your cardio and weight training efforts.