Foods for weight gain muscle are not difficult to get, but most people don’t know about them. In order to look bigger then you should have big muscles. You can only see the big muscles if your body fat percentage is low. There are three major things that dictate the size of the muscle: drugs, training, and nutrition. If you’ve ever used a steroid before then you will know that it boosts your strength per weight by at least 20% alone.
Muscle Building Foods to Add to Your Diet
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a good source of both carbs and protein.
Each 1-cup (164-gram) serving of canned chickpeas contains around 15 grams of protein and 45 grams of carbs, including 13 grams of fiber
As with many plants, the protein in chickpeas is considered lower quality than that in animal sources. However, it can still be part of a balanced muscle building diet
Peanuts contain a mix of protein, fat, and carbs. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving contains 7 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, and large amounts of unsaturated fat
They also contain higher amounts of the amino acid leucine than many other plant products.
Each 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of peanuts contains around 166 calories
If you’re having a hard time getting enough calories to drive your muscle gain, eating peanuts could be a good way to get some extra calories and nutrients.
Additionally, nuts are thought to play an important role in an overall healthy diet
Buckwheat is a seed that can be ground into flour and used in place of traditional flours.
One cup (168 grams) of cooked buckwheat groats contains around 6 grams of protein, along with plenty of fiber and other carbs
Buckwheat has become a very popular health food due to its impressive vitamin and mineral content. It contains high amounts of B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus
These vitamins and minerals can help your body stay healthy and able to perform muscle building exercises
Tofu is produced from soy milk and often used as a meat substitute.
Each half-cup (124-gram) serving of raw tofu contains 10 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, and 2 grams of carbohydrates
Tofu is also a good source of calcium, which is important for proper muscle function and bone health
Soy protein, found in foods like tofu and soybeans, is considered one of the highest quality plant proteins
For all these reasons, foods containing soy protein are great options for vegans and vegetarians.
Pork tenderloin is a lean cut of meat that provides 23.1 grams of protein and only 2 grams of fat per 4 ounces (113 grams)
Some research has shown that pork has effects similar to those of other muscle building foods, such as beef and chicken
Milk provides a mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fats
Similar to other dairy products, milk contains both fast- and slow-digesting proteins
This is thought to be beneficial for muscle growth. In fact, several studies have shown that people can increase their muscle mass when they drink milk in combination with weight training
One ounce (28 grams) of roasted almonds provides 6 grams of protein and large amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus
Among other roles, phosphorus helps your body use carbohydrates and fats for energy at rest and during exercise
As with peanuts, almonds should be consumed in moderation due to their high calorie content. Half a cup of blanched almonds contains more than 400 calories (58Trusted Source).
Similarly to beef, bison provides about 22 grams of protein per 3-ounce (85-gram) serving
However, some research has shown that bison may be better than beef in terms of the risk of heart disease
If you like to eat red meat as part of your muscle building diet but also worry about your heart health, you could consider replacing some beef with bison.
Although cooked brown rice provides only 6 grams of protein per cup (202 grams), it has the carbohydrates you need to fuel your physical activity (62Trusted Source).
Consider eating healthy carb sources like brown rice or quinoa in the hours leading up to exercise
This may allow you to exercise harder, providing your body with a greater stimulus for your muscles to grow.
Plus, some research has shown that rice protein supplements can produce as much muscle gain as whey protein during a weight training program
How To Eat To Build Muscle And Gain Weight
For most athletes, getting physically stronger and bigger is a means to improve their sports performance and create a competitive edge.
Maybe you’re a high school freshman or sophomore athlete looking to take the next step to the varsity level. Or you may be a junior or senior trying to stand out and play your sport at the collegiate level.
Adding strength, muscle, and overall body weight can be tough considering all the athlete’s daily movement. Think about how much energy you are burning with all the scheduled long practices, weight room sessions, and extra skill work.
To gain muscle and overall body weight, you have to create an environment where your energy tank is never empty or depleted. To do this, you have to eat nutrient-dense foods that provide ample energy (aka calories) while repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue.
Carbohydrates and fats are the nutrients that provide all the energy needed to play your sport and workout. With ample amounts, the right types of carbs and fats will help you gain good weight that will transfer over to better performance.
Protein is the nutrient that repairs and builds muscles post-workout, throughout the day, and after practices or games. With ample amounts, quality protein sources will help build strength and muscle tissue to assist your carbs and fat in gaining more overall weight.
Determining Portions of Foods
Think about your meals throughout the day and what foods make up those meals.
For most athletes, their plates should have:
1-2 palm-sized portions of protein-the thickness and size of your palm
- Meat, fish, whole eggs, Greek yogurt, tempeh, tofu
- 1-2 scoops of protein powder (plant-based, whey, or collagen powder)
- Store-bought, a single-serving protein drink
At least 1 fist-sized portion of veggies-the thickness and size of your fist
- Any veggies that you enjoy eating raw or cooked
- Mushrooms, peppers, onions, pickles, leafy greens, carrot sticks
- Powdered greens supplement for smoothies and shakes
2 cupped handful of carbs-the amount that would fit into a cupped hand
- A large piece of whole fruit like apple, pear, orange, banana
- Large handful of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, etc.
