Role of Dieting in Bodybuilding

A balanced diet is the most important thing which is imperative for catering to the needs of different athletes. Different athletes have different demands for example weightlifters require more proteins whereas endurance athletes consume more carbohydrates. However neither of them will let them achieve their goals unless and until they maintain a balance between their food nutrients. An athlete requires more than 0.4 grams of proteins (the amount more than the RDA states) for each pound of body weight. The proteins consumption can be doubled to ensure plenty of proteins in the body which is still considered as a decent consumption.

The excessive proteins in the body do not inevitably ensure the body'€™s environment for building or adding new muscles. However, wrong proportion of carbohydrates and proteins in the body can hamper the gains and cause delay in achieving the required results. The individuals indulging in tough exercise with less consumption of carbohydrates burn more proteins in place of carbohydrates; which are supposed to be used in the growth and development of the muscles. Although proteins do not provide as much fuels as carbohydrates do, therefore it is very important to maintain requisite amount of carbohydrates in the body so that they can be utilized as energy. The body should also have enough proteins so that they keep on facilitating the development and growth of the muscles.

The proteins comprise of molecules knows an amino acids. The proteins in the human body are first decomposed into amino acids to build muscles. The rich amino acid also known as '€˜Glutamine' is quite effective in building muscles. Carbohydrates are also sometimes called as '€˜glutamine sparing' because of the fact that carbohydrates are burnt as energy which enable glutamine to be accumulated in the muscles. In other words glutamine will be utilized as energy if adequate amount of carbohydrates are not consumed to be used as source of energy in muscular contractions. The muscle overtraining might not be necessarily related to the muscular pain or soreness but it can be associated with the fact that the body is obtaining energy from the burning of fuels in the muscles rather than the energy obtained from the food.
Excessive workout or tough training in the beginning can become a big mistake in the amateur bodybuilding. The glycogen storages can utilize energy for the duration of one hour after which body will start utilizing energy obtained from the decomposition of glutamine in the body. The fat will also be utilized as energy in this process but would result in slackening of muscles. This raises a concern of why a person interested in losing fats should be bothered about little loosening of muscles in the whole process. The answer to this question can be given by considering the fact that muscle serves as storage to burn accumulated fat. It actually requires plenty of energy to restore a muscle. In the state of rest, one burns more fats if he has more muscle.

Most of the people have misconception related to the relationship between the muscles and fats. The most obvious comment includes '€˜the person having big muscles will eventually transform into fat'€™ which is not true. More muscles on the body allow more fats to be burnt at any point of time therefore It is quite impossible to get fat if the person has strong muscles. If an individual has enough muscles, eating anything will barely transfer the energy obtained from the food to '€˜adipose' (the storage place where body fats accumulate). The increased strength obtained from the increased fat will help burning the body fat. In simpler words, increase in muscle weight allows more fat to burn which eventually makes the muscles more strong and efficient in burning the fat. There is a possibility of a person having enormous strength but not having muscles. For example, the skinny men who might be thin but might have lots of strength. This is because of the fact that such a person might not have fat because of efficient muscles which are quite efficient and strong in fat burning process.

For the last few years, quite a negative perception has been developed about the calories and the useless diet plans which make the conditions worse by making the person more bony and unhealthy. A calorie is basically a depiction of how much energy is stored in the food however it is not necessary that the energy is always stored as fat in the body (discussed in more detail in the later part of the text). When an individual wants to lose his calories and his body calories are lessened to the extent that they are not enough to sustain muscles, in that case it will eventually lead to the loss of muscle mass. This stage is also known as '€˜catabolic' state. In this state, person will lose his muscle mass because of the usage of glutamine as source of energy especially in the course of physical activity. In order to carry out a physical activity it is important to consume more calories so that muscles can sustain themselves. Muscles utilize more calories in the state of work rather than in the state of rest which proves that the best plan for weight loss is working out. When a person carries out physical activity, muscles require more energy which will come from burning body fats. This explains that when a person loses muscle, he actually loses the basic instrument which helps to burn fat.

So this raises a question whether the low calorie diet should be preferred or not. Low calorie diet plans are proved to be unproductive in many cases. Because of lesser amount of calories consumed from the low calorie diet, the muscle will burn more of the glutamine as a result of which weight reduction and loss of muscles will occur. But after that the person starts getting weight more rapidly than ever because of the lack of means through which fat is to be burnt. Therefore these diets are equivalent to giving five five-dollar instead of paying twenty dollars which is surely a loss. The reduction in calorie is quite counterproductive however people usually think that one has to consume fewer calories than burning them in order to lose weight. That means people think that an individual should consume 2499 or lesser calories if they want to burn 2500 calories in a day. But in reality, one should consume more calories than he burns in order to avoid body wreck and lose weight without making body fatigue. So having low calorie diet is never recommended which explains the fact the some people can eat whatever they want to eat and never gain weight whereas some people in spite of taking lower calorie food keep on gaining weight. This information will going to help remove confusions and misperceptions about eating less and burning more.

