The 10 Best Foods for a Lean Bulk Diet
Sticking to a lean bulk diet can be a challenge, but utilizing these lean muscle building foods, you’ll not only stay healthy, you’ll also look your best.
Building muscle is a product of hard work, dedication, proper workout technique… and proper nutrition. The nutrition part can be tricky for many bodybuilders. There is simply too much information out there, and not all of it is consistent or even accurate. But what you put into your body has a direct impact on what your body looks like.
In order to build muscle, you have to also add bulk. This can be a tricky situation, however. If not done properly, you’ll end up looking too bulky, with no definition. Simply put, you’ll look fat when you want to look fit. The solution is a “lean bulk diet,” also known as a “clean bulk diet.” By eating the correct foods, you’ll be able to add muscle without adding excess weight.
Here are the 10 best foods for a lean bulk diet:
Beef (from Grass-Fed Cattle)
While it’s possible to gain muscle mess while sticking to a vegetarian diet, it certainly isn’t easy. Many people looking to bulk up choose a carnivore diet, and beef is an easy, effective staple in such a diet. Beef helps build lean muscle with its high protein content, as well as its levels of zinc, B vitamins and iron.
However, not all beef is equal. You want to consume beef which comes from cattle who have been grass-fed. A grass diet boosts the amount of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in the cattle which, in turn, helps you shed body fat and build lean muscle.
Whole grain rice isn’t just good for your lean muscle build, it also nicely compliments the grass-fed beef. Because whole grain rice takes a long time for your body to digest, you’ll find it works as an all-day energy source. It also helps increase your levels of growth hormones. These hormones are critical for lean muscle growth, strength gains and even fat loss.
It’s important to incorporate vegetables and fruits into your diet. Beets are a great choice for those on a lean bulking diet. They contain betaine, also known as trimethylglycine. This nutrient enhances liver and joint repair, which is certainly an issue among bodybuilders. Beets have also been shown, in clinical research, to increase muscle strength and power. Additionally, beets can help enhance your energy and aid in recovery. They’re a good choice any time, but many bodybuilders eat them on “rest” days in particular.
Don’t forget to add fruits alongside your vegetables. Oranges are a great pre-workout snack. They boost muscle growth, which leads to increased strength and endurance. Plus, oranges are easy to carry and don’t require refrigeration – so they can go with you wherever you go to work out.
Oranges aren’t the only fruit which work well in a lean bulk diet. Cantaloupes have tons of benefits for your body, too. They have low fructose content, which make them a fast-digesting carb. This makes a cantaloupe a great choice to eat first thing in the morning. When you wake up in the morning, after a night of fasting, a cantaloupe will provide you with healthy energy to start the day. It’s also one of the few fruits which are effective if eaten directly after a workout.
Another fruit which functions as an effective lean muscle building food is the apple. They contain specific polyphenols which increase muscle strength and prevent muscle fatigue. If you eat apples before you work out, you’ll be able to train harder and longer.
Also, the specific polyphenols in apples can increase fat burning, too. They’re a great lean muscle building food.
Greek yogurt is very popular among “foodies” these days, but it’s long been a favorite among bodybuilders, too. Like regular yogurt, the primary source of Greek yogurt is milk. Compared to plain yogurt, however, Greek yogurt has more protein and fewer carbs. Generally, a cup of Greek yogurt contains about 20 grams of protein and nine grams of carbs. Also, Greek yogurt is a good source of casein protein.
Speaking of casein protein, cottage cheese is another excellent source of it. Casein protein is a type of protein which is very slow to digest. If you consume a source of casein protein before bed, your muscles will be prevented from being used as an energy source during the night, when your body is fasting while you sleep.
Eggs are a great cornerstone for any clean bulk diet. Known in fitness circles as “the perfect protein”, eggs help your body boost lean muscle. This, in turn, leads to strength gains.
The benefits of eggs go beyond their protein content, however. Egg yolks are also a good source of cholesterol. Now, this type of cholesterol isn’t the bad kind of cholesterol; rather, egg yolks have been shown to decrease the amount of bad, LDL cholesterol particles associated with atherosclerosis.
This is a special type of bread which is made from organic whole grains. It’s also a complete protein, because it contains grains and legumes. Ezekiel bread contains all nine amino acids which your body can’t produce itself. These amino acids are needed for lean muscle growth.
Ezekiel bread can be used alongside other clean foods to create complete meals, which brings up an important point. The more meals you can create with lean muscle building foods, the easier it will be to succeed. Grass-fed beef combined with Ezekiel rolls can create a healthy burger. Cantaloupes and oranges are a great quick snack for the morning before you hit the gym. A small serving of cottage cheese just before bed can both help your muscles and quell the urge for a midnight snack.
Sticking to a lean bulk diet can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of great tasting, easily available foods you can use to create a wide variety of dishes. Don’t let your efforts in the gym remain hidden behind a layer of shapeless bulk. By sticking to these lean muscle building foods, you’ll not only stay healthy, you’ll also look your best.
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