When it comes to a mass gaining diet people often make two common mistakes, they either don’t eat enough or they eat far too much and end up just gaining tons of body fat. Neither is going to build muscle. Yes, it’s important to constantly be in a calorie surplus whilst trying to gain some quality muscle, however unless you have the metabolism of a pro you do not need to be eating 6000 calories, or 5000, or maybe even 4000.
The people who fall into the “not eating enough” bracket are most likely the people who try to keep it really clean and low fat, chicken, turkey and egg whites are for diet time, when its mass gaining time you need to be eating a wider variety of foods all containing lots of protein, fats and carbs. You will gain some body fat whilst your calories are increased so this is where the mirror and some common sense comes into play. If after a week or so on increased calories you’re gaining a mid-section you may want to reduce the calories slightly. Gaining 1lb of fat for every 2lb of muscle is what you should be aiming for.
When trying to gain mass with minimal body fat you should exaggerate the size of 3 main meals, which are what we will concentrate on in this article, breakfast, pre-workout your post workout meals. This means more protein, more carbs and a little fat. When you eat a lot at breakfast you increase your anabolic hormones thus supressing the hormones that breakdown muscle. After training your body is like a vacuum sucking up all the incoming nutrition which triggers muscle growth.
STEAK & EGGS
Contents – 3 large free range eggs, 10oz rump steak, 100g oats
Sat fat 13.1g
Pound for pound red meat is one of the most beneficial protein and amino acid sources available to us, not only is it an excellent protein source but it’s packed full of vitamins and minerals including zinc, vitamin B12 and iron. Steak contains monounsaturated and saturated fats, mono’s are good for a healthy heart and saturated are great for testosterone production which is ideal for gaining mass.
Each egg contains about 6g of high quality protein, in fact eggs have the highest score on the protein efficiency ratio. This test was based on the ability to promote growth on young animals. A more modern test is the protein digestibility correct amino acid score (PDCAAS) and guess what? Eggs are still top. Like steak, eggs also contain a vitamin cocktail including A, E and K, vitamin B12 and folic acid.
A great source of low GI, low sugar and low calorie carbohydrate. Packed with fibre which help slow the rate of release into the blood stream giving you a longer more steady supply of energy. I add hot water, a little stevia and some dark chocolate cocoa and it tastes amazing.
GROUND BEEF, WHITE RICE, WHOLEGRAIN BAGEL AND PEANUT BUTTER
Contents – 200g white basmati rice, 250g 5% steak mince, one wholegrain bagel and a generous serving of 100% natural peanut butter.
Sat fat 3g
Note; Peanut butter is not included as this is a meal for MASS, realistically I wouldn’t go as far as to measure the peanut butter, save that for pre-contest.
Why Ground Beef?
Ground beef is a perfect addition to any diet, it’s cheap, takes no prep time and is packed full of protein and all the benefits mentioned with the steak. As its ground it’s easily digested and goes perfect with rice pre-workout.
Why White Rice?
White or brown.. the GI isn’t much different and to be honest it doesn’t really matter, for me white rice just taste nicer so I have it whilst bulking or dieting. I feel I can eat a lot more white rice and never get bloated, it empties the stomach very quickly so it’s perfect for your pre-workout meal.
Why Wholegrain Bagel and Peanut Butter?
Cut the bagel in half, toast it and stick a thick layer of peanut butter on.. absolutely delicious and an excellent source of carbs, fibre and healthy fats perfect for energy to last you during your workout. It’s important that the nut butter is 100% peanuts, cashews or almonds which ever you choose.
CHEERIOS AND WHEY
Contents – 100g cheerios, 2 scoops whey protein, alpro soya light.
Sat fat 1.4g
Note; The values are minus the soya milk, its dairy, wheat and gluten free and contains virtually nothing apart from 2g protein per 100ml… put as much in as you like!!
Because you can…. Take advantage of the post workout window and have something that is really going to tickle those taste buds. Cheerios are packed full of whole grains with a good amount of simple sugars and low fat making them perfect post workout. Totally personal preference but I put everything in the same bowl and mix it up.
Why Whey Protein?
As we all know protein is the only nutrient that will make muscle grow, it’s important we have a decent amount of protein in our system at all times but it’s especially important to consume whey protein post workout. I stick to isolate all year round, but when bulking people may say a blend is more beneficial. Honestly though… it’s not going to make a difference.
When trying to gain MASS try not to restrict yourself, take this time to experiment with different foods, flavours and recipes. Trust me, when diet time comes you will wish you had. Remember bodybuilding, especially gaining lean mass takes time, so be consistent and be patient and it will happen.
Keep looking in the mirror and assessing your condition, don’t let it get to out of control as your metabolism will slow and it will take twice as long to come off. Don’t just “eat big to get big” be smart and you will reap the rewards.