My 5 top foods for muscle gain and why calories are so important. 
Whether you want to fill out your tee shirt more, look better on the beach during your winter holiday or have a more toned physique all of these goals have one thing in common. 
Having more muscle mass will help. 
Now first of all let me tell you one thing. 
Muscle gain is hard. 
It’s harder than fat loss and takes a lot of consistency to achieve. 
So if you have been struggling to gain any substantial amount of muscle rest assured you are not alone and understand that it can be a hard process to get right. 
The other thing that makes muscle gain hard is the conflicting information you hear in regard to nutrition on social media. 
Do you need to eat more calories? 
Just eat more protein? 
Or can you even achieve muscle gain without increasing any of the above? 
In this blog I am going to share with you my top five foods that will make gaining muscle a lot easier and also go over what you need to do in regards to your calories. 
The main issue behind many guys and girls not gaining any real amount of muscle is not eating enough calories. 
A calorie surplus will always be a more optimal way to achieve the best muscle gain results. 
But why is this? 
Well it comes down to a few reasons. 
The first being that being in a calorie surplus will allow you to train harder with better intensity that in a calorie deficit or at your calorie maintenance. 
The second is that recovery will be much optimal and this can come down to the fact the more of the protein you consume in your diet will be used towards muscle building and recovery compared to when in a deficit or at maintenance. During a deficit or at maintenance some of the protein you consume can be broken down to be used for energy so recovery can be less optimal. 
And of course to build muscle we ideally want to see bodyweight increase gradually over time and a surplus will certainly help this. 
Ideally a calorie surplus of around 100-300 calories should be fine to begin with. Within this try and hit around 2-2.5 grams of protein per KG and then make up the rest from carbs and fats. Looking to have a higher amount from carbs but don’t get too specific about this. 
Below are my five favourite foods to add into a diet when gaining muscle. 
1. Whole milk – Whole milk is a great choice when looking to gain muscle. It has a good amount of protein and also higher in total calories than your semi or skimmed options. 80% of it is made up of casein protein which is slower releasing so could be a good option before bed with some whey protein. Often people struggle to increase calories as they need to eat more food volume but by swapping your normal milk to whole milk you don’t have to do this. Just a higher calorie swap which can be added to shakes, oats or even just in your cup of tea. 
2. Peanut butter – For those of you who are dieting it may sound weird about the fact that some people just get sick of eating when trying to gain muscle but it’s true. Peanut butter is a great option. Very calorie dense and a decent amount of protein. It can be put on top of oats, into smoothies or even just spread over an apple as a higher calorie snack. But it’s tasty and goes with a lot of things so needs to be in your cupboard when gains are on the menu. 
3. Avocado – When gaining muscle you want to still keep health at the forefront of your diet. You may start to eat less fibrous veg as you want to go for higher calorie options and not get too full. Avocado is a great option to keep calories up but still get some good fibre in your diet and is a great source of mono unsaturated fats. Also avocado in a chocolate protein smoothie is immense, it adds a real creaminess and doesn’t have an overpowering taste. 
4. Salmon – Now this can also be true for other oily fish like mackerel but when gaining going for higher calorie protein options is a wise ploy as it again keeps food volume down. Not only that but by having oily fish 2-3 times a week you don’t really need to worry about supplementing with omega 3’s capsules as you are getting a decent amount in your diet. Then when you maybe diet again in the future bring them back in and drop out of the oily fish. 
5. Honey – Getting carbs up when on the gain train is a must. This is because carbs are going to be our bodies preferred fuel substrate for our weights training. But when people think of eating more carbs they think more rice, potato and oats. Now these are great sources but for calorie density honey is a real winner. Like a lot of the foods in this blog they can be added to your current meals to just bump up the calorie content without too much extra volume. A drizzle of honey over some Greek yogurt and chopped banana is a great pre workout option. 
So there you have it. Some easy foods you can add into your diet straight away to get your muscle gaining goals on track. 
Also if you have been battling away with your muscle building goals for more months than you care to think to about and are starting to wonder if you will ever be able to build any noticeable amount of muscle I want to hear from you. 
Chances are you’ve struggled to get consistency with your nutrition and have been following a training plan from someone else which just isn’t right for you.  
Often people think they only need coaching for fat loss but muscle gain is the goal when people benefit from it the most. 
HIT THIS LINK if you are bored of not seeing any changes with your physique and want to go in the gym every week seeing your weights consistently climb and finally notice some real gains. 
Tagged as: Muscle gain
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