Calories in Your Lean Muscle Diet Plan
First, it is important to understand that it all starts with nutritious calories.
Eating in a small caloric surplus is one of the most critical factors for optimal muscle growth. That way, the body has an adequate supply of energy to complete its many processes, and it can also dedicate more energy to muscle repair and growth (1).
But, to ensure that you’re eating in a surplus, you need to count calories and weigh your food. For that, you need to know your BMR (the number of calories you burn at rest every day) and TDEE (the total number of calories you burn daily.
By knowing how many calories you’re burning, you can eat slightly more than that and ensure proper muscle growth. This is the key to building lean muscle.
To calculate your BMR and TDEE, you can use a simple online calculator.
Why Tracking Your Progress Is Essential
Some folks gain weight more quickly than others. Because of that, it’s essential to track your progress and make adjustments if you have to.
For example, if you gain weight easily, you might be more carb-sensitive than other people. So, it’s a good idea to watch your carbs and consume most of them before and after your workouts. You can also experiment with low-carb eating on your non-training days.
Protein – The Building Block Of Muscle Tissue
Aside from getting enough total calories, it’s also vital to consume enough protein (2).
The reason for that is, protein provides the body with the building blocks it needs to build lean tissue – amino acids.
So, aim to consume at least 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you currently weigh 160 pounds, aim for at least 80 grams of protein daily.
An Often Overlooked Muscle-Building Factor – Proper Hydration
Once you’ve ensured an adequate calorie and protein intake, it’s also essential to stay well-hydrated.
Water is essential for many health processes within the body, and it also affects muscle growth and athletic performance.
So, to stay hydrated, drink lots throughout the day. A good range is to drink eight to twelve 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
Cheat Days – Yes Or No?
The majority of your diet should be lean and healthy. That way, your body will have an adequate supply of all the nutrients it needs to build muscle and perform its processes.
But, having a cheat day or two per week won’t harm your progress – in fact, it’s quite beneficial for your lean muscle diet plan. What you need to keep in mind is that you should try to get enough protein and avoid stuffing yourself.