Bulking up your muscle mass requires proper diet and an extensive workout regimen. Eating everything in sight is not considered bulking up; it's just packing on calories. Strategic meal planning will get you where you want to be much faster and will help nourish your body's needs while keep your energy levels up. Get creative with meal ideas but keep your food choices and portions in check.
Protein is essential for bulking up. As a general rule, you should eat 1.5 grams of protein for each pound of your weight each day. It is a good idea to break it up into smaller sections throughout the day, eating every few hours. The best proteins to eat for bulking up is lean proteins, such as turkey, chicken, pork, lean beef, salmon, cod, tofu, egg whites, Greek yoghurt, beans, nuts or cottage cheese.
The body uses carbohydrates for fuel and energy, as well as helping bring the amino acids from protein-rich foods to your muscles. Bulking up requires 1.5 to 2 grams of carbohydrates for each pound of your weight. Choose carbohydrates with a low glycemic index and high fibre content. These include brown rice, barley, orzo, couscous, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale and spinach.
You also need healthy fats to function properly and bulk up efficiently. These help with hormone levels, such as testosterone, brain functioning and building muscle. Men need about 3 tablespoons of healthy fats while women need only 1 1/2 tablespoons. The best sources of healthy fats are extra virgin olive oil, fish oil, coconut oil, avocados, fish, nuts and nut butters.
Try a shake for breakfast. In a blender, mix some cooked oatmeal, protein powder, berries, walnuts and low-fat or soy milk. You can try some whole wheat toast with nut butter and fruit on the side. Have egg white, tomato and mozzarella cheese wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla to start your day.
Throw together a salad with mixed dark greens, a grilled chicken breast, a chopped apple and almond slices. Make a veggie burger on a whole wheat bun and avocado, tomato and lettuce. Eat a turkey and sprout sandwich on a multigrain pita.
Grab some sushi and brown rice for dinner. Make some ground turkey chilli with beans and vegetables. Grill some salmon and asparagus. Cook a lean flank steak and steam some broccoli and through in a baked potato with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt.
Snacks should be placed intermittently between meals to keep your energy levels up. A handful of almonds and an apple, cottage cheese and fruit, peanut butter and banana sandwich or hummus and vegetables are healthy options.