Regular exercises and a well-built meal plan are two most important factors for building muscle mass. If you want to get the most from your workout plan, you need to eat right and feed your muscles with healthy nutrients.
When you are trying to achieve your muscle-building goals, you can not neglect making the right meal plan. In this article, we have prepared a 7-day meal plan, which includes the most important food groups that you need to consume in order to promote muscle growth.
How Does Your Body Build Muscle?
Before we start with the 7-day meal plan for muscle gain, here is some insight into how your body builds muscle. Your muscles get damaged due to the stress during exercise. Your body then rushes blood and nutrients to repair damaged cells. The protein in your food is what provides these nutrients, so you must nourish your muscles whenever you work out.
Athletes need extra protein before and after training to help with muscle regeneration and growth. But that’s not all! People looking to build muscle also need other nutrients like fats, carbs, and dietary fiber to get optimal results.
What Is My Energy Intake Needed To Build Muscle?
Before you start taking some steps to optimize your meal plan, you should find out how many calories you need to consume in a day. The average man can consume up to 2,400 calories per day without gaining weight. If you are aiming for mass gain instead of fat loss, then you should add 500 more calories to get the job done.
On the other hand, women need fewer calories than men to function, and it’s recommended that they only eat up to 2,000 per day for maintenance and an extra 300 calories if they’re trying to put on weight.
So now we know how many calories we need daily, but what about the ratio of macronutrients? It is time to start thinking about your meal plan.
What’s The Perfect Macro Ratio For Muscle Gain?
To gain muscle, you need:
- 30% to 35% of calories from protein
- 55% to 60% of calories from carbohydrates
- 15% to 20% of calories from fat
What To Eat On The Bodybuilding Diet?
Eating the right foods is the key to getting results, and following this 7-day meal plan will allow you to eat the right amount of each macronutrient group. At BetterMe, we emphasize a nutrient-rich diet made of whole foods and clean sources.
When it comes to muscle building, protein is the most important macronutrient in your diet. The ideal amount of protein that you should consume daily is 1 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight.
Carbs are needed for energy, which makes them instrumental in your workout plan. You need approximately 2-3 grams of whole grains per pound of your body weight.
Fats are important for your hormone production and cell function, but too much fat can cause problems like inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. You are advised to take 20-35% of your total calories from fat each day. Sources of healthy fat include coconut oil, fish, and nuts.
Fiber helps your digestive system work smoothly. You should consume at least 30 grams of fiber per day. Sources of dietary fiber include fruit, vegetables, and whole grains (e.g., brown rice and oatmeal).
Some athletes take supplements to maximize muscle mass, but that’s not necessary if you have a well-planned meal plan. The only supplements that are worth investing in are whey protein, creatine, and BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids).
Meal Plan For Muscle Building
Now we know how many calories we should be consuming and here are a few meal options for your 7-day meal plan:
- Overnight oats topped with berries and chia seeds
- Avocado and egg on whole-wheat toast
- Protein shakes (with water or nut milk)
- Chickpea salad with mixed greens, red onions, and tomatoes
- Brown rice with grilled chicken and veggies
- Tuna on whole-wheat bread with slices of avocado
- Baked potato topped with black beans, salsa, and guacamole
- Steak stir-fry with vegetables
- Shrimp curry with brown rice
- Raw veggies smothered in hummus for dipping
- Celery sticks stuffed with peanut butter
- Hard-boiled eggs
What To Avoid On The Bodybuilding Diet?
When you are building muscles, you should exclude these foods from your diet:
These will only serve as empty calories, and they won’t be very helpful in keeping you full.
Foods cooked in vegetable oils are filled with trans fats that can clog your arteries. Try baked, boiled, or grilled dishes instead.
No matter how good they make it look, these restaurants aren’t known for their healthy choices, and most of them use cheap ingredients like refined flour and sugar in pre-prepared menu items.
If you want to build muscle, then you need to take it easy on the drinks that contain alcohol. It is high in calories and it makes your body lose B vitamins that you need for muscle growth.
The Bottom Line
Getting and building muscles isn’t only made through exercising in the gym– consuming and following a healthy meal plan that emphasizes protein, whole grains, fruits, and veggies can do wonders too. Remember that it is important to eat right to boost muscle growth and get the body you desire.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for the diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!