Interested in packing on a good body build? There are two ways to achieve that build you are aiming for, and that is through the right nutrition intake and workout exercises. Whether you are building muscle for recreational or competitive purposes, you need that strong discipline to perfect an effective muscle building diet plan.
When you are building your muscle mass, you must focus on the right eating habits and weightlifting exercises that can speed up the whole process. Knowing the right food to eat, the imitations, and best practices for muscle building will help you get ahead and meet your goal.
The benefits of muscle building
Aside from packing on those muscles, here are other reasons why some people choose to build muscles among various physical fitness programs.
Bulks up muscle strength and size
Stronger muscles can minimize the risk of dying from chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart, and kidney diseases.
Reduces body fat
When you have lower fat, your heart is in better shape, which translates to a lesser risk of developing heart diseases.
Increases metabolic rate
Building up muscle equates to higher required energy. This then improves the metabolism that helps you burn more calories and fat.
Strengthens bones, ligaments, and tendons
Muscle building promotes stronger bones, ligaments, and tendons, which help avoid weak bones, sprains, and muscle tears. This also helps in better coordination and balance, which results in a lesser chance of injuries and accidents.
Makes everyday tasks easier
Stronger muscles mean you can perform more daily activities that require a heavy hand. You can be more functional when you have a stronger core that lets you perform tasks like carrying heavy furniture, opening a tightly closed jar, and more.
Building those muscles will give you a better-looking physique that can mold your confidence. When you are happy and satisfied with the way your body looks, you gain self-confidence.
Dos of effective muscle building diet
Here are the tips on ensuring you will pack on muscles in no time.
1. Count your calories
Keeping track of calorie intake is vital in the muscle building as it limits you from overeating and prevents you from undereating. There should be a daily calorie target for you, whether you are in the bulking or cutting phase. Getting the right amount of calories will provide your body with the energy it needs to build muscles.
To determine calorie count, weigh yourself at least three times a week, track what you eat, and its calorie count using any calorie tracking app. If your weight stays the same, the daily amount of calories consumed shall be your maintenance calories.
2. Increase calories when working out
You can’t pack on muscles without increasing your calorie count since your body uses these in building your muscle. As a rule of thumb, when bulking or gaining weight, you should increase your calorie count by 15%. Whereas if you are in a cutting phase or losing weight, you should decrease your maintenance calories by 15%.
3. Know the right macronutrient ratio
An important component of helping you build muscles is getting the right nutrient ratio for protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
- Protein = 2 grams per kilogram of body weight daily
- Carbohydrates = 3-4 grams per kilogram of body weight daily
- Fats = 1 gram per kilogram of body weight daily
4. Eat multiple meals a day
The ideal number of meals to take is between six to eight per day. This means that you should eat portions every two to three hours to avoid putting your body into a breakdown mode.
5. Have pre-workout and post-workout meals
You need to replenish your energy reserves before and after working out to have enough energy during and after exercising. Your pre-workout meal should be eaten an hour before the workout, while a post-work-out meal must be consumed within 30 minutes of finishing the workout.
6. Consume the right muscle building foods
The right foods to help you grow muscle include eggs, salmon, tuna, chicken and turkey breast, lean beef, lean jerky, pork tenderloin, shrimp, scallops, greek yogurt, soybeans, cottage cheese, milk, quinoa, chickpeas, peanuts, tofu, buckwheat, brown rice, almonds, chia seeds, walnuts, orange, apple, banana, berries, watermelon, grapes, peach, potatoes, corn, cassava, broccoli, leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumber, mushrooms, olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, etc.
7. Sleep at least seven hours
Before working out, ensure you have at least seven hours of sleep. This also goes for the night you work out.
8. Keep yourself well-hydrated
Hydration is essential in the proper building of muscles. Ensure you drink six to eight glasses of water every day to maintain body fluids.
9. Watch out for calorie-loaded drinks
While it is okay to drink flavored drinks such as coffee, fruit juices, and milk, you should monitor their calorie count. When you drink these, they still add up to your calorie count, so beware and always count them in.
10. Add supplements in your diet
Taking dietary supplements is recommended in helping build your muscle. This helps optimize the process, making it an essential component of muscle building diet. Some supplements suggested, include:
- Whey protein – for additional protein intake
- Creatine – for optimum performance when working out
- L-glutamine – for optimal regeneration and recovery process
- Caffeine – for better endurance during a workout and less fatigue
11. Gradually increase the weight of your dumbbells
The key to challenging your muscles is gradually increasing the weight you are lifting. This way, you are slowly building up the amount of muscle you have with consistent increment. However, be mindful of your capacity to lift a given weight.
12. Measure your arm size every now and then
Lastly, to monitor the progress you are making, practice measuring your arm size weekly for the changes accumulated for the past week. This way, you know what works and what to improve.
Don’ts of muscle building diet
Here are the practices you’ll need to avoid in your muscle-building diet plan.
1. Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals is not recommended as hunger will consume the energy reserves you have, which will result in deflating muscles. Remember, one of the critical components of bulking up is eating multiple times a day.
2. Don’t eat bad foods
Eating several times a day doesn’t give you the leeway to eat anything you like. There should be a discipline to limit yourself from picking up the wrong kinds of food and drinks. These foods include alcoholic beverages, carbonated drinks, sugar-fueled treats, deep-fried foods, high-fat foods, and high-fiber foods. All these sabotage your muscle-building diet as most slow digestion and upset stomach during a workout.
3. Don’t do more than 30 minutes of cardio exercises
During workout days, avoid engaging in more than 30 minutes of intense cardio. Running, cycling, and swimming will exhaust your legs, biceps, back, and shoulders. Those parts of your body need to recover, so do your cardio instead on non-workout days.
4. Don’t go out of your normal weight increment
When lifting, it’s advised to increase the weights gradually. However, do not go out of the usual increment that’s seemingly effective in gaining muscles. Doing otherwise will overwork muscles, depleting them.
And that is a little blueprint in how you can build more lean muscles. There are so many more principles to learn, and you can benefit from getting this online course that outlines everything you need to know about muscle building, Muscle Building Secrets: Getting Big and Strong, Fast.
Ready to build those muscles? Click here to get started.