Muscle building is not just about heaving tons of iron. You also need to eat right. We humans tend to love to complicate things. But there is nothing complicated about muscle building foods. The KISS principle, that is keep it simple stupid (not you) applies well here.
The first thing you need in order to build lean mass is protein. You should consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Try to avoid processed meats as much as possible. Some good sources of protein include;
1. Good old eggs. Yes they’ve received a lot of bad press due to the high cholesterol they contain. Some of these claims have since been refuted, but the bad press continues. If you’re still worried about cholesterol or have a tendency towards high cholesterol then go easy on the yolks and eat more whites. But to get the full benefit of eggs, don’t throw away all the yolks. The yolk contains almost half the protein of the egg and all the vitamins. The best thing is that eggs are easy to prepare; if you can boil a pot of water you’re good to go (simply add the eggs whole into the water).
2. Good old beef: Another one that has been getting some bad press, lean red beef is a good source of protein and also contains zinc, selenium, vitamins, iron, creatine and other “good stuff”. If you’re not vegetarian or don’t have other dietary restrictions, lean beef should a part of your muscle building meal plan.
3. Turkey and chicken: Those birds are good for you and can be delicious. Go for skinless turkey or chicken breast, which are lean contain high levels of protein. You can do the skinning yourself to save some money. Dark turkey and chicken are also good (skin them too) but make sure to drain as much fat as possible.
4. Fish: The top choice is salmon which not only contains high levels of protein but is also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Other good choices are tuna, cod, tilapia, and sardines. Generally, fish is good for you whatever the type. Go for wild instead of farmed fish where possible and if your budget allows.
5. Good old milk: If you’re a hard gainer go for whole milk. Others can drink either whole or lower fat varieties. The fats in milk are the short chain variety and can actually help you gain muscle by helping prevent muscle breakdown.
6. Cottage cheese: In the days before whey and casein products, bodybuilders relied heavily on cottage cheese. In fact, many professional bodybuilders today still use it today as it is good and slow-digesting.
7. Nuts and seeds: They contain protein as well as “good” fats; that is unsaturated fats. Some good choices are almonds, peanuts, hazel nuts, flax seeds, pecans, walnuts, and cashew nuts, to name but a few.