This plan is designed for an already lean individual that is weight training at least three days per week. Males should be close to 10% body fat and you should be able to see at least the outline of your abs. Females should be close to 15% body fat. The leaner you are, the more efficient your body is at building muscle and starting a plan like this when you are not quite in shape yet may lead to unwanted fat gain. If you need to drop some body fat first, please see our Lean Eating Plan.
This is not the only eating solution to getting lean as we have many pathways to success,but this is a great place to start.
LEAN BULKING GUIDELINES
Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner (3 solid meals) plus two Power Smoothies per day.
Eating for maximum muscle can sometimes require a lot of calories. Spreading your daily intake over 5 feedings with two of them being liquid meals makes things more manageable. See the Power Smoothie section below for example recipes. Of course, if you’d prefer to not use supplements you can eat meals instead of Power Smoothies.
Consume a small amount of extra quality calories every day in order to put on quality weight while limiting fat gains.
While everyone is unique and requires a slightly different amount of calories per day, using the calculator at www.tdeecalculator.net will put you in the right direction. Calculate your daily maintenance calories and add 250 to it. You may need to consume less or more calories depending on your results. The idea is to try and consistently gain 0.25kg per week. This will help limit fat gains and ensure the majority of your weight gained is made of muscle tissue.
Your calories should be made up of 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20%fat.
This macronutrient breakdown will ensure you are getting enough protein to help repair and build muscle, as well as enough carbs to fuel your weight sessions. You will also be consuming an adequate amount of healthy fat, which aids in optimal brain function, healthy hair, skin and nails, as well as hormone and energy production. The ratio of carbs vs fats can be altered depending on the individual, but we recommend keeping protein at 30% to begin with.
Each meal and power shake should contain a serving of protein, complex carbs, good fat and veggies or fruit.
Eating the above combination is an ideal balance not only for muscle building but health and energy levels too. Your blood sugar will remain stable, you will be consuming enough fiber to stay regular and you will be balancing acidic foods with alkaline ones.
HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES
A SAMPLE DAY
Scrambled eggs, oatmeal, fruit
Grilled chicken with rice and mixed salad, olive oil dressing
Baked salmon with sweet potato and veggies
Midmorning & Midafternoon snack
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Cook in advance
Pick a day of the week and cook all your chicken breasts, sweet potatoes etc. and store them in individual snap-lock bags in either the fridge or freezer. This makes it easy to grab them on the way out. Take a little lunch bag or cooler with you to work. Alternatively, cook an extra serving at dinner for lunch the next day.
Plan ahead or plan to fail
Take a few minutes the night before to decide on what you will eat the next day. Make a grocery list of the above food items and visit the supermarket. Stick to the outsides, which contain most of the foods you need
and avoid the aisles to resist the temptation of buying the wrong foods. Also, never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
When eating out, plan ahead
Most restaurants now have their menu online which makes it easy to decide on an appropriate meal that will aid your results rather than hinder them. Just say no to chips and get your salad dressing on the side.
Mix it up
Food can be steamed, baked, grilled or stir-fried (using a spray of coconut oil.) Experiment with different spices as well as Himalayan crystal salt and low-calorie sauces (soy sauce etc.) But, always ensure to read
the labels and avoid those with hidden sugar and fat.
Track your progress
We highly recommend you track your food intake using MyFitnessPal or Cronometer. This will give you a bit of flexibility with your food choices and allow you to make adjustments depending on your progress. Happy
Scale is a handy app that allows you to record your daily weight and gives you a weekly average, which is what you want to be looking at. It also displays trends too.
Cheat your way to success
You are not expected to be perfect and the occasional “cheat meal” or dessert is reasonable and may help you stay on track. But make sure to stick to the above portion sizes and try to make it at dinner. This way, you won’t be tempted to continue eating junk for the rest of the day.