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Guide to Eat Right When Gymming

Your favourite movie stars have gone ahead and got themselves a new body. A body that is ripped, muscular complete with six to eight packs and at an age which is usually branded as ‘middle age’. Naturally, you too are inspired and wish to join the bandwagon of six packs. You get enrolled in a nearby gym and begin training under the guidance of the trainer. But, the biggest dilemma you face is about your diet. Archana Darshan gets in touch with experts who advise on what you should eat, how much and when?

All of us are born with six packs. But for a majority of us (count people like me and you) it’s hidden beneath the layer of adipose fat. Your workout regime will help you burn fat and your diet plan will enable you to morph the layers of fat in masculine muscle.

1. Avoid training on an empty stomach because your body needs calories to spend energy when you workout. Have a small protein snack like egg whites with a brown bread toast before you commence your workout. Once you have finished your exercise top it off with a protein shake.

2. More is healthier. If you have been eating three large meals during the day, now is the time to change. Have six to eight meals throughout the day. This will keep your metabolism up and would enable you to burn calories faster. Geetu Amarnani , Delhi based Nutritionist explains, “Frequent feedings are of particular importance since after three to four hours of no food the body switches to a catabolic state (a state in which you lose muscle and gain fat!). The body believes that it is starving and it starts feeding itself on lean muscle tissue and it prepares to store calories as fat.”

3. How much protein is too much? Protein and body building are often spoken in the same breath. The requirement of protein goes up for weight trainers by almost twice compared to sedentary people . If enough protein is not consumed, the body goes into negative nitrogen balance hindering muscle growth and recovery. When you train for fitness or for bodybuilding you put your tissues under strain and protein being an essential ingredient for tissue repair is needed to regenerate tissues. “Men doing weight training require 1 gm of protein per pound of body weight where as women need 1 gm per kg of the body weight,” says Dr. Som Tugnait, world bench press champion. (2.2 pounds= 1 kg) “Isolate protein (quick release) should be taken right after the workout where as blend (slow release) should be taken otherwise,” advises he.

4. Don’t forget carbs and fat. Yes, muscles are built of protein. But, carbohydrates are equally essential. Moreover, if you only focus on protein without adding carbs to it your body will not be able to translate that protein in muscle mass because it’s kind of hard for the body to absorb protein in the absence of carbohydrates, points out Amarnani. Given the fact that you’ll be spending hours in gym to sculpt those muscles, it’s essential that you include complex carbohydrates in your diet, as they’ll give you long lasting energy. Complex carbohydrates include whole grains, oatmeal, fruits with skin, daliya and green vegetables. The right mix is 40:20:40 of carbohydrates, fats and protein.

5. Cycle calories. When building body you should cycle your intake of calories. For two days consume low calories and or five days get high calories if you need to increase the muscle mass. Reverse the routine if you wish to lose fat. As they say Rome was not built in a day. The same is true with bodybuilding. Nourish your body with right foods and be consistent with your workouts. Patience and perseverance will reward you with a sculpted body.