Carrying on from Part 1 – Give these further pre contest diet and training tips a go and let me know how you get on!
Scheduled re-feeds provide the dieter with a great opportunity to refuel depleted muscle glycogen stores after a period of calorie restriction 1,2. As a result one can expect to train harder and maximize both training stimulus and the up regulation of key muscle building hormones.
A study conducted by Trexier 2014 demonstrated that re-feeds may prove useful in stimulating leptin and metabolic rate, subsequently limiting the potential for running into a fat loss plateau.
Generally speaking when it comes to re-feeds I encourage a 15% increase in calorie intake above maintenance level with emphasis on carbohydrate intake (needed for increasing glycogen). Such re-feeds can be implemented once or twice per week depending on non exercise physical activity levels (job), training volume and how lean the individual is.
Provided your gut health is in good order focus on filling yourself up with vegetables with the exception of a few high energy/high starch varieties. Aside from being loaded with valuable health promoting vitamins/minerals, the mere increase in food volume will do wonders for increasing satiety (how full you feel) and subsequently prove useful in keeping hunger at bay 5.
These benefits cannot be replicated by drinking a powdered greens drink whose benefits will never (Ever) outweigh that of fresh produce. Fruit is also important, however you may want to keep a close eye on fructose consumption if fat loss is end your goal.
A high quality protein source is one that is rich in all the essential amino acids specifically the three branch chain amino acids: Leucine, Iso-Leucine and Valine. Essential aminos (Inc. branch chains) cannot be made endogenously (within the body) 1, 5.
They must be taken in via the diet. Generally speaking with most clients I recommend a minimum intake of 30 grams of essential amino acids per meal. Meats, dairy (Inc. whey), eggs and fish prove superior to nuts and vegetable sources.
Die-hard vegetarians would be wise to consume a broad range of protein sources and supplement (if appropriate) with a high quality protein supplement rich in leucine in an attempt to maximize their health status and muscle building efforts.
This is extremely important if you want to avoid the formation of new fat cells (a process known as adipogenesis) which can serve to increase ones body fat set 2 Subsequently, making it harder to get leaner when you begin another fat loss protocol. Ensure to add calories back in slowly via small 5-10% increments every 4-7 days.
Track bodyweight, skin folds, girths and visual appearance as a means of evaluating the quality of change in your physique bearing in mind some fat gain is inevitable. How much you gain is down to your level of precision and commitment.
Although this point can be supported by anecdotal evidence (esp. in fighters and body builders) it would be insightful to see what a well-designed study would conclude.
This involves taking your time and closely monitoring your diet/training performance in relation to howyou look. The results you obtain will prove essential in justifying the manipulation of certain diet/training actions you may take to ensure continual progress – that being fat loss and retention of muscle mass.
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