This clean bulking meal plan will show you how to gain muscle without gaining much (if any) fat.
There is a ton of information on this topic so I want to break it down and make it really easy for you to stay on track with your muscle building goals.
Your diet is actually even more important than your workouts when it comes to building muscle mass quickly, so here is the complete guide to building muscle without any fat.
How Many Calories?
Since I am not personally coaching you and I don’t know your metabolism and exact situation, we are going to use a method that I call “guesstimate and check” to figure out how many calories you need to be eating to gain muscle without gaining any fat.
Since your activity level, metabolism, and hormones fluctuate each day we are going to make a very educated guesstimate.
The first thing I want you to do is take your body weight and multiply it by 15.
If you weigh 150 lbs. take this number and multiply it by 15 to get:
- 150 x 15 = 2,250 calories
This is a guesstimate on our maintenance calories, but we have to be slightly ahead of maintenance to be in a prime muscle building state.
The trick is to stay in a surplus so all of the extra calories go to muscle building, and none are stored as body fat.
This takes some guess work and some testing of course.
Next we are going to take the 2,250 maintenance calories and add between 500 and 1,000 to that number.
If you know you are super active and have a very fast metabolism add 1,000 to this number.
If you pack on body fat a bit easier, you should add closer to 500 to this number.
Most importantly, track your calories and weigh yourself at the same time each week.
If you are training like a monster and your calories are on point, you should be gaining between 0.75 – 1.25 lbs. per week.
If you are gaining drastically more than this you are eating too many calories and are storing body fat.
Your body simply cannot build 2-3 lbs. of muscle per week regardless of how hard we train, so the 1 lb. per week guesstimate will keep you on track with your calories so you can gain muscle without fat!
Now that we have our total number of calories figured out let’s dive into the macronutrient breakdown!
Hopefully by now you know you need to have a variety of protein, carbs, and healthy fats to build muscle, but have you ever thought to yourself how much of eat do you need?
Let this guide you!
- Protein: 1 – 1.2g per lb. of bodyweight
- Carbohydrates: 2 – 2.25g per lb. of bodyweight
- Fat: 25-35% of total calories from fat
Let’s use the 150 lb. guy eating at around a 750 calorie surplus for this example.
150 lbs. x 15 = 2,250 + 750 calories = 3,000 total calories.
Protein: 150 x 1.2 = 180 grams. (720 calories from protein).
Carbs: 150 x 2.0 = 300 grams. (1,200 calories from carbs).
Fats: Remainder of calories. 3,000 total calories – 1,920 = 1,080. Since fat is 9 calories per gram we divide this number to see we need to eat 120 grams of fat.
This comes out to about 36% of our total calories, on the high end but great for maximum hormone production on a muscle building diet.
There are only a few rules of thumb that I want to cover when it comes to macronutrient timing and best macro choices.
I don’t want to overwhelm you, and these simple rules will keep you on track and give you the best results.
- Carbohydrate timing
The most important time of the day when you want to load up on carbs is going to be pre workout, post workout, and breakfast.
These are the times of the day when your body is going to be the most “catabolic” – and since the goal is to build muscle without storing fat I highly recommend you get in at least 70% of your daily carbs during breakfast, pre workout, and post workout!
- Protein spread out
Other than carbohydrate timing, the only other rule is that you should be getting in a healthy amount of protein with every meal and snack.
Since the goal is muscle building you should never eat a snack that is NOT high in protein.
For example, peanut butter on celery with raisins only contains about 5-10 grams of protein, and a lot more fat and carbs than protein.
A much better snack would be 4 ounces of grass fed beef topped with sliced avocado, which is loaded with protein and healthy fats.
Here is a quick list of the best macro choices that I recommend to build muscle and keep the fat at a minimum!
Grass fed beef, grilled chicken, lean turkey breast, white fish, salmon, sardines, shrimp, scallops, egg whites, whole eggs, Tofu, soy beans, whey protein, cottage cheese
Sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, lentils, fruits, vegetables, oats, steel cut oats, black beans, etc.
By product from eating wild caught fish and whole eggs, avocado, nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds
Obviously there are more choices but this list is super clean and will give you epic body transformation results!
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