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Female Bodybuilding Diet

A female bodybuilder’s diet is perhaps the most important aspect of her routine. All the gym time in the world is put to waste if the body is not provided with the essential building blocks required to create significant muscle growth. Diet is so important that when prospective bodybuilders ask Cecile Bayeul, a professional natural female bodybuilder, how they can get started her answer is all about diet. She advises inquirers to begin reducing negative fats and sugars, and replacing them with essential fats, such as omega-3s.

A nutritionally balanced diet is required to become a serious female bodybuilder. According to LiveStrong.com, protein and proper vitamins and minerals gained from fruits and vegetables are the most important cornerstones of a female bodybuilding diet. It is also beneficial to enhance your program with a wide variety of supplements and multivitamins. Mike Francois, a champion bodybuilder, reported to Muscle and Fitness Magazine that protein rich meals are essential for female body builders. Francois stated that high protein and low-carb, not no-carb, diets produce the most impressive results.

Control Your Calories

According to Muscle and Strength magazine, the biggest factor for women who wish to gain muscle and lose weight is managing calories properly. To lose weight, calories that are consumed must be less than calories expended when working out. However, Muscle and Strength warns a careful balance must be found in order to also build muscle. This balance is found through your caloric distribution. Depending on how your calories are distributed, you will receive different results.

For example, the below caloric distribution create unsatisfactory results.

  • 80% from carbs
  • 10% from protein
  • 10% from fat

Conversely, the following distribution will balance weight loss with muscle gain:

  • 40% from carbs
  • 40% from protein
  • 20% from fat

Your training goals will dictate your specific caloric distribution. You may have to experiment different ways of distributing your calories before you find your ideal diet.

Foods to Seek Out, Foods to Avoid

As often as possible, select organic whole foods. Muscle and Strength suggests that processed and prepackaged foods contain high amounts of preservatives, namely saturated fats and sodium. Prepackaged foods also regularly contain a high amount of sugar.

Below is a general list of various foods to seek out to create your bodybuilding diet:

Protein Sources:

  • Lean Beef
  • Tofu
  • Eggs/Egg whites
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Protein powder
  • Turkey
  • Bison

Carbohydrate Sources:

  • Whole wheat
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits

Unsaturated Fat Sources:

  • Fatty fish
  • Avocados
  • Walnuts
  • Safflower oil
  • Olive oil

Calcium Sources:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Skim milk
  • Cottage cheese

Vitamin and Mineral Sources:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Mangos
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Many other types of fruit and vegetables

Foods to Avoid:

  • All fast food
  • Saturated fats
  • Sugars
  • Fatty meats
  • Snack/junk food

How Foods Affect Muscle Growth

Protein is perhaps the most important factor in creating muscle growth. Muscle and Strength states that in order to build new muscle, more protein will have to be consumed than before you embarked on your bodybuilding journey. Protein is composed of a variety of amino acids, which are required building blocks in most body tissue—including muscle. As you work out, your muscle is broken down and must be repaired. Amino acids contained in protein rebuild your muscle tissue and provide quicker recover from intensive workouts. On top of making you strong, protein also supports your immune system, promotes highly functional energy levels and creates healthy connective tissues. Unsaturated fats, such as omega-3 found in fatty fishes, also assist in muscle growth.

The International Society of Sport’s Nutrition (ISSN) has released an in-depth study on protein that states conclusively that people engaged in a regular exercise routinely require more protein than sedentary individuals. ISSN suggests 1.4-2 grams of protein per every kilogram of overall body weight per day. They also found that timing of protein intake was important for building muscle. It is suggested that several small, protein rich meals are ingested before, during and immediately after training to get the best results from your gym effort. The ‘during’ meal can be a protein bar or shake.

Diet Dictates Results

While putting in quality time at the gym is necessary, fueling your body with a balanced, nutritional diet is what creates impressive results. A protein rich, low-carb, no sugar diet will help you trim fat and build muscle so you can achieve your bodybuilding dreams.