When beginning weight training it is important to not only work hard in the gym, but also in the kitchen. Did you know that 80% of the results people see from a new diet and exercise regimen comes from changes in diet. The saying abs are made in the kitchen hCredit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Healthy_food.jpgas a lot of truth to it! So what does a good diet for weight training consist of?
First off nix the sugar, processed foods and artificial sweeteners. A good rule of thumb is if your food can outlive you, it's probably not good for you. Eating fast foods, sugars and sodas slows your metabolism and helps your body hold onto fat. It may not be easy to give up those foods right away so start by allowing yourself one or two cheat meals a week. Before you know it you wont even use your cheat meals, you'll just be craving delicious healthy foods all the time!
Alright, so you've gotten rid of all the sugary processed foods, now what's left?
Grains: Focus on good, whole grain breads and cereals like oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa and multigrain breads and bagels. Try and focus your carb intake around your workouts, and avoid too many carbs late in the evening as the body's metabolism is slowed down and this leads to fat storage.
Protein: Choose whole sources of lean protein through the day such as eggs, chicken, tuna, turkey and fish. You may also choose to drink a protein shake post-workout. Try and get at least 1x your body weight it protein. So if you were 130 lbs, you would aim for 130 grams of protein per day.
Vegetables: Eat as many as you can all day long! Choose a variety of colorful vegetables to eat with each meal. Vegetables are packed with nutrients and low in calories, so they are an excellent choice to fill up on if you are trying to lose weight.
Fruits: Fruits are great for killing a sweet tooth in a healthy way. You can add them to your protein shake, eat them with breakfast, or as snacks throughout the day.
Water: Water is SO important for the body. It helps flush toxins throughout the day, and makes the body run more efficiently, which speeds up metabolism! Try to get at LEAST 8 glasses a day, if not more.
So you've got a great base of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains filling your kitchen. Now it's just a matter of incorporating them into delicious healthy meals. 6 small meals a day helps keep the metabolism up. Here is a sample meal plan for a weight training diet.
Breakfast: 1/2 cup oats mixed with water, topped with berries, stevia and cinnamon. 2 eggs.
Midmorning snack: 1 cup grapes
Lunch: Giant salad with: romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, strawberries, 1 can water packed tuna, almonds and cucumbers. Topped with homemade dressing (2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp vinegar and 1 tbsp honey mustard).
Afternoon snack: 1 apple with a few slices of cheese and venison.
Post-workout: Protein shake made with 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 banana.
Dinner: Hash made of sweet potatoes, apples, ground turkey sausage, onion and spinach.
Dessert: A few squares of dark chocolate and a handful of blueberries.
That's the essence of your basic weight training diet. Make sure to keep it balanced, and ensure you get plenty of calories! Growing muscles need sufficient energy, so dont' starve yourself!