The Top 7 Ways to Build Muscle Without Adding Fat
You’ve heard it before: “It’s bulking season!” — Your mass monster bro has decided to enter into his “time of the year” where he puffs himself up into marshmallow man (by excessively overeating) to try and add some more muscle to his physique. We’re here to tell you 7 ways to build muscle, without packing on the fat!
1. DON’T EAT EXCESSIVELY ABOVE MAINTENANCE
First you need to determine your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and adjust your caloric intake to match your lifestyle (active, sedentary, etc). After you have your BMR figured out, you must get a diet plan that does not go any higher than 200–300 calories above your level.
You won’t gain as much “mass” as you would on a traditional bulk, but the mass you gain will be much leaner and in turn keep you looking more shredded than you otherwise would have. Realistically, you would be doing well if you were able to gain 10 pounds of muscle in a year; anything more than that is unrealistic.
2. CUT OUT THE SUGAR!
Processed sugar especially will mess with your insulin and leptin levels which will in turn make you more likely to overeat (and gain more fat). Sugar also leads your body to storing more calories as fat, rather than being readily available for energy consumption.
Keep an eye out for “low fat foods” as they tend to have excessive amounts of sugar added to make up for the taste.
3. EAT THE “RIGHT” CARBS
A lot of people will say “carbs are carbs”, but that is about as true as the story your buddy told you about the “9/10 heavenly blessed angel” he met last weekend.
You want to look for carbohydrates that are low on both the GI (Glycemic Index) and GL (Glycemic Load). These carbs are phenomenal for giving you energy, building muscle, and limiting the amount of fat stored. Below are a list of some popular carbs in this category:
- Brown rice (powerhouse)
- Rolled oats
- Whole wheat / Rye bread
- Whole wheat pasta
- Peanut butter
Use this LINK to see the GI and GL for 100+ foods by Harvard Health.
4. EAT FATS!
Right off the bat you would think this sounds counterproductive, but its not! You want to eat foods that are high in GOOD fats, because these type of fats will not only help you feel full but they can help boost your testosterone levels as well! (Higher testosterone levels make it easier to burn fat and build muscle)
Eating good sources of fat is CRUCIAL to building your gains. Here are some of the best high fat healthy foods you can eat:
- Olive oil
- Eggs (the entire egg)
5. DON’T SKIP THE PROTEIN
The number of guys that think they can build muscle on 50 grams of protein per day (or even less) is truly baffling. Unless you are a genetic freak, there is no way you are going to build muscle with that amount.
Protein is the main building block for muscle, and it also makes you feel full so you are less likely to chow down on carbs to fill up. Additionally, it takes your body extra effort to break down protein, so it can help boost your metabolism.
If there is 1 supplement that you are going to take, make sure it is a high quality protein powder!
6. DRINK UP THE H2O
It should be a no-brainer that you need to drink lots of water. Water helps all of your body’s processes function optimally, it has 0 calories, and it can help make you feel fuller.
Try the 8x8 rule for your daily water intake — 8 (8 oz glasses) per day. This equates to roughly 2L.
7. OPTIMIZE YOUR TESTOSTERONE LEVELS
As we said before, your testosterone levels affect your body’s ability to burn fat and build muscle. The image below gives you an idea of how important your testosterone levels are. There are a bunch of natural test-boosters that have been highly studied to help keep your T levels optimal.
Related Post: 5 Legitimate Ways To Build Muscle
Originally published at jackedscholar.ca.