Most women eat the right foods and work out regularly in order to lose weight. In case you prefer building and toning muscles, then don’t worry. You are not alone in this journey. In fact, there are many female bodybuilders who are not scared of developing muscles and even prefer joining bodybuilding and figure competitions.
The challenge is finding the right female bodybuilding diet to make sure you build the right muscles and develop them in the right places. Here are 15 techniques to help you make a name for yourself in women’s bodybuilding, or simply get your body in top shape:
1. Get the Correct Number of Macronutrients and Calories: Adjusting Your Intake of Food to Support Your Training Regime
Here’s the truth about bodybuilding: there is no exact formula in bodybuilding that will work for everyone across the board. You have to consider three things to be able to establish what type of female bodybuilding diet plan should work for you.
- Your fitness goals, which means choosing between fat loss and lean mass gains.
- Body type to help you determine how much carbs and protein your body can tolerate
- Gender, which is an often overlooked factor in establishing bodybuilder’s diet.
Once you are able to establish these three factors, you can move on to macronutrients ration. There are also three types:
- Higher Carb – 40 to 60 percent carb, 25 to 35 percent protein, and 15 to 25 percent fats.
- Moderate Carb – 30 to 50 percent carbohydrates, 25 to 35 percent fats, and 25 to 35 percent protein.
- Lower Carb – 40 to 50 percent protein, 10 to 30 percent carb, and 30 to 40 percent fats.
Keep in mind that macronutrients are just one factor in establishing bodybuilding diets. Keep reading to know how you can combine macros with other factors to achieve the right muscles, starting with the kind of foods you should eat.
2. Caloric Surplus: A Technique in Putting Muscles More Effectively
You might encounter the term, “caloric surplus,” often when you discuss bodybuilding. What is this exactly?
Caloric surplus means that to build muscles, you should be able to eat more than what your body can burn. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, active women should be able to consume 2,000 to 2,400 calories everyday to maintain weight. This means you need to bulk up in this amount or a little more.
You can start with 2,200 calories then adjust according to your fitness goals and body needs. Ideally, you should be able to gain half a pound every week; otherwise, you need to lower your calories. If you plan to maintain weight, then you can add another 100 to 200 calories. This is enough to meet your bodybuilding goals.
3. Water: Your Secret Weapon in the World of Body Building
Ask every body builder you can find and most of them will always say the same thing: water is the key in building muscles.
You might ask why.
Your body weight is composed of 60 percent water and most of the time, involved in almost every bodily process. Unfortunately, your body is unable to make or store water, which is why it is important to replace what you eliminated from urinating and sweating. At the same time, you need to keep yourself hydrated while exercising to avoid overheating.
That’s not all. Protein, an important component in muscle building, contains urea and ketones, which your body doesn’t need. Water helps in the cleansing process and at the same time, helps keep your kidney function properly.
This is why you need to drink as much water as you can, and make sure to replenish the fluids you lost as soon as possible.
Does it always have to be water?
As a rule of thumb, water, specifically distilled water, is your best choice in keeping yourself hydrated since it doesn’t contain any calories. If you want to encourage yourself to drink more, you can try sports drink with six to 10 percent carbohydrates or add more water-rich foods like watermelon, romaine lettuce, celery and other plant foods.
Tips for Staying Hydrated
- Bring a water bottle with you at all times.
- Start and end your day by drinking water.
- Drink small amounts of water frequently rather than large amounts but less often.
- Go for cold beverages to reduce sweating and helps cool down your core temperature, especially after workout.
- Drink water before, during, and after meals.
4. The Right Protein: Your Key to Building Muscles
When it comes to building muscles, one factor always comes into play: protein.
Protein is an important component in developing and building muscles. It is also crucial in preserving your muscle mass. If you are serious about building muscle mass, then make sure you pack on protein to help your body build them.
Apparently, it’s not just any kind of protein. As much as possible, go for lean versions to minimize fat intake. Some of your best options for lean protein are:
- Egg whites
- Tofu, which is also the most versatile source of lean bodybuilding protein
- Chicken or turkey breast
- Lean beef
- Cottage cheese
5. Choose the Right Carbs in Order to Build the Right Muscles
Aside from protein, carbohydrates are also important components in female bodybuilding diet. Eating carbohydrates allows your body to use and convert it into energy, thereby giving your strength training workouts a boost.
Just like protein, you can’t just eat any type of carbohydrates you can see. Make sure you get your carbs from high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods to help you make the most out of muscle building.
