Best Diet / Nutrition to Gain Big Muscles: For Skinny & Normal Guys (and Ladies) Who Want to Bulk Up Safely, and What to Avoid
So you have been working out in the gym to add muscles and get in shape, yet somehow nothing seems to work.
You are losing some of the fat yes, but you are not gaining any muscles and remain as skinny as before. Why? The reason is you need a bulking meal plan to go along with your workouts.
Workouts are important for getting in shape, but so is a solid bulking diet plan.
Yes, working out in the gym will cause you to drop the fat, but without the right muscle food you won’t gain any mass.
The secret to a successful mass gaining diet is to gain muscles, not fat. It is this mass that your body will use to build muscles and sculpt your physique.
Why Nutrition and Diet are So Important for Muscle Building
You already know the need to work out to gain lean muscle mass so we won’t delve into that anymore.
However, doing regular workouts is only half of the equation.
Even if you work out 4 to 5 times a week and providing enough time for your muscles to recover, you won’t see muscle buildup until your body obtains the nutrients necessary to build muscle tissues.
Without the proper diet, all the workouts you do in the gym will be for nothing.
However it is too simplistic to say that you just have to eat more to gain muscles. Yes you need to eat a lot to increase your body mass, but it’s the kind of food you eat that matters.
Protein and carbohydrates are the most important micronutrients for muscle building. Proteins have amino acids, which your body uses to build muscle tissues.
At the same time your body requires energy to gather these amino acids and turn them into muscle cells.
To do this your body needs carbohydrates and a little bit of fat as well.
In effect the changes in your diet involve an increase in the amount of protein and carbs you consume.
The following is a detailed guide if you want to gain muscles and lose body fat quickly.
Nutrition Plan for a Skinny Person Looking to Gain Big Muscle Fast: What to Eat
To lose fat and gain muscle you need to take the right approach, and that means eating food rich in calories and carbs.
To build muscle and lose fat however you cannot just eat any type of food: for a proper weight training diet you need foods that are rich in protein and have sufficient amounts of carbs.
At the same time a clean bulk meal plan needs to have foods rich in antioxidants to stimulate cell growth.
Instead of three meals a day, eat several meals so your body absorbs bulk protein and is able to use them properly.
As you prepare your clean bulking foods keep the following in mind:
- Meal 1: must have starchy carbs
- Meal 2: few carbs
- Meal 3: few carbs
- Meal 4: starchy carbs (these are your post workout foods for bulking)
- Meal 5: must have starchy carbs
- Meal 6: must have starchy carbs
The following are some meal samples you can use for a bulk meal plan. You don’t need to consume all of them in your gain muscle diet, but it helps to have as many as possible.
Your meal options include 1 cup raspberries, 1 small banana,, a small apple, 3 small corn tortillas, multi-grain English muffin (or a couple of bread slices).
You can also have some cheddar cheese, a couple of scallions, 2 bacon slices, a couple of chicken sausages and eggs.
You can mix and match this clean bulk diet plan to suit your needs.
Your second meal of the day should consist of a smoothie. When good bulking foods are concerned you need to be specific, but with smoothies the flavor depends on your personal preferences.
A good choice would be a 2 scoops vanilla protein powder with 1 cup vanilla almond milk, 1 oz. almonds and 1 cup blueberries. You can replace the blueberries with mango if you like.
Bulking for women and men almost always includes steaks and this is no exception.
6 oz. flank steak will be nice and you can substitute or add 6 oz. trout, 6 oz. salmon fillet and 3 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
For extra flavor, add 1 tsp olive oil, 1 cup kidney beans, and a cup of chicken peas.
Any workout plan for skinny guys must involve some form of protein recovery shake. You should take it during your 4th meal of the day, with 50 g carbs + 25 g protein just about right.
Your meal 5 options must consist of the best protein for bulking, and your options include 6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or if you want something different, replace the chicken with 5 oz. top round beef, 5 oz.
Buffalo rib eye or 6 oz. pork tenderloin. You can eat the chicken or steak as they or add some flavor with 2 tbsp. golden raisins, half a cup of grapes, 2 tbsp. chopped pecans, walnuts or ¼ cup wild rice.
Meal 6 should also include the best bulking protein, so make sure your meal includes 6 oz. shrimp, 7 oz. cod, 5 oz. tuna steak or 6 oz. tilapia.
You can add more flavor to your meal by adding 1 cup broccoli florets, 1/3 cup wheat berries, Parmesan cheese and a couple of medium yams.
A few more pointers here: a good bulking plan must include working out on a consistent basis.
The nutrition plan above is going to add some serious bulk to your frame, but they’re only going to translate into muscles if you work out and pump iron.
