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Health and Fitness Tips

Nutrition Tips

Nutrition is 80% of the hot-bod equation. In this issues article I will show you how to eat for a muscular physique.

To gain muscle mass, you must manage, organize and integrate nutrition factors such as calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, meal timing and supplements. That's a lot of stuff. While it might feel overwhelming in the beginning, body-sculpting nutrition can be simple once you have the core basics, coupled with resolve and fortitude, to apply them on a consistent basis. So let's get started with the basics.

Protein is the primary building block for muscles in the body. Protein foods break down into smaller sub-units called amino acids to help muscles grow and rebuild. How much protein should you eat to grow muscle mass – one gram per pound of bodyweight daily will help you grow. So if you weigh 160 pounds you would need 160 grams of protein a day. Eat your protein throughout the day by eating 5-6 meals every 3-4 hours. The best place to find quality protein is in chicken breast, turkey, lean unprocessed red meat, eggs, fish, low-fat dairy, sandwich meats, and protein powders.

Carbohydrates provide muscles with energy; and failing to eat enough promotes a decrease in training intensity, muscle fatigue and decreased capacity for growth. How many carbohydrates should you eat to grow muscle mass – two grams per pound of bodyweight daily will help you grow. So if you weigh 160 pounds you would need 320 grams of carbohydrates a day. Eat your carbohydrates throughout the day by eating 5-6 meals every 3-4 hours just like your protein. The best places to find good carbohydrates is in yams, potatoes, oatmeal, whole-grain rice, fruit, honey, raises, vegetables and fruits are also great sources of carbohydrates.

The dreaded fat. Dense in calories, fat supports the building of muscle by tipping your energy balance from neutral to positive. Energy balance, commonly referred to as caloric status, is important for growth. If your overall calories are too low, muscle growth is impossible. A moderate-fat intake also supports hormone levels in men, especially testosterone. How much fat should you eat to grow muscle mass – 20% of your daily calories should come from dietary fat. The majority of the fat you will consume each day will come from the protein foods you eat. So, if you follow the above advice on protein and carbohydrate consumption, you will reach the perfect amount of fat in your diet.

Finally, don't forget fiber and lots of water. Fiber is important in our every diet. If you eat lots of green vegetables and whole-grains you will be assured that your body has the proper amount of fiber. Everybody needs to drink more water. The guideline is around one-half ounce per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you need about 80 ounces of water per day.

Here are a few Do's & Don'ts to follow when trying to gain muscle mass.

*DO: Plan Ahead. Eating every 3-4 hours requires arranging your entire day around obtaining the meals, or shakes, you need to feed your muscles. Build your day around eating.

*DO: Use Variety. Eating a wide variety of protein sources, fruits, vegetables and grains not only provides the greatest array of quality carbs and protein, but likely supplies compounds that may support muscle recovery or prevent the accumulation of body fat.

*Don't: Skip Meals. Missing out on even a single meal of your 5-6 daily feedings can set you back, making your training efforts futile and discouraging. If you're truly that busy, employ plenty of shakes or sandwiches to reach your daily goals in terms of protein and carbs.

Don't: Force-Feed. Size doesn't come in huge quantities overnight. Take your time. Consistency rules the day and helps you safely gain muscle mass.

The majority of your progress depends on good nutrition. Real food, 5-6 meals daily, and plenty of carbs and protein with moderate amounts of dietary fat is your tried-and-true plan to pack on muscle.

Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at

Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center, LLC
459 Acoma Street · Denver, Colorado 80204 · 303-860-7131
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6am-8pm · Saturday: Closed · Sunday: Closed