Diet Dos and Don’ts

Bodybuilding is never an easy task, even more so with the diet it requires.

A lot of information is available online – some debunking another. Resources can be confusing especially to beginners, but all there is to do is to take a break and look at the basics.

Here are some practical dos and don’t to observe so your meals abide by your bodybuilding guidelines.

DO: Eat high protein foods

You need a good dose of protein to help repair your muscle tissues after workout. Load up on red meat, chicken, eggs, fish, milk and dairy products, peanuts and quark, among others. In case none is available, take in protein supplements daily.

DO: Hydrate

This is one is actually a no-brainer. Lack of fluid (read: water) is the biggest barrier in the optimal performance of heavy exercise. Many bodybuilders forget that water is the most basic nutrient and drink less than enough of it. Sip a total of six glasses throughout the day to keep your body hydrated.

DO: Plan your meals

Keeping a meal plan holds you off from consuming unnecessary add-ons. If you have enough time, prepare a week’s list of meals and make sure you’ve done your grocery shopping to prepare them. If you are always out, however, plan a meal pack and take it with you. Missing your meals is never a good idea.

DO: Eat complex carbohydrates

If you are about the buff, eat plenty of foods that are high in fiber and starchy carbohydrate. Put these at the center of your nutrition plan and you will stop craving for unhealthy, sugary snacks. Some examples include rye bread, couscous sweet potatoes, Persian (basmati) rice, quinoa, oats and wheat snacks.

DON’T: Believe everything that you read online

With all the available resources, it is hard to filter good information and misleading ones. If you are big on community boards, be watchful of unscrupulous fitness ‘experts’ who rely solely on their judgment when sharing information. Make informed decisions by getting a wide range of resources and checking which ones are properly referenced. To get multiple perspectives, join a credible discussion forum and see what other people think about your concern.

DON’T: Drink alcoholic beverages

There is this diet misconception that drinking alcohol helps you lose weight. That, of course, is false. Taking in too much will reverse the effects of water, and dehydrate you. This will also impact negatively on your workout performance, so it is best to avoid it where you can. If you can’t totally ditch your alcohol intake, drink in moderation, and only on special occasions.

DON’T: Engage in fad diets

It is almost every week that a new diet proposition comes out. These are pushed through heavy marketing efforts, and claim to be effective purely because they follow basic diet principles (e.g. 1,200 calories per day). There is actually no magic solution for fitness. You just need to eat regulated meals, avoid too much snacking and do a structured exercise routine.