If you’ve got a set of chicken legs and noodle arms to match, then it’s time to reevaluate what you’re putting on your plate.
“Some men have a predisposition to packing on muscle due to their genetics and hormone profile,” says Adam Rosante, a trainer and certified sports nutritionist. “Others can try eating enough calories and working out intelligently, but they might not see the same results.”
But though building bigger biceps may be a slightly easier task for some, it’s not an impossible feat for anyone. The formula itself is quite simple, actually—put a premium on lean protein, healthy fats, and slow-digesting carbs and do away with nutritionally void foods altogether.
The key to crafting muscle-boosting meals with those foods is designing your plate around the proper nutrient ratios. Rosante recommends eating three meals per day and two anytime snacks. Each meal should include two palm-size portions of protein, two fist size portions of veggies, two cupped hand-sized portions of starchy carbs, and two thumb sized portions of fats like nuts, oil, or avocado. As for the snacks, the principles remain the same, just cut the sizes in half.
“After a few weeks, see how you’re progressing. If you’re still not gaining the size you’d like, add an extra cupped handful of carbs or thumb of fats to a few of your daily meals,” says Rosante.
We’ve got ten of the best muscle-building foods, a few from each category, on the following slides.
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