Here are some other foods that you can add to your meals:
- Beef: grass fed cattle beef is essential for developing lean muscles as it is rich in protein, zinc, iron and vitamins. Beef are also rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which helps your body remove body fat while you’re building muscles.
- Beets: beets is a one of the best sources of trimethylglycine, great for repairing joints and liver damage, at the same time boosting your strength and muscles. There is also evidence that beets improves nitrogen retention and enhances recovery and energy levels.
- Brown Rice: brown rice takes a long time to digest and as such provides you with the energy necessary for intense workouts. Brown rice also increases your growth hormone (GH) levels which you will need for strength gains, fat loss and lean muscle growth.
- Oranges: all fruits provide some health benefits, but oranges in particular are good for muscle building because it helps boost your endurance, strength and power, especially when consumed prior to working out.
- Cantaloupe: cantaloupe has very low levels of fructose, and this makes it one of the fastest digesting carbs that is good to eat after working out. It’s also a nice fruit to eat in the morning if you fasted the night before.
Diet Plan for the Guys with Good Physique But Still Looking to Gain Muscle Mass
If you are in reasonably good shape and just need a bulking meal plan bodybuilding to further hone your physique, here is what you need to eat.
Rather than calculate how many calories to bulk, you just need to follow this guideline and watch as your muscles increase.
Even if you don’t take any bulk up supplements there should be significant improvements in your physique.
- Breakfast: cantaloupe 1/2 small/medium and whey protein 1 scoop. An hour after your breakfast, have some cooked oatmeal 1 cup and 1/4 cup fat-free cheddar cheese), 2 slices of low fat ham and 2 large.
- Breakfast Snacks: your bulking snacks in the morning should consist of half a cup of blueberries with Greek yogurt 4 oz.
- Lunch: your bodybuilding bulking meal plan for lunch is as follows: 1 tbsp. each of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, 2 cups of mixed greens with spinach, whole wheat hamburger bun and 4 oz. lean ground beef.
- Midday Snack: high calorie foods for bulking must be included, so have some canned chicken breast 3 oz., 1 tbsp. of light mayonnaise and 5 whole wheat crackers.
- Dinner: some good and healthy bulking foods for dinner are 1 TBSP each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, 2 cups of mixed greens with spinach, chopped broccoli 1 cu and chicken breast 6 oz.
- Night Time Snack: you can add some protein intake for bulking as well as 2 tbsp. of salsa and cottage cheese 3/4 cup.
Aside from the meal options given above, there are other ways to vary the food you eat.
- For breakfast you can have a scoop of whey protein and an orange.
- After 2 or 3 hours you should eat at least a couple of large eggs, a tbsp. of maple syrup, whole grain waffle and a couple more egg whites (scrambled).
- For your morning snack have some whey protein 1 scoop and half a cup of wheat germ.
- For your lunch you can eat some a couple of slices of Ezekiel bread (prepare a turkey sandwich).
- For your midday snack have some low fat cottage cheese (half a cup) and ¼ cup of sliced pineapples.
- For dinner you can eat mixed greens and a cup of broccoli as well as 6 oz. Tilapia and a tbsp. of balsamic vinegar and olive oil
- For night time snacks you can have a tablespoon of peanut butter, some walnuts and a scoop of casein protein.
This clean bulk diet meal plan is flexible so feel free to add some more fruits and protein rich foods to your diet.
In addition you may want to consumer more of these:
Green vegetables are always good for you and most especially spinach when you’re trying to build muscles because of the amino acid glutamine.
With the glutamine in spinach, your body has an easier time building muscles. Furthermore spinach also increases your endurance.
Apples don’t just keep the dentist away as its polyphenols increase your muscles’ strength.
At the same time it also prevents fatigue, allowing you to train for longer periods of time.
Polyphenols also speed up the burning of fat as well, which is why eating an apple prior to working out is a good idea.
- Greek Yogurt:
We have mentioned yogurt as one of the foods in our nutrition guide here, but just to makes it clear, we are referring to Greek yogurt and not the sweetened stuff you often see in groceries.
Regular yogurt has 16 g carbs and 16 g protein per cup, whereas Greek yogurt has 20 g of protein and 9 g of carbs per cup, which is a better balance for muscle building. Greek yogurt is also rich in casein protein.
- Ezekiel Bread:
Ezekiel bread is comprised of whole grains that have been organically sprouted. Since it is made from legumes and grains, the bread is 100% protein and has the 9 amino acids your body needs to stimulate muscle growth.
- Wheat Germ:
Wheat germ is rich in B vitamins, potassium, selenium, iron and zinc. It is also filled with glutamine, arginine, BCAAs, protein and fiber, all the good stuff you need for enhanced muscle growth.
