There are plenty of foods which help to build muscle mass, and it’s crucial to have a strategy in place with your nutrition – and training, to make the best possible developments in the least amount of time. If you can get into forming some good habits long term, you will be a step above everyone else trying to reach this particular goal.
Firstly, there are a few things we need to keep in mind when training for muscle mass (and leanness mind you). Hormones play a vital part in determining your progression and controlled with exercise and nutrition. Let’s look at it a bit more deeply.
Insulin and the part it plays in muscle development/fat loss.
Insulin is a very anabolic hormone that drives nutrients into muscle cells, whereas when you are resistant to insulin, you are more likely to store the food you eat as body fat.
When you have a diet filled with high sugar, refined carbohydrate foods, you will most definitely reduce insulin sensitivity. The same also applies to protein bars and shakes that contain the wrong kind of ingredients. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not read labels properly, and often wonder why they aren’t getting any results – despite their hard work in the gym.
Six steps in becoming insulin sensitive for maximum muscle gain and fat loss
- Protein consumption basics. We need at least 1.6g per KG of bodyweight – some people can consume even more when trying to put on muscle. Trained athletes have lower protein needs than those who do not exercise and are more able to repair damaged tissue and build muscle. This is most likely due to the constant replenishment of lost protein – with a consistent diet. It’s best not to overdo it on the protein either, as it may be poorly digested if you have gut sensitivities. This leads to inflammation, which will not help you with your muscle-building journey. Aim to keep your protein intake steady, use high volume training (and proper training in fact) phases and rest adequately – then you will experience great muscle building potential.
- Protein distribution during each meal. When eating protein, we trigger protein synthesis and suppress the breakdown of it for several hours. That means we end up with more lead tissue (our primary goal) When we take the time to consume protein during the day – spaced out and not just in one full meal, we give our body a lot more opportunity to add that muscle we want so much.
- You may have to forgo your lean goals for a while. To gain muscle mass, we not only have to train with higher volume, but we must consume more calories than what we would generally do when dieting. Those calories we consume must always be of high quality. That means, whole food that is not arent processed (not junk food in the slightest). Average daily caloric consumption should range between 3,000 – 3,450. That’s pretty stock standard. Of course, this will vary from a man to women.
- Don’t forget about consuming healthy fats. It’s so important to keep consuming fats. Fats are necessary for manufacturing hormones, especially growth hormone that’s necessary for muscle building, recovery and performance. For men, ample levels of testosterone are needed, and fats will help you achieve this. Fats support healthy immune function and assists with inflammation.
- Then there are precious vegetables. Don’t dismiss the need for vegetables, because lack of fibre leads to poor gut function and oxidative stress. Add nutrient-rich vegetables within every meal, such as leafy greens, kale, cruciferous veggies. Let’s not miss higher carb varieties like tubers, squash and your white potatoes.
- More carbs on training days, lest when you rest. Keeping our carbs in check is essential for maintaining insulin sensitivity. We want to prepare our bodies to take advantage of higher-carb days, so you can put on even more muscle instead of focusing on fat storage. Carbs help to improve your thyroid function, reduce fatigue from training and improve cortisol levels. Always go for the fibre-rich carbs, and never the processed varieties.
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