#5. Increase Meal Frequency
During a bulking phase, you are supposed to consume a caloric surplus, which can be a bit difficult on your digestive system if you plan to get all of your calories from three huge meals. A lot easier way to meet your caloric demands and keep your metabolism revved up all through the day is to spread your food intake more or less evenly over the course of the day.
Eating 6-7 small meals will ensure that your body receives a consistent stream of nutrients to support optimal protein synthesis. And if you struggle to get all of the calories you need from whole foods, include a few liquid meals into your diet plan. Drinking a few protein shakes during the day can help you add 500-600 calories to your daily count pretty effortlessly.
Furthermore, you can always up the caloric value of standard protein shakes by enriching them with nut butters, Greek yogurt or whole nuts.
#6. Cheat Meals Instead of Cheat Days
Including an entire cheat day in your week can backfire and encourage fat gains, so it’s advisable to avoid them and opt for one cheat meal per week. This can help you cope better psychologically with the demands of your restrictive lifestyle if you choose to see it as a symbolic reward for all of your hard work. So once per week, give yourself a nice pat on the back and activate the one-time permission to go wild and eat whatever you want.
But remember, it has to be only one meal in the week – if you’re not careful you’ll end up indulging yourself week of junk food indulgence and too many poor dietary choices can easily ruin your physique and set you a few steps back, so don’t overdo it.
#7. Embrace Bedtime Snacks
You know how everyone keeps saying that eating late at night will make you instantly fat? Well, that depends heavily on what type of food you’re eating. If you have the habit of destroying a bag of chips and a chocolate cake before hitting the sack, you are most certainly on the road to make excellent fat gains.
But if you opt for a slow-digesting protein like casein, found in cottage cheese and casein protein powder and a handful of nuts or seeds, you can actually boost your mass-building capacities. As you sleep, your power snack will be slowly digested and absorbed and your muscles will receive a steady supply of amino acids, thus stimulating anabolism and preventing muscle loss.
#8. Don’t Miss the Post-Workout Meal
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you have already been notified about the importance of post-workout nutrition. By consuming particular nutrients after your workouts, i.e. fast-digesting high-quality protein and fast-digesting carbs, you can make sure that your body has enough raw materials available for protein synthesis to occur.
Also, the post-workout meal has the purpose of replenishing your depleted glycogen reserves and accelerating muscle recovery. If you don’t take care of your post-workout nutrition, you shouldn’t expect to get great lean mass gains, period.
#9. Drink Plenty of Water
Bodybuilders in general tend to forget about hydration which is a really important part of health and fitness. Besides being essential to life, water is a critical component of your mass-gaining diet because it helps maintain muscle fullness and supports digestion and nutrient absorption. The carbs and proteins that you ingest are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream, so if you don’t drink enough water your body won’t be able to properly use all the calories you’re consuming.
Also, water is crucial for proper blood circulation in the body, which means that when the body is well hydrated, you have greater levels of oxygen in the bloodstream. And the more oxygen the body has readily available, the more fat it will burn for energy. Aim to drink 12-16 cups of water every day to allow your body to function optimally.
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