By following a few basic guidelines, you can lose fat and build muscle without putting your health at stake. With the seemingly endless line of 'fad' diets, it can get rather confusing. However, once you figure out the needs of your body, you can take it from there. And, from that baseline, it is relatively easy to experiment with a variable or two in order to see what works best for your particular situation.
Bodybuilding Diet Tips
Determine your daily caloric needs. This can vary from person to person, depending on the level of physical activity, and the condition of the body. Generally, though, it requires 10-15 calories per pound of bodyweight to produce a maintenance level, where you are neither gaining nor losing weight. So, if you wish to gain or lose weight, adjust the calorie numbers up or down accordingly.
Divide your daily calories over five or six evenly-spaced meals. Spreading out your calories over the course of a day is a far better solution than "pigging out" on food during the three meals in a day which you would normally have. This way your calories also get spread out, and your growing muscles aren't deprived of nutrients for too long at a time.
Protein is important. Protein is more important than carbohydrates or fats. This is because it contains nitrogen, whereas carbohydrates and fats don't. Nitrogen is a pre-requisite for muscle synthesis, so it is an absolute essential in your diet. The most usable protein sources come from animal products such as eggs, milk, lean meat, and fish. You can also use combinations of foods such as peanut butter, beans, and soy products to meet your protein requirements. Try to consume around 1 gram of protein per day for each pound of lean bodyweight. Supplements are also a viable protein source, if you can't manage the necessary intake from your diet.
Carbohydrates! Since bodybuilders require muscle glycogen to produce high-intensity muscular contractions, about 70% of their non-protein calories should come from carbohydrates . The majority of the body's energy needs is met by complex carbohydrates. However, it is necessary to eat healthy when you are consuming the carbohydrates. The best choices for healthful eating are natural, unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals like oatmeal and brown rice, and choices from the legume/tuber families like beans and potatoes. These foods provide a lot of energy but help you avoid sugar spikes.
Fats. Fats are also very important in you diet, but not as important as proteins or carbohydrates. You do not have to load up on them, and generally, a limited amount should do the job for you. The best way for you to get the fats you need, is to choose carbohydrates and proteins that also supply the healthy fats. To finish off your basic eating strategy, make sure that you eat some foods that supply healthy fats at every meal, or at least every day. Good sources of fats include nuts, fatty fish like salmon, lean read meat, and even the occasional egg dish. Remember, there is no need to get an excess of fats into your diet. This won't maximize the benefit. Keep in mind, too, that fats provide nine calories per gram, so they can quickly balloon your overall calorie count, if you're not careful.
Once you have gotten started on your diet, and spent some time getting used to it, you can start to experiment. Along with the required exercise, you can start to create your own plans to work out a system which works best for you.