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Diet and Nutrition Guide - Part 1 Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats

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Diet and Nutrition Guide - Feeding Your Muscles For Growth

We've now gone thru the bodybuilding supplements and weight lifting and training guide - now last, but not least, your diet and nutrition - what you need to feed your muscles for growth - something that many people overlook daily, tend to rely on supplements to get the job done for them, and wondering "hmm... why the heck am I not seeing any results?!?"

You can't just rely on supplements and such to get your daily required nutrition, the best supplement to fuel muscle growth, is food itself. But of course, there are countless foods you can eat, and there are certain foods that you eat, which will set you back, and there are certain foods that you eat will benefit you greatly.

Everyone knows or heard of proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fats, but it gets allot of involved than that.

Now, I'm NOT claiming to be a nutrition expert, far from it, but, from my many years of bodybuilding, I've picked up a few things here and there, which has helped me plan my diet and nutrition greatly, which lead to some nice gains, despite my genetic limitations. ;-) So just keep in mind, that I'm no guru in this respect, and I'll do my best to pass along some of the useful information I've picked up.

In this diet and nutrition guide, we'll cover briefly cover:

  • Macro nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fats (but carbs are not essential), and micro nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
  • My daily diet and planning (40-40-20 diet)
  • What foods are good to eat and meal planning
  • Some quick & easy recipes to cook nutritious meals in just 10 to 15 minutes
  • Cooking and snacking ideas to make life easier on you
  • Nutritional value of these meals
  • The glycemic index, carbohydrates, and insulin
  • and whatever else might cross my mind while I'm writing this guide.

About Me and My Diet & Nutrition (40-40-20 Diet)

As you will know from previous parts, I weight around 155ish more or less - more on a good day, less on a not so good day, and had reached a high of 156.5lbs during this 6 week period - so I'm not big by any means. I have a relatively fast metabolism, being a ecto-meso body type; however, more etomorph than mesomorph.

It's a common misconception that different body types should follow very different workouts. ie. ectomorphs should follow a strength / size program with heavy weights, low reps, longer rest, while endomorphs should follow a higher rep, lower weight program. Like I said before in the weight lifting guides, higher reps and lower weights does not equal more tone and definition, but rather, it's the diet and nutrition that matters!

I was on a bulking diet averaging about 2700 calories per day, and on a 40-40-20 diet - 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% fat. This works out to roughly 270g of protein, 270g of carbohydrates, and 60g of fat in my daily diet, coming from 5 to 6 meals and snacks, and supplements. I also tried to eat something every 2 to 3 hours.

You should aim to get 1 to 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight, for me, I was getting 270g / 155lbs = 1.74g of protein per pound of body weight - a bit in the higher end.

40-40-20 Diet & Figuring Out Your Nutrition Requirements

To figure out how much calories you need, here's a general guideline:

For weight loss:

Your body weight X 10 to 12 = The range of your daily caloric intake

For maintaining:

Your body weight X 13 to 15 = The range of your daily caloric intake

For bulking up:

Your body weight X 16 to 18 = The range of your daily caloric intake

This will give you a rough idea of how much calories you should take in each day, but it's by no means carved in stone. For me, I weigh 155, so:

155 X 16 = 2480 cals/day
155 X 18 = 2790 cals/day

For my bulking diet at my body weight, I should aim for 2480 to 2790 calories per day, and I elected to go for the higher end at about 2700 calories per day on average. You will see two sample daily diet and nutrition schedule in the next part, with meal and nutritional breakdowns of everything involved.

Once you figure out what your daily range of caloric intake should be, it's quite easy to figure how much protein, carbohydrate, and fat you should be consuming. With a 40-40-20 diet, its 40% protein and carbs, and 20% fat. So here's how you figure out how much of each macro nutrient you need daily. We'll continue to use my numbers as example.

Calculating your Protein, Carbs, and Fats intake

So, for me, let's just pick a even number of 2700 calories per day - obviously it won't always workout exactly this way, but round numbers are easy to deal with. ;-) To do the following calculation, you will need to know the calorie values of 1g of protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Here they are:

  • 1g protein = 4 calories
  • 1g carbohydrates = 4 calories
  • 1g fat = 9 calories

The above just shows how much calories you will get from consuming 1gram of each, and notice that 1g of fat gives more than double the calories of proteins and carbs.

Calculate your daily protein and carbohydrate caloric intake:

  • Your daily calories X 40% = calories coming from proteins
  • Your daily calories X 40% = calories coming from carbohydrates

For me, these numbers would be:

  • 2700 X 40% = 1080 calories from proteins
  • 2700 X 40% = 1080 calories from carbs

Calculate your daily fat caloric intake:

  • Your daily calories X 20% = calories coming from fats

My daily calories from fat would be:

  • 2700 X 20% = 540 calories

So, now that we know I need 1080 calories from of protein, 1080 calories from carbohydrates, and 540 calories from fats. All we need to do now, is figure out how much protein, carbs, and fat I need.

Calculate your daily protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake:

  • Protein: 1080 calories / 4 calories per gram of protein = 270g protein
  • Carbs: 1080 cals / 4 cals per gram of carbohydrate = 270g carbs
  • Fat: 540 calories / 9 calories per gram of fat = 60g fat

So, I should aim to take in 270g of protein, 270g of carbohydrates, and 60g of fats.

>> Continue to part 2 - Macronutrients and daily nutrition planning

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