Want to build muscle and enjoy the food you eat? Yes, you can make your diet both delicious and healthy. Want to learn how to make your diet plan? In this blog, finally, I’ll show you how to design your diet plan with some exclusive information.
Yeah, it’s all possible.
After all, what’s the use if you don’t enjoy the food you’re eating!
Are you worried about how you will lose weight? Are you still worried because you don’t know anything about making your own diet plan?
Chill! Chill! We’ve got you covered.
To be honest I’ve also had these questions when I started my own fitness journey and these issues used to drive me crazy because I just couldn’t find a real solution to my problems. But you don’t need to go crazy because I’m here to help you out with your fitness journey!
I’ll get you through some basics of nutrition that you need to get familiar with and then show you how you can design your own diet chart and become an independent beast:-
- What are Calories and counting them for your diet plan?
- Definition of Nutrients and types of Nutrients for your diet plan?
- What are Macronutrients and their ratio for your diet plan?
- Why micronutrients are must in your diet plan?
- How to Design your own diet plan?
What are calories and counting them for your diet plan?
Just like a car the human body also needs some fuel to function, not petrol though! Likewise, the calories which you intake through food items are the fuel that helps your body to function and pump up those muscles.
Just like petroleum needs to be refined in order to produce more efficient fuels like petrol and diesel so that the engines remain in the best condition, we also need to take in healthy calories and nutrients so that our systems work in the best manner.
To clarify, we need to be familiar with some terms which we are going to use quite frequently here:-
- Calorie surplus: When you consume more calories through food than you burn by working out you are in a calorie surplus. Therefore, Calories consumed > Calories burned.
- Calorie deficit: When you burn more calories by working out than you consume by eating food you are in a calories deficit. Therefore, Calories burned > Calories consumed.
- Calorie maintenance: When the calories you consume are equal to the calories you burn you are in a calorie maintenance state. Therefore, Calories consumed = Calories burned.
Knowledge is power but it doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have unless you put some work. So now we know all the technical stuff but how do we calculate calories?
There are various ways to calculate calories but the truth is you cannot calculate the exact number of calories you burn. But that doesn’t mean we can’t move ahead and get that spectacularly gorgeous muscular physique.
The best way to calculate your calories burned is by using a calorie calculator and subsequently getting an estimated value of calories burned. Wait, what? What are you trying to say?
So you lose one pound (1 pound = 0.454 kgs) when you are in a calorie deficit of 3500 calories and gain one pound when you are in a calorie surplus of 3500 calories.
That means you could schedule your diet in such a way that if you are in a calorie deficit or surplus of 500 calories daily you can lose or gain one pound in a week that is 1.8kgs in one month.
There are a few apps that help you track your macros and daily calories. Subsequently, you can track your daily calorie consumption by using those apps. Healthify is one such app, for instance.
You should start by analysing how your day looks like, what your daily routine and activities are. Then calculate your daily calorie expenditure with a calorie calculator.
Now you need to structure your diet in a way that your calories consumed are 500 lesser than the calories burned if you want to lose weight and if you want to gain weight then your calories consumed should be 500 more than your calories burned.
Definition of nutrients and types of nutrients for your diet plan?
Definition of nutrition:
The process by which living organisms obtain food and use it for growth, metabolism, and repair. The stages of nutrition include ingestion, digestion, absorption, transport, assimilation, and excretion.source: https://www.yourdictionary.com/nutrition
The food we consume contains some nutrients that are very essential for our life, health and they provide us with energy and above all, they help in the repair and growth of our cells which are the building blocks of our body.
Cells form our muscles, bones, tissues and basically everything in our body.
There are two types of nutrients: macronutrients and micronutrients. While macronutrients are needed in much larger amount than micronutrients, our diet plan needs to have both in proper amounts to build muscle and lead a fit lifestyle.
What are macronutrients and their ratio for your diet plan?
They are used mainly to generate energy, help in repair and growth of our body. Carbohydrates, protein, fats and water constitute macronutrients.
Carbohydrates aka carbs
In consumable form, carbs are glucose, fructose, sucrose, lactose, starch, glycogen, fibre.
For example, blood sugar, fruit sugar, sugarcane, milk, wheat, rice, energy stores in our body, green veggies contain these forms of carbs! One gram of carbs contains 4 calories.
Carbs are necessary for your body and they fill up your glycogen stores in muscles which ultimately provides energy to your muscles during workouts. In fact, the fuller your glycogen stores are the more you lift and the more muscle you gain.
Every cell in your body has protein in it. Protein helps in breaking and building up tissues to incorporate muscle growth and releasing hormones.
Therefore, consuming the right amounts of protein makes those gorgeous muscles. Yes! Protein is very much the hype it gets.
Proteins are organic compounds which constitute of amino acids. There are 20 amino acids. Your body doesn’t store amino acids so we need to include sufficient amounts of protein in our diet plan. In addition, one gram of protein contains 4 calories.
There are two types of amino acids essential and non- essential amino acids:
|NON-ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS||NON-ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS|
|Cannot be produced by our body.||Can be produced by our body.|
|Need to be consumed by food items.||Need not be essentially consumed by food items.|
|There are 9 essential amino acids.||There are 11 non- essential amino acids.|
|Phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine and histidine are the essential amino acids.||Alanine, asparagine, arginine, glutamine, tyrosine, cysteine, glycine, proline, serine, aspartate and ornithine are the non- essential amino acids.|
Our body cells constitute mainly of proteins and fats, carbs are needed to provide energy to our body. There is a myth that fats make us fat but fats do not make us fat.
