Diet Disasters! Are You Committing These 7 Bodybuilding Diet Crimes?

Brad Borland
Written By: Brad Borland
April 29th, 2015
Updated: June 13th, 2020
Categories: Articles Nutrition
28.9K Reads
7 Diet Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs
Optimize your fat loss and muscle growth by avoiding these 7 crucial diet mistakes that are often to blame for slowing your gym progress down.

In Are You Guilty Of These 7 Muscle Building Diet Mistakes? I explained a few foundational remedies to help you build a solid base of muscle – 7 essential principles to get you from scrawny to brawny. Here I will expand and explain 7 more diet crimes you may be committing on the path to your ultimate physique. 

Of course you know by now that you need adequate amounts of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats and also enough calories to facilitate your hard training, but what about a few of the details? What about some of the small things flying under your nutritional radar otherwise unnoticed?

Below are 7 practices that can sabotage your efforts, slow your gains and ultimately prevent you from building the body you want. Read on about how to identify these crimes and finally leave no stone unturned for a better, more effective diet plan.

1. You’re Always Starting Over

Are you an “I’ll start on Monday” type of person? Are you always in reinvention mode, constantly restarting your big transformational plan? Where has it gotten you? Not very far I can guess. It’s time to stop always starting. It’s time to start exactly where you are right now and commit to a plan of action.

Make it right: Your plan of action doesn’t need to be perfect or with all the details worked out. You just need to start. Execute a single step, one small action and then build from there. Discipline isn’t an overnight occurrence; it’s built brick by brick over time until you have a solid foundation of positive habits and desirable outcomes. You will stumble and fall at times but just keep moving forward little by little.

Build Muscles By Eating The Right Food

2. You Eat Too Many Processed Carbs

We are constantly being inundated with so called health foods full of promises of low sugar, low sodium and superior health benefits. The truth is many of those claims are only partially true. Many of these products are highly processed and far from their original, natural state leaving you with little nutritional value and, ultimately with few results.

Make it right: Nothing will ever replace real food. Processed starchy carbs only raise insulin levels, increase insulin resistance and leave you feeling tired and listless. Be sure you are getting enough of the right kinds of carbs: Sweet and white potatoes, brown, wild and white rice, 100% whole wheat bread and oatmeal. Not only will your body know how to process these foods properly, they are also nutrient dense to help facilitate hard training.

3. You’re Unprepared

Professional bodybuilders, physique athletes and fitness models have one thing (among many) in common: They are always prepared. Are you? Constantly searching for the right kinds of foods when you are at work, out at an event or somewhere with friends isn’t the right path to be on when a better physique is what you’re after. Winging it won’t do – you need to be prepared on a daily basis.

Make it right: Start planning your meals at least a day ahead of time. Cook big amounts of chicken, turkey, rice and potatoes on Sunday so you are never without a meal being ready. Also, get used to packing a cooler full of those pre-prepped foods so you are always within reach of the proper nutrition you need. Stop getting caught in the rain without your raincoat!

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4. You Eat Too Much Processed Meat

Much like the processed carbs mentioned above, processed meats are a big no-no as well. Sure, once in a great while processed meats are okay but never on a consistent basis. Packed with fillers, preservatives (yes, even the all-natural kind has these), sodium and other foreign, subpar proteins processed meats are last on the list for quality.

Make it right: Lunch meat, hotdogs, sausage, bacon and other man-constructed meats should be eaten sparingly at best. Choose chicken, beef, turkey and fish – free range if possible. Also, don’t be afraid to eat other sources of protein such as bison and other wild meats. Of course you also have an arsenal of non-meat protein-filled sources such as Greek yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese and whey protein.

5. You Eat Too Much Sugar

Along the same lines as too many processed carbs, too much sugar can wreak havoc on not only your energy levels and muscle-building potential but you can also do damage to your insulin sensitivity and overall health. Too much sugar is increasingly being linked to a myriad of health problems from diabetes to elevated cholesterol levels.

