When building muscle, having the right amounts of calories, proteins, carbs and fats is so important to getting results. To do that without the OCD of counting grams of everything that you need, it is best if you have a plan on what you are going to eat the next day. This is just a dietary outline that will support muscle growth. You are free to pick and choose what to eat, and if you want to substitute certain foods, pick something with equal nutritional value. For example, you can substitute butter for coconut oil because they both contain fats or eggs for cottage cheese because they both contain protein. A tip I would generally give is to eat a lot (increase the size of portions), but also eat smartly (try to be healthy and have smaller, more frequent meals). On top of that, drink plenty of water but also make sure that it does interrupt the digestion of healthy solids by drinking water an hour before or after a meal. Scroll down for ‘FAQ’
- Natural porridge flavoured with honey, berries, almonds along with 3 scrambled or boiled eggs
- A BIG portion of porridge flavoured with honey, berries, almonds, a scoop of protein powder, and a tsp of coconut oil or (organic) butter
- A slice of whole grain bread with cottage cheese and 2 tbsp of flaxseed oil. Don’t forget your favourite fruit!
- 1 cup of Greek yoghurt with half a handful of almonds and 3 eggs in a wholemeal tortilla wrap with lots of veggies
- Protein pancakes (available in the Recipes section – Breakfast/Lunch), just a scoop of protein powder to the oatmeal pancakes and more milk
- Chopped banana with protein powder mixed in Greek yoghurt on top, almonds, and berries. Top with 3 tbsps of granola
- BIG cup of Greek yoghurt with walnuts or almonds, honey, bananas or dates.
- A chicken wrap with 1 tbsp of mayonnaise and lots of veggies
- Protein salad: diced chicken (or any protein portion of your choice), with lots of greens (especially spinach), beetroot, avocado, crumbled feta cheese, olive oil, and omega seeds. In addition, have 3 rice cakes or oat cakes
- Scrambled eggs with plenty of greens, avocados, almonds and olive oil served with a slice of whole grain bread
- Guacamole made with 2 avocados, lots of veggies, and lemon juice (especially if you don’t like avocado!), with a protein portion and a cup of beetroot juice
- Big portion of brown rice or quinoa with grilled tuna fillets, lots of veggies and olive oil. Have salad on the side
- Whole-grain bread sandwich with a big protein portion,mayonnaise and veggies. Have a handful of almonds too.
- Whole-wheat pasta with veggies and feta cheese. Have a portion of protein too!
This may be likely the time you workout, if it isn’t (and you are not going to workout within the next 2 hours, then keep eating…)
- Roasted sweet potato with melted butter and a handful of almonds with a cup of Greek yoghurt and honey
- White fish and soup
- Pomegranate Bruschetta (available in the Recipes section – Breakfast/Lunch), and vegetarian meat (it is high in protein, low in unhealthy fats and can even be cheaper than normal meat)
- Protein shake with 1/4 cup raw oats
- Purple Passion Smoochie (available in the Recipes section – Breakfast/Lunch)
This is likely to be your dinner, and if you live with your family, you may not have much control on what you might eat. Try to have a protein portion, healthy carbs like brown rice, brown pasta, quinoa, or wild rice, lots of vegetables and of course, healthy fats! If you are looking for something quick to do, try a Chinese stir fry with lots of protein and soba noodles (very high in protein) or rice
If bed time is in 2-3 hours, try not to eat something really heavy with a lot of carbohydrates. That is because during sleep, you want your body to fully focus on rebuilding muscle tissue and resting instead of digesting foods. What I do recommend is to have a cup of cottage cheese (that is full of protein that will be handy for your body to use during sleep!),a handful of nuts, 2 tbsp of peanut butter, protein shake, vegetables, berries, or Greek yoghurt. If bed time is not in 2-3 hours, then continue eating!
Pre and Post Workout
- 2-3 hours before a workout, have a well balanced meal with plenty of proteins, brown carbs, and veggies
- 1 hour before a workout have a little bit of Greek yoghurt, mixed with a little protein powder and an apple or sliced apples with peanut butter/almond butter on top
- As you approach your workout time and during your workout, drink water. How about a few sips after each set?
- Within 20 minutes of finishing your workout, have your protein shake (it should contain at least 20-25g of protein) and quick carbs like 2 bananas or 3-5 dates
- An hour after your protein shake, have a well balanced meal with plenty of proteins, carbs, and veggies that will supply you with calories and healthy fats
- How much calories, proteins, carbs and fats do I actually need per day?
It all depends on each individual. Generally, you need to add 500 calories to what you already consume each day. In addition, the more muscles you pack, the more you increase the calories. You need 1-1.5g of protein per pound of body weight. 300-500 grams of carbs is sufficient. And finally, 60-80g of fat. My favourite way of counting calories is to listen to your body, so be sensitive enough to the workings of your body and know when you’re really hungry, because you will automatically get more hungry as you pack on muscle and carry out physical activity.
2. What is the quickest way to add these macro-nutrients to my diet?
Calories and Fat=
- A tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil contains just over 100 calories and over 10g of fat
- 1 Avocado contains around 240 calories and just over 20 grams of fat
- A handful of almonds contain around 200 calories (depending on your hand size!),17g of fat, and also 7 grams of protein!
- One serving of Sesame paste/tahini contains as much protein as a tuna can, and is filled with healthy fats and calories.
- A handful of almonds contains 7 grams of protein
- Greek yoghurt should have 10g of protein per serving
- Vegetarian meat is high in protein, low in unhealthy fat and can be a cheaper alternative
- Cottage cheese is such a quick way to have more protein, 10g per serving. So if you have 2-3 servings you already have a big portion of your daily intake!
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter contains 4g of protein and 8 g of fat
- Of course, red meats, chicken, fish, etc. should be staple in your diet, so try to fit them in at least 2 meals per day.
- One serving of Sesame paste/tahini contains as much protein as a tuna can
3. Can’t I just consume a load of protein in one sitting?
Generally, your body doesn’t absorb over 25g of protein in one sitting, because it doesn’t need it. That’s why it’s a good idea to eat protein every few hours and to spread your protein intake across the day to keep your muscles happy.