If you’re one of the many weight lifting enthusiasts struggling to attain accomplishing your goals, could it possibly be your muscle building diet, or the fact that you’ve never taken the time to follow one? There is more that just eating healthy. Many people eat healthy. You need more. You need a tool that many bodybuilders know about, but not many use. It’s not the next great weight routine. This tool is the written journal.
I know what most of you are probably thinking. Schlepping a notebook around at the gym is something only amateurs do. Although that’s not necessarily true, the focus here is keeping records of everything you eat. It can be downright bothersome and a lot of effort. If however, you’re serious about gaining muscle size and reducing fat at the same time, and regard your muscle building diet a vital ingredient of the equation, keeping a log book of the food you eat is definitely necessary and the effort will be well worth it.
To begin correctly, you must know your weight and goals. To accomplish/attain those goals, you’ll need to know not only the essential weight lifting routine and how often to work-out, but also your body’s caloric and nutritional requirements to meet those goals. Without a written journal, how will you know if you’re meeting the requirements?
Once you have the numbers figured out, you’ll want to decide how best to organize the data. Do you want to use a simple notebook? Each day’s results on a separate page? Do you want to set up a spreadsheet that calculates your totals automatically? Either way is fine. However, the spreadsheet is probably, in my opinion the best option. You’ll have to enter your stats in the computer but once that’s finished it will output instant results. Don’t guess at the amount of nutrients and calories you’re consuming. Use a written log to find out the detailed amounts.
Following this plan is quite easy. Your first week, you’ll jot down everything you eat in detail, including times of the day, and the number of calories, fat and other nutrients you’ve eaten. This information can be found on the nutritional labels of foods.
At the end of the week, once you have this information, you’ll most likely be surprised at your findings. Now that you know, you can make adjustments accordingly, cutting back on the foods you need to and eating more of the good things, the foods that will benefit you the most. You could find out that you’re not eating enough protein during off times, or you might become aware that on Fridays you’re eating more fat than you thought because you’re going to regular happy hours. Another shock usually comes from keeping track of what you’re drinking. Beverages, especially alcohol, can add significant calories, sugar, and even fat to your muscle building diet and they’ll add up fast.
Make this process a weekly habit. Keep records and change your muscle building diet regularly until you’ve achieved the meal plan that’s best for you. Don’t make changes all at once. If it takes several months, it’s OK. It’s much better to implement changes gradually and not all at once. It’ll be easier to stick with it by following this method. Don’t try to be perfect and beat yourself up if you slip up every now and then. We’re all human. Just move forward and stay positive.
As you continue on your weight lifting and diet program, after a certain time, perhaps 2-3 months, you should be eating better, healthier and the changes you made will be a part of your permanent eating habits. In addition, the best benefit will be achieving the muscle growth you desire.