Diet

Diet

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Are you growing enough muscle? (Part 2)

Bad Technique: You’re doing the right exercises, but are you doing them right? If you want to place the maximum amount of stress on the muscle, and prevent serious injuries, you have to execute every movement with good form. Don’t copy what others are doing in the gym, this is how bad habits spread. Here are a few general rules that apply to most exercises:

  • Keep your reps slow and controlled
  • Don’t use momentum to move weight (no swinging!)
  • Use a full range of motion
  • Don’t lock joints out at the top of movements

Wrong Exercises:  This goes hand in hand with a solid workout routine. Doing the wrong exercises is a common mistake made by new lifters. Usually, the lifter is either doing too many isolation exercises and not enough compounds, or only doing exercises they “like”. Big compound movements recruit the most muscle fibers and place the most stress on the body. These are your big muscle builders. A good compound to isolation ratio is 2-1, or 3-1. So for every 2-3 compound exercises you do, you do 1 isolation. This of course does not apply to arms, forearms, and calves where most exercises are isolation movements. Here are some big mass builders that you should be including in your routine:

  1. Squat
  2. Deadlift
  3. Wide grip pull up
  4. Chin up
  5. Rows
  6. Bench press (dumbbell and/or barbell)
  7. Dips
  8. Shoulder press (dumbbell or barbell)

Leg Training:  Want to increase your bench, increase your squat. Yeah, yeah, I know we all want big biceps and chests, but here’s 2 reasons why you should train your legs just as hard as the rest of your body. Firstly, think long term here. Do you want to get the ostrich look?! A big upper body on thin legs does not look good, in fact I’ve seen it in extremes, and it’s laughable! Secondly, exercises like squats have an impact on your whole body. Not only does it use most of your upper body muscles in the movement, but this exercise is so stressful that the body releases growth hormone to try and cope with the load. This effects the entire body.

Adequate Rest: Rest is just as important as training. Many people believe that muscle building takes place in the gym, but it’s actually the opposite. Weight training is actually creating millions of tears in the muscle tissue. In effect, you’re actually damaging the muscle. Your muscles get “pumped up” because of the swelling caused and increased blood flow to the area. The actual muscle building (repair and growth of new muscle tissue) takes place out of the gym, when you’re resting and sleeping. There are 2 ways you may not be getting enough rest. First, you are training too many days without taking as day off. Although you may not feel it, you body needs days of complete rest to recover from hard training sessions. It’s not just the muscles that need to recover, it’s your whole neurological system, tendons, joints, even your brain need rest. Secondly, and this comes back to your workout routine again, you may not be allowing muscle groups to fully recover between training sessions. If you do not allow enough recovery time, your muscles will not grow. It’s that simple. If your muscle group is still sore from the previous workout, don’t train it. For most muscle groups, one training session per week is adequate. Some smaller muscle groups like calves and abs may be trained twice, but still need at least 2 days of rest between sessions.

Quality Sleep: Sleeping is you body’s time to recharge. For you, the weight trainer, it’s your body’s time to repair damaged muscle tissue, and grow more muscle. As I discussed in the previous point, no rest, no muscle. Aim to get around 7-8 hours of good quality sleep every night. Here’s some tips on how to get a good night’s rest:

  • Only sleep when you’re tired. There’s no point it trying to when you’re not.
  • Develop sleeping rituals, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
  • Refrain from stressful activities for 1-2 hours before bed
  • Don’t take stimulates within 4-6 hours before bed time
  • Have a light snack before bed

Post Workout Nutrition:  Your post workout shake/meal is arguably the most important meal of the day. When you finish your workout, your muscles are crying out for nutrients that were lost during training. Your protein levels are down, creatine levels are down, and glycogen is depleted. Most people think that a simple whey protein shake is all that’s needed after your workout. This is not true. While a protein shake is better than nothing, it still falls well short of a good post workout shake. Here’s what would be better:

Shake containing the following:

  1. 30-40g of whey protein powder
  2. 5g of creatine
  3. 60-70g of dextrose

1 hour later: A well rounded meal containing protein, complex carbs and fats.

