No matter your fitness goals, workouts are just a small part of the plan, and diet plays a substantial role in helping you achieve your targets. The same goes for bodybuilding and focusing on increasing muscle mass. Are you planning to start your bodybuilding journey but are unsure what diet to follow? If yes, then keep reading this article to learn some essential tips and meal ideas that can create the Best bodybuilding diet for beginners.
Why is an Adapted Diet Program Important for Bodybuilders?
Did you know that what you eat accounts for 70% of achieving your fitness goals? This is enough data to help you realize the importance of a proper diet in a bodybuilding regime.
If you want to build muscle mass, it is crucial to learn about your calorie requirements and cater to them in a way that fulfills all the macro and micronutrient needs. Your muscles are built at rest, and it is important to provide them with proper nutrition with quality food items. A balanced diet for your muscle-building goals can help with muscle recovery, which is essential for your progress. If you are creating a bodybuilding diet for beginners, you must include good-quality meals with high protein to support your muscles.
The Basics of the Best Bodybuilding Diet
While a diet plan depends on your personal preferences and goals, the micronutrient intake should be distributed in your daily intake as follows –
- 25% of protein to repair muscle tissues and grow muscle mass, which is the key factor in bodybuilding.
- 50% of carbs to get ample energy for your activity and workout levels.
- 25% of lipids, including fatty acids, to balance hormones.
Bodybuilding Grocery List Essentials
While preparing a bodybuilding diet chart for the day or the entire week, you need to ensure that your kitchen is filled with the essential items in advance. For this, make sure to include the following foods and ingredients in your grocery list –
|Whole eggs, white meat, fish, greek yogurt, and protein powders.
|Brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa, potatoes, oats, cereals, and yams.
|Fruits, green and fibrous veggies, along with beans and legumes of choice.
|Olive oil, nut/seeds oil, and coconut oil.
11 Bodybuilding Nutrition Tips You Need to Follow
Talking about creating the best bodybuilding diet, here are a few tips and recommendations to help you reach your muscle-building goals with proper nutrition –
1. Whole Foods are Key
This quote by a famous food writer – “Avoid eating anything your grand mom wouldn’t recognize as food,” goes a long way in helping you decide on better food options. The key is to eat whole foods, including lean meats, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, to provide your muscles with all the nutrients they crave, along with a constant supply of amino acids. Whole foods also better satisfy your hunger and contain ample loads of macronutrients to build muscle mass.
2. Breakfasts are Super Important
If you have been skipping breakfast or eating on the go, you need to change your routine. To gain muscle mass, you need to eat a breakfast as wholesome as your lunch. Ensure that you include a good amount of protein, like a whey protein powder, to break the catabolism. After this, you can eat a whole breakfast before going about your day.
3. Include Calorie Tracking
While creating a bodybuilding diet chart, you can also try to include caloric estimates of the food items to have an idea about your calorie consumption. This way, you will know if you are eating enough or if you want to lose weight; it will help you figure out how many calories to cut while still fulfilling your daily macro and micronutrient requirements. You can keep a detailed food diary or use some food-tracking apps to crunch the numbers.
4. Consume Whey Protein to Support Your Workouts
Consuming whey and glucose can prompt larger stores of post-training muscle glycogen, which is the main energy source for working muscles. You can aim for around 20-30 grams of quality whey protein powder before and after your workout sessions to enhance workout performance and support muscle repair & recovery.
If you are looking for good-quality whey protein powders, you can opt for Eligator platinum whey or the ISO cool whey protein isolate. The whey protein range is created to cater to different body and fitness needs with safe, authentically-sourced ingredients.
5. Don’t Eliminate Carbs
You need to make sure that you include plenty of carbs in your diet (around 2 grams per pound of body weight) to provide you with ample energy and fuel for the brutal lifting sessions. Some good options to meet your carbohydrate intake include brown rice, oats, and quinoa. You can also have fruits, potatoes, and rice as a post-workout snack to deliver amino acids to the muscles.
6. Ace Your Planning Game
The saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” stands correct in creating a bodybuilding diet. You need to plan your meals ahead of time to ensure that you have food items and meals ready and you don’t look for quick alternatives that can be unhealthy. Use the weekends to create batches of food and meals and keep essential items, like eggs and rice, stocked up in the fridge at all times.
7. Protein Before Bed
It is advised to take 20-40 grams of casein protein powder or low-fat cottage cheese 30 minutes before bedtime to ensure a steady supply of amino acids to the muscles. This can help reduce catabolism in your sleep, which can support your muscle growth process. You can also consume flaxseed oil or some nuts before bed to slow down catabolism.
8. Good V/S Bad Fats
The trans-fatty acids found in fried and junk foods are the bad fats that you need to avoid. Apart from this, saturated fats are essential for building a solid physique. It helps increase testosterone production and aids in any joint pain you might face during heavy lifting sessions. You can aim for around 0.5 grams of fat per pound of body weight and consume them from saturated, monosaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.
- Saturated fats: beef, coconut products, and dairy.
- Monosaturated fats: almonds, avocado, olive oil, and peanut butter.
- Polyunsaturated fats: fatty fish, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts.
