Bulking diet - Burn arm fat
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Updated: May 12,2023





Bulking diet: what is it, benefits, foods to eat. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Along with weights, bodybuilders often throw around the term “bulking.” If you’re bulking, that means you’re trying to add size—ideally in the form of muscle. While strength training can help you build muscle, bulking also involves a specialized diet. This diet aims to give your body the additional calories and nutrients it needs to add mass. Traditionally, bulking diets have involved consuming as much protein and carbs as you could stomach. But there are smarter and healthier ways to approach bulking. What is the keto diet, and should you follow it? Diet and nutrition Last updated: May 10, 2021 7 min read. What is bulking? “Bulking” is one of the two main phases of competitive bodybuilding. During the bulking phase, a bodybuilder’s goal is to add size and muscle. The other main phase of bodybuilding is “cutting.” Cutting usually starts a month or two before a competition. When cutting, bodybuilders shift their focus from muscle building to trimming body fat and improving muscle definition (Lenzi, 2019). Lose 15% of your body weight in one year on average. Lose 15% of your body weight in one year on average. During the bulking phase, competitive bodybuilders tend to strength train as much as 5-6 times a week. They also adopt a hyper-energetic diet. That means they’re eating more calories than usual in an attempt to gain weight (Iraki, 2019). The key elements of bulking. According to sports nutrition research, maintaining a positive energy balance is the key to bulking. That means you’re eating more calories than you’re burning. By doing this, you support anabolism—a metabolic process in which your body is adding cells and molecules rather than breaking them down (Iraki, 2019). The number of calories you need to eat to maintain a positive energy balance—and how much mass you can add—depends on many factors. Your age, health status, bodybuilding experience, and training routine all matter when it comes to bulking (Iraki, 2019). For example, if you’re new to bodybuilding, researchers have found that upping your caloric intake by as much as 2,000 calories can support significant muscle growth without adding a lot of extra body fat. But that’s assuming you’re healthy and also training frequently (Ward, 2002). One study found that healthy men who added 2,010 calories to their daily diet—composed of approximately 356 g of carbohydrates and 106 g of protein—gained significant muscle and fat-free mass. In that study, the men also trained for 60 to 90 minutes, four days a week. Their training involved a mixture of aerobic and resistance exercise (Ward, 2002). On the other hand, data suggests that trained athletes may not need to eat as many additional calories to add mass (Garthe, 2013). If you’re an experienced bodybuilder, adding a lot of extra calories to your diet may lead to fat gain instead of additional muscle (Iraki, 2019). How to gain healthy weight fast. Weight management Last updated: Sep 20, 2021 7 min read. How to get started bulking. To start, use a free online calculator to estimate the number of daily calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight. Here’s one from the Mayo Clinic and another from the American Council on Exercise. Once you have that starting figure, aim to add 10% to 20% more calories to your diet. Numerous studies have found this is a safe, effective target if you’re trying to add muscle mass (Houston, 1999; Iraki, 2019). Your goal is to add between .25% and .5% of your total body weight each week. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, your goal is to add roughly 0.5-1.0 pounds of weight each week. If you’re an experienced bodybuilder, experts recommend that you stick to the lower end of these targets to avoid adding unwanted fat (Iraki, 2019). Foods to eat for bulking. When designing meal plans for bulking, it’s helpful to think of foods based on their major macronutrient components—aka, their “macros.” The three major macronutrient groups are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Protein. The amino acids found in dietary proteins are the building blocks of muscle. Whether you get your protein from foods or a protein powder supplement, you need to hit your protein targets. Every day, your goal is to eat roughly 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (g/kg/day). That means if you weigh 180 pounds (approx. 