A good diet is the foundation of a healthy body and mind. Depending on your physical requirements or desires, you can alter your diet to achieve your goals. If you are trying to eat for strength by building muscle, you need to adhere to a night protein diet. Carbohydrates and fats are also important sources of energy and building blocks for you.
Lean muscle is made up of protein and phospholipids. Aiming to build lean muscle, you must exercise regularly and eat more calories from foods that build muscles daily.
Why should you aim to gain strength?
Muscle is important in keeping your skeleton upright and performing everyday tasks. It is important to keep processes in your body going. Muscle is also vitally important in protecting your body from harm when exercising in the gym or performing arduous daily tasks such as gardening. A strong body will be better able to withstand the physical demands of life; it will also be stronger against viruses that come our way.
The older we get, the more time we need to invest in building and maintaining muscle. From the age of 40 (I know!!), we start losing lean muscle mass every year unless we use it. So, remember to “use it or lose it” and make sure to train your muscles hard by including weightlifting exercises in your gym routine, keeping on working physically, and eating the right diet.
Note that when you’re trying to lose weight, it is crucial to go to the gym and get used to a good exercise routine. If you don’t exercise your muscles during times of weight loss, you will actually lose muscle mass faster than you lose body fat. Keep building muscle while burning fat!
What dietary sources of high-quality lean protein should you include in your diet every day to gain muscle and strength?
- Lean meat such as chicken, lean beef, ham or turkey
- All types of fish
- Dairy products, though they should not be relied on solely as they contain a lot of fat too
- Beans and lentils
- Whey protein and pea protein in protein shakes
What quantity or how many portions of lean protein do you need daily to start building muscle?
Technically put, you require roughly at least 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. This is quite a rough estimate. Really, this is very individual and obviously also relies on your own starting weight, sex, goals and workload. For the average woman, this amounts to about 70-100g of protein; for a man, 80-115g of protein per day.
We say to have some form of protein with every meal.
So, that could mean a couple of eggs with breakfast, a heaped tablespoon of peanut butter on your post-workout crackers or in your smoothie, some beans/lentils/fish/meat with lunch, and certainly a decent palm-sized portion of lean meat for dinner. It is important to combine protein with high-quality carbs and fats to enable everything to be broken down properly and absorbed in your gut. Ensure you stick to eating 3 main meals a day, plus 1-2 snacks, including recovery food.
Don’t allow yourself to go without food for too many hours. Likewise, it is absolutely essential that you have a decent workout routine, ideally put in place by your personal trainer in the gym, and stick to this.