The Best Diet for Muscle Gain on The Daily
Starting Off the Day
When you wake up, the first thing into your body doesn’t need to be solid.
It should be water. You just want six or eight (or however many) hours without water. Your body is on the verge of dehydration. You need to begin hydrating right away. So grab a full glass of water and drink that down.
You’ll want to drink water throughout the day. 64 ounces minimum (there’s no such thing as drinking too much water).
Fix Up That (Black) Coffee
It’s important to eat something within the first hour of your day.
This helps pick up your metabolism. It also tells your body that yes, you will in fact eat today. Back when humans were hunter/gathers, the body would adapt to not eating on a given day. After rest, if no source of calories came in, the body when conserve the fat storage and instead begin to break down muscles as a source of energy.
This, obviously, isn’t what you want to do.
So you will want to begin the day with breakfast, but you don’t need it right away. Instead, start the coffee up. After all, if you’re like most people you just aren’t yourself without a cup of Joe.
Here’s the thing with coffee though. It’s only really good for you if you don’t add anything to it. At least if you don’t add any sugar or cream. That is loaded with fats, sugars, calories and all sorts of other junk you need to leave out. If straight black coffee isn’t your thing, consider a flavored bean. You can also add cinnamon. Cinnamon helps boost the metabolism and doesn’t have calories.
So the combo of black coffee and cinnamon is a great way to start the day (as black coffee also helps boost the metabolic rate) (Health Line, 2017).
Alright, so what should you eat in the morning to boost your metabolism further and begin your protein intake?
You have a few options. If you’re short on time, a whey protein drink is great.
Of course, a scoop of powder may not hold you for very long. So consider adding a bit of peanut butter, oatmeal or low-fat skim milk. You can also find powdered peanut butter. This has often a quarter of the calories as regular peanut butter but the same amount of protein. Plus, if you grab this and mix it with a vanilla protein powder (plus add the cinnamon) it will taste like cookies and cream.
Feel free to split this up into two. Drink the first half after waking up, then walk the dog, get in your abs workout or whatever you do in the morning, then down the rest before heading out…
You can also swap this out for a couple eggs and turkey bacon. That right there will give you around 30 grams of protein, and it’s in low-fat food form.
Throughout the day you need a few snacks.
These are meant to keep your metabolism burning. For the snacks, consider a 15-gram protein drink, a handful of almonds and string cheese. You’ll end up with another 20 grams of protein or so, plus calcium and healthy fat from the cheese and nuts.
With lunch, it is best to go with a low carb, high protein offering. Not because you need to avoid carbs here, but because when your body needs to break down carbs you end up feeling tired.
Ever eat a big pot pie for lunch and then head to work?
You end up wanting to pull a George Costanza and take a nap under the desk. No, instead you want low carb and lean protein options. So go with eight ounces of salmon (or other fish) or grilled chicken breast. Place it over a salad (ditch the croutons because that’s mostly salted bread) and use a balsamic vinaigrette and you have a great meal, full of fiber and proteins.
In between lunch and dinner, remember to add in a snack. Up to this point, you’re probably closing in on 100 grams of protein, so it isn’t vital to add in a bunch of protein here before dinner. Unless you are planning a workout after your snack but before dinner. If that’s the case, add in another 15-gram protein drink along with an apple or another piece of fruit.
Here you’ll want to pick your protein.
Differ it up from lunch. Eating chicken all day is just a bore. You can swap in pork loin here if you want. Go for a leaner cut. If you want to really try something new consider buffalo or ostrich. Turkey is another great option. Generally just stay away from beef as there is more fat in these cuts and animal fat is something you should avoid (again, aim for fats that come from plant life).
You’ll want some steamed veggies for the fiber and nutrients and then find a starch. A few potatoes can work out well, although you might want to consider brown rice as well. Make sure to keep it to the serving size though.
It’s easy to quickly eat four times the amount of a serving size with starches.
These will give you enough carbs for more energy, just make sure you eat whole grain starches like whole wheat pasta and brown rice. White bread, normal pasta, and white rice have a good amount of sugars and processed material in it, which is not good for your body and will weigh you down.