6 Diet Don’ts for Fitness Enthusiasts
Nov. 13, 2013
We’ve talked about the importance of diet and nutrition as you get closer to competition day. But you also need to pay attention to your diet the rest of the year as well.
So, we’ve put together 6 diet no-no’s to follow anytime:
Don’t Rely On Your Scale
Since muscle weighs more than fat, gauging your progress with a normal scale will be a disaster. Many competitors add too many calories to their diet to get fast gains on the scale. And some competitors who are trying to reduce weight make the mistake of cutting their caloric intake too much.
Diet Dont's - Fitness and Bodybuilding
It is much better to rely on body fat calipers, a series of photos, or the objective eye of a training partner or other observer than the numbers staring back at you on the scale.
Don’t Eat Too Little
Many athletes do not eat enough during hard workout weeks. When you are working hard to break down muscle tissue in order to build it back up, your body relies on calories to increase your overall mass.
In short, you must eat more to get bigger. But you can’t just eat junk all day and expect it to work out well. You have to eat right nutrients that your body needs, which is why diet is so important.
Don’t Eat Too Many Carbs
Some people get so intense about getting bigger that they eat too many carbs—thinking that they’re adding massive amounts of calories they can work into muscle. What ends up happening though is a good proportion of their carb-loading gets converted into body fat.
This happens even if you are following a low fat diet. Once your body gets enough carbs, it directs the excess over to fat stores. So regardless of the type of diet you’re using, you need to monitor your carb intake.
Don’t Make Huge Changes All at Once
Making substantial changes to your diet in a sudden manner is bad because your body needs time to adjust. Large drops in caloric intake will backfire—causing your body to retain fat. The same is true for sudden increases. It’s better to make small changes over time.
Don’t Eliminate Too Much Fat
People go crazy in trying to eliminate fat. Cutting down on fat is important, but don’t go overboard. The body needs healthy fats to maintain vital organs, improve “good cholesterol” levels, boost immune functions and give you healthy skin and hair. They also moderate insulin levels and promote a full feeling after meals.
The trick is to keep fat to an optimum percentage. For example, keep fat consumption at around 30% of total caloric intake—and most of that should be unsaturated fat.
Don’t Go Supplement Crazy
It’s important to use supplements that actually work as intended. Many supplements are more sizzle than steak. Limit supplements to a core group meant to achieve important overall gains in your workout goals. Taking minor supplements that have little benefit will only make your wallet smaller than your muscles bigger.
You run into problems when you begin to believe every claim made by every supplement manufacturer that comes down the pike. It’s more important to stick to the same diet and training program over time. Supplements should enhance what you are doing in your core program, not make up for holes in it.
As you probably noticed, you can do too much of a good thing just as you can a bad. So when in doubt, go for moderation!