- 2-3 pieces of smaller fruit like tangerines, kiwis, peaches, nectarines, etc.
- Grains like rice, quinoa, oats, and granola
- Starchy veggies like baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, or plantain chips
- Legumes and beans like chickpeas, black beans, and pinto beans
- 100% whole wheat or sprouted grain bread, wraps, and bagels
1-2 thumb-sized portions of fat – the thickness and size of your thumb
- Avocado, coconut flakes, dark chocolate
- Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, walnuts, chia seeds, or hemp seeds
- Spreads and condiments like hummus, cream cheese, butter, and salad dressings
- Nut milk and nut butters
- Organic dairy products
Your hand size is proportionate to your body size. Its size never changes. This makes it the perfect tool for measuring food and nutrients.
At Least 3 Meals Per Day
An athlete looking to gain muscle and overall bodyweight will eat at least 3 big meals a day. If you are eating 3 balanced meals with the template shown above and are still not seeing progress try adding an additional snack or meal to meet your required protein, fat, and carb needs. A healthy rate of weight gain is 1-2 lbs every 2 weeks.
Consider adding 1 palm-sized portion of protein AND either:
A. 1 cupped handful of carbs. or B. 1 thumb-sized portion of fat. To 1 or 2 meals or as snacks throughout the day.
Smoothies are an easy way to add more muscle-building nutrients without cooking or sitting down for a meal. Try out this template to create your own smoothie that you can drink in between meals or after workouts.
It’s always a good idea to keep snacks like whole fruit, trail mix, dried fruit and nut bars, nut butter and rice cakes, and protein bars in your sports bag for quick snacks on the go.
How To Gain Weight
If you’re underweight or simply looking to beef up and add some muscle mass, you need to know how to gain weight in a safe and healthy way.
There’s a lot of focus on people wanting to lose weight, but a good number of people are not happy with their weight because they feel they’re underweight. If you feel you’d like to be heavier, you need to ask yourself if you:
Want to put on some body fat?
Want to gain muscle?
Want to gain muscle with some body fat?
Whichever of the above you’re looking to do, you will need to consume more calories than you’re burning up during the day; if you want to build muscle, you will need to do some weight training too.
How do I gain weight?
Basically, to increase weight, you need to consume more calories than your body uses. When your body doesn’t have enough calories for energy, it uses the energy stored as glycogen in your muscle first, then your fat stores. You need to eat enough to cover these requirements. But how long does it take to gain weight? If you want to gain some body fat, then to increase by 1lb per week you need to consume a surplus of 500kcal per day.
How many calories do I need to gain weight?
The amount of calories you need depends on your gender, age, height, weight and activity. Use this calorie calculator to calculate the amount of calories you need per day. For a rough guide on how much weight you can gain in a week, add 500kcal to gain 1lb per week.
How do I count calories?
Most foods today have the calories printed on them so you can keep a running total during the day. There are also some apps out there to help, such as myfitnesspal, which makes tracking calories over the day a bit easier. Huel makes it even easier by providing all the nutrients in one product, and you can easily see what you’re getting.
Which foods should I eat to help gain weight?
It’s important that you get all the nutrients you need; don’t just stick to a few high calorie foods. There’s more information about what each nutrient does and what you need in our article The Beginner’s Guide to Nutrition. But what foods help to gain weight? You need to consume a balance of protein, fat, carbs and all 26 essential vitamins and minerals. Include some protein and carb foods at each meal and snack. Fats, as long as they’re healthy fats, are more calorie dense than other nutrients, so can be a great way to obtain more energy in a smaller volume of food.
What should I drink?
We advise you to drink plenty of fluid every day. This can be in the form of water, tea, coffee, green tea, diet sodas or sugar-free cordial. Include at least seven or eight cups of fluid per day.
How often should I eat?
If you’re trying to gain weight, you may have to eat quite a bit of food. This can be hard to take in at one sitting. It’s therefore useful to spread your eating over 5-6 smaller meals and snacks per day, rather than three huge meals. Don’t miss meals; get a meal plan and stick to it. Eat your planned meal even if you’re not hungry.
How do I build muscle with exercise?
Often when people refer to `gaining weight’, they are actually referring to building more muscle. To do this, a good nutrition program should be accompanied by a suitable weight training program. If you’re new to weight training, a routine doesn’t have to be complicated, and you can grow muscle training with just 2-3 weights sessions per week. There are plenty of weight training routines for beginners on the internet; here’s one: Initial Basic Hypertrophy Guide.
Building muscle through exercise does, however, burn calories, so you’ll need to eat more to compensate for calories burned. This basic principle of having more calories than you burn also applies to fat too. It’s also useful to stay active and keep fit, so some cardiovascular exercise is advised.