One of the hardest parts to learn when you are working to build muscle, is to eat enough food to replenish your body and allow it to recover after a hard workout.
- What should you eat?
- How much protein do you need?
- When do you need to eat?
- If you are skinny, gain weight
- If you are fat, replace the fat with muscle
I have heard these words form so many trainers that it should be a motto or something by now. Eat like a horse, sleep like a baby and grow like a weed. I disagree about the sleep like a baby part though. I have been around a lot of babies. They sleep for two hours at a time, pee and poop in their diapers and want to be fed again. Not my idea of a lot of rest.
I think you should eat like a Chef (they only eat the best food usually), sleep like a Toddler (complete night sleep, and they can walk to the bathroom for cleanup), and grow like a weed. Weeds seem to grow everywhere, and we do want our muscles to grow.
What to eat?
- Proteins: Meat, Fish, eggs, etc. you have heard of all of this stuff before. But protein is also found in all plant foods to one degree or another. Vegetables, nuts, seeds, soy foods as well as bean and lentils.
- Carbs: whole grain pasta, oats (remember eat like a horse?), quinoa, brown rice and a bunch more stuff, research what you like.
- Veggies. Yahoo! Popeye loved spinach, because it kept him strong to the finish! There is also broccoli, tomatoes, salads, carrots, you get the idea right?
- Fruits: Banana, oranges, pineapple, pears and the list goes on!
- Fats: Yes! Butter, real butter!, olive oil, fish oil (I prefer the pill form), nuts and flax seeds. There are more but you get the idea.
How much protein do you need?
While training to build muscle mass, over and over again the most popular ration of 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight. That seems to be a common number that works well. No reason to overthink this thing!
When should you eat?
I always started with a good breakfast, and then every 3 hours after that. Make sure that one meal is post-workout. I like to eat 6 to seven meals a day when training hard. Different people will have different goals, do what works for you as you gain experience and test what is best for you!
Follow these steps, and you will gain weight, in muscle. If you are fat, you will gain muscle and sculpt your body.