A common question for skinny guys or hardgainers, is "What do I need to Eat to Gain Muscle Mass". I believe that workouts and nutrition go hand in hand and you can't get ripped without good nutrition. The most important thing to know about your nutrition if you are skinny and looking to build muscle mass is that you have to eat enough calories. If you are working out really hard, but not seeing any gains, you are probably not eating enough calories. I usually eat 3,500 - 4,000 calories per day, but it depends on your body. Now don't just go to Five Guys Burgers and eat 1500 calories worth of cheeseburgers and fries. You need to make sure that the fuel that you put into your body is clean and healthy. I try to maintain a balance of 40% Protein, 40% Carbs, and 20% Healthy Fats. Carbs give you the energy you need to workout and breakdown your muscles while Proteins are the building blocks to build muscle. It can be difficult to eat this many clean calories, especially if you are constantly on the go. In order to maintain the highest metabolism and maximize my results, I usually eat about every 3-4 hours throughout the day.
A few tips that I have found useful with my diet:
- Always keep P90X Protein bars handy to use as a snack between meals. These bars are convenient, provide a high level of protein, and help to fill in the gaps when you can't have a meal.
- Use Shakeology as one of your meals on the go. Shakeology is one of the healthiest things that you can put in your body and it tastes great. See my article on Shakeology for more info.
- Hardboiled Eggs are a great source of Protein and easy to grab and go. I usually boil a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week to keep on hand.
- Use a food Diary to keep track of your calories and nutritional information. I use an app on my iPhone called 'myfitnessPal' whicl allows me to keep track of my calories, protein, carbs and fat intake. This is a great way to ensure that you are eating enough calories.
- Eat a slow releasing protein such as cottage cheese about 30 minutes before you go to bed. This will provide a good supply of Protein to build muscle while you sleep.