It’s that time of year again — time to hit the gym hard and bulk up for summer. But just working out isn’t enough, you also have to fuel your body with the right foods to see results.
You want to bulk up, but you don’t want to add a lot of fat. To gain lean muscle mass, it’s important to eat nutrient-dense foods that will help you build muscle. To improve results, make sure to limit the number of unhealthy foods you eat.
If you don’t want to do it alone, find a personal trainer in Sacramento to help you achieve your goals. They will also be able to give you advice and possibly meal plans to follow. Foods that increase size are important, but so are working out and getting enough rest.
If you’re looking for the best foods to eat when bulking, you’re in the right place. These will be nutrient-dense foods that will help you build muscle while keeping your body healthy.
What is Bulking?
Before we get into the foods that increase size, let’s first talk about what bulking is. Bulking is the process of gaining weight — usually muscle mass — by eating more calories than you burn.
Some people bulk to improve their athletic performance, others do it to improve their appearance, and some people try bulking because they think it will make them healthier.
It generally takes more than just consistently working out to bulk up. You also have to eat more calories than you burn, which is why it’s important to focus on nutrient-dense foods that will help you gain muscle mass without adding a lot of fat.
Although bulking is often associated with bodybuilders, it’s not just for them. Anyone who wants to gain weight — whether it’s muscle mass or fat — can bulk.
The Best Foods To Eat When Bulking
Let’s talk about the best foods to eat when bulking. These are nutrient-dense foods that will help you build muscle while keeping your body healthy.
Eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats. They’re also one of the most versatile foods you can eat. You can have them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you’re looking for a quick and easy protein-rich snack, hard-boiled eggs are a great option.
Packed with nutrients like vitamins A, D, and E, as well as choline and lutein, eggs are a superfood for bulkers. Choline is an essential nutrient that helps with muscle growth and fat metabolism. Lutein is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage.
Salmon is a type of oily fish that’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and other nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for your health in many ways. They can help reduce inflammation, improve brain function, and lower the risk of heart disease.
Salmon is also a good source of vitamin D, which is important for bone health and muscle growth. You can find it in stores fresh or canned, and it can be cooked in a wide variety of ways. Incorporating this healthy fish into your bulk meal plan a few times a week is a great way to get enough protein.
Quinoa is a nutrient-rich grain that’s high in protein and fiber. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.
Like other whole grains, quinoa contains complex carbohydrates that can help you bulk up. It is also a plant-based protein source, making it a great option for vegetarians and vegans.
Quinoa also offers a variety of health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving blood sugar control, which can help you stay healthy while bulking up.
4. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a type of yogurt that’s rich in protein and calcium. It also contains probiotics, which are live bacteria that have health benefits.
Probiotics can help improve gut health, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation. Greek yogurt is a great post-workout snack because it helps you refuel and rehydrate. Try including a scoop in your post-workout smoothies!
Brown rice is another whole grain that’s packed with nutrients. Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate, which means it takes longer to digest and will provide your body with a steadier stream of energy. Brown rice is also high in fiber, which can help with digestion and make you feel more full after eating.
When it comes to bulking up, aim for about six to eight ounces of rice per day. You can also mix rice with other protein-rich foods, like beans, for a complete meal. It’s important to remember that you should be eating more calories than you’re burning off if you want to see results.
Steak is a great source of protein, iron, and other nutrients. It’s also a high-fat food, which can help you bulk up. When choosing a steak, look for lean cuts, like sirloin or flank steak. These cuts have less fat than other types of steak, like ribeye or filet mignon.
Remember not to overcook your steak. You want the steak to be cooked to your liking, but not so well-done that it’s dry or tough.
Foods To Limit When Bulking
If you want to bulk up, you need to eat more calories than you’re burning off. But that doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. There are still some foods you should limit, even when bulking.
Drinking alcohol can lead to weight gain and it can also sabotage your gains by interfering with muscle growth. Alcohol is also a calorie-dense liquid, so it can quickly add up if you’re not careful.
It also dehydrates you, which can lead to fatigue and muscle cramps. If you’re trying to bulk up, it’s best to limit your alcohol intake or avoid it altogether.
2. Sweetened Foods and Beverages
Foods and drinks that are high in sugar can lead to weight gain, cavities, and other health problems. When you’re trying to bulk up, it’s important to limit your intake of sugary foods and beverages. Instead, focus on eating nutrient-dense foods that will help you gain lean muscle mass like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
3. Processed Foods
Processed foods are high in calories and unhealthy ingredients like saturated fat, salt, and sugar. They can contribute to weight gain and provide little nutritional value. Examples of processed foods include:
- Canned soups and vegetables
- Frozen dinners
- Fast food
- Processed meats like bacon, sausage, and pepperoni
- Packaged snacks like chips, crackers, and cookies
4. Fried Foods
Fried foods are high in calories and unhealthy fats. They can lead to fatty weight gain and other health problems like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. When bulking, avoid fried foods as much as possible.
If you’re in the habit of eating fried foods, learn how to cook healthier versions of your favorite meals. Air frying and baking are two methods that can help you make delicious fried foods without the unhealthy fats.
If you’re trying to bulk up, you need to eat more calories than you’re burning off. Some foods will hinder your progress, including alcohol, sugary foods and beverages, processed foods, and fried foods.
Foods that will help you bulk up include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods is the best way to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs to bulk up.
If you need help creating a meal plan that’s right for you, consider working with a personal trainer or nutritionist. They can help you create a plan that fits your unique needs and goals.