Muscle Gain vs. Weight Loss Meal Plans: What is Best for Me?

 November 29, 2020|  Dona Maria

When it comes to nutrition, we are all different with various fitness and health goals and different food preferences, so there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach. But how can you tell exactly which meal plan is going to get you the most results?
Realistically, the best diet for you is one that you can stick to. You’re not going to get results on any diet unless you can stick to it. It is consistency over time that will help you reach your goals, so if you can stay on track most of the time and be patient, you will get there.
Tracking your food intake regularly, using a macro-friendly tracking app, is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable and ensure you are consistent.
While a little sacrifice is needed, getting healthy, losing weight, etc. doesn’t have to be painful. You shouldn’t feel forced to eat foods you just don’t enjoy. Your food preferences are an important consideration before going on any new eating plan. If your food is making you feel tired, bloated or just plain awful, this could be a sign this diet is not a good fit.

– Pick the diet that includes foods you enjoy eating
– Stick with a diet that makes you feel good, physically and mentally
– Choose the diet you can maintain the longest
– Be consistent and give yourself time to be successful, no matter what diet you choose

It doesn’t matter which diet you choose, weight loss is largely determined by calorie control, after all, a calorie deficit is still the most widely accepted approach to weight loss backed by years of research. So, the first logical step in any weight loss plan should be to determine how many calories you should be eating a day to lose weight. Then, opt for a plan that keeps your calories within this range.
If your weight loss diet requires a less than 1600 calories per day then a diet that excludes multiple food groups – like keto, paleo, and vegan, may be an easy way to eliminate more calories and promote satiating foods to control hunger.
Other things that may help make losing weight easier include eating a quality diet full of fibre-rich, nutrient-dense foods (fruits and veggies), and lean proteins – all of which have been shown to be foods that support weight loss in various ways.

– Decrease your calorie intake
– Increase your calorie burn – exercise more

When it comes to adding muscle mass, calories and protein needs increase and the quality of your calories becomes much more important since you want to add muscle weight and not body fat.

Protein becomes muscle, so knowing how much protein to eat each day to build muscle is key. You should aim to get about 1 gram of protein per pound of lean tissue, and most will not need more than 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight total.
Increasing your fat intake is one way to increase your calories without having to add too much additional food but many experts recommend sticking to a moderate fat intake and increasing your carb and protein calories overall. Outside of a keto diet, fat is more likely to be stored as fat than any other macro in a calorie surplus.
To build muscle, look for a diet that includes plenty of protein and some carbs to support your fitness routine, like Fuel-Up pre-built meal plans.

– Eat slightly more calories (10% more than your maintenance)
– Eat plenty of protein
– Do muscle building workouts

The easiest way to stick to any diet, no matter your goals? Meal prepping.

It’s nothing more than preparing some or all your meals in advance to guarantee you are nailing your nutrition and macro goals every day. The catch, it requires a bit of culinary expertise and a little more work than getting on a set meal plan. But of course, if you are cooking all your meals already, it could be a more strategic approach that saves you time and money in the long run.

Some things to consider if you are planning on meal prepping:
– Understanding your unique calorie goals and macros
– How to count macros
– How to plan a menu with recipes and shop for all your food in advance.

Opting for a meal prep delivery option like Fuel-Up is one way to cut down on cooking – pre-made proteins, veggies, and grains can be hand selected and portioned out and seasoned to your liking. Then all you have to do is heat, eat and enjoy. Simple.

Every Fuel-Up meal plan is designed to help you hit your personal fitness goals and provide a balanced approach to healthy eating, using science-based nutrition – no matter which diet you choose.


 November 29, 2020 | Dona Maria
Dona Maria

About the Author

Dona Maria Mesmar is the Nutrition Manager for Kcal Brands. She develops nutrition and diet programs for athletes and provides them with one on one nutrition consultation to help them achieve their body composition goals. She is also a certified fitness instructor, published nutrition writer and has appeared numerous times on national live TV, where she has provided expert advice on nutrition and healthy eating.

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