Bodybuilding competitions aren’t won by the lazy. It takes focused and consistent dedication to strict weight training and consuming a nutritious diet in order to compete with the “big boys”. Hitting the gym is often the easiest part of a bodybuilding program. Once there, you tune in to your muscle work and glide right through to completion.
However, maintaining a proper nutritional diet and supplement program isn’t always so easy. Proper nutrition means paying close attention to what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, the amounts of specific nutrients you’re consuming, and how your body is responding to your diet plan and bodybuilding supplements. As you plan your bodybuilding diet plan, keep the following mistakes in mind and adjust your diet and lifestyle accordingly.
Bodybuilding Mistake #1 – Failure to Keep a Nutrition Log
If you’re goal is to be at the top of the bodybuilder world, you should keep a nutrition log in order maximize results. Most champions utilize this handy bodybuilding tool so that they can readily see their progress or track patterns which are not working so adjustments can be made. Record daily food intake, the amounts eaten, when you eat them, their nutritional value of protein, carbs, fat, etc (purchasing a book of food nutritional values will help greatly with this), how you feel during workouts and throughout the day, and what physical results you notice. This should also be done with any bodybuilding supplements you chose to add to your bodybuilding diet.
Bodybuilding Mistake #2 – Not Eating Enough
When you’re in the process of packing on lean muscle mass, you need to feed your muscles, mind, central nervous system, and all aspects of your growing and stressed out body. If you want to increase mass, you have to eat the right kinds of nutritious foods that will add to your efforts. Proteins, carbs, fats, and other micronutrients are essential for a well-formed physique and high performance body and attitude. In order to reduce body fat (which is a result of stored calories for energy), focus on eating foods that are nutritionally dense with minimal amounts of sugar and fat. You should also eat often. By consuming small, healthy meals every 2 hours or so, you keep your body at a stable metabolic level that helps it better process the incoming nutrients. As you increase or decrease weight training activity, adjust your eating habits to compensate for the change in nutrient demands.
Bodybuilding Mistake #3 – Eating Too Much
Over-eating is just as much a problem as under-eating. The goal of a bodybuilder is to amass as much muscle as possible while keeping body fat to a minimum. Eating too much will cause the body to store excess calories as fat, which will only hide your muscle building efforts under its soft, cushy blanket. High body fat stores will result in you having to train more often and harder in order to eliminate them. That is wasted time which could be better spent on muscle building and sculpting. It is much wiser and more efficient to develop a good nutritional diet that governs both your muscle gain and fat reduction. If you’re overweight and need to lose fat, you should increase aerobics and high intensity exercises in your weight training program. You should also fine-tune your diet to eat precise amounts of the main, quality nutrients of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Continue consuming large amounts of protein for muscle growth and carbs for energy, but reduce fat intake until you get your fat problem under control. Your nutritional log will come in handy here to help with monitoring your food intake and, since people respond differently, you will have to watch your progress closely and make adjustments in both nutrition and exercise as you go.
Bodybuilding Mistake #4 – Not Preparing Meals Yourself
This is a biggie in bodybuilding failure. You need to develop a good anabolic level to obtain proper muscle gains and decrease in body fat percentage. You just can’t do that by eating from a store and restaurants all the time. Therefore, preparing your own nutritious meals is a critical element in getting championship bodybuilding results. As we’ve discussed, small and nutritious meals need to be eaten at approximately 2 hour intervals throughout the day. Many foods can just be carried along with you, such as apples, chunks of cheese, mixed nuts, etc., but actual meals which consist of a variety of nutrient-rich foods have to be prepared. If you can’t do that yourself then you are at a serious disadvantage. There are plenty of good, healthy recipes out there that will help you prepare and stick to a powerful, nutritious diet.
Bodybuilding Mistake #5 – Not Using Bodybuilding Supplements
Whether it’s through ignorance or wanting to stick with natural foods, many bodybuilders fail to properly utilize bodybuilding supplements in their weight training program. This is a big mistake that will severely hamper your chances at winning bodybuilding competitions. A nutritious diet consisting of natural, healthy foods is necessary. However, your body doesn’t get everything it needs, or the amounts it needs, from such foods. This is especially true of bodybuilders and weightlifters who stress their bodies out to the max day after day. If you expect to develop lean, mean muscle that will impress the judges (as well as the girls), you need to supplement your healthy diet with added nutrients.