What foods to eat to gain weight and Build Muscle Mass

By , March 7th, 2013 | Bulking up, Nutrition | 4 Comments

This is part-2 of what to eat to gain weight and build muscle series. If you had missed the part-1, you can read it here. So previous post we learned about Calories and general idea on how to gain weight easily and build muscle. Now this post will contain foods to eat to gain weight.  Only if you had read the earlier post (part-1) you could catch up with this.

vegetables high on protein

Does protein make you gain weight?

Your body cannot do anything without protein. Be prepared to eat lot of protein rich food items along with the carbohydrates. Remember, you need to fill up your calorie targets daily. So calculate the number of calories and decide the food items to eat. You daily diet should contain protein, carbs and fat.

If you say I’m a hard gainer/skinny and I can’t gain muscle – you are not eating enough. It is must that you need to eat more calories than you burn. At least add 500 calories to your current daily intake. If you don’t see a change in your body after four weeks, add another 500 calories. Remember, fat food items can help you to reach your calories target easily.

How much protein to build muscle?

There is a myth that has been floating around for generations. When you take large quantities of protein, your body builds muscle quickly. This is absolutely not true. Your body takes only what it requires. You should never load too many at a time. Instead, divide it and intake at regular intervals.

Protein is a complex chemical structure of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen. Their function involves more than muscle tissue repair. So the role of protein is very important to over-all body function and health. Sadly the media and magazines have shown that protein is mainly used to repair damaged muscle tissues. I suggest having 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.  So if you’re 192 lbs., then 192×1.4 = 269gms of protein per day. Your daily diet should have around 270gms of protein if your body weight is around 190lbs.

Foods to build muscle

As I said above, your daily meal should have enough protein, carbs and fat. Proteins help you to build muscle, carbs gives you enough energy and fat helps you to put some weight. You should choose food items so it varies your protein sources to get the full range of amino acids.

fruits chart protein, carbs, fat

Healthy weight gain foods

Red Meat – Steaks & ground round. Top round, sirloin.

Poultry – Chicken breast, ground turkey, whole chicken.

Fish – Canned tuna, mackerel, salmon.

Dairy – Milk, cottage cheese, plain low fat yogurt, quark cheese, whey.

Eggs – Whole eggs, scrambled eggs. Don’t worry about cholesterol.

Nuts – Walnuts, almonds, cashew, pistachio

Vegetable chart comparing calories, fat, carbs, and protein

What to eat to gain weight as a vegetarian

Beans – Black, garbanzo, hummus, kidney, fava, winged, mungo, lima

Legumes – Lentils, peas, peanuts, peanut butter

Nuts – Walnuts, almonds, pistachio, cashew

Seeds – Sesame, pumpkin, hemp, flax

Milk – Soy milk, almond milk

Soy – Soy beans, tofu, deli-style soy meats, soy cheese

Whole Grains – Brown rice, quinoa, granola, oats, breads

Veggies – Broccoli, asparagus, spinach, kale, collard greens

Protein Powder – Soy protein, hemp protein, rice protein

Three or four times a week have chocolate, ice cream, pizza, burgers, etc.

Make sure you choose the food items so that it meets your calorie target. Also load it equally throughout the day. How equally? Prepare a 7 times meal plan that includes breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, Post workout, Dinner, pre bed. Protein is acidic. Eat plenty of veggies, ideally with each meal, to combat acidity. This prevents muscle and bone loss.

Sometime later I wish to write about workout routine to build muscle.

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Hi. My name is James Gold. I'm a Fitness trainer. My goal is to inspire and motivate you to live a better life. I want to share the knowledge on how to workout properly, how to eat right when working out and to improve your health and well being.

4 comments so far

  • Seana - Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel Says: March 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Hi there,

    I almost fell over when I saw that protein in veggies poster… but looked into it more and realised that it isn’t really true… the amount of protein on the graphic further down is more correct.

    Is there 45% protein in broccoli if you discount the water or something like that?? I do love use of infographics though. Cheers

  • Aamir Says: August 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I was going gym first my size was very good and then I stoped gym and started marsial art now want to go gym again but I don`t want to lose my speed and flexibility what should I do pleez help me

  • shivam Says: December 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    hello! im 16 nd im hitting the gym by the past 6 months
    nd i do not see any change in by body yet

  • Let Says: January 10, 2014 at 11:34 am

    When cutting and diet consists of mostly protein. What are good carbs to consume before and after workouts to avoid feeling lightheaded or faint?


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