You've been working out for a while, but you're still just not seeing the kinds of results you want when it comes to your lean muscle mass.
In addition to hitting the gym, you also need to take a look at how what you're eating can impact your workout and your body.
We'll cover what your lean muscle meal plan should include, from healthy fats found in salmon and tuna to connecting with protein-packed foods.
When you're ready to create the perfect diet plan for building lean muscle and cutting out unnecessary calories, we urge you to keep on reading this post.
More Is More (When It Comes to Protein)
Believe it or not, one of the first big shifts that you need to make when you start a diet plan for building lean muscle is committing to eating more.
Of course, we're sadly not giving you a blanket excuse to eat tons of carbs, ice cream, and indulge in your favorite takeout burger.
Instead, you need to up your overall protein intake. This is because your body is able to burn off more protein calories than other kinds of calories.
In fact, studies have down that bodybuilders who dedicated about 30% of their daily calorie intake towards protein-rich foods were able to speed up their metabolisms and burn off more calories throughout the day.
The same study referenced above also showed that upping your daily protein intake actually helps to build more lean muscle. Making sure that you have enough lean muscle in your body is what can help you to avoid those annoying workout plateaus that can seriously mess with your motivation to work out.
So, how can you include more protein in your lean muscle meal plan?
First of all, it might surprise you to know that those protein-packed bars, supplements, and powders aren't always your best bet.
While they can certainly help you if you're currently underweight, the most effective way to get more protein is by eating foods like eggs and egg whites, a chicken breast, salmon, and even black beans.
Eat the Right Kinds of Fats
Especially if you've been a part of the bodybuilding world for some time, you've likely learned that eating healthy fats is an important part of your muscle building workout and diet plan.
The fact is that these healthy fats provide you with higher levels of energy so that you can work out for harder and longer in the gym.
Plus, eating healthy fats will also ensure that you don't crash or burn out after an especially strenuous workout.
In fact, if you don't eat enough healthy fats, your body will store those unhealthy fats in your system for longer -- because it has to get energy from somewhere.
So, you need to eat plenty of "good" fat to prevent a buildup of the "bad" ones in your body.
Plus, healthy fats can also help you to lower inflammation levels, keep your cholesterol in a healthy place, and prevent blood clots from forming.
You should eat fats that contain omega-three fatty acids, which will also help to keep blood pressure levels in a healthy range.
These foods include things like:
- Olive oil
- Chia seeds
- Dark chocolate (yes, you read that right)
- Grass-fed beef
Carbs and Your Muscle Building Plan
Oh, carbs -- they've been called every name in the book from good to bad.
Some experts claim that they're the secret to giving your body the energy it needs to work out, while others insist that they're what's preventing you from putting on lean muscle and encouraging your body to store fat.
So, what is the truth?
In the end, when it comes to a muscle building diet plan, it's somewhere in between.
Remember that, without enough carbs, your body will start to break into your muscles to access what it needs to create glucose. So, this means that you'll end up putting the lean muscle mass that you've worked so hard to put on at risk if you completely take carbs out of your diet.
In general, the amount of carbs that you'll need to eat will depend on how much time you're spending in the gym, your weight, and even the number of reps that you're doing and how much you're lifting.
In general, you need to make it a point to eat carbs in the morning.
This is because, since it's been a while since you last ate, the levels of cortisol in your body will be higher than at any other point throughout the day. Eating carbs will help to get them back down to a better range.
You should also try to eat carbs about an hour to two hours before you work out.
To avoid eating too many carbs?
Try to hit the gym in the morning after your carb-based breakfast, if you can.
A Diet Plan for Building Lean Muscle: Wrapping Up
From understanding the right way to eat carbs to making sure that you're getting plenty of protein in your diet, we hope that this post has helped you to create a great diet plan for building lean muscle.
Of course, when you hit the gym, it's also important to have the right gear and clothing.
What you wear can motivate you to work out, and can even help to improve your form.
Are you looking for the best workout gear?
Be sure to browse through our excellent products to find it.
And keep on checking back with our blog to learn how to get the most out of every workout.