In bodybuilding, nutrition is just as important as exercise, and the body building diet for women is going to be different than that of men. Here are a few things to keep in mind, as a woman, when planning your bodybuilding diet.
Difference Between Male and Female Bodybuilders
Most bodybuilding diets were designed with men in mind. However, women do not metabolize fat as easily as men. They also have a harder time gaining muscle. Women do not produce testosterone, which increases muscle size. Due to these differences in metabolism, women will have different nutritional requirements than men.
What is Meant by Diet?
The word diet is misunderstood by most people. People tend to envision a diet as a method of eating less for the sake of weight loss. However, the word diet just means the food you eat. So, when you’re talking about a bodybuilding diet, you want to know the changes to make in your existing diet to aid with your weightlifting.
What Should a Bodybuilding Diet for Women Look Like?
A typical diet consists of 3 meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, a bodybuilding diet should consist of 6 smaller meals about every 3 hours. Keep in mind that a meal is not a snack. Every meal should have an approximate proportion of 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% good fat. This will alter slightly throughout the day, however.
Increase the amount of carbs early in the day, and make it smaller with each meal. Carbs are your power food; always eat a meal high in carbs right before you work out. Protein should remain level, as your body needs a constant amount. Plus, make sure that your protein comes from lean sources. Finally, your body processes fat while you’re asleep, meaning most of your fat intake should be later in the day.
You should cycle the amount of calories you eat each day. It will keep your body from becoming too used to any particular calorie count. The actual number of calories will need to be tailored to your metabolism. It is important to eat as many calories as you burn, otherwise your body stores those excess calories as fat.
Finally, since women tend to store fat more easily than men, it is important in a bodybuilding diet to eat less fat and cholesterol. When shopping, look for low-fat and low-cholesterol alternatives to your favorite foods.
There are a number of useful supplements that women can include in their bodybuilding diet. These supplements include:
- a multi vitamin and mineral formula
- 3 serving of 1 g of Vitamin C each served throughout your day
- extra Calcium, 200 mcg of Chromium Picolinate
- essential fatty acids, such as those from fish oils or olive oil
In addition creatine and glutamine are useful for women because they provide many of the same benefits as anabolic steroids, but because they are not hormones, they do not have the same side effects. Keep in mind that creatine may cause weight gain due to water retention. There are, however, creatine products made specifically for women that can reduce this.
Once you know what you should be looking for in your bodybuilding diet and why, creating a diet plan will be easy.