Muscle needs fuel to grow, and that fuel is whatever you put in your mouth. If you want freaky muscles, then you need to eat more than your body burns; it’s that simple. A 4,000 calorie meal plan is perfect for workout days and is especially suitable for men trying to put on as much muscle weight in the shortest amount of time possible.
Will Eating 4,000 Calories Make Me Fat?
It is not unusual for men trying to gain muscle to consume 4,000, 5000, or even 6,000 calories and upwards on the days they train. Certainly, this is far above the 2,500-calorie daily recommendation for men. Will this type of bulk-up diet make you fat in the process? It will NOT make you fat if you do it my way. Most people who go on these types of massive eating diets gain muscle but also put on fat because they allow themselves too much leeway in the types of foods they eat.
Limit 4,000-Calories to Your Strength Training Days
Whether you consume fewer calories to lose fat or eat more to gain muscle, you need to vary your intake depending on the day of the week. For muscle gain, consume 4,000 calories on the day you train. For non-training days, or days that you only do cardo, limit calories to about 2,500, give or take a few hundred.
Several hardgainers I met consume 4,000 calories or more every day believing it’s the fastest way to build muscle mass. Eating too much on a daily basis will result in fat gain. On top of that, gains in lean mass will also come to a halt because your metabolism will speed up to adapt to the enormous food intake.
Sample Traditional Meal Plan
|7:00 am breakfast||1 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 fruit, 2 eggs||600 calories|
|10:00 am pre-workout meal||1 cup whole milk, 1 scoop whey protein, 1 fruit, bagel w/ peanut butter, 2 eggs scrambled||900 calories|
|12:00 pm post-workout meal||1 cup whole milk, 1 scoop whey protein, 1 fruit, lean beef, steamed vegetables, 1 whole potato, 2 eggs||900 calories|
|3:00 pm||Chicken breast sandwich on whole wheat bread w/ cheddar cheese & olive oil dressing, 1 fruit, 1 cup whole milk||700 calories|
|6:00 pm dinner||Lean beef, 2 yams steamed vegetables, 1 cup whole milk, 2 eggs||550 calories|
|9:00 pm||1 cup whole milk, ½ cup nuts||350 calories|
There are a few points I like to make about the meal plan. As you may have noticed, the pre and post-workout meals are the largest meals. This is because your body will be starving for fuel during and after a workout. As a rule of thumb, both of these meals alone should consist of half or close to half of your total daily intake. For a 4,000-calorie diet, this would mean in the range of 1,800-2,000 calories.
You should know that this is recognizing that some people live in a traditional meal plan world.
If you're interested in learning more about intermittent fasting, we have more information on that as well. Or ask me and I'll develop a plan for you with that.
A few Other Notes
You may have also noticed that the meal consists of a lot of whole milk. In fact, one cup of milk is included in every meal. This is because milk is an excellent source of protein. In addition, it’s also easier to consume calories from liquids than it is from solid foods. These high calorie diets are not easy to follow if you’re new to them, so you want to have plenty of milk to help you meet your daily requirements.
Four out of the six meals also include eggs. A lot of people are worried about consuming eggs due to the high cholesterol. However, recent studies have established that egg consumption does not elevate risk for coronary disease or stroke. On top of that, cholesterol is a necessary component for the production of testosterone.
What About Carbs?
As stated by myself as well as many other fitness insiders, with the exception of fruit, carbs should almost be entirely from complex sources. You may, however, give yourself some leeway during the pre and post-workout meals since calories from refined carbs are rapidly used by the body following an intense workout. As far as ratio goes, you may consume slightly more carbs than you would for fat loss. A ratio of 50% protein, 15% fat, and 35% carbs should suffice.
Let Me Help
I realize high-calorie diets may be difficult to follow especially for naturally skinny guys. I can help by customizing a meal plan not just for workout days but also for every day of the week. You can also check out my program The Simple Shredded Solution for maximum muscle gains while preventing fat accumulation in your midsection.
With a 4,000 calorie meal plan combined with rigorous strength training, your body will be put in a constant anabolic state, and muscle gains will follow.
[photo credit: pingping]