Guest Contributor: Andrea Lowell
Want to add some sexy muscle to your physique, but not bulk up everywhere?
Well, the secret, my friends (and not a lot of people believe it until they try it) is: A PLANT BASED DIET.
The biggest myth in the fitness industry is that you “need meat” to make your body sculpted. I’ve been told by several trainers that I “can’t build muscle because you don’t eat meat.” But, that’s just not true. My body has never been as rock hard, and popping out in all the right places, since I paired my dietary habits with some intelligence. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, so if you’re looking to make that booty (or 6-pack) pop, you need to load up on the essential amino acids, so that your body can produce the protein needed to repair and grow the muscles you’re trying to build.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they ditch the meat, is that they DON’T EAT ENOUGH. When you eat a diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts, you can actually eat a LOT more than you’re used to. YES! Muscle burns a lot more calories than fat – to be maintained – so if you’re not getting the nutritious calories your muscles need, they aren’t going to stay…or grow!
Eating protein rich foods like spinach, black beans, and peas is a great start. But, don’t neglect the essential fatty acids to nourish and build the muscle. Include other high protein foods that have the healthy fats, like avocado, chia seeds, and goji berries. Now, the fun part. You’re eating tons of food; now it’s time to lift. You need to do strength training exercises that are a bit challenging. Remember: If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. Strive for exercises to be about a 7-8 on a 1-10 scale of difficulty. New research also shows that after a killer set, rest 3-5 minutes before hitting it again, for optimum muscular growth. My suggestion? Do some other exercises, tackling other body parts, while you wait to hit the second and third sets.
In a nutshell:
- Eat for nutrients. Look for bioavailable protein, and essential fatty acids.
- Eat a LOT!
- Lift heavy!
If you need any guidance, ask a trainer, or, find me on Instagram @AndreaLowellFitness. Hard bodies year round, here we come!