When it comes to getting lean and building muscle, the verdict is out: nutrition plays just as important role – if not more important – than the part exercise plays. Without correct nutrition, our health and well-being will inevitably stall. Below we’re taking a look at the role nutrition plays in building lean muscle, how this aids fat loss, and 10 of the foods to include in your diet if muscle building and losing fat is on your to-do list:
Nutrition’s Role in Building Muscle
We need food to fuel our bodies – from our muscles to our skin cells. The types of food you put into your body will determine the quality of the energy it will produce. The consensus is that a diet rich in lean proteins and low in carbohydrates is optimal for muscle building and fat loss. Protein is muscle fuel, so if you’re not eating enough meat or meat-free protein alternatives, your body won’t be able to grow your muscles – only maintain them, if you’re lucky. When you up your protein, and drop your carbohydrates, fat loss can occur. However, make sure that you don’t end up bingeing on protein: calories are calories, and if you consume too many of these they will end up putting on weight.
How This Helps With Fat Loss
Your body’s primary source of energy is carbohydrates. However, when you reduce your carb intake dramatically, your body undergoes a metabolic shift – looking elsewhere for an energy source. If you’re exercising regularly, your body will start burning fat for energy. Not only will this reduce your bodily fat content, but you’ll build lean muscle mass too. The beauty of lean muscle mass is that it burns calories for you even when you’re at rest. This means that when you’re sitting behind your computer, or sleeping, you’re aiding in your fat loss efforts!
5 Lean-Muscle-Building Foods
Great for muscle building, salmon contains around 20 grams of protein for every 100 grams of meat, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. It is essential for you to have omega-3 fatty acids in your diet because these help to protect you from diseases such as heart disease.
These contain healthy fats and important nutrients like the amino acid leucine, B vitamins, and other healthy fats. Body builders use hard-boiled eggs as a convenient source of protein after their workouts.
These have even more protein than salmon per gram and have always been a staple lean-muscle-building addition to any diet. They can be quite tasteless if you just steam or boil them, so make sure that you lightly season so that you aren’t put off!
Yoghurt contains slow-digested casein protein, and fast-digesting whey protein, which has shown to optimise lean muscle production. Steer clear of fat-free or low-fat yoghurt as these don’t contain a lot of protein. Full-fat yoghurt can contain up to 5 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, which makes it a good choice. So make sure that you read your food labels properly!
This fish contains high amounts of protein, vitamin A, and B vitamins. These nutrients are important for energy and exercise performance. Tuna has the tendency to be quite dry which prompts people to make it swim in mayonnaise. Don’t do this! It will only hike up the calories of the dish and, worse still, put you at risk of heart disease as mayo is extremely oily.
Study Nutrition through Trifocus Fitness Academy
Wanting to learn more about nutrition and its role in fitness and athletic performance? See our accredited nutrition courses, and contact us today for more information on the Trifocus Fitness Academy range of qualifications!
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