 

Pre Workout Nutrition: Carbohydrates are the key to having adequate fuel in your tank for a hard workout. There are 2 types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates (like dextrose mentioned above) are quickly converted into energy for use in the body. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and process, but provide you with long lasting energy. Complex carbohydrates are your primary fuel source for your workouts. What you eat throughout the day, and 1.5-3 hours before your workout is going to affect how much energy you have. Like I mentioned at the start of this article, you need to space your meals out evenly throughout the day. If you eat a big breakfast, a big lunch, then train after work, you’re probably going to feel tired and sluggish. What would be better a better approach would be to eat a small breakfast, mid morning meal, smaller lunch, afternoon meal, then train after work. This gives you about 2 hours between your last meal and training, which is ideal. So what should you have in your pre workout meal? This meal should be well rounded, containing protein, complex carbohydrate and fats. The amount of calories in the meal depends on your personal diet plan. Try and keep the protein/carbs/fats (PCF) ratio to around 30/50/20. Here is some examples of quality sources of complex carbohydrates:

  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes
  • Brown bread
  • Pasta
  • Oats
  • Pita bread

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Are you growing enough muscle? (Part 1)

Calories: Calorie consumption is the solution to about 90% of the complaints lifters have about not being about to get bigger and/or stronger. Your body requires a certain number of calories to maintain your current weight. This figure is known as basal metabolic rate (BMR), and varies from person to person depending on your weight, muscle mass, activity level, age etc. If your calorie intake is lower than BMR, you will lose weight. This is known as a calorie deficit. If your daily calorie intake is higher than your BMR, you will gain weight. This is known as a calorie surplus.

The Correct Foods: If you’re eating excess calories every day and training with a decent workout you’ll grow. But, if you’re not eating the right foods, the chances are that you’ll be limiting your potential, putting on excess body fat, and not growing enough lean muscle. The best way to plan your muscle building diet is to split it up into protein/carbohydrate/fat (P/C/F) ratios. Arguably the best ratio of muscle growth is 30/50/20. This mean you’re getting 30% of your total calories from protein, 50% from carbohydrates and 20% from fats.

Eating Enough: When you eat is just as important as what you eat. The days of eating “3 square meals” are long gone. Research has shown that eating more smaller meals is not only great for promoting a fast metabolism, but helps maintain, lose, and gain weight. Think of your body like a log fire. If you put too much wood on at once, the fire burns slow and sluggish. But if you gradually add more wood as the fire gets bigger, it burns more efficiently and gets bigger. You should be aiming for a minimum for 6 meals spread at even intervals throughout the day. You want to make these meals as even as possible, but it’s OK to eat a bit more at breakfast/lunch/dinner if you don’t have time during the other breaks. So you’re probably thinking, “I don’t have time to eat all those meals”. If I had a pound coin for every time I heard that I could retire. The truth is you can, it just requires a bit for forward planning. There are endless ways you can cook and store food for meals throughout the day. Spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon cooking up your lunches and snacks for the week. Use your imagination.

Water: Water is nature’s wonder supplement, it’s essential for a whole host of bodily functions. Many lifters underestimate the importance of being hydrated well before they step into the gym. If you feel dehydrated just before you’re about to train, it’s too late, you won’t be able to rehydrate yourself time. Keeping yourself hydrated should be a priority from the moment you get out of bed. Dehydration is a serious problem, and in extreme cases can lead to death. Here are some signs of dehydration you should look out for:

  • Feeling thirsty (obviously)
  • Fatigue. Feeling tired for no apparent reason.
  • Dry mouth and possible sore throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine with strong odor

Drinking an adequate amount of water is easy, and there’s no excuse why you cannot do it. Just take a bottle wherever you go and keep sipping out of it throughout the day.

The Workout Routine: Choosing the right routine to suit your body type, training experience and goal is vital. Many new lifters get their workout routines from magazines and articles written by professional bodybuilders. These workouts are not designed for beginners, and will only lead to a lot of wasted time, energy and frustration.

A good workout routine needs the following:

  1. Training days arranged to allow for adequate rest
  2. Muscle groups arranged so overtraining does not occur
  3. Muscle groups arranged so that each muscle can be worked to maximum effect
  4. A good selection of compound and isolation exercises
  5. Good warm up and cool down

Varying Your Workout:  Building muscle is simply the process of the body reacting to increased stress. You put stress on your muscles in the gym, and they grow bigger to cope with the stress. The body is very quick to adapt to any changes, this includes your workout. Once your body adapts to your workout routine, it will not see the need to build more muscle or get stronger. You have to change. As a general rule you should change your workout when you stop getting stronger or heavier, or after about 8-10 weeks. If you’ve been doing your workout for 12 weeks and you’re still growing, don’t change it, everyone is different – if you’re still growing, stick to it.

