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
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.