The term “bulking” is one that is commonly tossed around in the world of bodybuilding. In general, it refers to progressively increasing the amount of calories that you eat outside of what your body needs, combined with intense weight training workouts. It’s a method that’s commonly used to quickly gain muscle mass.
Obviously, in order to bulk, you need to eat more; however, if you want to make the most out of your bulking program, it isn’t as simple as just shoving your face with whatever you can get your hands on.
Sure, you can eat super-sized fast food meals three times a day, wash them down with XXL sodas, and then top it all off with cookies, cakes, and ice creams; however, it’s more than likely that this approach is going to lead to unwanted fat gain.
In order to really take advantage of the benefits that bulking can provide, you need to choose your foods wisely. But what type of foods should you eat? Whole foods!
What are whole foods? Why are they good for bulking? What whole foods are the best for bulking? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more so that you can start working on building up your muscle mass.
What are whole foods?
Simply put, whole foods are those foods that remain very close to their natural state. They aren’t “enhanced” with sugars, flavorings, starches, dyes, or any other ingredients that are manufactured. In other words, whole foods aren’t altered and they aren’t mass-produced in a factory; rather, they are natural – the exact opposite of processed foods.
Since they aren’t processed and because they aren’t manipulated with sugars and other substances, they aren’t addictive (like fried foods, candies, chips, cookies, and other junk processed foods often are); in other words, you can generally eat whole foods without having to worry about adverse health effects, and they are an important part of a well-balanced, highly nutritious diet.
What are the best whole foods for bulking?
Fortunately, there are loads of whole foods that are great for bulking. When you’re trying to put on weight in order to build your muscle mass, you want to make sure that you are meeting your surplus caloric intake needs. Plus, you want to be certain that you’re opting for foods that are highly nutritious and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other elements that your body needs to thrive.
With all of this said, let’s take a look at some of the best whole foods for bulking.
Milk: Protein & Calorie Dense Drink
One of the most popular foods used in bulking programs, milk offers numerous benefits. It’s packed with protein and calcium, which help to build muscles and strengthen bones, and it’s loaded with good-for-you calories. It isn’t very filling either, and it passes through your stomach pretty fast, so you won’t fee over-loaded and won’t have to wait a long time until you can start working out.
Nuts: Simple Nutrient Dense Protein Snack
Nuts, as well as nut butters, are great sources of protein and they pack a great density of high-energy. They’re also packed with calories, which makes them great for bulking. Plus, they’re loaded with healthy fats and even pack some fiber, as well as minerals (like magnesium), which is important for testosterone production and muscle growth. Examples of some of the nuts and nut butters that are great for bulking include:
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
Lean Red Meat: Solid Traditional Protein Source
Another great whole food for bulking is lean red meat. It is jam-packed with protein, which is vital for muscle growth, and offers up tons of fat, which your body will convert to muscle as you work out. Examples of lean red meats that are great for your bulking efforts include:
Avocado: Bulking Diet’s Best Friend
Right next to milk, avocado is one of the best foods that you can eat while you’re bulking. It is one of the healthiest fruits (yes, it’s a fruit!) and foods on the planet. Avocados are jam-packed with healthy fats and fiber, and they also offer up a great amount of potassium; in fact, avocados offer more potassium than bananas. They’re also rich in good-for-you calories and are just so darn tasty, too!
Whole Eggs: More Than Just a Breakfast Food
Another great food to eat when you are trying to bulk up is whole eggs. Eggs are famous for being packed with protein and other amino acids, and the yolks are chock-full of essential fats, too. They’re very quick and easy to cook and can be made in so many different ways.
You can boil some up and pop them in the fridge so you have a quick grab-and-go, good-for-you snack, or you can make them sunny-side up, or any other way that you like. Egg salad on some high-protein nut bread is also a great protein-dense option for bulking diet plans. Opt for organic eggs that are laid by free-range chickens. Brown eggs are better than white.
Dark Chocolate: Satiate Your Sweet Tooth Without Binging On Sugar
Believe it or not, yes, chocolate is actually very good for you when you’re trying to bulk up; particularly dark chocolate. Dark chocolates are a great source of minerals, antioxidants, and even healthy fats.
The darker the chocolate, the better it is for you. It’s also rich in epicatechin, a compound that helps to dilate the blood vessels and improves blood flow. Of course, dark chocolate will also allow you to satisfy your cravings for something sweet.
Oats: Convenient Complex Carbs
Oats break down into glucose, so they fuel the body with the energy you need to push through those workouts. They’re also loaded with several vitamins and minerals, as well as beta-glucan, a fiber that is excellent for heart health. Oats are filing, too, so they’ll make you feel fuller longer. Top them with some freshly sliced strawberries, blueberries, bananas, or even a drizzle of honey, or some dark chocolate shavings. Yum!
Summing It Up
There are so many different whole foods that are great for bulking up. By opting for a nice selection of whole foods, you’ll nourish your body, get the extra calories you need to create the muscle you desire, and you’ll feel satisfied, too.
Not having a diet dialed in is the 2nd most common reason most lifters aren’t getting the kind of progress they’re looking for in the gym (with the 1st being their workout routines themselves).
Trust us, take the time to write down a meal plan, invest in some meal prep storage containers, go to your local Costco or Sams club, stock up on the good stuff, and put the time into your diet with equal discipline that you apply to your workout routines and you’ll find yourself growing faster than ever before!