Muscle Building Diets
Muscle building diets take into account various factors, one of them being eating A LOT. Likewise, eating as many healthy, large-size meals as possible throughout the day is crucial to gaining mass. Each meal, except for your last meal before going to bed, should include as many of the four food groups as possible... and should be packed with protein. To gain mass you also need to eat plenty of carbohydrates throughout the day. I've never seen anyone (who is natural) gain mass while on a low-carb diet.
In the meal before a workout, include more carbohydrates than anything else (for increased energy). Have this meal between 1-2 hours before working out. Examples of popular foods containing mostly carbohydrates are bread, pasta, pizza, potatoes, rice, and oatmeal.
The meal following a workout should especially be protein-concentrated (to help the muscles recuperate and grow). Examples of popular protein-packed foods are egg whites, chicken (& other poultry), tuna (& other fish), lean beef (& other meats), almonds (& other nuts), tofu, lentils, etc.
Your last meal of the day (within an hour before going to bed) should only consist of a lean, high-protein food (like egg whites, chicken breast, salmon, some almonds, etc). There should be no starchy carbohydrates (like bread, pasta, pizza, or rice) mixed with it.
Make sure to eat many vegetables (preferably uncooked), and some fruits throughout the day. It's also important that your muscle building diets include dairy (on a daily basis); Examples are yogurt, milk, and cottage cheese. And, of course, drink plenty of water every day.
Muscle building diets containing specific foods fit into a strict schedule would probably limit your potential. Not everyone likes the same foods, and we also need variety in order to remain consistent. To be having four, five, or more meals per day, you have to enjoy them. Besides, when it comes to gaining muscle mass, you can be very flexible with your muscle building diets.
These are not muscle building diets with the primary goal being to lean down. This is closer to muscle building diets (or bodybuilding nutrition, rather) for the off-season, with my own spin on it. If you are a hard-gainer looking to increase weight, you have to make sure to eat a lot of the good foods while not being overly-concerned with the bad foods you take in. Just don't overdue it with sweets or salty snacks, because they don't do much for you besides make you fat.
Also, do not sit or lie down directly following a meal. Do the dishes or go for a walk for about 15 minutes. This will reduce the chances of you being bloated or getter much fatter later on. You may be very thin now... but you will be getting bigger very soon and it's never too early to start a good habit.
Number of Meals Per Day
Let your hunger be the judge of how many meals per day you should eat. In other words, when you feel hungry is when you should have a meal. It's common for most people that train for mass to eat every 2-3 hours. However, you may not need to eat that often. There are just too many factors to consider. Go with what you feel, and definitely don't force it.
Training in the gym is the starting point for gaining mass. As you begin training on a regular basis, you soon start to get hungrier throughout the day. As long as you feed that hunger with high-protein, high-carbohydrate foods... you will get bigger.
Once you get bigger you may need to eat even more just to sustain that size. If you're worried that continuing in this way will lead to a life of preparing/eating meals and nothing else, I can assure you that it won't. As you become more knowledgeable and more experienced, you will have the ability to control and harmonize all the elements encompassing your muscle building diets. You will no longer have to eat as much, even if you want to build more more, or simply gain weight.
Whether you're a pro bodybuilder training in the off-season or a young guy fed up with being skinny, you need to be disciplined with your muscle building diets. You don't have to make it a point to follow routine muscle building diets - Just be disciplined enough to listen to your body. There were times over the years when I didn't listen to my body at all. I'd be hanging out with family or friends on the weekend, and during the night go from hungry, to very hungry, to nervous, to tired, to starting to feel dizzy, and finally to regretful that I had missed two meals. Maturity comes with age and with experience. If you're not even in your 20's yet... get a head start by learning to follow your instincts. When you are hungry, EAT!
For Extreme Hard-Gainers
If you're an extreme hard-gainer (meaning you're very skinny and have difficulty putting on even a pound of muscle), I'll make things really easy for you. EAT WHATEVER FOODS YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON! For example, if you haven't eaten in over three hours, you don't have a lunch and the only restaurant in sight is a fast-food joint... eat two chicken burgers... with a fry. You need to take in many calories every day, period.
