Diet is a very important part of body-building. If you train your ass off but have a bad nutrition, it’s not going to mean anything and you are never going to make any progress.
Now in order to know where to start, you need to know what macronutrients are.
What Are Macronutrients?
Basically macronutrients are the nutrients that are required in relatively large amounts having calories. These are protein, carbohydrates, fat and alcohol but we are going to focus only on the 3 primary macronutrients which are protein, carbohydrates and fat. Each gram of these contains certain calories:
1 gram of protein = 4 calories
1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
1 gram of fat = 9 calories
1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories
So now that you know the relation between macronutrients and calories, you need to know how many calories you need to consume per day in order to preserve your weight cut or bulk. But how do you divide your macronutrients to get the number of calories?
The easiest way to do this is the following: Keep in mind that if you are fairly lean, you can use your bodyweight as a reference but if you are obese, you should use your lean body mass which is what you weigh without fat. Now if you’re cutting, you should try to aim for 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight (or lean body mass if you are obese). If you are bulking, you should try to hit 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, and as far as fat goes, just try to hit 0.4 or 0.5 grams per pound of body weight or lean body mass, and just fill your remaining calories with carbs. By this time you should have an idea on how to diet properly but first you need to figure out how many calories you need in order to maintain your weight. And this you actually know by experimenting, but to give you a rough idea of where to start from, you can find a lot of calculators online. With these calculators you put in some info about yourself and it gives you an estimate of your daily calories. Or you can just try to hit 14-16 calories per pound of body weight to get your maintenance.
Now you need to eat those calories on a daily basis for a week and by the end of the week you should be weighing the same. If you are not, you either need to get more calories or get less calories until you figure out your maintenance calories.
Common Types of Diet
IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)
First of all, this is not really a diet, it basically means you can eat anything you want including burgers, pizza or whatever as long as you hit your daily macros. Yes, it’s that simple.
This has been around for a while but gained popularity recently and it’s not really a diet, it’s more of an eating schedule.
Basically what you do is – out of 24 hours a day, you don’t consume anything but water for some time and you have an eating window. The most common is a 16 hour fast with an 8 hour eating window. This type of eating timing is great for people who are very busy.
Many people used to think that if you ate more often, your metabolism would go faster but now studies have shown that it doesn’t really matter when you eat your food as long as you consume something.