The wrong diet and exercise programs can have disastrous results. When bodybuilders don't develop a careful balance of these two disciplines:
- they can injure themselves
- they won't be able to reach goals
- they won't have the energy to exercise
Because of the importance of diet as well as exercise in successful bodybuilding, much has been written about it. Perhaps too much. Because there is now a good deal of erroneous diet information circulating out there that's being taken as gospel. Below are some common myths to avoid.
4 Common Diet Myths to Avoid if You Want to Attain a Long-term, Sustainable Weight
1. The “Batman” Diet
Those tiny bats flitting across the night skies need to be consuming food pretty much continuously. Bodybuilders are likewise advised to do the same. The thinking here is that by eating a meal every two or three hours, you'll be both burning up fat and building up muscles. The reality?
You'll be spending a lot of time eating and not much else. It's important to remember that digestion, calorie burning, and muscle building are not instantaneous processes. A constant onslaught of food in no way helps these processes. Formal studies done in Canada and England have confirmed that “grazing” does not lead to weight loss or has any other nutritional benefits. These researchers feel that the only true weight control is calorie counting.
Some nutritionists and fitness experts feel that fewer meals (of excellent quality) may be a better idea in terms of weight control and muscle building. The bottom line? Eating a true meal every two to three hours is a great idea if you're an eastern long eared bat. But if you're Bruce Wayne, limit that meal munching to two or three proper sized ones per day. And be warned that many current articles on body building quote pros as still espousing the “many mini meal” strategy. This may well be one time that you would do well not to emulate the pros.
2. You Must Avoid That Catabolic Catastrophe
As every schoolchild knows, if you don't consume protein immediately after working out, your body will begin to lose muscle mass. Protein shakes to the rescue! Or so say the manufacturers of those protein shakes. In reality, actual muscle loss doesn't really start happening for about two to three weeks. Experts say that the real danger involved in taking lots of breaks from training is the loss of motivation. But back to those yummy protein shakes. Should they be drunk immediately after a session or not?
Jose Antonio, the director of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) says that protein shakes do provide important muscle hydration and nourishment after a workout. But it's not necessary to drop the weights and grab a glass. Keep in mind that different shake mixes achieve different anabolic results. It hurts nothing to wait several hours after working out to consume nourishment. And waiting may give you even more time to make the protein shake choice that meets your personal needs.
3. No Pretzels in The P.M. For You!
It's an oft quoted golden rule of bodybuilding nutrition. “You can only eat carbohydrates in the morning hours”. What horrid fate awaits you if you order that lunchtime burger in a bun? The science behind this edict is that carbohydrates are slower to break down. Carbohydrate consumption can lead to weight gain. Your body's metabolism is at peak performance in the morning hours. Ergo, eating carbohydrate containing foods after your metabolism slows down leads to weight gain.
However, the nutritional timing theory has largely been disproven in formal studies. And a bodybuilding diet containing a reasonable level of carbohydrates throughout the day enhances energy and digestion. This doesn't mean experts think wolfing down bags of potato chips and cookies is a good idea. Instead, one should eat “healthy” carbs such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. And do some food group shuffling. In 2011, overweight Israeli police officers took part in a study swapping morning carbs and evening protein. The result? They lost weight!
4. No Cheating for You! Ever!
Remember those horrible diets our mothers always seemed to be on decades ago? They seemed to feature delights like grapefruit and Melba toast. Mom never seemed to stay on them for long. And she'd comfort herself for her dieting failure by eating a big bowl of ice cream. Bodybuilders often suffer similar fates by trying to adhere to “clean food” only regimes. A training diet featuring constant deprivation is a pretty bad training diet. Training experts now say a good, sustainable bodybuilding diet can include up to 10 to 20 percent of foods from the “cheating group”. But not so fast with that jar of marshmallow fluff. There are plenty of healthy cheating choices out there.
Strict dieting has been abandoned by those interested in general weight loss, as it seldom gets positive results. The same is true for bodybuilding. Those training should make nutritious, safe, and even compassionate choices to get the bodies that they want without having to start over.
Author Bio: Mike Jones
Mike Jones got a degree in Mass Communication before turning to freelancing. Now, he is a writer by day and a blogger by night. Defend Your Healthcare is the project in which he invests the most of his free time. Follow Mike on Twitter for keeping up with his work.