While it’s easy to turn to meal replacements like protein shakes, it’s vital that you’re focussing just as much on your food as you are on your weights at the gym if you’re looking to build muscle.
As the saying goes, “The more serious you are about your nutrition, the more serious your gains will be.”
In today’s post, we will be covering the essentials for building muscle through nutrition. We’re talking about what to focus on, what to eat and when to eat.
A focus on protein
Duh right? We think it’s safe to say that you already know to build muscle you need to be getting enough protein in your diet. But at Chef Good we like to focus on getting this protein through healthy and delicious food, not resorting to shakes and powders. You can read more on that here.
So what to eat?
- Eggs are often said to be the “perfect” protein. Ensure you’re eating the whole egg as protein in an egg is pretty evenly split between yolk and white.
- Beef is an important ingredient to include as it’s great for building lean muscle due to its high protein content. You’ll also find essential B vitamins, zinc and iron in there.
- If you’re looking for a non-animal source of protein, give quinoa a go. As well as being a slow-digesting (read low GI) carbohydrate it is also a complete protein.
Eat your three meals a day plus snacks!
When you’re looking to not only fuel your body but to make gains you need to make sure you’re getting enough food. Read: up the calories!
Our 1800 calorie option is excellent if you’re ready to gain muscle and hit the weights because along with your three square meals a day, you’ll also be receiving two snacks for each day.
The idea is to eat more frequently, and you do this for a couple of reasons.
By eating portion controlled meals more regularly, you’ll allow your stomach to decrease in size meaning you’ll feel fuller quicker and won’t binge later.
You’re also allowing less time for cravings to build up; instead, you’re continually feeling satiated.
Carb the heck up
To properly fuel your body to work out, you need to be putting the right stuff into it. This means carbohydrates.
For most of your meals, you will want to look for low GI, slow-digesting options like whole grains, beans, veggies (like sweet potato) and oats. Another popular addition is brown rice, tasty and will provide long-lasting energy throughout your workout and day.
Eat low-calorie fruit and veg with every meal
Most fruit and veg are relatively low in carbs; this means you can eat lots to fill you up without going over your daily calorie limit. As a bonus, fruits and vegetables are brimming with essentials like fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Some of our suggestions are berries, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens like spinach and kale, sprouts and cauliflower.
Learn to love fat
Did you know that you’re supposed to eat fat? In fact, about 20 to 35% of your daily calorie or kilojoule intake should come from fat.
Fat plays an essential role in our body, supporting us in:
- Cell function and growth development
- Energy production
- Storing energy
- Maintaining healthy skin and other tissue
- Transporting vitamins
- Proper nerve and brain function
Choose good quality fats like red meat (steak or minced beef), avocado, nuts, olive oil and fatty fish (salmon, sardines, trout).
Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve got your back (muscles)
We know that we’ve just dumped a whole bunch of information on you and you probably don’t even have the time or the inclination to put all of it into practice. But that’s okay, we’ve made it super easy. All you need to do is click your mouse a few times to order your meals from us. We’ve sorted out the protein, the fat, the carbs and all that stuff. All you need to turn your attention to is what’s going on at the gym. Nutrition sorted.