5 nutrition habits for more strength and muscle
Habits are the most important factor when building strength. Sure, the right programming is incredibly important if you want achieve your goals, but it’s the combination of proper training, nutrition and recovery that will provide the greatest stimulus for gains. You need ritual and routine to drive the daily effort and progress.
If you’d like to read more about our 5 nutrition habits for gaining more strength and muscle, read on! And remember, you’re always welcome to come into Resolution CrossFit for a FREE intro session so we can help you reach that goal. Click here to learn more about getting scheduled.
There are no shortcuts or hacks when it comes to building strength and muscle, you earn what you build with dedication and consistency. Long-term goals look just like mountains sometimes – Huge from the bottom up, and too much to take on all at once. But by focusing on smaller habits, you can effectively chew that mountain down into small pebbles.
With a little dedication and consistency, you will create a brand new lifestyle that results in increased strength and muscle all on its own.
1. Eat more protein.
Here’s the problem – Most people don’t consume nearly enough protein to support muscle growth. You must focus on getting more high-quality whole food protein sources from animals and plants.
You can begin this habit by batch cooking three different protein sources for the week, such as hard boiled eggs, ground beef or a whole chicken in a crock pot. Just having more food on-hand and ready will make things easier.
Focus on eating one palm-sized portion of protein at every single meal. After two weeks, increase the protein portion closer to one and a half palms per meal, then work towards two palms. Keep that up and you’ll notice a big difference in the gym. You’ll also start looking much stronger as well.
2. Keep better snacks on hand.
You will need to eat in between meals to add muscle to your frame, there’s no doubt about it. But you can’t settle for unhealthy sugar-laden snacks that will just make you fat.
With a little planning, you will always be prepared. Keep a stash of healthy snacks in your desk, workout bag, or in your car. That could be jerky, nuts, seeds, coconut chips or high-quality protein bars. Single serving packets of coconut oil and almond butter can be a life saver in a pinch.
When it comes to creating new, better food habits, being prepared is essential. Don’t sabotage your efforts with missed meals and poor snack options.
3. Support digestion.
You are going to be eating more food than you are used to. Your digestive system will be working harder and secreting more digestive fluids to break down the extra food.
You might consider supplementing hydrochloric acid (HCL) and digestive enzymes to reduce the burden on the digestive system. Probiotics are a great way to support the digestive system as it adapts to the extra volume of food.
Begin by taking the enzyme supplement with your largest meal of the day and a probiotic during your night time routine. See how you feel and adjust as necessary. Also, you might try packing a few forkfuls of sauerkraut with your lunch three times per week. People have been eating fermented foods for thousands of years for a very good reason.
If you are digesting well, you’re going to feel, perform and look better.
4. Learn to cook in batches.
One day per week, set aside time to make a favorite meal in a larger portion than normal. Eat your fill, then use the extra servings for lunch or dinner the next day. You’ll be able to cook more meals at once as you get comfortable handling larger quantities of food. In just a few weeks, you should be able to prepare most of your weekly meals all at once, and with minimal fuss.
You can then spend all that time and effort throwing around barbell in the gym instead.
5. Use the Crock Pot!
The crock pot is an amazing, essential tool for meal prepping and batch cooking proteins, veggies and dense carbs.
Go get a big piece of meat and rub it down with any spice you want, then chop up a bunch of vegetables. Whatever you want. There, your meal prep is done! Put all the ingredients in your trusty crock pot with a half cup of water or some chicken stock. Then just turn it on low and let the magic happen. In 8 hours all you have to do is eat.
Cooking couldn’t get any easier than that. Also, you can find millions of great crock pot recipes online, so you’ll never get bored.