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How to Set Up A Mass Building Diet?

How to Set Up A Mass Building Diet?

Setting up a mass building diet can be a little tricky. There are a few steps involved that may seem confusing if you are new to weight training, dieting and mass building in general. Well, i’ll try to break it down for you as best i can. Just follow these steps and leave me a comment if you have any other questions and ill try my best to answer them!

Step 1: Determine Daily Caloric Intake

Making sure that you are consuming adequate calories each day is the most important part of a mass building diet. Though many people claim that their genetics don’t allow them to put on much muscle, the main reason people fail is simply due to insufficient calorie intake. Genetics certainly play a role at the competitive bodybuilding level, but most people using this excuse are simply not training or dieting correctly. Simply put, if you have tried and failed to put on muscle size before, you need to EAT MORE.

If you eat too little on a mass gaining diet, you will never make progress. However, on the flip side, eating too much will cause you to put on a lot more excess fat than necessary. Therefore, I recommend trying to add close to one pound per week. I know this sounds unreasonably slow to many people, but muscle takes a lot longer to add than fat, so if you get too impatient you might make life a lot more difficult for yourself later in the cutting stage. There are 3500 calories in one pounds, so you will have to eat 500 calories above your personal maintenance level each day for this rate of weight gain. However, this number can be really difficult to calculate accurately since you also have to factor in the calories you burn from daily activity as well.

Therefore, I suggest starting with 18-20 calories per pound for a mass building diet depending on how active you are. For example, a 150 pound guy who stays very active should start by consuming 3000 calories per day. If this amount of food sounds too daunting at first, feel free to work your way up slowly for a couple weeks. Make sure you are tracking your weight change first thing in the morning every day so you can make changes to your calorie intake if you are gaining weight too slowly or too fast. Remember that as you gain weight, you must readjust go back and recalculate your calorie totals. I suggest doing this after every 5 pounds to keep your weight gain consistent.

Step 2: Determine Protein Intake

When determining macronutrient ratios for a mass gaining diet, always start with protein since this value is the most important for muscle building. The optimal range for protein intake each day is 1-1.5g/lb. It is essential that you meet at least the minimum requirement for protein each day. Some people suggest consuming massive amounts of protein in the 2g/lb or more range, but this is completely pointless and will have no added mass building effect. As an example, for the same 150 lb guy this would work out to between 150g and 225g each day. Since there are 4 calories per gram of protein, this means 600-900 of your calories should come from protein. If you want to think of it in terms of percentages, this is 20-30% of your daily calories.


Step 3: Determine Fat Intake

In general, fat intake should be relatively low on a mass building diet. However, many people are far too extreme and try to eliminate all fat. Adding fat is the easiest way to up your daily calories and as long as you select healthy fat sources, you should not be afraid of dietary fat. Try to consume 0.4-0.5g/lb of fat. For our 150 pound lifter, this would be 60-75g each day. Though this doesn’t sound like a lot, there are 9 calories per gram of fat, which means that this amount would still represent 540-675 calories or 18-22.5% of your daily total.

Step 4: Determine Carbohydrate Intake

Generally, on a mass gaining diet, the majority of your calories will come from carbohydrates because they are crucial for weight training. However, this macronutrient also has the largest acceptable range because different people will have greater success with different amounts of carbohydrates depending on a few factors such as their insulin resistance. I suggest consuming 2-3g/lb, which equates to 300-450g each day for our 150 pound lifter. At 4 calories per gram, this is between 1200 and 1800 calories (40-60%) each day. I recommend starting on the higher end of this range and dropping carbs if your fat gain is accelerating too quickly. Remember that whenever you change carb intake, you need to adjust fat intake to make up for the difference in calories so that your daily total remains unchanged.

Step 5: Track Yourself for Success

It can be really difficult to know if you are anywhere near your goals each day if you haven’t eaten this way before. Therefore, I suggest using an online tool such as MyFitnessPal to track your food intake until you develop a really good intuitive understanding of what you need to eat each day. You should also track your weight change and body fat percentages at the same time each day so you know you are on track. Studies show that people who record and track their progress are far more successful at achieving their goals. For many people, this often neglected step is the difference between failure and success.

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