Proper Nutrition for Mass Gain
A well-balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense proteins, plenty of vegetables and fruits, and some healthy fat sources is the best method to achieve long-term health and muscle growth. Just working out won’t get you the results you are looking to achieve. In order to build muscle mass or lose body fat, you need to have a balanced diet. Let’s take a look at some of the important things to consider when planning for proper nutrition.
- Determine how often you need to eat. Make sure you are getting in three solid meals with a pre- and post-workout snack as a starting point. Then you can fine tune your calorie intake based on the results you are looking to achieve.
- Start with protein. You need about one gram per pound of bodyweight. You can get protein from chicken, lean beef, ground meat, fish, cheeses, eggs, protein powder (for post-workout) and Greek yogurt. If you go slightly below your required amount, don’t stress yourself out.
- Don’t cut carbs completely out of your diet. You still need carbs if you want to build muscle but make sure they are complex carbs without any added sugars. Complex carbs can be obtained from rice (white and brown), potatoes (sweet and white), oats, green vegetables, fruits such as apples, bananas, and berries, and whole grain breads and pastas. Start with two grams per pound of bodyweight and then adjust as necessary.
- Eat the right kind of fat. You need healthy fats to balance out your mass gaining diet. Oils naturally found in fish, avocados, nuts, and nut butters are great choices. Start with around 0.5 grams per pound and adjust as necessary.
- Pre- and post-workout nutrition is very important. Its’s vital to get in a little something prior to training, especially if you’re the nine-to-five type. This should include a lean protein and a complex carb to get you through your workout. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have some post-workout nutrition on hand immediately after training, which should include a fast-acting protein source and some quick digesting carbs to help the recovery process.
- Give yourself a reward and schedule cheat days. What’s a mass-gaining eating plan without a cheat day? If your diet is relatively clean and full of the good stuff, take a meal or two on a weekend and have anything you want. It will give you something to look forward to at the end of the week, and give you a much-needed mental break with a reward.
- Stay consistent. You will need to stay consistent with the eating plan as well as training in order to see results.