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The Ultimate Guide to Lean Bulking Meal Plans

If you want to add more definition to your body shape and fill out your t-shirt sleeves, it is the perfect time to start a lean bulk meal plan.

Let us walk you through this diet and give you all the information on what to eat and how to train to gain muscle mass faster.

What Is Lean Bulking?

There are two types of bulking: lean and dirty bulking. Old-school diets and bulking techniques involved unlimited calorie consumption from as many sources as possible to put on additional pounds. This kind of muscle building is known as dirty bulking.

While this old-school technique would surely help you gain body weight quickly through increased calorie consumption, the downside is that some weight is in the form of fat rather than mass muscle gain.

Dirty bulking will help you put on weight, which is the first hurdle of gaining muscle. However, the additional fat gained through unchecked calorie intake would hinder you from crafting the muscles you want. You will have to work twice as hard to shed the newly acquired fat to reach the desired body fat ratio.

On the other hand, lean bulking, also called clean bulking by fitness enthusiasts, has a more cautious approach toward calorie intake, nutrition, and macronutrient. These elements are strictly monitored, which helps in gaining lean muscle. 

Out of the two, lean bulking is the best way to go. While it is impossible to negate fat gain completely, lean bulking will help you build muscle mass with the minimum amount of fat possible.

Clean or lean bulking focuses on regulating calorie intake and monitors the kind of food you eat. With this diet plan, most of the weight you will gain at the end of the day will be through muscle rather than fat. On the other hand, lean bulking does not promote consistent calorie deficit but ensures that the body gains only a little fat that can quickly burn through exercise.

How to Build The Perfect Lean Bulk Diet Plan?

Lean bulking requires careful planning and calculation to get desired results. To build a lean bulk meal plan, is to figure out the exact amount of macronutrients and calories your body would need to gain lean muscle. 

Before doing that, you must determine your Basal Metabolic Rate to calculate the calories and macronutrients.

Calculating Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

The first step to designing a customised lean bulk meal plan is to calculate the BMR, the minimum amount of energy the body needs to function while it is idle and the digestive system is not engaged.

Figuring out the BMR is like calculating the fuel your car consumes while the engine runs and the vehicle sits idle in the parking. Once you get the BMR, it is time to calculate the Total daily energy expenditure or TDEE.

This is the exact number of calories our body needs to function. So, for example, in lean bulking, the TDEE amount would be the baseline where you would add surplus calories to bulk up. 

Macronutrients You Need Daily 

The process may look complicated but stay with us. At the end of this comprehensive guide, you will have total control over your diet plan and will not need the help of a dietician to figure out how to lean bulk.

After calculating the TDEE, you need to sort out the macronutrients for daily consumption. Now, each macronutrient contains a specific amount of calories per gram. Therefore, the macronutrients mentioned below are crucial to the successful lean bulk meal plan.

The ideal macronutrient spilt for lean bulking is 40:30:30 (carbs:protein: fats).

Protein: The primary component of this diet plan is protein. To make this diet work, eat 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight to gain muscle mass. This would be enough to boost muscle growth. Ground beef, chicken breast, sirloin steak, chickpeas, cottage cheese, and greek yogurt are excellent protein sources. 

Fat: 20 to 30 per cent of your calorie intake must come from fat. That would be sufficient to get the desired results and add some flavour to your lean bulk meal plan. Here are some healthy fats that you can add to your meal plan for bulking up:

  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Whole eggs
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter

Carbs: Last but not least is carbs. The remaining 40 per cent of the calories will come from carbs. Here are some excellent sources of healthy carbs for lean bulk meal plans:

  • Quinoa
  • Whole grain pasta
  • White or brown rice
  • Potatoes
  • Whole grain pasta

Track Your Progress

The last step of a lean bulk meal plan is to monitor your progress over time. This one aspect needs to be more noticed by many during lean bulking. First, however, keeping track of your muscle growth and setting realistic goals is crucial.

In Conclusion

A lean bulk meal plan revolves around eating the right macronutrients just above the maintenance baseline set by BMR and TDEE. While diet is one portion of muscle building, you will also have to do the correct exercises to gain muscle. The right combination of diet and exercise will help you gain muscle healthily and systematically.

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