Is it necessary to calculate calories and track the number of calories consumed? Actually, you don’t have to! This article will share with you some easy and simple ways to make your future muscle-building period no longer feel like a burden.
Before you can gain muscle, you need to understand the six major food groups.
Let me introduce you to these six groups, each containing different nutrients and with varying nutritional content in each ingredient, which is why it’s essential to have a diversified diet. Two important points to note are:
- Whole grains and cereals also contain protein.
Rice, noodles, peanuts, taro, potatoes, and others are all whole grains that contain some protein. When you’re considering how many grams of protein you should consume each day, don’t forget to include whole grains!
- Beans, fish, eggs, and meat also contain fat.
When you think about building muscle, you might assume that you need to eat more protein and consume a lot of it, but in reality, beans, fish, eggs, and meat also contain significant amounts of fat! Beef brisket, vegetarian chicken, or tofu are all high in fat, so be mindful not to overconsume.
Each column in the table represents the nutrients contained in one serving of that food. For more information, refer to the Ministry of Health and Welfare – Food Substitution Table.
Here are the five key points for building muscle:
- Adequate calories
Nuli recommends increasing your carbohydrate intake by consuming 1.5 times more staple foods at lunch and dinner than usual, or by including an extra portion of snacks.
- The right amount of protein is enough
After a certain amount of protein is consumed, there is little benefit to consuming more. For a 60 kg woman, a daily intake of about 2-3 palm-sized servings of soy, fish, eggs, and meat is sufficient during the muscle-building period.
Reference: Dose–response relationship between protein intake and muscle mass increase: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
- Don’t forget vegetables
Vegetables provide a rich source of fiber to develop a healthy intestinal flora, which helps to enhance muscle building. It is recommended that you consume at least two handfuls of vegetables a day!
- Training volume should be increased
If your nutritional intake is sufficient and your training volume remains the same, the excess calories can easily be stored as fat! If you are concerned about gaining fat, then you can choose to consume more carbohydrates on high-intensity training days, while the rest of the day can follow your usual habits.
- Record before and after changes
This is the most important, yet easiest to forget! Whether it’s a photo or a body composition chart, comparing the changes in your body before and after can help determine if you need to adjust your diet again.
Here’s an example of a daily diet for a 50-60 kg woman to show you how to choose a one-day diet. Keep in mind that everyone’s body composition, lifestyle, and genetics are different, so use this as a guide.
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It can be challenging to change your diet initially, but we encourage you to pay more attention to your body changes. Once you understand your body better, you can develop good habits and get in better shape even if you don’t pay special attention to your daily diet!