Protein: What’s Important When Trying to Build Muscle?

Protein: What’s Important When Trying to Build Muscle?

Protein is obviously the most important macronutrient to focus on for building muscle.  In the nutrition world, things are either oversimplified or overly complicated with emphasis placed on things that do not really matter.  One of the things that can be confusing for people is that for protein and muscle growth, multiple things are required. But each of these things matters to varying degrees.  The four main aspects of protein for muscle growth are: 1)  Total protein intake 2) Protein distribution 3) Protein quality 4)  Specific timing If you are trying to maximise muscle growth, you need to nail all of these…
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5 Tips for if You Struggle to Eat Enough Calories

5 Tips for if You Struggle to Eat Enough Calories

There can be a lot of reasons why somebody could struggle to eat enough calories for their goals. Maybe you have high calorie requirements due to a variety of factors including high activity levels or having a lot of muscle mass while trying to gain more size. Alternatively, maybe you just have a busy schedule or limited appetite and struggle to eat enough food. Either way, this post will cover a variety of ways to get more calories in. 1) Add Liquid Calories It is easier to drink than it is to eat. Getting a similar amount of calories from…
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Is HMB Useful for Building Muscle?

Is HMB Useful for Building Muscle?

Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB) is a chemical that is produced when the amino acid leucine is broken down by the body. It has a few different names depending on the specific version of the molecule. Other names include beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid, beta-hydroxy and beta-methylbutyrate. The human body naturally produces it, but typically only produces around 0.3g per day on average. When people supplement it, standard dosages are usually 3-6g per day. Interest in HMB supplementation started in the early 2000s when a few studies showed significant gains in muscle and strength in comparison to placebo. There have even been two later studies…
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Potential Downsides of IIFYM

Potential Downsides of IIFYM

When I first learnt about If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) I thought it was a game-changer. Instead of thinking about potential downsides, I only focused on the positive aspects. I remember thinking about how I do not think people really appreciate details such as how little of a difference there is in terms of body composition outcomes with different forms of carbohydrate for example. I was also thinking about how if people understand calories in vs calories out, it would be way easier to adjust intake and balance achieving goals with enjoying life. Even just the concept and understanding…
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Flexible Dieting: Everything You Need to Know

Flexible Dieting: Everything You Need to Know

Back in 2011, I first went onto bodybuilding.com and started learning about calories and macros. I am not necessarily proud of that starting point. But it was my introduction to a concept called If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) which basically meant that it did not really matter what you ate as long as you meet your macronutrient targets. From a body composition perspective, while it is obviously a bit more nuanced than that, the outcomes will be mostly the same. Flexible dieting is a mostly interchangeable term with IIFYM. But I prefer the terminology flexible dieting. IIFYM has a…
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Do Bcaas and Eaas Work? A Look at the Research

Do Bcaas and Eaas Work? A Look at the Research

One of my goals with this blog is to have a quality post on pretty much every topic I frequently get asked about. That way I can always have somewhere solid to send people to whenever they DM me questions like “do branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) help with muscle growth?” I love the idea of that because it means I can do each question justice and give a well thought out response to everything, rather than just giving a basic summary. For this post in particular, I have avoided writing it for so long. Partly…
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5 Simple Ways to Make Weight Loss Easier Through Nutrition

5 Simple Ways to Make Weight Loss Easier Through Nutrition

I have been a dietitian for around 5 years now. Throughout this journey, a large percentage of my clients have been those who are looking to lose weight. And there is a tonne of stuff I have learnt along the way. There is no one thing that is the secret to all this. Most people would benefit from more knowledge, but that alone is not the answer. No individual behaviour change strategy will be suitable for everybody either. No mindset hack will work for everybody. But what I will try to cover in this post is 5 key things that…
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What is Volume Eating? Everything You Need to Know

What is Volume Eating? Everything You Need to Know

Volume eating helps with the most critical factor to success when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off… the calorie balance equation. In other words, to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. Volume eating is one way that you can reduce the number of calories you eat whilst eating a lot of food. It is not a strict diet plan; it is a technique that you can apply to your current diet in order to reduce the calorie density (also referred to as energy density) of what you consume. When following this approach,…
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Reverse Dieting: Everything You Need to Know

Reverse Dieting: Everything You Need to Know

Reverse dieting gained massive traction some time almost a decade ago. It looked like this almost too good to be true strategy that could be useful for speeding up your metabolism and allowing you to eat more food without gaining weight. It could help to build better relationships with food, allow you to eat more food and manage your appetite better, while also allowing you more calories to use as fuel for your training. It is NOT a weight loss tool. Increasing the number of calories, you maintain your weight on could set you up for future weight loss. But…
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Fat Burning VS Fat Loss: A Simple Guide

Fat Burning VS Fat Loss: A Simple Guide

Fasted cardio and very low carb diets have both been consistently touted as the special ingredient for fat loss due to their ability to increase fat burning. You don’t have to be a veteran of Bodybuilding.com to have heard that skipping breakfast before some morning cardio or eating chicken and broccoli, hold the rice, is the secret to getting ripped.  Both fasted cardio and very low carb diets have gained popularity based on the assumption that if your body does not have carbs to burn for energy, it will burn fat instead. From a superficial level, it would make sense…
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