Are you interested in learning about calories for muscle gain, muscle-building diets, and more? You want to get bigger and lift more weight, but you’re unsure how to go about the whole process.
If so, don’t worry because you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll go over everything you need to know about eating for muscle growth.
The Basics of a Muscle-Building Diet
There are countless opinions of what a muscle-building diet is. Some people recommend eating specific foods; others only care about the total calorie intake. There are also some who tout specific diets that guarantee pounds of muscle gain in mere weeks or months.
But, regardless of how we slice it, a good muscle-building diet covers two things:
· Provides enough calories
· Offers a balanced amount of proteins, carbs, and fats
To determine the calories for muscle gain, you have to calculate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). There are numerous good calculators out there, and all you have to do is input basic information like your age, sex, height, weight, and activity level. The calculator uses a formula that estimates how many calories your body burns each day.
Once you have your TDEE value, you should add an extra 150 to 300 calories. Doing so would allow you to create a calorie surplus and start gaining weight (and muscle).
Aside from that, your diet should provide enough of each macronutrient because proteins, carbs, and fats serve unique roles in the body, allowing you to feel well, train hard, and grow effectively.
How to Start Following a Diet for Muscle-Building in Two Simple Steps
1. Calculate Your Calorie Needs
The first step is to calculate your calorie needs, including the extra calories for the surplus. A simple way to go about it is to find a TDEE calculator or formula. It only takes a couple of minutes, and most calculators predict your calorie needs with fair accuracy.
Once you have your TDEE, add an extra 200 calories and start consuming that many calories for the next few weeks, tracking your body weight. For example, if your TDEE is 2,800 calories, consume up to 3,000 daily. Ideally, you should start gaining up to two pounds per month.
2. Start Tracking Your Protein
Many people recommend tracking all three macronutrients, but being conscious of your protein intake alone might be better. Protein plays a huge role in muscle growth, so getting enough of it will be necessary. But, so long as you eat a moderately-balanced diet, your carb and fat intakes will sort themselves out naturally.
You should aim for 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 160 lbs, that would mean consuming 128 to 160 grams daily.
The Best Muscle-Building Foods to Include In Your Diet
There technically are no ‘muscle-building foods.’ Rather, some foods are more calorie-dense and rich in the essential nutrients you need. Among these, the following list offers some great food options to pick up on your next grocery run:
· Meat (pork, beef, lamb, etc.)
· Poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.)
· Fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, etc.)
· Cottage cheese
· Nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews, etc.)
· Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, hemp seeds, etc.)
I hope the above has given you some good ideas for setting up a diet for muscle-building. Still, the process might feel overwhelming, so I recommend checking my online programs for further guidance on how to eat and train for optimal results.