This Article is About
daily calorie intake
pumpkin seeds
macro nutrients
good fats
monounsaturated fats
extra virgin olive oil
flax seeds
virgin olive oil
trans fats
saturated fats
sunflower seeds
fat cells
Curse Of The Ectomorph - Why You Cant Gain Muscle (part 2)
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Curse Of The Ectomorph - Why You Cant Gain Muscle (part 2)

In part one of this topic we discussed the required calories and grams of protein needed to break the mold for your body. Now that we know our numbers, it’s time to get to the nutrition side of the science. Everything needs to be broken down into the 3 macro-nutrients. These macro-nutrients (as you probably know) are fats, carbs, and proteins.

You are what you eat. I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase before. So that means if you eat fat then you’re going to get fat right? Wrong! Fat is a critical nutrient when it comes to muscle building and overall functioning of the body. You just need to be sure that you’re consuming the right kinds of fats. These “good fats” are like rocket fuel when it comes to energy.

So what are these good fats? Basically they are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These fats are critical for your joints, functioning of the brain, muscle repair and many other functions of the body.

Some great sources of these good fats are from the following:

- Extra virgin olive oil

- All types of nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans)

- All types of seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds)

- Avocados

- Fish skin and meat

30% of your daily calories should be from good fats like the ones listed above.

A nice bonus is that fat is calorie dense. So this helps in meeting your quota for your high daily calorie intake. For example, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil is 120 calories. The reason that extra virgin olive oil is stressed as opposed to just olive oil is because extra virgin olive oil is less processed. The less processed your food is, the better that it will be for your body.

Now for the evil side of fats. These fats will harm your gains, result in creation of fat cells, and over all harm your body. These are tran-saturated fats. These will clog your arteries and raise your blood pressure. Trans fats are responsible for many health problems all across the world. The worst part is we are only doing it to ourselves. Trans fats are man-made for the most part. For example, here are some sources of trans fats.

- Anything deep fried

- Highly processed and heated vegetable oil

- Fast food hamburgers

- Highly processed snacks

One sneaky thing that I have noticed is vegetable oil. On the label it looks glorious. It shows vast amounts of poly and mono unsaturated fats with zero trans fats. However, these values are taken before the oil is treated and heated. Once the oil is heated upwards of 1000 degrees, it loses it’s nutritious qualities and increases in saturated and tran-saturated fats.

This brings us to our final type of fat, saturated fats. You will find these in many snacks, milk, meats, and eggs. In moderation, it’s a good thing to consume saturated fats, but they need to be limited. Saturated fats are a great aid when it comes to building muscle, just don’t overdo it. Try to focus on consuming poly and mono unsaturated fats, and don’t stress about consuming some saturated fats in there from meat along the way.

Next let’s talk about carbohydrates. These are commonly given the wrong reputation as well. For us ectomorphs, it is crucial that we consume carbs. However, that doesn’t mean we can simply ignore the rules completely. The carbs that we do consume need to be the right type. Plus, whenever you train with a workout routine to gain muscle, you're going to need the energy provided by high quality carbohydrates.

You should focus on carbs with a low glycemic index. Basically this means carbs with a lower sugar content. These are the whole grains and whole wheat carbs. Here is a list of carbs that have a low glycemic index.

- Whole wheat/ grain bread

- Whole wheat/ grain pasta

- Sweet potato

- Brown rice

- Raw oatmeal

Calories from these carbs should account for 40% of your daily diet intake.

In general, it’s best to stay away from carbs with a lot of sugars in them. One exception to this is directly after your workout. After you’ve performed a hard workout, your body is craving serious nutrition to start the protein synthesis process. Due to this, it actually may be beneficial to consume carbs with a high GI so that you spike your insulin levels allowing a more complete absorption of nutrients. This is why having a banana in your post workout shake is a good thing to do.

Finally we have proteins. Not all proteins are equal when it comes to muscle building. This is where it becomes difficult to be a bodybuilder that is a vegetarian at the same time. Reason being is that animal meats are a very important source of protein when it comes to building muscle. The proteins found in alternatives such as tofu are incomplete and not nearly as efficient.

So what are the best sources of protein? For decades bodybuilders have sworn that eggs contain the most potent muscle building proteins and nutrients for muscle building. This could very well still hold true today. The egg is extremely nutrient dense. When you combine a phenomenal workout routine to gain muscle with high quality proteins, great things will happen.

A common misconception with the egg is the levels of cholesterol. Yes they do contain harmful cholesterol, but they also contain healthy cholesterol that combats the bad cholesterol. So in this case, they mostly cancel each other out.

However, with that said, it’s still recommended to never consume more than 8 eggs per day. So in that case, Gaston from Beauty and The Beast had it wrong when he ate 4 dozen eggs a day as a young lad…

Consuming 240 grams of protein every day is very hard to do by just eating eggs, meat, and cheese. You are going to need some supplement help in this department. A solid whey protein is the answer in this case. The benefit of whey protein is that it absorbs into the body almost instantly. This makes it very beneficial as your post workout meal.

You have a small anabolic window that needs to be met every training day. That window starts once you’ve finished your workout and ends 15 minutes after your workout. This is why you always see bodybuilders bringing their protein shake with them from their house to the gym. Bottom line is, as soon as you're finished training with your workout routine to gain muscle, you must consume your whey protein shake.

Other good times of the day to have your protein shake is first thing in the morning, and a low carb protein shake before bed. Your body does the majority of its muscle repair in its sleep. So it’s important that you have the building blocks in your body in order to accomplish proper protein synthesis. Here is a list of high quality proteins to make sure that you’re clear.

- Chicken (free range preferably)

- Eggs (again, free range)

- Fish (not fish and chips, that’s deep fried!)

- Nuts

- Seeds

- Cheese (the less processed the better)

- Whey protein powder (One with low sugars and very little preservatives/ fillers)

Calories from your proteins should account for 30% of your daily calories.

That’s about it when it comes to breaking the ectomorph curse. You will need to eat like this and train with a great workout program to gain muscle. if you want to break the mold. It’s going to be very difficult to stay strong with your daily quotas, but this will make all of the difference. I gained 35 pounds in 6 months by eating like this. Before, I couldn’t gain more than 10 pounds before hitting the ceiling. Eat well! Best of luck.

Street Talk

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