How to Eat For Muscle Gains

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Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

When it comes to our food why do we usually eat? Because we are hungry? Or sometimes because it just looks dang good and even though we are full, we still want it? Why should we eat though? Well there are several reasons. The first is for health. I want to be healthy. Healthy now and healthy into my old age. And also I want to gain lean muscle mass. I am always striving to build more muscle.

Your reasons may look slightly different, but chances are if you are reading this, then some of those ring true. Now let’s face it, I like food too, I don’t think kale belongs in smoothies, and lima beans are at the bottom of the list for me, but there are also a lot of healthy things I love. I talk a lot about those things in my Facebook group.

I love chicken, I really do, I never was much of a beef guy, so that transition was easy. What was hard? Ice cream. I used to lay out a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting, no joke.

It took me some time to get over that one, but it didn’t come down to just more self discipline, it came down to me getting to the heart of the matter. I knew I didn’t want to look or feel like I used to, and so I knew it was either the ice cream, or something new. I chose something new.

And the crazy part? I don’t miss it. Okay sure, once on a rare occasion I do get an ice cream craving, but compared to when I first started leaving it behind, it’s like night and day.

So if you are struggling with giving up unhealthy options, pick one thing, focus on it, and then once you have that conquered move on to something else. For more on focusing on where your calories are coming from, check out this week’s episode of the podcast.

And also? Hang on to your reasoning. Write yourself a note, reminding you of the reasons and stick to it. If your reason is to build muscle, awesome! If it’s something else, that’s fine too. But find your why.

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Why Are You Not Losing Body Fat?

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When it comes to food and getting in shape, one of the things that continually comes up are cheat meals. So what is the truth about them? Do they really effect your ability to gain muscle mass? Do they help you to lose body fat? Should you have regular cheat meals? There is tons of material out there that you need to eat crappy food in order to “shock” your body back into fat burning and lots of other nonsense (yes that’s nonsense).

But who wants to go forever without occasionally indulging or treating themselves to a night out or to a get cookout, right? But before you just go diving in and start shoveling down the hot-dogs and pizza like the zombie apocalypse is about to happen hold off.

There’s two elements to this if you are striving to gain lean muscle mass. The first is, don’t even think about getting in a cheat meal if you are just starting out on this journey. It takes time to build healthy habits and you don’t need to derail yourself right off the bat with a cheat meal that may lead you down a dangerous path. So if you are less than 6 weeks in, try to avoid a cheat meal.

 

The second main element here is not getting too overboard with a cheat meal. For instance let’s say you want to go to your favorite restaurant and are scanning the menu. Rather than opting for the 8 oz rib-eye with fried onion rings on the side, maybe grab the grilled chicken with a baked potato. It’s still going to be good, but a better option. You can have an enjoyable meal and it still not be terrible for you. I talk about this more in this week’s podcast episode.

Also think of it in the terms of a must have meal rather than a cheat meal. In other words only go for it if you absolutely must and can’t resist eating something from your old diet, but if you are feeling good, don’t just turn to a cheat meal, because it’s cheat night.

You are getting to eat healthy nutritious food that is packing on the lean muscle, so don’t view it that you need a “cheat” from that. Be smart about it, and be sparing with it, your muscle gains, and low body fat composition will thank you. I just wrapped up a 5 day nutrition video series over in our Bones to Bulk Facebook group, you can check out those here.

Want to Get Buff? (Are You Doing This)

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Photo by Jennifer Kim on Unsplash

One thing that I am constantly talking about on the Bones to Bulk podcast is how you have to be eating right if you want to gain lean muscle. Food is often the number one thing that is over-looked with any fitness goal.

Typically people think “I need to start lifting weights.” Well yes, you do, but that’s only a piece of the puzzle.

You have to be eating enough for your body to actually produce muscle mass. You can lift weights in the gym all day, but if your body doesn’t have an excess of calories to build those muscles, not much will ever change. I touch on this in the starters guide to getting buff.

And it’s not just about eating enough, it’s about eating the right types of foods. You can eat enough calories by just eating donuts and pizza, but that’s not going to pack on lean muscle mass. It’s only going to put on the wrong kind of weight.

You’ve got to focus on eating the right amount of the right type of food.

And what is the right type of food in order to gain muscle and go from skinny to buff?

Lean meats, complex and whole grain carbohydrates, fresh veggies and fruit and lots of water. So if you are struggling with packing on the muscle take a closer look at what you are eating and how much.

3 Reasons Diets Suck

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When it comes to gaining muscle and getting in shape, there’s probably not much that turns you off like hearing the word “diet”. And it should. Diets suck. Plain and simple. If you are a part of the Bones to Bulk Facebook group, you know that I can’t stand diets. And I’m going to give you 3 reasons why if you are trying to gain muscle, and get in the best shape of your life, why you should ditch the diet.

