Any decent fitness trainer will tell you that working out is only half the battle. You probably already know the other half: diet and proper nutrition.
You need to make sure you’re getting the right amount of nutrients every day so that you can rebuild the muscles you’ve worn out during your high intensity workouts. Suffice to say if you’re only exercising, you’re just breaking the muscles down and not building them back up.
Weight training isn’t any good if you’re not getting enough protein in your system.
The good news is that you can use this to your advantage. You can use your knowledge of nutrition to get fit and healthy—and get into shape.
Now how much protein do you actually need? And what food sources should you prioritize in order to gain muscle without getting fat? Let’s take a closer look.
How Much Protein Do We Need?
Some experts would recommend getting 50 grams of protein per day. Some would tell you to consume as much as three times your bodyweight – as in 3x(your weight in pounds) in grams. But the real answer depends on a number of factors—there’s no solid figure we can really rely on.
The American Dietetic Association says that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.36 per pound of bodyweight. This means you can simply weigh yourself and multiply it by 0.36 to get your protein RDA. For example: if you weigh 150lbs, your RDA for protein would be 54 grams.
To make it more accurate, however, you’ll need to consider your fitness goals, your workout habits, your genetics, and the rest of your diet choices. The amount of protein you actually need will depend on these factors.
If you want a general rule to follow: try to get between 0.6g to 1.1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. This is usually enough to help you gain muscle. However, if you are overweight, try to consume your target body weight in grams of protein. For example, if you are 200lbs and you want to slim down to 180 lbs, try to consume 180g of protein daily.
Don’t forget to work out and do some cardio—this should help you shed off those extra pounds. For overweight people, the goal is to reduce carbohydrate and fat intake at the same time.
Watch What You Eat: Good Sources of Protein
Trying to gain weight? Make sure you are increasing your calorie intake. But if you want to gain weight without getting fat, then you must watch what you eat.
Animal sources are the best sources of protein. They are likely to be complete proteins, meaning they contain essential amino acids. Aside from your regular chicken and beef, try to eat more eggs, dairy, seafood, and turkey.
You can also get some protein through plant sources such as fruits, vegetables, and cereals. These food items are also packed with vitamins and minerals that can keep you healthy, so put them on your grocery list.
Looking for more options? Buckwheat, hemp, soy, quinoa, chia, and spirulina are all complete proteins. Vegetarians can also increase their protein intake with supplements.
Gaining muscle is more than just working out and taking bulking SARMs like Ostarine MK 2866. You need to make a conscious effort in terms of choosing what you eat, and what to avoid. But consider it the path to a healthier, stronger, and fitter you.