Fat is not the only thing that drops as you shed off some pounds. More than 25% of the weight you lose is muscle. The best way to prevent this is to partner your exercise routine with a weekly workout meal plan. Experts like dieticians and nutritionists will tell you that there should be a balance in everything you eat. Hence, it is not advisable to entirely avoid consuming foods rich in calories to achieve a particular weight goal.
Foods for the muscle
There is no doubt that people correlate being lean with healthiness. But, if you take a closer look, all the health buffs around you are sporting muscles. Their arms may be lean, but they are firm and strong. And their abdomens are not only flat but defined.
Sure enough, you can achieve such vigor with enough exercise targeting the right muscles. Yet, it is important to note that most of your efforts will go to waste if you do not take in enough nutrients for your body to break down and to turn into energy needed in producing muscles.
Below is a cheat sheet on the kinds of foods you need to beef up your muscles:
Protein is a crowd-favorite for every muscle builder. It is excellent for strengthening the muscles, which is crucial when you want to get bulky. That is why many people rely on shakes for their daily protein intake.
Aside from that, the following foods are also excellent sources of protein:
- Soybeans – 29g per cup
- Eggs – 7gper egg
- Whey – 2.1g per cup
- Chicken – 27g per 100g
- Salmon – 20g per 100g
- Quinoa – 8g per cup (cooked)
- Black beans – 15.2g per cup (cooked)
- Avocado – 2g per 100g
- Broccoli – 2.8 g per 100g
It is important to note that your daily intake depends on your activities. If you are into resistance exercise, like lifting weights, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats, you should be taking at least 1.4-1.8g/kg of protein a day. For those who are into endurance workouts, such as jogging, swimming, biking, and climbing, at least 1.0g/kg of protein is enough.
Proteins are amino acids. Meaning they help repair and build muscle tissues. That is why it is important to stock up on it if you are constantly engaging in physical activities. (Also Read: What To Eat Before and After a Workout)
Muscle pain is the most common and dreaded aftermath of exercising. It is also the reason why some people choose to go on a diet and forget about exercise. But working out and losing weight while building muscles should not be that painful.
Lessen the fatigue and injury you experience after a workout by incorporating the following foods in your weekly workout meal plan:
- Nuts and seeds
- Citrus fruits
- Sweet peppers
- Goose meat
Generally, increase your intake of foods rich in vitamins C and E, such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits. The more vibrant the color, the more antioxidants you get. Antioxidants are great precautionary measures for fatigue and pain after a workout because it combats the increase of oxidative products in the worn-out muscles.
When you are trying to lose weight, it is understandable that you would want to stay away from carbohydrates. The problem with this mindset is that you miss out on an essential aspect of your post-workout meal.
There are some foods you need to avoid. However, there are also foods rich in carbohydrates that play a key role in your fitness journey, such as:
- Wheat bread
Incorporating enough carbohydrates into your diet is crucial since it is a great source of energy. Once broken down inside your body, carbohydrates turn into glycogen, which aids in repairing and strengthening the tissues. It also accelerates the creation of muscle proteins through increasing levels of insulin.
Simply put, the key to losing weight and gaining muscles is through a healthy balanced diet inclusive of more proteins, anti-oxidants, and just the right amount of carbohydrates. Also, do not forget to keep yourself hydrated, as water is one of the main components of our bodies. And whenever you exercise, your body temperature increases, leading to sweat and loss of electrolytes. (Also Read: Is it Okay to Cut All Carbohydrates from my Diet?)
What to eat in a day for muscle gain
Monitoring the number of nutrients you need to take daily through food can be hard. Also, it will be challenging to know the exact measurements unless you are an expert. Not to mention, cooking your own meal can be discouraging. After all, you will not have much energy after a workout.
Do not worry if you are not a dietician, nutritionist, or a fan of cooking. You can enjoy delicious meals packed with the ideal nutrients for losing fat and gaining muscle without a fuss. Eatology can whip up a weekly workout meal plan dedicated to your own fitness and nutrient needs.
Meal plans are great for monitoring your daily intake of protein, antioxidants, and carbohydrates and ensuring that you get the optimum amount based on your needs and weight. Subscribe to Eatology’s weekly workout meal plans, and enjoy a hassle-free and nutrient-rich dining experience at the comfort of your home!