The above fact makes more sense when we take into account the biological effects related to the digestion process. The nutrients consumed in the body are absorbed into the numerous blood vessels in the small intestine of the body. The walls which lie along the muscles also tighten the movement of food nutrients till the point when it goes to the colon where the absorption process is almost stopped. The movement of the food nutrients in the body depends upon the demand of the body. If the body requires more food, the muscles will uphold the food for maximum absorption. It is also possible that the muscles do not require absorbing food and pass on the food directly to the colon. One way to protect oneself from the body fat is to impede the body from absorbing the ingested food and to let it absorb the food nutrients according to the body need. This will help reducing the process of storage of excessive energy as fats. This means for a person having low calorie diet of 2500 calories, the excessive calories will be absorbed in the small intestine as fat. Nothing will go out of the digestive system and the energy will be coming from the muscle breakdown. This further makes us clear about the fake theory of ELCTYB (Eat Less Calories Than You Burn). The excessive calories will be excreted out of the body rather than being absorbed in the body and left over calories will not be stored in the body.

There is also a misconception about the storage of excessive calories. Most of the people assume that if the calories are not utilized as energy, it gets stored in the human body. Many feel that human waste does not contain calories; which is also a misconception. To clarify these kinds of misconceptions it should now be taken into account that our human body is much smarter than what a normal person thinks. The human waste actually contains lots of calories. When the body is faced with calories, it takes the decision whether to burn the calories or excrete them. The calories burnt in the state of rest vary with respect to one'€™s metabolism and nature of the body. Take an example of a person burning 2500 calories per day. Let us assume that the person having weight of 240 pounds with height of 5 ft 11 inch has a normal level of 12% fat in it. In order to maintain his current muscle mass, the person'€™s body and endomorphic metabolism will require almost 2500 calories a day. These 2500 calories from the food consumption are not adequate for his muscles because body will not extract some of the calories and excrete some of the calories as waste. As a result his muscles will use glutamine as energy for carrying out his routine activities and he will become catabolic because of the unavailability of adequate calories in the body. Therefore any individual should consume more calories than he burns in order to maintain his muscles and energy levels. If we think critically, we can notice that when a person consumes more proteins, the muscle becomes stronger and huge. For making the muscles gigantic, microscopic holes should be tattered into the muscle fiber throughout the course of activities. The physical activities require muscles to take calories to support the muscular contractions therefore for adding muscles the body should have adequate calories to provide necessary fuels to the muscle contractions; which is necessary for splitting the microscopic holes. In order to add more muscles, adequate calories from protein should be consumed which could help building the new tissues in the body. Therefore the person should consume more than 2500 calories to build new muscles.

Relying over solely on the body 'needs' to decide the amount of calories to be consumed in the body is not a right approach which is usually used by many of the people. Just imagine if a person burns 2500 of his calories daily by sitting or just doing nothing in a day and 20% of his calories are excreted by the small intestine, then a person would require 3000 calories for daily basis in order to not to become catabolic. This 3000 figure can be obtained by working mathematically i.e. 2500 minimum calories to sustain inactive muscle weight plus 500 calories (20% of 2500) of the unused calories. The additional calories will enable the person to gain more muscle and will help becoming him 'anabolic'. The major concern rising from this fact is that how many additional calories should be consumed for making a person anabolic which could enable him to gain more muscle without storing the rest of those additional calories as fat. For answering this question, one should take into account that the calories not excreted from the body will be accumulated as glycogens or fats in the body and will eventually help the body to gain additional muscle. One should keep in the mind the general rule that 'Calories not excreted out of the body or not burnt as energy are eventually stored as fat'. But this should also be kept in mind that the body keeps fat for some reason.

As discussed before that human body is much smarter than the human imagination, the body itself is premeditated for endurance. In the world of today, the people do not require the survival skills for which the body has already been embedded by nature. Because of lack of awareness and education, the system often becomes harmful which affects the human survival system in order to sustain life. The human body stores fats in order to protect itself so that it can sustain itself for the long term survival. The body knows that a human being can't survive if he is deprived of food, his body functions such as heart beating, thinking, digesting etc. will not work properly if they the body does not get the required amount of energy to carry out day to day tasks. Therefore the body prepares itself for facing such kind of incident. This explains why body has adipose cells i.e. the cells which store body fat. When a body is starved, the body gets anxious. In fact for the body, starvation is the worst way of dying. The fats stored in the body compensate in the times of extreme low calories in the body. That is the why animals that lie dormant preserve enough fat so that they can use their preserved fat till the time they can go out and consume food. If you are consuming the food equivalent to the calories which you are burning then there are chances of body getting nervous which could result in increasing the tendency of body stocking up as much calories as possible. For example, if a person's body consumes 90% of calories as fat i.e. leaving nothing as energy, the reduction in calories in one's diet would result in greater allocation of calories as fat. In that case, body will start using its survival strategies in order to conserve as much energy as possible. If that person further lowers down the consumption of calories, his body will feel exhausted as the body will now start preserving whatever he eats rather than utilizing it as energy.

