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Many common misconceptions and confusion surround the topic of a lean muscle building diet.

The best muscle building diet is actually quite simple.

You want to match up your meals depending on whether or not you are training or doing an off day.

On training days your meals should consist of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat.

On off days your meals will consist of 20% carbohydrate, 50% protein, and 30% fat.

Lean Muscle Building Training Day Meal Plan

In this video, Del Monte recommends six different meal plans and recipes for training days.

Training Day Meal One

  • 7oz protein
  • one tablespoon of fat and
  • one-quarter nuts

Training Day Meal Two

  • 6 oz protein
  • one cup of quinoa
  • one cup of vegetables

Training Day Meal Three (intra-workout)

  • 35g carbohydrate powder
  • 40g of whey isolate

Training Day Meal Four

  • 3oz protein
  • one tablespoon of oil
  • half cup of quinoa
  • one medium-sized orange

Training Day Meal Five

  • one cup of fat-free cottage cheese
  • 2 cups of vegetable

Training Day Meal Six

  • one scoop of whey and
  • one-quarter cup of nuts.

Lean Muscle Building Off Day Meal Plan

With respect to non-training days, Del Monte recommends the following meals and recipes.

Off Day Meal One

  • 7 oz of protein
  • one-quarter nuts

Off Day Meal Two

  • one scoop of whey protein
  • one tablespoon of flaxseed

Off Day Meal Three

  • 7 oz of protein
  • two cups of sweet potatoes
  • one cup of vegetables

Off Day Meal Four

  • 7 oz of protein
  • one medium-sized orange
  • one cup of vegetables

Off Day Meal Five

  • two scoops of whey protein
  • half cup of nuts

Three Steps to Building Lean Muscle

In addition to Del Monte’s recommendations, here are some tips, backed by science, that will clear up the confusion and misinformation and help you get that lean muscle you’ve always wanted.

1. Train for Muscle

First, train for muscle. One big benefit to training for muscle is that the exercises do significantly impact your metabolism causing you to burn more calories.

All of this can trigger hormones that help you to burn fat and curb your appetite.

2. Don’t Slash Calories

Second, you don’t need to slash calories.

When you drastically reduce calories, your metabolism slows in order to preserve fuel sources, causing you to burn fewer calories.

Basically, you never want to dip below your resting metabolic rate (RMR), the number of calories you would burn if you did nothing and stayed in bed all day.

3. Don’t Obsess Over Calories

Third, don’t be obsessed with calories.

Studies have shown that counting calories can create anxiety which elevates stress levels in the body.

Restricting calories can also elevate your cortisol levels, a hormone that can cause you to crave high-carb foods and store fat around your midsection.

Final Thoughts on Lean Muscle Building

Personally, I think that getting a lean body takes some serious effort.

You need to have a great program and you need to work that program.

The process can be challenging and frustrating — it can also be confusing. There is a great deal of misinformation floating around out there.

Exercises and diets that promise you quick, easy results that seem too good to be true are more often than not just that — too good to be true.

Chris Cannon
Chris Cannon

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