In gaining muscle mass and minimizing fat gain or trying to eliminate fat, following a right muscle building diet plan is crucial.
A proper diet combined with the correct exercise regimen for strength training are the two main components of muscle building in men.
It is hard to bulk up without gaining unwanted pounds of fat, but you can gain muscle and not fat by paying close attention to the food you eat.
No idea on what are the right foods to eat? Read on this article, and we’ll show you the foundations of a muscle-building meal plan, what are the best food to eat and many more.
The key to building muscles is an increase in calorie intake. It means that for you to gain muscles, you have to eat more calories than you are burning every day.
But you have to be careful because if you go overboard or eat the wrong food, you will kickstart a fat-storing process.
The secret is to monitor food intake, and it should just enough, not too much or your body can gain fat along with muscle.
Men who are trying to gain muscle should control their portion sizes. The recommended amount for most meals, excluding post-workout, is about 40-60 grams of protein and 40-80 grams of carbs, the exact portion may vary depending on how much you weigh.
Say, you are more than 225 pounds, the recommended amount is on the upper limit, of course.
The dietary fat, except healthy fats, is something to watch out for as it should always be around 5-10 grams. We will discuss more of these in the following topics.
The timing on when to eat is another key in keeping your body lean while gaining muscles. When you eat is pivotal in not only supporting mass gains but controlling fat levels as well.
It is better to eat more during breakfast and after training, if you want to gain quality muscle mass.
The reason behind why it is essential to pack more nutrients and calories on these two meals is because, for breakfast, you are nutritionally depleted during the night while sleeping.
The muscles are stressed after a workout and need to replenish to start its recovery process. By providing the body with nutrients and calories during this window, it can maximize growth and keep the fat levels at bay.
In other words, you can manipulate your calorie intake to gain muscles without increasing fat levels. You can eat more to gain either muscle or fat.
By sticking to a large breakfast and post-training meal and dividing your other meal to small portions, you can manage your calorie intake while ensuring that the extra calories are going to the muscles that need them.
Managing Food Intake on Non-Training Days
During non-training days (you need these days to let your muscles grow), you should be extra careful of what you eat. For example, your carb intake.
It should not be the same quantity as what you would eat during training days because the body is not active. Usually, people who are into muscle building commit this mistake.
When they consume high-carb intake on these days, they will not burn them, and instead, it will result in the unwanted body fat in the midsection and lower back. Yes, those are the carbs you ate on cheat days.
Debunking the Myth
Most bodybuilders have a wrong interpretation of the meal plan to gain muscle. Eating three cups of rice or pasta in one sitting may sound fattening, but it’s not when you eat them with lean proteins right after your workout.
There are many misconceptions about carbs, and by far, it is the most misunderstood nutrient.
Carbohydrates are essential in muscle building. It sets off hormonal changes in the body that will be favorable for the muscle to recover.
One of these hormonal changes is the increase in insulin. This hormone is essential because it helps in the conversion of protein into muscles, and it stabilizes the testosterone.
However, too much consumption of carbs will do the opposite when you are not working out; the carbs can end up as fats.
The Difference Between Weight Gain and Weight Loss Diet
The only difference between weight gain and weight loss diet plan is on the number of calories you have to eat the whole day.
When you are on a weight loss diet, you should have 500 to 1,000 lesser calories as you normally would. In men, it is about 1,500 to 1,800 calories daily.
An active man who is over 40 needs 2,600 to 2,800 calories to maintain their weight according to the newly released dietary guidelines in the US.
The diet for weight gain, on the other hand, should contain about 350 to 750 more calories every day for an increase of 1 pound a week. Therefore, for men who want to grow their muscles, they should have an intake of at least 3,000 to 3,500 calories daily.
Men who are into muscle building should choose high-calories and nutrient-dense meals and must eat more often, every few hours or so throughout the day.
Macronutrient Requirements to Build Muscles
In bulking meal plan, you should be getting the extra calories you need from carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. These three main nutrient requirements are called macronutrients because they are the primary provider of energy and calories.
The recommended quantity of macronutrient in the lean muscle meal plan should consist of the following:
There is no need to develop a low-carb diet in diet for building muscle as long as you choose your carbs smartly. The aim is to have about 40 to 55 percent of your daily calorie requirements from your carbs or at least 3-5 grams of carbohydrate per bodyweight daily.
Some of the typical healthy and carb-rich foods that you can choose from:
- Nuts and seeds
- Milk and milk products
- Vegetables like corn, sweet potatoes, peas, dried beans and other kinds of legumes
- Whole grains like quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-grain pasta
Want to know how many carbs your favorite foods have? Here it is:
- One 10-ounce of baked sweet potato – 60 grams
- One cup of cooked rice – 45 grams
- One bowl of whole-grain pasta – 45 grams
- One cup of cooked legumes or beans – 30 grams
- One cup of cooked corn – 30 grams
- One cup of cooked peas – 30 grams
- One bowl of cooked oatmeal – 20 grams
- One piece of fruit – 15 grams
- One cup of milk – 15 grams
The meal plan to gain muscle should consist of one-fourth carbohydrates, and one half of what is on your plate should be from vegetable or a combination of fruits and vegetables.
