In my first article, I discussed training and the importance of generating high intensity while utilizing proper form and getting adequate rest. As important as training is, it is only a small piece of the overall pie that delivers success and progression in Real Life Bodybuilding. A much larger percentage of that pie is Nutrition. Nutrition is by far the most important factor and is almost always responsible for both success and failure in bodybuilding, and for that matter any and all fitness programs. In the following article, I’ll lay out a basic nutrition program. With this program, you’ll be able to figure out your daily Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat and Calorie needs. I’ll also include some key tips on nutritional timing, metabolic enhancement and preferred food and supplement choices. So get ready! Bodybuilding for real people and real life results Nutrition 101 is about to begin.
Daily Caloric Intake
This is an area that has been used and abused a lot over the past several years. At one point, high calorie diets are in and a year later low calorie diets are back in fashion. The same holds true for Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats. Opinions seem like they’re changing on a daily basis and they are! The following formula is tried and true. lf you follow it and make adjustments where they’re needed, you can’t help but to achieve nutritional nirvana. Many complex formula’s for figuring daily caloric needs have been introduced. My formula is a simplified and effective version.
Take your current body weight or a realistic body weight goal (Up or Down), and multiply it by your desired factor (either 12, 15, or 18). If you want to lose weight or have a slower metabolism, multiply your weight by 12. For maintaining your current weight, multiply your weight by 15. And for hardgainers or those looking to gain weight, multiply your weight or desired weight by 18. This is a starting point for figuring out your daily caloric needs. (Example: Male who is 200lbs x 15 = 3000 calories per day, Female wh is 130 lbs x 15 = 1950 calories per day). You may need to adjust your caloric need by 50 – 100 calories per day should you stagnate and not be achieving your desired goals. This formula also works as a nice starting point for a bodybuilder looking to figure out the different caloric needs over the course of a year.
A Pre-Contest bodybuilder would use their desired body weight multiplied by 12. An off-season bodybuilder would use their weight or desired weight multiplied by 15 or 18 depending on how fast their metabolism is and how lean they want to stay in the off-season. I personally use my body weight multiplied by 15. This allows me to grow and stay very lean in the off-season. This formula works equally well for both men and women.
After figuring your daily caloric needs, you now need to figure out how many grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat you’ll take in per day. Roughly 30-35% of your calories should come from protein, 50-60% from carbohydrates and 10-15% from fats. Each gram of protein or carbohydrate is equal to 4 calories. Each gram of fat is equal to 9 calories. Your calories should be partitioned somewhat equally throughout 5-6 meals or more per day. Higher calorie post workout meals are encouraged and will be discussed later in this article. Although vitamins and minerals will not be discussed in detail in this article, I do recommend everyone use some type of Mega Multi Vitamins or Vitamin Pack on a daily basis. Such supplementation provides daily insurance and eliminates the worry of meeting required needs for general health and recovery.