If you're interested in minimizing your body-fat percentage and maximizing your muscle mass without taking drugs (and who isn't?), these final dieting tips will help you reach your full potential!
- Eat 5 to 9 Meals a day!
Elite athletes usually eat every 2 to 3 hours. If you want an athletic physique, you should do the same. The goal is to provide as much energy (carbs) and building materials (protein) as your muscles can absorb without getting too much at a time. Multiple studies have shown a couple important things about how our bodies react to the timing and portion size of our meals:
- Muscles can only absorb about 15 to 30 grams of protein in a 2 hour period. Everything else is converted to Nitrogen and expelled thru
the kidneys, which is not good!
If you go more than 3 1/2 hours without eating, your body will begin to defend itself against starvation. That means different things for
different body types, but it has negative effects on your physical conditioning no matter who you are.
- Certainly eat immediately after a workout, but you can also eat again an hour later!
Again; it's important to eat when your body will accept the nutrition rather than store it or expel it. Since your body is in recovery mode after a workout, you have an opportunity to slip in another meal after about an hour! The goal here, of course, is to maximize your body's ability to grow muscle.
Keep a small protein snack by your bed
This suggestion is last on the list for a reason. It is helpful, but not as critical as anything else listed above. If you happen to wake up in the middle of the night, wouldn't hurt to take a couple bites of a high-protein, low-carb snack. Nothing big; just 5 to 10 grams of protein.
I know people who set their alarm and wake-up to get some protein in their system at night. It's true that lot's of muscle repair (therefore muscle building) happens while we are asleep. But it's also true that un-interrupted sleep is critically helpful for exercise recovery and muscle repair. Don't interrupt your sleep patterns, but if you happen to wake up, it wouldn't hurt to eat a small protein snack!
I didn't talk about exercise because I wanted to focus on the most critically important aspects of physical conditioning - Diet! Exercise is somewhat important, but it pales in comparison to the importance of a healthy diet.
(The importance of a good diet) is missed by a majority of high-school and amateur athletes who often turn to drugs after becoming frustrated with their progress.
I can't illustrate this point better than an elite power-lifter I met at Power-Shack in Westerville, Ohio. I was intrigued by the lack of time he spent working out compared to the amount of time he spent joking around with friends, so I asked him about it. I wish I could remember his name, but to make the point about diet being of utmost importance, he said "I work out for about 30 minutes, then I like to sit back and watch everybody else over-train".
Get your diet under control and do a reasonable amount of exercise. You'll be very happy with the results!
(1)I'm not sure of the origins this saying, but there's a similar quote from Abraham Lincoln that is just as true:
When Lincoln was President of the U.S., he was advised to include a certain man in his cabinet. When he refused, Lincoln was asked why he would not accept the man. "I don't like his face," the President replied. "But the poor man isn't responsible for his face," responded his advocate. "Every man over forty is responsible for his face," said Lincoln.
Lincoln On Leadership
Don T. Phillips, Author
Copyright 1992 by Donald T. Phillips II
(2) I'm not advocating transcendental meditation. Rather; I'm using the term 'Meditation' the way it's used in The Bible: Biblical meditation involves finding a truth written in scripture, and then thinking or praying about that verse whenever you have time, or when you find yourself doing mundane tasks. Biblical meditation can be done in a lotus position, but it can also be done while you are driving, if you keep your eyes open!
It would be impossible to list all the experts and books that helped me reach my own fitness goals.
Here are a few people I admire for their accomplishments, their communication skills, and their commitment to share their knowledge openly and honestly:
Jack La Lanne
Dr. David T. Ryan