Everybody knows that muscle growth doesn’t come only from rest and exercise.
A proper diet plan to gain muscle is crucial for a successful muscle building.
A lot of people devalues the muscle building diet plan, and they don’t reach the goal for a dream body, even combining supplements for “helping” reach that.
What they don’t know is that opting for getting nutrients and vitamins from actual foods is actually better (and cheaper) than having supplementation.
In this article, we are going to explain the needed steps and the best foods to eat to gain weight. By the end of this post you will be able to create a awesome diet plan to gain muscle that will certainly help you reach the objectives you are pursuiting, making it the best diet plan available for your needs.
Step 1: How many calories do I need for a diet plan to gain muscle?
Calories are the energy coming from foods into our body. We need to calculate how many calories we spend in order to see how many calories we need to consume to gain weight and muscle mass.
So, we will find out the BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). The result value from this calculation will deliver how many daily calories our body needs to overcome daily tasks.
Insert your weight, height, age and sex, according to the units you use (either Imperial or Metric) and see the result of our BMR Calculator, to use in your diet plan to gain muscle.
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) Calculator website
We now know how many calories we spend daily. Adding 500 to 1000 calories to this number should be a pretty nice value for you to follow and gain decent amounts of weight, that will transform into muscle.
There is no such value recommended for any diet plan to gain muscle, as it depends on each person. If you are an ectomorph (people with hard difficulties to gain weight), increase even more the daily amount of calories, more than our 500 to 1000 calories.
Step 2: Protein is your best friend
Proteins are crucial for everyone, as they construct muscle and organ tissue, and needed for the formation of enzymes, hormones and anti-bodies.
The recommended value of how much protein you need to take everyday is 1,2gr to 1,4gr per kg.
Eating this amount of protein will help your body maintain and build muscle, and at the same time will keep you from reduce the number of cravings during the day.
So, protein will be your best friend!
- The best protein for muscle building is: eggs, white and red meat, fish and milk, as well as nuts, almonds, oats, etc.
Step 3: Carbohydrates are enemy for a diet plan to gain muscle?
Carbs are purely a source of energy. You should consume carbs in order to avoid your body to take energy from proteins.
So, according to World Health Organization, the daily recommended value of carbohydrates should be around 50 to 60%. It is a lot, don’t you think?
We also think the same. But the key fact for a nice diet plan to gain muscle is knowing which carbs you should eat, and these must have a low glycemic index (low GI).
This index shows the velocity these foods are absorbed by our system. Low GI foods will slowly release energy during the day, avoiding insulin peaks provoked by high sugar values in blood.
So, when and what carbs should I eat in a diet plan to gain muscle?
There are two times of the day you should eat high glycemic index carbohydrates: at waking up and after training. If you have a high insulin peak, nutrient absorption is increased, so this condition is ideal at waking up, as our body spent too many hours without food, and after training, as our body needs to get foods to start recovering from the exercise.
Here are some examples of high and low glycemic index carbs for you:
- High GI carbohydrates: processed foods, bread, rice, pasta, sweets, cakes, honey, banana, watermelon
- Low GI carbohydrates: whole wheat (pasta and bread), brown rice, vegetables, sweet potato, apples, pears
Step 4: How many daily fat I need?
Don’t run away from fat! Most people think that by consuming fat, our body fat will increase. That’s definately WRONG!
Fat are needed for hormonal production and maintenance of some body organs – skin, eyes and our heart – as well as vitamin transportation throughout our body. Fat consumption should be around 30% of our diet.
What you do want to pay attention is to what kind of fat you eat. The “good” fats you must eat are the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ones, as they reduce bad cholesterol and helps the cardiovascular system.
- Examples of “good fats” are: olives, avocado, almonds, nuts, salmon, mackerel, tuna, pumpkin seeds, etc
The “bad” fats are the saturated and trans fat, as they do the opposite of the good ones, increasing bad cholesterol.
- Examples of “bad fats” are: biscuits, cookies, cakes, ice cream, sauces, margarine, fat from red meat and chicken skin.
Just avoid fat at breakfast and after training. You need a fast absorption of nutrients, and fat won’t help on that.
In short, you now know how to build a proper and successful diet plan to gain muscle, and what foods you should eat in order to have great results coming from your training and workouts. Divide your calories into the meals you want during the day and eat when you want.
Just follow the guidelines provided in this post to keep you right on track. What really matters is that you eat the calories you calculated above in our BMR Calculator.
As for supplementation, there is room for it, but like I said above, try to get nutrients from food and use supplementation as a plus, when you see that you cannot have that amount of nutrients anyway. Good examples of supplements are whey protein and gainers, that will help you reach easily the daily calories you calculated.
Start a diet plan to gain muscle today with our tips and get faster results!