Building muscles requires you to have some positive attitude as well as energy balance. Meaning you should intake more calories than you probably burn during a day.
One of the most important issues that we all should strive to maintain for is our muscles, It not only displays strength but also helps in reducing aches, pains, and injuries in the long run.
Honestly, everyone loves that lean, shredded look in their gym.
So how do you get one?
You are at just the right place…
But perhaps you should read more.
Importance of Meals
According to Indian diets, we all know about breakfast, lunch, and dinner right? Probably a few snacks in between meals. But what’s the importance of them and how do they coincide with — gaining weight?
Well, if you know it or not, but ancient Indian peoples had a ton of tricks under their sleeves which now we know as Ayurveda. Before we make you gain more weight, let’s understand why are these meals important and how do they contribute to overall weight gain.
Wake-up meal or sometimes referred to as pre-breakfast meal is imperative for all those big muscle heads and bodybuilders. Besides that, a wake-up meal is something you should pay more attention to if you are looking to add some more mass to your muscles.
Basically, when you take a good sleep of 6 to 10 hours, your body is in a state called “Catabolic state” where it is using your lean mass for fueling up your body. So to quickly get out of that state you should consume some sort of pre-breakfast meal that includes some protein and high glycemic index foods or high GI foods.
This will help you to get out of the catabolic state fast and will provide your body with the necessary nutrients to grow and function properly. It will provide all the necessary glucose and probably replenish it to give you some boost on alertness and energy.
Now considering that you are not taking the wake-up meal because you are having some walnuts and a huge amount of water (which you should always have). Breakfast has the same importance as the pre-breakfast meal.
What happens all night is, your body utilizes liver glycogen and glucose as fuel to meet the energy requirements. So when we wake up, our glycogen and glucose levels are already low, now if we don’t restore them, they lead to the rise of cortisol in our body.
Cortisol or also known as the Stress hormone negatively impacts our body. This cortisol uses the protein of our muscles and fats to fulfil energy demands. Thus it is crucial to refuel the body with some nutritious breakfast that provides all the necessary nutrients so that your body can run and work smoothly.
Breakfasts also provide healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates to kickstart the morning with needed energy whilst restoring the glucose level to normal. For instance, you can have a BCAAs supplement with your breakfast to boost your energy and help you with recovering your muscle damage especially if you are a regular gym hitter.
Though snacks are mostly discarded and not preferred for a healthy lifestyle, the reality couldn’t be far away. You see there is a huge difference when you provide your body with some amount of calories in say — 2 meals — when compared to 6 or even 8 small meals.
What we mean here is, splitting your meals into 6 to 8 meals a day where snacks space out the in-between meals is really beneficial than giving your body the same calories in just 2 meals. Having snacks in between helps you with digesting the calories more effectively as you are eating small — small snacks in between.
As a matter of fact, eating snacks also assists with the overeating that happens due to the fasting between meals, lunch & dinner, for example. You can eat some moderate amounts of protein, carbs, and sweets for your snacks.
You can even opt for some shakes like whey protein, that will provide you with enough proteins and maintain your calories while supporting your muscles.
Once you are loaded with some few calories, it’s time to get to the heaviest meal of all meals. Yes, in some Indian diets lunch is mostly heavier than dinner. So this is the time where you get most of the important nutrients, fibres, proteins, fats, multivitamins, and other necessary minerals that are crucial for your body growth and functioning.
Having lunch sets you up for all the physical and mental activities that you plan to do later that day. Additionally, it provides a constant source of energy to your body so that it doesn’t enter the zone of catabolism.
In addition to that, if you are going to the gym after lunch (obviously not directly after lunch) it gives you all the energy you need for better performance, plus increases your performance.
The last but not least meal that you have is the dinner. Now, of course, we won’t have to emphasize the importance of dinner. But here’s a pro tip for better health, make sure that you get at least 2 hours of gap between sleep and dinner.
With that being said, dinner mostly provides our body with the necessary amino acids and other nutrients that work as fuel for protein synthesis. Another thing that dinner does is that it increases the levels of insulin so that the breakdown of muscles doesn’t happen.
On the other side of the coin, eating heavy dinner is not probably the best idea, because as you know it increases the levels of insulin in your body if you eat it too close to bedtime you will struggle to fall asleep due to those increased insulin levels. Do you get it? That’s the reason why you should have at least 2 to 3 hours of gap between dinner and sleep.
Things to Consider while Gaining Some Muscle
Now that you are acquainted with the importance of each meal, let’s understand some key things that you should keep in mind while you are on your journey of weight gain. Here we have narrowed down some nutritional information that will help aid you for that bulky transformation you have always dreamt of.
When you are on your journey to bulk-up, it is really crucial to be hydrated all the time. Hydration, in general, has many benefits for our bodies. To keep yourself hydrated you should explicitly drink around 1.5 to 3 litres a day, even more, if you can.
If we are adding up that correctly, it translates to 6 to 10 glasses of water every single day. Besides that, it will increase your physical performance and help you especially if you are going to the gym regularly.
Not only that, it helps to prevent kidney stones, improves your skin, and many — many other advantages. So long story short — go drink a ton of water.
Unlike on a fat burner diet, where you have to rely on low-calories and carbohydrates, those who are on a bulk diet, can enjoy the privilege. You can consume a ton of carbs without any problem, having said that, make sure that you are sticking to whole grains rather than processed refined carbs that contain sugar to spike your glucose levels.
All things considered, carbs are known to provide the necessary energy for our bodies to work, and if you take more carbs, it will result in more training, and which in turn, will help for building mass.
Of course, looking to gain more weight? How cannot we include protein, the fundamental building blocks of muscles? So when it comes to more bulky transformations protein is the vital nutrient.
