In order to pack on muscle to your frame, you need to supply your muscles with the proper nutrients (a correct balance of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats as well as micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals). Building muscle requires a plethora of these nutrients, but at the proper times so your body uses it to build as much muscle as possible in conjunction with storing the least amount of fat.
Haven’t you ever been yelled at by your mother when you went to school without eating breakfast? Well, your mother happens to do so with good reason. Hence the phrase, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Breakfast is one of the best times to support your muscle-building efforts. Here is an optimal time when you can consume most of your daily carbohydrates without storing them as fat. It is called breakfast for a reason. You are “breaking the fast”. You are supplying yourself with food for the first time in around 8 hours (from the time you go to sleep to the time you wake up). During this phase of sleep, your muscles are starved and craving for protein, while your glycogen levels are completely depleted and craving for carbohydrates. You need to “break the fast” with a hefty supply of both protein and carbohydrates immediately upon waking to stop muscle breakdown and start muscle growth.
There are two times in which you can flood your muscles with carbohydrates without it storing into fat: breakfast, as mentioned, and right after a workout. This is because when you eat carbohydrates your insulin levels spike through the roof. Now, if your glycogen is full then the carbs have nowhere to go but be stored as fat. If you do not use them throughout the day then they will remain on the outskirts of your muscles. When your glycogen is depleted, however, your body uses those carbs to spike your insulin levels to refill your glycogen levels in your muscle, building your muscles to full capacity.
Burn Fat with More Frequent Meals
Burning fat requires the correct timing. Appropriating your meals and when to have certain macronutrients over others determines how your body will treat that food and use it for energy or store it. You need to eat very often to burn fat. Eating every 2-3 hours is crucial to optimizing your fat-burning. Think of it as a paradox. When your body knows that a steady supply of food is coming, it doesn’t have a need to store fat for energy. Energy supplies will be readily available. When your body knows food is coming, it will use food as fuel to build muscle.
The proper timing of protein and carbohydrates is very important. Protein needs to be steadily supplied every 2-3 hours. Carbohydrates have to be consumed in moderation, but there are a few times during the day in which it is very important to flood your muscles with them. Just make sure you follow one rule when trying to burn fat: No carbs after 8 PM, or your fat burning efforts could go to waste!
Daily Meal Plan
Meal 1- 7:00 AM:1 scoop whey protein (25 g protein) + banana + blueberries
Meal 2- 8:00 AM: 4 egg whites + 2 yolks + 1 tablespoon of peanut butter + 2 packages of instant oatmeal
Meal 3- 10:30 AM: 1 scoop whey protein (25 g protein) + handful of almonds (10 g fat)
Meal 4- 1:00 PM: 2 grilled chicken breasts (50 g protein) + 1 cup brown rice (60 g carbs)
Meal 5 (Pre-Workout) 3:00 PM: 1 scoop of whey protein (25 g protein) + banana (20 g simple carbs)
Meal 6 (Post-Workout) 4:30 PM: 2 scoops of whey protein (50 g protein) + maltodextrin (60 g simple carbs)
Meal 7- 5:30 PM: Fish + mixed vegetables + baked sweet potato
Meal 8- 8:30 PM: Handful of peanuts
Meal 9- 11:00 PM: Bowl of cottage cheese + milled flax seed drizzled atop
MP’s suggestion: Eat often. Bulk of your carbs should be taken in upon waking and right around your workout. Each successive meal after breakfast, carbs should lessen until you completely cut carbs out at night.