82 kg), your daily protein intake should land somewhere between 131-180 g (Iraki, 2019). Some examples of protein-rich foods include (Bradlee, 2017): Meats such as beef, lamb, and pork Poultry (chicken breast, turkey) Fish and seafood Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese) Legumes (beans and peanuts), soy, nuts, and seeds Eggs Protein supplements. You want to spread out your protein intake throughout the day. Also, if you’re concerned about the specific types or qualities of the protein molecules you’re eating—something that has gotten a fair amount of research attention—the evidence to date indicates that you don’t have to worry about this unless you’re eating a plant-based diet (Iraki, 2019). How to build muscle. Exercise and fitness Last updated: Sep 21, 2021 8 min read. Fats. There’s some indication that eating too much or too little fat may disrupt the body’s production of testosterone in ways that may interfere with bodybuilding (Iraki, 2019). So, for now, it’s prudent to eat a moderate amount of fat. The American Council of Sports Medicine recommends getting between 20% and 35% of your calorie intake from fats (ADA, 2009), which should work out to about 0.5 to 1.5 g/kg/day (Iraki, 2019). Some examples of dietary fats include olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, and fatty fish (such as salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines). Peanut butter, nut butters, and dairy products (such as cheese, milk, butter, and Greek yogurt) are also sources of fat, but the research is mixed regarding the health effects of these foods (Liu, 2017). Carbohydrates. Carbs get a lot of bad press these days. Much of that has to do with the rising popularity of ketogenic diets, which are basically very low-carb dieting plans linked to weight loss and other benefits (O’Neill, 2020). But for people trying to bulk up, research suggests that you need an adequate carb intake. Carbohydrates both support the body’s micronutrient needs and its regulation of thyroid hormones (Iraki, 2019). There’s also evidence suggesting that muscle mass may decrease among people who strength train following a ketogenic diet (Vargas, 2018). Aim to eat 3-5 g/kg/day of carbohydrates (Iraki, 2019). There are countless carb-rich foods to choose from. Some healthy examples include fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, and whole-grain foods such as quinoa or brown rice (Holesh, 2021). If you’re trying to decide whether to eat more fats, proteins, or carbohydrates to fulfill your daily energy needs, the bulking research suggests you prioritize hitting your protein and carb minimums first. Researchers have also found that bodybuilders typically eat 5-6 meals a day. But it’s unclear which meal frequency is best if you’re bulking (Iraki, 2019). How to stop yo-yo dieting. Diet and nutrition Last updated: Oct 02, 2020 11 min read. Bulking supplements. There are countless bulking supplements to choose from, and most have not been adequately studied—especially when it comes to their long-term health effects. A few are especially popular. Although more research is needed, several supplements may aid your bulking diet when used in moderation. These include (Iraki, 2019): Creatine , which acts as an energy source in skeletal muscle. Research suggests taking 3 g daily is enough to support bulking without undue health risks. Beta-alanine , which supports strength training. Taking 3-5 g daily during training may help improve performance, and therefore gains. Citrulline malate , which supports strength training performance. Taking 8 g/day just before lifting may be beneficial. Is bulking safe? That’s unclear. There is a lack of long-term, high-quality research among bodybuilders who eat a hypercaloric diet. But the data we have suggests that if you stick within the macronutrient guidelines outlined above—and you avoid eating too many processed or sugar-loaded foods—you can probably bulk up without any immediate health concerns (Iraki, 2019). Being precise and deliberate about your macros and eating healthy foods is a great way to hit your calorie targets, add weight, gain muscle mass, and mitigate any potential health problems. References. American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, American College of Sports Medicine, Rodriguez, N. R., Di Marco, N. M., & Langley, S. (ADA). (2009). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Nutrition and athletic performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise , 41 (3), 709–731. Doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31890eb86. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19225360/ Bradlee, M. L., Mustafa, J., Singer, M. R., & Moore, L. L. (2017). High-Protein Foods and Physical Activity Protect Against Age-Related Muscle Loss and Functional Decline. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences , 73 (1), 88–94. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glx070. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28549098/ Englyst, K. N., Liu, S., & Englyst, H. N. (2007). Nutritional characterization and measurement of dietary carbohydrates. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition , 61 Suppl 1 , S19–S39. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602937. