In the quest for lean muscles and low body fat percentage, it’s tough to say whether nutrition or training should take a back seat. Sans regular exercise, weight los and bulk building will be much slower – but without an adequate meal plan, buckets of at-gym sweat will go amiss in a matter of weeks. When it comes to plain figures, what’s more important: diet or training?
From the Plate Upwards
Whether you’re looking to burn fat or build bulk, you’ll need to double-check your serving sizes and menu ingredients and optimize both in order to achieve desired results without delays or stagnation in the mix.
The old adage is true: you are what you eat, so if your menu is structured around takeout and sugary snacks, your reflection in the mirror won’t keep quiet about your dietary habits. Likewise, if the sole purpose of your at-gym workouts is to push endurance and strength limits too far or too often, you may end up doubled over the bench unless you’ve braced your carte du jour for high-intensity trainings. For this reason, pro coaches say that the road to gold medals begins by a trip to the grocery store: it takes a champion to cook up a failsafe meal plan that will produce optimal results when paired with a goal-specific workout.
Know (and Eat) Thy Needs
Nutrition is the cornerstone of success for bodybuilders and athletes (weightwatchers, too), but you can’t just download a smart-looking meal plan from the internet and call it a perfect diet for your individual fitness objective.
To optimize your carte du jour for weight loss, bulk building, or weight maintenance, you’ll need to take a good look at your daily nutrient needs and see to it that they’re adequately met. You can estimate your target calorie intake by adding up total daily energy expenditure and breaking the figures down to get exact nutrient quantities for protein, carbohydrates, and fats. If you’re looking to bust stubborn fat stock, you should aim for 20% caloric deficit, and if you’re set on building some husky muscle mass, your daily caloric intake should beat your TDEE by 10-20%.
Macros Muscles are made of
The main components in your diet include protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat. Each of these plays a critical role in your overall health status, which is why you shouldn’t neglect your macros if you want to get – and stay – fit and strong.
Proteins are building blocks of all living cells, and as such play a critical role in meal planning. The daily protein intake of an average adult should total 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, but the exact figure may wary based on sex, age, lifestyle, and other factors. As for carbohydrates, these are used as readily expendable fuel to cover energy expenditure through daily activities. Nutrition experts say that carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of an adult’s calorie intake, while fat should account for 20-30% of total calories consumed each day.
Micronutrients Matter, Too
In addition to proteins, carbs, and healthy fats, micronutrients and fiber also have a hand in your overall shape and health, and therefore shouldn’t be taken lightly or skipped in meal plan prep.
An average adult should eat 25-40 grams of fiber a day to keep their digestive processes running smoothly, and you’ll also need to keep your vitamin and mineral bases covered if you want to stay healthy and strong in the years to come. As a rule, most of the listed nutrients (micros and macros alike) should come from clean, natural sources, but you can also use supplements to patch up gaps in the meal agenda if you’re exposing your body to intense physical strain every day or are struggling to meet nutrient RDAs from the plate alone.
No Gym Cheaters, Please
No workout the coach decides to throw your way, however intense, will be too tough to endure if your meal plan and rest periods are in place, but a few dietary leg-ups may just help you reach your target weight and fitness goal faster.
To nudge weight loss onto the speedier lane, you can reinforce your meal plan with a quality fat burner such as EHP Labs OxyShred: it’ll up your metabolic rate, enhance nutrient exchange in the cells, and get that ab flab melting in a blink. Or, if you’re looking to build some mean-looking bulk, you can line your kitchen shelves with first-rate protein supplement such as whey or casein powder. A word of caution: whether you’re training to lose weight or increase muscle mass, no amount of supplements will produce desired results without training consistency and adequate diet tweaks.
When it comes to diet and exercise, both are essential for long-term health – but if you’re eager to get your training and performance on the right and sustainable foot, you’ll need to brace your eating agenda for the challenge. After all, all that sweat and muscle strain will be of little use if you continue to cherish a tummy-deep romance with fattening food, so be smart and clean up your dietary act if you want to see fat melting and sexy six-pack surfacing to the light of day. Bon appétit!