You already know about your calorie intake, but what about protein, carbohydrates, and fat? These are three macro nutrients that are essential in your muscle building diet. First of all, let’s cover protein intake.
Your muscles get amino acids from the proteins that you consume. The amino acids are used for the repair and growth of muscle tissue. So it is critical that you get enough protein in your diet. Some people don’t really have the patience to tweak & follow their diet, however, since bulking is so important they decide to take mass gainers for easy protein & calories, you can read our best mass gainers without side effects guide.
For those with a strong willpower to follow and create a diet, use this formula to find out your protein intake.
Lean body mass x 1.25
To get your lean body mass, you must know your bodyfat percentage. You can use the accumeasure caliper to get an accurate reading. After you get your percentage, multiply it by your bodyweight and that tells you how much fat you have. Subtract your fat weight from your total body weight to get your lean body mass.
So lets say we have a 200 pound man with 12% bodyfat. His lean mass is 200 -(200 x 0.12), which gives us 176 pounds. So we multiply 176 by 1.25 and this gives us 220. So he must eat 220 grams of protein everyday to gain muscle.
You should perform this calculation whenever you gain weight. Now that we know our protein requirements, lets go over protein sources for our muscle building diet.
Muscle Building Diet Rule #1
Chicken: Chicken breasts and leg meat are great sources of protein. 4 oz of chicken breast packs around 24-28grams of protein. Chicken legs contain around 19grams of protein.
Red meat: lean meats, ground beef, pork, and lamb are also great sources of protein. I recommend that you stick to the leaner cuts such as beef rounds or lean ground beef.
Nuts: peanuts, cashews, almonds, and walnuts are easy to snack on and contain some protein.
Seafood: Tuna, salmon, crabs, shrimp, clams, and squid are also good sources of protein. I recommend tuna because it is one of the cheapest sources of protein.
Dairy: milk and cheeses are also great for protein. One glass of milk usually contains 8 grams of protein. One serving of cheese also has similar protein content but I recommend milk as it is a cheaper source.
Make sure that you get protein with all of your meals. Now that we have covered protein, lets go over carbohydrates and fat.
Muscle Building Diet Rule #2
Stick to clean carbs!
Carbohydrates are used as energy and also where most of your calories will come from. So it is crucial that you eat the right kinds of carbs to fuel your workouts.
Not all carbohydrates are created equal. If you consume the wrong kind, you will quickly put on unwanted bodyfat.
These are carbohydrates to avoid:
Sugar: Sugar is absolutely useless for a bodybuilder. Sugar will only contribute to fat gains, bad teeth, and even accelerated aging!
Refined grains: White bread, white rice, and anything that contains enriched flour. These grains are heavily processed and are just as bad as sugar. I would avoid these.
Junk food: Pizza, fries, chips, ice cream, and cookies should not even be on your meal plan. These are all empty calories that will only leave you with a bloated stomach.
So where should you get your carbs from?
It is a good idea to eat carbs that have a low impact on blood sugar.
Below is a list of acceptable carbohydrates:
Whole grains:brown rice, Quinoa, Oatmeal, multi grain bread, Ezekiel bread, Rye bread, Pita bread
Noodles: buckwheat pasta, brown rice pasta
Beans:black beanschick, peas, navy beans,kidney beans, pinto beans
Vegetables:carrots, leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower
Fruits:Apples, Berries, Melons, Citrus fruits, Tropical fruits
But how much carbohydrate should you eat everyday?
Just eat enough so that your calories add up. So lets say that a 180 pound man needs 3200 calories to build muscle.
He gets 200 grams of protein and 50 grams of fat. Carbs and protein have 4 calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram.
So he gets 800 calories from protein and 450 calories from fat. This means that he needs 1950 calories from carbohydrates.
Muscle Building Diet Rule #3
Eat the right fats!
Dietary fat is in a muscle building diet. The fat that you consume is responsible for your anabolic hormone production. Without fat, your body will not produces the essential
anabolic hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone.
Since this is a high carb diet, I would cap fat to around 70 grams per day.
Just like carbs, not all fats are created equal.
Avoid trans fats like the plague. Any food that contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils will be very damaging to your body.
Here are some acceptable sources of fat:
Saturated fats:It is a good idea to get some saturated fat because it is know to improve cholesterol profiles. Saturated fat can be found in milk, cheese, and animal meats.
Mono saturated fats:These can be found in nuts and vegetable oils. I recommend avocados, olive oil, and almonds.
Polyunsaturated fats:I recommend that you get this from sunflower seeds and peanut butter.
Muscle Building Diet Rule #4
Plan your meals!
You need to know how to plan your meals a head. Let’s take myself for example. I have to eat around 3200 calories a day to gain weight. Obviously it does not make sense to eat 3 meals. If I had to eat 3 meals, I would have to eat almost 1070 calories per meal! That’s alot of food to eat at once and I would definitely feel sick.
This is why it is good to eat 6 to 7 meals throught the day. I eat 7 meals as this works out best for me. This means that I eat around 470 calories per meal, which is reasonable. Therefore, I suggest that you divide up your total calories by 6 or 7 to get the appropriate amount of calories that you need per meal.
As you gain weight, you will need more calories and protein. Eating extra servings of carbohydrates is the easiest way to bump up the calories.
So now you have a good idea about what to eat, but I will show you a sample meal plan. This is what I eat on a typical day:
Breakfast:2 slices of Ezekiel bread,peanut butter and sugar free fruit spread,1 boiled egg
Morning snack:weight gainer shake(whey protein, milk, oats, and berries)
Lunch:Chicken breast, black beans, whole wheat pasta, broccoli
Afternoon meal:whole wheat tortilla, bean paste, chicken leg meat, salsa, cheese
Dinner:Brown rice, grilled fish, salad
Post workout shake:2 scoops of whey protein
Bedtime meal:weight gainer shake(whey protein, milk, oats, and berries)
Now you know what to eat everyday on your muscle building diet. Never miss your meals, and you are guaranteed to see new muscle growth!