Muscle-Building Diet Smart Swaps!

If you aren’t choosing the best foods to boost your calorie intake, you’re muscle-building progress will stall. Try the following smart food swaps and see.

Muscle-Building Diet Smart Swaps!

Almost anyone who has been reading information on how to build muscle tissue should know that you must consume more calories than you burn in a day to synthesize this new muscle mass.

If you don't provide the raw building materials, it's unrealistic to expect a positive outcome. Would you hire a group of builders to build a house without supplying them with bricks and supplies? Obviously that would be a big waste of money just as going to the gym day in and day out without proper nutrition is a big waste of your time.

Nutrition will make or break your progress. You can go into the gym religiously but if the nutritional support isn't there, you won't get larger. You may get stronger, but you aren't going to be getting any bigger.

Now, all of this said, even if you do realize you need to consume more calories to build muscle, many people don't do so simply because of the fact they struggle to get the food in. They already feel as though their sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner with each meal they eat, trying to cram more and more food down their gullet.

This is where food choices become incredibly important. If you aren't choosing the best foods to be eating to boost your calorie intake, you're going to feel as though you're busting at the seams 24/7.

The following are some smart food swaps that you should start making on your muscle-building diet. By ditching the foods that are going to fill you up way too fast and replacing them with the suggested food that's much more calorie dense, you'll find that reaching those sky-high calorie intake requirements are no longer a challenge.

Drop: Cooked Oatmeal

Cooked oatmeal

      is an excellent source of slow-digesting, high fiber


      that's cheap to buy and easy to prepare. It's obvious why many people interested in improving their health turn to this staple breakfast food, especially when you factor in how many different ways you can flavor it.

Unfortunately after you prepare oatmeal, it has a very high water content and will fill you up quickly. You'd be lucky to eat anything more than two cups cooked, which comes in at about 300 calories.

Swap: Raw Oatmeal

        Instead, choose to eat your oatmeal raw. Scoop a couple of cups into a bowl, top with a sliced


        , and pour some


        overtop just like you would with a regular cold cereal. Since the water isn't cooked right into the oatmeal, it'll take much less room in your stomach and you'll be able to squeeze in a great deal more calories before your stomach gets the 'full' feeling. A two cup raw serving would be about 700 calories (just the oats alone), clearly making this an ideal bulking



Drop: Fresh Fruits

      Getting a daily intake of four to five servings of

fresh fruits

      is a fantastic way to meet your


      requirements. Fruits are also filled with


      and will help satisfy your craving for something sweet.

Unfortunately just as with the oatmeal, fruit contains a large percentage of water, which takes up precious space in your stomach.

Swap: Dried Fruit

        To overcome this issue, swap fresh fruit for dried fruit. It can be up to 10 times as calorie dense and will still provide many of the same benefits as fresh will.

Dried fruit can easily be added into trail mix, baked into muffins or bars, or tossed in a pancake batter for a quick breakfast on the run.

Drop: White Fish

      With all the health recommendations coming out about the nutritional benefits of fish, more and more people are adding this food to their diets on a regular basis.

White fish tends to be the perfect dieting food since it's incredibly low in calories and high in quality protein. For muscle building though, you're going to have to eat a lot of white fish for it to amount to any kind of appreciable calorie intake.

Swap: Salmon

          Instead opt for


          . Salmon is a really great source of

essential fatty acids

          , which will help to promote optimal health as well as promote lean muscle building. It contains almost twice as many calories per ounce as white fish so you can easily see why this would be far more beneficial for muscle building.

Drop: Egg Whites

      Like white fish,

egg whites

      are another quality source of protein many people looking to increase their intake turn to. Egg whites are also very simple to prepare and are relatively easy on your grocery budget.

Since most individuals don't particularly care for red meat or chicken at the breakfast meal, egg whites make for the perfect option.

Swap: Whole Eggs

        Instead of chucking the

egg yolks

        when you prepare your whites, start keeping them in. If you want to create a nice balance between

whole eggs

        and egg whites that's a smart way to support already normal cholesterol levels while maintaining a higher calorie intake.
      As long as you have no pre-existing health conditions, adding one or two whole eggs do your day should pose no problems to your health. In fact, since there are many nutrients found in the yolk such as




      , phosphorus,


      , and


      , you'll really boost your micronutrient intake of your diet.

Drop: Fat-Free Yogurt

      Getting enough

dairy products

      on a regular basis is important to promote healthy bones and to ensure proper muscle contractions.

Fat free yogurt

      is a popular choice among many since with all the different fruit varieties available it proves to be quite the tasty option.

The problem with these yogurts is many only contain about 50 calories per half a cup (unless you go for the full sugar variety, which contains too much added sugar), which won't promote building muscle.

Swap: Cottage Cheese

        Instead, swap your yogurt for

cottage cheese

        , which contains about twice as many calories per cup and over twice as much


        . Cottage cheese is one of the best sources of protein you can take in, so it's a real winner as far as your muscle building diet is concerned.

Drop: Bread

      Finally, if you typically pop a few slices of bread in the toaster to start your day or for a late-afternoon snack, you might want to reconsider.

Despite the fact that dieters everywhere are shunning bread making you think it would be a good food for muscle building, there are still only about 80 calories per slice.

Swap: Bagels

        Instead, start slicing a


        and dropping that into your toaster instead. A whole grain bagel smeared with two tablespoons of peanut butter makes for the perfect snack and will come in at around 500 calories and 12 grams of protein. Add a tall glass of


        (the perfect accompaniment to

peanut butter

        ) and you're all set to go.


So don't let the factor of feeling too full prevent you from reaching your muscle-building goals in the months ahead. With a few quick adjustments to your diet, you can reach your calorie intake goals without feeling like the top button on your pants may just pop off any second now.