Progress: Progression builds muscle, without it you won’t grow. Progression is the constant increase of weight, stress and intensity required to tell your body that it needs to grow more muscle. You should aim to improve at least one aspect of your workout every week. It could be increasing the weight, it could be your increase the reps, but it has to be something. This is where a training log becomes so important. Before every workout you should look back at what you did the previous week, exact weights and reps. Choose the areas you want to improve, and get in the gym and do it.

Champ

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Calcium Sources

Calcium is part of bone health, but it’s not the only component. In fact, high dairy consumption may not reduce risk of bone fractures and a heavy dairy intake could contribute to prostate and ovarian cancers.

Strong bones are made by multifactoral approach, and vitamins A, C, D, B12, K,magnesium, and phosphorous are essential components. Leafy green vegetables likemustard greens, kale, and chard can be a good source of calcium—one cup of cooked collard greens contains approximately 357 mg of calcium, plus an added shot of potassium.

When choosing dairy, go for raw and fermentedfull-fat cheese, kefir, and yogurt that have partially digested lactose and the benefits of probiotics.

Calcium

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Eggs

Whole eggs, not egg whites. While egg whites are protein-rich, they lack all the amazing nutrition that is found in the yolk.

Whole eggs are one of the most nutritionally dense and balanced foods you can eat. Why wouldn’t they be? I hope this doesn’t sound off-putting, but it’s reality. When you eat an egg, you are consuming an entire entity and not just the meat of an animal. This makes an egg a very well-rounded food source, and a perfect addition to a muscle building diet.

Eggs are also economical, and contain a good mix of proteins and fats. At about 70 calories and 7 grams of protein per egg, you can add in a lot of protein and quality nutrition without adding in a ton of calories.

You need more than protein to build muscle. Don’t skip the yolks.

  • You can add eggs to your diet in several ways. You can eat them boiled, diced into a salad, or you can make a healthy omelet for breakfast filled with your veggies of choice.
  • Annoyed when trying to remove the shells from hard-boiled eggs? Try placing them into an ice bath for 15 minutes after cooking.
  • Make egg “protein cupcakes” by placing diced ham (or any meat of choice), cheese and an egg into a greased cupcake baking pan. Bake until the egg is cooked. Cool, top with hot sauce and enjoy! This little cupcakes are very portable and easy to make. Try keeping 8-12 in your fridge at all times. They are nice to have in a pinch when you need a fast protein meal.
  • Try making a hash in the skillet. Sauté cubed meat (beef, chicken, etc) and potatoes in butter or olive oil. When cooked, crack in a few eggs and stir well until the eggs finish cooking. Top with cheese and Greek yogurt (optional). This hash can also be placed into Tupperware containers and used for your weekly lunches.
  • If you dislike bland boiled eggs, try pickled eggs. Boil eggs, cool and place in an empty pickle jar. Fill with equal parts water and cider vinegar. Add in seasonings, such as diced jalapeno peppers, minced garlic, sliced onion, mustard seeds, etc.

eggs

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Try These Healthfoods

Raw Mixed Nuts 

  • All-in-one food…protein, fat, carbs
  • Vitamin E (helps lower cardiovascular risk)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (especially in walnuts)
  • Rich in L-Arginine (may help improve blood vessel function)
  • High in fibre

Quinoa

  • Contains all of the essential amino acids making it a complete protein
  • Gluten free, complex-carbohydrate source (quinoa is actually a seed… it is not a grain)
  • High level of manganese (antioxidant)
  • High level of magnesium
  • High in fiber

Black Rice

  • Contains the same antioxidants that are found in blueberries without the sugar!
  • Contains almost double the amount of fiber compared to brown rice
  • Helps lower cholesterol
  • Gluten free, complex-carbohydrate source

Salmon (Alaskan WILD Caught)

  • High in Omega-3 fatty acids
  • High quality protein source
  • Contains selenium (helps with thyroid function)

Spinach

  • Huge amount of vitamin-A (helps with immunity)
  • Super antioxidant food
  • Contains flavonoids (anti-cancer properties)
  • High iron content

