This is usually the forgotten element of most mass programs. Food. The truth is, no one will gain muscle without food. It seems so simple and basic, yet most don’t get enough of it to build muscle.
Dieting for muscle gain is simply a matter of eating. You must eat more calories than your body burns off. Now, when I say eat, I do not mean just anything. All calories are not created equal. In other words, some types of calories are not equal to others for gaining muscle. For example, if I said that you need to eat 2,000 calories per day to gain weight, and you eat 4 bags of potato chips each day, do you think you would gain muscle? Not likely.
The majority of your weight would be fat. Why? Because potato chips, like most processed junk food, contains empty, totally nutritionless calories. These foods do not provide you with the correct nutrient breakdown essential for gaining muscle.
High quality protein, which the body breaks down into amino acids, should be the center point of all your meals. Intense exercise increases demand for amino acids, which support muscle repair and growth. When you train with weights, you should eat a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, for example, if you weight 100 lbs., you should be eating at least 100 grams of protein per day. You also must have protein at every meal.
To enable your body to actually assimilate and use the all the calories you will ingest, you have to reduce your meal size and increase your meal frequency. Splitting your calories into smaller, more frequent portions will enable food absorption and utilization of nutrients . I always eat six meals each day, evenly spaced out at three-hour intervals. My goal is to provide my body with constant nourishment throughout the day.
You don’t have to have carbs or fat at every meal, but you must have protein. When I say protein, I am referring to high quality protein derived from animal sources. Soy protein, tofu and bean curd have their place, but for getting bigger and stronger, the only protein you need to be concerned with are those found in whey, casein (cottage cheese), eggs, beef, poultry, and fish.
High Protein Foods
Fish (tuna, salmon)
Soy protein Isolate
High Carbohydrate Foods
Potatoes (baked, fries, hash browns)
Sweet Potatoes, yams
Oatmeal, cream of wheat, cream of rice rice
Any green leafy vegetable
All cereals (hot or cold)