Fats are a very crucial part for our body but they need to be taken in the proper amount and only good fats should be consumed. One gram of fat contains 9 calories.
Fats have lots of benefits: first, they can help you maintain blood sugar second, make your skin and hair glow and grow third and most important, reduce diabetes and heart diseases.
Fats are of two types healthy fats and non-healthy fats. To clarify, healthy fats are the fats that actually help that’s why they are healthy! On the other hand, bad fats are very dangerous to your heart.
Healthy fats include saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fats.
For example, nuts, fish, whole eggs, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, peanut butter are some of the sources of healthy fats to include in your diet plan.
Our body is 65% water. Improving your brain function, digestion, flushing out toxins, feeling energetic are some of the many benefits of water.
What’s the right amount of water you should drink? Well, that depends on individuals to individuals the bigger you are the more water you need.
The best way to judge whether you are taking the right amount of water or not is by seeing the colour of urine. I’m sorry but that is the best way! But as a bodybuilder or a gym-goer, you need to consume at least 3-4 litres of water daily.
You can also stay hydrated and consume water by eating fruits and vegetables.
Your diet should have a ratio of 1: 2: 0.5 = Protein: Carbs: Fats.
If you are consuming 2500 calories you should eat 150g of proteins, 300g of carbs, 75g of fats and 40g of fibre as well.
Why micronutrients are must in your diet plan?
There are two types of micronutrients namely vitamins and minerals and deficiency of these nutrients can cause serious health issues eventually.
There are 13 essential vitamins that the body needs to function properly, including vitamins A, C, B6, and D.
Minerals support your body in functioning. Specifically, they help build strong bones and teeth, regulate your metabolism, and in staying properly hydrated.
Some of the minerals are calcium, iron, and zinc. Iron supports your red blood cells and hormone creation, while zinc boosts your immune system and wound healing.
In short, if you are eating a proper diet containing fruits and veggies you absolutely do not need to worry about your vitamins and minerals.
How to design your own diet plan?
A lot of the people out there just want everything served in their hands, so people go out searching for diets online. But is it a good idea?
Copying the exact diet provided online won’t help much because every individual is different what may suit you may not suit your friend what suits your coach or the guy with those enormous biceps may not suit you!
That’s why above all I’ve always been a big fan of designing your own diet. Most importantly, you do not need to be a dietician to design your own weight loss diet, weight gain diet or any other diet.
You should design a diet plan that you can sustain for a very long period of time possibly your whole life because fitness is a never lasting process. You should lead a healthy life throughout.
There are many myths going around firstly, that weight lifting is boring you have to eat same boiled tasteless food every freakin’ day secondly, you just have to keep eating the whole day thirdly and most importantly, you can’t go out and enjoy your life.
Bodybuilding food can be delicious and not at all boring unless you want to be the next Mr Olympia.
Must-haves in your diet plan!
Protein sources for the non-vegetarians:-
- Egg whites
- Chicken breast
- Paneer (cottage cheese)
- Soybean chunks (yes, nutrela!)
- Tofu (what the heck is this)
Non-vegetarians have better options than vegetarians and can have a higher amount of lean protein through their food itself.
Protein sources for the vegetarians:-
- Soybean chunks
- Milk and milk products
While vegetarians do not have so many complete protein sources, they need to combine different types of food items to obtain all the essential amino acids.
Therefore, taking protein supplements becomes a must if you need a high protein diet.
Carb sources for the non-vegetarians:-
- Sweet potato
- White rice
- Chapatis (with ghee on top yummm!)
- Pulses (dals, rajma, chhole)
- Brown and multigrain bread
Carb sources for the vegetarians:-
- White rice
- Sweet potato
- Multi-Grain and brown bread
Fat sources :-
- Nuts (almonds. Walnuts, cashew nuts, peanuts are a must!)
- Nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter)
- Olive and coconut oil
- Fish oil
Accordingly, you can combine different food items from the three macros and make a meal.
You can have variety in your diet if you have the time and effort to do so. For example, these are some of the meals form the above food options:
- Chicken curry with rice and some salad.
- Peanut butter banana sandwich
- Omelette with toasted bread
- Paneer sandwich
- Rajma chawal with some curd and salad
- Veg. pulao with some soybean chunks, paneer and veggies along with some curd
- Paneer tikka
Yeah, of course you never thought you could eat such delicious food and still build muscle!
Indeed, these were some of the delicious dishes that you can make to build muscle told you bodybuilding is a hell lot of fun!
Foods to avoid
While you can eat pretty much everything you want to still you need to stay away from processed food, processed sugars, sauces with preservatives and too many fats or sugars, deep-fried foods and foods that contain some sort of chemicals in them.
To sum it up:
Calculate your calorie expenditure → decide whether you want to be in a calorie deficit or calorie surplus → find out your macro amounts using the macro ratio → design your diet plan → make sure to add veggies and fruits → decide water intake → have patience and let those muscles grow.
There are various diet options to follow: Keto diet, carb cycling, vegan diet, etc. but you should follow a diet that suits you the most. For instance, if you are someone like me and you love carbs a keto diet won’t work for you.
Hence, in my opinion, you should follow a well nutritious balanced diet however, you should also experiment with different types of diet to see which diet suits you best.
Your diet plays a more important role than your workouts and your sleep. To illustrate, your workouts break your muscle tissues and the diet you consume repairs them and makes them even bigger and stronger.
Therefore, your workouts have 30% importance and your sleep has 20% importance meanwhile, your diet has 50% importance which is equal to both your workout and sleep combined.