Raw Nuts

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Common Failures During The Off-Season

1 Not Eating Enough
First off, I have to say that women tend to fall victim to this mistake a lot more than men. The reason behind this is that women hate putting on weight and after looking so good on stage the last thing that they want to do is put on Fat. So they continue to eat like they are still dieting. The result is they don’t have the energy to make any new gains or improvements to their body and, in many cases, lose muscle mass.
The off-season is the time of year a person makes 95% of their improvements to their physique. Without the energy and the fuel, via a surplus of healthy clean food, you can not make the improvements you need.
Make sure that you are eating enough calories to enable you to make those improvements and show up better next time you step on stage. Though you might put on a little (note I said a little) body fat, the body fat will come off once you diet down for your next show.

2 Not Eating Enough Healthy Clean Foods
What is the first thing you do after you step off the stage with all of your trophies (let’s be optimistic)? You go directly to your favorite restaurant, or fast food place, and EAT. Granted, it is fine to indulge in good food after the show is over. You earned it. However, don’t let a fast food frenzy spill into your off-season diet.
Now, above I talked about taking in enough calories so you can put on good size in the off-season. You might say, “fast food and junk food are calorie dense so why not have them once or twice a day so I can bump up my overall calories?”
While you want to have excess calories while bulking, the majority of those calories should be from clean healthy foods: lean cuts of meat, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. The off-season is the time to put on size but the majority of it should be muscle, not fat. A diet riddled with junk food will result in little muscle gain and plenty of fat storage. Clean it up and you beef it up!

3 Staying Away From Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a very important part of the off-season diet and a great energy source, if used properly throughout the day. Simple carbohydrates (i.e., fast digesting) are great to have post-workout because they spike your insulin level and drive the glycogen into your muscles.
They also help to drive the amino acids from your protein shake, that you should have post-workout, with that simple carbohydrate to aid in protein synthesis (i.e., muscle building). Complex carbohydrates provide a more prolonged energy source and are great to have for breakfast or later in the day.
Examples of complex carbohydrates are oats, brown rice and sweet potatoes. Examples of simple carbohydrates are sugars, white bread and pasta.

4 No Cardio
This is a huge mistake that I see all the time and 99% of the time men fall victim to the no cardio approach in the off-season. They justify it by saying “I don’t want to lose any size.” Well, I am here to tell you that three 30 minute cardio sessions a week will do wonders for your bulking phase.
By incorporating a cardio routine into your workout program, your appetite will go through the roof, which will make it a lot easier to eat clean healthy food. You also will improve your cardiovascular system, which is critical when lifting heavy.
I have seen countless guys fail to reach their desired rep range because their cardiovascular system failed on them. They were strong enough to get those extra 2 reps but were too out of breath and had to rack the weight. Sooner or later you will start losing muscle if you don’t reach your desired rep range. If you want to put on that size start, then start doing some cardio.

5 Too Much Cardio
Ladies, this is where many of you slip up. You don’t want to put on those couple of extra pounds so you stick to your contest prep cardio program. Your body cannot make improvements in muscle size and shape if you are expending too much energy with cardio.
Most people (guys and girls) should stick to a moderate cardio program like 3-4 low intensity 20-30 minute sessions a week. This will keep both your metabolism humming and your appetite up and, most importantly you will be working the heart, which is the most important muscle of all.

6 Too Much Machine Use
Too many trainers rely too heavily on machine use in their workout programs. With all the new fancy machines out now, who can blame them? They are comfortable, smooth and easy to use. But I have the motto:
These machines do have benefits, when used properly and are great to supplement your program (I like to use them at the end of the workout, if I use them at all) but nothing works better than free weight basics.
Free weight basics, with barbells and dumbbells, like squats, deadlifts, rows, bench etc., should be the bread and butter of all of your workouts off-season and pre-contest. They recruit the most muscle fiber use which will lead to maximum growth and improvement.
Only after you have exhausted maximum energy with the free weight basics, should you think about using machines or cables. Remember, the harder you work, the better the results and nothing is harder than free weights.

