A lot of people find themselves a little conservative when they develop their muscle building diet, because they are scared that they will put on body fat. Putting on fat is a valid concern, but if done properly, a muscle building diet can be constructed in a way to minimize fat gain, and in some cases avoid it all together. This article will walk you through 5 ways to ensure fat gain is not an issue for you.
1. Pick the right macronutrient ratio –There are tons of articles out there that go into all the science behind why you need some elaborate, very precise magical formula. While these articles might be accurate, they are confusing which discourage people from picking a ratio all together.
Readers end up giving up and only focusing on total calories. From my perspective however, I like to keep it simple. If you are skinny and have a hard time gaining weight, use a ratio of 30% Protein, 20% fat, and 50% carb. If you have an average body type who puts on fat fairly easily, start with 30% Protein, 30% fat, and 40% carb.
Don’t be afraid to adjust or transition ratios over time. Your body will change, and so will your goals.
2. Don’t eat too much – So how much is too much? The short answer is it depends (no, not adult diapers). Ultimately you will need to see how your body reacts to what it’s eating. The link for our bulking calculator below will give you a starting point for your muscle building diet.
I would recommend starting with a lower intake, then slowly moving up in 100 calorie increments as you see fit. If you are not gaining weight (i.e. muscle) go up 100 calories for a few weeks and see what happens. If you are gaining weight too fast (i.e. fat), drop down 100 calories.
3. Calorie Timing – Calorie Timing is important, but you don’t want to make things too strict when it comes to trying to time your calories. If you try to time things too detailed during your muscle building diet, you will soon find that it is too much effort, and too time consuming to maintain.
Things that are too hard eventually get released (that’s what she said) from your routine, so follow the 80/20 rule. Just put your effort into 20% of the areas that will give you 80% of the results. You will get 80% of the benefits of calorie timing if you focus in on just the below two areas.
a. Post Work Out – here is where you want to really get a nice blend of hi GI carbs, and protein. Your muscles need this after a workout, so if you do nothing else, focus in on your post workout meal. I won’t go into the science behind this either, but just know that hi GI carbs will raise blood sugar and insulin quickly. After an intense workout, this is exactly what you need to do. It’s one of the only times a high GI carb is good for your muscle building diet. Maltodextrin, and Glucose are great sources of carbs that can be added to some protein powder for an awesome post workout drink.
b. Before bed – During the night while you sleep, your body is doing a fast. Don’t let your muscles start breaking down, just because you aren’t fueling them. What you need to do is set your alarm clock for midnight, 2:00 a.m., and 4:00 a.m. No just kidding, it’s not that complicated at all. Just eat a meal before bed, one that contains Casein Protein in it. You can buy Casein powder, or eat a food rich with this protein, like Cottage Cheese.
4. Be precise – Although I love to keep things simple, being precise is one area that I don’t allow much flexibility on. Being precise can really make or break your muscle building diet. This might sound over the top, but I would recommend weighing your food out, to ensure you are really following your plan. Whether you are using our meal plans or your own, a few miscalculations can swing your calorie intake drastically. Just like we talked about before, too many calories will be used as fat, not muscle. Being precise is especially important if this is new to you, as you might not know what 1 oz. of meat looks like, vs. 1 oz. of almonds (just as an example). A simple food scale can really help with this issue.
5. Focus on your weight training – There is no doubt in my mind that nutrition is the number 1 thing you can do to guarantee success on a muscle building diet. However, if you don’t lift hard and heavy, you will not gain the muscle you want. Muscle comes when you eat right, and lift right, so don’t put all your time in nutrition.
We have put together what we believe to be one of the best works out routines to gain muscle, in the eBook mentioned below. It’s free and will show you exactly what exercises to do, and how much weight / reps to do in order to ensure success.
If you get nothing else from this article, get this | Don’t over think your muscle building diet. Nutrition is by far the largest contributor to your results, but you don’t need to stress out about it. If you follow these 5 strategies, it will be nearly impossible for you to gain fat over muscle.
If you want a little more detail regarding these areas, and to get the workouts mentioned in the article, download our free eBook below. It will walk you through a 4 week plan to get you on the right track for gaining some serious muscle.
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- Contains Everything You Need To Know About Bulking
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