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.

Article Summary:
  • When trying to build muscle it's necessary to have a calorie surplus.
  • You'll be able to eat more oatmeal if water hasn't been cooked into it.
  • Rather than those slices of toast, try a bagel with peanut butter.

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.

Would You Try And Build A House Without The Proper Materials?
+ Click To Enlarge.
Would You Try And Build A House Without The Proper Materials?

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.

RELATED VIDEO: Your 12-Week Daily Bulking Trainer
Your 12-Week Daily Bulking Trainer - Wednesday, Week 2: Choosing The Right Foods: Protein Sources!

Your 12-Week Daily Bulking Trainer - Wednesday, Week 2: Choosing The Right Foods: Protein Sources!
Watch More From This Series Here.

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 carbohydrates 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 banana, and pour some milk 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 breakfast.

Raw Oatmeal Will Take Up Less Room In Your Stomach And You''l Be Able To Squeeze More In.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Raw Oatmeal Will Take Up Less Room In Your Stomach And
You'll Be Able To Squeeze More In.

Drop: Fresh Fruits

    Getting a daily intake of four to five servings of fresh fruits is a fantastic way to meet your antioxidant requirements. Fruits are also filled with fiber 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.

Do You Get Your 4-5 Servings Of Fruit A Day?

I Get More Than 5.
Yes I Do.
I Get Some, But Less Than 4.

    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.

RELATED VIDEO: Your 12-Week Daily Video Trainer
Your 12-Week Daily Video Trainer - Tuesday, Week 6: Fruits & Vegetables!

Kris Gethin is your own Daily Personal Trainer! Today we have some advice on what types of fruits and vegetables will work best for this transformation. Check out today's nutrition plan
Watch More From This Series Here.

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. 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.

A Nice Balance Between Whole Eggs And Egg Whites Will Support Normal Cholesterol Levels.
+ Click To Enlarge.
A Nice Balance Between Whole Eggs And Egg Whites Will
Support Normal Cholesterol Levels.

    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 calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and thiamine, 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 protein. 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.

You Might Want To Reconsider Those Slices Of Morning Toast.
+ Click To Enlarge.
You Might Want To Reconsider Those Slices Of Morning Toast.

    Swap: Bagels

      Instead, start slicing a bagel 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 milk (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.

Recommended Articles

Share This Article: