GAINING & LOSING WEIGHT

Muscle Weight-Gain Program Overview

Gaining muscle weight the right way is a balancing act. You need to slowly increase your caloric intake and time your eating properly, all while maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet. To help you navigate this type of program, RealJock.com is pleased to present the Muscle Weight-Gain Program. The program was created by expert nutritionist Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, CSSD, considered one of the leading nutritionists in the San Francisco Bay Area. Villacorta's practice has helped hundreds of athletes and everyday people achieve their target weight and improve their performance through healthy eating. To get started with the program, please read this overview in its entirety.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Muscle Weight-Gain Program consists of seven days of sample meal plans at a series of four caloric intake levels (2300, 2600, 2800, and 3100) to help you learn how to eat a well-balanced diet and control your caloric intake so that you lose weight naturally. This program is a compliment and potential sequel to the 1800- and 2100-calorie RealJock.com Healthy Weight-Loss Program. None of these programs are calorie-counting programs. Instead, your meal plans are based on a macronutrient distribution—a percent distribution of calories from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Villacorta has translated this distribution to the number of servings allowed per food group, which will help you more easily control your serving sizes. Use the sample meals as guidelines, but feel free to substitute similar ingredients or foods, or use your own recipes as you go.

BUILDING MUSCLE: AN OVERVIEW
Your metabolism has two basic modes: anabolic, which means building-up or adding, and catabolic, which means breaking-down or eliminating. Losing fat occurs in catabolic mode (which includes maintaining a calorie deficit), while adding muscle requires that you be in anabolic mode (which includes maintaining a small calorie surplus). For healthy weight-gain, you will want to balance these two modes.

Lose the Fat First:
Before you start on the road to gaining muscle weight, Villacorta strongly recommends that you start by losing any excess fat weight. As you do so, you'll want to preserve existing muscle by consuming proper amounts of protein and doing strength training as recommended. If you still have some excess fat weight to lose, start with the RealJock.com Healthy Weight-Loss Program or with Villacorta's interactive and personalized Nutrition for You nutrition program. Once you have reached your fat loss goals using one of these programs, switch to the muscle gaining program to gain weight while minimizing fat regain.

Now Gain the Muscle: Once you have lost your body fat, you can begin to build your muscle mass. In order to build muscle, you must eat more calories—but not just any calories. You must have the right amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Also, you want to start increasing your calories gradually. Villacorta recommends starting with increments of 500 calories at a time. Why not just stuff your face with thousands of extra calories? Because the body doesn't work that way. There is a limit to the calorie increase that your body can handle. Unnecessary surplus calories will not help you build muscle mass, just your waistline.

MACRONUTRIENTS AND MUSCLE GAIN
The key to a muscle-gaining diet is an understanding of the most important macronutrients, and how they are processed. By learning these nutritional basics, you build a foundation for healthy muscle-gain.

Carbohydrates: You need carbohydrates to function properly and sustain your exercise plan. Carbohydrates, such as whole grains, are rich in B vitamins, which are key elements in helping your metabolism work. Thus, a diet low in whole grains negatively affects your metabolism.

In addition, glucose in the blood (a simple carbohydrate) and glucose in muscle in the form of glycogen (a complex carbohydrate), are the primary sources of energy when you exercise. Therefore, if carbohydrates are either missing from your diet or are being eaten in insufficient amounts, your body will be forced to attain the glucose needed for energy from protein. Do not fall into this trap. Your body gets energy from protein by breaking down your muscles, which causes decreased muscle mass. This is both very detrimental for the functioning of your body and counterproductive when your goal is to build muscle mass.

Protein: Proteins are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Without them, building muscle and burning fat efficiently would be impossible.

Everybody who wishes to build muscle should consume between 0.8 gram of protein to 1 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Good examples of protein are egg whites, chicken breasts, turkey, fish, and low-fat cheeses. Nobody should consume more than 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight as this is unnecessary, and the extra protein may get turned into fat.

Fats: Fat is an important and necessary part of our diets; we cannot survive without it. Some of the health benefits of fat include energy storage, breakdown of fat-soluble vitamins and phytonutrients, and hormone synthesis. However, not all fats are created equal; certain fats are more beneficial than others. So-called "bad fats" include saturated fat and trans-fat (which comes from partially-hydrogenated oils). They are dubbed “bad fats” because they are known to contribute to cardiovascular disease. This is why it is very important to reduce your consumption of these fats and instead focus on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including Omega 3 and Omega 6, which have been proven to be beneficial for your body. Some good heart-healthy fats are avocadoes, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, olive oil, canola oil, and flax seeds.

