While sweating it out in the gym is considered to be the most important part of working on your body, it won’t be of any use if you don’t have a solid gym diet plan.
The main objective of these diets is to gain muscle and lose excess fat. Hence you need to find a diet that will help you achieve these goals effectively.
Since it’s all a game of calories, you need to make sure you are gaining them the right way for muscles to develop and for fat to be lost.
What to add to your gym diet plan?
While designing a gym diet plan, you need to keep your requirement of macronutrients and micronutrients in mind.
Your intake of these will affect your muscle buildup and where and how you gain fat.
Since carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for our bodies, they are important when it comes to gaining energy for your exercise.
Carbohydrates are of two types – simple and complex. If you want to remember the difference easily, just know that the name is talking about the breakdown of these nutrients in our bodies.
Complex carbohydrates get converted to energy via a slow and effective breakdown, hence providing us with more energy to function throughout our day.
When you are mentioning carbohydrates in your gym diet plan make sure you include complex carbohydrates such as beans, nuts, whole wheat grain and vegetables.
Thanks to the numerous gym-related memes, everybody knows that proteins are important.
The reason our body requires proteins is that it helps repair damaged tissue and further growth when comes to muscle.
You must have heard celebrities talk about increasing their protein intake when it comes to acting roles that require them to look ripped.
If you don’t add enough protein to your body, you will get chronic fatigue and your gym routine will backfire.
Including protein such as lean protein, eggs, dairy beans and soy in your gym diet plan will cover your required protein intake.
There’s a lot of misconception regarding fats, mostly because of the name. Fats are important when it comes to absorbing and transporting nutrients to target spots.
You need to maintain a balanced fat intake regularly or else your body will be forced to compensate for a lack of energy by using its stored fats and carbohydrates, which will result in excess fatigue and muscle strain.
Just like carbohydrates, fats are of many types as well. You should consume unsaturated fats the most, however, saturated fats need to be included in the diet as well.
Unsaturated fats are present in food items such as seeds, nuts, peanut butter, fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, olive oil, peanut oil, avocados, and even soy products. You should include these products in your gym diet plan so that your fat requirement is fulfilled the right way.
Saturated fats are present in ghee, cakes, bacon, cheese, salami, and fatty bits of meat, and you can eat them in restraint, as a part of your cheat day.
Now that you know what the three important macronutrients are, you need to plan out what to eat before and after your workout.
How to Plan Your Pre-Workout Meal
When you are planning your pre-workout gym diet plan, make sure you focus on carbohydrates. As mentioned above, they help raise your body’s energy levels and you will be able to perform to your maximum potential.
Include whole-wheat grains, legumes, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables in your pre-workout meal. Make sure you also include some simple carbs so that your body is not focused too much on digesting the meal. This can include granola bars, sports drinks, cereals, etc.
It is recommended that you don’t eat just before you head out to the gym as you will end up in a compromising position as your body will have to divert its attention to two places – working out and digestion.
Another important factor is to not focus solely on carbohydrates, you need some protein as well so that your body can recover as you go.
Post-Workout Meal Plan
After you are done with your gym session, you will need to eat to recover and recuperate. Hence, the post-workout gym diet plan should include things such as proteins and carbs.
You will need to gain back all the energy you sweated out in the gym so make sure you consume foods rich in protein. This includes chicken, lean beef, pork, turkey, eggs, seeds, nuts, dairy, and quinoa. You can also consume protein shakes and bars as they too help immensely.
The reason you should be eating proteins in a large amount after your workout is because they help in Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) which helps repair muscle breakdown and prevent any further complications.
Apart from proteins, you should also include carbohydrates in an optimum amount. Many people forget that a small amount of protein will do its job whereas you need to eat more carbs for it to work accordingly. Hence, the advised ratio is 3:1 of carbohydrates to protein, but we advise that you do not undermine either’s importance in your gym diet plan.
What all can you eat to prepare a basic gym diet plan?
If you are looking for some ideas, we have some meal plans for you that you can take inspiration from.
For the breakfast portion of your gym diet plan, you can eat any of the following –
- Oats Banana Pancake
- Oatmeal with Greek Yoghurt
- Poached Eggs and Whole Grain toast
- Oatmeal with honey and/or nuts
You can include a protein shake, mango smoothie, or any fruit juice as an accompaniment.
For lunch, you can eat any of the following meals, and make sure it is a hearty lunch –
- Palak chicken
- Avocado and bell paper salad
- Fish curry
- Quinoa upma
- Chicken and broccoli salad
- Grilled chicken
- Salad of any kind with a lot of variety of fruits and/or vegetables
You can eat these with whole grain bread, multigrain roti, and even whole wheat pasta.
Pre Workout Meal
Coming to the pre-workout meal portion of your gym diet plan, you can eat the following. Make sure you are not eating to fill your stomach but to make yourself ready for the gym –
- Dried fruits and nuts
- Apple and peanut butter
- Toast with jam or peanut butter
For the post-workout meal, we have some ideas for you. You can meal prep at the beginning of the week so that you can come home and not have to work hard for your meal after sweating it out at the gym already –
- Brown rice
- Peas and paneer curry
- Broken wheat khichdi
- Egg whites
- Lean beef
- Vegetable curry
- Carrot or cucumber raita as an accompaniment
- Baby potatoes, broccoli, and corn as accompaniments
- A protein shake or chocolate milk
- Vegetable salad on the side
These are merely some ideas, and you need to work them out in a cohesive way to include in your diet so that you can not feel like you have over-eaten or are underfed according to your workout standards.
Your gym diet plan must have enough nutrients daily, and you should focus on balance. It is hard work, but you cannot just achieve your goals the easy way, can you?