I know it’s a stereotype, but there’s some truth to this one:
Many women I have coached have expressed concern about bulking up from lifting
weights. Meanwhile, many man are frustrated they can’t seem to gain mass even
though they’re lifting weights and think they’re eating a lot.
Perception is everything, though. Often when I dig into what they’re eating, they tell me
they eat two eggs and bacon every morning along with a piece of fruit or a smoothie.
That might just not be enough food.
Lifting weights can help you get strong, but what will make the biggest difference, in
conjunction with weight training, is food, food and more food. And most people just don’t
understand how much they’d actually have to eat to “bulk up,” specifically protein.
7 Foods that are particularly useful
It’s really hard to gain mass without getting enough protein. The trusty cow can help.
Beef is filled with iron, zinc, B-vitamins and creatine, which help with growing muscle. It
also has high levels of amino acids, which also promotes muscle growth. This 2014
study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24477043) found a correlation between
consuming lean beef and lifting weights. The result: lean muscle mass gains. 20 oz.
From salmon to oysters to mackerel and halibut, fish has all sorts of good things to help
with muscle growth and recovery.
Shrimp is another great one, as it’s almost pure protein. Every 3-ounce serving has 18
grams of protein and zero carbs. It has has a great deal of amino acids, specifically
leucine, which is important for muscle growth.
3. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has a lot of casein, a slow digesting dairy protein. This means the
amino acids in casein help supply your body with a good amount of muscle-building
fuel. Many bodybuilders like to have cottage cheese before bed, to encourage recovery
and muscle growth overnight.
Forget what your mom told you about eggs and cholesterol. That theory has long been
debunked as a myth. Eggs are a great source of protein and have all nine essential
amino acids, as well as healthy fats, vitamin D and choline. If there’s a 4-egg omelette
on the menu, order it.
5. Greek Yogurt
Another great protein source, Greek yogurt is also high in calcium and Vitamin D. Just
make sure there’s no added sugar.
6. Protein supplement
If a 20 oz. steak and 6 eggs for breakfast seems like an unreasonable amount of food,
consider supplementing with protein powder. It’s useful for increasing muscle mass and
preventing the breakdown of muscle and promoting muscle recovery. Just make sure
there’s no added sugar.
Read more about choosing a good protein supplement here:
7. Healthy fats
As we now know, fat isn’t the devil, sugar is. Fat is also important if you’re looking to
gain muscle mass. It’s also important for the production of hormones like testosterone
and growth hormone, which are needed for gaining muscle. Some great ways to get
healthy fat include fatty fish, nuts, oils like coconut oil and olive oil, as well as flaxseeds
So, there you have it. If you’re looking to bulk up, you gotta protein up, and if
you’re looking to gain lean mass without bulking up, still eat the protein. Just
maybe don’t eat a 20 oz. steak and 6 eggs and a protein shake for breakfast.