Top 10 Foods That Help Women & Men Build Muscle Fast (& keep you lean!)

Egg muffins

Building a great shape while staying lean is the ultimate goal

Building muscle and staying lean doesn’t only require a specific diet but also proper exercise stimulus and rest over time to create success. Watching what you eat very carefully is essential. Junk food won’t help you, and neither will eating excess calories. The days of bulking on processed foods are now over. It’s time to fill up on whole foods and lean protein sources and train properly. Here are some great low-fat options to add to your diet during weight training. 

One: Eat eggs

Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrients, containing protein, fats, and other nutrients like vitamin B and choline. Eggs are also deficient in calories and keep you full for more extended periods. They are portable and easy to consume straight after training. Don’t just eat the egg white, as the yolk contains too many benefits, and you don’t want to miss out on them. 

Two: Use protein powder in an emergency

If you don’t have time for a meal or are hungry after a session, protein is my go-to meal until I get to some food. Being a vegan, I always use a dairy-free alternative, but I love to include collagen in mine (yes, I know that’s not vegan). It makes my skin glow and reduces the signs of ageing. Check out the list of amino acids and pick something containing BCAA, taurine and collagen.You can buy these separately and add them to smoothies, oats or any baked or raw goods (as in, treats!). 

Three: Chicken breast

This is an old but good bodybuilding staple around. Chicken breast contains the most protein compared to other parts of the chicken and is the leanest cut. It has about 26 grams of protein per 85 grams! Chicken also contains vitamin B and niacin. Add it to your meals regularly, and dress it in herbs or mustard. 

Four: Lean jerky

This is an excellent alternative if you are on the run. Most of the fat is removed during production. Therefore you will be consuming the pure protein of this source. Always look at the ingredients before you purchase it, and keep one handy if you are travelling or unable to eat one of your meals. 

Five: Salmon

Salmon is a powerhouse of omega 3, which combats inflammation. Fatty acids are also crucial for your brain, aiding in protecting degenerative conditions as we age. Salmon contains about 17 grams of protein per 85-gram serving. Not as much as chicken, but a precious source of nutrients. Alternate between other protein sources to provide a variety of nutrients and tastes. 

Six: Lean beef

This is probably the most highly consumed meat source for weight training people. Try to opt for the leanest cuts of meat to not overcompensate on the calories.  In addition, creatine is an essential nutrient found in beef and B vitamins. 

Seven: Almonds

1/2 a cup of almonds provides 16 grams of protein and vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus. Phosphorus helps your body use carbs and fat for energy at rest and when working out. Just make sure you consume them in moderation, as when you start eating them, it’s tough to stop! 

Eight: Oats or oatmeal

This is an excellent source of carbs because of its low GI value. In addition, oats contain much fibre, which increases satiety, decreases your hunger and increases fat loss over time. This is also great fuel for your workouts. 

Nine: Cottage cheese

This source contains as much as 28grams of protein per 226grams. I would go for the full-fat version, as low fat tends to be filled with sugar to enhance the flavour. Use it with your meals or as a stand-alone snack with some veggies. 

Ten: Beans

This means that vegans and vegetarians don’t miss out on some vital plant protein food sources. Beans usually have about 15 grams of protein per 100 grams. You can increase your intake by adding vegetables to the mix, such as spinach and broccoli. Beans also contain more fibre than meats. Therefore, it’s a great idea to alternate between different sources for the best nutritional value throughout the week.

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