In this article we’ll take a look at a few tips that can help you stay lean while bulking.
Your body burns calories in accordance with your metabolic rate – the higher it is, the more calories are burnt and the lower it is, fewer of them are expended and usually end up in body fat. If you have a fast metabolism, you can’t really make awesome muscle gains, but if your metabolic rate decreases, you won’t be able to put on any muscle without also adding body fat.
How to stay lean while bulking
If you want to put on more muscle mass and yet stave off the fat, here are three nutritional tips that you can use to control and regulate your metabolism and help you stay lean while bulking and packing on more muscle on your body.
#1. “THREE/ONE” Carb Rotation
You can confuse your body by cutting your carbs for three days and then boosting their intake, which will lead to easy gains. For this, you will need to scale back your carb intake to 100-150 grams daily. Also, you should be choosing low-glycemic carbs like rye bread and cereal, yams, yogurt, oats and red potatoes. This makes your body burn body fat to use as energy instead of carbs, but this is a crucial shift.
The reason for the low-glycemic carbohydrates is that when consumed, they ensure a smaller insulin surge in your body. This means that this anabolic hormone won’t push more nutrients into body fat, and when you eat fewer carbohydrates for three days, your body stops storing fat and still has nutrients. When you get to the fourth day, raise your carb intake. You will need 200-250 grams more than what you consumed in the past three days.
If you had 100 grams of carbs per day in the first three days, eat 300-350 carbs on the fourth. What this does is refill your glycogen stores in your liver and muscle tissue, which will also boost your growth factor (IGF) as well as your thyroid hormones which make you leaner. When you do the three/one carb rotation, you boost your body’s ability to create glycogen and store it where it can be used, instead of storing unused calories in body fat. Use this technique periodically if it has a good effect for you.
#2. Include Protein Cycling
If you’ve tried to poke around your carb intake to get leaner, you’ve certainly kept a close eye on your protein intake as well, keeping it at 1-1.5 grams of protein for every pound of your bodyweight. However, if you want to boost your metabolic rate and stop body fat from piling up, you can also cycle your protein a couple of times per week.
When you lower your protein intake for a couple of days, your body will fight to stay in the anabolic state, which means it will hold onto any nitrogen it can muster, and this is the part that increases muscles growth! When you start eating your usual amount of protein, your body will be better prepared to keep nitrogen, which will boost your growth potential, which in turn, will improve your metabolic rate.
For a day or two, eat 0.8 grams of protein for every pound of bodyweight and then switch back to the usual 1-1.5 grams. You will also need some low-glycemic carbs like oatmeal and brown rice, as well as some healthy fats, but in the end, you are the judge if it works for you or not, and that’s how this technique should be utilized – by necessity.
#3. Glutamine and BCAAs
When you want to speed up your metabolism, two of the main problems are tissue repair and supporting metabolic recovery. If you give the necessary nutrients to your body, it builds muscle and accelerates its metabolism, but also burns fat to use as energy for creating the new muscle tissue. If you don’t watch your diet, it can mean a decline in muscle mass, more body fat and a slower metabolic rate.
To boost protein synthesis and stop any muscle proteins from breaking down, you can take glutamine and BCAAs after training. This works by making the body build muscle instead of stockpiling resources, which means that your metabolism will be very fast. Take 10g of glutamine and 4-6g of BCAAs after training for best effects.