TIMING AND FREQUENCY OF YOUR MEALS
To maximize your muscle mass building, you must pay attention to the timing of your meals. It's been scientifically proven that eating before and after each workout results in significantly greater improvements in strength and body composition—specifically, an increase in lean body mass and a decrease in body fat percentage. Studies show that by taking a combination of protein and carbohydrate immediately before and after a workout you will enhance the desired changes from strength training.

Forty-five minutes to one hour before workouts, consume at least 30 grams of carbohydrates and 15 grams of protein. Right after your workouts (within 15 minutes), consume at least 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrate and 25 to 35 grams of protein. You can choose any of your meals from your meal plans as your before and after workout meals. This will depend on the timing of your workouts. For example, if you work out in the morning you can have the breakfast meal as your pre-workout meal and the morning snack as your post-workout meal or vice versa.

Eat five to six small frequent meals a day spaced out at 2-1/2 to 3 hour intervals. These includes your before and after workout meals. When eating several times a day, your metabolism increases. Frequent feedings are of particular importance, since after three to four hours of no food, your body switches to a catabolic state (a state in which you lose muscle and gain fat).

MEAL PLAN DEFINITIONS
Familiarize yourself with these definitions to ensure you eat the proper foods when doing the RealJock.com Muscle Weight-Gain Program:

High Fiber: whole grains with good fiber sources that contain more than three grams of fiber per serving. Foods that contain greater than five grams of dietary fiber per serving are considered an excellent source of fiber.

Low Fat: Low-fat means less than three grams of fat per serving.

Reduced fat: Reduced fat is not low fat. Reduced fat means at least 25 percent less fat per serving than the original food.

Fat Free: Foods are considered fat free if they contain less than 0.5 grams per serving.

Lean or Very Lean Meats: This group includes any type of meat (beef, poultry, pork, fish) and cheeses containing zero to three grams of fat per ounce in weight (4 percent or 5 percent of fat, or 95 percent to 99 percent fat free).

Starchy Vegetables: These vegetables contain starch. The group includes potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, peas, corn, and beans.

Non-Starchy Vegetables: These are vegetables without starch and include any other vegetable not mentioned under the starchy vegetable list.

FOOD GROUPS AND SERVING SIZES
Use the links below to learn more about each of the food groups, including recommended foods and serving sizes:
FOOD GROUP KEY
Abbreviation Food Group Details: Foods and Serving Sizes
G&S Grains and Starches G&S Overview
Fruit Fruit Fruits Overview
NFM Milk or Soy Milk NFM Overview
NSV Non-Starchy Vegetables NSV Overview
LM and VLM Lean Meats and Very Lean Meats (Includes Vegetarian Options) LM and VLM Overview
Fats Fats Fats Overview
CHOOSE YOUR STARTER MEAL PLAN
Once you have determined you have lost any excess body fat are ready to start building muscle weight, you're ready to choose the starting meal plan that's right for you. This starting meal plan will be the plan corresponding to a 500 calorie jump over your usual daily caloric intake. If you've been doing Villacorta's 1800-Calorie or 2100-Calorie Healthy Weight-Loss Meal Plan, you will know your daily caloric intakes already. If you are new to the nutrition programs, you can either track your food and caloric intake for a few days to get a baseline of what you usually eat, or judge by your general body type, as described below. Note these are general meal plans and will not be right for everyone—for example, if you are very physically active you will need significantly more calories to account for the excess calories you burn while exercising. If you have not already been following one of the RealJock.com Healthy Weight-Loss Programs or if your activity level or needs fall well outside of the general plans outlined below, try Villacorta's Nutrition for You interactive nutrition program for personalized weight-gain advice from some of the Bay Area's leading nutritionists.
STARTING MEAL PLANS
Starting Meal Plan Description
2300-Calorie Muscle Weight-Gain Meal Plan Villacorta developed this plan for those who have already lost excess fat weight using the 1800-Calorie Muscle Weight-Loss Meal Plan (over which it is a 500 calorie jump). It may also be appropriate for the average male age 20 to 60 years old, height ranging from 5’ 4” to 5’ 10”, without excess fat. For activity level, this plans assumes you have a sedentary or light activity desk job and exercise four to five days per week doing a combination of cardiovascular exercises (two to three hours per week) and strength training (three to four hours per week). The 2300 calorie meal plan has a macronutrient distribution of 50 percent carbohydrate, 25 percent protein, and 25 percent fat. This meal plan provides 301g of carbohydrates, 138g of protein, and 60g of fat.

