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Tips for Effective Muscle Building Diets

One of the biggest mistakes many new bodybuilders make is that they don't pay attention to their muscle building diets with the same detail, desire and determination with which they pay attention to their weight training program.

You constantly see people throw out numbers such as your weight training program is 85% of your results or that muscle building diets are 95% of your results. I've always rolled my eyes at these sorts of statements and found them rather silly. No one can know for sure how to break this down.

But I can tell you this, if you neglect (or ignore completely) one or the other, whether it be your training or muscle building diets, your results will only be a fraction of what they could be - if you get any results at all!

So let's talk about the importance of your diet and nutrition plan in your quest to gain pounds of quality muscle masss.

The truth is, no one will ever gain muscle without food. Muscle building nutrition for muscle gain is simply a matter of eating. But that doesn't mean there isn't a lot to learn. Stuffing your face with the wrong type of food, or just eating 1 or 2 large meals a day isn't the way to gain muscle. You'll just end up with the other weight problem. That's right, even if you are lifting properly, you'll find yourself adding more fat than muscle to your body. And no bodybuilder I know wants to do that.

High quality protein should be the center point of all your meals. Intense exercise increases demand for protein, which support muscle repair and growth. When you train with weights, you should eat a minimum of 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

If you weight 150 pounds, try and take in at least 225 grams of protein each and every day. I know this sounds like a lot and you could probably do okay with 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. But if you find it really difficult to gain muscle, this extra protein can help.

Here's a good starting guide for the number of calories you need to eat in your musclde building diets. A simple, yet highly accurate formula is to multiply your bodyweight by 20. For example, if you weight 150 lbs, you need at least 3,000 calories per day to maintain your bodyweight.

To grow and build muscle, you'll need more. Here's a quick guideline based on your weight. Remember, these numbers are for underweight people with high metabolisms trying to build lots of muscle quickly.

175 pounds and under - add 400 calories per day

176-200 ponds - add 500 calories per day

201 pounds and over - add 600 calories per day

To break down what you need in your muscle building diets:

Eat A Lot of Protein - At least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, preferably more.

Eat A Lot of Calories - If your goal is to gain weight fast, you most likely have little body fat and a high metabolism. While in the gaining weight stage, don't worry about adding a little bit of fat during your gaining weight phase. A good rule of thumb to start with is to multiply your body weight by 20 to get the number of calories you should be consuming each day.

If you weigh 150 pounds you should be consuming at least 3,000 calories a day. If you find, after a couple of weeks you haven't added any weight, you'll need to increase this number. This is just a starting guide. If you have a really high metabolism and you are working as hard as you should, you may need to increase your caloric intake.

Eat 6 meals a Day - This makes sure your body has the protein and calories it needs at all times. It also allows you to eat the high number of calories that you need.

Use Protein Shakes - This will make it easier for you to consume enough calories and protein each day, as well as making it much more convenient to have 6 meals a day.

Here's a sample weight gain drink you can make up and use in your muscle building nutrition program.

100 grams of protein powder

2 quarts of whole or 2% Milk

2 cups of skim milk powder

2 cups of chocolate ice cream

4 tablespoons of peanut butter

1 banana

Mix in a blender and drink throughout the day, in addition to your regular food meals.

Add or subtract ingredients based on individual taste preferences and number of calories needed.

Gregg Gillies is the founder of http://www.buildleanmuscle.com and has contributed articles to Ironman magazine and is a regular contributor to Body Talk magazine. He publishes a free newsletter availabe at Build Lean Muscle He is the author of two books, also available at his site.

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