How many meals you need to eat to build muscle?

by - June 07, 2020

Many people think that they should eat five, six, or even seven times each day to build muscle. It's our assumption that if we don't eat enough food we would be starving and would not be able to maintain a high muscle to fat ratio.
How many meals you need to eat to build muscle?

First, we need to maintain a caloric surplus diet. You need to provide the body with a surplus of calories, which will be used as an additional supply of energy to produce new lean muscles.
Now, that intermittent fasting has come to picture the idea of consuming meals frequently is fading out. Instead of people consuming 7 meals they are likely to experiment by only eating 1-2 times a day. Intermittent fasting helps in losing stubborn fat together with building muscles.
The body composition remains the same when you burn the same amount of calories that you are consuming. Well, in theory, a pound of muscle is almost equal to 3000 calories, which means if you are aiming to gain a pound of muscle each week then you need to increase your total calories to 3000.
Calorie counting can be a pain in the ass but that is what we have to do people, to guarantee success. It's important because this way you will have a knowledge of how much lean muscles you are gaining with minimum fat accumulation.
Gaining a pound of lean muscle mass in a week's time is what is considered as optimum if you are gaining more weight maybe it's because your muscle to fat ratio is increased which is not what we want.

Estimate your muscle gain

To check your progress it's very important for you to measure your muscle gain. An increase in your bodyweight doesn't necessarily mean you have gained muscle mass. The rule is to check your body fat% every 4 to 6 weeks to have an exact knowledge of whether you are gaining lean muscle mass or fat tissues. I would recommend you to use one method for the entire duration of gaining so that there is no miss calculation occurring.
How many meals you need to eat to build muscle?

Myths on the frequency at which we should eat while we are bulking.

1) If you are having small amounts of food frequently throughout the day, then your rate of metabolism also increases in small amounts. And if you are eating big amounts of food then your rate of metabolism will be big. This is only true in theory. 
According to research conducted on athletes, the results were something different. It showed that the rate of metabolism was highest with 3 meals a day instead of 14. The amount of food was the same the body type was also the same. So the implications of this research are pretty cool.
2) You won't lose muscle mass if there is a big gap between the last meal you ate if you keep on working out. If you train at least three times a week and reducing the times you eat, it won't cause any muscle loss.
3) If you ate a big protein-filled meal even just once during the entire day you’d have a steady supply of amino acids all day long for your muscles. Also, protein digests fairly slowly. The fastest digested protein that is whey isolate takes about an hour to digest 10g and casein which is the slowest takes about 10 hours to digest 3-4g.
 4) Your body will not enter mode 'starvation mode' soon. It takes 8 to 10 hours to digest a big heavy meal. There are certain hormones that induce the body whether to go into starvation mode where it increases its fat storage. But that has nothing to do with how many times you are in a day but related to the number of calories and carbs you are consuming. To start your body's starvation mode you need to stop consuming food for at least 60 hours.

How many meals should you eat while you are gaining muscles?

The question comes down to two things 
1) How many calories are you comfortable in eating at one go? If you can consume 1000 calories in just a meal then you don't need to eat so frequently consuming the same amount of calories 3 times a day will suffice your calorie need. But if your stomach complains after 700 calories you might need to eat four meals + a snack. There are lots of tricks to boost your meal calories—different macronutrients will fill you up to different amounts, liquid calories are easier on your appetite than solid calories, etc.
2)How many meals can you fit into your daily schedule? Most of the people find it difficult to eat because of their daily schedule. some are students, office goers, teachers, etc, and don't usually have time to eat 6-7 times a day. It's not important to eat frequently to reach your daily caloric need. You need to fit in your schedule proper meal timings where you are consuming enough calories in one meal timing. breakfast lunch and dinner are the basic timings where you can fill your daily need of calories, on top of that you can add a snack time between lunch and dinner or between breakfast and lunch. In that way, you can get additional amounts of food even in your busy schedule.

Liquid Calories

How many meals you need to eat to build muscle?

Finally, the last advice that I would like to give all of you is to include liquid calories in your diet.
Trying to eat whole foods with such a high-calorie intake can cause some digestive strain for a number of people, so I would suggest taking the high-calorie shake with added protein.
Mix together some milk, protein powder, almonds, a scoop of peanut butter, bananas, and, if you want, some ground-up oatmeal to boost the calorie intake.
This is a fast and easy way to get more calories without feeling like you’re eatingyet again. Some people who want to gain muscle as fast as possible will start to feel like they never stop eating, so using smoothies and shakes can help out with this issue.

Takeaway
So there you have the top points to remember as you construct your diet for muscle gaining. If you take the time to plan out your daily meals and snacks, making sure all nutrients are covered and your calorie intake is met, it will pay off dramatically in the results that you see. It is a lot of workbut well worth it!

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