I want to build muscle. Why? Because muscle holds its shape so much better than fat does, helping me look more toned while burning calories even at rest… meaning that I can look strong, be strong and eat strong! And boy, do I ever love to eat.
To build muscle, I know that I need a few things in my arsenal. One, I need to lift weights, preferably heavy weights at that. Two, I need to meet the correct Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat amounts for my body type and exercise level. Three, I need motivation and patience to get up and keep going. Unfortunately for most people, they don’t realize that this muscle building formula requires that you follow all three steps to a tee. They try to skip over some of the steps, and that just isn’t going to work.
Most people assume that getting lean means eating a ton of protein and cutting all fats from their diet. This is such a huge mistake to make and can actually set you back a bunch. Believe me, it took me years to understand this concept and I hurt my progress by not getting enough fats in my diet. If you don’t eat enough healthy fats, your body will use your protein intake as your main energy source. This is a huge problem for someone trying to add lean muscle mass as you want the protein you eat to go towards building and repairing the muscle tissue you worked so hard to workout. If your body is using protein as its main energy source, you may not reach your anabolic potential.
What is the proper amount of healthy fats to build muscle you ask? Fat intake should be at least 25-35 percent of your total calories (depending on your body type). This may seem like a lot but if you are working out and lifting weights (even full body weight exercises like Yoga), your body will definitely need it. You should be eating a healthy combination of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and lots of veggies to help your body recover and repair damaged muscle tissue.
I noticed that when I started getting more healthy fats into my diet, my energy levels went through the roof and so did my lean muscle gains. So don’t make the same mistakes as I first did. Try to use the F word every day and include Fat (what did you think I meant?) into your diet.
The healthy fats that will best aid in lean muscle growth are healthy oils and fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, fatty fish like Salmon and Tuna and of course, the ever so lovely Egg. For years doctors were harping on the poor old egg yolk as a source of Cholesterol, but new studies have shown eggs to be a Super Food and when eaten with the yolk intact, to be a perfect source of healthy fats in the diet.
So the moral of the story is that Fats are not evil. The media is. Don’t let them censor the F word from your diet and you’ll be well on your way to building muscle and leading a healthier, more balanced nutritious life.
To living Positively Strong,