There is often a disconnect between lifting weights and eating. When it comes to weight loss people tend to turn to diets, but when it comes to gaining muscle whether just for definition and strength or for actual muscle mass, it’s usually equated with lifting heavy weights.
While yes this is a part of the equation, just lifting heavy weights is not going to add mass to your body. Yes you will get stronger, and yes you will gain some definition, but mass? No. If you want to gain muscle mass you’ve got to eat like it. And no, this doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want because you are bulking. So don’t try that excuse here, it doesn’t fly.
There are some modes of thought that follow that being healthy and having muscle mass are two different things. While they can be, they shouldn’t be.
I am all for gaining mass, that’s what I strive for, but I also want to be healthy, on the inside and out. I don’t want to be in good shape on the outside, and my arteries clogged on the inside because of all the “bulking burgers” I just downed.
Eat clean and eat a lot. Now yes this does consist of eating a lot. For me personally I aim for roughly 3,300 calories a day. That’s what works for me, but one size does not fit all in this scenario. Second those 3,300 calories come from clean foods, no garbage. It’s hard. Eating clean and consuming that many calories is no walk in the park, but it’s worth it, because you will feel better on the outside as well as on the inside.
So what does clean eating look like? It means drinking nothing but water and low-fat milk. Eating lean meats, chicken, fish, or turkey. Fresh veggies, fresh fruit, complex carbs like sweet potatoes, couscous, brown rice, whole wheat breads and pastas, whole grain oats, whole grain cereals. It means not eating out five nights a week, or grabbing something quick on the go.
Yes this is a lot, and yes it does take work, but the biggest work involved is getting your head in the game and committing and building the habit of eating healthy day in and day out. Once you have that habit developed you are golden. So get in there and eat clean, lift hard, and put on the mass. You’ve got this.
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