Why talk about best diet ? Because many of you play sports for nothing, or almost.
And yet, you spend hours moving every week. But your fat seems to resist you no matter how hard you try.
Or, you literally tear yourself away to bulk up, but nothing happens. Your muscles seem resistant to any growth. You can do push-ups, bench presses, squats, etc. NOTHING AT ALL.
But why ? Is it just a genetic problem? A curse because your parents insulted a voodoo sorcerer during a trip to Africa?
No, none of that, don't worry.
I will explain to you where your concern comes from.
Table of Contents
- The source of the problem for weight loss
- Which solution ?
- Rule n°1: The amount of calories absorbed
- Rule n°2: Protein consumption
- Rule n°3: The consumption of lipids
- Rule #4: Carbohydrate consumption
- An example of a diet
- What else do you need to know about the best diet?
- Just a food tune-up
The source of the problem for weight loss
The problem is simply your diet. If this does not match your training, you will fail miserably, regardless of the quality of your fitness or bodybuilding sessions.
Do you think I'm exaggerating?
You can use the best workout program in the world, you won't get anywhere if you don't follow the diet for it.
It's as simple as that ! What I mean by that is that how you eat is as important as how you train. It may even be more important to get the results you want. So you absolutely have to find the best way to eat for you. The one that will help you lose fat or build muscle mass.
To boost your muscle gain, discover my 12-week program:
Which solution ?
So what you need is create the best diet for you. This diet should perfectly match your workout routine and your needs.
Here is a short guide to help you create your own diet. You will already learn a lot on the subject.
NOTE : I am not suggesting that you debate the validity of trade regimes of which I think nothing good. But you will rather discover the dietary rules that you must follow to change your physique while playing sports.
So, are you ready to review the way you eat? Let's examine the 4 fundamental rules to follow to lose weight or gain muscle volume.
Rule n°1: The amount of calories absorbed
The usual recommendations for knowing how many calories consume are these:
- If you are looking to lose fat, you absolutely must create a calorie deficit about 20 TP2T below your maintenance level. Your body will thus be forced to draw on fat reserves for the energy it needs. And to achieve this, you don't necessarily have to count calories.
- If your goal is to build muscle or build strength, you need to create a calorie surplus daily of about 250 calories for a man and 125 calories for a woman above your maintenance level. This surplus must especially take place on training days, at the risk of increasing your fat reserve at the same time.
Let me explain this to you in a little more detail.
Calorie maintenance level
Every person on earth must consume a certain number of calories to maintain their current weight. This is called the maintenance level. However, it is very complicated to determine this level. Especially since it tends to vary.
But, to put it very simply, it corresponds on average to your weight multiplied by 30. It is generally in this range (the word is well chosen) that your daily food requirement.
Take the example of a woman who weighs 60 kilos. Its maintenance level should be around 1800 calories (60 X 30).
If you are more active than average or your metabolism is naturally high, your need is rather higher. Conversely, if your metabolism is rather slow or you have little physical activity, your need is probably a little lower.
You understood ? OKAY !
Don't worry, you will fix that gradually.
Define your needs
Now choose your priority objective from the following 2:
1. Gain muscle volume
Building muscle involves swallowing MORE calories than your maintenance level. This calorie surplus will provide your body with what it needs to build bigger muscles.
As you have read above, the ideal surplus for most men is around 250 calories and half for women. If we do a little math, that means if your maintenance level is 2000 calories, you'll increase to 2250 calories on training days if you're male (2125 if you're female).
You will thus build muscle, while avoiding gaining fat at the same time. Because you should know that even if you are sporty, your body will store fat if you give him more calories than he needs.
Spread the word. Its good ?
NOTE: The only exception is for overweight people who want to gain muscle. If this is your case, simply consume the calories corresponding to their maintenance level. Thus, you will build muscle by drawing energy from your fat reserve.
2. Weight loss
To Melt Fat, You Definitely Need to Swallow FEWER calories than your maintenance level. In fact, every diet that sells for a fortune on the market tries to make you achieve this goal. But at a high price, of course! Otherwise it's not fun...
By creating a calorie deficit, your body is forced to burn the fat it has stored to make energy. As stated above, the usual recommendation for fat loss is to create a deficit of 20 % below your maintenance level.
So if you're not too bad at math, that means if your maintenance level is 2000 calories, you'd have to subtract 400 calories to slim down (2000 X 0.20). By consuming 1600 calories a day, you will be sure to lose fat.
How can you be sure of your calorie consumption?
As our ideal consumption is based on an estimate, it is possible to be a little wrong. So how?
