In order to plan your diet effectively, you will need to have a good idea of the nutrition contained in the food you eat. Here’s some resources to keep handy…
The Bulking Diet Calculator
Enter your weight, goal and the percentage of each of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) and then hit “Calculate” to break your caloric intake down by calories and grams.
For help on where to put your intake and macronutrient percentages, see Diet to Gain Weight: How Much of What to Eat?.
Nutritional databases give you give you the nutrient breakdown of your foods and help you determine how they fit into your bodybuilding diet. If you aren’t satisfied with the results provided in the above data, try these resources:
- USDA National Nutrient Database – Searchable database for most every food out there including brands.
- Calorie King – Large nutrition database of foods including some of the more widespread restaurant chains.
- Calorie Count – Another valuable and free nutrition database.
Nutrient Caloric Values
|Fat (EFAs)||9 calories|
Weight Gain Diet Formulas
From the Diet to Gain Weight Page…
Weight Gain Diet
(1-2 grams per lb. of bodyweight)
To find a starting point for the calories you will need to take in daily to gain weight:
(18-20)(Bodyweight in pounds) = Daily Caloric Intake
To find the daily amount of calories you will need to consume from each nutrient based on your selected percentage ratio:
(Daily Caloric Intake Goal)(Nutrient ratio %)
= daily caloric intake from nutrient.,/span>
To find the daily grams of each nutrient to consume:
(Calories for each nutrient) / (Nutrient’s calories per gram)
= Grams from nutrient daily
To find the GI values of foods, go to…The GI Database.
For more information on the importance of GI values check out the article, The Glycemic Index, Insulin, and Bodybuilding.
The Macronutrients and Their Effects on Bodybuilding Diets
- Protein has 4 calories per gram and should represent 20-50% of the weight gain diet.
- When working out, muscle protein breaks down. This makes it vital to weight and muscle gain goals that the body is provided with enough protein to repair and rebuild muscle.
- Animal protein is a complete protein and best for weight gain purposes.
- Protein should be a part of every meal especially the post-workout meal.
- Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram and should represent 30-60% of the weight gain diet.
- Carbohydrates provide the body with its preferred source of energy.
- In order to prevent a gluconeogenisis (where the body converts protein into an energy source), enough carbs must be provided to the body to provide sufficient energy.
- Carbohydrate consumption should lean heavily towards complex carbs or those with low glycemic index ratings.
- Fat has 9 calories per gram and should represent 20-30% of the weight gain diet.
- Fat is important to the bodybuildng diet. It helps the body utilize protein as well as many vitamins and minerals.
- Fat consumption should be concentrated on polyunsaturated (EFAs) and mono-unsaturated fats.
- Water is an important part of the transport system to take nutrients to the muscles.
- A good goal to aim for is one 8 oz. glass of water per 10 – 12.5 lbs. of bodyweight per day.
- The body can dehydrate without noticeable symptoms so you should not wait for thirst to tell you to drink water.
Now that you know what you are putting into your body, how do you keep track of it?
Keeping accurate records of your bodybuilding diet, of what and when you are feeding yourself and how that nutrition is affecting your body, is an important part of training for optimal results. Get some tips on tracking your bodybuilding training program here.