Bodybuilders are often seen eating a lot of food in order to gain muscle but this does not mean they can eat anything, even during a bulk up phase. Unfortunately, most bodybuilding enthusiasts are just aware of some of the foods that have to be avoided. This is a shame since nutrition is paramount for muscle building, weight gain and weight loss.
Generally speaking, one of the most important things to remember is:
Avoid high carb foods and highly processed foods
However, things don’t stop here. You need to be careful and avoid all the foods mentioned below.
Sugars are particularly damaging because of the fact most foods you buy in the supermarket contain sugar. You naturally find them in dairy products, vegetables and fruits but the big danger stands in foods that have added sugars. This includes baked goods, candy, donuts and more.
You are naturally tempted to think you get more energy when you eat high sugar foods and that this is really good for a hardcore workout. The problem is that sugar spikes will increase insulin levels. This leads to gaining fat.
Remember that sugar is only beneficial after the workout is done. That is because muscles need fast acting carbs to increase glycogen levels. As a result, muscle recovery is faster. Even so, natural sugars are a lot better than any other option.
Meat is very good for bodybuilding since it includes high protein content. Many bodybuilders eat any meat they can, which is a bad idea since processed meat should be avoided at all costs.
What you might not know is that deli meats (pastrami, turkey, ham) have additions of nitrates and other chemicals. These ingredients are added as preservatives. Sugar and water can also be added in order to improve flavor and make the meats heavier. Protein percentage automatically becomes lower than what you get from fresh meat.
We should also know that processed meats can increase heart disease and diabetes risks, as you can see from this report. It is always better to be safe.
Extra calories are necessary when bodybuilders want to build muscle. In time appetite is smaller than what would be needed so the weight gain shake is often consider. This is a shake that looks great for bodybuilders as they are high calorie drinks that are very easy to consume.
The problem is that weight gain shakes often have added sugars, artificial sweeteners and additives. Instead of buying the shake, you should consider making your own. This controls everything that you add. Choose great ingredients like almond milk, fruit, protein powder, nuts and oats.
Besides the 3 foods mentioned, there are many others that can be mentioned. Below we talk about some that are unexpected in the sense that many bodybuilders do not know they are bad.
Bodybuilders love oatmeal. This is completely normal since this breakfast cereal includes a good carbs source and good amounts of unsaturated fat, protein and fiber.
While regular oatmeal should be eaten, flavored oatmeal should be avoided at all costs as it includes additives that are simply horrible. Possible additives include sugars, hydrogenated soybean oil and maltodextrin. If you do not want excess sugar in your diet, avoid flavored oatmeal.
It is complicated to remove white bread from the diet since in many cultures it is a big part of many meals. Bodybuilders need to avoid it since carbs amount is too high and there is usually fructose corn syrup added as flavor. This is a pretty poor sugar additive and bread manufacturers rarely admit adding it. Since fructose is metabolized by your body differently than most other sugars, satiation is hindered. You end up eating more bread than needed and there is a good possibility you will crave more carbs after eating white bread.
In all honesty, good fruit juice is not bad but most people drink fruit juice made from a concentrate. This should be avoided since the nutritional value is incredibly low. Most of the healthy fruit portions were actually removed as processing was done. You end up with a lack of the big parts of the whole fruit: nutrients and fiber. It is really common to consume too many calories without even knowing how that happens as you drink fruit juice.
The best thing you can do is make your very own fruit smoothies and fruit juice. There are 20 great ones published on Prevention, at this URL.
A common mistake among bodybuilders is to think that all protein is great. Bad protein does exist and the source might surprise you. In soy protein you get around 10 protein grams for a serving of 126 grams. This seems great but what you should know is that soy protein will suppress the production of testosterone. Every serious bodybuilder understands why this is such a huge problem. Soy protein sets you back and you will not know why!
If you do not get the bodybuilding results you want and your workouts are really good as the body has enough recovery time, it is a certainty the problem is with your nutrition plan. As you surely noticed, many really popular foods can limit your results.
Many other foods can be mentioned but those above are a great start when thinking about what you need to avoid. What other foods do you avoid? Let us all know so we can learn from each other. Our friends over at massgainsource.com have also written up a terrific piece on how to best build muscle mass, so definitely go check it out!