What should you eat to gain muscle mass? It's all here.
You're skinny and you're sick of it. You want to gain muscle mass.
Or maybe you're not even that skinny, but those muscles insist on not growing.
Are you eating right to gain muscle?
This article is intended for those who train with weights, or are thinking of starting, with the simple goal of… gain muscle mass.
What are those rules?
Let's start with the main rule, address the most important foods and still clarify some common questions related to this topic.
Gain muscle mass, the essentials
As we wrote in the article about what to eat to lose fat, the big difference between a diet to gain muscle mass, and one to lose fat, are not the foods but rather the amounts.
You can use exactly the same foods, regardless of the objective, you always need to change the quantities, in this case for more.
Now, of course there are foods that fit better into a diet to gain muscle mass, more caloric foods are welcome.
First of all, as you may have already told, you will have to eat a lot, but this much should be controlled and not excessive, especially for those who have ease in gaining fat.
See article: How to gain muscle mass (not fat).
Gaining weight is easy, just eat A LOT, but gaining lean mass is already a little different.
You're going to need to follow a hypercaloric diet, which means you're going to have to consume more calories than you spend, and that's what you're going to find in all diets for muscle mass gain, except for those that don't.
A lot of proteins, a lot of carbohydrates and also some fats, you're going to need all these macronutrients to grow those muscles.
Don't forget, it's mandatory to eat more calories than you spend, without this there's no bucket of protein to save you.
If you don't know how many calories you need, check out this article.
Oh, and don't think about gaining fat to turn into muscle, unless you're a magician, it's impossible to turn fat into muscle.
Food to be used
Now that you know rule number one to gain muscle, let's move on to the title of this article.
What should you eat to gain muscle mass?
You should consume sources of quality protein, complex carbohydrates and fats.
Here is a list of good options to serve as the basis for your diet.
- Red meats
- Any fish
- Tuna cans
- Slim fresh cheese
- Quark cheese
- Protein powder
- Sweet potato
- Dried fruits
- Olive oil
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Fish oil
- *Red meats, fatty fish and yolks are significant sources of fat
That's all I can eat?!
For those who have read the article about what to eat to lose fat, it's probably now scratching your head.
The recommended foods do not change much, in fact, apart from the inclusion of red meat and any fish, the rest is almost the same.
Remember what you read up.
"You can use exactly the same foods, regardless of the goal, you always need to change the quantities, in this case for more."
First, what matters (again) are the quantities, and second, these are the foods recommended to serve as the basis for your diet, which does not mean that they should be the only foods you use daily.
Again, these are sources of quality protein, complex carbohydrates and essential fats.
Now, besides adding red meat and fatty fish, don't you change anything else?
You can change if you want.
In a diet for muscle mass gain, you have much more freedom to include theoretically less recommended foods, and given that the most important thing to have good results is consistency, take that into account when planning your diet.
If you don't like oatmeal, and you don't think you're going to be able to eat oatmeal every day for lunch, it includes another source of carbohydrates.
Do you hate turkey meat? You don't need to eat it, use another source of protein.
In the list above, what foods do you like and which ones do you hate?
Try to include as much food as you can on the list, but the ones you hate, you hate. Do not use them.
There is no mandatory or irreplaceable food.
The ideal will always be to build your diet, as we explain in this article, but for those who do not want to do so, using these foods as a basis, in good quantity, is already a great advantage in relation to those who do not pay any attention to their food.
It uses a protein source in every meal, combines with one of carbohydrates and/or fats, and makes several meals throughout the day in this way.
Don't forget to include vegetables and vegetables in your diet, they are essential, and to drink at least 1.5L of water daily.
How many times do I eat a day?
There is no exact number and you do not need to make 7 or 8 meals a day not to go into catabolism.
You care more about achieving the macronutrient values you need on a daily basis than how many meals you eat.
Eating every 3/4 hours is a good standard, but if you can only eat 4 meals a day for business reasons, that's not why you're going to stop growing, you're just going to have to eat bigger meals.
What should I eat before and after training? And before bed?
What supplements should I use?
As for supplements, there is no supplement that will have a DRASTIC effect on your results.
If you want to know more about supplements to gain muscle mass, here are several suggestions.
Two (very) common problems
Gain weight too fast
In the first week you gain 2kg, in the second plus 2, in the third metes 3 and at the end of the month you gained 10kg.
Congratulations, you just got a lot of fat!
It is impossible to gain 10kg per month of lean mass, and gaining weight very quickly is not a sign of good results. It's a sign of too many calories.
Don't forget, the more fat you earn, the more time you'll spend eliminating it on the treadmill and in the kitchen.
To help you, see how to gain muscle mass (not fat).
Always be the same
The scale does not rise, the arm does not grow, the chest does not increase and the percentage of fat does not move.
What's going on, huh?
You're always the same.
It increases calories.
If you were overly caloric there were changes, even if it were just fat increases.
If your problem is not being able to eat anymore, here are some tips that can help you.
Attention, if you're the same after just one week of training, this doesn't apply to your case.
These are just two very common mistakes, but you find many more in the article I have no results in the gym, and now?
Finally, although the theme is what to eat, it was impossible not to approach training when the goal is to gain muscle mass.
Unlike when talking about fat loss, where it is possible to do it without training, it is impossible to have significant lean mass gains without training.
Besides, you're no good at the perfect diet if your workout is weak, without stimulation the muscle doesn't grow.
Define a (good) training plan and follow it consistently.
Choose good exercises, put weight on and try to increase loads regularly with a good technique.
Check out our full section of training articles here.
The better the training and your commitment, the better the feeding results.
It follows a hypercaloric diet with a good amount of protein, but also carbohydrates and fats.
Besides, don't just eat chicken and sweet potatoes just because they're nicknamed clean foods. You can and should vary your food choices as long as they fit your daily macronutrient values.
We advise you to see this article to better understand how to build a diet simply and effectively.
Finally, don't forget that the secret lies in consistency day after day, month after month. Be patient and think long-term.
Oh, and don't forget to train all muscle groups. Yes, the legs are also part of the body.
Any questions just use the comments area below.