Eating for lean muscle

What foods you should be adding to your diet in order to gain lean muscle and what to definitely avoid

As we continue our look at gaining lean muscle we'll begin this week by explaining what kinds of foods you should be eating in order to promote the gain of lean muscle.

Lots of people have different ideas of what to eat when dieting in any form but there are key foods to make sure you're eating if you are packing on muscle and aiming for a drop in body fat. Let's take a look at some staples of a lean muscle diet and what the good properties are of each one.


This is an obvious one to those who have already begun their dieting but chicken is very low in fat and extremely high in protein. This combination means you'll be fuelling your body with the right protein and making sure you have the best possible source of quality protein loaded foods throughout the week. Chicken also goes with most foods and be made into various and delicious meals so this is a must have.


Fish like chicken is incredibly high in protein and low in fat, although the fats it does contain are all good omega fats that aid joint care and your vital organs. Fish also like chicken, can be had with varying dishes and is just as versatile meaning you should find many meal combos available.

Whole grain rice

Unlike white rice, whole grain is really beneficial to your body's efforts in processing extra proteins and makes the body work easier to pass it in your system. It will also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer meaning no more hunger pans in the afternoons and late at night. It can go with curry's, chilli's, fish dishes and salads and makes for a great energy packed accompaniment to your main dish.


Apart from Popeye and his bulging cans of the green stuff, not many people will use spinach in their own diet as it gets a bit of a bad rep for being bland. This is a great thing to involve in your diet as it will help with digesting the extra protein in your body, It also has many vitamins meaning your nutritional benefit is very high. Just make sure to cook it rather than popping it straight in your mouth from a can, not a good idea.

Nuts and seeds

These can be a really useful tool to use for snacks mid morning and afternoons as they are full of fibre and proteins which will make you feel fuller than a naughty chocolate bar if you need to snack. Avoid the covered and coated variety and try the naturally packed type as they won't contain any extra sugars or fats.

Natural fruits

Needless to say you should be aiming for five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day in your diet. They add vital hits of natural sugar for those with a sweet tooth and they will also add flavour and taste to your diet which can vary meals each day. They will also add a good amount of fibre and vitamins to your intake which will help with digestion and the general upkeep of your joints, organs and immune system.

So now we've covered some essential basics that you should have in your diet let's take a look at the list of the foods you need to avoid in order to gain lean muscle and not add unwanted fats to your waistline or physique in general. I will not list the bad points of each of these foods as it should be obvious why they shouldn't be consumed on a daily basis. Just make sure you are avoiding them daily and only eating them if you feel the need for a treat once a week to reward your hard work over time!

Fried foods - fried chicken, chips, fried fish.

Sugary foods - donuts, chocolate bars, biscuits, processed chocolate spreads, sweets, fruit juices from concentrate, ice cream.

Fatty foods - Chips, coated nuts, bacon, sausages, cream, processed meats.

High in carbohydrates - white rice, white bread, doughs, pizza, crisps, white pasta, bottled sauces, cereals.

At lot of the above list is what we can class as a snack and the thing some people struggle with is eating empty calorie filled snacks that don't actually fill you up meaning that you eat more than you should. If you find yourself snacking on the above items then try to swap them out for a piece of fruit and maybe some natural nuts and seeds and see the difference in how you feel. You shouldn't feel as hungry and you should feel fuller for longer meaning your main meals will be easier to get to as you're not craving food constantly.

Take the above steps as a first introduction to swapping bad foods out your diet and begin your own dietary journey in the correct way. No matter how small the change you make just begin by making a change.

Next week we'll look at how best to supplement your diet and look at how your training will affect the way you supplement your own efforts during a day. We'll focus on the lean muscle gain again and see what products are out there that you can begin to incorporate into your diet.

Written by:

Taeo Robinson

Taeo Robinson

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