This article was written by Big Les & was originally published in The MuscleTalker March 2008 edition1: Dietary Fat Phobia
Many of us are health conscious and have taken on board the prevailing low fat is good health message. Unfortunately, low fat isn't always that good at all. Not only are the now famous omega fatty acids really very good for us, indeed, without them we get dumber than we are already. They affect lots of other things too, which given they are involved in the construction of cell membranes isn't too surprising. However, it's not only the healthy essential fats we bodybuilders need, we can also benefit from having a little saturated fat in our diets. Saturated fats are used to make hormones, most notably testosterone. Neglect them and you make life really very difficult for yourself.2: Fearing Fat
We strive hard to get a lean hard physique and when those abs are showing through we have something to brag about. The hardest thing to accept is that to add muscle we may have to sacrifice the six pack. Being super lean sure looks good but when it comes to muscle growth it doesn't cut it. Not only do we need the raw materials for growth, but a little extra fat and water actually helps us lift more by cushioning and supporting our joints. The heavier you lift the greater the growth stimulus.
Solution: a hearty portion of lean red meat and oily fish at least twice per week.3: Not eating enough
This is usually a product of fearing fat. Put simply, you need an excess of calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat and every other nutrient you can think of to provide the materials to grow bigger. The adage to look like a 250lb bodybuilder you have to eat like one rings very true. Sure, if you weigh 180 and suddenly eat like Jay Cutler it is a sure fire way to look like the Michelin man, but you have got to eat like a 200lb person to be one. This is the reason that some people grow on their cutting cycles - they are actually eating more. Eat like a mouse, look like a mouse.4: Having a see-food diet
If not eating enough is a problem for some, then getting banned from the local eat all you can buffet is a real danger for others. It may be tempting to eat everything in sight to provide a surplus of calories, but overdo it and it won't go to muscle, it will go to fat. Bulking up to 300lbs plus is great for professionals, most of us aren't and we can't get away with adding 60lbs of weight to gain 5lbs of lean tissue. All that happens, more often than not, is that when we try and lean out we end up giving our gains back and a little bit more.
Solution: Be sensible with your food.5: Haphazard eating habits
Bodybuilding truly is 24/7 sport. Many bodybuilders have well constructed and planned cutting diets with meals timed practically to the second, they will steadfastly carry boxes of food with them in their quest for the perfect body. Then when they have got there, forget all that and eat when the feel like it. This is not the way to grow, leaving long gaps between meals increases the likelihood that you will actually start using muscle for fuel, and that come the next meal the body will decide to put a little away as fat in case you decide to leave a long gap again. Also eating haphazardly often leads to days of massive under and over consumption of food rather than a regular pattern. This unpredictability creates an unpredictable environment that does not encourage your body to grow muscle, instead its likely to store on the days there is a surplus to fuel the days when you under eat. When we bulk we want the same stable metabolic environment as when we cut; the difference - your cooler weights more!
Solution: As the saying goes: fail to plan - plan to fail, and that counts for your nutrition too!Leave a comment