This article explores how you can improve your muscle definition using your diet. As a personal trainer I understand the essential part diet plays in muscle growth and definition.
An important point to consider that the right combination of training and diet is ESSENTIAL for success in building muscle definition. Also, it’s important to note that the following dietary suggestions may vary dependent on your natural build, so these suggestions will be based on averages. For more on your body type, click here.
It is very difficult to suggest an ideal amount of calories to consume for improving muscle definition as it is so dependent on the individual. Whether you decide to maintain your weight and add definition or lose weight to highlight muscle definition to a greater extent is dependent on your current body fat percentage. The ideal body fat percentage for an athletic appearance will typically be around 8-15% for males and 13-20% for females. Essentially, the logic behind this is that you want to be lean enough to be able to see the muscle definition, otherwise it will be masked by a layer of fat and your hard work will go to waste. Once you have determined whether to maintain your weight or lose some, I would recommend calculating the ideal amount of calories to consume using the following website www.myfitnesspal.com.
Macronutrients are the major nutrients that the body utilises from food, which in particular are Carbohydrates, Fat and Protein. Carbohydrates provide an immediate source of energy, fats a prolonged source of energy and protein aids the repair and growth of muscle fibres.
Ideally, someone who is looking to achieve greater muscle definition will seek a lower carbohydrate, protein-rich diet. It is suggested that for an average person, that the following macronutrient quantities should be consumed:
- Carbohydrates: 45-65% of calories
- Fat: 20-35% of calories
- Protein: 10-35% of calories
For somebody looking to build greater muscle definition I would recommend the following macronutrient quantities:
- Carbohydrates: 40-55% of calories
- Fat: 20-35% of calories
- Protein: 25-40% of calories
Micronutrients, on the other hand, are the less dominant nutrients contained within a food, which are important, but have less significance the macronutrients. The 2 types of micronutrient are vitamins and minerals.
The most concerning micronutrient to somebody looking to improve their muscle definition is sodium, which is found in salt. Sodium encourages water retention in the body, which can surround the muscles and in turn create a more rounded and fuller appearance. Whilst this may be desirable to some as it adds an appearance of increased mass, those who are looking to achieve improved muscle definition should minimise their sodium intake. The ideal amount of sodium to be consumed per day is 1500mg, which amounts to 3.75g of salt.