Fri | Apr 3, 2020

The importance of dieting while exercising

Published:Monday | March 18, 2019 | 12:09 AM


I think of myself as an individual who cares for the well-being of others: If sharing knowledge with someone can improve their lives in the slightest way, then, in my opinion, that knowledge is worth sharing.

A few days ago, one of my close friends asked me a question about how to gain weight (muscle), as he was trying for some time and has seen minimal improvement. Now, I am no Michael B. Jordan, but in a crowd, I will stand out as someone who works out. I took the opportunity to share with an old friend the information I had about the importance of dieting while exercising.

A lot of persons make the mistake of focusing solely on doing a lot of repetitions when working out, rather than taking the time to understand how the body really works, and what it needs to grow. We often hear the saying “you are what you eat”, so how a person looks is a result of what they eat.

To gain weight, it is imperative to eat often. The diet must be rich in protein, carbohydrates, fats and calories. The body can only store as much calories per meals, so eating often enables the body to use more towards growth, and store what is needed without removing excess calories.

Protein is essential in building muscle; they are the building blocks of the body. The body cannibalizes itself for the amino acids it needs, so if it does not have these amino acids, it will get them from the ones stored in muscle tissue; hence, decreasing muscle mass. Protein is also needed to aid in recovery after a workout.

Carbohydrate also plays an integral role in gaining weight. Carbohydrate is the main source of energy in the body, as they breakdown to form glucose; which is used to produce ATP (the energy currency of cells).

Small quantities of fats (20-30 grams per meal) should be consumed for growth in muscle, as they are needed for the production of testosterone and other hormones needed to push the body to grow; hence, putting on weight.

Essentially, gaining weight is a marathon; it is not a sprint. Exercising without adequate knowledge of the body’s biochemistry will only result in minimal improvement, thus leading to frustration. Knowing what is needed to grow and sustain the body is the key to growth.