1. They set you up for failure. Diets by design are a temporary fix to a long term problem. They are set up to be temporary thing. Think about it. If you only temporarily put gas in your car and then stop, what’s eventually going to happen? You are going to run out of gas. Your diets can’t be these 30 day or 60 day fixes and then you just go back to how you ate before.

 

2.They teach you how to eliminate foods so that you accomplish your goals. Rather than teaching you how to eat and set up a firm foundation with eating, they only teach you what not to eat, so that once you are done, you go back to square one. Eating for true health, muscle gain, and overall fitness has way more to do with the healthy options that you add in to your diet, rather than what you take away.

3. Diets have an all or nothing approach. In other words, for x amount of time completely cut out x, y, and z. Our eating habits are built over a lifetime, and we can’t expect to all of a sudden completely change everything over night. Changing the way we eat takes a long time to fully conquer. It should be approached as a gradual climb, slowly replacing unhealthy foods with healthy foods.

Remember the key to gaining muscle, getting fit, and feeling amazing starts with what you put in your body. You can find out more at Bones to Bulk.

Why Food is Failing Your Muscle Gains

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Photo by GMB Monkey on Unsplash

When it comes to your nutritional intake are you eating to actually gain muscle? If you are skinny and want to have muscle or definition, you’ve got to be eating for it.

When weight loss is not the primary objective it’s easy to think that all we have to do is just go lift weights and we will naturally grow muscle. This was a common mistake I myself made when I first started. After all if bench press a lot of weight and crush it in the gym then those muscles will sprout. But that just isn’t the case.

While lifting in the gym is important, it’s just one piece of the puzzle, and it takes a lot of pieces to complete the picture. So what does eating for muscle gain look like?

It consists of first off eating enough. Chances are if you are naturally thin you have a high metabolism, so your body is burning off more calories than normal and it takes a good amount of extra calories in order to put on the muscle.

If you don’t have an excess of calories your body has nothing to build muscle with. It’s similar to if you were building a house, and decided you wanted to add on and build another room, but you only had enough material for the original plan. If you wanted to build the extra room you would have to take material away from another room, which would be counter-productive.

It’s the same way with our eating, we’ve got to have that excess. Now before you get too excited that doesn’t mean just go eat whatever you want in order to get extra calories. You’ve got to eat the right amount of calories or it will go to fat rather than muscle.

Lean meats, whole wheat and whole grain carbs, and lots of fresh veggies and fruit.

So when it comes to going from skinny to buff, don’t leave out the nutrition side. We are talking more about this in this week’s episode of the podcast, listen to it here.

3 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

 

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Photo by Sheelah Brennan on Unsplash

When it comes to the holidays do you worry about all the unhealthy foods that will be at the parties? The casseroles, the dessert table, the list goes on. But there are some ways you can help avoid binging all the crap food this holiday and cruising through without sabotaging your fitness goals.

  1.  Eat before. If you know you are going to a party, don’t avoid eating before hand. You don’t have to eat a full blown meal, but have a good sized snack. Try a half cup of almonds, and a cup of Greek yogurt. Both are protein packed and will fill you up. This one thing will help you overcome loading up your plate with all the things you shouldn’t eat. The reason is because first it does something mentally. You know going in that you just ate a healthy snack so you are more in the mindset of eating healthy, second you will be more full so your eyes won’t be doing the loading up on the plate.
  2. Drink lots of water. Make it your priority to grab a water as soon as you get there. Whether it’s a bottle of water you carry around or a solo cup filled with water. This will do two things. It will keep you from grabbing soda or some sugar-laden tea and it will also keep you slightly fuller.
  3. Pick one. While I do not propose that you make a habit of eating desserts. Occasionally it’s fine to have one piece as long as you know it’s not going to set you completely off course and cause a downward spiral. But pick out a favorite ahead of time. When you first see the dessert table choose one thing you really like and stick to eating only that one thing. Keeping that in mind that you will only eat one helps you avoid making a whole plate of desserts.

You can do this, you can get through the holidays, still enjoy going to parties and get-togethers and stay on track with your fitness goals.

Why You’re Eating Wrong

wordswag_1536861005165What if I told you that the key to everything you want with your fitness level has to do with food.  Would you believe me?  Sure the gym is important.  Working out is important, but it’s a very small piece of the puzzle.

With that being said, there is so much information both good and bad out there about nutrition.

Starting Monday I am launching an exclusive video series talking about the do’s and don’t of food.  All you have to do is be a part of my Facebook group to watch them.

Join here: Bones to Bulk Facebook Group