If you fit the general description outlined above, you should follow the 2300-calorie meal plan sample for two to four weeks and allow your body to get used to the increased calorie count. At the end of two to four weeks, you should increase your calorie intake by 500 calories/day and move to the 2800-Calorie Muscle Weight-Gain Program to continue to gain muscle weight. The 2800 calorie meal plan has a macronutrient distribution of 50 percent carbohydrate, 25 percent protein, and 25 percent fat. This meal plan provides 361 grams of carbohydrates, 172 grams of protein, and 75 grams of fat. If after two to four more weeks at the 2800-calorie level you are still not gaining weight, you will need to continue to increase your caloric intake. To do so, try Villacorta's Nutrition for You personalized interactive nutrition program.
2600-Calorie Muscle Weight-Gain Meal Plan Villacorta developed this plan for men who have been doing the 2100-Calorie Muscle Weight-Loss Meal Plan. It may also be appropriate for the average male age 20 to 60 years old, height ranging from 5’ 11” to 6’ 3”, and without excess fat. The plan assumes you have a sedentary or light activity desk job and exercise four to five days per week doing a combination of cardiovascular exercises (two to three hours per week and strength training (three to four hours per week). The 2600-calorie meal plan has a macronutrient distribution of 50 percent carbohydrate, 25 percent protein and 25 percent fat. This meal plan provides 331g of carbohydrates, 155g of protein and 72g of fat.

If you fit the general description outlined above, you should follow the 2600-calorie meal plan sample for two to four weeks and allow your body to get used to the increased calorie count. At the end of two to four weeks, you should increase your calorie intake to the 3100-Calorie Muscle Weight-Gain Program to continue to gain muscle weight. The 3100-calorie meal plan has a macronutrient distribution of 50 percent carbohydrate, 25 percent protein and 25 percent fat. This meal plan provides 391 grams of carbohydrates, 189 grams of protein, and 88 grams of fat. If after two to four more weeks at the 3100-calorie level you are still not gaining weight, you will need to continue to increase your caloric intake. To do so, try Villacorta's Nutrition for You personalized interactive nutrition program.
MEAL PLAN FOOD GROUPS AND ALLOWANCES
2300-Calorie Plan 2600-Calorie Plan 2800-Calorie Plan 3100-Calorie Plan
Food Group Number of Daily Servings Food Group Number of Daily Servings Food Group Number of Daily Servings Food Group Number of Daily Servings
G&S 9 G&S 10 G&S 11 G&S 12
Fruit 7 Fruit 7 Fruit 7 Fruit 7
NFM 3 NFM 3 NFM 3 NFM 3
NSV 5 NSV 5 NSV 5 NSV 5
VLM 11 VLM 13 VLM 15 VLM 17
Fat 8 Fat 10 Fat 10 Fat 12
Sugar 0 Sugar 1 Sugar 2 Sugar 3
MEAL PLAN SAMPLE ALLOWANCE DISTRIBUTION
2300-Calorie Plan 2600-Calorie Plan 2800-Calorie Plan (follow-up to 2300 plan) 3100-Calorie Plan (follow-up to 2600 plan)
Meal Allowances Meal Allowances Meal Allowances Meal Allowances
Breakfast 2 G&S
2 Fruit
1 NFM
1 Fat
Breakfast 2 G&S
2 Fruit
1 NFM
1 Fat
Breakfast 2 G&S
2 Fruit
1 NFM
1 Fat
Breakfast 2 G&S
2 Fruit
1 NFM
1 Fat
Snack 2 Fruit
2 VLM
2 Fat
Snack 2 Fruit
2 VLM
2 Fat
Snack 2.5 G&S
4 VLM
1 NFM
1 Sugar
Snack 2.5 G&S
4 VLM
1 NFM
2 Sugar
Lunch 2 NSV
1 Fruit
5 VLM
4 G&S
2 Fat
Lunch 2 NSV
2 Fruit
6 VLM
4 G&S
2 Fat
Lunch 2 NSV
2 Fruit
4 VLM
2 G&S
2 Fat
Lunch 3 NSV
2 Fruit
5 VLM
2 G&S
2 Fat
Snack 2 Fruit
2 VLM
2 Fat
Snack 1 NFM
1 Sugar
1 Fruit
1 Fat
Snack 2 VLM
2 Fruit
3 Fat
Snack 2 VLM
2 Fruit
3 Fat
Dinner 4 VLM
3 G&S
3 NSV
2 Fat
Dinner 5 VLM
4 G&S
3 NSV
2 Fat
Dinner 5 VLM
4 G&S
3 NSV
2 Fat
Dinner 6 VLM
3 NSV
6 G&S
3 Fat
Snack 1 NFM Snack 1 NFM
2 Fat
Snack 1 NFM
1 Sugar
1 Fruit
2 Fat
Snack 1 NFM
1 Sugar
1 Fruit
3 Fat