When it comes to gaining lean muscle, two things are key, diet and physical activity. While the latter is a bit obvious, most people struggle with the first part- diet.
The logic behind muscle gain is a simple one. All you need to do is to eat more calories than you burn each day. However, you need to be careful. Too much calorie intake will lead to you kick starting the weight gain process. The trick is in striking a workable balance between the two.
As you probably already know, the best foods for muscle gain are high-protein foods coupled with a few carbohydrates and fats. However, if you are looking to streamline your diet even further, here are a few diet tips for gaining muscles.
When it comes to gaining muscle, high protein foods are the best. Protein contains essential amino acids such as leucine which come in handy when it comes to repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue. These amino acids also make your muscles grow bigger, faster.
However, in order to fully maximize the benefits of protein, you need to be careful about how much you eat. Here is what Spencer Nadolsky, D.O, author of The Fat Loss Prescription has to say on protein intake, “There is likely an individual optimal level of protein needed for each person, but we can give some general guidelines.”
Simply put, the optimum amount of protein required for muscle building differs from one individual to the next. Nevertheless, what remains constant is the fact that the best sources of protein are foods such as lean meat, eggs and fish. Other great sources of protein are legumes such as beans, peas and quinoa.
An important aspect of gaining lean muscle is meal timing. It is a fact that your body responds better to protein intake after your workout. According to Dr. Nadolsky, two hours after your workout is the best time to bulk up on proteins. This is because your body needs amino acids to repair the damaged tissues after a rigorous workout session.
At the same time, a pre-workout meal makes a whole of a difference when it comes to muscle building. Eating a protein rich meal two or three hours before your workout will help you reap even more benefits from your session.
It is easy to think that a big protein-rich meal once a day is enough to build body muscle. However, this is not accurate. The truth is, it is actually more efficient to spread out your protein intake throughout the day. Instead of a large protein rich meal, spread out your intake through the day for better results.
Did you know that your body can only absorb 35 grams of proteins at a time? This means that it is actually possible to overload your body with protein. Therefore, before you think that you can survive on a protein-rich diet alone, consider supplementing your calorie intake with carbohydrates or healthy fats.
“It’s easy to store fat calories as fat, so ideally, you would want to optimize the carbohydrates after protein, and then get in sufficient fat to prevent deficiencies,” Dr. Nadolsky says.
While carbohydrates are not necessarily crucial to building muscle, they are important for muscle training. Carbs are responsible for filling up the glycogen stores which then fuel your growing muscles.
Just as with proteins, you need to ensure that you are eating the right kind of carbs. Foods such as brown rice, sweet potatoes and squash are great sources of carbs.
In order to gain muscle, you need to gain weight. Your body needs a surplus of calories in order to store some of that in the form of muscle tissue. Likewise, extra calories give you extra energy which will allow you to workout even harder at gym and burn even more calories.
When it comes to increasing your overall calorie intake, the goal is to eat just enough to facilitate the muscle gaining process. But you should keep in mind that if you go overboard in this aspect, chances are you will prompt the fat storing process in your body.
The easiest way to keep your calorie intake in check is by embracing portion control. Depending on your size, you should aim to eat 40-60g of protein and 40-80g of carbs with healthy fats being at a minimal of around 5-10g per meal. On this note, these tips on how to calculate your macros will come in handy.
It is easy to fall into the temptation of overeating as you try to gain muscle. Nevertheless, you should steer clear of junk foods which will derail your progress. Therefore, you should avoid turning to fast food in order to meet your caloric surplus. Whether you are building muscles or trying to lose weight, the goal is always to eat healthy food.
Start by calculating how many calories you need each day. From there, you can cut out junk food and figure out how to add healthy calories to your diet.
If you are having a tough time gaining body muscle, you should aim for 20 calories for every pound of body weight every day. You may also check out this article which explains why you may be having a hard time gaining weight. – 7 Reasons You’re Not Building As Much Muscle As You Could.
Now, these tips above may be hard to follow, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle. May be you are not a foodie enthusiast or perhaps the thought of preparing meals at home sucks. If that’s the case, then our chef service is just a call away and it starts with a free consultation. Upon understanding your diet diets, we come up with an ideal diet plan and send the chef to create healthy meals in your kitchen. Wouldn’t be easy to work and work out knowing food is always ready for you?
So if you are serious about gaining muscle, pumping iron alone will not help you as much as you would like. Instead, a healthy protein rich diet is the way to go. Just as Lou Schuler explains in his book, Lean Muscle Diet, you cannot build muscle tissue out of air, you have to make it from healthy food. A few adjustments to your diet here and there will make a huge difference for you in the long run. A carefully calculated diet that caters to all of your body’s nutritional needs will ensure that you not only gain lean muscle but also keep you feeling healthy.