The must eat proteins, carbs and fats for packing on the muscle without adding a gut.
Mike Roussell, PhD 1 / 10
One of the worst bulking misconceptions is you have free reign to eat, and eat, and eat some more with wild abandon and disregard for sugar, carbs, and salt. You won't fill out your frame with lean muscle and minimal fat. But you will bulk your gut with visceral fat. What you really need to do is increase your training volume and your calories with the right kind of food.
Just as doing leg extensions won’t add muscle like doing squats, eating the wrong foods won’t get you the muscular lean body you crave. Easy, healthy bulking is all about eating an excess of quality food sources that will minimize fat gain, maximize muscle growth, and keep your joints, heart, and metabolism functioning in top shape. Here are 9 foods that do just that. Say hello to your new and improved body.
While bulking you want to shoot for eating 30% of your calories from protein. This will ensure that you're providing your body enough amino acids for new muscles construction but not too much protein that you’ll be displacing other important foods in your diet. Each of the below sources provides unique nutrients or flavors giving your body what it needs while preventing you from getting tired of the same old food (anyone who has been on the boiled chicken breast and canned tuna diet will know what I’m talking about).
A great calorie dense late night protein source that is packed with omega-3 fats which will help fight inflammation and keep your joints pain free as your training volume increases.
Classic muscle building foods that can be cooked 100 different ways giving you’re the protein you need and variety to keep you sane. Chicken thighs are a nice alternative to chicken breasts; the dark meat has a smoother texture and taste that comes from the added fat which in addition to giving extra flavor, gives you extra calories for your muscle building efforts.
Choose cuts of meat labeled loin or round and trim away any visible fat before cooking to ensure a high quality protein source with the right amount of calories. Lean beef or bison is a natural source of creatine and one of the best sources of stearic acid, a unique saturated fat that has no impact on your cholesterol level.
Getting ample starchy carbohydrates first thing in the morning and in the 3-4 hours following your training session is an essential strategy for getting the calories your need and putting those calories to work building muscle instead of having them pad your waistline.
A grain originally from South America, quinoa can be eaten warm or cold, for breakfast (like oatmeal), lunch, or dinner. Quinoa has a higher than usual protein content for a grain and one serving also packs 33% of your daily zinc needs, a nutrient essential for optimal testosterone.
Oats are an extremely versatile grain that you can use to easily bump up your calories without stuffing yourself. Rolled oats can be eaten as oatmeal for breakfast, blended into a smoothie, or mixed together with chocolate protein powder and peanut butter for a muscle building sludge that can be packed up and taken with you to enjoy when you are on the go.
Sprouted grain breads provide you a better alternative to regular breads. Sprouted grain breads are made from grains only after the grain has sprouted giving them a lower carbohydrate and higher protein due to the conversion of carbohydrates to protein during the sprouting process. Sprouted grain breads also have a lower glycemic index than traditional breads. This translates to better blood sugar control for your body. Better control of your blood sugar while bulking will result a better muscle:fat ratio. Sprouted grain breads, like Ezekiel bread, aren’t packed with preservatives so keep them in the freezer until you are ready to eat them to prevent premature mold growth.
The right fats are an essential component of the easy healthy bulk. Fats provide you FAT SOURCE: AVOCADO
with more than twice the calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates making it easier for you to hit your higher than normal calorie targets. Your body also creates hormones and other important signaling molecules essential for muscle growth and good health from fats.
Avocados contain high levels of monounsaturated fats which a 2007 study published in Diabetes Care showed switching to a diet high in monounsaturated fats can prevent the redistribution body fat towards your abs. This will help you keep your midsection tight while your get bigger. Avocados are also a great way to get extra fiber in your diet without filling you up.
Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil should be a staple in your diet, used in cooking a low temperatures and drizzled on salads and other vegetables throughout the today. In addition to being packed with heart healthy fats, extra virgin olive oil is loaded with polyphenols. Polyphenols are a power class of antioxidants that will help keep the oxidative stress created by your intense training sessions in check so you can continue to train and grow at your max. If your olive oil has a peppery taste, then you know it is full of polyphenols.
Coconut milk is your magic muscle building bullet. Its versatility allows it to be added to sautéed spinach, protein shakes, or a bowl of Greek yogurt to near instantly boost the calorie content of any dish without you feeling like you are eating more. In addition, coconut milk contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are saturated fats that are absorbed and digested differently than the other fats in your diet making them more readily available to be used for energy and not stored as fat.