Muscle does not grow without a muscle gain diet This is a proven fact. No matter how many weights you lift in the gym, your muscles will only grow if the quality of your food improves.
I do not mean here the quantity of food but its quality. Although many people may consume more calories than usual, this does not mean that these calories go in their rightful place.
It directly relates nutrition quality to several factors:
- Food quality.
- Food dates “before and after exercise or before bed.”
- The proportions of the essential nutrients in each meal (protein, carb, and healthy fats).
In this article, we will cover all aspects related to nutrition, with a muscle gain diet that you can follow. Or we help you design a system that suits your own body.
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The importance of designing a muscle-building diet
“You are what you eat” this famous phrase is a best illustration of the huge role nutrition plays in our health.
And that inspired nutritionist Dr. Lindlahr, the title of a wonderful book published in 1942 “You Are What You Eat: How to Win and Stay Healthy with Diet.”
In which Dr. Lindlahr explained the importance of relying on a good diet. How can nutrition help you in several points, most notably:
- Avoid dozens of diseases linked to malnutrition and obesity.
- Proper nutrition enables you to reach the right weight and maintain it.
And other important benefits of food and its relationship to human health, as for building muscle. Nutrition may be the most important factor in training.
There are hundreds of researches recommending the importance of designing a muscle gain diet for several reasons, most notably:
Get the right amount of calories
Excessive intake of calories or eating less than required is one of the biggest problems that face bodybuilders.
Because if you don’t get enough calories, there are two possibilities that are both bad.
- It will not increase the size of your muscles because you did not provide enough protein to build new muscle fibers or repair damaged fibers from training.
- Not getting calories will put the body in a state of deficit of calories, which may cause burning muscle fibers to provide energy to the body.
But if you eat more calories than necessary, then naturally your body will store the excess in the form of fat, and I don’t think you go to the gym to gain fat.
Therefore, designing a muscle gain diet is the best way to study your body’s calorie needs and provide them exactly.
Determine ratios of key nutrients
It is not just a matter of limiting the amount of calories, you also need specific proportions of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
- 30-35% of your calories from protein.
- 55-60% of your calories from carbohydrates.
- 15-20% of calories from fat.
Determine when to eat each meal
The nutrient ratios at each meal vary according to when you eat it. For example, the best times to eat protein are:
1- After exercise: as the body begins protein synthesis to restore muscle repair and build new muscle fibers.
2- Before sleep: muscle building often occurs during sleep, due to the fact that the body is in a state of complete rest.
Also, the best times to eat healthy carbohydrates and fats is with a pre-workout meal.
Because carbohydrates are the best and easiest nutrients for the body to provide the energy needed for training.
Diet for muscle gain
Important notes about this system:
- This system provides about 2800 calories, which is greater than the average male needs for weight gain of 2,500 calories, about 300 calories more to gain muscle.
- It will spread this amount of calories over 4 meals a day.
- It is unnecessary to rely on the foods in this system, you can replace it with what you prefer, just try to have the same proportions.
The first meal: breakfast
1000 calories: 64 grams protein, 131 grams carbohydrates, 28 grams fats.
- A cup of oats, a banana, a cup of strawberries “as a source of carbohydrates and fiber.”
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter as a “healthy fat source.”
- One tablespoon of protein powder is a “major source of protein.”
- A cup of milk “to increase calories and an additional source of protein.”
- One tablespoon of cinnamon “to improve taste and its positive effect on insulin sensitivity”
The second meal: lunch
550 calories: 48 grams protein, 80 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fats.
- 120 g chicken breast.
- A cup of cooked white rice.
- A cup of boiled lentils.
- A small salad plate.
- Add spices and light sauces.
A light snack
145 calories: 5 grams protein, 5 grams carbs, 12 grams Fats.
The amount of a handful of almonds
- As a mid-day snack, one great option is almonds or any form of nuts.
- It’s not a significant source of nutrients rich in healthy fats and fiber, but it also provides a variety of other important micro-nutrients and minerals.
The third meal: a pre-workout meal
450 calories: 32 grams protein, 59 grams carbs, 12 grams Fats.
One hour before exercise:
- 2 whole eggs.
- 2 egg whites.
- A cup of cooked spinach.
- A small dish of cooked rice.
This is because consuming protein along with carbohydrates before exercise results in much greater levels of muscle protein synthesis.
The fourth meal: a meal after exercise
600 calories: 35 grams protein, 92 grams carbs, 13 grams Fats.
- 120 grams salmon.
- 340g sweet potato.
- A large salad dish.
Since this is the last meal of the day and immediately after a workout, these options are great for two reasons.
- Salmon not only provides the protein needed to repair muscle damage, but is also rich in omega-3 DHA and EPA, which studies have proven important in repairing muscles and speeding up their growth.
- Sweet potatoes work to replenish any glycogen that depleted during your workout.
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How to design a natural diet on your own?
If the above program does not suit you, “no problem”, you can design a muscle gain diet or any of your goals to suit your caloric needs.
Here is the best way to design a suitable diet program:
First: determine the amount of calories needed to build muscle
Each of us needs different calories to maintain weight, to maintain the current muscle size, and to gain muscle, you need to increase this amount by about 300 calories.
There is one more way to determine the amount of calories needed to maintain weight.
First, through the scale: You can weigh yourself three times a week, and record your current diet. If your weight remains the same, then you need to add calories.
This calculator measures daily calories needed to maintain weight, then you can add about 300 calories to gain more muscle.
Second: foods that you should focus on while building muscle
This is a list of the foods most effective in building muscle “Source”
- Meat, poultry and fish: camel steak, beef, chicken breast, salmon, tilapia, and tuna.
- Dairy products: yogurt, cheese, low-fat milk.
- Grains: bread, cereal, crackers, oatmeal, quinoa, popcorn and rice.
- Fruits: oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, pears, plums, melons, and berries.
- Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, corn, green peas, and green beans.
- Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms.
- Seeds and nuts: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
- Beans and legumes: chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, and black beans.
- Oils: olive oil, flaxseed oil, and avocado oil.
Third: foods to avoid
Here is a list of foods that he should avoid, or at least limit.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can negatively affect your ability to build muscle and lose fat.
- Added sugars: These provide a lot of calories compared to the nutritional benefit they provide. Foods high in added sugars include candy, cakes, ice cream, cakes, and sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks and energy drinks.
- Fried foods and prepared foods: These may promote inflammation – and when consumed in excessive amounts. Examples include fried fish, french fries, prepared foods, and fried chicken nuggets.
Besides limiting these foods, you may also want to avoid certain foods before you go to the gym that can slow down digestion and cause stomach upset during exercise. These foods include:
- Foods high in fat: high-fat meats, heavy sauces or creams.
- High-fiber foods: such as cauliflower or broccoli.
- Soft drinks: sparkling water or diet soda.
Fourth: the proportions of macronutrients in your diet
Incorporate the following macronutrients into your diet:
- Protein: Protein plays the biggest role in building muscle and repairing exercise damage.
Research shows that the amount of protein required daily to build muscle “1.6 grams per kilo of body weight.”
- Carbohydrates and healthy fats: You need carbohydrates to perform tasks and the ability to train, as well
Your body needs healthy fats to create hormones and improve overall health.
- Healthy fats: we recommend it to consume “from 5 to 1 gram per kilogram of body weight”.
- Carbohydrates: After deducting the amount of protein and fat, the remaining calories should be in favor of carbohydrates.