What to Eat to Grow Muscle
• Cut back on fatty foods, and stick to low-fat meals, with plenty of fresh fruit and veg.
• Lean protein is important for muscles, as it helps repair the muscle fibres you may have damaged. So eat plenty of chicken, fish, tofu, lentils, nuts. Spread your protein evenly over five or six meals a day to maximise absorption and minimise fat gain.
• Calcium-rich foods such as dairy, beans and pulses help support healthy bones.
• If you’re working out intensely in the gym, say three times a week, you’ll need 18 g of protein per kg of your body weight. You also need carbs for fuel (bread, potatoes, pasta, noodles I. If you’re working out three times a week you need about 5- 7 g of carbs per kg of body weight daily.
Q: The word ‘muscle’ worries me. Am I going to turn into a strapping Russian shot-putter if I follow this regime?
A: Stop worrying. That’s a common misconception. Fortunately, women’s low levels of testosterone prevent them from turning into hulking great things. You’d have to take steroids for that. Or alter your eating habits significantly before you bulked up excessively. Supermodels and tiny Hollywood A-listers do strength training and even Marilyn Monroe used dumbbells!
Q: Do I need to keep increasing the weights I’m using?
A: Heavier weights don’t necessarily mean better muscle toning. You’d do better to use lower weights but do more repetitions. However, you do need to exercise to near fatigue to really benefit from resistance training.
Q: How do I do a lunge?
A: Stand with your feet together holding dumbbells by your sides with your palms facing in. Take one step forward with your right leg. With your right foot on the floor slowly lower your left knee towards the floor, keeping your right knee at a 90 degree angle and your back straight. Press into your right foot and push yourself back to starting position. Repeat on the other leg. Aim for 12, building up to two or three sets over time.