Apart from adding muscles, manipulation of the survival system is the key to losing fat and getting success in the case of bodybuilding. The bodybuilder must prevent his body from desiring to preserve calories. This can only be possible if a person tries to consume as much as calories he can in order to lose fat. This means in order to lose fat, one should consume more calories which seems quite illogical for a normal person. But this makes sense if a person is aware about the following facts. Before going for a diet, certain scientific facts should be taken into considerations which are as follows. If a person consumes fixed amount of food for the longer duration, the body gets used to with the amount of calories and starts waiting for the next meal. In that case, need for preserving calories as fat would be much lesser. To achieve the required results, one should establish a schedule just like a pet animal that gets anxious in the feeding time. When one is successful in making his schedule, his metabolic functions start getting accustomed with those meals. Consuming food after every two hours is the most important thing. The maximum anabolic benefits can be obtained for the bodybuilders within this time period while restraining the storage of fat in the body. However this might present difficulty for those who eat less. For example, people who eat less, usually feel less hungry because of the fact that their body is less accustomed for eating. If a person changes himself to consume more calories or shifts towards consuming high calorie food by burning more food as energy, it will help adding more muscle and excreting more food out of the body. After the food is excreted or used as energy, the person will feel more hunger. If a person makes his habit of eating meal in every two hours, it is guaranteed that the body will desire for food even if he misses his one meal. This shows that now the body has been accustomed to consume one meal after every two hours. The body will make the person feel that body needs food quickly in order to sustain energy because of the two reasons i.e. increase of metabolism in the body would result in burning the food as energy (which is caused by the adaptive characteristics of the thyroid glands and discharge of T3 in the body) and secondly because of the intestinal muscles which will now absorb the food in lesser time duration. By adopting such kind of nourishment, an individual would definitely transform himself into an anabolic.

By consuming a meal, it does not mean taking a big meal. In fact it means taking a small snack just to make your body aware that there is some food to be consumed. Over the longer duration of time, the body will stop storing fat in the body. The body will automatically come to know that the food which is coming after fixed period of time has fixed energy and hence will be excreted out of the body if the body does not need it. In this case it might be possible that 75% of the food consumed in the body excreted out of the body e.g. if a person is burning 2500 calories, he can simply consume 10000 calories and burn what his body does not require for anabolism. This actually makes good sense for those who are fit and aware rather than those who are relying on their bodies to tell them what to do.

Since bodybuilders have to intake massive amount of calories to make muscles in order to make sure that their body remains accustomed to the food all the time, their bodies need to adapt to this intake style by preserving small amount of calories as fat in the body. This is because of the reason that body will not store it as a fat if it does not sense need for the fat while keeping in mind that it is not possible for everyone to adapt himself for extreme calories intake. It is not possible for everyone to take extreme calories because of number of reasons which are as follows:

  1. Majority of the people are not accustomed to frequent eating or might not remember to eat the food on specific times. It takes time to consume meal after every two hours therefore people are unable to reap the benefits associated with frequent eating. As a result of which body starts getting 'nervous' if there comes a break in the schedule.
  2. The ability to eat frequently depends upon the type of the body. There are usually three main body types; each having different metabolic rates and varying capacity to absorb and pass the calories as waste. Some bodies take more time in getting accustomed to pass the calories out of the body whereas some bodies may consume weeks to make their bodies accustomed to the taking meal after two hours. The first type is known as 'ectomorph' which is usually quite skinny and thin. The people having ectomorph are not able to gain muscle or weight frequently. Their most of the calories excrete out of the body or burnt as energy. Due to high metabolism, their calories are not stored into adispose as a result of which they lack muscle mass. These people are more prone to death in the case of emergency situations such as unavailability of food or starvation. The second body type is 'mesomorph' which is quite contrary to ectomorph. These kinds of bodies have the high capacities to store energy and are extremely anabolic. They are anabolic in the sense that they have the higher ability to store calories which helps in gaining muscles and are highly operational for survival. These bodies are lesser vulnerable to become catabolic and are difficult to train. However their ability to store fat can be overcome by allowing the body to sense the next meal to be consumed by the body. In this way, they can maintain their muscles building and can boost up their metabolism. The third type of body is endomorph which is usually identified in those people who possess the characteristics of both mesomorph and ectomorph.
  3. The extent to which fat is stored in the body is also affected by the quantity of food consumed in a meal. If a person consumes a big meal then it might give indication to the body that it is the last meal of the moment. Therefore the body might accumulate larger quantity of calories as fats as a part of its survival system. It is good to consume more meals in a day but those meals should be smaller in size and should be consumed at least 6 times a day. When a person consumes more food, his digestive system will burn more calories (largely from body fat) as compared to the digestive system having no food or waiting for the calories.
  4. The calories consumption is also affected by the quality of the meal consumed in the body. For example if a person consumes more fats, his fats will directly be stored as fats in his body. Similarly if a person consumes carbohydrates, carbohydrates will be stored as glycogens in the body and protein will store in the body muscles rather than directly converting into fats. The body does not like to allow fats to get out of the system as waste. But one shouldn't fully discontinue the consumption of fats as fats have their own importance in diet. Hence, the lesser quantity of fats in the meal depicts higher quality of the meal. One should take care in avoiding excess fat and consume more carbohydrates in the diet.
  5. The inclusion of complex carbohydrates is very important in one's meal. Carbohydrates are burnt as energy and allow the body to standby additional muscles from waste in the same way as a soldier serves his life for saving his country. In simple words, the complex carbohydrates can be understood as 'complex' molecules of simple carbohydrates e.g. we can consider sugar as mono-sugar (monosaccharide) or di-sugar (two sugars or disaccharide). The examples of mono-sugar or monosaccharide include glucose and fructose whereas sucrose and table sugar are classified as disaccharide which constitutes of one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose. A disaccharide maltose can be obtained be chemically bonding two monosaccharide molecules which can be used to give flavor to malt liquor. A complex molecule comprises of many sugar molecules and is also known as polysaccharide. As poly means many sugars, it may comprise of three to one hundred thousand bonded sucrose sugars e.g. polysaccharide in animals which is used as food storage comprises of many sucrose. Plants also make use of polysaccharides in two forms such as starch for preserving food and as cellulose. The cellulose (which is a structural material) is difficult to digest not only by animals but also by termite. The bacteria in the intestines of animals are the only substances in the earth which can digest cellulose. Since it is complicated for us to take in fiber, our intestines will be flooded with water in an attempt to decompose it into the simpler form. This helps the digestive system flooded with a material known as chime. Chime helps the body to regulate the digestive system and overall makes the system clean. As discussed before, complex carbohydrates are many sugars bonded with each other. The body actually requires time and energy to decompose complex carbohydrates into simpler carbohydrates (or into simple sugars). If a body wants to decompose ten grams of carbohydrates, till that time two grams would have already been excreted through the intestines and remain unabsorbed in the body. This means that the body will able to break only 25 calories after the digestion process, if the complex carbohydrates need 50 calories to be decomposed into the body. Thus, consuming enormous amounts of foods after every two hours can help the person to lose fat twice as speedily as compared to the person who prefers to choose starving. Many calories in the complex carbohydrates excrete out as unabsorbed or unused calories from the body before they decompose. However consuming simple sugars should also be avoided and should be consumed only in the case of physical activity. Simple sugars are readily dissolved in the body and can be used as ready source of energy. In order to be converted into fat, sugars take fatty acids to constitute body fat. These fatty acids are burnt as wastes after the fats are burnt as energy. Glycerol is formed when three fatty acids compose energy rich molecule of fat in the body.
  6. The way calories are stored and creation of anabolic environment in the body is also affected by the composition of the meal. The right proportionate of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the daily diet is necessary to maintain the right balance. A person cannot solely rely on proteins or bread. It is necessary to consume sufficient amount of proteins for the necessary growth and development of muscles. Regarding the ideal quantity of protein consumption, it should be kept in mind that protein needs in one's body vary according to the efficiency of the body. A mesomorph might require lesser proteins as compared to ectomoroph because of the reason that some people have higher ability to absorb proteins from the meal in comparison to other people. Protein consumption is always beneficial until and unless one does not avoid carbohydrates in his daily food.
  7. The digestive system burns many calories from accumulated fats in the body to ensure that necessary fuels are provided for the digestive process. The body is familiar with the importance of digestive system which decomposes food into the energy to provide strength to the body. This means that greater percentage of energy is derived from body fat which is already stored in the body rather than from ingesting. The dependence of digestive system on body fat for deriving energy helps the body to absorb food especially in the case when the other functions stop working. Therefore it is good to have the digestive system full and consume meal after every two hours. This will surely help in burning the fats stored in the body.

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