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/1602937?draft\\u003dcollection Garthe, I., Raastad, T., Refsnes, P. E., & Sundgot-Borgen, J. (2013). Effect of nutritional intervention on body composition and performance in elite athletes. European Journal of Sport Science , 13 (3), 295–303. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2011.643923. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/17461391.2011.643923 Holesh, J. E., Aslam, S., & Martin, A. (2021). Physiology, carbohydrates. [Updated Jan. 16, 2021]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459280/ Houston M. E. (1999). Gaining weight: the scientific basis of increasing skeletal muscle mass. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology = Revue canadienne de physiologie appliquee , 24 (4), 305–316. doi: org/10.1139/h99-024. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10470448/ Iraki, J., Fitschen, P., Espinar, S., & Helms, E. (2019). Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative Review. Sports (Basel, Switzerland) , 7 (7), 154. doi: 10.3390/sports7070154. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31247944/ Lenzi, J. L., Teixeira, E. L., de Jesus, G., Schoenfeld, B. J., & de Salles Painelli, V. (2021). Dietary strategies of modern bodybuilders during different phases of the competitive cycle. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 35 (9), 2546–2551. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000003169. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31009437/ Liu, A. G., Ford, N. A., Hu, F. B., Zelman, K. M., Mozaffarian, D., & Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2017). A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion. Nutrition Journal , 16 (1). doi: 10.1186/s12937-017-0271-4. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12937-017-0271-4 O’Neill, B., & Raggi, P. (2020). The ketogenic diet: pros and cons. Atherosclerosis, 292 , 119–126. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2019.11.021. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31805451/. Paoli, A., Rubini, A., Volek, J. S., & Grimaldi, K. A. (2013). Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition , 67 (8), 789–796. doi: org/10.1038/ejcn.2013.116. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn2013116?fbclid=IwAR2LMycDVsWcww3q6WljxGSVmD6-tIZ4mWYKLnyUFFO-busZw3q8TogLYQI Rozenek, R., Ward, P., Long, S., & Garhammer, J. (2002). Effects of high-calorie supplements on body composition and muscular strength following resistance training. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness , 42 (3), 340–347. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12094125/ Vargas, S., Romance, R., Petro, J. L., Bonilla, D. A., Galancho, I., Espinar, S., Kreider, R. B., & Benítez-Porres, J. (2018). Efficacy of ketogenic diet on body composition during resistance training in trained men: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition , 15 (1), 31. doi: 10.1186/s12970-018-0236-9. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29986720/ Felix Gussone is a physician, health journalist and a Manager, Medical Content & Education at Ro.


The 9 Best Ways to Lose Arm Fat. Shedding stubborn body fat can be tricky, especially when it’s concentrated in a specific area of your body. The arms are often considered a problem area, leaving many people seeking out ways to lose extra arm fat. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to slim down and tone your arms. Here are 9 ways to decrease arm fat and promote overall weight loss. Spot reduction is a technique that focuses on burning fat in a specific part of your body, such as the arms. Though spot reduction is popular in the fitness industry, most studies have found it to be ineffective. One study in 104 people showed that completing a 12-week resistance training program using only the non-dominant arm increased overall fat loss but had little impact on the specific area being exercised ( 1 ). Another small 12-week study found that resistance training focussing on one leg was effective at decreasing overall body fat but did not reduce body fat in the leg being trained ( 2 ). Therefore, it’s best to focus on overall weight loss and use exercise for muscle toning rather than fat loss. Summary Multiple studies show that spot reduction is ineffective. Instead, try using specific exercises for muscle toning and focus on overall weight loss. Resistance training is a type of exercise that involves working against a force to build muscle mass and increase strength. Lifting weights is a common example. While it may not cause fat loss in your arms specifically, it can help increase overall fat loss and tone your arms to help them look slimmer. For example, one 12-week study in 28 women with type 2 diabetes showed that performing low-intensity resistance training promoted total fat loss while increasing muscle mass and strength ( 3 ). Another study in 109 people observed that resistance training alone or combined with aerobic exercise was more effective