The most important aspect of fitness is your eating habits. How do you establish ideal eating habits? You need an eating schedule with go-to foods and supplementation. If you look at what you are currently eating, you’ll probably find out you eat almost the same thing every day except for lunch and dinner. And for me, honestly, I usually eat leftover dinner for lunch the next day. So, today, I will share something about muscle building diet plan, which is an ideal eating schedule for building muscle easily.
Muscle Building Diet Plan: Eating Guidelines
- We want 3 meals and 3 snacks or 6 smaller meals throughout the day.
- Eat 2-3 hours apart, depending on how much you sleep. (Sleep 8, up for 16…16/6 = 2 hrs 40 minutes)
- We want to avoid insulin spikes, and we want to avoid hunger, or we’ll end up eating more than we need to fill those cravings.
- We want vegetables included in at least 2 of these meals/snacks.
- 50 / 35-40 / 10-15 split for protein, carbs, and fats
- 1g – 1.5g protein per body weight (i.e., 200 lbs eats 300g of protein)
To figure out your ideal eating schedule, you need first to plan out the time blocks of your typical day. Obviously, there will be exceptions to your day and things you cannot control, but if you have a general idea, you can begin to develop your eating habits. Then, when something comes up, you can plan accordingly and not get stressed out about missing a snack or meal.
Step 1 – Plan out your typical day and time blocks
6:00 AM – Wake up, make bathroom habits (pee, brush teeth, shave if needed, etc.).
6:15 AM – 6:45 AM – Cardio intervals and ABs. If an off-day, work on a website.
6:45 AM – 7:30 AM – Get ready for work
7:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Get to work, more time away from the desk, leave for lunch
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Lunch block
12:30 PM – 4:00 PM – Typically working at my desk
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM – Drive home
5:30 PM – 6:00 PM – Dinner block
7:00 PM – 8:15 PM – Workout
8:15 PM – 8:30 PM – Shower
9:55 PM – 10:00 PM – Get ready for sleep, brush teeth, bathroom, etc.
10:00 PM – 6:00 AM – Sleep
Now the questions to ask yourself for step 1:
- Are there certain times that I have to eat to fit my schedule? For me, those times are 6:00 AM Breakfast, 11:30 AM Lunch, and 5:30 PM Dinner. No other times will really work for me for these meals. I have to workout after 6:00 pm as that is the only time I can do my powerlifting, otherwise its just dumbbells and bench. So, I need to eat at least an hour before 6, but I can’t have dinner ready that early cause I don’t get home until 4:15 ish.
- Are there certain times where I’m sure I’ll be more busy than others and unable to get a snack in? For me, this is in the morning time. I know that I am likely to be away from my desk and unable to snack.
Step 2 – Based on my daily schedule, when can I make time to eat my 6 mini meals or 3 meals and 3 snacks?
My guidelines – 2x protein shakes (450 calories total), 1 meal replacement shake (600 calories). Looking for around 2500-3000 calories daily. General guidance you can use is 9 calories per pound of bodyweight if trying to cut fat and gain muscle and 15 calories per pound of bodyweight if trying to gain as much muscle as possible. I want to be right in the middle of the pack.
6:00 AM – Breakfast – 400 calories
7:45 AM – Protein Shake (Early for convenience sake, don’t want protein shaker in office) – 200 calories 9:00 AM – Banana W/ Peanut Butter- around 250 calories – Total 450 calories
I use the time release Syntha 6 protein, that way that protein hits me until lunchtime. And since I’m taking it early, it will help delay the effects until my body really needs it. Plus, I’m doing cardio in the morning, so the instant release protein in the Syntha 6 helps as well.
12:00 PM – Lunch – 600 – calories
3:00 PM – Mass Gainer Shake – 600 – calories
6:00 PM – 1/2 of my dinner – 300 calories
8:30 PM – After workout Protein Shake (200 calories) and remaining 1/2 of dinner – (300 calories) – total 500 calories
This healthy eating schedule gives me around 2850 calories per day, allowing me to fuel my muscles for maximum muscle growth, while also cutting gristle. Not recommended if you do not workout hard or you’ll end up putting on mass, but most of it will be fat.
Step 3 – What am I going to eat?
Breakfast – Options: Eggs (microwavable all-natural egg and egg-white mix), chicken or turkey sausage (microwavable), oatmeal (microwavable), whole-grain cereal
Go to: Oatmeal and microwavable egg mix
1st Snack – Options: Protein Shake, Banana, Peanut Butter, Apple, Grapes, Orange, really any fruit.
Go to: Protein Shake and Banana with Peanut Butter – Guideline 1 pc of fruit
Lunch – Leftover main dish from previous nights dinner, salad, cottage cheese – see dinner options below.
2nd Snack – Options and go to Mass gainer shake for carbs and protein
1st half of dinner 1/2 main portion – Options: lean meat, beans, any greens, pasta dishes containing lean meat
Go to: Cheeseburger Quesadilla – Lean ground beef in skillet, whole wheat tortilla, microwavable frozen veggies, ketchup, Worchester sauce, mustard.
- Brown ground beef in skillet
- A general guideline – 1 part Worchester sauce, 2 parts mustard, 3 parts ketchup (quantity depends on how much flavor you want)
- Mix it all together
- Grab another skillet/pan, put a tortilla in the pan.
- Evenly spread meat onto half the tortilla then put any toppings you want on (cheese, lettuce, tomato, etc.)
- Fold empty tortilla side over the top and let cook until golden brown on the bottom side (2-3 minutes per side usually)
- Flip and do the same thing
Typically drop in a pre-workout supplement about 6:45 pm for some added carbs.
2nd half of dinner / After workout – Protein Shake, 1/2 lean meat portion, 1/2 bean portion
Why is this such an easy healthy eating schedule? For breakfast, I honestly don’t care if I eat the same thing every morning. I already do anyway, whether I’m eating oatmeal or cereal, eggs, or whatever. I usually just get into a routine because I’m half asleep. So that means, for me, it has got to be easy. Consequently, all-natural pre-cracked egg mix is perfect for the morning time, just put it in a bowl and microwave it.
The 1st snack of the day, I’m not particularly craving anything. I don’t need anything unusual, so the banana with peanut butter is a perfect fit to tide me over until lunch.
Now lunch is easy… I usually just eat a full leftover portion of last nights meal. Meaning the only thing I really have to do is heat my lunch up in the microwave and make a salad.
2nd snack is just mixing up mass gainer powder mix with water. Simple.
Dinner – This is the only difficult part of my eating routine. I need to make a balanced carb and protein meal, and I need enough of it to last for dinner that night for my girlfriend and me and then also for lunch the next day. So essentially, I need about 2.75-3.5 servings of dinner (she doesn’t entirely eat as much as I do per meal and also takes leftovers for lunch).
The last feeding of the day, I simply just reheat a half serving of dinner and make a protein shake… Again, as simple as it can be.
So, what does it take to eat healthily and gain muscle? Protein powder, mass gainer powder, the ability to plan portions (i.e., 1 chicken breast now, 1 for lunch tomorrow), and the time to prepare 1 delicious meal per day (dinner). So, here is the Muscle Building Diet Plan for you, but there are plenty of tasty recipes out there. Find one online that uses lean meat; chicken, turkey, lean beef, center-cut pork chops.