Eating to build lean muscle and burn belly fat is best
Foods that build muscle are those that contain the most nutrition. Eating to build muscle means making good food choices, not gorging on whatever crosses your plate or taking expensive supplements.
Before we go any farther, let's cut to the chase. I do not want to waste your time discussing diets to build muscle if you have a picture of yourself looking like an NFL Strong Safety in the next 12 weeks.
Despite what you see on cable TV and read on the Internet, it has been well documented that an athlete who is training hard with muscle mass workouts and interval training cardio, can only gain between 10-13 lbs. of hard, solid muscle in a 12-month period.
The nonsense that you find in muscle magazines about professional bodybuilders eating to build muscle by having a "bulking" up phase, followed by a "fat cutting phase" leaves out one critical piece of information: Most of those guys are taking huge doses of late-generation steroids, and their usage is being monitored by a personal physician.
The worst thing you can possibly do when eating to build muscle is to end up "fat-loading"...putting on weight which is predominantly fat, losing your definition, and gaining disproportionately minimal strength.
Foods that build muscle are nutrient-dense, not calorie-dense
The old adage of eating an extra 3500 calories a week to gain 1 pound is great...If you are trying to GET FAT. It doesn't work that way with muscle because hard, solid muscle is more more difficult to gain.
* The most frustrating thing for guys trying to gain muscle mass is hearing it is progressive and takes time...a lot of time. The majority of guys will readily dismiss the facts that it will take 12-14 MONTHS of hard training and intelligent eating to put on 12-15 pounds of solid muscle.
* It makes it doubly hard when some loud mouth at the gym starts talking about gaining 20 pounds or you look at the myriad of sites on the Internet promising huge gains in 12 weeks.
* Eating to build muscle must begin with lean protein (grilled skinless chicken, fish, lean red meat, turkey, and some soy products.)
* Eat two (fibrous carbs) vegetables with EACH meal. Green vegetables or salad vegetables fill this requirement. Shoot for 5-6 vegetable servings each day.
* Eat at least two fruits everyday.
* Foods that build muscle can also BUILD FAT if you eat too many. CALORIES are the key word. You can adhere to every rule of intelligent nutrition, but if you are eating more calories than your body can use...they will be stored as FAT.
*Burn this into your brain: It is much easier to stay in shape and maintain your definition, than it is to GET IN SHAPE and get rid of excess belly fat, so you can see your abs.
Foods that build muscle must be combined with workouts to burn belly fat
* You can easily gauge your progress of gaining lean muscle mass...or falling into the easy trap of putting on male belly fat by measuring your waist every two weeks.
* Foods that build muscle DO NOT include huge protein shakes. Out of control protein shakes dump too many calories into your system, and since they are liquid, they do not satiate your hunger...meaning an hour later you are reaching for MORE (calories) food. It all gets stored as FAT.
* Sugar, junk-food, and processed food are the enemies of burning belly fat and building muscle. If you want to make quality gains in solid, hard muscle, then you must know what constitutes good carbs since carbohydrates are what most guys reach for when they snack.
* Foods that build muscle should pass "The Natural Test" meaning they are foods that humans ate before modern food processing. (For example: An orange vs. sugar-intense orange juice. Water vs. energy drinks. Sweet potatoes vs. bread.)
In a nutshell, eating to build muscle cannot be mindless, nor on automatic pilot. You have to know what you are putting in your mouth and how it enhances...or sabotages...your goals to build hard lean muscle mass.