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- Problem #1 - You may be eating too much. The “bulky” look that all females are afraid to get from weight training. It doesn’t actually come from the weight training, it comes from eating too much. You need to eat just the right amount to develop and maintain muscle, but not develop any additional fat. This is why nutrition is so important.
- Problem #2 - You’re eating too little. Muscle tissue NEEDS calories to grow and maintain. It is also more active than fat tissue. So the more you have, the faster your metabolism is. Muscle tissue actually burns calories at rest to maintain itself. So you WANT muscle, and muscle needs calories, but the right amount.
- Problem #3 - You aren’t eating the right types of foods. The types of foods you are eating can be just as important as the amount of foods you are eating. High-sugar, chemically-ridden foods can cause inflammation in the body and lots of bloating (aka feeling and looking puffy). Eat a diet of whole, unprocessed foods and reap the rewards!
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- Having a meal with sufficient amounts of protein every 3-5 hours. This will prevent your body from pulling amino acids (building blocks of protein) from other muscle tissue to supply itself. AKA - You won’t have muscle breakdown due to lack of calories and can keep your ‘gainz’.
- Eating 3-5 meals per day will help you get the proper amount of calories necessary without feeling too hungry at any point, as well as not having to eat HUGE meals to reach your caloric goals for a day.
- Your post workout meal is important because this is when you are starting your recovery process. As soon as we’ve stopped ‘gasping for air post-workout’, our recovery phase has begun. What does that even entail?
- Replenishing muscle and liver glycogen stores (aka our energy stores which are fueled by CARBOHYDRATES)
- Muscle Repair which can be aided by protein intake
- Restoring fluid and electrolytes
- Helping the immune system to handle the damage of exercise and the stress it causes on the body (don’t worry - it’s a good stress!)
- Worry first about how much and the types of food you are eating before you start worrying about the timing of those foods.
- Eat 4-6 meals throughout the day evenly spaced out and include a good lean protein source with each.
- If you are weight-training/exercising consistently, try to have slightly larger meals pre-workout (1-3 hours prior), as well as post-workout (within 90 minutes) to aid in performance and recovery. These meals are where I would focus a larger amount of calories to restore glycogen to muscles (aka from carbohydrates) as well as aid in muscle tissue repair (aka from a lean protein source).
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