The first part of this article discussed two important healthy meal plan recommendations for muscle toning – the ideal calorie intake and meal frequency.
This article discusses the major classes of food, the best food choices from each, and the ideal intake amounts of each suggested food choices. You’ll also get to know why they’re the best choices.
Recommendation 3: Carbohydrates
Even though fruits, vegetables, dairy products, beans, nuts, peas, seeds, and lentils contain carbohydrates, they are not as rich as the chief carbohydrate sources, such as bread, rice, pasta, and other grains.
Note, however, that not all carbohydrates are suitable for inclusion into a healthy meal plan for muscle toning, as some carbohydrates are fast digesting while others are slow digesting.
Slow-digesting carbohydrates won’t raise blood sugar level markedly and will keep you filled for a long time, thus reducing your eating frequency. They are therefore the best carbohydrate inclusions into healthy meal plans for those yearning for toned muscles. Examples of slow-digesting carbohydrates include cooked spaghetti noodles, whole wheat bread, skimmed milk, apples, oranges, and all-bran cereal.
Carbohydrates should make up about half of your daily calorie intake. For example, if your ideal daily calorie intake is 2000 calories, 1000 calories should come from carbohydrates alone.
Recommendation 4: Proteins
Proteins come from both plant and animal sources. However, animal protein is better because it contains all the essential amino acids required by your body. These are the amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own, but must be taken through diet.
So, by taking animal protein sources such as lean meat, lean poultry, and fatty fish, you would’ve satisfied your body’s protein needs. For vegetarians, consuming a combination of brown rice with nuts, beans and nuts will provide all the essential amino acids (so you don’t have to break your own rule…)
A daily protein intake equivalent to 20%, or one-fifth, of your ideal daily calorie intake will be just fine.
Recommendation 5: Fats
Fats can be classified into saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats. Unsaturated fats are the healthiest and as such should form the greatest portion of your fat intake. They clear your arteries and ensure free flow of blood to your muscles, thereby enhancing rapid muscle development and increased muscle tone.
Sources of unsaturated fats include fatty fishes like mackerel and salmon, unsalted nuts, avocados, and olives.
Always avoid saturated and trans fats, as they cause blockage of arteries, leading to reduced blood flow to your tissues, and ultimately, heart diseases.
About 30%, or a third, of your total daily calorie intake should come from fats – unsaturated fats.
Now, having read all these recommendations, you can draw up your own healthy meal plan. Just abide by what you’ve learned so far, and you’ll tone up your muscles within a few weeks!