The Last Tweaks You Need To Nail Your Muscle Building Diet Goals
The closer you get to your goal, the more resistance your body will give to your muscle building diet. It is your body saying that it is accustomed to the amount of stress you are putting on it. In the last post we gave you some general tips on how to overcome the plateau effect to gain muscle. This post we are going to talk about specific actions you should take based on the results you are seeing.
It is important to know you are stagnant by using objective data to judge your progress instead of just how you look in the mirror. Doing body fat tests with calipers or some other form of body fat measurement like the Bod Pod or Hydrostatic Underwater Weighing can give you that objective look at where your progress is at.
You should be making weekly evaluations to see your progress. There are several steps you can take based on your results. Let’s take a look at some of those options you can implement to burst through that current barricade.
Lean Mass Same, Body Fat Down
This is ideal. You are going in the right direction. Keep progressing until you hit your percent body fat goal.
Lean Mass Up, Body Fat Down
Fat chance. No pun intended.
It can happen, but rarely does it unless you are genetically gifted. I am not this guy. If this is the case for you, then come guest post on the blog about how great you are.
Lean Mass Up, Body Fat Same
This is also ideal if you are focusing on adding muscle. If you decide you need to cut more fat, then add more calories and keep your caloric intake the same to maintain your muscle mass.
Lean Mass Same, Body Fat Same
You are going to have to mix something up here. I would start with ramping up the cardio by moving it to daily cardio or extending the length of exercise by 10-15 minutes. If that doesn’t work, then start dropping calories weekly by 100-200 calories daily in your muscle building diet plan.
You never want to go more than 15-20% below your allotted caloric intake for your body size. That would probably be in the range of 500-1000 calories below what you should consume daily. For me it is 2400 and I probably don’t want to go lower than 1800 calories daily.
You may want to zig-zag your calories a bit, specifically your carbohydrates. As your body breaks down from exercise, often it is lacking the energy from carbs and you may need to increase it from 200-400 calories daily to 800-1000 calories or even more.
It really depends on your body type and the type of exercise you are doing. Endurance training requires more carbs. Naturally lean body types can also burn fat instead of storing it. We will get into that in some of our future posts about what body type you may be.
Lean Mass Same, Body Fat Up
You are eating more calories than you are burning and storing it as body insulation that we call fat. I would look at increasing your cardio more often by doing it daily or for longer durations. If that doesn’t work, then move to reducing your caloric intake by 100-200 calories daily each week in your lean muscle building diet until you start to see your body fat decreasing weekly.
Lean Mass Down, Body Fat Same/Up
If this is happening, you are probably skipping meals and not eating enough calories. Or when you are eating, you are packing in a large amount of calories. It is a feast or famine mode that you have put your body in and it won’t naturally burn the fat. Your metabolism is simply slow.
You need to pick up the pace by eating smaller meals more often. Try 5-6 meals a day every 3 hours. Increase your cardio exercise by 10-15 minutes and make sure your weight training program is also consistent.
Lean Mass Down, Body Fat Down
Losing Lean Mass is fine if it is a few tenths, especially if it is initially. If this continues to happen several weeks into measuring your body fat, then you are losing muscle tissue. This is because you are not eating enough calories to maintain the muscle that is getting broken down in your daily physical routine. Increase your daily calories by 100-200 calories for a week and see if there is progress. Continue to add calories weekly until you at least maintain your lean mass.
Lean Mass Up, Body Fat Up
This is something I can do really easily. Adding body fat is often done by large athletes to bulk up in order to “prep your body” for more muscle. I don’t necessarily agree with it. Often this happens not only when you have a caloric surplus, but you also are eating high fat or refined sugar junk food. Add more cardio and cut calories by 100-200 daily each week until you at least level out at a certain Lean Body Mass.
This is a process and there is probably not going to be a “fast muscle building diet” you find. You can’t cut corners. This is going to be a muscle building diet for men and women that will require patience and learning.
The important thing is that as you develop your understanding of the different methods you can use, it will eventually become instinctual to the point where you know when you need more calories, what type of calories, or what type of fitness.
You will also figure out certain foods you can get away with or foods you should include that you didn’t anticipate. It is always a trade off. You have to learn what pleases your body. When you have that science nailed down…stick to it.