What to Eat to Get Buff

Everyone wants the perfect body these days. There are almost as many opinions on how to achieve the perfect body as there are people wanting to build it. What you put into your body is just as important and probably more important than the exercise you to to build it. Knowing what to put into your body and in what proportions is the key to looking like a fitness model or pro athlete.

Chicken fillet with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and basil leaves
Putting the right things into your body will help you get what you want out of your body. (Image: KucherAV/iStock/Getty Images)

Protein Intake

Protein is the building block of muscle, many people know this but the complicated part is knowing how to get it from lean sources and how much of it to eat. Studies suggest that you must eat 1 gram of protein for each pound of your body weight to gain muscle. The types of protein you eat must be lean and easily digestible for it to be converted into muscle and not stored as fat. Lean beef and chicken are easy to find and prepare and are popular choices for protein, but fish, nuts, beans and green leafy vegetables also provide good sources of lean protein.

Carbohydrate Intake

Carbohydrates are the fuel your body uses to get through workouts and function. Low-carb diets are popular but can be harmful because not having the right amount of carbohydrates can leave your body without the nutrients it needs to function and get through workouts. Eating 2.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight is a good starting point but can be adjusted to your body type and metabolism. Eating the right carbs and not processed junk foods is the key. Eat fruits, vegetables and unprocessed grains while trying to avoid foods with bleached flour and excessive sugar.

Healthy Fats

It may seem strange to mention fat but fats are an essential part of your diet. Choosing the correct types of fat to eat in the correct quantities is the important part. Fats from fish oil helps to build muscle and also keep your heart healthy. Fat from deep-fried foods, synthetic oils and unhealthy foods are what you need to avoid to gain muscle mass while losing body fat. Fish oil from eating fish or capsules and cooking with leaner oil not made from animal fat will give your body the trace amounts of fat needed to function properly and still build a lean muscular body.

Dietary Supplements

Supplements are one of the best ways to make sure you get the proper nutrients quickly and in an easily digestible form. Protein shakes and powders have been an effective tool for years in making sure your body gets the protein it needs without the fat that can come with eating foods. Amino acid tablets also assist in muscle growth as well as fat burners, energy drinks and electrolyte drinks. Many of these products are helpful, but these products are not regulated by the FDA in the United States and you must be aware when choosing them. Research these products before using them and make sure the are in fact what they say they are.

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