According to the experts your protein needs in a lean muscle meal plan should follow the following recommendations:
- The general rule is to consume between 1.5 to 2.0 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight daily.
- It is recommended to eat protein more throughout the day.
- When doing strength training workouts, the advice is to consume protein before and after exercise.
Here are the protein contents of some of the everyday food.
- Three ounces of baked skinless chicken – 26 grams
- One-third cup of whey protein powder – 25 grams
- Three ounces of bee – 24 grams
- Three ounces of salmon or tuna – 21 grams
- One container of non-fat Greek Yoghurt – 15 grams
- One-half cup of low-fat cottage cheese – 14 grams
- Two large eggs – 12 grams
- Three ounces of firm tofu – 8-10 grams
- One cup of cooked green peas – 9 grams
- One cup of cooked quinoa – 8 grams
- One cup of low-fat milk – 8 grams
- Two tablespoons of peanut butter – 8 grams
The recommended quantity of protein intake on every meal is 30-45 grams for gaining muscle mass and strength. It should occupy one-fourth of your plate.
Recommended Dietary Fat
Dietary fat is essential for a weightlifting meal plans because it contains more calories than carbs and proteins.
While each of the first two macronutrients has four calories for each gram, dietary fat has nine calories per gram. 20-30 percent of the calories in your diet should come from dietary fats.
When you need 3,200 calories per day, the dietary fat should be eleven to twelve of one-teaspoon portions of these healthy fats a day. Some of these heart-healthy fats include:
- One-sixth of avocado
- Eight large olives
- One and a half teaspoons of nut butter
- A one-third ounce of nuts
- A one-third ounce of seeds
- One tablespoon of Italian salad dressing
- One teaspoon fish oil.
- One teaspoon of peanut, olive, coconut, soybean, canola, sunflower and other plant-based oil
You can mix these healthy oils in every meals or snack to get the extra boost in the overall calorie intake.
Whether you are trying to gain or lose weight, drinking plenty of fluids, especially during workouts is necessary to keep your energy levels high. Men, in particular, requires about sixteen cups of fluids every day, and it can be even more during intense activities.
Athletes follow a hydration guideline which you should adopt when you want to gain muscles.
- Drinking three cups of water for every pound of body weight lost when exercising
- When training longer than one hour, consume sports drinks that contain carbs
- Drink one of water every 15 to 20 minutes while training
- Consume one cup of water before training
- Drink two cups of fluid at least 2-3 hours before working out
It is also recommended to drink a protein shake before and after a workout to have maximum muscle growth.
Sustainability of the Meal Plan
Once you have set the total calorie intake and the meal plan at ideal levels, the next problem is sustainability. The key to a successful diet is putting together whatever food that will make you eat them consistently.
The frequency of meals and the timing is not so important as long as you stick to you follow the recommended daily calorie intake and eat nutritious foods.
You can have three meals a day or six meals a day. You can take them early or late. In the end, what matters is how much you eat and what you eat.
Choose the foods and adjust your muscle-building diet based on your personal needs and preference. As long you hit the calorie and nutrient totals for the day, the rest is just minor details. Don’t make it hard for yourself. You should do whatever is convenient, sustainable, and convenient for you.
Muscle Building Workout is Necessary
Even if this guide can help you create an excellent clean bulk meal plan, it will not work if you don’t combine this with a smart workout.
This workout should be specifically designed to build muscles. Without a target-specific workout routine, you will not build muscle and worse may get fat.
When you create a caloric surplus, and your body will not receive any signal to use these calories in building muscles, it will not use them and instead store them as fats. A proper workout routine is needed to signal muscle growth.
Use Safe Supplements
For some want to gain their muscle at a quicker pace, you may need to take supplements to achieve your goal in record time.
If you are going to use supplements, make sure that they are safe.
Find supplements that are made from natural sources because it can counteract your efforts and produce side effects that can affect your overall health.
Some of these supplements include whey protein, which can be a source to complete your protein requirements throughout the day.
Most men think that eating whatever food they can lay their hands on and doing muscle-building exercises after eating them is enough to build their muscles.
These are the common mistakes in gaining muscle mass. You will need a muscle building meal plan created to make sure that your muscle goals a reality.
The key to a successful muscle building diet is to have the right amount of nutrients and calories in your daily food intake.
Macronutrients consist of the right protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats are essential in building muscles.
You can also use supplements like Crazy Bulk to speed up the process.
But when you use these muscle growth supplements, you have to buy only the legal steroids made from natural ingredients. It is safe and has no side effects.