We’ve all been told what we should eat to build muscle, but what shouldn’t we eat? It’s a much longer list, and as such, it’s hard to avoid them all. The phrase ‘everything in moderation’ comes to mind, and be sure to adhere to it!
Consider this post your diet and muscle growth checklist - you can lift all you want, but your diet will make all the difference!
What foods should I seek out?
Before we get to the bad stuff, here’s a quick overview of the good stuff.
It goes without saying that meats, dairy and staple foods should be the core focus of your diet, and this notion holds true in any scenario. Chicken, eggs, milk, yogurt, potatoes, pasta and rice should be the first items on your shopping list every single week.
In terms of diet plans, recipes and meal ideas, that’s really down to you. You could browse an online resource like The Fitness Recipes, make up your own or ask a fellow bodybuilder.
At the end of the day, as long as you’re getting these foods in your diet, you can’t go wrong. There’s no golden meal idea or diet plan.
So, here are the products you should be avoiding, if possible:
1. Breakfast cereals
Specifically, those sugary ones that are coated in chocolate and sugar. They may taste nice, but they could do more harm than good, especially if you want to pack on quality muscle and not fat.
2. Fruit juices
Ask yourself this: how much fruit juice do you consume when you eat an orange or an apple? Now put that against how much juice is in a glass. Compared to a regular piece of fruit, drinking a glass of juice is an extreme excess of sugar.
3. Margarine and butter
At the end of the day, these products are just fat. And do they really make that sandwich taste better? Do they really impact that jacket potato? It’s an extraneous inclusion to most meals, so consider cutting it out.
Most of these sauces and dressings are just sugar, fat or both. Not the healthy kind of fat either. The worse, unhealthy saturated ones. Much like margarine and butter, does this really impact the meal? Is it really necessary? It’s like strapping a bike to your car - you don’t need it, because you already have a vehicle.
5. Processed foods
Most things that come in a can, or that you stab with a fork and put in the microwave. Those ready meals that taste nice, but are full of unhealthy fats and other chemicals.
6. Ice cream
It’s a good way to stay cool, but ice cream is full of sugars and will make you fatter, not leaner.
7. Cookies and cakes
They’re ok for a treat, and in moderation, but like ice cream, are packed full of sugar. Too much sugar means you won’t get a balance of each nutrient. You need protein and carbs too, not just glucose.
8. Takeaway meals
It’s called fast food for a reason. It probably wasn’t prepared with nutritional benefit in mind. The next time you’re out looking for a bite to eat, go to that sandwich shop instead. Forget McDonalds - you’ll regret it in the long run.
Of course, having a drink at a wedding or party is acceptable. But mind your volume. Alcohol is basically empty calories, so you’ll gain zero health benefits here. And you’ll get a headache as well.
Caffeine will energize you temporarily, then you’ll slump back into tiredness. You need to find ways of feeling alert all the time, not just in the mornings. You can read more about the negative side effects of coffee at this link.