These days, almost everyone is on a diet. Given how body image has a huge impact on the way you see yourself, everyone is taking great pains to maintain a healthy weight. In the United States alone, eight out of 10 adults are weight conscious.
Women, in particular, are the ones who feel the need to conform to an ideal body type. In fact, going on a female bodybuilding diet and watching caloric intake is becoming a normal behavior for females, irrespective of age or ethnicity.
If you are a woman, you are probably familiar with the frustration of sticking to a bodybuilding routine, just to see no results at all. Needless to say, you don’t have to give up your pursuit for a healthier physique just because you failed once or twice. If you are not seeing concrete results, you might be committing some mistakes.
Here are some secrets on achieving and maintaining a healthy body. Read on to see what you could be doing wrong in your exercise routine.
1. Don’t eat less than your required caloric intake.
Although it is true that sticking to a diet can be challenging, many women commit an entirely different mistake – they are not eating enough. As a minimum, your daily calorie budget should be ten to twelve times your weight in pounds. This means that if you weigh 100 lbs., you should be eating at least 1,000 to 1,200 calories in a day.
Starving does not make you lose weight, although it works on your first few tries. Eating less could make you smaller, but if you want to be leaner and have more definition, you should abide by the recommended caloric intake. If you continue to deprive your body of food, it will just hoard everything you consume. This will not lead to any physical improvement.
2. Eat smaller meals but more frequently.
When you are aiming for a better physique, eating right plays a vital role. In fact, sticking to a female figure competition diet plays a crucial role in achieving your body goals.
Contrary to what some women believe, maintaining the right diet is not synonymous to starving. In fact, if you want to have a lean and toned body, you would have to eat meals more frequently albeit in smaller portions.
To avoid hunger pangs and to maintain stable sugar levels, you have to eat four to six times daily. Each meal should have the sufficient nutrition to promote muscle buildup and to reduce fat.
3. Cut down on sugary carbohydrates.
If you have been on a diet for some time now, you probably know that carbs are the bane of your existence. However, carbs are your main energy source and any diet that doesn’t include them is bound to fail. What you should be set on doing is reducing sugar in your diet.
Cake, sweets, doughnuts would totally be out of the question because they contain lots of sugar, everyone knows that. But, you also need to look at your diet closely and make sure that you are not loading up on fruits. Fruits contain sugar and you will gain weight if you eat too much of it.
4. Mind your whole grain and brown rice consumption.
Among the biggest untruths in dieting is that you won’t gain as much weight if you substitute white bread with whole grain products and brown rice. The main difference between these products and the regular rice and bread is fiber content. Digesting these products take more time, so you stay fuller for a longer amount of time.
Aside from that, whole grains also prevent insulin spikes. Needless to say, you will still put on weight if you don’t control your food consumption of these products.
5. Add more protein to your female bodybuilding diet.
When you are planning your diet, you should always pay attention to the amount of protein that you are consuming. Increasing protein is necessary if you want to maintain your muscle mass. Keep in mind that having more muscles will boost your metabolism.
If the amount of protein in your female bodybuilding diet plan is insufficient, you could be losing muscle mass. Maintaining and increasing lean muscle help when you want to lose weight since you burn fat even at rest. If your muscle mass is low, the amount of fat that you burn is also lower.
6. Maintain the right fat, protein and carbohydrate ratio.
Bodybuilding diets should stick to a rigid ratio for fats, protein, and carbs to be effective. When you are willing to take on this challenge, you need to assess the nutrients in your food.
Recommended meals plans are widely available but for those who want more flexibility in their diet, maintaining the right ratios is enough. The best ratio would be 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrates, and 20 percent good fat.
You can mix and match the foods that you want as long as you meet this nutritional requirement. Needless to say, it would always be wiser to choose where you get your nutrition.
7. Keep a log of what you are eating.
Writing down everything you consume is a must when you are maintaining bodybuilders’ diet. With modern technology, you won’t even have to jot down notes since there are apps to help you track food intake.
This log will also help you have a better idea about the amount of fat, protein, and carbs that you are consuming on a daily basis.
8. Change up your routine every two weeks.
When two weeks have passed and you haven’t seen any change in your muscle buildup, you might be experiencing a plateau. At one point or another, female bodybuilders have encountered this issue. The only way to avoid this is to change your routine.
One of the best things to do when you are a body builder who wants to achieve results is to add more weights. You can also change the order of your workout or change the routine itself.
Next time you don’t see any progress when you are working out, changes it up. Be sure to pay more attention to your exercise schedule next time and shake it up a bit to avoid plateaus.
9. Train on an empty stomach for weight loss.
If you are in a phase where your aim is to lose weight, eating on an empty stomach can yield results. When you have an empty stomach before engaging in any physical activity, your muscles don’t have ready access to sugar.
Sugar is your main source of energy. If it’s not available, your body burns stored fat. Hence, you are releasing and burning your body’s surplus fat.
If weight loss is the ultimate goal, your body will lose more fat when it doesn’t have any other glucose source. But, this is not ideal for diabetics or and for those who experience drops in sugar levels.
10. Add more routines that require you to stand up.
The muscles in our body have different functions; however, about two-thirds of these muscles are responsible for coordination and balance. The remaining group of muscles allows supports movement.
This simply means that you will build more muscle mass when you engage in exercise routines that require you to stay on your feet. So, as much as possible go for standing exercise, rather than routines that require you to lie down or sit.
Being on your feet is also better than being strapped to a machine as far as muscle burn is concerned.
