How Much Protein Do I Need and How Frequent Do I Have to Eat to Build Mucle?
Great question! EVERYONE has a different opinion on how much protein you need to gain muscle. I've read anywhere from only 40g to a monstrous 3 x your bodyweight! If you don't eat enough protein, then your muscles are malnourished and atrophy. But if you consume too much protein, then you put a major strain on your liver and kidneys. So what are you supposed to do?... After over a decade of training athletes, parents, bodybuilders, a Heisman Trophy Winner, and skinny teenagers I've come up with a proven system to get you the perfect amount of fuel needed to add mass. The secret is to fuel the body most on high activity level or hard workout days and pull back on recovery or off days.
THE TOP SECRET FORMULA
The formula is really easy to use! Just multiply your bodyweight by 1 for lbs. or 1.55 for kg. and then add your activity level. The meal plan gives a range of how much protein to eat at each meal. Add your protein intake from each meal in grams to get the total recommended grams to build muscle for your bodyweight.
Grams of Protein Per Day = (Bodyweight in lbs. x 1 OR Bodyweight in kg. x 1.55) + Activity Level
Activity Level 1 = OFF Day No Workout ADD 0g
Activity Level 2 = High Intensity or High Volume Workout (Harder workout) ADD 50g
Activity Level 3 = Low Intensity or Low Volume Workout (Easier workout) ADD 25g
Example: If I weighed 150lbs and I had a hard workout that day then I would consume 200g of protein (150lbs + 50 for Hard Workout) spread throughout the day.
Why Do I Have To Eat 5x Per Day?
You may be asking yourself, why do I have to eat 5x per day? Gaining weight is all about keeping your body fueled throughout the day. If you go longer than 3 hours without eating your body starts to enter what is called a catabolic state. A catabolic state is simply a state of muscle breakdown. We want to keep you in an anabolic state, meaning muscle buildup. Frequent eating also helps keep you lean by regulating your sugar (or insulin) levels. If they are too high, then your body is storing the extra sugar as fat. If you haven't eaten in hours, then your sugar levels are low and your body is in starvation mode. During starvation mode your body will eat away at your muscle for fuel. It is impossible to gain muscle in the starvation mode!
Our goal is to keep you in an anabolic state all day long. By eating every 2-4 hours, consuming lots of protein, and eating foods with low glycemic levels (foods that don't spike your sugar levels) we are able to keep your body in the muscle building state! If you are used to eating only 1 or 2 meals per day, then this is going to be a major adjustment for your body. It may be difficult to eat frequently over the first week as your body adjusts, but keep forcing yourself to eat and it will get easier! After the first week you will notice your body will feel more energized, your mind will feel sharper, and you will be gaining weight! Check out this graph that demonstrates how eating frequently will result in staying in an anabolic state and more time spent in the muscle building zone.
There are six meal times in a day including breakfast, snack 1, lunch, snack 2, dinner, and snack 3. You are required to eat all 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and any 2 of the 3 snacks. Eat protein at every meal. Only eat carbs at break, lunch, and dinner. Snacks are protein only snack. It does not require calorie or fat counting, but does require you monitor your protein and carbs. Your best protein choices are protein powder or bar, tuna, chicken, yogurt, nuts, cheese, cottage cheese, pork, turkey, deli meats, beans, lean red meats, fish, or legumes. The best low-glycemic carb choices are oats, wheat bread, berries, fibrous and green vegetables, wheat bread, brown rice, and mixed vegetables.
As with all things in life, your level of success depends solely on your level of commitment. If you give 10% percent commitment, then you will get 10% results. If you are disciplined, then you will be extremely successful. You now have the tools and the knowledge, but do you have the willpower and mental strength to achieve your goals? Consider this a test, a personal challenge. YOU vs.you. There is no such thing as an overnight transformation, but consider how long it took you to get to where you're at now. The gratification you will feel after accomplishing this goal will far surpass any pleasure received from a late night ice cream binge. When you reach the end of this journey, you will be a stronger person for it.
Joshua C Kozak - About Author:
Joshua has been a fixture in the world of health and fitness for over 10 years. HASfit has the Best Workout Exercise Routines at Home or in Gym for Men and for Women. Don’t forget to grab our free HASfit’s Top Secret Muscle and Weight Gain Diet.
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