Though many bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and other weight lifters train hard day and day out, they often don't pay nearly enough attention to nutrition. What's more is that there is a great deal of disinformation out there about the best way to eat to gain muscle. Here is the best muscle mass diet that you can use to improve your own physique.
Keep it Simple
The first rule of your muscle mass diet should be to keep it very simple. Take it from someone who used to heavily overanalyze diet and nutrition - you will make far more progress when you keep things simple and easy to remember.
In the case of a muscle mass diet, keeping things simple means not worrying about counting calories, fat grams or carb grams. There are certainly some things you need to track and keep count of, but most nutrients do not require this level of detail and precision.
Focus on Protein
Your first order of business for a good muscle mass diet is to get plenty of protein. Protein is the essential muscle-building nutrient that allows you to recover and build your muscles bigger than before. Other nutrients are important, but you must always make sure to get all of your protein in.
The best guideline that I have found for gaining the maximum amount of muscle mass is to multiply my bodyweight by 2 to get the number of protein grams I need to eat per day. I do not count the incomplete protein that comes in trace amounts from grains, fruits, etc.
The best sources of protein are lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Try to keep most of your protein sources lean, but don't worry about eating some fatty beef or whole eggs now and again. If you have trouble gaining weight, these kinds of foods can be great for you.
Eat Fats and Carbs at the Right Times
It seems every mainstream fad diet these days focuses on either praising or vilifying one of these nutrients. Though such diets have their merits, a much more moderated and purposeful approach to fats and carbs is best for a muscle mass diet.
Simply put, you should eat your starch carbs (oats, potatoes, pasta, etc.) at breakfast and before and after you intense weight training sessions. These are times at which your body can best use the energy from carbs, and at which it is least likely to store them as bodyfat.
As for fats, they are best eaten later in the day, or in general, times that are not breakfast or pre- or post- training. Make sure you do not avoid fats for fear of gaining body fat; they are essential to proper hormone function, recovery, and muscle growth, and they can actually help PREVENT fat gain!
Figure out for Yourself How Many Calories You Need to Eat
There are plenty of calculators out there that are supposed to be a magic formula for telling you how much to eat, but you would do best to simply be mindful of the portion sizes of carbs and fats that you are eating with your protein.
If you are gaining weight too fast, eat a little bit less carbs and fats with your meals. Likewise, if you are not gaining any weight, and you are sure that you are getting in your protein requirements, start adding carbs and fats. Things really can be that simple. Do not get caught up in the over-analysis that is rampant among bodybuilders.