As stated in my first post of my blog Nutrition along with your work out and rest are all equally important. Each should have the equal amount of attention.
My metabolism is incredibly fast. My goal for nutrition when I first put on 24lbs; eat everything. I never counted calories, I didn’t need to. It didn’t matter if it was fast food; I ate when I was scheduled to eat. With that said I always ate off the dollar menu and kept sandwiches simple. No Whopper, Big Mac, and Baconators. I ate mostly plain double cheeseburgers, crispy chicken sandwiches, chicken go wraps, grilled chicken sandwiches and Wendy’s nuggets. That’s it from fast food places, no fries and no soda. For drinks I drank mostly water, but also milk, vitamin water, and Gatorade. Preferably I would have chosen not to eat fast food at all but with my schedule it would have been impossible.
More recently I'm gathering together a quick and easy plan to make eating quick and easy. This would entail a night a week in which I would prepare most of my food. For example Sunday night possibly create all of the meals needed during work for reheat when necessary. For example cook a bunch of chicken, rice noodles and prepare salads for Mon-Wed. Wed night prepare Thursday and Fridays meals. Bring a large lunch box to work with me so I don't have to rely on outside sources to get food. This will not only ensure your eating healthy but it will save you money as most meals today are from 5-12$. More to follow on my plan of action for my daily meals.
I created a schedule for myself to eat every 2-3hrs and never let it go beyond 4hrs. I focused on my protein intake being high to make sure I had enough amino acids at all times for full muscle recovery. Whats high? About my body weight if not more in grams of protien. That means 30g of protein or more per meal. The mens health exercise book advises eating as many grams of protien as the weight you want to be, but no less than half your body weight.I also made sure I ate before bed. I found it essiential to plan out when I was going to eat my meals. This made it easy for me to intake enough calories.
My main nutrition guide is the Abs Diet from Men’s Health. Following their power foods is a great muscle building plan and helps keep the fat down. I would suggest printing out a hard copy of what they offer on their website and if you’re real serious buying the book (most likely the best source would be amazon.com) would be a great idea. The Abs diet is meant for those losing weight but is a great nutrition guide if you’re worried about gaining too much fat. Men’s Health’s website is also a great place to find how to perform exercise and workout routines. Another book I use is the Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises. Over 600 exercises to keep your routine fresh and it also gives you work outs.
I also used the US Army article on gaining weight for Ranger School. This lays it out in plain language and gives good advice to gain weight. It’s where I got the 1-3lbs a week for my gains. From this site you can also find good work out guides to start a routine or even just to change it up.
For those of you that are really worrying about gaining too much fat with my approach, try adding between 200-500 calories a day. Add that to your normal calories daily and then spread it out over at least 5-6 meals a day. Reason being for spreading out your meals you keep your metabolism going keeping your body from storing fat. Here is some proof; this is an excerpt from the Men’s health abs diet online, “researchers in Japan found that boxers who ate the same amount of calories a day from either two or six meals both lost an average of 11 pounds in 2 weeks. But the guys who ate six meals a day lost 3 pounds more fat and 3 pounds less muscle than the ones who ate only two meals.” Now instead of cutting calories you'd be adding to gain weight.
Water is a huge part of nutrition. Muscles are about 85% water. Keeping hydrated is essential I would advise drinking at least half your body weight in onces a day. Water also helps with getting essential vitamins minerals into cells and the transferring energy, which is why muscle consists of so much water.
Remember Nutrition is a key element of the process. It will be tough to continually eat meals every 2-3 hrs and eat as much as physically possible, but it will get easier as your body adapts. Stuff your face, work out hard, rest easy and you should see results.