7 Not Enough Rest/Recovery Time
In the off-season, your major goal is to put on lean muscle mass. Many novice trainers don’t realize that you do all your growing outside the gym. Even some experienced lifters find it hard to stay away from the gym in the off-season. They do everything right: eat clean, workout out hard, but forget to give their body’s enough rest and recovery time between workouts so gains are negligible.
You break down the muscle tissue in the gym, given that you fuel your body with nutritious food. The final piece of the puzzle is time. You need to give your body time to recover. Without adequate time to recover, you will break down already broken down muscle tissue caused by overtraining.
There is a lot of debate over how long a muscle needs to rest/recover from a workout before you should work it out again. I am a big believer in 72 hours, or 3 days of recovery time. If the muscle still seems to be sore, give it another day of rest. The last thing you want to do is to injure yourself.

8 Scales
Worrying about the scales has caused a lot of men to put on fat in the off-season. Men love stating how much they weigh, if the number is above 200 lbs. So in their pursuit to put on as much weight as possible, most of these ego driven males end up putting on a substantial amount of body fat.
Your body cannot continue to add pounds of lean muscle mass each week, so if your weight continues to increase every week, you are probably putting on too much body fat. I tell my clients to focus on what they look like, not on what the scale says.
Women are the complete opposite once they see their weight go up; they either stop eating as much or do a lot of cardio. This shift is driven by the pursuit to keep in contest shape. However, this practice will make it extremely difficult to make improvements.

9 Lack Of A Goal
This issue is for my competing athletes and starts immediately after your contest is over. You should talk to the judges about your presentation to help you understand where you can improve and what your strong points are. Then, in the next week or so, sit down with your personal trainer and discuss how you are going to approach the off-season and make the improvements to your physique.
I see many competitors, pros and amateurs alike, who show up every year looking the same. These individuals don’t improve and also don’t win.
So in the beginning of the off-season, make some short and long term goals for yourself; this will help keep you focused on the improvements that you need to make between competitions.

10 Skipping Meals
This is a common mistake made by the hard gainers. They are not hungry so they either push back the meal by an hour, or worse, just skip it all together. This is a big mistake. Your body needs protein every 2.5-3 hours so your muscles can have a steady stream of available amino acids.
You need to keep your body in a positive nitrogen balance. When your body doesn’t have enough amino acids, it goes to your muscles to find them.
Your body will begin to eat away at your hard-earned muscle for fuel, a result you must avoid. This is referred to as a catabolic state (i.e., muscle wasting). You want to be in a positive nitrogen balance as much as possible, which is referred to as the anabolic state (i.e. muscle gaining). If you can’t stomach a full meal, then try to suck down a whey shake. This will give you enough amino acids until you eat your next meal.
Conclusion
The off-season is a time to make improvements to your physique. Use this time as productively as possible by avoiding any of the mistakes discussed above.
Wasted time is wasted growth so if you find yourself falling into any of these pitfalls, then make a quick correction in your diet and/or workout programs. If you can do this, you will be well on your way to adding that desired inch to your physique.

muscle eating

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Healthy Nutrition On The Road

I always encourage my clients to prepare food in advance and take it into their work the next day…all you need is Tupperware & a portable thermos bag.  However, many still come up with excuses….If your only option is to purchase food on the day, especially if your weekday job means you are out on the road, here are some tips to keep it healthy:

1: If you feel the need to drink milk, then go for the low fat or fat free type.

2: If you are in snacking mode, go for the beef jerky because of the lower carbs and some bottled water.

3: Stay away from fruit juices – they are filled with excess sugar, calories and sodium.

4: Avoid the greasy burgers in service stations or drive-thru’s – opt for a grilled chicken sandwich with no special sauces.

5: Also stay away from chips / french fries. Instead choose some raw nuts like almonds or pistachios or a nut and dry fruit mix.

Food On The Road

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Tips To Avoid Food Cravings

It would seem that most people feel less than empowered when dealing with this subject and feel that they “can’t” overcome food cravings. Look for solutions instead of throw up obstacles. Don’t believe in limits and don’t bother with excuses. It comes down to “How bad do you want it! With education and persistence we discover solutions. So start with the belief that “We can successfully overcome food cravings”!

With this belief in mind, you are ready to move ahead and decide if the following tips will be worth putting into action.

 

Take A Multivitamin: Many cravings are thought to be a sign of nutrient deficiency from our foods. One simple way to start correcting these deficiencies is to take a basic multivitamin and mineral supplement. It is not necessary for this to be a mega dose pack of micronutrients. A little can go a long way to correcting deficiencies when taking a quality multivitamin and mineral supplements. With the correct amount of nutrients in our system, the mind and body work as they should and are less likely to trigger cravings.

