7 Top tips to building muscle

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Eat breakfast to help build muscle…..

Starting your day, the right way means you don’t snack later in the day. I have heard it many times overs. I don’t eat breakfast, I feel sick if I eat breakfast, I don’t have time for breakfast. In many cases you can go without having breakfast, but this means you are more likely to snack and crave foods you don’t want to be eating.

If you are working with a trainer or following guidance on intermitting fasting, then you may not be having breakfast. If you ensure you go to bed at a reasonable hour and that your last mean of the day was at a reasonable time, then you can utilise the natural fasting period of the day while you are asleep.

Having a good portion of your complex carbohydrates and protein for breakfast will fuel your day and make sure you stick to your calorie count. There is no excuse for not eating breakfast and as they say be prepared or prepare to fail.

Eat protein with each meal to boost your muscle mass. …

Excellent advice from many sources. You need to ensure your protein intake is staggered through the day. You could eat a large portion of protein in one sitting but then the body doesn’t maximise its usage thus therefore you can waste precious protein. Having protein with every meal keeps your body working on those gains, helps keep your liver from over working and actually curves that appetite from snacking. Good sources of protein throughout your day will ensure you feel full for longer. So having protein as a snack or with a main meal is essential for muscle gains.

Eat fruit or vegetables with each meal. …

Another key ingredient in both building muscle, curving appetite and fuelling the body for the day is eating fruit and vegetables. Try to eat your portions of fruit earlier in the day or before your gym workout to maximise the use of the natural sugars for fuel. Eat lots of green vegetables to help you get vital vitamins and minerals into your body. Also eating plenty of green coniferous vegetables will help you feel fuller for longer and help boost your testosterone levels or help control your oestrogen levels. Having more vegetables in your daily meals is better than having to much fruit. Keep to your 5 portions a day and make sure you enjoy your veg steamed and raw.

Eat carbs only after your workout. …

Yes and no, carbohydrates are great when used correctly. Have controlled portions of carbohydrates and use the macro percentages your Trainer gives you to help maximise your muscle growth. Have complex carbs throughout the day but make sure you have a good portion in the meal after your workout to replenish energy stores, help build muscle and to help your recovery. Remember good wholesome, whole grain and natural based carbohydrates are best. Stay away from your processed carbs and watch your gluten levels as this leaves you feeling bloated.

Eat healthy fats. …

Fat is not your enemy, eating too much or eating the wrong amounts based upon your goals will lead to the storage of fat in the body. Eating healthy fats like those in avocados, olives, fish and some meats help the body and help muscle growth. Stay away from your processed fats and saturate fat dense foods. Anything like vegetable oils, lard, margarine will be full of the fats you want to stay clear of. Fat has a high calorie ratio so use them wisely. I will also say make sure you record the olive oil or coconut oil you used to cook with in your daily calories and that oil you used on your salad as dressing. These can be the calories you are not recording thus when you say you’re in a deficit you actually won’t be.

Drink water to help you build muscle mass. …

Water for hydration needs to come from two sources. One from the fruits and vegetables you are eating and two from the water you consume. Saying, ‘oh the tea, coffee and milk I drink is enough’ actually isn’t as this comes with other effects on the body. Coffee is great for the pick me up but also can dehydrate the body. Make sure you have a water bottle with you at all times, drinking throughout the day. Get into the habit of sipping water every half hour and having a good cold glass of water beefier bed. For every 1000 kcals you eat you should be drinking 1000ml of water.

Be careful when drinking water that you don’t over drink as well as this flushes the body of essential salt, vitamins and minerals before they can be used. Check your urine to ensure you are hydrated. Pale urine shoes good hydration, too pale and you may be low on salts that your body needs, too dark and you are not drinking enough water to allow the body to remove toxins and waste from your body. We need water to help transport vital nutrients to the body and help in the building of muscle.

Eat whole foods 90% of the time.

What we are after is balance. Whole foods are best for a well-balanced diet, but it does not mean you can’t have your favourite foods like pasta, pizza etc. When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, we want controlled nutrition that is balanced and helps you towards your long-term goal.

We never stay at the same level of calories for long because when you build more muscle you need more fuel, when you are losing fat you eat less calories. You have to live and enjoy life so plan ahead and work on your habits.

I always say work backwards from that night out or that bottle of wine you enjoy. You can eat pizza as long as you are in control and make the right choices to allow you to have it. If you have a bad day use the rest of the week work for you with the calories you are aiming for.

Also take a break every now and then, go on holiday and relax but just be mindful of the foods you eat. Eat complex carbohydrates, eat good fats, eat fruit and vegetables and just be on control of processed foods.