Meal planning is an important aspect to a hardgainer’s attempt to build muscle. If you do not eat right then no matter how hard and consistently you work out you will not be successful. As much effort needs to go into meal planning as goes into designing your workout routine. Although muscle fibres are broken down in the gym it is what you do outside of the gym that matters since nutrition plays such a critical role in the repair process which will facilitate bigger muscles.
You Need to Consume More Calories Than You Burn
To gain more muscle as a hardgainer you need to ensure that you are operating on a calorie surplus which means that you need to consume more calories than you burn every day. First off, you should figure out how many calories your body needs to maintain your current bodyweight per day and up this by at least 500 calories per day. Therefore, if you have to consume 1600 calories per day to maintain your current bodyweight you need to up this to 2100 calories per day if you want to gain more muscle mass.
You Should Eat Healthy
It is all well and good to up your calorie intake but you also have to ensure that you get your calories from foods that are as healthy and nutrient dense as possible. This means avoiding junk food and sticking with high calory foods which possess lots of vitamins and minerals which are beneficial for your body.
Ensure You Get Enough Carbs
Most of the foods you consume should come from carbohydrates since they are your body’s main source of energy. If you are to perform at your best during your workout then you need a sufficient amount of this food group. Many people over estimate the quantity of protein they need in their diet because protein is the main component of muscle so they think that the more protein they consume the more muscle they will build. What they fail to grasp is that carbohydrates are responsible for shuttling the protein you consume to your muscles where they can be used to create new muscle tissue. Therefore, if you are not getting enough carbohydrates then all the protein you consume will not get the chance to be properly utilized. This is why the majority of your diet should consist of primarily carbohydrates and the rest from protein and then fats if you want to build muscle.
Why You Need to Get Enough Fats
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Fats are an extremely misunderstood food group as most persons do not fully understand how beneficial this food group is for muscle growth as long as you obtain it from the right sources. Most of the fats in your diet should come from unsaturated sources from foods like olive oil,
canola oil, nuts and peanuts as well as saturated sources from meat, cheese, eggs and whole milk. Getting sufficient fat in your diet will boost your body’s production of the anabolic hormone testosterone, the payoff being more muscle mass being built. Therefore, if you want more muscle growth you should ensure that you include enough fat into your diet as long as you obtain it from healthy sources, and avoid trans fat sources prevalent in fast foods and many processed products.
To make things a bit easier, a sample hardgainer meal plan has been created just for you. This is just a guide and can be modified as needed for your own individual situation. The trick boils down to finding out how many calories your body needs to maintain your current bodyweight and upping it from there. The following meal plan is based on an approximate 4,000 calorie diet.
Breakfast (700 calories)