As a personal trainer, it’s been great to see so many women embracing the benefits of weight training to build lean, shapely muscle tissue over the last decade. But I’ve also seen the same old nutritional mistakes tripping up women when they try to build muscle. Here are the top 5 diet mistakes you need to avoid in your muscle building quest.
Mistake #1: Not Eating Frequently Enough
In order to build muscle, you will need to provide your muscles with a constant supply of nutrients. The main one, of course is protein, but the body also needs carbs and fat for optimum efficiency.
Research indicates that eating 5-6 small meals that contain all three macronutrients will provide the following benefits:
- enhanced metabolism
- improved digestion
- consistent energy
- controlled appetite
- it provides enhanced energy for your workouts
- it supports muscle growth
Mistake #2: Not Balancing Their Macros
Cutting out carbs is a mistake when you are trying to build muscle. Your body prefers to use carbs for energy, especially when you are training with weights. So be sure to get a quality source of fast acting carbs into your body both before and after your workout. A banana is a great choice.
Mistake #3: Not Eating Enough at Breakfast Time
While you’ll actually be eating 6 small meals throughout the day, breakfast should include a quarter of your daily calories. Your muscles will have gone without fuel for as many hours as you’ve been asleep. That is why you will be in a catabolic state when you get out of bed. You need to get some quality amino acids into your body to reverse that. The best choice – eggs!
Mistake #4: An Inadequate Pre-Workout Meal
A well-balanced pre-workout meal will provide the fuel to power your workout. You don’t want high glycemic carbs or you will be likely to have an energy crash midway through your workout. Then again, too much fat and protein will make you feel sluggish. Fill your plate with cruciferous vegetables, fruit and protein. Drink plenty of water as well.
Have your pre-workout meal 90 minutes before heading to the gym.
Mistake #5: The Wrong Post Workout Meal
This is possibly the most important meal of your day. After your training session, your muscles will be craving carbohydrates to replenish their glycogen levels. They will also need protection for muscle repair. Taking a post workout shake with a 50:50 carb / protein ratio will do the job nicely.
Having been alerted to the 5 most common nutritional blunders that women make when trying to build muscle, you are at a huge advantage. Make the changes to avoid these mistakes in order to make your sweat equity in the gym pay the highest dividend in terms of muscle on your body.