You need three things for building muscle: training, food and rest. Unfortunately it’s not that simple – if it were we would all be walking around looking like greek gods! You could be following an exceptional training plan in the gym and getting 8 hours of sleep a night, but without getting your diet right you will seriously limit your results.
For building muscle you need to be in a caloric surplus – taking in more calories than you are burning. You need to provide enough proteins, carbs and fats to enable your body to grow, and these should all come from healthy, unprocessed, natural food sources.
“In order to gain muscle you need to be in a caloric surplus – taking in more calories than you are burning.”
For help on what proportions of macronutrients to eat, see our Nutrition Calculator. Another tip is to eat the majority of your carbs within a 2 hour window before and after your workout to aid with your training and recovery.
If you keep your body healthy with a clean diet, your bodily processes will work more efficiently. Creating an efficient environment, as well as supplying the training stimulus, nutrients and calories which your body needs is the best thing you can do for building muscle. Check out our recommendations for foods to eat and avoid HERE.
Here are a few examples of clean muscle building meals – if you want to keep it simple, stick to the staple meal of Meat/Fish + Rice/Potato/Sweet Potato + Vegetables + Olive Oil. This combination should always give you a healthy mix of macronutrients for muscle repair and growth.
- Oats with milk, followed by Tomato & Onion Omelette
- Mackerel Fillets and Poached Eggs
- Mixed berry protein pancakes
Main Meal Ideas:
- Baked Potato/Sweet Potato with Tuna and Olive oil
- Chicken Salad with Potato and Olive Oil
- Boiled Egg and Potato Salad with Avocado
- Chicken/Fish/Turkey Thai curry with Rice & Vegetables
- Chilli Con Carne with Rice & Vegetables
- Oven Cooked Salmon Fillets with Mashed Potato and Broccoli
- Meat/Fish with Rice/Potatoes and Vegetables
- Handful of Macadamia Nuts
- Canned Fish
- Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter
- Dark Chocolate
For healthy muscle-building meals with full cooking instructions, check out our Gourmet Fitmeals Recipe Pack!