Once you have dropped the last dumbbell in the gym, it is time to head home and pick up another set of iron tools ? the fork and the knife. There is much more to successful physique enhancement than just a daily 90 minute training session. In order to allow your body to grow, you have to feed it the right nutrients and the right amounts. Otherwise, you will either end up looking like a skinny twig or, even worse, the marshmallow man.
However, the sad reality is, most of us are constrained by a limited weekly budget for groceries. With that in mind, in the following installment of Animal?s ?Huge On A Hundred? series, I present to my strategies for saving money and shopping smart in order to build muscle and to get huge. In order the meet the ?Huge On A Hundred? challenge, I can only spend $100 on a week?s worth of food. For this article, I will focus on four basics: protein, carbohydrates, fats and veggies/fruit.
No matter how large or small your budget might be, protein is always what you are going to spend most of your money on. If you have $100 set aside for your food, then approximately $70-75 will go towards purchasing protein sources. So if you ask me, I would recommend shopping for protein first. I would also suggest getting the cleanest protein sources possible ? meaning the fat and carbohydrate content should be kept to a minimum. Skinless, boneless chicken or turkey breast, canned tuna fish, lean red meat, egg whites, white fish, and so on are all extremely low in carbs and very low in naturally occurring fat.
Of course you always want to get as much variety as possible, since different proteins provide your body with different amino acid profiles. But first and foremost, focus the bulk of your expenses on whatever is cheapest at the given moment. By that I mean taking advantage of sales or seasonal price fluctuations. If chicken happens to be $5 per pound but extra lean ground turkey is being offered for $4, you obviously go with the turkey for your this week?s meat supply. You get the idea.
The reason I recommend leaner protein sources instead of fattier ones has to do with purity. You know exactly that what you are getting are pure building blocks for new muscle tissue. If you want to add fats to the meal, you can always do that later by drizzling some extra virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil on your meal or having a tablespoon of peanut butter with it.
This is the easy part on your grocery list. Although you have a great many choices, they are all reasonably cheap. Rice, brown rice, oats, grits, potato, sweet potato, yams, bread, and pasta ? these are all fine when eating to gain size. Your weekly expenses on these foods will hardly exceed $15, especially if you opt for low priced store brands or generic no frills items. Buying in bulk will also help reduce the price.
Remember, carbs are fuel to the body and therefore they are vital for mass building. You have to ingest enough to provide energy for your hard training and your daily life?s activity. If you fall short on a daily basis, your body will resort to burning up some of the protein you are eating for fuel. This process is called gluconeogenesis and it will slow down your potential progress in muscle gain.
Fats are a very important part of a proper bodybuilding diet, whether offseason or precontest ? especially omega 3, 6 and 9. Just like protein, you have to ingest EFA (essentially fatty acids) because your body cannot synthesize them itself. Your body needs essential fats to build and repair tissue (muscle, skin, hair, nails). Good sources for these fats are free range organic eggs, all natural peanut butter, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts. You can incorporate these foods into your meals and thereby even enhance the taste of most dishes.
Instead of having 15 liquid egg whites out of the carton, only have 12 and add 3 whole eggs to make a nice omelet or scrambled eggs. Add a tablespoon of all natural peanut butter to your oats or pour some olive oil over a chicken and rice dish. You can never go wrong with that and it will also boost your calorie intake without increasing your day?s food volume.
That being said, I myself am still taking a high quality essential fatty acid supplement every day, as an insurance policy for always providing my body with everything it needs to perform at its best. My choice here for almost the last three years has been Animal Omega, a complete and easy to take supplement.
Greens & Fruits
Whatever money you have left after you covered your protein, carb and fat requirements should be invested in vegetables and fruits. Green vegetables will provide your body with an abundance of micro- and phyto-nutrients and they will also aid your digestive system in processing all the protein you are taking in. You can only absorb what you are able to digest, so make sure you eat your vegetables. Go with leafy green salads, broccoli, peppers, and kale ? the more colorful the better.
Fruit is another healthy addition to your diet. I personally don?t consider it necessary though. It does have the same health benefits as vegetables but fruit is very high in sugar (fructose) and therefore it technically is a carb source. It definitely is OK having the famous apple a day, but excessive consumption of fruit will most likely lead to unwanted fat gain.
I hope you found my video and article useful. The daily macros look like this: 4655 calories, 378g protein, 610g carbs, and 74g fat. Let me summarize some of my basic rules:
1. Shop for protein first
2. Keep your protein as clean as possible
3. Use the circular and shop for sales and seasonal price drops
4. Buy in bulk whenever possible
5. Don?t neglect carbs
6. Focus on the essential fats
7. Eat your green veggies