One of the most popular ways to build muscles isn’t just going to the gym. Many believe that the use of supplements are a great way to do so, especially when the label itself promises weight gain and building muscles. But you don’t have to depend on pills and supplements to help you do just that. While the cost of food is rising, it’s still possible to build your body right and healthy without breaking the bank.
So if you’re looking for a more affordable way to gain weight and build muscle, here’s a dietary plan you could follow.1) Invest in Breakfast
The key to encouraging muscle growth during weight training lies in having a caloric surplus in your diet. The extra calories are needed as the body repairs itself from small tears in the muscle tissue, brought upon by heavy weight training. Suffice to say, if you’re not getting enough calories in your diet, your muscles won’t grow any larger. People on a serious strength training regiment should therefore aim to take in at least 3,500 calories per day as opposed to the 2,500 required by a normal person.
With that said, breakfast is probably the best meal of the day to load up on calories. This is because the body absorbs nutrients best in the morning after a long night of fasting. So here’s 2 cheap homemade breakfast options packed with all the essential nutrients to jump start your muscles.
Breakfast 1: Total Cost Around RM 5
4 large eggs (yolk included)2 slices Whole wheat bread with generous amount of peanut butter/nutella1 glass (200ml) of low-fat milk1 cup coffee (black, no sugar) or 1 cup green tea (no sugar)Total Nutrients Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 32g (of which, Saturated Fat: 11g)
Breakfast 2: Total Cost Around RM 5
4 large eggs (yolk included)1 bowl (80g) of Wholegrain cereal with 100ml of low-fat milk1 glass (200ml) of soy milk1 cup coffee (black, no sugar) or 1 cup green tea (no sugar)Total Nutrients Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 22g (of which, Saturated Fat: 6g)
Eggs (both white and yolk) contains a wide variety of different proteins which are easily absorbed by the human body. Additionally, egg yolks are an amazing source of unsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids, which are required by the body for the natural production of testosterone. Testosterone, a predominately male hormone, encourages the growth and development of muscle and bone structure.
2) Load up on Carbs for your Pre-Workout
Think of your pre-workout meal as the equivalent of fueling up on gasoline before a long road trip. If you don’t have enough gas in your car, you can’t make the trip. Similarly, if you don’t have enough carbohydrates stored in your body, you won’t be able to finish your workout. As you are about to embark on (hopefully) the workout of your life, you’ll want fast absorbing fuel in your system to power every single muscle in your body. In addition, it would probably be best to avoid chowing down oily fried foods before your workout as the body requires more energy to digest fats, which could leave you feeling lethargic.
So without further delay, here are 2 easy pre-workout meal ideas, best 1 hour before working out.
Pre-Workout Meal 1: Total Cost Around RM 5
1 bowl (200g) of Oatmeal with raisins (40g) and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar.1 Banana1 cup coffee (black, no sugar) or 1 cup green tea (no sugar)Total Nutrients Carbohydrates: 85g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 5g (of which, Saturated Fat: 1g)
Pre-Workout Meal 2: Total Cost Around RM 7
4 slices Whole wheat bread with 1 can (85g) tuna flakes and mayonnaise1 Banana1 cup coffee (black, no sugar) or 1 cup green tea (no sugar)Total Nutrients Carbohydrates: 65g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 8g (of which, Saturated Fat: 2g)
Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6, an essential nutrient used in the growth and repair of muscle tissue. In addition, compared to a majority of fruits in Malaysia, bananas are generally available all year round at an affordable price.
3) Chow down Post-Workout
As important as it is to chow down post-work out, give your body time to cool down and let your heart rate return to normal. After setting down, you’ll want to give your aching muscles a steady supply of protein so they can start repairing themselves. Skipping a post-workout meal essentially over taxes your body and can sabotage muscle growth. So here’s 2 post-workout snacks designed to kick start muscle repair.
Post-Workout Snack 1: Total Cost Around RM 5
500ml Low-Fat Chocolate Milk2 BananasTotal Nutrients Carbohydrates: 85g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 5g (of which, Saturated Fat: 2g)
Post-Workout Snack 2: Total Cost Around RM 7
270ml Low-Fat Mango/Strawberry Greek Yogurt2 BananasTotal Nutrients Carbohydrates: 77g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 3g (of which, Saturated Fat: 1g)
The protein in milk/yogurt is divided into two different types, whey (20%) and casein (80%). Whey protein is absorbed rapidly by the body upon ingestion and supplied to muscle cells at a speedy rate. Comparatively, casein protein has a much slower absorption rate and provides the body with a consistently steady supply of protein over at least 2 3 hours.
4) Have a Cheat Day once in a While
It takes a lot of discipline to be able to keep a healthy protein rich diet, especially in a country like Malaysia where amazing local delicacies are available right around the corner. You don’t have to torture yourself by cutting them out of your life forever! So long as you maintain a healthy diet on a constant basis, always remember to give yourself a cheat day every once in a while.
Hopefully these tips help you keep your budget yet reach your fitness goals. Good luck!
This was brought to you by Joshua Ong from RinggitPlus.com. RinggitPlus compares credit cards, personal loans and home loans to help Malaysians get more for their money.
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