Eat More Fruits And Vegetables: The reality is that we don’t typically eat enough fruits and vegetables! Most people acquire a taste for coffee to provide a quick pick-me-up and acquire a taste for alcohol to relax. Acquire a task for something that will help you live longer – namely fruit and veg!

Have Good Fats: Good fats are hard to find – well that’s not true – but they are impossible to make, so we must consciously select foods that have the essential fats our body needs or we need to supplement with these fats. Try these options:

olive oil,
canola oil,
flax oil,
sesame oil,
coconut oil,
fish oil,
primrose oil,
and many types of raw nuts and seeds.

Cravings

 

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Nutrition Tips For Getting Bigger

Without proper nutrition, a  “getting bigger muscles” plan would never be complete. You can spend hours in the gym, but without the raw materials, building muscles after you’ve broken them down just isn’t gonna work.

To build bigger muscles, you’ll need a calorie surplus and the right division of carbs, proteins, and fats. Add some smart meal timing to accelerate the rate of growth, and you’ll have yourself a killer program.

Here’s the simple equation – More Carbs = More Mass. If you want to get bigger, you need to eat more. Most active men need 15-to-17 calories per pound of body weight for maintenance. To build one pound of muscle mass per week, you’ll want to add 3,500 total calories into your weekly diet. (Why? 3,500 calories = 1 pound)

Eating after a tough workout ensures that your muscles never ‘go hungry.’ Because your protein intake probably won’t vary much between bulking and maintenance diets, most of these extra calories are going to come from carbs. Some additional healthy fats are fine, but keep them out of your post-workout meals.

Your macronutrient split won’t take too much tweaking. Your protein intake should be set relatively constant, at one gram per pound of body weight, regardless of your goal. You can up it to 1.2-1.5 grams per pound on your training days, but you won’t need significantly more protein than that.

It’s better to up your carbohydrate intake for optimal growth. You don’t need to go overboard, or start eating a cinnamon roll every day, but sufficient carbs will keep your body in an anabolic state and provide energy to fuel and refuel your intense workout sessions.

If you aren’t eating sufficient carbs, you may feel drained and sluggish during your workouts. That means you won’t be able to give the right amount of effort for optimal muscle growth.

There’s no hard and fast rule for carbohydrate and dietary fat intake, but most looking to build mass and strength will do well with 150 or more grams of carbs per day. On those tough workout days, you can even increase your carb intake to 200 grams. Those who are already taking in some serious calories can further increase their carb intake to 250-to-300 grams per day. Not everyone has the exact same body, so not everyone will have the exact same diet.

15 percent of your total calorie intake should be healthy fat. Fats are vital to keeping your muscle-building hormones optimized to ensure that your workouts pay off. If you start to reduce your dietary fat intake too much, it could cause your testosterone levels to plummet, inhibiting muscle growth and recovery. (Healthy fats provide a number of other benefits, too, so don’t be afraid of them!)

Don’t let the fact that you’re ‘bulking’ make you think you can fill your diet with whatever you want. If you consistently put highly-processed, sugary foods into your body, you’re not going to feel well and you will gain more fat than muscle. Choose lean protein sources like chicken, lean beef, fish, egg whites and whey protein. Your carbs should be complex and come from brown rice, sweet potatoes, barley and oatmeal. You’ll still need fruits and veggies. To get good fats, consume plenty of flaxseeds, fish oil, avocado, nuts and natural nut butter.

Avoid foods with trans fats or excessive saturated fat. They don’t support lean body composition. Some saturated fat is okay to include and even beneficial for testosterone levels, but it shouldn’t overtake your unsaturated fat intake.

1

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Kale

If you haven’t already added kale to your diet, now is definitely the time. Kale ranks in as one of the healthiest foods you can plate, so eat up—especially while it’s in season.

In addition to being a great anti-inflammatory—with 1 cup containing 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids—kale is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants, and is a fantastic source of Vitamin K, which is necessary for bone health and blood clotting. Kale contains more iron than beef. Since it is high in vitamin C and vitamin A, kale may help support your immune system and help you recovery quickly from all-out workout sessions.

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