Gaining muscle mass and building strength begins at the gym, but it doesn’t end there. Your efforts to gain strength in your training routine should go hand-in-hand with your diet. However, between a busy lifestyle and hours spent in the gym, it can be difficult to make time to eat right. Fit Five Meals offers this guide to muscle mass and strength training to help you save time and focus on your nutritional gains.

Eat Protein

10 to 30% of your caloric intake should come from protein when you’re attempting to gain muscle mass and build strength. This equals 200 to 600 calories per day based on a 2,000 calorie diet. When you’re attempting to maintain muscle mass, fewer protein calories may be required. The Academy recommends focusing on lean, low-fat proteins such as seafood, poultry, and beans. You can also include three servings of low-fat dairy throughout the day.

Don’t Forget About Other Foods Too!

Protein is not the only food group that can help you in the gym. Carbohydrates, especially those from whole grains, can help you have more energy in the gym. When your body burns energy from carbs, it converts that energy into glycogen, which is stored in muscles. Glycogen can help you get more out of your workouts in the gym! According to one study, glycogen is key in sustaining your athletic performance for periods of one hour or more.

Is Fat Ok?

Yes! Although health experts recommend sticking to lean and low-fat foods, fat is critical to sustaining long-term performance and building muscle mass. That doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to eat fast food. Instead, you can get healthy, or “unsaturated,” fats from what you are already eating. Foods with healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, peanut butter, nuts, and fish. There will be some overlap between your protein and unsaturated fat intake, especially if you prefer a vegetarian, vegan, or pescetarian diet.

Some unhealthy or “saturated” fat is ok too, including high-fat animal products such as butter, milk, yogurt, and meat. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Mayo Clinic, these foods can consist of seven to 10% of your daily caloric intake.

Quick Guide

Protein, including unsaturated fats: 25-30%

Carbohydrates: 10-30%

Fruits and vegetables: 10-30%

Saturated fats: 7-10%

How Fit Five Meals Can Help

Fit Five Meals are designed to help you meet your health and fitness goals by offering nutritional meals that supplement your lifestyle. No one wants to spend hours in the gym only to worry that they are not living their best life outside of it! If you do not have time to plan or prepare meals, FFM helps save time by offering convenient locations for you to pick up meals throughout the week. For example, you can choose five meals on Friday to pick up on Monday so you are prepared for the week ahead.

With our guide to muscle mass and strength building, you can have a better idea of what to choose for yourself and your family each week! For more help and information contact us today.