at increasing lean body mass than aerobic exercise alone ( 4 ). Building lean body mass can help boost metabolism and increase the number of calories burned at rest throughout the day ( 5 ). Bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, overhead presses, and upright rows are a few examples of exercises that can help tone your arms and boost muscle mass. Summary Lifting weights can help decrease body fat, increase muscle mass, and tone your arms to help them appear slimmer. Adding a few additional servings of fiber to your diet can jumpstart weight loss and help you lose excess body fat. Fiber moves slowly through your digestive system, which increases the amount of time it takes to empty your stomach and helps you feel fuller for longer ( 6 , 7 ). According to one study in 252 women, each gram of dietary fiber consumed was associated with 0.25% less body fat and 0.5 pounds (0.25 kg) less body weight over 20 months ( 8 ). In another review, increasing daily fiber intake by 14 grams for 4 months was linked to a 10% reduction in total calorie intake and 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg) of weight loss — without making any other changes ( 9 ). Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes are some examples of nutritious, high-fiber foods that you can enjoy as part of a healthy diet. Summary Eating more fiber can enhance feelings of fullness to reduce hunger and increase overall weight loss. Increasing your intake of protein is another simple way to curb cravings and keep your appetite under control. This, in turn, may support weight management and help you reduce excess body fat. A study in 20 young women found that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced hunger, increased fullness, and decreased levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger ( 10 ). Another small study showed that consuming more quality protein at meals was associated with less belly fat. This suggests that a high-protein diet could help improve body composition and increase fat loss ( 11 ). Meat, poultry, seafood, legumes, eggs, and dairy products are all high-protein ingredients that can help you lose arm fat fast. Summary Protein can help decrease hunger and increase fullness. Higher protein intake may aid both weight and fat loss. Cardio is a type of exercise that focuses on elevating your heart rate to burn calories. When trying to lose arm fat, including cardio in your daily routine is essential. Studies show that cardio can be an effective strategy for weight loss and can increase lean body mass ( 12 , 13 , 14 ). For example, one study in 141 people showed that pairing 40 minutes of cardio 3 times per week with a weight management program resulted in a 9% decrease in body weight in just 6 months ( 15 ). It’s typically recommended to do at least 20–40 minutes of cardio per day, or between 150–300 minutes each week ( 16 ). Jogging, biking, rowing, swimming, jumping rope, and dancing are all activities that can help you meet your daily cardio goals. Refined carbs are carbohydrates that have undergone processing, resulting in a final product that is lower in several key vitamins and minerals. Typically, refined carbs are high in calories but low in fiber, which can cause blood sugar levels to increase more rapidly and result in hunger ( 17 ). While whole grain intake is associated with decreased weight gain and body fat, eating more refined grains has been linked to increased body fat ( 18 , 19 , 20 ). Examples of refined carbs that are often lacking in nutrients include pasta, white bread, breakfast cereals, and other pre-packaged ingredients. Instead, select whole-grain foods like quinoa, buckwheat, barley, oats, sorghum, and spelt and enjoy in moderation. Summary Refined carbs are low in nutrients and may be linked to weight gain and increased body fat. Focus on whole-grain foods instead and enjoy them in moderation. Aside from making modifications to your diet and exercise regimen, getting enough sleep each night is another important factor to consider for losing arm fat. Several studies have found that sleep plays a role in regulating appetite and may also enhance weight loss. For instance, one study in nine men found that just one night of sleep deprivation caused increased feelings of hunger and higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite ( 21 ). Another small study showed that participants who slept 5.5 hours each night lost 55% less weight. Moreover, they lost 60% more lean body mass than those who slept 8.5 hours per night ( 22 ). Try setting a regular sleep schedule by going to bed at the same time throughout the week, avoiding distractions before bed, and minimizing your exposure to stimulants like nicotine and caffeine. Summary Not getting enough sleep can increase hunger and slow down weight loss, which could prevent fat loss in the arms. Bulking diet - Burn arm fat



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