Go on admit it, with lockdown behind us you've been itching to find out how to put that muscle back on right?
With the gyms back in full swing here’s our run down on how to get the ‘gains’ back!
Gaining lean muscle mass is not just for those ‘hard gainers’ (those bodybuilders looking for serious muscle growth). The principles in section B) below apply more to that group, but for the most part, people are more focussed on just achieving a natural toned physique, right?! With the lockdown love handles still awkwardly hanging around, who would like to get their physique back in shape? Read on…
The principles in section B) risk most people gaining large amounts of fat along with muscle if they are not looking for/training for serious muscle growth, so some general simple principles in section A) will be enough for most people.
A) Try these general principles for eating to gain muscle mass if you’re an everyman/woman:
For the majority of people, a measured approach is absolutely fine in order to achieve the physique you are looking for, for example:
- Contrary to popular belief, your body needs nowhere near the amounts of protein that people think.
- On average, to gain lean muscle mass, you need to consume a maximum of 2g of protein per kilo of body weight per day – so for example that’s 160g for an 80kg man.
- If you eat 6 meals a day plus a post workout bar or shake, that’s about 20g-30g of protein per meal.
- You can still get significant muscle mass gains from eating lean sources of protein and low to moderate levels of saturated fats. Much as saturated fats are sometimes looked upon as ‘bad fats’ they are essential to our diet.
- Essential fats from avocado, nuts, seeds etc are absolutely fine and can be included with meals.
- Try to eat 6 meals a day comprising lean protein, complex carbohydrates and essential fats, and keep saturated fat intake moderate, and use sugars only after training to facilitate recovery.
B) Try these general principles if you are looking for serious muscle mass gain
- You may need to disobey your physical hunger and fullness cues in order to consume more calories than you normally would.
- Include calorie-dense foods like, coconut, avocado, vegan cheese, nuts, etc.
- Include combinations of protein and fat in general.
- Add more good fats to your diet e.g.:
- put avocado and olive oil on salads
- use nut butter and coconut milk in healthy shakes
- put some coconut butter on your vegetables
- use coconut cream or coconut milk in your coffee
- Include healthy protein-rich shake / bar supplements – such as Bodyhero.
- Eat a good serving of protein with carbohydrate or fat every 2-3 hours, 6 times per day to maximise muscle growth.
- Focus high carbohydrate intake around training, 3 hours before and 3 hours after, stick to protein and fat away from these times.
- Snack often. A few handfuls of nuts or a few chunks of coconut go down pretty easily with a little protein.
- Use the power of social support. Most people will eat more socially than they will eat alone.
- Keep it varied and make it taste good. Whether that’s using flavourful herbs, a sprinkling of vegan cheese or adding a bit of secret sauce.
- Learn to cook from fresh as this will improve variety and taste.
- Savour and enjoy your meals. If you don’t appreciate good food or gourmet cooking, now’s the time to learn.
The must-have components of the Ultimate Muscle Meal:
- 2 palms of protein - the building blocks of muscle.
- 3 fists of veggies - loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
- 1 fist fruit, starch, or whole grains - carbohydrates to help add healthy calories.
- Servings of healthy fats such as a handful of nuts / seeds, a drizzle of oil, or half an avocado - helps increase natural testosterone and other good stuff.
- A big glass of water - Because water makes up 70% of your body and a lot of us don't realise how much water we should be drinking.
Bodyhero works extremely well as part of a calorie-controlled diet to ensure you get enough lean protein and fibre, and limited excess sugar in your diet. If your goal is to build muscle, then Bodyhero provides a range of convenient ways to boost your protein and calorie intake.
So, go on, get after those gains!