Luckily, you have a fairly easy means of control. Weigh yourself once a day with a bathroom scale sufficiently accurate or use a skinfold caliper to measure your fat level:
You must weigh yourself in the morning on an empty stomach (no food or drink). Control only how your weight is changing week after week by averaging your daily weigh-ins.
Go back to your priority objective:
1. Gain muscle
You should gain about 250 grams per week, or about 1 kg per month. For a woman, count on half of this result. If your weight is progressing much faster, reduce your diet by 250 calories (125 for a woman). Conversely, if you are not progressing enough, increase your consumption by the same number of calories.
At the same time monitor your Fat Mass Index. This way, you will be able to verify that you are gaining muscle and not fat. That would be nerd
2. Lose fat
You should lose between 300 grams per week if you have a little fat and 1 kg if you need to eliminate a lot. That's about 1.2 to 4 kg per month, which isn't bad at all.
If you're not losing enough, further reduce your daily intake by 250 calories (for a man) or 125 calories (for a woman). Conversely, if you are losing too quickly, increase your intake by the same number of calories.
Maybe you think you never lose enough, but you don't. A weightloss too fast can result in just as fast a recovery. Don't try to starve yourself!
Imagine a man wanting to lose some fat. He weighs himself every morning and records the following numbers:
You can see the benefit of weighing daily rather than weekly. Indeed, our weight is not stable. Too many parameters come into play. Also, by establishing an average, you are approaching reality.
In our case above, you can see a loss of 0.4 kg. By weighing himself only on Tuesday, our guinea pig would have thought that he had lost only 100 grams. If he had weighed himself on Sunday, he would have noticed a difference of 0.9 kg.
Is it clear to you?
A daily weigh-in is more reliable for validating your progress or the need to readjust your food intake.
Some help to calculate your calories and eat better
Many people have no idea how many calories they consume each day. How do you do it without worrying too much?
There are some very good Android apps available to help you, such as the calorie counter FatSecret. At the same time, to improve the quality of your diet, discover some tips to lose weight easily (link to another blog post).
To help you determine how many calories you are burning, the bracelet Fitbit Charge is fabulous. A real fitness coach available 24/7, compatible with Android and IOS.
Rule n°2: Protein consumption
Sports nutrition specialists recommend a protein intake of between 2 and 3 grams per kilogram of body weight for those who weight train regularly.
It seems that 2 grams is the most common recommendation. Know that 1 gram of protein = 4 calories. This means that if you weigh 75 kg, you must eat at least 150 grams of protein per day (600 calories).
Foods rich in protein include:
- Chicken and turkey (preferably white)
- Lean meats in general
- Eggs (more whites than yolks if possible)
- Light milk (semi-skimmed is enough)
- Protein supplements.
- To a lesser extent, nuts and beans
You will find many other sources of vegetable proteins or animal, but pay attention to their quality and the amount of fat.
Which naturally brings us to the next point…
Rule n°3: The consumption of lipids
Here is what the majority of specialists recommend for liquid or solid fats: Lipids should represent 25 % of your calories. Does that sound like a lot to you? Well, know that we need it to live. Yes, no fat, no life. And no life is death!
Well OK, I'm a little delirious, but it feels good...
To make things clear to you, you should know that 1 gram of fat = 9 calories. So if your need is 2000 calories per day, you must consume 500 calories from fat (2000 X 25 % = 500).
Now you divide 500 by 9 (since there are 9 calories per gram of fat) and you get about 56 grams. This corresponds to your fat consumption if you must consume 2000 calories per day.
I hope I didn't lose you on the way!
Foods high in good quality fat include:
- Nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, etc.)
- Oily fish like salmon
- Food supplements based onOmega 3
- Seeds (sesame, flax, sunflower, etc.)
- Olive oil
You will find a ranking of the foods richest in lipids in this article from the Journal des Femmes.
Rule #4: Carbohydrate consumption
A controversial subject
This is a subject that divides almost everyone! Between those who say you don't need it at all and those who say you can't do without it, there's plenty to get lost in. It's true that of the 3 protein/fat/carbohydrate macronutrients, carbohydrates are the only ones you don't have to eat to live. Your body knows how to make it.
I also thought that we could do without it altogether, but I've come to the conclusion that it's ridiculous.
You know why ?
I lived 8 years in West Africa where most young men are naturally thin and muscular. Many of them would make the French who spend their time in the gym green with rage.
And yet, you know what they essentially eat?
Lots of carbohydrates. Corn dough, cheap white rice and spaghetti, pounded yam (when they have a little more money), white beans, etc. All accompanied by a sauce including palm oil and possibly an egg, a fish head or a very small piece of fried turkey.
So I understood that what makes you fat is not the carbohydrates themselves, but the proportions. Because young Africans often cannot afford more than 2 meals a day. It's when their financial situation improves that they grow visibly...