Diet Plan for Women Looking to Gain Lean Muscle and Strength
For the ladies looking for meal plans for bulking, here are some suggestions.
The meal frequency should be 5 to 6 times a day so you are in an anabolic state.
By eating several small meals throughout the day rather than three large ones, it is easier for your body to build lean muscles.
With good carbs for bulking you also force your body to use the fat as energy.
As for bulking meal ideas, you can eat the same foods as the ones for the skinny guy diet and for the guys who are in good condition but want to improve their physique.
In addition to those you may add the following:
- Cottage Cheese: cottage cheese is filled with casein protein, which makes it a good source of protein especially prior to bedtime. Casen protein is slow to digest and this prevents your body from using up your muscles as energy during the night.
- Eggs: Eggs are excellent sources of protein, but they don’t just boost your strength and muscles. The egg yolks also reduce the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in your body as well.
- Milk: not the fatty milk you see everywhere, but the organic type that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Organic milk is also full of amino acid glutamine that stimulates muscle growth and development.
- Quinoa: quinoa is an outstanding source of protein and it also boosts your insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) level, one of the most critical components necessary for muscle and strength gains.
- Protein Needs: protein for bulking is essential, and while there are a lot of good source of protein, make certain you receive 1.0-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body your body’s weight. Good protein sources are turkey, chicken breasts, salmon and other types of fish.
- Carbohydrate Requirements: carbs are necessary for a healthy bulking meal plan, so make sure diet includes broccoli, mushrooms, celery and cauliflower.
- Fats: your body still needs some fat so don’t neglect this part of your diet. Good sources of fats that complement foods for clean bulking are avocadoes, olive oil, and peanut butter.
When preparing snacks for bulking, it is crucial your body is supplied with protein all day, hence the need to eat several meals.
While foods to gain weight and muscle are important, the best time to get protein is following your workout, which is why it’s a good idea to drink a protein shake after pumping iron.
Carbs is essential for a muscle building diet for women, but make sure your choices are good foods otherwise you will end up with a lot of body fat.
Among the best sources of carbs are sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, pasta and whole wheat breads.
When preparing a lean muscle gain diet the one thing you must learn first is to eat a lot of food.
This is the hardest to thing to do on a lose fat gain muscle diet, but you will get used to it eventually.
A few more pointers: reduce the amount of processed food you eat.
It may not be possible to eliminate them completely from your diet, but do your best to limit your intake as much as possible.
While it is essential to have a good amount of carbs in your body, foods with lots of sugar carbs and preservatives don’t do you any good.
For women – and men – keep in mind that the more time you spend working out, the more your body will need energy, and that is where you’re going to need carbs as they serve as fuel.
With the right amount of carbs, your body and muscles will recover faster and be more prepared for your next workout.
Foods That Must Be Avoided
We have spent a lot of time talking about muscle foods USA that you must eat.
However we also need to look at the foods you must steer clear off. There are exceptions to the rules of course, but if you are on a build muscle diet, reduce your intake of these foods or eliminate them from your lean muscle diet plan completely.
- Crackers: your burn fat build muscle diet must not have any refined crackers. These are rich in sugar and flour, not good for your muscles at all.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: if you want a max muscle nutrition diet, avoid this as well as it is the major ingredient used in processed foods. It doesn’t do anything for your muscles and doesn’t have any nutritional benefits at all.
- Processed Cheeses: organic cheese is one of the best muscle foods, but processed cheese is no good as it is crammed with salts and fats. It does help add calories, but for a build lean muscle diet there are better options.
- Processed Starch Food: you may have noticed a trend here, and that is a lose weight build muscle diet should have as few amounts of processed food as possible. Processed starch adds a lot of fat and makes it difficult for you to remove them.
- Artificial Sweeteners: you’re not going to find a lot of lean muscle diet for men with artificial sweeteners included, and that is understandable since they don’t do anything to build abs or muscles.
- High Sugar Breakfast Cereals: some cereals are good for building muscle nutrition, but avoid those with lots of extra sugar as they are basically filled with sugar and artificial sweeteners.
- Ice Cream: ice cream is a no for lean muscle diet for women and men, as it is filled with a lot of sweeteners and very little nutritional value. Low fat ice cream is an alternative, but otherwise stay away from it.
- Sweetened Juices: fruit juices are good for you, but avoid those that have a lot of sweeteners. You won’t find that stuff in any muscle nutrition store because they are not healthy and just make it harder for you to lose weight.
- Fatty Dairy Products: muscle nutrition supplements and diet guides often make mention of milk products, and they aren’t bad for you. However you need to avoid full cream milk and other dairy products that are high in fats.
