Eating your way to muscle gain or weight loss may sound like a pipe dream but it’s a critical building block in attaining the physique that today’s most dedicated fitness junkies seek. Getting it done properly often involves discipline and careful evaluation of every individual’s caloric intake levels beforehand. Once that’s down pat, your daily meals should tie together to hit your fitness targets. But what meal ideas are the best? Nutrition expert Amander Weixner weighed in with her findings below from breakfast to lunch to dinner to snacking.
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As a reminder, Weixner notes that, “for fat loss you need to be in a sustainable caloric deficit. For muscle gain, you need to be in a caloric surplus”. We figured it’d be important to know what these two terms mean.
Caloric deficit refers to the reduction of input and calories consumed from food. This can pertain to smaller portion sizes or a shift in high calorie foods to lower calorie foods to be in a state of caloric deficit.
Caloric surplus is a state where you consume more calories from muscle building food than you burn, leading to weight gain in the form of muscle or body fat. Whilst eating more will just lead to excess body fat, those in caloric surplus need to partake in strength training in order to gain muscle.
According to Weixner, the meal ideas don’t need to be devoid of all complex carbs in either case of weight loss or muscle gain.
“While at dinner, I skipped the rice for cauliflower rice, at lunch, I still included the full sweet potato and just skipped the toppings that were in the muscle gain meal,” she explained in her latest post. “Additionally, I made sure I had plenty of healthy fats in the weight loss meals but still had a smaller portion than in the muscle gain meals.”
Weixner also outlined a detailed meal guide for those seeking to hit their muscle and weight goals. The muscle meals are essentially upsized versions of the fat loss meals.
Breakfast fat loss – 2 eggs + 2 egg whites, 1/4 avocado, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes + 1/4 cup mushrooms + 1/4 cup asparagus sautéed + 1 piece Ezekiel toast
Breakfast muscle gain – Added 2 eggs, + 1/4 avocado, + 1 tbsp pb
Lunch fat loss – 4oz/113g chicken, 1 sweet potato, 1 cup broccoli
Lunch muscle gain – Added 2oz/57g chicken, added 1 banana + 1 tbsp pb
Dinner fat loss – 4oz/113g wild salmon, 1 cup cauliflower rice, 1 cup mushrooms + 1 cup kale sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil
Dinner muscle gain – Added 2oz/57g salmon, subbed in 1 cup rice for 1 cup cauliflower
Snack fat loss – 1 cup strawberries + 25g chocolate
Snack muscle gain – 1 cup strawberries + 1 medium banana + 45g chocolate