About the author:
The process of putting on muscle is very straight-forward: just eat more calories than you burn off and lift weights. Yet if things are so black and white then why do many skinny guys still fail to get bigger? The answer usually lies in their diet but if you dig a little deeper, things stem further down into one thing: DISCIPLINE.
Now why is this?
Well, everyone has their own story. We’re all busy people with hectic schedules. Not everyone has time to prep, cook, eat, and clean the 6+ meals a day that are recommended by experts.
Do any of the following resonate with your busy lifestyle?
- I don’t have time to cook
- I don’t want to spend time cooking in the morning
- Bringing cooked food to work is difficult and inconvenient
- I can’t eat huge meals at work
- I’m tired after a long day. Last thing I want to do is cook.
Well, I’ve cooked up (no pun intended) a few solutions for you. These mass-building meals require minimal ingredients, next to zero cooking and cleaning time, and are full of calories and protein. And the best part? They are healthy, tasty and take 4 MINUTES OR LESS to make (and that’s if you’re slow!).
When it comes to quick, convenient caloric-dense foods that don’t require any cooking; bread, nuts, nut butters, seeds, and bananas are at the top of the list. When buying these foods, I personally prefer organic but understand that price can be an issue for some. Try at the very least to follow these tips:
- Eat Ezekiel Bread – found in the freezer section of most grocery and health-food stores. It is free of additives and made from sprouted grains which carry more protein and nutrients. Want gluten free? That’s fine too. I prefer loaves that are made from quinoa or buckwheat.
- For nut butters, I try to get the ones that are natural with no added ingredients. Visually, natural nut butters will carry a layer of oil at the top. Especially avoid the ones that have hydrogenated oils.
- Try your best to include some greens at your major meals (lunch, dinner). Greens may not be calorie dense but they contain a lot of nutrients that are not found anywhere else. Prepare fresh or lightly steamed. If time is an issue, invest in some greens powder.
The Power Bowl
1 Cup of Steel-Cut Oatmeal
1 Cup of Blueberries
1 Banana (Rip into 5 or 6 pieces)
3 Tablespoon of Hemp Seeds
3 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds
2 Tablespoon of Almond Butter
898 Calories, 109g Carbs, 30g Protein, 38g Fat
Directions: Boil some water and place it it in a bowl with the oatmeal. Cover and let it sit for about 1-2 minutes before stirring in the almond butter. Add the rest of the ingredients and enjoy.
Super Ham and Swiss Sandwich
2 Slices of Ezekiel Bread
1 TBSP of Mayonnaise
2 oz (about 4 thick slices) of Nitrite-free Ham
2 oz (about 2 thick slices) of Swiss Cheese
769 Calories, 90g Carbs, 37g Protein, 29g Fat
Directions: Pretty straight forward sandwich. Feel free to add some lettuce and tomatoes to the bread.
Classic Peanut Butter & Jelly
2 Slices of Ezekiel Bread
2 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon of Organic Natural Jam
2 Cup of Chocolate Milk or (Soy Milk for vegetarians)
739 Calories, 101g Carbs, 32g Protein, 23g Fat
The Power Shake:
1 Cups of Almond Milk
1 Cup Berries
1 Handful of Spinach
40g of Protein
1 TBSP Peanut Butter
Optional: Ice Cubes
732 Calories, 110g Carbs, 46g Protein, 12g Fat
Directions: If you have a portable blender like the Nutribullet, then this will be a piece of cake. Just place everything in it and blend. If not, you can blend everything in a regular blender before transferring it into a regular shaker cup or container.
Raspberry Salmon Avocado Salad
1 bag of pre-packaged Salad (Try Kale, Spinach, avoid iceberg lettuce)
1 Can of Salmon
Raspberry Vinaigrette to taste
791 Calories, 62g Carb, 48g Protein, 39g Fat (BEFORE THE VINAIGRETTE)
Directions: Open and pour the pre-packaged salad into a bowl (You can make your own salad if you have the time or effort). Slice the avocado into medium size pieces. Mix the salmon, avocado, salad and as much vinaigrette as you want. Enjoy the banana on the side.
Late Night Power Parfait
1 Cup of 2% Cottage Cheese or Greek Yogurt
2 TBSP Nut Butter
2 TBSP Honey
2 TBSP of Hemp Seeds
0.5 Cup of Berries
Calories: 660 calories, 56g Carb, 46g Protein, 28g Fat
Directions: Mix everything together in a bowl and enjoy.
TIMING YOUR MEALS – AN IMPORTANT STRATEGY
If you are having trouble finding time to eat right for muscle growth, then these quick, no-cook meals will serve you well. However to take things one step further, there are also strategic times to eat that will help make eating feel like less of a chore. This is especially important for individuals that live thebusy, hectic lifestyle.
Just enter your name and e-mail below to receive a free report on the eating strategies I used to gain 13 solid pounds in 2 months while training in the UFC (Trust me, I hate chores)!
Albert Cheng is a strength & conditioning coach and professional mixed martial arts fighter and founder of www.fitlikeanathlete.com. You can also follow his Facebook page. He has fought in the UFC and on The Ultimate Fighter: China reality show. He specializes in helping skinny guys achieve that strong, muscular, lean body that looks and moves like an athlete.