Building muscles requires eating more calories. The more weight you gain, the more calories your body needs to burn them off each day. Don’t overdo the intake of calories, else your body starts storing fat. The key to managing calories in a muscle building diet plan is to eat more calories than you burn.
Don’t Skip Your Meals
Skipping meals and having a great brunch, or going off to an early supper should be seriously avoided. If you are doing this, then congrats you can drop your efforts in gaining a muscular body. Follow the structure of 1200 calorie meals that includes 5 to 6 small meals. It increase the body’s metabolism and thus in the process your body doesn’t store much fat. We usually follow the tradition of ‘3 meals per day’ as our cardinal mantra, but it is suggested to have at least 6 quality meals each day. Include 40 to 60 grams of proteins and 40 to 80 grams of carbs depending on your body size counts.
Eat Good Pre and Post Workout Meals
Pre and post workout meals are the most important meals for bodybuilders because a poor diet can undermine all their efforts and hard work. A hearty pre-workout meal can provide the body with the necessary fuel to push through a power packed training session. Pre-workout foods should be packed with carbohydrates if you are into strength training because carbohydrates keep the body energizes during long workout sessions. It acts as the fuel and promotes the efficient use of oxygen. The ideal post-workout meal should consist of high-quality protein that helps in recovery of the strained and exhausted muscles and tissues. The amino acids present in protein helps the muscles to recover from the stress of the workout and reduce post-exercise muscle soreness
Give Importance to Proteins
The most important nutrient of any muscle building diet plan is proteins. Proteins are rich in amino acids that can naturally be used as the building blocks of muscle protein. The recommended protein intake on daily basis is 1 gram per kilogram of body weight, but experts say that in order to build up an athletic body, one need to take double that amount in their diet. It is also suggested that consuming at least 1 gram body weight will help on a daily basis.
Remember that our body does not produce amino acids on its own, so changing your diet plan by including these proteins is necessary.
Eat the Right Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are stored in your muscles as glycogen, and they pump your muscles with fuel during heavy workouts. Consuming 2-3 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight/each day is a must. Beginners are suggested to take 360-540 grams of carbohydrates daily to gain the right mass. Usually for a beginner, a slow carb 30 minutes pre-workout and fast carbs post workout is suggested. Fruit, oatmeal and whole grain bread are the good choices for low carb diets. Healthy oatmeal recipes for weight loss and muscle building are quite popular in health and fitness circles.
Give Importance to Timing
When it comes to bulking up, eating good nutrition foods and doing weight training is not enough for muscle gain. Timing of the meals and eating the right foods at the right time is also important to support mass gain. For people looking to gain mass, it is best to increase the meal sizes at breakfast and post training because these are the two times of the day when the muscles are hungry for nutrients and calories. The meal size at breakfast must be increased because at this time the muscles are nutritionally starved after a long night’s gap. The size of the past-workout meal should be increased because they worked and stressed muscles are badly in need of nutrients to resume the process of muscle and tissue recovery. Increasing the meal sizes during these two periods promotes optimum muscle growth while keeping the body fat levels low. You can promote smart muscle growth by manipulating the calorie intake.
Use Supplements if Possible
Most newbie weight trainers are confused about the use and benefits of muscle building supplements. But in reality, basic supplements like protein powders, creatine and multivitamins work really well when combined with a balanced diet and regular weight training. Many famous athletes and bodybuilders swear by their protein shakes and one of the most popular choices is whey protein that is effective in promoting the growth of muscle mass. Proteins are also useful n production of hormones, enzymes, nucleic acids and immune- system components that helps in muscle contraction, growth and recovery. A person can take 1 gram of protein supplement for per kilogram of body weight, so a person weighing 80 kilogram can take 80 grams of protein to promote muscle growth. The best times to take protein supplements are after a workout session and before going to bed. One can also take mineral and vitamin supplements to balance the requirement of the essential minerals for the body .
This is perhaps the most ignored and overlooked part of weight training. No matter how many protein shakes you gulp throughout the day and how much iron you pump, your muscles won’t unless you provide rest to your body. The muscles and tissues are broken down after an intense weight training session, and this needs proper nutrition and rest for recovery so that they can grow bigger and stronger. Failing to get enough rest and sleep can slow down growth and recovery, reduce mental acuity and energy levels and affect the hormone levels. So, set aside a day or two each week for rest.