Eating Too Much
Most of us lads want to gain, we want to get bigger, look bigger, we want to feel bigger and we want lean hard, muscle – and we want it fast. We are working out hard, for the most part, guys are lifting and doing the damage in the gym. Everyone out there knows that you must match your Nutrition with your training. Most guys, especially “Hard Gainers” know they must consume more calories than the body requires. With this in mind, people stuff everything they can into our bodies. This is not perhaps the best way to do it. Guys end up packing on fat as opposed to muscle! What is the optimal amount of excess? In my experience, that would be an average of about 400-500 calories maximum. It’s probably better to hit and extra 350 consistently. What is actually more important is timing and quality. Get those 2 things right and watch the muscle pack on.
The Fix: Add an extra few vegetables & a lean protein portion with every meal and most importantly, add a slow release protein an hour before bed. This gives your body the extra calories, along with the building blocks at the time when the body builds the most. Anything with casein protein will work.
Going crazy eating Chicken Breasts
I have heard some horror stories here! So many lads I know have told me “I have my Nutrition sorted, I’m eating 2 chicken breasts with every meal, including breakfast”! This is really not going to help you and may in fact be hampering your efforts. Eating that amount of protein and inherent saturated fat, not to mention other chemical compounds, you could be putting a lot of pressure on your digestive system and kidneys. Of course, everyone wants to really make sure they are getting adequate protein. The mechanism that controls protein synthesis – muscle building, does so when there is a change in the amino acid pool in the blood. When this happens, protein breakdown stops, and protein synthesis can occur. The effects will not continue for more than 2 hours no matter how much protein you eat.
The Fix: The fix is to ensure you are getting all the other elements necessary for muscle building. These are the metabolic spark plugs, the chemical messengers which signal growth in the body. Where do you find these? They are abundant in leafy greens and vegetables. So, pack in the greens and be sensible around protein.
Partying Too Hard
There are a few elements at play here. Firstly, the alcohol. Rich in energy and very low in nutrients. There is only one other macro higher in energy per gram and that’s fat! Alcohol will also have a tendency to slow your metabolism and cease all muscle building activity. It can be very easy for guys to consume crazy amounts of calories on a night out. This indeed may lead to another dreadful decision to eat some kind of meaty, cheesy take away dripping in fat. So please, moderation is called for in the amount and frequency of alcohol binges. The other issue of course is sleep. If you drink so much that you pass out, then you are not technically asleep. You have forced yourself into an unconscious state and are not sleeping. If you are not sleeping, then no tissue or muscle repair will occur. The next day, your body and mind will pay.
The Fix: Occasionally it is fine. It’s just silly to work really hard all week only to destroy your gains at the weekend. Enjoy yourself but watch the amount and how often. Steer clear of the kebab shop as well.
Overdosing on supplements
I must be honest, most people think the magic is going to be found in a powder, in a tub or in a tablet. They nearly always think that some combination of magic supplements is going to cause them to explode with muscle or burn fat off their bodies as they watch. It’s not surprising either. Have you been into a supplement shop recently and read the labels of those amazing looking tubs? Sounds like a dream – powerful marketing I’m afraid. Yes, supplements have a place and should form part of a well-planned Nutritional Strategy. The fact is that most people are failing to hit their targets not because they are not taking some supplement, but rather they are not getting their timing right, not training hard enough, not getting the right quality food and usually a combination of all of these things. The real secret, the real foundation for success in sculpting an amazing body is consistency in your training and consistency in your Nutrition.
The Fix: Get the staples right -protein powder, a good multivitamin, and the odd dose of creatine. Some might also consider BCAA’s or glutamine. But for the most part focus on better quality foods and more consistent lifting. This is more likely going to yield better results.
Not learning how to cook
I’ve said this so many times – “Your success in Nutrition is not determined by your knowledge or your supplements but rather by your ability to plan and cook your food.” The landscape is changing out there and guys are heading to the kitchen to feed themselves. This is great news. We had, for so many years been reliant on parents, family members or partners to cook for us. The thing with cooking is that, it takes a little practice, and nobody really knows what they are doing the first few times. You don’t have to be that accurate either, so don’t sweat it. Find a recipe that doesn’t involve 100 ingredients, buy the ingredients and follow it. Then like any hobby -practice it! Before long, you will be impressing all your friends. It has several advantages to buying food out all the time. It is actually cheaper and much healthier as well. If you need inspiration or help, please just drop us a line and we will guide you.
Fix: Look us up online at www.mynutritionireland or find us on Instagram. We will help you. All our recipes are easy to follow, hassle free, and all the ingredients can be found in your local supermarket.