Gaining solid muscle does not happen overnight. In fact, it takes a lot of hard work and discipline in terms diet and activity. The more muscle mass you have, the easier it will be for you to stay lean and fit for the rest of the year. Now that a new year has come, it’s time that we forget about all the food we took in during the holidays and start thinking about what’s best for our bodies. Which leads us to the question: what types of food do we need to consume to support muscle gain?
Promoting Muscle Gain
Our bodies respond to diet in different ways. However, as a general rule, health experts and established supplement companies say if you want to add muscle mass, you should consume around 15 calories for every pound of body weight. Thus, if you weigh 150 lbs., you should be consuming max 2,250 calories every day. However, this total is only for days when you don’t have any activity (or “rest” days). If you are training, you will need to consume more so your body will have something to burn.
Every time you work out, you burn calories. A high-intensity 30-minute exercise program, for instance, can burn 300 to 400 calories, depending on the actual activity and your fitness level. If losing weight is a challenge, you can introduce a high protein shake low in calories in place of one of your usual meals on days when you will be doing some exercise. This should be regardless of how long you will be working out and how intense the routines are going to be.
If you are looking forward to build some muscle mass you should be prepared for some hardcore muscle training and weight training. You should be religiously following a rigorous gym routine that includes a lot of weight lifting. The overall duration of your workout will depend on your body frame, intensity of workout and your daily activity. If you are someone with a busy routine who cannot hit the gym on daily basis, invest in some weight training equipment such as barbells at your home. Exercises that use more of your body muscles such as squats, push ups and pull ups can be easily done at home and help a lot with muscle building. Make sure you increase the frequency of your workout gradually.
When you are working out with an aim of muscle training, be aware that your muscles need time to recover. In order to let your muscles react positively to your workout regime and grow stronger it is recommended that you take a break for 3 to 4 days from your work out so that your muscles get a chance to breath. Make sure that you eat well with lots of protein in your diet, drink plenty of water and have lots of sleep to rejuvenate your system.
What You Should Eat
Meeting your kcal requirement on training days doesn’t mean you can eat just anything as long as you hit this total. You still have to eat responsibility; that is, with the right balance of macro-nutrients.
The quality is another factor. The quality of your food is crucial to boost your recovery post-workout, so you can gain more and train more in the days to come. These foods include complex carbs, healthy fats and high-quality protein. So, no, just because you are told to consume 3,000 calories doesn’t mean you can binge on donuts before a workout. Go with chicken breast, lean beef, nuts, eggs and other high-protein, high in healthy fats types of food.
Your weight also determines how much you should eat to gain muscle mass. For example, if you weigh 130 lbs., you should eat some 1,950 of calories every day during training days. This is equivalent to about 43 grams of fat, 171 grams of protein, and 219 grams of carbohydrates per day. These numbers go up if you weigh more.
While it is true that our bodies respond differently to food and exercise, this general rule applies to all who want to build muscle. Take this nugget of advice as your starting point and then adjust your sails accordingly as your routines go forward. It will help your body to grow for sure.