Make it right: On the muscle front, a high sugar intake will severely sabotage your efforts in the gym robbing you of the sustained energy and muscle glycogen uptake. An intake of complex carbs will keep insulin levels at bay and your blood sugar levels steady. Try eliminating your added sugar intake. A cheat meal once per week is fine but try keeping your diet mainly clean and complex in nature.

Avoid Sugary Snacks When Trying To Build Muscles

6. Your Meal Timing Is Off

Skipping a high-protein breakfast, grabbing a quick lunch when you can and then fitting in dinner into a packed schedule isn’t the way to a better body nor is it any way to live. Meal timing isn’t just about bookending your training with whey protein powder and pre and post workout supplement drinks. It’s about getting in your required meals at the same times each and every day. It’s about being prepared so you won’t have to grab and go when it’s the most convenient.

Make it right: Write out your daily schedule of eating for the day. If you’re like most Americans you will most-likely have a pretty set schedule each day of the work week. Sure, you may have a bump in the road here and there regarding certain things coming up during your day, but if you are prepared ahead of time with pre-cooked meals you’ll see how much easier it is to stick to your schedule and get those meals in.

7. You Don’t Eat Enough “Other” Foods

So, you are sticking to your plan of action, are eating the right amounts and kinds of proteins and carbs and you’re prepared and eating on a strict schedule. What’s left? By other foods I mean fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and other micronutrients vital to building muscle, losing fat and improving overall health.

Make it right: Be sure you are getting in copious amounts of vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, salads, and peppers among many others. Also, a variety of fruits such as apples, bananas and blueberries are packed with antioxidants. Lastly, don’t forget about healthy fat options such as olive oil, nut butters and avocado. These nutrients will not only fill in the gaps to your overall diet plan, they will also provide much-needed satiety while on a reduced calorie eating plan.

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Posted on: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 16:44

Hi Brad,
I've struggled with my weight for 3 yrs and I can't see my abs. I'm 52 yrs young and weigh 180lbs and I was told last week I'm not eating enough as I was on 1200 calls a day so I've bumped up to 1800 over 5 meals and eating clean, yes my muscles look fuller but my waste is getting flabbier. I'm doing 20 minutes walk 3 times a week and train 1 muscle group a day over 4 days. The last 2 yrs I did exact same up my calories saw bloating and fat and then decrease calories and lost all muscle. What am I doing wrong Brad.

Posted on: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 09:48

I m preparing for competition nd now I started cutting nd my diet is as. Morning- at 8 am before workout I ate one apple,one sweet potato nd one coffee in milk. Nd drinking whey protein during workout. After workout-5 egg white nd 1 whole egg Lunch -6-8 ounces of chicken Brest with brown rice. Dinner-boiled pulses nd 5 egg white nd 1 whole egg nd 1 sweet potato. Before bed-whey protein in milk. Now my question is this enough for getting lean or I have add something else? Thanks in advance nd waiting to get answer

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Posted on: Fri, 12/04/2015 - 09:45

See how that all works for you for 4 to 6 weeks. I, personally would cut out the milk as it has a tendency to bloat the skin slightly. But that's just me.

Posted on: Sat, 12/05/2015 - 05:33

Sir very much thanks for your valuable feedback as it would solve my many confusions

Posted on: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 16:16

Hey Brad- I'm at a crossroads. At 5'10" and naturally 118lbs, I've busted my butt to put on 22lbs of muscle. Because of my super fast metabolism, it's a big challenge to keep weight on (even at 41). I eat super clean, but still seem to keep holding on to this bit of "belly pouch". Nothing major, but totally noticeable and frustrating to me. I drink a little of a gallon of water a day and get cardio through hiit once a week and two days on the stair climber. What could I be doing wrong?

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Posted on: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 22:29

Hi Natasha. What is your diet like? What about training details?

