Want to add pounds of lean mass muscle to your body, totally transforming your physique? If so, it’s time that you started focusing heavily on perfecting your muscle building diet.

If you’re putting in the time and effort in the gym, regularly pushing your body to the limit, it’s imperative that you are putting just as much concentration and effort into your diet plan.

Your diet is easily going to account for at least 75% of the results you see, so you can work as hard as you’d like but if your diet is not in place, you aren’t going to see the success you’re after.

Your diet is what will supply the muscles with the raw materials in which the body uses to generate more muscle mass along with the energy to make this process complete.

But, what do you need to do in order to design a perfect muscle building diet plan? That’s precisely what we’re going to go over in this article, so let’s have a quick look at what you need to know so that you can get your facts straight.

Setting Your Muscle Building Diet Calorie Target

Muscle building dietThe very first thing to get in order with any muscle building diet is your target calorie intake. Simply put, if you don’t provide your body with more energy than it requires to maintain its current body weight, you aren’t going to see any growth to your muscle mass size.

Since muscle can’t be built out of thin air, these excess calories are what will be used to formulate that new muscle tissue.

Most people will require somewhere between 16-20 calories per pound of body weight to generate more muscle, but in some cases if you’re someone who really struggles to add weight to your frame, you’ll have to go even higher than this.

Remember that figuring out your perfect calorie intake is an ongoing process so aim to adjust it every so often based on the real world results that you’re seeing.

Pumping Up The Protein For Massive Muscle Growth

[adrotate group=”1″]Next, you also need to make sure that you’re taking in enough protein. Protein is what will supply the building blocks that muscle is made of so you can’t fall short here. But, one important thing to note is that many people often think that more protein means more muscle growth. This, however, is not the case. Since the body can only generate so much muscle in any given day, more protein over and above what you need will just be used up for energy or converted to body fat stores.

The body cannot save protein for use at a later time, so there’s no point in taking in excessive amounts. One gram to one and a half grams at most per day will be sufficient.

Get this protein from lean sources such as lean red meat, chicken and turkey, low fat diary products, fish and seafood, whey protein powder, eggs and egg whites.

Fueling The Fire With Carbohydrates

Moving on to our second macro-nutrient, carbs will be a must in your muscle building diet. Without carbohydrates your cells simply won’t have the energy to complete the muscle building process, nor will you have enough energy to get through your intense training sessions.

Furthermore, carbohydrates are great since they do spike insulin levels, and this hormone just happens to be the most anabolic substance in the body. When insulin levels are elevated, the body will be in prime tissue building mode and provided you are performing intense weight training exercise, the tissues being built will be muscle mass.

When selecting your carbohydrates, choose wholesome, complex sources as often as possible such as oats, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain breads, bran cereals, and sweet potatoes. Fruits and vegetables should also be consumed for nutrients and fiber however avoid taking in large quantities on your muscle building diet as they will fill you up too quickly and make it hard to reach your calorie intake goals.

Place a high dose of carbohydrates right before and after the workout period as this is the time in the day when your muscles are going to need them the most.

Keeping Your Hormones Happy With Healthy Fats

Finally, it’s also very essential that you’re taking in enough healthy fats with your muscle building diet as well. Healthy fats are not only going to support a healthy overall body, but they’re also going to help promote high testosterone levels as well.

Since testosterone is the primary muscle building hormone, it’s vital that you’re doing everything you can to optimize it.

Healthy fats are going to be very beneficial for helping you get your total calorie intake up higher as well since they contain nine calories per gram compared to just four that protein and carbs contain.

The best healthy fat sources to turn to for your muscle building diet meal plan include flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, olive oil, safflower oil, avocados, nuts and nut butters, along with seeds. Fatty sources of fish are also excellent for their essential fatty acid content so make sure that you get those in as well.

When adding these to your diet plan, try and have 5-20 grams in each meal or snack that you consume (depending on your target calorie intake), except for right before and after the workout session. At this point in time you want to only be taking in proteins and carbohydrates as dietary fat will just slow the nutrient delivery to the muscle cells and that’s precisely what you want to be avoiding at this time. Instead, you want the carbs and protein to get digested rapidly so they can get into the muscle cells where they can begin the recovery and rebuilding process.

So there you have the key factors to know about designing and perfecting your muscle building diet plan. If you take the time to get every single one of these elements in order, then you can be sure that you’re on the path to success.

For a full muscle-building diet plan check out The Weight Gain Blueprint Program: A Step-By-Step Weight Gain Program For Skinny Guys.

Dan Merrell, CPT

I'm a certified personal trainer from Scottsdale, Arizona. My area of focus is helping skinny guys gain weight and build muscle fast. I've worked with hundreds of skinny guys and helped them transform their bodies. Read all of my articles on WeightGainNetwork.com and you can follow in their footsteps.

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