Some of your best sources include:
- Whole grains
- Brown rice
- Fruits and vegetables
6. Don’t Run Away From Fat: Another Key Factor in Bodybuilding Diet
Admit it. Hearing the word “fat” might scare you already. After all, there are many negative things said about fats and how this could compromise your health.
Here’s the truth: you need fats to build muscles. It all boils down to choosing the right kind of fat to make sure it can contribute to muscle building. This means opting for unsaturated kind, both polyunsatured and monounsaturated fats, and avoiding anything with Trans fat, saturated fat, and full-fat dairy.
Below are some of your best sources of fats:
- Vegetable oils like safflower, corn, and soybean
- Omega-3 fats found in fatty fishes such as salmon, trout, and mackerel
- Nuts and seeds like walnuts and sunflower seeds
- Olive oil
- Peanut butter
In other words, not all fats are bad, as long as you choose the right one to add in your meal.
Now that you know the basic food groups in female figure competition diet, it’s time to put these foods into practice. Read the succeeding sections to learn more about it.
7. Add More Fresh and Ditch the Processed When it Comes to Your Diet
You already know how important nutrition is in keeping yourself healthy. When it comes to building and preserving muscles, your diet plays a crucial role too. This is why it is important to choose your foods wisely. This means adding more fresh and wholesome foods in your diet and saying goodbye to pre-packaged and processed.
Pre-packaged foods contain preservatives, specifically sodium and saturated fats for longer shelf life. Consequently, they contain high amounts of sugar like fructose corn syrup, which could compromise not only your muscle building process but also your overall health.
The next time you go to the grocery store, skip the processed foods and get fresh foods instead. You will be amazed with how much fat you can lose, plus it saves you more cash, too.
8. Evaluate Your Eating Habits to Help You Build More Muscle
It’s not enough that you know what to eat and how much you should consume. In fact, you are only playing half of the battle. The other half means putting your bodybuilding diet knowledge into practice to make sure you will get the results you wanted.
Here are eating tips you need to remember to keep you on track in muscle building:
- Go for a diet that is low in fat and cholesterol. Women’s anatomy tends to store more fat compared to men, so make sure you keep fat and cholesterol in a manageable level.
- Your total daily protein intake must be one gram of protein per pound of your body weight.
- Save majority of your carb intake for post-workout meals.
- Cut down on starchy carbohydrates
- To create new muscle protein, make sure to eat enough protein to help you gain lean muscles.
- Follow a low-carb diet and not no-carb diet if you want to lose fat and gain toned, lean muscles.
- If you are trying to shed fat, make sure to avoid white bread and dairy products for at least three months.
Keep these eating habits in mind and you will find yourself developing the right amount of muscles in the right places.
Apparently, this doesn’t end here. There are more techniques you need to learn to make sure that you achieve the results you wanted. Keep reading to learn more about female bodybuilding diet, plus get to know the technique to make bodybuilding diet more effective.
9. GI Carbs: The Type of Carbs That Increase Fat Loss
Your body operates on various hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and dopamine. One of the most talked about hormones is insulin. Did you know that the hormone, insulin, can also have a huge effect on your health and training goals?
When you eat, particularly foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates, your body’s glucose levels likewise increases. You will need insulin to get your blood sugar levels back to normal and cause glucose to be stored in your muscle tissues and fat cells.
Unfortunately, a poor diet could affect your insulin levels in a negative manner. Instead of converting fat into energy, insulin can promote fat storage, thereby affecting your fitness goals.
Therefore, choose the right carbs, also known as the G.I. carbs. G.I. carbs are slow-digesting carbohydrates that release less insulin to help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Examples of G.I. carbs are:
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy greens
These foods control insulin secretion, which eventually aids in increase in fat loss. The best part is you can easily incorporate these foods in your diet, thereby making it easier for you to stick to your female bodybuilding diet.
10. Say Hello to this Important Technique to Keep Your Metabolism Running Excellently
When you were younger, your teacher told you that there are three important meals daily: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Apparently, you need more than three meals if you want to build muscles.
In that case, try five to six meals a day.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, increased eating frequency decreases not just obesity but also the metabolic disease risk. This means the more frequent you eat, the higher the thermic effect will be, or the amount of energy it takes for your body to break down, digest, and process the food you ate.
Still, this doesn’t mean you should eat as much as you want since you probably think you’ll burn it anyway through exercise. Frequent meals means five to six meals daily, with your total calories divided accordingly.
For instance, if you are aiming for 3,000 calories per day, you can break down your meals into five with 600 calories every meal. Just make sure each meal contains the appropriate protein-fat-carb foods for better metabolism.
