I’ve managed to gain 18lbs of lean muscle in the last 6 months by eating these calorie kings daily. That’s pretty good going overall, and I did it by working out hard and stuffing my face full of delicious, calorie-rich foods. I determine a food to be a ‘calorie king’ by the fact that it delivers maximum calories without being too heavy on trans fats, sugar and junk, which pile on undesired weight and destroys health in the process.
As a result, I’ve identified 8 foods guys can use to take your caloric intake up and pack on slabs of lean muscle. Remember, for gaining muscle you’ll want a good mix of complex cards, rich protein and good fats.
In order to gain muscle, you need to gain weight. In order to gain weight, you need to eat more calories than your body can burn at resting rate. When you workout heavy a few times a week, you should add an extra 500 or so calories onto this number. An average man of 6ft height and 200lbs weight will need 3000+ calories just to sustain his current weight. For sizeable gains, he’ll need to add in another 1000 a day over a set period of time.
Getting those extra calories can be hard. After a lot of experimenting I’ve come up with this list. I call it the “calorie kings”. They should be part of every man’s muscle-building nutrition plan. Enjoy!
Calorie Kings – 8 Foods to Pack on Lean Muslce
1) Milk – This is food that has been sustaining man since we first formed civilisations, but for some reason so many guys overlook this powerful liquid muscle builder.
Milk is a complete source of protein, and commercial whey protein products are actually derived from milk. Milk itself actually has two types of protein in it: whey and ceasin. Whey digests relatively quickly and therefore is great post workout, ceasin digests more slowly, and therefore should be consumed where long periods of fasting may occur (eg before bed).
I firmly believe milk is responsible for most of my muscle gain. I drink about a litre a day (half in the morning, half at night), which adds a solid 800 calories into my nutrition plan.
Don’t miss out on milk! There’s a reason it’s stood the test of time and been a staple food of humans for millenia.
2) Olive Oil – Olive oil is a phenomenally nutritious liquid energy. One tablespoon of this stuff packs a whopping 120 calories of rich, healthy monounsaturated fat.
Monounsaturated fat will do two great things for your body. Firstly, it will lubricate your arteries and gut, both of which are good for obvious reasons, and secondly, it will actually help you to BURN saturated fat.
When trying to gain muscle, there’s a tendency to gain unwanted fat as a side effect. Olive oil can help to counter this, as well as providing you with a long-lasting source of energy for heavy workouts.
I drink 3 tablespoons in the morning and 3 at night before bed. That’s an additional 720 calories per day to help with gaining lean muscle and burning fat.
Add this weapon to your arsenal. It has no harmful side effects and a host of health boosting benefits. Go for the extra virgin stuff if you can, and try to find one which tastes good to you.
If you don’t like the taste or you want to change it up, almond oil or walnut oil will deliver many of the same benefits.
Which brings us to our next food…
3) Nuts – peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, all of these are calorie and energy rich, and will pack on lean muscle.
A small bag of nuts will deliver between 300-500 calories (peanuts giving the least and cashews giving the most). 300-500 calories a day will really make a difference if you’re trying to take in say an extra 1000 calories a day, and will help you greatly in your quest to gain lean muscle.
Aim to eat a small bag of nuts per day. I eat these as an afternoon snack about an hour after lunch.
Get some nuts!
4) Steak – There’s no denying it, steak is the single best source of protein in the world.
Red meat delivers a complete source of protein which includes all 8 amino acids, as well as iron and a bunch of essential vitamins.
It takes the body around 4 hours to digest red meat, so it isn’t ideal for post workout, but it could be consumed as a consolidation meal, about an hour after your post workout protein shake.
It’s not advisable over the long run to eat red meat every day, because it has been proven it causes heart disease if consumed in excess. However, red meat during a bulk up is essential and you can safely consume it every day for a few months. After that, cut back and limit it to 3 times a week to maintain. For non-bulking times, look to chicken and fish, which don’t pack as many calories but are both perfect sources of protein.
5) Peanut Butter – This is not only a calorie king, but it’s bloody delicious too!
Every teaspoon of an average commercial peanut butter delivers around 30 calories, so I aim to eat 10 per day during a bulking phase. That extra 300 calories adds up.
Peanut butter alone can be quite hard to swallow, so I mix it with jam to add flavour. Just sit there with the two pots, scoop up a spoonful of peanut butter, dip it in the jam and shovel it down.
Delicious, high calorie and packed full of protein! A perfect bodybuilding snack.
*Warning – peanut butter is high in saturated fat. Do not do this long-term as it will clog your arteries – a few months at most is what you should be look at*
6) Oats – Oats are a great breakfast food and are so high in calories that they are a staple food of bodybuilders.
I can’t consume plain oats as they make me feel sick to my stomach, but muesli works a treat. One average sized bowl of this in the morning will deliver 500+ calories and provide a source of energy all day long.
Remember: protein isn’t much use without carbs to deliver them where they’re needed. Rice and pasta are great too, but they will only pack half the calories of their brother the oat.
You can cook oats all kinds of ways to make them interesting – with honey, with jam, mixed with yogurt and dry fruits, even cinnamon and spices if that’s your cup of tea.
Introduce oats into your breakfast with a few eggs and some fruit, and you’ll find you’ve got 1000 calories down in the first meal of the day!
7) Whey Protein – When trying to increase caloric intake, eating big meals can be both costly and impractical. Enter whey, the undisputed protein-based calorie king.
Whey protein, as I mentioned above, is an ideal post-workout supplement. It’s the fastest digesting form of protein as so it will find its way into your bloodstream (and therefore to your muscles) fastest.
A general rule of thumb is, you want to get whey into your system immediately post workout with a simple carbohydrate (a good excuse to have a soda, if you must). Whey will digest quickly and the soda will cause a spike in insulin, which will deliver the protein where it’s needed to rebuild muscle faster.
Whey also is high in calories. An average servings (2 scoops) will deliver 300 calories. If mixed with milk instead of water, this can be upwards of 500.
Bodybuilders use whey for a reason! It’s indispensible as a post-workout recovery aid.
When selecting a whey supplement, be careful guys. There’s a lot of sh*t out there being peddled to the unsuspecting masses. I personally recommend ON – Optimum Nutrition brand for quality. You can find a link to get some at the bottom of this page.
8) Quinoa – Not everyone knows about this super food, but they should!
Quinoa is a south American grain which is the only known complete source of protein that comes from a non-meat source. What that means is, it contains all 8 amino acids in itself.
Quinoa is also a rich source of complex carbohydrates and is extremely good for your gut. It takes a while to prepare though, usually it needs to be soaked overnight and boiled for around 30 mins.
A cup of this grain will deliver around 250 calories, not as much as oats, but eating oats every day gets old fast and quinoa is a great way to change it up!
If you aren’t already, get acquainted with this super grain and add it to your breakfast options. It’s a great source of long-lasting energy and will help you beat the boredom of your daily oats.
There you have it lads. 8 muscle packing foods that you can find at your local supermarket. No tricks, no gimmicks, just plain old-fashioned quality nutrition.
Let me know what results you get from eating these clorie kings. What other foods do you eat when bulking or trying to gain lean muscle? Leave us a comment in below and let us know!
Desire. Decide. Persist.