Foods to gain muscle mass

March 16, 2016
Top 10 Foods to Gain Muscle

So, here is a summary of the steps in formula #2

Men

  • Convert weight in pounds to kilograms
  • Multiply Weight in kilograms x 24 hours = BMR
  • BMR x Activity Factor = Daily Caloric Needs

Women

  • Weight in kilograms x 24 hours = BMR
  • BMR x 0.9 = adjusted BMR for women
  • Adjusted BMR x Activity Factor = Daily Caloric Needs

For our example 220-pound person formula #2 would work like this:

  • 220lbs/2.2 = 100 kilograms
  • 100kg x 24 hours = 2400 calories (BMR)
  • 2400 calories x 1.2 = 2880 calories to maintain current weight
  • Now to gain weight, I will need to add between 500-600 calories per day. This gives a grand total of 3380-3480 calories per day to gain weight, according to formula #2.

As you can see, the two formulas give you pretty much the same number of calories needed to gain weight. In my personal opinion it doesn't matter which formula you use, just as long as you are willing to adjust it as necessary. If after 4 weeks you begin to gain too much fat, you better reduce the calories. On the other hand, if no weight is gained, you'll need to increase the calories. The formulas simply give us a good starting point.

Before moving on to breaking calories down into protein carbs and fat, let me remind you of the impact of previous caloric restriction on your body's metabolism. If you have been "semi-dieting" for some time prior to deciding to gain weight, your body will be accustomed to fewer calories than your "normal" BMR. This will throw off your calculations a bit. The numbers the formulas give you will over estimate your caloric needs if you have been dieting prior to your diet change.

If you have been dieting, first plan to eat the calculated BMR for at least 2 weeks prior to increasing your calories to "weight gain" levels. You may find you begin to gain weight even on your calculated BMR, or at least experience an increase in resting body temp. Let your body readjust your BMR to your calculated BMR before upping the calories. After 4 weeks, then go ahead and work your way up to 500-600 calories above your calculated maintenance calories. Once again, trust me on this.

Macronutrients

Because calories are made up of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, we will now take a look at where your calories should come from to gain muscle.

Protein

(Protein provides 4 calories per gram)

Plan on eating 0.8-1 gram protein per pound bodyweight. Most people usually shoot for 1 gram/pound body weight because it's an easy rule to remember. First choose a lean protein source such as fish or boneless skinless chicken breast. These are only examples however, any lean meat or protein supplement will do. Beef is just fine as well, just make sure you trim all visible fat, and only use the leanest ground beef.

Allocate a portion suitable for your particular nutrition plan and caloric needs. A good place to start per meal would be 4 ounces, or a portion about the size of the palm of your hand. Meat will have about 4-5 grams protein per ounce before cooking. If you weigh it after cooking it will have about 6-7 grams protein per ounce. For our ongoing 220-pound example person, this would mean 175-220 grams protein per day. This comes to 880 calories if we give him 1-gram protein per pound of bodyweight. So subtracting this from our goal of 3500 calories we have 2620 more calories we'll need to get from fat and carbs.


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