When you think of weight loss and toning up, generally speaking, you think of fad diets, workout plans and lots and lots of protein! While this may be the path for many people, it’s not necessarily the most effective way to get fit!
Starving yourself on magic milkshakes and (p-word) pills will get you short-term, fast weight loss results, but when it comes to toning up, especially your glutes, generally speaking, its seventy-five percent what you eat, and twenty-five percent how you exercise. So what should you be putting into your body then, to get the best results?
The Holy Trinity of Muscle Gain
Protein Builds Muscle –
You’ll often hear people going crazy with protein, shakes, bread, you name it, there’s a protein-packed version of it! But stuffing your body full of protein can often have little to no effect. It’s important to know how much protein you actually need. Your body only needs between 11-14 grams of protein per stone of body weight, per day, to effectively build muscle mass, so a 10 stone girl (63.5kg) would only need about 120g of protein daily.
Carbs Are Not Your Enemy –
I repeat, Carbs Are Not Your Enemy!
You need carbohydrates to survive. Basically, they’re what makes your body function, and the more your work out, the more you sweat, the more you need. You’ll need a bit more carbs than protein during a workout day, up to double the amount, so the same 10 stone girl would need anywhere between 150-240g of carbs.
Be smart though, when eating carbs, they’re not all made the same, some are good, some, not so much!
Fat Is A Friend
When we talk about fat being a friend, we, of course, mean the good types of fats, like monounsaturated fats and omega-3. Fats are an essential part of any diet, so don’t be scared to be eating foods high in the good fats, they help to absorb the proteins you consume. You should aim for about half the amount of proteins you’re consuming, our 10 stone girl would then be trying to consume about 60g of fat a day.
Divide and Conquer
Keeping a diet can sometimes be somewhat of a challenge, but monitoring your food intake, and dividing the food groups between these three types, protein, carbs and fats, can make it all so much easier! You can even get apps to help you keep count. One such one, MyFitnessPal, is perfect with easy search options for foods and simple to read charts that give you a perfect view of your daily food intake! You can download it here for Android, and here for iPhone!
So what are you going to eat then, for the perfect muscle gain, especially around the glutes? Here’s a list of the best (number) foods you can eat for that perfectly toned ass!
Avocados contain those healthy fats we talked about earlier, the monounsaturated fat that can lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and reduce muscle wear and tear. Plus of course, it can help you with those gains!
They’re a versatile fruit (yes, you heard right), and taste great on some toast with eggs in the morning, thrown into a salad for lunch, or rolled into some sushi with fish for dinner. Just keep in mind that too much can be a bad thing, so eat them in moderation to keep the fats to about twenty percent of your daily intake.
This one is probably a no-brainer when it comes to protein. With approximately 6g of protein per your average egg, they’re the perfect addition to any diet and can get your protein count up quickly. What isn’t so much known, is that eggs also contain leucine, an essential amino acid that will crank up your muscle building. Adding about 2-3 eggs a week to your diet will be perfect, for variation, and for your glutes!
Another food filled with protein and healthy fats, fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, haddock, anchovies (if you can stomach them) and rohu, can provide you with a good dose of both, especially at dinner time.
- Seeds (Chia and Flax seeds)
Chia seeds are so in right now! Filled with 17g of protein in 100g of seeds, adding a tablespoon of them to your breakfast smoothie or juice is a quick and easy way to get that protein count up. They also contain your healthy fats and have a neutral taste. But take care to not eat too much of them, overconsumption can lead to stomach aches.
Flaxseeds (which usually come in a ground form) also have plenty of protein and healthy fats. Just one teaspoon of ground flaxseeds contains about 1.5g of protein! Try switching between chia and flaxseeds in your smoothies or juices for a bit of variety!
You don’t often think milk when you think of muscle gain, but actually, full-fat milk is great for just that! The protein and calcium in milk helps build lean muscle mass and strong bones, which is exactly what you need for that round, shaped butt. Your glutes will love you for adding as much milk as you can to your meal plan, trust us!
- Sweet potatoe
Talking of that good carbohydrates earlier, sweet potatoes are full of them! They’re perfect for an after workout meal and taste great mixed with other veggies. You’ll find about 20g of carbs in 100g of sweet potato, as opposed to only 17g in normal potatoes. Try them boiled, baked, mashed or fried (in rapeseed oil if you can, for that monounsaturated fat).
- Dark Leafy Greens
Did you really think you were going to be able to survive this list without some greens? Of course not! Leafy greens, such as rocket, bok choy, kale (obviously) and swiss chard, are great sources of the good type of carbs and nutrients that will leave you feeling fuller for longer. They will improve your stamina and help you to get through that glute workout we know you’re planning as soon as you finish reading this!
With any weight loss or muscle gain plan, it’s so important to be eating the right foods for long-term, sustainable goals, so always remember the holy trinity, proteins, carbs, and fats. Add them to your daily meals, and you will soon be reaping the rewards of the toned butt of your dreams!