Eating right is essential to achieving your bodybuilding goals. To maximize your results, it’s important to understand which foods to avoid. In this guide, we’ll explore six of the worst offenders and provide tips on how to swap them out for healthier options. From processed snacks to sugary beverages, it’s time to learn which foods to stay away from if you’re serious about gaining muscle and shedding fat. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and bland, so let’s get started by exploring the six foods to avoid when bodybuilding.
There’s a reason you feel sluggish after a bag of potato chips or donuts at the office. These processed snacks are loaded with empty calories, refined flours and sugars that contribute to weight gain and fatigue. Instead, choose wholesome snacks high in protein and fiber such as nuts, seeds or a small handful of pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, which is needed for healthy testosterone levels. For additional protein, try pairing a small handful of nuts or seeds with a handful of plain, low-fat yogurt. Yogurt is also a great source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that aid digestion. When choosing yogurt, be sure to pick unsweetened varieties with low or no sugar. For a dessert-like snack, try plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries or granola for added texture and crunch.
Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, which helps to keep you full and supports a healthy metabolism. Refined grains, on the other hand, are stripped of nutrients and are often used to boost the flavor and texture of processed foods. Avoid foods that are enriched, enriched flour is white flour that has had the majority of its nutrients removed by the process of refining. In addition to lacking fiber, refined grains are often enriched with synthetic vitamins. Instead, choose whole grains, including the following varieties: Oatmeal (Steel-cut or Irish) Whole-wheat bread or pasta Quinoa Brown rice Whole-wheat pita or tortilla. Brown rice, quinoa and oats all have a lower glycemic index than white rice, which means they take longer to digest and won’t leave you as hungry as quickly. They’re also more nutrient-dense than white rice, which means they’re a better source of vitamins and minerals.
Many of the beverages we consume on a daily basis are surprisingly high in sugar. Not only does this promote weight gain, but it also increases the risk of heart disease, dysglycemia and diabetes. Instead, try switching to unsweetened beverages like plain coffee, green tea or water. If you’re craving something a bit more indulgent, try a small amount of full-fat milk or soy milk. If you’re worried about calories, try skim milk or reduced-fat soy milk. For a healthy and delicious meal or snack idea, try making a smoothie. If you pick healthy ingredients like fruit and yogurt, you won’t even notice the lack of sweeteners. A banana-based smoothie, for instance, is sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth without any added sugars.
Fried foods like French fries, chicken strips and donuts are typically high in fat and sodium. They’re also packed with trans fats and are notorious for slowing down metabolism. Try steaming, baking or broiling these foods for a healthier alternative. Opt for baked potatoes with a side of steamed broccoli rather than French fries. If you really crave fried foods, try ones that are baked or grilled. Baked chicken wings with a side of steamed vegetables are much healthier than fried chicken wings with French fries. Cooking at home is your best bet for avoiding fried foods. If you eat out, try to select healthier options like grilled fish or a baked potato.
Avoiding processed meats like bacon, hot dogs and deli meats is essential when trying to build muscle and maintain a healthy weight. These meats are loaded with sodium and preservatives, which can slow down your metabolism and overwork your kidneys. When it comes to bodybuilding, it’s best to stay away from these meats. Healthy proteins to try include salmon, tilapia, chicken breast and eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein and contain all nine essential amino acids. They’re also a great source of B vitamins, which are essential for energy production and metabolism. Salmon, tilapia and chicken breast are healthier options for those looking to reduce their fat intake.
Although a few salty snacks here and there won’t hurt, consuming large amounts of sodium can cause bloating and water retention. This can be especially problematic when trying to lose weight. Try switching out high-sodium foods, such as chips, pretzels and processed foods, for low-sodium alternatives like plain popcorn, carrots or celery. When at restaurants, steer clear of the salt shakers. If a dish is already salty, it’s best to avoid it entirely. If you must have a salty snack, try lightly salted popcorn or pretzels. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to help flush excess sodium from your system.
Eating right is essential to achieving your bodybuilding goals. To maximize your results, it’s important to understand which foods to avoid. In this guide, we’ll explore six of the worst offenders and provide tips on how to swap them out for healthier options. From processed snacks to sugary beverages, it’s time to learn which foods to stay away from if you’re serious about gaining muscle and shedding fat. Now that you know the six foods to avoid when bodybuilding, it’s time to get cooking. Whether you’re eating at home or dining out, steer clear of these unhealthy foods and you’ll be well on your way to building muscle and shedding fat.