9. Eat Protein-Packed Meals
As a rule of thumb, you need to aim for around 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight to reach your bodybuilding goals. Hence, it is vital to include protein-rich foods in your bodybuilding diet chart to provide your muscles with an uninterrupted supply of amino acids for better recovery and growth. Some food options with high-quality protein include dairy, eggs, red meat, and seafood. If you follow a vegetarian diet, the alternate options are given in the section below.
10. Don’t Be Too Restrictive
As important as it is to stick to your calorie goals, it is important to leave room for your favorite foods now and then. If you keep following a very strict diet, it can make you frustrated, and sooner or later, you will fall off the wagon. So, for a sustainable diet plan, you can eat a treat here and there, but keep in mind quantity is key, and you need to avoid going overboard.
11. Don’t Forget to Be Hydrated
Last but not least, hydration is essential not only for bodybuilding but for overall health. It helps remove toxins from the body, helps you stay full to reduce the chances of overeating, and helps you reach your weight loss goals. Hydration can impact your metabolism, and it is advised to drink at least ten glasses of water daily to avoid dehydration and low energy levels.
Vegetarian Bodybuilding Diet Plan Ideas
You need to ensure that you meet your calorie requirements and protein intake even while following a vegetarian bodybuilding diet, and here’s an example diet plan to provide you an idea of what your meals should look like –
- Early morning – lukewarm lemon water, a fruit of your choice, whey protein, or a glass of skimmed milk.
- Breakfast – Oatmeal, ragi, or wheat flakes with milk (nut milk, if you follow a vegan diet) or whole wheat toast with peanut butter.
- Mid-morning snack – Buttermilk, yogurt, dahi, or two cheese slices.
- Lunch – veggies, a bowl of dal, brown rice, or whole wheat rotis (jowar or bajra otis are also good options), with cucumber, onion, and tomatoes.
- Evening snack – Boiled chickpea or black chana salad, boiled eggs, or cottage cheese cubes.
- Dinner – a bowl of dal & veggies with jowar/bajra rotis, quinoa, or brown rice.
Tips for Veg Meal Plans –
- Swap rice for quinoa for a higher protein alternative.
- Eat at least two servings of fruits in a day, and add veggies, like broccoli and spinach, to your diet, as they are great sources of calcium.
- Include nuts and seeds in your diet, or sprinkle them on your food items.
- Include peanut butter to meet your calorie needs, as it is also a great source of good fats and protein.
- Consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements to meet your micronutrient requirements while following a vegetarian bodybuilding diet.
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What Supplements are Crucial in Your Bodybuilding Diet Chart?
Supplements can be a good addition to a bodybuilding diet for beginners, and the following supplements, when bought from authentic brands, can support the muscle-building process –
Whey Protein – As discussed above, whey protein can provide you with much-needed protein intake easily. It can help with muscle growth recovery and is a great pre and post-workout drink option. You can choose whey protein isolate or an ultra micro-filtered option for the best bodybuilding diet.
BCAAs – Creatine monohydrate and BCAA supplements can help gain skeletal muscles, especially while maintaining muscle mass in a calorie deficit, along with aiding in muscle soreness and fatigue.
Vitamins – Multivitamins and mineral supplements can provide a wide range of essential micronutrients that aren’t fulfilled by your regular diet. A common mistake people make while following a bodybuilding diet is to focus on macros while ignoring micros, and this is where multivitamins can be of huge help.
Muscle-Building Stack – A muscle-building stack can be a wise choice to include multiple supplements in a synergy. You can opt for the Eligator muscle building stack, which contains whey protein, a pre-workout powder, l-arginine tablets, and multivitamin supplements.
All these supplements are available in different options and flavors at Eligator Nutrition These products are safe and authentic and created with high-quality ingredients to support your fitness needs in the best way.
Foods to Avoid & Foods to Switch to While Trying to Gain Muscle Mass
Here are some common food options that are worst for your bodybuilding diet, along with some alternative swaps –
1. Bagels, pretzels, and donuts that are made of just refined carbs and are high in calories. You can swap these for whole-grain bread with peanut or almond butter.
2. Regular your alcohol consumption, and if you choose to drink occasionally, ensure to stick to a two-drink limit.
3. Everyone’s beloved cookies, cakes, and pastries are all carb-filled goodies that are made with all-purpose flour and contain empty calories. You can swap these for whole wheat flour and choose jaggery or dates in place of sugar.
4. Pre-made smoothies, fruit juices, and soda drinks are full of sugar content and loaded with calories. These do no good for your bodybuilding diet chart, and you can choose fresh fruits to make healthy smoothies at home instead.
5. Potato chips and processed and ready-to-eat food items have additive, preservative, and artificial ingredients that do not contribute to muscle gain and only add calories. You can instead go for air-fried potato chips, greek yogurt bars, and homemade alternatives.
6. Butter should be swapped for olive or sesame oil or even ghee for unsaturated fat sources.
7. Lastly, pizzas, the universal favorite dish, contain more than 400 calories per slice and not-so-ideal ingredients for a healthy muscle mass. Instead, you can create your whole wheat crust pizza with low-fat cheese and tons of veggies.
Thus, proper nutrition and calorie intake can help you reach your bodybuilding goals with healthy muscle mass. You can include supplements to your diet as suited and follow these tips and meal plan ideas to feed your muscles effectively.