3 Basic Things That All Bodybuilders Follow
How much you eat each day is up to you and your approach. Many athletes follow the Zone Diet or a Paleo Diet. The Zone is very regimented and you control how much you eat and when you eat it. The Paleo Diet primarily focuses on what you eat.
Instead of focusing on absolutes, which vary from diet to diet and person to person, let’s instead offer a few general guidelines.
Eat Four-ish Meals a Day
Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and add to that daily schedule a post-workout meal. This meal should be high in protein and healthy carbs and it should be consumed within 30 minutes of your workout. If you want to eat more often, then you’ll also want to track how your body looks and feels. If you’re gaining weight and not building muscle mass then you probably need to cut back and not eat as often or as much. Additionally, if you’re always hungry and not recovering quickly or building muscle then you probably need to eat more.
Water helps move the toxins out of your body and the nutrients into your body. If you’re dehydrated you’ll be exhausted, you won’t sleep well, and your body won’t get the energy it needs to lift heavy or to recover. Drink a full 8-12 ounce glass of water before each meal and you’re on the right track. Drink more when it’s hot or when you’re exercising a lot.
Your body needs rest to repair your muscles. Sleep is the time when your entire body goes into recovery mode. If you don’t get enough sleep you’re not giving your body what it needs to stay strong and healthy. Strive to get between 7 and 10 hours of sleep a night. Olympic athletes get a minimum of 9 hours a night – that’s how important it is to your performance.
Finally, take measures to reduce your stress. It’s hard on your body and your brain. Strive to reduce stress in your life and to learn coping mechanisms so that day to day stress doesn’t affect you. Stress, like sugar, causes inflammation and disease. Okay, enough about nutrition and health, let’s get to the heavy lifting!