We all know that going to the gym and regularly hitting the weights builds muscle. But what should you eat alongside that? In this article, we take a look at some healthy options to get you started – and why they work.
Oat And Date Cookies
Imagine you’ve just got back from the gym after an intense workout. You’re famished, right?
Well, if so, oat and date cookies could be just the thing you need. Once you finish in the gym, you deplete your muscle glycogen stores, meaning that your body is at risk of going into catabolic mode. But, with oat cookies, you can restore the lost sugars in a healthy, slow-release way.
Making oat and date cookies is actually easier than you might think. Start by chopping the dates and then whisk and add. Add a cup of oats and ⅔ cup wholemeal flour. Finally, mix four ounces of butter into the mix, plus a pinch of cinnamon to taste.
Once you have the mix, you should be able to easily form it into cookies and place it on a baking tray. Bake on medium heat until brown.
People who want to pack on muscle will usually turn to animal protein. But what if you fancy a break from chicken cutlets and steak? What else can you eat?
Well, one option is bean stew. These are not only delicious but also help to add extra nutrients to your diet that you might not get ordinarily.
When it comes to bean stews, you have all kinds of options. A favorite these days is African peanut stew. You make this by adding onion, garlic tinned tomatoes, peanut butter, and chili spice mix to a large pan, plus stock. Then add some chopped sweet potatoes and kale and allow it to bubble until cooked. The result should be a deep orange, delicious and rich-tasting stew.
There are plenty of other options, of course. Making a bean chili and slow-cooking it in the oven is great. And so too is cooking lentil dahl – a recipe that should deliver the same amount of protein as regular beans, if not slightly more.
Remember, beans are among the highest-protein foods that you can eat. Most meats are around 20 to 25 percent protein and between 75 and 80 percent fat (mostly saturated). Beans, on the other hand, deliver around 30 percent protein and virtually zero fat, plus plenty of fiber. So they can be a great option for people who want to bulk up and lean out at the same time.
Have you tried any of the new plant-based burgers that have hit the market recently? Some of them taste practically identical to regular beef, but they are also high in protein.
Why is that? Well, it all comes down to the plant ingredients that manufacturers use to make them. Most use pea or soy protein isolate which generally involves removing the fiber and carbs and then just using the resulting protein. They then mix this with coconut oil and other fats that retain their shape at room temperature, before shaping them into a patty.
Plant-based burgers don’t have to be a diet staple. But they can be a great addition to your weekly food intake, providing you with a protein boost without having to spend money on the real thing. What’s more, they taste really good too.
Add Bulk To Your Salads
When it comes to healthy foods, salads are a great addition. But according to this how to gain weight post from steelsupplements.com, you need to eat more calories if you want to grow muscle. That’s why it’s critical to add bulk to your salads.
Let’s put this into perspective. 100 grams of flour (say, for white bread) contains about 400 calories. By contrast, a stick of celery has around 20 calories for the same amount. So if you want to get the same energy as three slices of toast, you’d have to eat about four or five entire celery plants – not practical.
What’s more, salads have weird effects on the body. It actually takes a lot of energy to extract the calories in the first place. So the net gain is usually minimal – if anything at all.
The trick here is to use leaves as a base and then add various calorie-rich toppings afterward. This way, you get all the nutrition you need, plus the energy you need to build tone as well.
Here are some of the high-calorie additions you could try:
- Adding dried fruits, such as apricots, dates, and figs
- Adding beans and other legumes
- Adding whole grains, like barley, quinoa, and spelt
- Adding nuts and seeds
Dried fruits, beans, and whole grains have somewhere between 200 and 400 calories per 100 grams dry, depending on the water content. Nuts and seeds have anywhere between 500 and 700 calories, depending on the variety. Adding these foods, therefore, allows you to massively improve your energy intake while ensuring that you still get all the nutrition you need.
Greek Yoghurt Parfait
Did you know that most protein powders come from the byproducts of dairy production? That’s one of the reasons so many people looking to build muscle include yogurt in their diets. What’s more, you can even add a scoop of protein powder to your yogurt to make it tastier, according to shawacademy.com.
Greek yogurt parfait is a delicious and healthy way to start the day. Plus, it’s super simple to make.
First, start by decanting a cup of yogurt into a glass beaker. Then mix in your favorite protein powder – vanilla works well here. Then add some sliced fruit, such as sliced banana and berries.
Finally, top the fruit with a little extra yogurt and sprinkle your favorite nuts on top. Healthy fats are highly beneficial and assist with nutrient absorption.
So, there you have it: some super healthy concepts for people who want to build extra muscle. Not only are these recipes delicious, but they also provide extra calories, without making you feel slow or lethargic afterward.