muscle building diet plan for men

Muscle Building Diet Plan for Men

Building muscle mass can be a frustrating (and sometimes scary) thought for many guys. While having bigger muscles is appealing, the thought of gaining more body fat isn’t. And unfortunately many muscle building diets lead to some weight gain.

In this article, I’m going to give you the tips and tools you need to build muscle mass without gaining unwanted body fat. If you adopt the right diet strategies, it is possible!

Here’s the plan…

Muscle Building Diet Plan for Men

To do it right, you need to understand how muscle growth works, and plan your muscle building diet according to your own body and goals. Let’s go over the basics…


The first thing to think about is calories. Calories are a measure of the energy content of food. When you live an active lifestyle, you should be using up and burning off most of the calories you take in. When you’re eating more calories than you’re burning off, however, you’re going to gain unwanted weight.

When you’re trying to build muscle, you actually need more calories in order to fuel the muscle growth. While protein is important, so is calorie intake. But you have to find a balance and get calories from healthier food options.

For the average body size, 30-40 grams of protein and 40-80 grams of carbs per meal is a safe bet when trying to build muscle. As for fat, you should avoid trans and saturated fat altogether. As for healthy fats, like those found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, about 5-10 grams per meal will do it.

One of the best diets to adopt for men trying to gain muscle without the fat is the paleo diet. Read my article on The Paleo Diet here to see what it’s all about.


Timing is the second most important factor in any effective muscle building diet. In order to ensure that the extra calories you eat are used for building muscle and are not converted into body fat, here’s what to do:

Make your breakfast and your post-training meal your two biggest meals of the day in terms of calories. This is when your muscles need the protein and calories the most, so they’ll get used in the right way. For your other meals, try to split them up into smaller meals and keep portions sizes a little smaller.

You should also be eating fewer carbohydrates on non-training days. On days when you work out and weight train, your body needs more carbs for energy demands and for building muscle. Generally speaking, eating fewer carbs is a good way to avoid unwanted body fat. For more information on this dieting strategy, check out my High Protein Low Carb Diet here.

Muscle Building Meal Plan for Men

Here’s an example of what you would eat on a training day. Remember, on non-training days you can cut back a bit on your calorie intake, especially in terms of carbs.

Divide your meals into 6 meals across the day:

Meal 1: Breakfast

  • 6-8 egg whites
  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 1 cup of mixed fruit (can add to oatmeal)

Meal 2: Mid-Morning Snack

  • 1/2 cup of fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 piece of whole grain toast with almond butter

Meal 3: Lunch

  • Protein shake with 1 scoop of whey protein
  • 1 banana

Meal 4: Post-Workout Meal

  • 8 oz. lean turkey breast or chicken breast
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • Spring mix salad drizzled in 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Meal 5: Dinner

  • 8 oz. lean ground beef or salmon filet
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice or whole wheat pasta
  • 1 cup of steamed veggies

Meal 6: Bedtime Snack

  • ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 apple

This might sound like a lot of food, but talk to any successful bodybuilder, and they’ll tell you that diet is half the battle! So eat the right calories, think carefully about timing, and you’ll successfully build muscle without gaining fat!

Have any questions or feedback about this Muscle Building Diet Plan for Men? Please leave a comment below…