The fact remains: Protein is the single most important nutrient for muscle regeneration and building. The trick is to use only lean protein. Protein and fat usually coexist in food sources. Meat, fish, fowl, dairy, these primary sources all can have much fat content. In the old days, we did not worry about such inconveniences. As a result, heavy protein consumers developed nasty clogged arteries and astronomical cholesterol rates. The fault wasn’t in the protein, but the fat attached to the protein.
Nowadays, we hardcore weight trainers confine our protein to nonfat or low fat sources. Skim milk, egg whites, fish, skinless fowl, flank steak, and of course that staple of weight training, protein powder. These foods represent powerful, clean protein sources. Start by ingesting 1 – 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. To stay anabolic, divide the total intake into 4-8 equal portions and eat these low fat protein sources at regular intervals throughout the day.
Failing to Cook for Yourself
Meal preparation is a critical skill. To be truly successful as a bodybuilder, you should be able to prepare your own food. Nutritionally sound foods eaten throughout the day are necessary to obtain anabolism. Most male bodybuilders (and more than a few female ones) do not cook. Big mistake. Why depend on mom, your spouse, restaurants or fast food joints for the endless succession of small, nutritious feedings required to mount a serious bodybuilder effort?
Not only do you have to come to grips with cooking, but you have to develop a wide and inventive repertoire of dishes and meals. Otherwise you are locked into the equivalent of prison chow. Jail house cuisine is bland, unimaginative, tasteless. Kinda like the clean foods we bodybuilders choose to contend with day in, day out.
You need a lot of imagination to deal with clean food. Tuna and egg white need not be dull. How do the ignorant become enlightened? Comb the magazines. Read low fat cook books. Assemble your ingredients, set aside some time and have at it. Plus, you’ll impress the heck out of your mom when you serve her a low fat gourmet feast some fine Sunday.
Not keeping a Nutrition Log
As cumbersome as it might sound, the muscle elite keep daily records of what they consume and when they consume it. They write it all down in a log. This allows them to keep a running tally of their nutritional progress. They establish a long term game plan and keep daily tabs on food and supplement consumption. Tracking results, identifying trends, finding what works, discarding what doesn’t, a log becomes your nutritional report card. You can make truly accurate assessments and implement intelligent corrective action when you base your adjustments on factual data and objective analysis. Otherwise it degenerates into wishful thinking and self-delusion.
So begin by assembling data. The truly complete nutritional log lists date, time, food type, and carb, fat, sugar, sodium, protein and caloric content. Body stats are notated along with short descriptive phrases on the athlete’s general condition. Drawn up in column format, the comprehensive notation of a meal takes about two minutes. And you’ll find that the purchases of a food nutritional value book (available at any bookstore) will be of a great help. Did I hear you say what a hassle? It could be worse. Thomas Jefferson wrote down every financial transaction he made in his adult life and he lived to be 83.