You can eat carbs, but...
You shouldn't consume too much of it if you don't want to spend your time building fat. In fact, carbohydrates require the production of insulin in order not to remain in the blood. Your body will store them in the form of fat in your fat cells. He will destock it according to his needs, perhaps the same day.
This is a normal process that only needs to be controlled so that fat production never exceeds your body's actual needs. In addition, the quality of carbohydrates consumed is also important.
Namely: 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories.
How much carbohydrate to eat?
It's pretty simple since once you've calculated your protein and fat needs, what's left is carbohydrates. You will find a concrete example a little later.
The majority of the carbs you eat should come from the following foods:
- green vegetables
- brown rice or not
- Sweet potatoes
- wholemeal flours (wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, etc.)
An example of a diet
Now let's see how to put into practice what you have just learned.
Georges weighs 75 kg and wants above all to develop his muscular volume. Normal, men always want more muscle 😀
Let's imagine that his need is 2250 calories per day (75 X 30 = 2250).
We must save Private Georges
Let’s create his ideal diet:
- Since he wants muscle, he must have a calorie surplus. Its objective is therefore to consume 2500 calories (at least on training days).
- If he wants to consume 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, he needs 160 grams per day. As 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories, these 160 grams represent 640 calories (160 X 4 = 640).
- Georges now knows that he must consume 25 % of his calories in the form of lipids since he has read this article 😉 . It must therefore absorb 625 calories from fat (2500 X 0.25 = 625). Since 1 gram of fat comprises 9 calories, he understood that he must eat it 69 grams per day (625 / 9 = 69).
- If he adds up his results for protein and fat, he finds 1265 calories (640,625).
- Since he needs 2500 calories in all, he only has to calculate what he is missing for carbohydrates. He therefore finds 2500 – 1265 = 1235 calories. Since 1 gram of carbs includes 4 calories, he will need to eat 309 grams carbohydrates per day (1235 / 4 = 309).
And There you go ! He established his daily needs to achieve his goal. Of course, this is just an example that you have to adapt to your personal profile and objective. But hopefully it will help you to fully understand and master the process.
If the goal of gorges had been to burn fat, he would have followed the same path to create a calorie deficit rather than a surplus.
What else do you need to know about the best diet?
You may be asking yourself this question. Do you need to look any further than the amount of calories and the breakdown of macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbs)?
The truth…is you shouldn't.
In reality, there is nothing more important than the 4 rules you discovered in this article. They contribute 99 % to the result you want. Everything else is just superfluous detail.
By this I mean the key is to make sure you are getting the right amount of calories with the optimal intake of protein, fat and carbohydrates. By striving, of course, to find them in the highest quality foods possible.
After all, what matters is that your diet aligns with your training and your priority goal: to lose weight or build muscle. Which doesn't mean you won't gain muscle while losing fat, and vice versa.
But for the rest, and contrary to many received ideas:
- Eat when you want...
- …As many times as it suits you
- Combine foods as desired
The rest has never been scientifically proven or only contains fables. You know, the stuff like “you have to eat 6 times a day” to gain muscle. No seriously, this is for bodybuilders who need to do protein all day long to not lose the benefit of their last dose of steroids.
Forget that very quickly. Eating all the time is not good for your digestive system anyway. You just have to organize your meals in the way that suits you, that you like and that fits your schedule. That's almost all.
If you need to lose a lot of pounds, discover the program to lose weight easily that I developed after several years of work. You will be amazed by the results obtained in a few weeks and over the long term:
Just a food tune-up
Before leaving you, I still want to give you some useful tips:
- Drink a lot of water. Remember this unsavory rule: You must pass 5 clear urine a day. Otherwise, you are not drinking enough.
- Eat 1 to 2 hours before and within 30 minutes after your workouts if your goal is to gain muscle. Consume mostly protein and some carbs at these times.
- Avoid, nay, hate empty calories like sodas, chips and other burgers with sweet sauces. Make only rare exceptions. Strive to eat real food.
For recovery and because bodybuilding and fitness put a lot of strain on your body, I recommend these supplements:
- fish oil for Omega 3 (1 year of Omega 3 at a low price)
- a multivitamin formula (1 year of vitamins at a low price)
- from quality protein powder if it's more convenient for you
- of the creatine monohydrate because it improves endurance and performance and the body does not produce enough for intense efforts
The last 2 supplements concern above all those who want to gain muscle volume.
And There you go !
You know the essentials with this mini-guide to creating the best diet, perfectly suited to your needs and goals.
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Last updated on 2022-03-03 / Affiliate links / Some images are sourced from the Amazon Product Advertising API