I’m Building Muscle With These Foods
There’s certainly a right way and a wrong way to go about your nutrition for muscle gain. The wrong way? Eating high sugar carbs that blast your calories, appetite and insulin through the roof. The right way is a bit different and it’s a lot better. The right way is how I eat and it’s why I look as good as I do today. There is a list of foods that I absolutely swear by and I have been eating these foods since the very beginning in my mid teens and I was able to build muscle with my workouts in the gym whilst playing football, tennis and drinking alcohol at friends house parties. That’s a lot of cardio which trains an energy system completely opposite to muscle and strength gain and clearly it was a sub optimal approach to building muscle with my alcohol intake yet I still managed to achieve massive success. And you can too.
I have always eaten meat. Meat has a huge list of benefits for muscle gain. It’s very filling which means that you will find it very hard, and you won’t actually want to, eat more food after a meal that contains a good serving of meat which means you’ll find it easier to stay lean without getting fat. All meats are consistently high in protein so you are successfully increasing your protein intake with these foods and they are incredibly tasty too which is really important for long term sustainability and enjoying your meals. Nobody wants to eat bland and tasteless chicken breast with no seasoning or spices with it. I don’t really have a favourite because they all taste amazing so here is a comprehensive list of all the meat I eat on a daily basis: chicken, steak, lamb, pork, turkey and liver.
Eating meat doesn’t mean you have to spend lots of money and if you think like this then you’re being narrow minded. There are some foods on that list that are more expensive such as steak, but you don’t have to buy steak when you have other options available to you that will still yield the same muscle gain results. During my three years spent at university in Sheffield, in terms of the meat I bought, my weekly food shop consisted of a lot of chicken and a lot of turkey. And that was it. You may think this sounds boring but as soon as I added some paprika, garlic, fajita spice, cumin and mixed herbs my kitchen was a festival of spices and seasoning that gave my meals much more taste and flavour.
Lack of money isn’t an excuse for anyone to be leaving out meat in their food shop so for the British people reading you need to be shopping at Aldi. It’s cheap and if you have some basic cooking skills then you can make your meals a lot tastier and you’ll wonder why you ever shopped anywhere else in the first place. As for the Americans reading, I’m pretty sure that your equivalents of Aldi are Walmart and Costco and you know what I’m going to say next. These places will save you money and you will enjoy your meals more if you add some seasoning and spices to them.
I have always eaten carbs. I tried avoiding them temporarily once to try it out and the results were horrendous: my strength went down the drain, I couldn’t concentrate when I was studying for my personal training exams and my sex drive plummeted which is probably what sucks the most for any man. Once I introduced them back into my diet my strength soared, I was high energy all the time and I was back at my best. I don’t care what your favourite Twitter keto guru says, if they aren’t honest about the fact that eating carbs earlier in their life has helped them build muscle and get any kind of results they want in some way, then they aren’t being authentic. Everyone has eaten carbs and felt more energetic in the gym, looked and felt more muscular in t-shirts and jumpers after having them and pushed through longer and tougher workouts because of them.
Your body breaks down and uses carbs for energy a lot faster than fat and protein and there’s a reason why carbs are stored in your muscles – they are readily available for rapid use during resistance training. Resistance training is short intense bursts of effort and this can only be achieved with good intensity and optimal performance when you’re consuming carbs. As for my favourite carbs here are the ones I consume on a daily basis: oats, potatoes, rice, milk, pasta, fruit and vegetables. This list may seem short but really it’s very long because there’s a lot of fruit and vegetables you can choose from and they are all great carb sources that have additional benefits beyond fueling your workouts, such as their vast range of vitamins and minerals which I will discuss in future blog posts if you want me too (leave a comment in the comments section below).
These carbs have fueled my resistance training and refueled my low muscle glycogen (carb) stores post workout for a long time and I’ve been having them on a regular basis since the days where I was balancing football, tennis, studying psychology, having a girlfriend and socializing with friends ALL whilst making serious gains in the gym with my workouts. That’s a lot of energy required and if you play sports and you’re trying to build muscle at the same time you will relate to this a lot so make sure you include those carbs listed above in your nutrition regime. If your goal is more fat loss focused and you’re trying to lose the skinny fat look then your intake of these carbs will be lower compared to someone who is trying to gain muscle and you can learn exactly how many and when to have your carbs for faster and easier fat loss in my personalized meal plans.
Lastly, lets talk about fats. Fats don’t really get much attention because they don’t directly promote muscle gain. They help indirectly through healthy and normal production of hormones like testosterone. Fats contain more calories than carbs and protein so you can quickly send your calorie intake sky high if you consume too many fats. I’ve never spent time overthinking my fat intake because there’s no need. In terms of muscle gain the only high fat foods you need to consider are those that help promote high testosterone levels because testosterone is one of the most important hormones for building muscle mass and getting stronger. Some examples of high fat foods that promote high testosterone levels include eggs, avocados and different types of fish such as salmon. You don’t need to know of anymore than this unless there’s some examples you know personally that are really beneficial that you aren’t addicted to – that’s the last thing you want with fats because of their calorie content!
Apart from the examples above you don’t need to think anymore about fats for muscle gain. Too many fats and you’ll quickly find yourself overeating, gaining belly fat quickly and you won’t be feeling full from a high fat intake either which means fat gain is even more likely and inevitable because you can still eat more food despite consuming a lot of calories already. Fats should make up the remaining space in your calories every day once you know how many carbs and how much protein you need for muscle gain. As for fat loss, once you know exactly the right amount of protein and carbs you need in my personalized meal plans the remainder of your calories can be made up with fats.