An Effective and Simple Diet Plan to Build Muscle

One of the hardest things about building muscle and learning how to get ripped is not just sticking to an intense workout routine but finding and designing a diet to build muscle. There is a vast array of fitness nutrition information on diets to build muscle and knowing what to choose and where to start can be difficult, especially if you are new to body/muscle building.
The following diet plan for building muscle is designed to increase your calorie intakeboost your metabolism and keep your body in an anabolic state, while providing your body with sufficient carbohydrates for energy during your intense workouts preventing muscle atrophy due to a catabolic state and enough protein to promote muscle growth.
This muscle building diet is also designed to be easy to stick to, especially for those who work a standard 9 to 5 job.  The diet plan is made up of 7 small meals throughout the day on weight training days, which includes a snack between breakfast and lunch and a pre and post-workout supplementation, and 6 small meals on non-weight training days.  This is crucial to boosting your metabolism and accelerating muscle protein synthesis.
Food items required for each meal can be found at most grocery stores and the required supplements to build muscle mass can be purchased from one of the major online bodybuilding supplement stores.
One thing you must take into consideration is that everyone is different and while you need to increase calorie, protein and carbohydrate intake to build muscle the quantities of each nutrient, macronutrient ratio, will vary from person to person.
The macronutrient ratio used in this diet for weight training days is 60:30:10 (that is 60% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 10% fats) and 40:45:15 (that is 40% carbohydrates, 45% protein, and 15% fats) for non-weight training days.
DISCLAIMER: This is a supercharged muscle building diet ideal if your body type is that of an ectomorph, also known as a hard gainer. A more typical ratio for ectomorphs is 50:35:15.   The reason we are outlining this type of extreme diet to build muscle is that many guys trying to build muscle fast find it difficult to gain weight and muscle mass.  They are essentially known as “straw guys”!  To learn more about other typical muscle-building diets designed for all three body types (ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs) check out the diets to build muscle page.

Weight Training Days 

On days when you will be performing your high-intensity workout routine, your muscle-building diet will need to include sufficient carbohydrates and proteins to fuel your body while preventing your body from building up lactic acid and seeking nutrients from your muscle tissue.
It is during these days that you will supplement your diet with a high protein post-workout shake or mass gainer as well as creatine and glutamine supplements.

Breakfast (8 a.m.)

Meal 1

1 slice of wholegrain bread

2-egg omelet

1 glass of skim milk

Medium-sized banana


Snack (11 a.m.)

Meal 2CaloriesCarbsProteinsFats

30gs of almonds

Medium-sized apple


Lunch (1 p.m.)

Meal 3CaloriesCarbsProteinsFats
150 grams skinless chicken

2 cups of vegetable salad

 1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 Glass of juice 


Pre-workout (5 p.m.)

Meal 4CaloriesCarbsProteinsFats
Whey Protein Shake
1 scoop of Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey

5g of Optimum Creatine Powder(optional)

Mixed With 6-8 fl oz of Water



Meal 5CaloriesCarbsProteinsFats
Mass Gainer Shake
2 scoops of Optimum Serious Mass (if you have ectomorph body type )

5g Optimum Creatine Powder(optional)00g0g0g

Mixed with 24fl ox of Water


Dinner (8 p.m.)

Meal 6CaloriesCarbsProteinsFats
150 grams of lean beef

1 cup stir-fried veggies

½ cup cooked rice

1 cup juice


Pre-bed (10 p.m.)

Whey Protein Shake
1 scoop of Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey
Mixed with 6-8 fl oz water00g0g0g


Following this muscle building diet on weight training days you will consume a daily total of:
  • Calories: 3262 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 404 g
  • Protein: 212 g
  • Fats: 62 g

Non-Weight Training Days 

On non-weight training days, you will not need to take in as many carbohydrates and protein as you will be using less energy and burning fewer calories than on your weight training days.  It is therefore recommended to remove the post-workout portion of your diet plan altogether.
This will not only decrease the number of carbohydrates, protein, and calories you take in but will also remove 5g of unnecessary creatine supplementation from your muscle diet.
You will, however, need to maintain your 5g of glutamine needed for muscle recovery and should, therefore, incorporate it into your pre-dinner meal or snack. The simplest way to achieve this is by taking 1 scoop of protein mixed with 5g of glutamine 3 hours before you eat dinner.

Pre-Dinner (5 p.m.)

Meal 4CaloriesCarbsProteinsFats
Whey Protein Shake
1 scoop of Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey

Mixed with 6-8 fl oz of water00g0g0g

Following this muscle building diet on non-weight training days, you will consume a daily total of:
  • Calories: 2012 calories,
  • Carbohydrates: 152 g
  • Protein: 162 g
  • Fats: 57.5 g
This diet plan and macronutrient recommendations should be used as a guide to get started with the right diet to build muscle. You may substitute foods as needed or to suit your taste since you will not want to eat the exact same meals each and every day!

Here are some great food substitutes that will help you maintain the same macronutrient ratio in your diet to build muscle:

For breakfast:

  • Oatmeal
  • High Fiber Cereal (e.g All-Bran, Fiber One, Raisin Bran, etc.)
  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Rye Bread
  • Egg Whites
  • Whole Eggs (Note: Never use more than 2 whole eggs due to the high saturated fat content in egg yolk)
  • Glass Of Milk Low Fat or Fat-Free Milk
  • Fresh Fruit Juice
  • Fresh Fruit and Berries (e.g. Bananas, Strawberries, Blackberries, Blueberries)

For a snack:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Whole Grain bread
  • Rye bread
  • Fruits (e.g. Bananas, Apples, Berries, Grapefruit)
  • Nuts (e.g Almonds, Peanuts, Walnuts, Pecans)
  • Bite-Size Vegetables (Broccoli, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Peppers, Green Beans)

For lunch or dinner:

  • Source of Protein – Tuna, Salmon, Lean Beef, Lean Turkey,  Skinless Chicken
  • Source of Carbs – Sweet Potatoes, Rye Bread, Rice Pasta, Whole Grain Rice
  • Source of Fat – Cooked with Olive Oil, Sesame Oil or Canola Oil
  • Drink – Pure Fruit Juice, Water or Skim Milk
As mentioned above, you should also adjust the macronutrient quantities to suit your body type and your own calorie requirements.
If you have a mesomorph body type or endomorph you will need to adjust these proportions.  Mesomorphs find it easy to both gain and lose weight, you will, therefore, need to decrease the number of carbohydrates and calories slightly to prevent weight gain while increasing protein to maintain fat burn. A macronutrient ratio of 40:40:20 (40% carbohydrate, 40% protein and 20% fats) on weight training days are often used by mesomorphs and a weight gainer is often removed from the post-workout portion of the diet plan.
On the other hand, if you are an endomorph and therefore gain weight very easily, it is recommended to reduce your carbohydrate intake even further and increase protein intake by using a diet to build muscle with a macronutrient ratio of 35:45:20 (35% carbohydrate, 45% protein and 20% fats) on weight training days.  A weight gainer such as Optimum Serious Mass or Dymatize Elite Mass Gainer should never be taken!

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