Packing on Muscle

by Wendy on January 21, 2015

What if I told you that you could gain more muscle mass with less training? Or retain more muscle mass with less training? And even gain/retain more strength with less training? The secret is nutrition.

OatmealEating the right foods as you exercise will not only help you burn fat, but transition that fat into solid, lean muscle. A few foods that will help you achieve that goal, and pack on muscle. Here are a few:

Lean Beef

This should be a STAPLE of your diet if you want to gain muscle mass. Why? Because it is loaded with all sorts of things conducive to muscle growth. On average, a three-ounce serving of lean beef is only 154 calories, yet it provides ten essential nutrients, including iron, zinc and B-vitamins.

More importantly, it provides your body with high quality protein (not all proteins are equal), and a high level of amino acid that works with insulin to promote muscle growth. For those who are trying to lose weight, this should come as great news – a 3 ounce serving of lean beef provides roughly the same amount of protein as 1.5 cups of beans, but at half the calories.

Skinless Chicken

Like beef, it is an excellent source of high quality protein, which is important for muscle maintenance and repair, bone health, and weight maintenance. And of course, there are so many ways you can cook and prepare chicken. Go down to the store and you can easily find chicken meat cut into single serving sizes that can be seasoned and quickly cooked.

Cottage Cheese

Not many people know this, but cottage cheese constitutes relatively pure casein protein. For those who don’t know, casein protein is a slow-digesting protein, which means it is perfect for muscle maintenance. This is useful especially for those of us who have no choice but to go long periods without eating. Cottage cheese is also an excellent source of vitamin B12, calcium, and other important nutrients. Look for the non-fat/low-fat options.

Healthy Fats

I know some of you shudder at the thought of consuming fats, but good fats are essential for muscle growth. In fact, they play an essential role in hormone production that is responsible for muscle growth and strength gains. Your metabolic rate is elevated as well, which helps you shed more fats.

In addition, fats are needed for many important maintenance functions. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the good fats. You can find them in salmon, other fishes, nuts, leafy veggies, oils such as flaxseed, avocados, and seeds. They are also all rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an ideal source of carbs due to both its low glycemic index (GI) value and the fact it is minimally processed. The benefits of a low GI diet are as follows:

  • Better micronutrient profile and more fiber
  • Increased satiety
  • Decreased hunger
  • Lower subsequent energy intake (second meal effect)
  • Fat loss

In short, enhanced fat loss for those looking to lose weight, and a constant source of carbs for muscle preservation.

Whole Grains

Whole grains digest more efficiently and provide more nutrients than refined grains, and as such promote sustained energy levels and overall health. For instance, brown rice can help boost your growth hormone levels, which are critical for encouraging lean muscle growth, fat loss, and strength gains.

Fish

High in protein, low in fat, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The key here is omega-3 fatty acids. They are essential, not only for health reasons, but also because they improve fat loss and ensure the proper function of your body processes, such as your metabolism.

Fruits and Vegetables

Firstly, fruits and vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants, which are essential for the healthy functioning of your immune system. Secondly, they provide tons of other nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Finally, your body requires the fiber these fruits and vegetables provide, which helps to flush out the substances your body does not need.

Wendy

Wendy

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
My name is Wendy and I'm one of the main contributors to our blog. I'm a retired elementary school teacher who's found a new passion for all things relating to health and wellness. If you feel like your body is not in the place it should be, join the club! We're here to help get you where you want to be in a long term way, and avoiding any extreme diets in the process. We believe in natural sustainable methods to reach a state of homeostasis. We want to get our body, spirit, and soul into prime shape and really start loving ourselves! Wendy's favorite product is Raspberry Ketone 1234
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