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Now that you’ve made the decision to get a health body builder figure, you have to find out the best and safest way to do it. When it comes to your diet and proper nutrition, one of the best pieces of advice, according to Muscle & Fitness, is to keep it simple. If you focus on calorie counting at every meal you will drive yourself crazy and will likely say goodbye to healthy eating. Below are some nutrition fundamentals that will help you build muscle and lose that extra-weight – without feeling like you've just taken on another full-time job.

 

Think Positive

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To build muscle, your body needs more energy – calories – than it burns each day. Skipping carbohydrates and small amounts of dietary fat is a big mistake. You need to realize that you will gain some body fat but as long as you're gaining more muscle than you are fat, you're winning.

 

Protein

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Even if you are a beginner bodybuilder protein is important because it is used to repair damaged muscle fibres and to manufacture growth-supporting hormones in the body. If you are looking to get some serious muscle you will need about 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day.

 

Carbs

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If getting muscle is your goal than you will need carbs since they fuel your training and allow you to push yourself harder. They also set off a hormonal mechanism in the body that drives amino acids from protein into muscle tissue to help in the recovery process. If you are on a low-carb diet you won't be able to train as hard as you need to. It's suggested you consume two grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight per day. Recommended carb intake includes potatoes, whole-wheat breads, pastas and oatmeal.

 

Post-Workout Meal

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Within 30 minutes of training, it's suggested you consume 20 to 30 grams of fast-digesting protein, such as whey-based powders mixed with water in a cup. You should also eat 50 to 60 grams of fast-digesting carbs such as fat-free cookies, muffins, fruit, Gatorade or other carb drink. This combination will reverse muscle breakdown that comes with intense training.

 

Meat

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If you get rid of red meat your body will find it difficult to hold onto muscle mass. Food such as steak and lean ground beef will build muscle better than white meat like chicken or turkey. Some believe red meat has more vitamins and mineral content while others say that it is dense in creatine, which boosts strength in the gym.

 

Pre-training

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You may not think training on a full stomach is a good idea but when you eat a larger meal an hour before you work out you will be able to train harder since the food will supply your body with carbs and protein that prevent muscle breakdown. It's suggested when you are first starting that you eat a medium chicken breast and medium baked potato about two hours before your workout.

 

Take a Break

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When you take days off you are allowing your body the chance to recover from training sessions. This is also true with eating – or cheat days. Experts say it's a good idea to have a cheat day every 10 to 14 days and eat a few things that are not on your nutrition list such as cake, pizza or fried food. But don't over do it. After your cheat day it's important to get back to your clean, healthy diet.

 

Supplements

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A lot of beginners seem to think that supplements are an important part of their nutrition plan when they begin to body build. But if you take supplements without a proper diet plan you will not see results. If you are looking to take supplements it's suggested beginners start with a multivitamin or mineral, creatine and branched-chain amino acids.

 

When to Lift

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Because your muscles grow when you're resting - not when you're working out - it's suggested you lift every other day. Studies have shown that a weight workout increases protein synthesis for up to 48 hours immediately after your session. So doing a full body workout followed by a day of rest will give you the best results.

 

Track it

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You must remember that every body is different and what may work for your friend may not necessarily work for you. Try paying close attention to your own diet and weigh yourself every day to track your progress. Talk to a physical trainer about the best method for your body and don't waste time comparing yourself to anyone else.