So your goal is muscle building and you are wondering what foods you need to avoid. What if we told you none! That’s right – if you want to be technical about the whole thing, there really is no specific foods that you need to avoid in order to reach your goal and build more muscle. It really is about macronutrients and calorie intake.
You’ve heard it before – calories in vs. calories out. This is the key, while making sure that you meet your macronutrient needs for protein, fats, and carbs. For example, 200 calories from a glazed donut is not more fattening than if you eat 200 calories form oatmeal. It’s a common mistake to think there is a difference.
For you to get rid of fat or lose weight, you need to consume less in maintenance calories. If you consume more than your total daily energy expenditure you will gain weight. Each of us has our own TDEE, which depends on our age, weight, height, activity level, etc. This number is not static. It will change from one day to the next. But you can work on what you estimate your average to be.
For example, let’s say that you estimate that your TDEE is going to be 3000 calories. For you to maintain your current physique you would have to eat around 3000 calories. If you wanted to bulk up you would need to consume 3000 + 500 calories for a total of 3500 calories. If you wanted to lose weight you would consume 3000 – 500 for a total of 2500 calories.
Every food you eat has macronutrients, which are a combination of fats, carbohydrates, and protein. For every 1 gram of protein, 1 gram of fat or 1 gram of carbohydrate there is a corresponding number of calories. It doesn’t matter, from what food you eat, the calories do not change.
This means that you can eat any foods you want as long as your total calories is correct. Your macronutrients split between fats, carbs and protein is important. You want 1 gram of protein per pound of lean bodyweight and 0.4 grams of fat per pound of lean bodyweight. Your lean bodyweight is your total bodyweight minus your body fat. This ensures your hormones are regulated and that you have proper brain function.
Trainers recommend that you fill the balance of your calories with carbs, because they are the best source of energy/fuel for your body.
The foods you eat to meet your calorie intake and macronutrients, don't matter one bit as far as your body composition is considered. That’s great news – right? There are no foods you need to avoid. It’s all about making your food choices fit your calorie needs while making sure you pay attention to your micronutrients.
Now you should never take this wrong – this is not a free pass to eat junk food. You need to still make healthy choices and eat foods that are packed with nutrition. That said, if you decide to have that delicious piece of double chocolate cake you have been craving, then there is no need to beat yourself up. Now, eating all of your calories from fast food or chocolate cake won’t work, but having the occasional fast food or junk food won’t matter, because you can still meet your daily calorie needs and not affect your body composition goal.
This hopefully clears up some of the many myths floating around about what you can or cannot eat. So the next time that egg eating die hard gets in your face about what you are doing wrong, just laugh, shrug your shoulders and know that you can eat anything you want to – no food is off limits!
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