Healthy Eating And Bodybuilding

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The appearance of a bodybuilder is generally the fine figure of health, so it should be that a bodybuilders is the fine figure of health. For this reason, it is imperative that the bodybuilder adapts the healthy eating guidelines to suit his/her nutrition. Some principles of healthy eating are not entirely in line with the ideal bodybuilding diet in order to achieve optimum results; for example the average individual would not consume anywhere where near as much protein as a bodybuilder would. Some bodybuilders argue that a 'normal' diet is just not suitable for optimum muscle growth. I feel, eating a good diet is crucial in order to stay healthy, and staying healthy is, in turn crucial, for maximum training intensity and performance, as well as general well being and longevity.

Too many bodybuilders become fanatical and obsessive about their diet. They read or hear something which they take to be gospel truth. In reality, the basic principles remain the same for everyone.

A healthy balanced diet is a concept shunned by many so-called 'bodybuilding nutrition experts'. It could be defined as 'enough of each nutrient being taken in as is being used up by the body's functions.' Remember, for everyone, the main principles of healthy eating are merely a guide, but let's see how they tie into the bodybuilding diet:

♦ Eat a wide variety of foods - Important for everyone, including bodybuilders, to ensure they obtain adequate amounts of all essential nutrients.

♦ Eat regular meals, and try to eat similar amounts of starchy carbohydrate foods from day to day. Make complex carbohydrate foods the main part of each meal -

Regular meals are vital for the bodybuilder for optimum muscle growth. It is also important that the bodybuilder has regular amounts of carbohydrate, but the main part of each meal should be the protein foods.

♦ Eat more high fibre foods - important for a strong healthy bowel, good health and for more steady digestion and absorption of carbohydrate. High fibre foods are also useful for weight control, as fibre foods are more satisfying, so if you are more full, it helps to stop you wanting to snack on fatty and sugary foods too often.

♦ Include plenty of fruit and vegetables - 5 servings a day - a must for bodybuilders.

♦ Limit the amount of fried or fatty foods you eat - definitely important for bodybuilders, although some types of fat should be eaten. We will look at types of fat in Chapter 4.

♦ Reduce your sugar intake - swap high sugar foods for low sugar alternatives -

also suitable as part of a bodybuilding diet. Unless an individual is the extremely lean hard gainer type, who struggles to gain weight, in which case, sugar can become a useful source of energy.

♦ Try to get to a healthy weight and stay there - bodybuilders are often classed as 'overweight' according to the weight-for-height tables. In reality they obviously are not, from a body fat point of view, so a degree of subjectivity is needed.

Informed Bodybuilding Nutrition

♦ Be careful not to use too much salt - in agreement with the bodybuilding diet.

♦ Keep to sensible alcohol limits - a keen bodybuilder will only drink very occasionally, although a small amount of alcohol can have some health benefits.

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