How to: Gain the Muscle With All That Hustle by, Leah Phillips

Are you interested in looking for some healthy protein diet tips in order to start building up those muscles? Then you have come to the right place! Of course with building up muscles comes weightlifting and getting a good workout in, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to be eating the right foods before and after the workout, and making sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drinking lots of water is KEY. Your body needs to be restored after burning so many calories at the gym; therefore, by eating more than what you burned and eating right, you will definitely see some results of your hard work paying off soon enough!

Now I know what you’re thinking because believe me, I still have a hard time with this as well: How do I know I am eating more calories than I burned? Well, let’s start with setting the ground rules. I am not any nutrition expert, but I have done research and am currently following a high protein “diet” myself to build up muscle on my body. 

It is important to know that you don’t just burn calories when you are working out, you are in fact burning extra. Throughout the day, your body naturally burns calories, even when you are sleeping and sitting on the couch! I know, crazy. That doesn’t mean you can just skip out on the gym because you burn calories doing absolutely nothing; you got to put in the work to see the results! By working out, you burn more calories faster, which is why you must refuel your body in order to not lose the muscle you are trying to build.

An easy way to calculate how much energy your body uses daily while at rest is using a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), calculator. It is not exact, so don’t strictly stick to this method, but it can act as an estimate which you can use to count out how many calories you should eat in a day. To make it easy for you, click the link below to test out the BMR calculator:

If you go to the gym frequently and follow a bunch of fitness gurus on social media, you may be familiar with the phrase “counting macros.” Don’t get scared when you hear this, I thought this was some intense fitness thing too. Macronutrients are those foods that are essential in muscle development: proteins, fats, and carbs. It is very common for people to track their macros too, meaning logging it in a journal or there are even apps that do this as well.

In order to build up a meal plan to get that muscle, you should know which foods lie in the core of this. Eating foods such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, eggs, quinoa, meats, salmon, the list goes on... will help you build up muscle and boost those macros; thus increasing your caloric intake. Protein is essential in building muscle, so if you are looking to bulk up, the protein will become your new BFF! 

Now don’t get confused when I say “bulking up” because some people may get confused. It is all focused on the types of food you are eating and getting in those big three meals a day, and maybe a couple of snacks throughout to fuel your hunger. You just need to add a little more of everything than you normally would eat with those macros and healthy foods to your meals. What I like to do after a good workout is to make myself a protein shake. My favorite is Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana. If you want to give it a try, here is the recipe I use:

  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder (chocolate is my favorite, but you can use anyone you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp of natural almond butter or peanut butter
  • ½ banana (frozen or ripe)
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • A dash of cocoa powder (to give that extra chocolatey flavor!)
  • A handful of ice cubes

Since we are trying to get fit and build up and tone our muscles, it cannot just stop there! With whey, it can also be used as a weight-loss supplement as well, which in this case, is not what we want. As mentioned, you need to eat more than you usually would to refuel your body. By sticking to a healthier lifestyle filled with all those macronutrients we discussed earlier, along with eating lots of fruits and vegetables, your diet will be very well balanced.

Filling your body with the right kind of nutrients and health supplements will make you feel a million times better, both mentally and physically. I promise you soon enough you will start seeing positive physical differences, in your body AND your skin, but also in the way you see yourself and the energy your body develops. It is not TOTALLY wrong to allow yourself some cheat days because even I love my ice cream, cookies, and Taco Bell quesaritos, but hey, I’m also in college what do you expect? Just know that you can’t allow yourself TOO many cheat days - we are trying to get fit here!

What is so important though, is to allow your body to rest days because working it out every day leads to a great amount of fatigue. It causes a lot of strain and stress on your body. With rest days, it will allow your muscles to repair themselves; therefore, helping you get right back into your routine with lots more energy. On these rest days, you must remember to keep eating right too; thus, including all those macros. It doesn’t matter if you work out that day or not, but you should eat the same amount as you would if you did work out.

The last thing I want to leave you with is while you may be looking at all the fitness accounts on Instagram and trying to follow in the steps of their journey, all bodies are different! NEVER underestimate what you are capable of and don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. Everyone has their own goals they want to achieve. With that, and I know it is everyone’s biggest challenge, but try not to compare your body to someone else’s. We all are built differently and we each have our own fitness plans and goals. If you are reading this, know that you are a warrior and worthy of becoming your strongest self. Remember that it may take time to see results, whether or not it is faster or slower than those you follow, but nothing is ever impossible if you set your mind to it and just do it. Make this YOUR fitness journey and take control of it. Whether or not you take my fitness tips with you, be sure to challenge yourself and take care of your body. Also, don’t forget to hustle for that muscle! Best of luck to you - YOU GOT THIS.


August 14, 2019 — Hannah Abbott


Ravi said:

nice article…
I have never seen explained in that way before. you have wonderfully explainedthe muscle gaining foods

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grigoris said:

I love banana smoothies…I’ll try peanut butter. Have you ever try to add a teaspoon of maca powder. More: It’s rich in protein and promotes recovery…

Cliff said:

Great article.
Also, some muscle building smoothies made of banana, whey, chocolate, nuts etc can be helpful.

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