When it comes to developing muscles, whether you are trying to look like the hulk or just shooting for some definition, your diet is the biggest factor in that. If you just workout and lift, you are not going to change much. You will get stronger and you might see some very slight definition but if you just workout without changing your eating habits you are setting yourself up for failure. I know because I did this for the first couple years I worked out. I had no clue what I was doing, and was frustrated that I could see no results.
So how do you eat for muscle growth? Well while there is a lot of information out there on this, there also a lot of wrong information out there. You want to grow lean muscle not fat with muscle, so contrary to what a lot of people will say don’t just load up on calories, that’s not effective.
You want to eat clean lean meats. Turkey, chicken, or fish will pack the lean protein on and help with muscle growth. Complex carbs are also a vital part of nutritional health for building muscle, complex carbs consist of things like sweet potatoes, couscous, brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa, whole grain oats etc.
Fresh veggies, and lots of water should be a given as well. Stay away from any liquid if it’s not water or a low percent milk or milk alternative (like almond milk).
Finally and most importantly you have to eat the right amounts of calories, get an app like Lose It or Myfitnesspal, or just go to google and type in “calorie calculator”. On all of these you will put in your stats, for instance, your age, weight, height, activity level and then select your goal, so weight loss for dropping some weight and toning, or weight gain for building muscle and mass.
Then it’s going to give you a number which is how many calories you should eat in a day to reach the goal you punched in. That is your magical number that you need to hit every day. That is what is going to determine your success or your failure.
So don’t overthink this, workout, eat clean, and hit your calorie number each day. Do this day in and day out and after a few months you will begin to get stronger, feel better, and be healthier. You’ve got this.