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Feeding Your Body to Gain Mass

The Need for Food
Not a day goes by that I don’t receive dozens of emails from underweight men and
women, wanting to know how to gain weight. Now that summer is just around the corner,
the questions have accelerated. Everyone wants to know how to gain muscle in time for
summer. They want to know why their current routine is not working for them. Typically,
they go into great detail about their workout, but I never hear a word about their diet.
While weight training plays an important part in muscle building, it’s your diet that will
ultimately determine your weight gain success or failure. Weight training provides the
signal for your body to build more muscle, but your diet provides the raw material
necessary to actually construct the muscle.
If you want to gain more weight by summertime, you need to eat. Period. It’s that simple.
Anytime someone tells me that they cannot gain weight, my first question is what are
you eating?
No matter what type of supplements you are using, or what type of workouts you are
doing, you will NOT gain muscle without the proper diet. In fact, if your diet is bad, you
may end up losing muscle or just getting fat.
The Wrong Way to Eat
Many times I will come across individuals who understand that they need to eat, but they
are eating the wrong things. They figure that eating simply means eat anything you want.
This is almost as bad as not eating anything at all.
If you want to gain muscle and not fat, do not make the assumption that all calories are
equal. This will only lead to gaining large amounts of body fat.
For example, if I said that you need to eat 2,500 calories per day to gain weight, and you
eat 4 bags of potato chips and 6 donuts each day, do you think you would gain muscle?
Not likely.
The majority of your weight would be fat. Why? Because potato chips and donuts, like
most processed junk food, contain empty, totally nutritionless calories. These foods do
not provide you with the correct nutrient breakdown essential for gaining muscle. In
addition, they accelerate the storage of fat and help to deteriorate your overall health by
wreaking havoc with your blood sugar and increasing your bad cholesterol levels.
Here are two sample diets. Both provide the same amount of calories. If all calories were
equal, then both diets will build muscle, but one will build a healthy, muscular body, the
other will build fat, and promote poor overall health.
© 2003 Anthony Ellis
Reprinted with permission from Muscle Media Publishing.
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