If you want to GAIN MUSCLE, you have to eat a calorie rich diet.
Let me say that AGAIN. You must eat to grow! A diet of only leafy greens and protein won’t do the trick unless you are aiming to look like a stick insect. I know this might be a scary concept for some, but stick with me. As a strong, lean woman, everyone assumes I eat low-calorie protein rich foods. Hell no! If I did that, I’d pass out in the gym.
If you feel fatigued after training, it’s usually because you’re in a carb depleted state.
Now let me qualify what I mean by carbs. I mean healthy, complex, nutrient rich carbs like nuts, oats and unsweetened dried fruit. So why do you need to make sure you’re getting enough carbs? Carbohydrates are an essential part of our everyday diet. Think about your mood when you go on a low carb diet or restrict your carb intake. Yes, we get grumpy. Did you know that a carb deficient diet can increase your cortisol levels? Cortisol is a hormone that regulates a number of the body’s processes including its metabolism and the immune system. Too much cortisol can trigger weight gain particularly around the waistline and the face. It can also result in muscle weakness. Post workout carbs help release insulin into the body putting you into a muscle building anabolic state. You need to combine the carbs with fat and protein which is why you’ll see many athletes drinking chocolate milk after workouts. Carbs give you energy to lift heavier weights, do more reps and build muscle faster. Think about how you’ve felt going for a workout on a scoop of protein powder as opposed to how you’ve felt working out on a protein shake with an added banana or nuts. If you don’t eat enough carbs, your body will use the protein you consume to function. This can result in loss of muscle! We can’t be having that now. So, if like me you love chocolate, try this little nugget of a protein bar. It tastes just like a Snickers bar, you won’t believe it. It’s rich in good carbs, healthy fats and protein. What more can you ask for?
A Snickers bar for MAXIMAL MUSCLE. A photo posted by Chris Moore (@barbellbuddha) on
1. For for the nougat base
- 6 scoops of sugar-free whey protein (the powder I used had 30g of protein per scoop)
- 4 tablespoons of smooth unsweetened cashew butter
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
2. For the caramel middle
- 4 large pitted dates
- ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 2 tablespoons of unsweetened pure coconut milk
- ¼ cup of unsalted peanuts
3. For the topping
- 50g of 80% + cocoa chocolate
Soak the dates in the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda for 5 minutes and then rinse. Allow to cool and then blitz in a high-speed blender with the coconut milk. Set aside.
Combine all nougat ingredients with your hands to form a paste and then press into an 8×8 lined tin.
Spread the caramel over the nougat base. Sprinkle the peanuts over the caramel. Melt the chocolate and drizzle on top.
I divided my slab into 9 pieces. Each 1/9th has about 246 calories, 11 g of fat (3.9 g of which is saturated fat), 14.3g of carbs, 9.7g of natural sugar, 23mg of sodium, 2g of fibre and a whopping 22.65g of protein.
You can’t beat that, can you? Not for the taste you’ll get in return.
- Need to gain muscle and strength? Check out the MUSCLE GAIN CHALLENGE.