6. Increase meal frequency
|Yes, eating to build muscle may mean carrying this with you
Trying to eat all the food you need in only three meals per day will be extremely difficult and place a lot of stress on your digestive system. Shoot for about 4-6 meals per day. Eating more meals per day than this may not help. Frequent eating speeds up the metabolism and this can work against the individual who already has a fast metabolism and is trying to eat a surplus of calories. I have also found that being a little on the hungry side before meals helps you to eat more. In addition to this, physiologist Lyle McDonald has mentioned in his excellent book, The Protein Book that very high meal frequencies may actually hinder protein synthesis.
7. Add additional items to your meals
When eating for muscle gain, you will obviously need to eat bigger portions. However, this can get boring real quick. To help with this, add additional items to your meal.Here is an example of a typical meal:
- 4 oz grass fed beef
- 1 baked yam
- 1 green salad
- 2-3 tbsp of natural peanut butter (snack on this while you are cooking the rest)
- 5 oz grass fed beef
- 1-2 baked yam(s)
- 1 cup black beans
- 1-2 cups stir fry veggies in coconut oil
- 1 green salad with olive oil dressing and added chopped nuts and dried fruit
- 1-2 pieces of dark chocolate (at least 80% coca)
- Baked pear with cinnamon
When eating for muscle gain, most people resort to junk food as a way to get the necessary calories in. While this makes eating tasty and convenient, it destroys your health and often covers up your hard-earned muscle with layers of blubber. While I’m not opposed to someone with this goal having an occasional “treat”, the bulk of your bulking diet should be healthy, calorie-dense foods. Here are some examples:
- Organic Milk? (if you can tolerate it - still controversial, but has been a staple for many bodybuilders over the years)
- Grass fed beef
- Turkey thigh
- Wild salmon
- Olive oil
- Coconut & almond milk
- Coconut oil
- Natural peanut & other nut butters
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Potatoes (use mostly post-training)
- Brown & wild rice (white is great after training and for those with sensitive stomaches)
- Sprouted grain bread
Trying to get all your daily calories from solid food can be extremely time consuming and extremely uncomfortable. To help with this, a couple blended power shakes can go a long way! I like to alternate whole food meals and power shakes throughout the day. Click HERE for more info on power shakes.
Too often the joy of eating turns into a monotonous chore when muscle gain is the goal. It gets even worse if you do not know how to cook or you lack variety in your diet. To help with this, learn how to cook. Find a friend or family member who is a great cook and ask them if they will give you some lessons. Search online for new recipes. Also, get a good cookbook that will give you some specific muscle building meals. Dr. John Berardi has a fantastic performance nutrition cookbook called Gourmet Nutrition. Both the excitement of trying new recipes and the pleasure from great tasting food will make it easier to pack down the food you need to pack on the mass.
There you go. Perhaps I should go by stocks in grocery stores now. Follow these 10 tips, train hard and pack on the muscle mass.