Fitness and good nutrition go hand in hand. To support your fitness regime, you need to have a balanced diet. You must have heard of terms – The cutting phase and the bulking phase. In the cutting phase, you try to cut down on excess fat and maintain muscle mass and in a bulking phase, you eat more to than required as this is the muscle gaining phase. In order to pack more muscles before the cutting phase, it is important to have a good bulking phase.

I am sharing a few tips to help you in your bulking season.

Calorie intake:

In order to bulk up, it is important to have enough calories to help you bulk up. But it is also important not to gain fat weight by consuming excess fat and high glycaemic index carbohydrates. The idea is to gain a healthy weight and not fat weight. The key lies in increasing the activity level slowly and steadily and complement it with higher calorie intake.

Protein:

Protein is the most vital nutrient in order to gain muscles as amino acids are the building blocks of muscles. If you want to have a successful gain, increasing protein intake is a must. Every meal should have a protein source to help reach your protein intake goal. Adding high Biological Value protein sources to the diet will help in better bioavailability of protein to the body.

Adding foods like eggs, chicken breasts, fresh fish, beef, pork.

For vegetarians, not enough high biological value foods are available but still, they can opt for dairy products.

If your protein intake is not met by natural foods, then opting for whey protein will be a good choice.

Carbohydrates and fats:

Try sticking to complex or low glycaemic carbohydrates for the day, with the exception of post-workout, when you can utilize high GI carbohydrates to reduce the cortisol levels and replenish liver and muscle glycogen through carb cycling. When it comes to fat, keep it healthy. Stick to the omega-3 fatty acids available in salmon, coconut oil, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds.

Nutrition advice on diet to lose weight:

More than weight loss, we should concentrate on fat loss as the term weight loss may be misleading. I am sharing a few tips to help you in losing fats.

Calorie intake: This is a simple input and output system. If the calorie intake is more than the calories burned, there will be no results. Hence cutting down at least 500 calories from the diet will help in quick results.

Carbohydrates: The quantity and quality of carbohydrates matter a lot in terms of fat loss goals. It is important to limit the number of carbohydrates as it is a major energy-providing nutrient. The quality of carbohydrates is crucial to achieving your goal. It is important to check the Glycaemic Index (GI) of carbohydrates, which is the rate at which the blood glucose level is elevated after consuming carbohydrates. The lower the GI, the quicker it is to lose fats as the glucose will not get stored as fats.

Also, increase the intake of the insoluble fiber in your diet as it will help to increase satiety value and eventually help you to have a lower calorie intake.

Foods to include – raw vegetables, citrus fruits, whole grain cereals.

Protein and fat: Protein intake will be moderate and of high biological value. Fat needs to be low and good quality, preferably omega 3 fats.

Nutrition advice on diet to build shred while working out:

Shredding is the time to cut down the bulk made during the gaining season.

Carbohydrates: Following a card cycle helps in the shredding phase. Limiting the number of carbohydrates and then increasing them after 4 days to load the muscle with enough glycogen stores.

Also with an increased amount of carbohydrates, it will act as a protein sparer. Carbohydrates should be taken in small frequent meals to boost up metabolism. Eating Low GI carbohydrates will be beneficial over High GI carbs as they reduce the action of insulin, which is a hormone responsible for fat storage and hunger.

Protein: Protein intake still has to be higher as it will be required as food for the worked-out muscles. Eating High biological value proteins will mean more bioavailability of the consumed proteins.

If need be, supplements of BCAA or Glutamine can also be added.

It is important to keep the body in high BMR and hence eating small frequent meals will help keep the BMR high.

I hope these tips are helpful for you to support your fitness regime with a balanced diet. Also, if you are trying to gain muscle mass or trying to lose weight in a healthy way.


Written by SHRADDHA GADIT, HEAD OF DEPARTMENT – GOLD’S GYM FITNESS INSTITUTE