What our Russ­ian guy doesn’t know about prod­ucts that keep his mus­cles toned or even allow him to “pump up his mus­cles.” Chick­en, turkey, rab­bit, veal, red and white fish, seafood, eggs, dairy prod­ucts, legumes — if you eat some­thing from this list three times a day, every­thing will be fine with pro­tein in the body. Yes, not so. Our body is a com­plex machine that mal­func­tions in com­plete­ly unex­pect­ed places.

Sergey Leonov, chef, founder of the online acad­e­my of healthy eat­ing “ZOZhi­gay”, author of mas­ter class­es on anti-age cui­sine, and Andrey Zhukov, founder of Pro Tren­er per­son­al train­ing stu­dios, shared their thoughts on this top­ic with MT.

Sergey Leonov

Did you know that with irri­ta­ble bow­el syn­drome, your 4 eggs for break­fast, chick­en breast for lunch and white fish for din­ner sim­ply go down the drain, to put it mild­ly. Where it flies, you under­stand. There­fore, before load­ing your­self with meat, check the digestibil­i­ty of pro­tein by your indi­vid­ual body.

An endocri­nol­o­gist will help solve prob­lems with the gas­troin­testi­nal tract, giv­ing up alco­hol and includ­ing fer­ment­ed foods in the diet.

And this is not banal sauer­kraut, but also oth­er veg­eta­bles, super tasty Kore­an spicy Kim chi, kam­bucha or fer­ment­ed kvass, which you can eas­i­ly cre­ate in your kitchen.

One of the recommended fermented dishes is Korean spicy Kim chi.

My sec­ond piece of advice for those who want to improve their fit­ness is to look at their diet under the lens of “adding fats and sug­ars.”

Fac­to­ry-made sauces con­tain a lot of sug­ar, food in a restau­rant or from the fin­ished prod­ucts shelf in a super­mar­ket con­tains a lot of fat. And this is not healthy fat from avo­ca­do, olive oil, ghee and red fat­ty vari­eties. This is the “burnt fat” of cut­lets, which leads to an increase in chron­ic dis­eases and not mus­cles. Well, my favorite thing is that chick­en cut­lets from cook­ing con­tain pure pro­tein, at most 30 per­cent of the total weight of the prod­uct. The rest is chick­en skin, bread, starch and spreads of var­i­ous ori­gins.

It is not sur­pris­ing that with such a pseu­do healthy lifestyle it is not the tri­ceps that grow, but the bel­ly. My skin is also not in good shape, and my hair is falling out. So the for­mu­la “you are what you eat” works in this case too.

Andrey Zhukov

Number of calories

There must be a sur­plus, i.e. when we want to lose weight, there is a deficit, and when we want to gain, no mat­ter what fat or mus­cle mass, there must be a calo­rie sur­plus. We should con­sume more calo­ries, but if we don’t exer­cise, we gain fat. If we train, then most like­ly it will be mus­cles.

There should not be so many calo­ries, this is a sur­plus of about 300–500 kcal more, and that’s tak­ing into account the fact that you need to know your basal metab­o­lism. To this we add phys­i­cal activ­i­ty — how much you spend through sports and add anoth­er 300–500 calo­ries. This will be the first con­di­tion for the growth of mus­cle mass.

If we don’t eat enough calo­ries, it doesn’t mat­ter whether it’s pro­tein, fat, or car­bo­hy­drates, then in any case the mus­cles will become stronger, but there will be no increase in the vol­ume of mus­cle mass. If we want to main­tain lean mus­cle mass, then here we can stay with­in our calo­ries and then the mus­cles will be lean­er, but at the same time they can also be stronger, although they will not increase and will not grow.

Amount of protein

Pro­tein is the build­ing mate­r­i­al for our mus­cles. If you play sports, then pro­tein should be 1.5 grams. per 1 kg of weight. Some­times men can be increased to 2 grams so that it works on mus­cle mass and mus­cle growth occurs.

In nor­mal life, pro­tein can be 1–1.2 per 1 kg of weight. The pro­tein should be eas­i­ly digestible and not fat­ty, because fat­ty pro­tein (for exam­ple, fat­ty meat, pork). There is a risk that you will gain more fat from calo­ries rather than mus­cle. There­fore, do not over­do it with fat­ty pro­tein.

Lean pro­tein is chick­en, turkey, lean meat, rab­bit, fish. In this case, fish can be fat­ty because it con­tains Omega that is ben­e­fi­cial for us. Dairy prod­ucts, cot­tage cheese should be no more than 4%, this is con­sid­ered nor­mal — in order to pro­vide fuel to the mus­cles. Eggs, seafood, all these are pro­tein foods. In order to add pro­tein to your food, you can eat only the white part of an egg, for exam­ple.

Car­bo­hy­drates should also be present in the diet. Pro­tein food should be 30% of the total food. Car­bo­hy­drates should be 40% and these are, as a rule, com­plex car­bo­hy­drates: rice, buck­wheat, pelta pas­ta, i.e. those car­bo­hy­drates that pro­vide long-term ener­gy and pro­mote the absorp­tion of pro­tein foods.

It is not rec­om­mend­ed to eat more than 30 grams at one time. pro­tein, because pro­tein is not absorbed par­tic­u­lar­ly quick­ly. It is bet­ter to dis­trib­ute pro­tein foods through­out the day and with each meal: break­fast, lunch, din­ner and snacks. It is impor­tant to always have pro­tein foods from the above prod­ucts.

If this is an after­noon snack, for exam­ple, then include at least low-fat yogurt with added sug­ar. It is also suit­able for slight­ly nour­ish­ing our mus­cles.

Fat should remain the same 20–25%, i.e. we main­tain these pro­por­tions of the total vol­ume of food so that our mus­cles receive ade­quate nutri­tion.