You can’t build muscle overnight, but you don’t have to wait for a whole year for visible gain either. If your bulking process is taking longer than expected, the problem may be in your diet. Here are our top 5 tips for maximizing your workout results by eating right.
Make A Meal Plan & Stick To It
Muscle-building nutrition is all about structure. Professional bodybuilders do not look the way they do because they skip meals, grab some fast food after lifting, and eat a bag of chips while watching TV. What they actually do is take care of their bodybuilding meal prep on time and know exactly what they eat, when they have their meals and snacks, and how many calories and grams of macros they eat during the day.
If you want to maximize your workout, you should start by building a meal plan that does not only give you all the energy and nutrients you need but also suits your schedule. In other words, a meal plan can only help you if you can stick to it.
If meal prep sounds like too much work, you can always go with premade bodybuilding meals, just like so many pros do. Some of the best bodybuilding meal delivery services offer specially designed high-protein meals and meal plans that are actually quite affordable. They make planning your meals super-easy and allow you to have ready-made, muscle-building food available whenever you need it.
Choose Your Proteins
You probably already know that you should eat more proteins if you want to bulk up. However, not all proteins are equally good. You definitely want to go with lean options, like skinless chicken, turkey, and egg whites. Nuts are amazing as well, so when you need a snack, go with cashews or almonds. They are among the top muscle-building foods and also taste really good.
Of course, lean cuts of pork or beef can also be good choices. All that matters is that you avoid fatty options and stick to cooking methods like grilling and broiling.
When it comes to eating soy protein for bulking, it is a controversial topic. While numerous bodybuilders use it, soy protein has proven to be bad for testosterone levels. Since testosterone is the most important hormone for bulking, it may be smart to avoid soy protein altogether. Better to be safe than sorry.
Don’t Forget Your Carbs
Those who claim that you should avoid carbs if you want to gain muscle and lose fat are not 100% wrong. They are not right either. Eating carbs before and after your workout is super-important if you want to maximize your results. In fact, the National Strength And Conditioning Association recommends getting 55% to 60% of your calories from carbs if you want to grow muscle. You just need to avoid refined carbs and sugars and stick to good carbs like starchy veg or oats.
Know Your Fats
While a high-fat diet is not a great choice for muscle building, you do need healthy fats if you want to increase your gain. Fish oil, olive oil, avocado, tuna, salmon, and other sources of healthy fat can actually keep fat off your abs, help your body absorb nutrients, and preserve muscle mass. For the best results, you should eat about 0.25-0.5 grams of healthy fats per 1 pound of your weight every day.
Portion It Right
Finally, when it comes to your muscle-building meals, size does matter. Your metabolism is more likely to work efficiently if you eat a larger number of small meals than if you get all your calories and macros from 1, 2 or even 3 meals per day.
To improve your results, try eating 5 or 6 times a day and enjoy snacks and smoothies in between your 3 standard daily meals. You are sure to feel more energized instead of sluggish and your muscles are sure to appreciate it.