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The bodybuilder diet
By John Erickson


The Bodybuilder Diet is a safe and effective way to build muscle without taking steroids or any other harmful substances. The Bodybuilder Diet consists of 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein and 20% fat. This is the same diet Arnold Schwarzenegger followed during his career as a bodybuilder. The caloric recommendations for this diet plan provide your body with 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. An intensive activity is necessary to put this protein to good use; otherwise you never want to eat more protein than what your body requires.

For optimal results, the Bodybuilder Diet Plan advises against the use of high carbohydrate sport drinks or supplement powders. These types of products will damage your blood sugar levels worse than if you ate nothing at all. Excessive carbohydrates (sugar) will cause an overproduction of the hormone insulin.





Insulin is called “the spoon that feeds your body” since it directs both protein (amino acids) and sugar (glucose) into muscle cells. When this sugar is taken out of the bloodstream, it is taken away from your brain and central nervous system. Athletes refer to this as “bonking out” or “hitting a wall.” Neglecting the function of your nervous system during activity is extremely inefficient because your nerve cells are what drive the movement of your muscles in the first place. Emotional fatigue will precede physical fatigue.

Insulin also has a marked effect on fat storage. Insulin ushers both fat and sugar from the blood and into long term fat deposits. The key is balance. Insulin needs to be high enough to promote muscle metabolism, but not high enough to cause the accumulation of body fat.

Habitual high levels of insulin can cause damage to your insulin receptors. All cells have receptors or “antennae” that allow them to listen to what’s going on in their environment. After a hormone hits its designated cell receptor, the receptor is broken down and recycled back up to the cell’s surface. However, some receptors don’t bounce back so quickly and the receptors will decrease in number. With less insulin receptors, muscle cells will become less responsive to insulin and excess sugar will accumulate in the bloodstream. The clinical term for this is “insulin resistance”. An extreme form of insulin resistance is called “type II diabetes", where muscle (and fat) cells become unresponsive to insulin’s message. Muscle cells will begin to think the rest of the body is starving and they will start giving up more protein than what they are consuming.

By controlling insulin, the Bodybuilder Diet Plan stabilizes blood sugar and maximizes your natural output of growth hormone. Growth hormone is a chemical messenger in the body that has profound muscle building and fat burning capabilities. Growth hormone gets released during deep sleep, after strenuous exercise and from eating a protein containing meal. High levels of insulin on the other hand will suppress the release of growth hormone.

Other scientific insights behind the Bodybuilder Diet strongly oppose the use of “energizing” supplements that contain high amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. These substances throw your body into overdrive by pouring stress hormones out of your adrenal glands. This short term high will be overshadowed by the possibility of abuse, addiction and a definite increase in the aging process. Ingesting stimulants is compared to clenching your fist and squeezing it for as long as you can. Eventually, exhaustion is inevitable. Low blood sugar coupled with brain stimulation is one of the worst ways to treat your brain cells. Renowned neuroscientist, Anthony Giacomazza says “putting stringent demands on brain cells while depriving them of their main source of energy (glucose) is like kicking them while they are down.”

The bodybuilding supplement industry is not a safe haven for someone trying to build muscle and remain healthy at the same time. There are many products being sold that violate the most basic concepts in the nutrition field. Manufacturers attract their customers by using egotistical-sounding words like “mega,” “nitro,” or “max.” There must be a way to educate people so they can see past a fancy label or a persuasive advertising campaign.

Following the bodybuilder diet is fairly easy since you are eating the same amount of protein as you do carbohydrates (gram for gram). Protein sources should be from low fat sources like egg whites, chicken, turkey, fish, soy, deli meats, and low fat cheese. Carbohydrates should be from slow-absorbing kinds like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These items will absorb slowly into your bloodstream and keep your blood sugar consistent for hours following the meal.

Although fat consists of only 20% of a Bodybuilder Diet meal, you are allowed to go slightly higher than this amount, especially if it’s heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat sources like olive oil, nuts or natural peanut butter. Fat has no effect on blood sugar and it will most likely be metabolized by your muscles (as long as insulin levels remain stable). In addition, fat adds flavor to your meals and is often necessary as a cooking medium. Obtaining the optimal protein to carbohydrate ratio is of greater importance than the total amount of fat in each meal.


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