Nutrition and Diet

Way to Put Together the Muscle Building Diet that Works for You

Tips To Ensure the Best Diet for Muscle Building

Grilled chicken and vegetablesFirst, there is no such thing as an ideal muscle building diet for everyone. What works for someone else will not necessarily work for you. With that said, it is definitely true that with a little time and effort you can create the ideal muscle building diet for you.

Your muscle building meal plan should be created to fit your lifestyle. This often means taking your food with you to work as opposed to eating or ordering out which can wreak havoc to your meal plan. You want to stay as far away as possible from fast food.

Protein Requirements for Athletes

What is the optimal protein intake for building muscle? Even the experts do not quite agree on this one, but here are some lose guidelines:

  • Athletes that are not gaining muscle (they have already peaked and are not bodybuilders) only need 0.6 grams of protein a day per pound of bodyweight.1
  • Athletes that are growing need 0.9 grams of protein a day per pound of bodyweight.
  • Bodybuilders need 0.9 grams of protein a day per pound of bodyweight.

As you can see, for gaining lean mass, your protein intake should be around 1 gram per pound of body weight when rounded up. This is the rule of thumb most trainers go by.

How to Get Adequate Protein in Your Diet

The best way to make sure you always get enough protein in your diet is to make sure that you plan your meals. Meal planning may seem a bit boring, but it is the very best way to ensure that you get the nutrients you need each day in order to succeed.

If you take the time to plan out your meals, you will be surprised at how easy it is to put together a diet plan that will push you towards peak performance.

If you are struggling with ways to make sure you get enough protein in your diet, you should make sure you are consuming lots of meat and dairy products. Meat and dairy products contain complete proteins in contrast to beans, whole grains, and other plant-based foods that contain proteins that are not complete.

In order to build muscle, you need to make sure you are getting plenty of complete proteins each day. If you really cannot find a way to get enough protein in your diet each day, you can always supplement your diet with a protein supplement like whey protein powder or soy protein isolate.

In fact, using protein supplements is recommended especially if you don’t want to spend most of your day cooking and eating. Just don’t substitute most of your meals with supplements.

A Healthy Salad Can Help You Maintain You Muscle Building Diet

One simple way I have used to get healthy proteins is to carry a salad or two with me to work. This could be a (whole grain) pasta salad or a vegetable salad. For protein, I would add a can of tuna fish, chicken, or hard-boiled eggs. Of course, make sure to use a low fat dressing or skip this altogether.

You can also add beef, turkey or other meat to the salad. The only meat I have used from a can is tuna, as I try to avoid processed food as much as possible. Vegetarians can add tofu.

Vegetarianism and Your Muscle Building Diet

Vegetable salad with chickenContrary to popular opinion, while it may be more difficult to gain muscle mass as a vegetarian, it is definitely not impossible.2 Vegetarians can meet their protein requirements provided they aggressively supplement their diets with some form of soy. This form of protein has received bad press – more or less like red meat – most if not all of it without real merit in science.

Soy is one of the only plants that contain complete proteins – which makes it pretty much indispensable for vegetarians trying to gain muscle mass.

Of course, being a vegetarian bodybuilder is not an ideal state of affairs. If you are really serious about gaining weight as a bodybuilder, it is a good idea for you to consume meat on a regular basis. While you don’t absolutely have to choose between staying a vegetarian and gaining muscle mass, you pretty much have to choose between staying a vegetarian and gaining a great deal of muscle mass.

Protein Is Not Everything

Copious amounts of protein everyday are essential for bodybuilders, but protein alone is not enough. In order to gain all the weight you want to gain, you must make sure that you are getting enough calories each day from all macronutrients (Protein, carbohydrates and fats) as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

To ensure this, your meal should consist of a good protein source, plus carbohydrates (such as potatoes, sweat potatoes, whole grains etc.), vegetables and non-saturated fats.

A good multivitamin supplement can help ensure adequate intake of micronutrients.

Lean weight gain cannot happen unless you consume more calories than you are burning.3 And yes, to build muscle, you will have to gain weight, only that it is quality, lean weight as opposed to body fat. Want to know what is great about this?

Lean weight gain helps keep fat away!

With some hard work and intelligent planning, you can fairly easily come up with a good muscle building diet that will provide you with all the protein, calories, and nutrients you need to reach your physical peak.

A good diet will help you gain muscle quickly, and help you recover from strenuous workouts at a rapid pace. Make smart decisions about what you eat in order to gain as much muscle as you possibly can.


1 Rice University: Protein Requirements for Athletes

2 Penn State: How Healthy Are Vegetarian Athletes?

3 College of the Canyons: Shedding Fat & Building Muscle

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