The battle to get fit and build up monstrous muscles is one that never seems to end, even for those of us who are predisposed to having bigger bodies. So what should you do if you need to bulk up for this year’s beach going activities? Most people tend to think that muscles are built in the gym, but a great body is actually built in the kitchen with a quality diet. We decided to pull together a list of awesome foods that are perfect for putting on that aesthetic lean muscle. From breakfast shakes to protein packed dinners, these 11 foods will help you build muscle and get fit!
Did you know that changing up the meat in your diet can be as effective as fibromyalgia herbs when it comes to getting your body right? That’s why we suggest occasionally skipping your chicken or beef meals in favor of some salmon. Salmon is a great addition to your diet thanks to its inclusion of EPA, DHA and fish oil. The omega 3 fatty acids in the fish are great for your heart and you can get a slew of benefits while cutting down on the calories. You can buy these fish by the sack, frozen, or get them fresh from your local butcher. Either way, there are a ton of great options when it comes to cooking. We like baking them with a little bit of olive oil while wrapped tight inside of some tin foil. Tilapia is another nice option that is a little bit cheaper and less fishy.
The Chia Seed is essentially a super food that you can fit 1,000 of in your pantry. The chia seed is a perfect addition to your daily nutrition and it will go a long way toward helping you get more fit than you ever could. The chia seed is native to South America and it is utilized often in their foods thanks to its boost in energy rich vitamins in minerals. Chia seeds are packed with fiber, antioxidants, potassium and both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. The fact that these seeds are so small and easy to digest make them perfect for a variety of easy breakfast ideas. If you struggle throughout the day because you feel always tired, then throw a handful of these in your morning protein shake or combine them in your daily bowl of oatmeal. Either way, make sure that you keep a package of these guys on hand — you’ll use them eventually.
If there is a Holy Trinity of nutritious foods for building muscle then a gigantic jar of peanut butter belongs right in the middle. Peanut butter is just filled to the brim with calories, healthy fats, and heaping loads of protein. The best thing about protein is that it is so flexible. You can use it in a sandwich, add it to a myriad of breakfast ideas for kids, giving it major utilization for bigger families, or you can just eat it right out of the jar with a spoon. The best thing about peanut butter is that it is just sweet enough to calm any cravings, as well. We highly suggest keeping a giant jar on hand and adding a scoop or two to your breakfast shake in order to jump up your protein intake up for the day while adding in some quality nutrition. Just make sure that you aren’t allergic!
When you go on a diet with the internet to pack on weight and build up muscle you need to be aware of foods that give you a ton of different things all while being affordable at the same time. That is why you can consider us ‘all in’ on black beans. Black beans are great carbs to add to your diet that will just fill you up with protein. A single cup of black beans has 227 calories, 40 grams of carbs, and 15 grams of protein. Add in some chopped up chicken, brown rice, and almonds to get the perfect muscle builders meal. You can also lean toward kidney or pinto beans in a pinch. We’d pass on the green beans if your goal is to build muscle as they don’t have enough calories to fit into your meal as a primary source.
If you have to cut every meat out of your diet except for one: keep chicken involved. Chicken is affordable, flexible, and an absolute slam dunk when you are trying to get those biceps bulked up. A cup of chopped up chicken, about 140 grams, equates to almost 40 grams of protein. You can throw chicken into pretty much any dish on the planet and find it to be just as good. Opt for skinless chicken breasts and grill them for maximum health benefits while minimizing health consequences.You can buy giant bags of chicken to freeze, you can slow cook pounds of chicken at a time for a weeks worth of meals, or you can throw a thawed breast into a pan and rub it down with spices. Some bodybuilders literally will fill a bowl with chopped chicken and tuna and eat it plain.
At the core of every nutrition plan for people trying to gain muscle and look good is the protein packed shake. These shakes can be made from normal ingredients like peanut butter and milk and such, but a nice and healthy shortcut is whey protein. Whey protein can be bought in a powder form from pretty much any warehouse store or online fitness shop. Whey protein comes in a variety of flavors, brands, and nutritional make ups but they all are more efficient and affordable than regular food for getting your protein intake up. Simply add a scoop to your morning shake or evening drink and you’ll have a flavored, protein powered, muscle building drink to get you going. Some people take their shakes right after working out but timing isn’t your major concern. Just make sure to get it down.
Cottage cheese is a great, mild flavored snack you can throw into your fridge. Cottage cheese is high in protein and easy to mix in with a ton of other additions. A cup of cottage cheese will deliver you 25 grams of protein and a slew of vitamin B, A, B-6, and calcium as well. Mix in nuts and fruit for a great, compact meal. Some people don’t like the consistency of cottage cheese but if you are a cheese lover this snack won’t even phase you.
Beef is a great addition to your diet if you want to pack on muscle but we always hesitate to wholeheartedly suggest a ton of red meat. If you are going to add beef to your diet stick to lean beef and only eat it every once in awhile. About 3 ounces of lean beef will give you a whopping 22 grams of protein, a giant chunk of vitamin b and vitamin B-6, and a ton of cholesterol (77mg). Keep your red meats in proportion and enjoy ’em as when you eat them. Stick to better cuts of meat and look up some popular cooking techniques to keep your meet juicy.
Bodybuilders will understand the term GOMAD but you probably won’t. GOMAD stands for ‘Gallon of Milk a Day’ and it is one of the easiest ways for serious fitness folks to pack on the pounds and pack on the muscles. Milk is stacked with vitamin’s A and B along with calcium and magnesium. You are also getting 8 grams of protein per cup of milk. If you have any dietary restrictions you can consider almond or soy milk as a replacement, though the price is likely to jump.
Oatmeal is the perfect muscle building base to start your breakfast off with. Oatmeal is loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals and it is an excellent source of energy forming carbohydrates. Not only is this a protein packed meal, but it is also excellent to build off of. You can cut different fruits to put into the bowl, mix it with milk rather than water, and even double down by adding in the aforementioned chia seeds. Oatmeal is easy to prep and there is no reason not to have some handy. There are enough flavors that you should be able to get over texture issues.
Omega 3 Infused Eggs
Eggs are the Swiss army knives of your breakfast arsenal when it comes to packing on the nutrients while sucking down the protein. Eggs are ultra flexible and even better when infused with healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. In general eggs have about 8 grams of protein in them to go along with essential vitamins and minerals. You can boil ’em, scramble them, or fry them up to top on your sandwiches. We like hardboiling eggs to eat throughout the week with our lunches. It’s a quick, heart healthy snack that will help keep your muscles growing even when you aren’t at the gym.