11. Satisfy Your Cravings, But Make Sure to Keep It to a Minimum
Once in a while, you are tempted to eat a slice of chocolate cake or a brownie just to satisfy your cravings. Apparently, you have to remind yourself that you are in muscle building process and your body cannot tolerate any unhealthy foods in your diet.
Sadly, the more you suppress your cravings, the more tempted you are to give in to temptation. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you should give in all the time. If you decide to succumb to unhealthy treats once in a while, make sure to keep it to a minimum and your serving small. This way, you won’t compromise your bodybuilding efforts and your weight.
Here are few more tips to help you manage your cravings:
- Go small when indulging yourself with treats.
- Learn to avoid trigger foods.
- Choose a healthy, anti-cravings food like a fresh fruit or nuts.
- Take a power nap since cravings are more intense when you are tired.
- Distract yourself every time you feel the urge to indulge
- If you always pass by temptation houses like ice cream shop, bakery, or a pizza parlor, look for alternative ways to avoid passing by them.
12. Get to Know the Difference Between the Cutting and the Bulking Phase
One of the commonly used terms in bodybuilding are “cutting” and “bulking.” What do these two actually mean?
The Cutting Diet
From the name itself, cutting means reducing your intake of calories, particularly fats, and carbohydrates in preparation for something like weigh-ins. It is synonymous to “dieting,” although the difference is protein intake remains the same because you need enough nutrients to help you bulk up and build muscles.
Here is a sample diet:
- Breakfast – Mixed vegetables and low-fat cheese omelet.
- Lunch – Mixed green salad with grilled chicken breast and kidney beans, drizzled in olive oil.
- Snack – Nuts and protein shake.
- Dinner – Lean steak with broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower on the side.
The Bulking Diet
On the other hand, bulking means adding more muscle by increasing your calories, especially in carbohydrates.
Below is a sample diet:
- Breakfast – Oats with protein shake.
- Lunch – Turkey or tuna salad sandwich with mashed avocado spread.
- Snack – Nuts and protein shakes or rice cakes with cheddar cheese.
- Dinner – Salmon with veggies on the side and a portion of carbs like sweet potato or brown rice.
13. Understanding the Two-Hour Window Rule Before Every Workout
Perhaps someone told you that you need to bulk up with carbs and protein before working out. Surprisingly, it doesn’t work that way when you are building muscles.
Contrary to popular belief, exercising on an empty stomach will not nullify your workout. This is because an empty stomach triggers hormonal changes throughout your body that can pave way to building muscles and burning fat. Consequently, it improves your insulin sensitivity and boosts your growth hormone levels, a component responsible for muscle building and fat loss.
14. Say Hello to Your Bodybuilding Workout: The Female Bodybuilding Diet’s Wingman
All of the dieting tips you learned above will help you develop and eventually maintain the muscle mass you gained. Still, here is something you should remember: female bodybuilder diet needs a wingman to make it more effective. This means you need to incorporate female bodybuilding workouts in your daily routine as well.
No, this doesn’t mean cardio. If you want to build muscles, you need to include weights in your routine. Here are some of the free-weight and compound exercises you should do:
- Squats – This is the most effective exercise when developing your legs. If you want sexy, toned legs, squats are the best way to achieve this.
- Deadlifts – This is a full body exercise that stimulates every muscle in your body, including abs, legs, back, and obliques.
- Pull-ups – If you want to work on your forearms, biceps, and back, then this exercise is your best choice.
- Lunges – This routine tightens your legs and butt, thereby giving you the curves you want.
- Dips – When it comes to developing your upper body, this routine is the best choice. Check out dip machine in the gym you frequent to in case you can’t do dips with your body weight.
The good thing about these exercises is that it is easy to incorporate in your workout routine. Find a way to add them and you will surely build the right amount of muscles in no time.
15. The Most Important Tip to Remember When Working for Your Bodybuilding Goals
At the end of the day, bodybuilding is all about finding a routine that works for you.
Keep in mind that every woman is different, which means all the routines and dieting techniques you learned may not work for everyone else. At the same time, establishing your bodybuilding routine is a trial-and-error process until you find what works for you.
Therefore, be patient. All women bodybuilders will tell you that it is never an easy road to develop, build, and maintain muscles. If a particular routine or diet didn’t work, go for the next option in line until you find what works for you.
Once you found the bodybuilding regimen, which includes workout and female bodybuilding diet, make sure to stick to it. You won’t see noticeable improvement in just two days of exercising and eating healthy. It takes time to build muscles, so don’t be discouraged in case you didn’t see any bulges after your first day of training.