Do you know what it takes to have the lean muscles you’re dreaming about? Building lean muscles is not an easy task, but with a good plan and patience, you’ll do it, regardless if you’re a man or woman. First, you should understand the role of muscles to realize that there are certain conditions that should be met in order to develop them.
Muscles are meant to give us physical force and resistance. Thus, the bigger the physical effort, the bigger our muscles will get, at least in theory. So yes, exercising and physical training will lead to a more consistent muscle mass and leaner muscles.
However, if your diet is not right, if you don’t eat sufficient portions, or adopt a healthy meal plan that is adequate to your routine, your body will consume its own resources to deal with the effort. In other words, if you work hard but don’t eat the right foods, you’ll end up losing a lot of weight.
That’s not necessarily bad if you’re looking to lose weight. But if you want leaner muscles and more muscle mass, you won’t get it if you don’t offer the right kind of fuel to your body. Having said all these, here are 7 foods that will complete your workout routine and help you build lean muscles.
Salmon or tuna
Salmon can be an ideal meal for those looking to gain more muscle mass. It’s also extremely healthy due to its content of healthy fats and amino acids. So, besides fueling your muscles, salmon will also fuel your brain and keep your internal “plumbing” clean of any unhealthy fats. Roasted in the over, with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper and served with steamed veggies, or just as it is with a slice of lemon on the side, salmon is indeed a super-meal.
However, it can be rather expensive, in comparison to other types of fish. So, if you’re cautious about your budget, you can periodically replace salmon with tuna. This option is more accessible in terms of price and will deliver a good deal of benefits as well.
Of course, lean meat can also be consumed for building lean muscles. Chicken and turkey are also good options. This way, you can enjoy a diverse diet and various flavors. Just make sure you prepare the meat correctly and associate it with the right kind of side dishes. Also, you should consider taking muscle building supplements, as they’re they can offer quicker recovery and produce better results. This article goes in depth about different types of muscle supplements and their effect. If you opt for high-quality products and use them as instructed, you won’t face any risks.
Beans are a great alternative if you want proteins but you’re tired of meat. Not to mention the plethora of other precious nutrients and vitamins beans contain. And the best part is that you can enjoy any kind of beans you prefer.
They are also a very cheap option, so having them around will never be a problem. Besides being packed with proteins, beans are also rich in fibers. Thus, they will contribute to the health and well-functioning of your digestive system. You can enjoy them as meals or even as healthy snacks. For instance, try baking a batch of chickpeas, after they were tossed with a bit of olive oil and spices.
You can hardly replace eggs with anything else. This is the kind of food everyone should have on their menu. They are filled with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and proteins. Eggs aren’t expensive either and they can be easily stored in the fridge for a while. Even those that look to lose weight can eat eggs, opting for the egg white because it has lesser calories. However, not eating the egg yolk will make you miss on some important nutrients provided by eggs. Cooked and consumed in a variety of ways, eggs will make your diet less boring and will give you the proteins you need to build those muscles fast.
You’re probably wondering why oatmeal is on this list. If you do, you’re underestimating the nutritional value of oatmeal. Oatmeal is a very affordable food and it is extremely easy to prepare as well. One of the biggest advantages is the fact that you can customize an oatmeal recipe to suit your personal preferences.
Add bananas or dates for flavor and sweetness, cinnamon for taste and regulation of blood sugar, a bit of organic honey, and the list can continue. You can prepare it with water if you want to reduce calories for as much as it is possible or with any kind of milk you have around, whole cow’s milk or vegetal milk. As a recommendation, you should have oatmeal before a workout session, as it provides precious carbohydrates to support the physical effort, besides proteins and fibers.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are also great sources of proteins, minerals, and healthy oils. Ideally, you should consume them raw or roasted in the over, with just a pinch of salt. The ones found in stores that are already roasted contain too much salt. About two handfuls or half of a cup of nuts or seeds should do, especially 45 minutes after a workout session. They will replenish the energy you lost during the workout and aid in muscle repair processes.
If you never thought that cottage cheese can help you with building lean muscles, it’s time to know that this is one of the best foods you can have to reach your goal. So, next time you shop for groceries, make sure to add cottage cheese to your list. The secret is to opt for the low-fat or fat-free varieties. This way, you’ll get a huge amount of proteins without ingesting a large number of calories. It is a welcome break from meat and nuts, plus it is one of the best snacks to have when you’re feeling hungry or depleted of energy around mid-day.
Anyone looking to get lean muscles should definitely have avocado in their diets. This is an extremely versatile food that can offer so much, both to your health and all your muscle groups. You can turn it into an ingredient for your favorite smoothie recipe, add it to your salads, make it a paste that can be spread on a piece of celery or whole-grain toast slice, or simply have it as it is, with a pinch of pepper and salt.