It supports and helps with recovery as well as the growth of lean muscles. So if you are only a bulky diet, ensure that your meal contains adequate amounts of proteins that are 1g a kilogram of body weight a day.
When it comes to fats, there are a plethora of fallacies that support fats are so-called “BAD” for our health. But that’s not the case now, as studies have proven that natural fats are healthy for our bodies.
Hence you can rest assured knowing that fats are not the problem, instead, they are a must in your diet if you want to bulk-up. So if you haven’t already, go grab that peanut butter, avocados, oily fish, nuts, etc.
One of the most important parts of your diets to gain more mass will be the supplements, albeit we haven’t mentioned that first (don’t judge the order please xD). Now, it can be hard to consume all the necessary calories for a day, so to make your life easier there are supplements in the form of weight gainers.
There are tons of different supplements and protein powders that you can choose to add to your diet. If you are looking for more energy bursts during your intensive workout sessions consider taking creatine. This beautiful supplement offers you short bursts of energy so that you can lift harder while increasing hypertrophy. You can add creatine to any drink like juice or shake or etc.
Lastly, the best and fastest way to actually increase mass is to — simply increase the frequency of your meals, that’s it. Just eat more — like more frequently, keep eating. You can eat six to eight small meals a day that is easy on your stomach to digest plus enjoyable and palatable.
Foods to Eat
Unlike for weight loss where you have to eat less and restricted foods, for gaining weight it just simple EAT. However, that doesn’t mean that you are eating everything or anything. Mostly you will have to stay away from some foods that we will mention shortly, however, here is the list of some foods that you can eat
- Greek Yoghurt
- Cottage cheese
- Lean Beef
- Whey Protein
- Protein Powders
- Buck Wheat
- Lean Jerky
- Brown Rice
Basically all vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, dairy, legumes, lean meats, and so forth. You have so many options, relax. Additionally, you can also take fish oil for better function of your body, mind, and heart.
Foods to Avoid
These foods should be avoided most of the time as they are detrimental to our health, in general. Don’t worry they are not many.
- Processed foods
- Deep-fried foods
Sample Meal Plan
Here is the ideal meal plan that you can customize according to your leisure as well as a dietitian. Please note that this meal plan is for your referral to get the idea of how an ordinary diet will look like, you are always free to add and remove according to your needs.
Breakfast:- 4 slices of toast covered with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter with 3 or 4 egg whites and 1 full omelette.
Or 1 glass of milk with some whey protein and oatmeal plus bananas and walnuts.
Or 1 plate Poha, Cashew Upma, and so on.
Mid Morning Snack:- 1 to 2 bananas mixed with some jaggery powder
1 apple or orange with tea/coffee and 2-3 multigrain biscuits
Lunch:- Brown rice with some roti and daal or chicken with some vegetable salad or fish with mixed vegetables, chutney and salad.
Afternoon Snack:- 1 fruit and tea/coffee or a protein shake with some BCAAs
Or 1 roti covered with 2 tablespoon peanut butter and 1 banana.
Or 1 vegetable Frankie
Dinner:- Brown rice with some vegetable and urad daal or
Lean chicken/fish with sauteed veggies and brown rice
For those eating fish, you will be intaking omega 3 fatty acids that have a lot of benefits for your body and overall health.
So this is an ideal meal plan that you can follow and customize accordingly. It’s not how much you can eat that matters but how much your body can absorb. Depending on your metabolism and calorie intake requirement the diet might differ.
Thus it is best to consult a doctor or dietitian or nutrition if possible. And for this reason, there is no single weight gain diet, you will find hundreds of diet plans out on the web — but that doesn’t mean they will for you.
Tips to Remember
There are a lot of ways to increase weight but depending on your needs it might vary. So here are some simple tips that will get you on the track of bulking up.
Of course, don’t forget or skip breakfast, provided that you know its importance. Breakfast provides you with the energy you need to start the day while keeping you satiated till your next snack or meal.
Your best bet for gaining more mass is to eat an omelette, smoothie, cottage cheese, etc. The healthier your breakfast will be, the healthier you will eat.
The best way to gain weight is to eat small meals in between large meals, make sure that you are eating every three hours giver or take a few. This way your body will get acclimatized to eating more and that too at specific times.
To maintain your muscle growth, you will have to make sure you are getting adequate amounts of protein. You should aim to eat at least 1g per 454g of your body-weight, so for instance, you weigh around 91 kgs then you should consume 200g of protein per day.
Some excellent sources of proteins are red meat, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy, whey, and so on.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are the healthiest way to keep your diet and appetite up. They contain antioxidants, minerals, fibre, and multiple vitamins that aid in digestion and better functioning of your body.
If you are going to the gym regularly then through sweating you are losing a lot of water, therefore, make sure that you are not staying dehydrated. Keep drinking water frequently, you can even add some supplements with your water.
Stay away from processed foods
Processed foods like pizza, cookies, bagels, frozen meals, etc contain added sugars, corn syrup, trans-fats, nitrates, sodium, and more chemicals. Generally, they are not good for our health, so make sure you are avoiding one.
Gaining muscle requires some commitment and training while keeping yourself loaded with healthy nutrition. To make better and greatest progress make sure that you are eating frequently and splitting your meal.
Do keep in mind that increasing muscle gain requires time and efforts, so keeping your cool is a must. To fasten the process, ensure that you are consuming nutrient-dense foods to fulfil your calories requirement.
Additionally, you can add supplements to your diet to speed things a little bit. We are sure that you will get the fitness body you’ve always wanted, just hold on to it. Best of luck for gaining some muscles.