The general rule is packaged and processed stuff are not building muscle foods, and the less of them you eat the better.
There is a difference between just packing on the calories and eating food that provides calories for muscular gain.
Active calories like the ones in the nutrition guide we gave earlier are good lean muscle food because they provide nutritional value for your body.
Processed foods and those with too much sugar have empty calories: they don’t offer anything in terms of lean muscle nutrition and upset your body’s nutritional balance.
Rather than help with your muscle nutrition plan, these foods just store fat in your body and lower your energy levels, making it harder for you to work out.
How to Get Started on a Diet and Nutrition Program
Nutrition for building muscle and losing fat requires thorough planning, and it isn’t something you will accomplish in a day or two.
If you want to lose weight and gain muscles, just follow the general guidelines below. The skinny to muscle diet given earlier for men and women follow these principles too so keep that in mind.
We have mentioned this earlier but it bears repeating. A good muscle food plan involves eating 5 to 6 meals a day.
The general rule is to eat breakfast 15 to 30 minutes after waking up and eat every 3 hours. This is the only way you can gain the mass necessary to bulk up.
Even if you get a muscle food discount code at some fancy website, it is still essential to eat several times a day so while you are active, your body has enough mass to keep up, and you will be using these to build up muscles.
Eat Different Types of Foods
Taking a muscle food supplement is not enough: your body needs a nice mix of proteins, carbs and some fats to ensure you’re not just putting on weight but mass as well.
Get Enough Calories
There is no other way to put this. Whether it is a diet of muscle foods for women or men, you need calories.
When the word calorie is mentioned, the first thing that comes to the mind of most people is fat, but you need the calories to add bulk and mass.
At the very least you should gain 1 to 2 pounds a week, and if you’re not, make sure to eat muscle nutrition meals that are rich in carbs and protein.
How Much Protein per Meal?
For the best results, eat 40 to 60 grams of protein every meal for a man weighing 200 lbs.
Not getting sufficient protein is going to make it harder for your body to build muscles, preventing it from building up those muscle tissues.
When it comes to muscle food for men and women, protein needs to comprise 35% of your caloric intake.
For the best performance results, consume whole and lean protein sources like tuna, salmon, turkey and chicken.
Partly skimmed cheeses, yogurt, pasteurized egg whites and omega 3 eggs should also be part of your diet.
How Many Carbohydrates per Meal?
20 to 30 grams of carbs per meal is ideal. As any muscle food review will point out, your body prefers to use carbs as its main energy source, but if there isn’t enough, your body will use its muscle tissues instead, and that is going to slow the muscle building process.
As mentioned earlier, your source of carbs should be muscle food in UK of the healthy variety like those from whole grains, potatoes, pasta, oatmeal and cornmeal.
Brown rice, beans, buckwheat barley and bran are also good sources of high complex carbs.
If you are still unsure how many carbs to consume, a good guide is to track how many calories you consume.
Just keep an eye on your diet for the next four days while keeping your weight. Check how many calories you consume, and then add 200 to 300 calories over a period of one week to gain some weight.
After you get your calorie figures, deduct 30% off for your protein needs. Remove another 15% for fats and the remainder will make up the carbohydrate calories your body requires.
Now divide this figure by four to learn how many grams of carbs are needed.
Planning is Important
Don’t add too many calories all at once: give your body time to adjust to the extra intake.
If you’re used to eating three meals a day, give your body time to adjust to your new eating habits.
One of the first things you need to do is prepare your schedule. If you have a job, it may be difficult to have to eat so many times per day, but you can always prepare your meals at night so by the next day you’ll be ready to eat them. Have a stopwatch ready so you don’t forget to eat.
What about Fats?
If you’re a skinny guy, you need to have some fat in your diet to bulk up, plus fat is necessary to keep up your testosterone level.
The key is to balance the amount of poly fats and mono saturated fats you consume. You have more than enough saturated fats in our diet, so what you need to do is increase the polyunsaturated fats by adding fish and olive oil in your diet.
Avoid trans fats: found in cookies, French fires, pastries, donates and fried chicken, it is unhealthy and does nothing for your muscle and strength training program.
To find out if the product has trans fat, look for hydrogenated oil in the ingredients, and check if it is listed. It probably contains trans fat.
There is no shortage of nutrition for building muscle for men and women, but even so there is still a lot of misinformation and myths floating around the web.
With this guide however, you should be able to start on the right diet and combined with the proper muscle diet supplements, get you in shape.
While it takes time to get the results you want, a good nutrition plan is essential to shedding off those fats and getting in shape, and it is going to be more effective than taking muscle dietary supplements alone.
The bottom line is when you’re working out and on a good diet, your goal of building bigger muscles will be easier to accomplish.