Lets Get Physical – Eating To Muscle Up

Last issue we took a close look at exercise regimes that help skinny guys muscle up. Exercise is only part of the weight-gain solution so let’s focus on the dietary component to building lean muscle mass. We’ll also look at an eating disorder faced by the gay community.

When guys start talking about muscle building, protein shakes and the like are sure to get a mention. In my opinion (and I’ve seen positive results first hand) keep your hard-earned dollars in your wallets and start eating properly. Couple your workouts with a balanced eating plan—in particular, one with plenty of lean protein—and you’ll see results in no time. Not only will staying natural give you greater pride in your results but you’ll be developing sustainable, healthy eating habits.

Some simple tips for eating well to bulk up:

•        increase your lean protein intake – try grilled skinless chicken breast, kangaroo, eggs, lean beef, tuna, tofu, and larger mature beans

•        eat lots of fresh vegetables

•        lower your fat intake but don’t cut it out completely. Your body needs a certain amount of good fats

•        reduce your alcohol consumption

•        eat three main meals with a protein-rich snack in between – eating every three hours is a good rule of thumb. Don’t skip meals!

Remember, everyone is different – you may have allergies or special dietary requirements. These are only suggestions and shouldn’t be followed in place of a dietician’s, nutritionist’s or other physician’s recommendations.

When exercising more, it can be easy to get over zealous on the eating front, which can lead to an increase in body fat. Keep track of your progress with regular waist measurements or get your body fat percentage calculated. That said, while you don’t want to overdo it and put on fat, it’s also important not to start wasting away.

From standing back and people watching (in a non-creepy kind of way) at gay venues it doesn’t take a genius to see that eating disorders are more prevalent amongst gay men than heterosexual men. While some of the skinny shirtless men you’ll see are genetically predisposed to having metabolisms that are in constant overdrive, others might have at some time struggled with eating disorders. Contributing to this are the stresses of fitting into society and coming out of the closet, and the fact that gay men are often more driven by fashion and a desire to look good. According to a recent study just over 15 per cent of gay or bisexual men surveyed had at some time suffered anorexia, bulimia or symptoms of these disorders, in comparison to less than five per cent of heterosexual men surveyed.*

With eating habits, it can be easy to slip into the extremes. If you think you’re headed that way or know someone who might be please seek help from a professional.

For more fitness ideas and information contact your lifestyle-friendly, mobile fitness consultant

Sav Adele, Workout Savy

*‘Gay men have higher prevalence of eating disorders’, ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2007)

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