How to gain muscle without gaining fat

This blog couples with last week’s post “The Ultimate Military Workout Plan” and illustrates my personal outlook on nutrition.

How to gain muscle without gaining fat with Ben Steele

It is my experience that it is possible to eat in a way that enables you to gain muscle while keeping off the fat. I personally am more of a all-around fitness kind of guy rather than a bodybuilder, but I believe that my diet is doing good things for me.

Nutrition to help you gain muscle and stay lean

Blog #55

Almost more important than the workouts is what happens outside of the gym. Obviously this includes recovery, but this post we’ll be talking about nutrition. I don’t follow any fancy diet and don’t count macros (although I probably should), but I do have a few fundamental keys to my eating:

1. The danger of pointless sugar. Avoid it!

Obviously there is a time and place for a little cheat desert, but I do my best to not eat sweets more than once or so a week. The way that I’m able to achieve this is simply by not buying sweets at the grocery market. I’ve found that if I don’t have them in the kitchen, then naturally I don’t eat them.

For me, it’s logical why it would be a good idea to avoid sugar. If my my body doesn’t have sugar or bad carbs (I’ll talk about that next) to burn then it will turn to fat instead.

2. Low carbs and good carbs when possible.

Carbs are a part of my diet and probably too much so in all honesty, although I do put in a significant effort to watch which carbs I’m putting into my body. One way that I’m able to achieve this is simply by not purchasing bread or other related carbs. Also, by avoiding to eat out too many times a week. These changes are usually pretty easy to implement and make a significant difference.

3. Eating the right amount of protein for building lean muscle.

Eating the right amount of protein is a conscious effort. I’ve found that I never eat the right amount of protein unless I really make a significant effort to do so. A few ways I make this happen is trying to implement protein into every meal as well as drinking a protein shake or two everyday.

Eating the right amount of protein for building lean muscle by Benjamin Steele

Like I said right from the beginning, I am far from perfect, however, here’s an example of what a whole day of eating might look like for me (I’ll add in some fitness and some of my schedule in just to paint the picture)…

  • Wakeup: 5:00 am

  • Pre workout: Protein Shake

  • Workout: Run first thing in the morning (5-6 miles)

  • Breakfast:

    • Four slices of turkey bacon

    • Three whole eggs + egg whites

    • One cup oatmeal w/Blueberries + a banana + almond milk

  • Lunch:

    • Chicken salad with a variety of greens

    • Low fat dressing

  • Workout: 45 minutes in the gym

  • Post workout: Protein Shake

  • Dinner:

    • Ground turkey

    • Side of vegetables such as broccoli

    • Cup brown rice

    • Salsa or some type of sauce

This is generally my daily nutrition and is pretty consistent with what I eat day to day. At times I might replace a protein with a hamburger patty, steak or fish and the vegetables or mix of vegetables is obviously always replaceable.

Example day of healthy eating by Benjamin Steele

One thing that I do which isn’t recommended is I drink skim milk with most of my meals as I was raised that way and have developed the habit, but I’m making an effort to replace it with water when possible. Everything I’ve ever read is adamant that drinking a proper amount of water is crucial to keeping lean and this is something that I typically do well.

Also, I do take a few supplements from Bare Performance Nutrition such as pre-workout a few times a week prior to the gym and the occasional dose of BCAAs and creatine. I also get my protein from BPN.

As you can tell from this blog post, my outlook on nutrition is pretty fundamental and simple. I obviously don’t know everything, nor do I follow a perfect plan, but do feel pretty satisfied with the path that I have taken. I’m convinced that the key to eating healthy is a solid direction, being self aware, and holding oneself accountable.

I wrote about a statistic that really surprised me in one of my previous blogs titled, “What does it mean to be fit?”. This is what I said:

According to a poll by Gallup, about 7 of every 10 American's are overweight or obese. Of those 7, only 36% actually believe that they have a weight problem. This means that not only is America ridiculously obese, but that many of them are in denial of that fact. This is simply unacceptable! 

I continue to have my opinion that it is very unfortunate that so many people are overweight and that so many people are unaware of that being overweight. I hope that this blog will serve as some inspiration to turn over a new leaf and make some changes. Please email me and let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Thank you,

Ben