11. Choose the right supplements.
Diet and exercise should be your primary focus when you are working out, but you should never ignore the importance of refueling your muscles. After your muscles experience a lot of stress, it requires the necessary supplements to support muscle growth and buildup.
One of the most popular supplements today is human growth hormone or HGH. Both male and female bodybuilders have heard about this hormone and its role in improving muscle mass. HGH production is highest in children who are still growing, but it declines when you reach 30. Using supplements containing this hormone is beneficial for those who are building muscle since it plays a vital role in protein synthesis.
For women bodybuilders, the right nutrition is the key to achieving the ideal body. Given the diet restrictions, supplementation plays a crucial role in meeting optimum nutrition.
12. Allow sufficient recovery time.
Training hard would not yield the results you have in mind when you are not getting enough rest. You will end up weaker when you abuse your body with too much training without providing sufficient recovery time.
When you are lifting weights, allow a day off between each workout. However, if you are following a routine that requires a greater frequency, make sure that you are getting at least two days rest every week. Meanwhile, for those who are cardio junkies, you should have rest in between each active period.
Recovery time is needed, so your body can grow stronger. This will also support muscle development and growth.
13. Free weights are best when building muscle.
These days, there seems to be a lot of new equipment in the gym. These machines attract so much attention that you may have become curious if they can help you build muscle. While you are always free to explore, you will have better chances of getting leaner when you stick to the classic free weights.
Barbells and dumbbells are still the most reliable options for building muscle. These are especially recommended for beginners. You can try those shiny new contraptions in the gym. Even so, you will need to stick to trusty and reliable free weights if you want to build muscles.
14. Throw in some cardio workouts.
There are some women who don’t need cardio in their workout, but for most women, they need cardio workouts to burn fat. Although, every routine needs to have a bit of cardio mixed up in it, don’t overdo the cardio.
Marathon cardio sessions are not ideal when you are aiming for a leaner body. In fact, doing too much cardio can lead to muscle loss.
Instead of performing endless cardio routines, opt for high intensity cardio workouts. This cardio routine is ideal because it can continue burning fat hours after you have completed the workout. Aim for about 30 minutes of cardio two to five hours each week.
15. Remove your shoes when weightlifting.
When you are weightlifting, try to do it without your shoes on. If you don’t want to go barefoot, go for minimalist footwear. Training this way can help your feet grow stronger. This, in turn, would increase your stability and traction when you are lifting weights.
On the topic of weights, kicking of shoes would also allow you to life heavier weights. The simple act of removing your shoes can do this since the having your foot firmly on the ground decreases the distance you have to pull the bar on the deadlift and this improves your leverage.
16. Focus on compound workouts.
When you are working out, it is generally a great idea to stick to exercise routines that will engage the entire body. These compound moves require power and this includes deadlifts and squats.
Going for this type of workouts is great for faster muscle building. Adding this type of routine in your workout will rip more muscles which is one of the primary goals in women’s bodybuilding.
For girls who are afraid that they will build too much bulk when they do this, there is no need to fret. The amount of muscles that you can build would still look attractive and best of all it is a good core workout. Do not do this in excess, though, as it has a tendency of making the waist thicker with continued use.
17. Step out of your comfort zone.
When you are working out, you should not go for easy routines because you are afraid of bulking up. Challenging your muscles is always a must so you can increase your muscle mass. Female bodybuilding workouts are not much different from the exercise routine of their male counterparts; they still need to contract their muscles.
You need to put your muscles under tension and contract them as much as you can. This is the only way that you can stimulate the growth of new muscles. This also means that if you are sticking to a routine that is too easy for you, your workout will not be effective for building muscle mass.
When you are doing any workout, the ideal repetition for each set is either six or 12. The movement for your chosen routine should be difficult but not impossible to do. When the workout stops to be challenging, you increase your weights or move to another class.
18. Always take time to do your stretches.
Muscle contractions are a big part of the exercise routine of any female bodybuilder, but this may yield unwanted results, such as looking lumpy. If you are a woman, this is not the result you are looking for. In fact, a lot of females shy away from workouts that require lifting because they do not want to look bulky.
The secret in looking lean is actually in doing stretches. Muscle shortening is a consequence of contracting your muscles, but you can combat it by a fair amount of stretching. Stretches help elongate your muscles.
Many females commit the mistake of eliminating stretches. In fact, stretching makes your muscle look smoother and contoured. When you do a fair amount of core workout, stretches are also great for reducing the thickness of your waist. Those who do compound workouts are especially prone to gaining thickness around the waist area and should add stretches to their exercise plan.
Have you ever wondered why stretches are always a part of cool down routines? Aside from the benefits of doing stretches covered above, it also helps reduce the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. This means that it helps in muscle recovery so you don’t end up with sore muscle after doing your routine.
19. Sleep is essential for muscle growth.
What happens when you are sleeping? When you are in bed, your body enters its recovery phase, which is essential when you are aiming for a leaner body.
It is necessary to give your body sufficient time to recover and the best way to do this is to sleep. During sleep, the body releases growth hormone and together with the nutrients from the food you ate would start repairing and rebuilding your muscles. Your brain needs the rest provided by sleep, so it can focus on your body’s progress and recovery.
Do you want to have a better physique? Wanting a lean and healthy body requires work and you should focus not just on breaking a sweat, but also on sticking to a female bodybuilding diet. A good combination of exercise and the right nutrition is necessary to achieve the body that you are aiming for.