train harder than anyone else at your gym-but you're still not
seeing the results you want to achieve. If this is the case, the
problem may not be your body building workout. Bad eating habits
can undermine even the most rigorous routine. Here are nine eating
habits that may be keeping you from losing weight and building
before bed. If you're looking to lose weight, it's not a good
idea to eat right before you go to bed-especially if you're eating
complex carbohydrates. When you sleep you're not burning many
calories, and your body is more likely to process the foods you've
just eaten into fat.
going to eat at night, the best foods to eat are lean proteins
and vegetables. These foods make you feel full without all the
calories of carbs. If you eat a lot of these at dinner, you're
less likely to feel hungry right before you go to bed.
too many highly processed carbohydrates. Highly processed
carbohydrates include breads, breakfast cereals, chips, candies,
fruit juices, and other foods that contain high levels of sugar.
These foods pack a caloric punch, and their sugars are stored
as fats if you don't burn them off right away.
it's rarely a good idea to lose the carbohydrates altogether.
If your body thinks you're not getting enough carbs, it could
respond by lowering your metabolism. It's best to eat carbs for
breakfast, directly before or directly after a workout. When you
need their energy most, your body is less likely to turn their
sugars into fat.
about the veggies. Some body builders fall back on protein
bars, shakes, nutritional supplements, and other expensive designer
foods, and forget about the vegetables. You may love or hate leafy
greens, asparagus and broccoli, but you need them for any healthy
diet. Vegetables are full of vitamins and fiber, and they're tougher
to digest than yogurts, protein shakes, and bars. The tougher
the food is to digest, the more calories you burn eating it.
breakfast. If you're going to overeat, the best time to do
it is the morning-that way, you have all day to burn off those
calories. Skipping breakfast makes you hungrier throughout the
day, and more likely to overeat later-especially right before
bed, which is the worst time to eat. Nutritionists also say that
those who skip breakfast have lower metabolism, as a whole, than
those who eat in the morning.
yourself get too hungry. It's never a good idea to let yourself
get really hungry before your next meal. Time your meals so that
you eat before you get too hungry. This simple change will keep
you from eating more than you need to at every meal.
yourself get too full. Do you normally eat until you're full,
instead of stopping when you're simply not hungry anymore? If
you're looking to build muscle and lose fat, don't eat until you
feel like you're ready to burst. Instead, stop when you feel satisfied.
Bear in mind that it takes your stomach about fifteen minutes
to communicate to your body that it's full, so take your time
with your meals.
frequently enough. The way we normally eat-three large meals
a day-isn't the most efficient schedule. Our bodies digest food
most efficiently when we eat numerous small meals throughout the
day instead of a few larger ones. We get more out of each meal,
we store less fat, and our metabolism kicks into high gear. Most
trainers recommend that body builders eat about every three hours
throughout the day, and a total of six times per day rather than
to prepare. Even if you plan your diet meticulously, life
can easily keep you from sticking to it. If you don't have time
to cook and eat a healthy breakfast in the morning, get stuck
working through lunch again, or get home too tired to cook, it's
easy to see your plan for a healthy diet disintegrate in favor
of quick, unhealthy eating.
planning your diet, be sure to keep your day-to-day routine in
mind-and design solutions for problems that might keep you from
sticking to it. Do you consistently get up too late to make breakfast?
Cut up the ham and veggies for your omelet at night, and leave
them in the fridge. Do you never get time during the workday for
a real lunch? Make sure you have plenty of protein bars on hand
to get you through a busy day. Don't have time to make up a separate
lunch? Then always make extra when you cook dinner, so you'll
have leftovers to take to work tomorrow.
"bulking up" means eating everything in sight. During
the bulk-up phase, it's common for body builders to think they
have to eat huge quantities of food-pretty much anything will
do-in order to build up all that muscle.
this is only a good idea if you're training to be a sumo wrestler.
If the foods you're eating aren't high-quality foods, you could
overwhelm your digestive system and gain an excess of fat. If
you want to bulk up effectively, you have to increase your intake
in a controlled manner. Talk to your trainer or a nutritionist
about a plan that will take your normal level of activity and
your goals into account.
have your workout routine planned down to the number of steps
it takes to get from one machine to another-but if you're not
just as careful about your diet, you may not see the results you
want. Stick to a consistent body building diet and an eating schedule
that boosts your metabolism, and you won't undo your own best
About the author
Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body
Building Resource which provides articles on weight training,
nutrition and fitness, body building book and DVDs.