Posted on: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 22:46

6-7 meals /day:
Proteins= baked tilapia/ground turkey/chicken/boiled egg whites
W/kale, broccoli, asparagus, green beans-
Brown rice, sweet potato, plain oatmeal
(Ex: protein + green/ protein + complex carb)
Snack would be an apple or some peanut butter
And might add a protein shake (iso100 w/water)
I drink a little over a gallon of water a day.
And might have a small cottage cheese before bed if I'm starving (usually am).
6 days/wk
1-heavy leg day
1-hams+glutes day
4-muscle group days
3-cardio days (2-stair climber (slow pace)/1-HIIT)
Most of my training has little rest in between sets
And they vary between high to low and heavy to light/moderate.
I drop weight super fast (was doing 2daysnog hiit @ 40mins/session and lost 5lbs the first week), so I've limited those kinds of days.

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Posted on: Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:25

have you tried to cycle your carbs from day to day?

Posted on: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 14:40

Hi Brad...
I am guilty of just about everything you wrote... and I like the fact that now I have some sensible guidance... I have heard wheat is bad etc etc. ... Any here is my question... I cannot eat cooked veggies... don't know why. If I start eating raw broccolli, carrots, etc. will that work for "other intake"?

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Posted on: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 22:26

Hi Joe, yes. Absolutely. Raw fruits and veggies will work.

Posted on: Fri, 05/01/2015 - 01:02

Great article. I think I'm doing all of these wrong. Now I just need to find a meal timing format.

Posted on: Thu, 04/30/2015 - 12:35

Hey Brad, great article. I was hoping to get some advice from a reputable source. My job I currently have, I walk 8 hours a day and pushing heavy objects. Right now, I'm currently cutting and I managed to figure out my TDEE which is around 2900 calories minus the 20 percent for the cut while still preserving muscle mass. I decreased it down some from the 2300 calories and I think I went too low. Due to work and weightlifting, it might be too low and my body is feeding off my muscle rather than using my fat as energy source. What should I do? Especially days I have to work and then workout afterwards. I'm seeing very little definition and was hoping to see some massive results by the end of May or beginning of June. Think I cut calories way too fast, but hopefully you can help Brad. Thanks

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Posted on: Fri, 05/01/2015 - 23:09

Hi John,
Wow! Your macros might be off possibly. Some are more carb sensitive and may need more fats. Others are the opposite. What is your breakdown?

Posted on: Fri, 05/01/2015 - 23:20

Well right now, I'm trying to keep carbs down to around 85 grams a day, around 175 to 195 grams of proteins (according to what i logged on MyFitnessPal) and 75 fats. And I'm an endomorph as well, so I try to keep the carbs down. But I just finished a cutting program, and didn't see much. There were tiny results but not as much as I was hoping. Just started another one today, would love to get some incredible results. My goal is 8% body fat and after seeing the daily numbers of my macros, it won't happen. I think I cut calories way fast, cause I was shooting for 1,800 just recently each week and cut them without slowly adjusting.

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Posted on: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 08:38

Yeah, a slower adjustment may be the way to go. How are your workouts? Day per week, etc.?

Posted on: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 08:52

Yeah I workout 5-6 days a week, running within an hour or 1 hour and 15 minutes. And the workouts are great, I just started Greg Plitt MFT28 program. And the program I did before that went well, but my eating didn't really help me see any major results. The only thing is, I have read that cardio is something I should be doing drop weight, and I have not been doing that. I don't like cardio, but I know it's something I should be doing.

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Posted on: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 10:02

Yeah, to get shredded cardio is a necessity. If you do add cardio, be sure to keep carbs at a healthy level. Too low and too much work will spell flat and tired and you will most likely hold onto your body fat.

Posted on: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 10:16

Okay cool, thanks Brad! What be considered a healthy level of carbs for me? I'm currently standing at 167 pounds. Should I do one gram per pound of body weight? .5 was way too low

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Posted on: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 22:28

Yes, start there. Give it a few weeks and then reassess.

Posted on: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 22:32

Okay thanks Brad! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, im that much closer to my goals. I appreciate it a lot.