Besides eating often, another way of increasing your caloric intake within your muscle building diets is by increasing the size of your meals. If you're currently having three meals per day, start having three large-size meals. You'll then gradually move to four large-size meals per day, eventually five, and so on. One of the instructors at the gym I first trained at gave me this advice well over a decade ago. Pretty much everyone in the gym had given me advice, but his was the simplest, and was what I went with. I only weighed about 120 pounds at the time, and stood at about 5 feet 10.5 inches tall. It was a few days before my 20th birthday.
The advice he gave me definitely worked. After six months, I had gained about 40 pounds (most of which was muscle). I was ecstatic. I could not believe the results I had gotten. Although I was consistent with my weight training as well as getting proper amounts of rest, I believe it was these muscle building diets tips that made the big difference. If you follow these few simple points, you're virtually guaranteed to be adding pounds to the scale in no time.
The benefits of a good protein shake are that they're quick & easy to prepare, they can be carried around with you almost anywhere, and of course... are high in protein. I suggest you don't take in more than two or three protein shakes per day. If you weigh less than 175 pounds, then each shake should contain only one scoop of protein powder. Note: One scoop of protein powder could contain 18 to 30 (or more) grams of protein. If you weigh anywhere between 175 & 200 pounds, then the amount of protein powder per shake will be about a scoop & a half. A 200+ pound trainee will take in up to two scoops of pure protein powder... but keep in mind that the amount of protein should not exceed 50 or 60 grams.
If, for whatever reason, you can't have a full meal after weight training, then prepare a post-workout protein shake - which ideally consists of protein concentrate or isolate, combined with a banana (or other fruit[s]) and water (or milk, or pineapple juice). Of course, a blender is required for this type of shake. Pre-packaged meal replacement shakes also deliver adequate amounts of protein & other nutrients for after a workout, and are great in terms of convenience. They're usually sold in boxes containing individual packets, 1 packet = 1 meal.
A great alternative to a before-bed meal is a 100% whey protein shake. I suggest mixing the protein powder only with water to keep it super-lean. If you mix it with milk, a banana, and especially ice cream, you may find yourself gaining quite a bit of fat.
Pure whey protein powder is the best option for adding a little extra protein to your muscle building diets. Someone looking to gain mass should be taking in quite a bit of solid foods and shouldn't become too dependent on protein shakes. They're just a way of making sure you're getting the necessary amount of protein in your diet.
If you find yourself to be very skinny and are an extreme hard-gainer, try using a good quality weight gainer instead of the concentrate or isolate. Weight gainers are kind of like cousins to concentrate & isolate protein shakes, because they're also packed with protein. The obvious difference is that weight gainers contain high dosages of carbohydrates in them (while concentrates & isolates have practically none). Like I said earlier, carbohydrates are essential to gaining mass. The nice thing about weight gainers is that they're the cheapest (in terms of price) of the whole protein powder family.
A disadvantage with weight gainers is that they sometimes don't sit very well in the stomach. Also, not all brands mix easily with water, milk, or pineapple juice... so a blender is almost certainly needed (even if you don't add a fruit). Personally, I never liked weight gainers. I got much better results with concentrates and isolates, which is why I didn't mind spending a few extra dollars for them.
Many people are stubborn when it comes to supplements. As much as I see nothing wrong with taking a protein shake or two every day, the truth is you don't even need to include any protein powders in your muscle mass diets. Similarly, you don't need any performance-enhancing supplements like creatine, pre-workouts, post-workouts, testosterone boosters, nitric oxide, etc. Focus more on the important elements of your muscle building diets & other aspects of training - namely, eating often & a lot of the right foods, weight training consistently, getting adequate amounts of rest, etc. I guarantee you'll have more energy throughout the day and experience bigger gains than anyone you know (who is natural) if you concentrate on the elements I've just mentioned.Return to 'Gain Muscle Mass' from 'Muscle Building Diets'