What change in your diet made the biggest difference in your muscle growth?

Quite a while ago (about 8 years now) I decided I wanted to take part in physique competitions. That was when my journey began with changing my lifestyle, and the main and most important component of this was my diet.

Before I began, I was not what you would call a healthy eater in any sense of the word. Actually, back then I thought I was pretty good with my food! How wrong I was.

When you want to compete in physique categories, you need to hit 2 nails on the head. One being to shed body fat (more so that you can actually see the formation of muscular structure) then two is building muscle. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried this before, but when on a restricted diet to get quite lean, it’s a challenge within itself to actually put on any decent size! This was my downfall, and I do recommend that if in any case, you want to ever try both – it’s probably a much more wise decision to tackle the hard part first (building muscle) and get to the weight loss after.

This was quite a big lesson for me, and I’d like to highlight a few of the strategies I used in order to build muscle mass. It had a lot to do with food of course, but if the exercise was not up to scratch – the results would not have occurred.

Let me point out too, that there wasn’t just one thing that made a difference, it was several different strategies, used in conjunction with each other, in order to produce results.

6 step dietary plan to build muscle and maintain leanness.

  1. I increased my protein intake – focusing on the lean alternatives.
    These included chicken breast, white fish, turkey and wild caught meat alternatives. I would make these my main source of protein, and then would slot in higher caloric variety’s such as salmon, steak and beef. I made sure I stayed within my protein intake range, although I did move towards the higher end as I progressed and saw success.
  2. Focused on cruciferous veggies with every meal – I always went with the green vegetable variety, in order to increase my fibre intake, feel full for longer and get as many antioxidants, vitamins and minerals within my diet. This was a very important component, because green vegetables actually help flush out toxins within the body.
  3. I never touched refined sugars, sweets and carbs (even as a cheat meal) – These were off my to consume list indefinitely, and when it was time for a cheat meal, I would always pick something that was relatively healthy, and did not contain any allergens. This was important because anything consumed when you have an immune response to it, can trigger massive amounts of inflammation. This is visible with bloating, puffy eyes and lethargy. All it takes is one cheat meal that reacts badly, to push your training goals back.
  4. Had an abundance of fats – including avocado, organic nuts, olive and coconut oils – These were great for decreasing inflammation within the body (from the training) and also helped my skin look vibrant and in top condition. Many people shy away from fats, but they are so important in your training, as well as your recovery.
  5. Meal timing was key – I spaced my meals out so that I would always increase my rate of protein synthesis – gone were the 3 meals a day strategy, and in came the 5–6 meals per day! Each containing protein, fats and vegetables (with limited carbs during certain times). This was key for me, as it made sure I was always feeding my muscles what they needed to grow, keeping my moods regulated as well as y blood sugar. I was never put in a position of being too hungry.
  6. I took supplements and sometimes protein shakes – When I couldn’t get to a meal, I’d have the protein shake handy. I would also take supplements to help me with anything my body so happened to be lacking in nutrients. This was usually Iron, omega 3, vitamin d, BCAA and some other female hormone regulator supplements. I believe we all should position ourselves in power by seeking a blood test, and finding out what our body lacks – then doing our best to keep that in check.

Hopefully this will help you when it comes to some form of dietary tips and tricks for building muscle. You also really need to make sure training, technique and form is up to scratch in order to make hypertrophy a reality. With anything, these things take time. It’s important to keep this in mind, when results are not occurring as fast as you’d like. Keep in touch via the usual mediums – all my details are located above or you can just click here for my site and my two primary social media platforms right here. Please feel free to upvote this if you found it useful, and share with others also on the muscle building journey.

Leave a Reply