You can gain weight while trying to gain muscle. So, watch your diet!

Published on:1 December 2021, 11:00am IST
Is your goal to gain muscle? Then don't make any diet mistakes and read these to find out the ways to gain muscle mass instead of fat!
Aayushi Gupta
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muscle gain
Eat the right food! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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If you are vying to gain muscle, avoid mistakes that can make you gain weight instead! That holds true especially when it comes to your calorie intake, and it is important that you consider consuming it in the right amount.

So how many calories do you need for muscle gain?

Dr Yogesh K, Consultant – Orthopedics, Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru, tells HealthShots that it takes roughly 2,800 calories to gain a pound of muscle, mostly to maintain protein turnover, which can be boosted with physical training exercises. Your body can only build about 227 grams of muscle per week. But if you eat extra calories in an attempt to gain muscle, you will also acquire fat. 

muscle gain
Follow these tips for muscle gain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

You should consume an extra 250 to 500 calories every day. If you gain weight quickly, stay on the lower end of the range. If you have problems gaining weight in general, aim for the upper end. 

Moreover, the amount of protein is also a big concern! Consumption of lean protein 15 to 20 minutes before, during, and shortly after exercising, according to a study, will help you gain muscle. Protein isn’t the only item to consider, though. It’s about adding a variety of meals to meet your caloric demands and provide the nutrition you require as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet that will aid you in gaining muscle, losing fat, and increasing strength. 

Here are eight easy-to-implement ideas suggested by Dr Yogesh to help you gain muscle:

1. A healthy breakfast

Eat breakfast to help grow muscle mass because it provides you a surge of energy right away.

2. Eat every three hours

Eating smaller meals more frequently than a few large meals will help you lose weight. You’ll feel fuller faster, and your waistline will slim down.

3. Include protein

Include protein in every meal to increase muscle mass. It would be beneficial because when you receive protein it helps you create and maintain muscle mass. To achieve this, according to Dr Yogesh, one should aim to consume at least 1 gram of protein for 454 grams of body weight. If you weigh 91kg, that’s 200g every day. Eating a complete protein source with each meal is the easiest method to acquire this quantity.” 

muscle gain
Consuming protein powder can help you get fit! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

To increase your daily protein intake you can add: 

  • Red meat is one of the best sources. Beef, hog, lamb, and other meats are also available.
  • Chickens and other poultry: Chicken, turkey, duck, and other poultry are examples.
  • Seafood: Tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and other fish are examples of protein sources. 
  • Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Don’t accept the myths about cholesterol. Consume the yolk.
  • Dairy products: Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, quark, yogurt, and other dairy products
  • Whey is a protein: Not required, but excellent for quick post-workout shakes.
  • Vegan alternatives include lentils, tofu, seeds, and nuts. 

4. Fruits and veggies

Include fruit and vegetables in each meal—the majority (but not all) are low in calories, allowing you to fill your stomach without gaining fat or weight. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber are all found in fruits and vegetables, which aid digestion as well. 

5. Eat carbs

Dr Yogesh says, “Eat carbs immediately after you’ve finished your workout. While carbs are necessary for energy, most people consume far more than they require. Carbohydrates should only be consumed after exercise.” 

Except for corn, carrots, and raisins, eat fruit and vegetables with all meals because they contain fewer carbs than whole grains. This includes rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, quinoa, and oats, among other things. Eat whole grains instead of white carbohydrates—carbs after the workout only.

6. Eat healthy fats

Because healthy fats digest slowly, they help you lose weight and stay fit. Ensure to eat a variety of healthy fats with each meal and stay away from artificial trans-fats and margarine.

muscle gain
Not all fats are bad! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Drink enough water

“Drink water to help you build muscle mass! Strength training promotes water loss through the form of sweat. This helps in slowing the muscle repair and prevents you from gaining muscle mass. Drinking water avoids dehydration and reduces hunger, as an empty stomach can make you feel hungry,” says Dr Yogesh. 

8. Eat whole foods 90% of the time

To attain the desired results and significantly increase your muscle mass, you need to consume 90% of your calories from whole foods. You should include:

  • Superfoods: Superfoods are unprocessed, unrefined (or little refined) foods as close to their natural state as possible. Examples are fresh meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, legumes, fruits, rice, oats, quinoa, and other grains.
  • Processed foods comprise sugar, trans fats, nitrates, corn syrup, salt, and other chemicals are all common in processed foods. Some examples are bagels, fruit bars, cereals, pizza, pastries, sausages, frozen dinners, and supplements.

Moreover, check your body fat and weight every month. If you gain a little fat gently reduce daily calories intake and if you’re not gaining muscle mass gently increase calories intake and most importantly do strength training exercises regularly! 

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.