So you want to build muscle, burn fat and get ripped… who doesn’t?
If you’ve been studying up on build muscle for any amount of time then you’ve likely heard the saying, “muscle is built and fat is burned in the kitchen”…
The reality is, no matter how much time we spend in the gym pumping iron to build muscle or doing high-intensity interval training to burn fat we’re not following the right diet and nutrition program we’re going to get the results we want.
With that said, let’s take a look at some simple thing you can do to ensure that your diet and nutrition plan is supporting your goals of building muscle, burning fat, and getting ripped.
1. Eat Breakfast
I get it, you’re super busy and you’re lucky if you have enough time in the morning to drink a cup of coffee.
But if you’re really serious about building muscle (and burning fat) then you have to make sure you get fit breakfast into your morning routine.
Hands down, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast ends the overnight fast (hence the name: break fast)… and allows your body to get out of its catabolic state (which breaks down muscle). Plus it gives your muscles the fuel and energy they need to get back into a muscle building state.
Avoid skipping breakfast at all costs!
2. Eat Real Food
Look, I’m all for using supplements, protein powders, and such to supplement your regular diet. But when it comes to breakfast, you need to start the day with real, whole foods.
That’s all I got to say about that.
3. Eat Every 3 to 4 Hours
You muscles grow as long as you have the right amount of blood sugar in your body.
As long as your insulin levels are in check, your body knows it’s okay to use the nutrients in your body to build muscle, rather than storing them as fat. For this to happen you have to eat every 3-4 hours to prevent your body from going into starvation mode.
I’m not saying you need to eat full meals, eating healthy snacks throughout the day can get the job done.
The typical American diet of eating just 3 huge meals a day doesn’t work (no wonder the majority of the population is too skinny, too fat, and constantly sick).
You’re better off having 6 smaller meals throughout the day or 3 main meals along with a few light snacks.
4. Drink Water, Drink Water, and Drink More Water
You know that 60% of your body is made up of water and that every chemical rejection in your body happens in a water-based environment.
If you do not drink enough water you are going to get dehydrated and the functions in your body will not work properly (including your muscle building and fat burning!).
Try to drink a minimum of .5 ounces for every pound of body weight at a minimum and up to 1 ounce per pound of body weight if your bladder can handle it.
5. Measure, Monitor, and Adjust What You Eat
Analyse what you eat and see if you’re getting enough of the right nutrients to build muscle.
It’s easy to track your food intake, calories, and macronutrients using an app like MyFitness Pal. Simply track all those metrics and see how your body is responding. You can make adjustments to your diet based on your own results and see the effects.
Do a weekly check-in and make adjustments for the following week, track your results, and repeat.
6. Eat One Hour Before Training
Your body has to have the right nutrients in it to get you through a good muscle building workout.
Try to eat a blend of both carbohydrates and protein about an hour before you work out; carbs so you have the energy to get through an intense workout and protein so you don’t break down muscle.
I personally like to have a banana and some nuts as a pre-workout snack or kill two birds with one stone with a serving of Greek yogurt.
7. Eat Immediately After Your Workout
After breakfast, this is the most important meal for you when it comes to building muscle
After training you muscle are broke down and in major need of repair. You need to eat as fast as you can after your workout to get the much-needed nutrients into your muscle so they can repair and grow.
You’ll want your postworkout meal to include complex carbohydrates and protein. And don’t forget to rehydrate as well!
Like I said in the beginning of this post, muscle building and gettin ripped is just as much about what, when, and how you eat as it is working out in the gym.
Follow these tips and you’ll be on the way to building the ripped, muscular body you work so hard for and deserve!