GAINING & LOSING WEIGHT

Muscle Weight-Gain Program: 2600-Calorie Meal Plan

Building lean muscle mass is a two-phased process. First, you need to lose any excess fat weight. Next, you need to add lean muscle mass. For the first, you have the RealJock.com Healthy Weight-Loss Meal Plan. For the latter, 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.

The Muscle Weight-Gain Program consists of seven days of sample meal plans to help you learn how to eat a well-balanced diet and increase your caloric intake so that you gain weight naturally. This program is not a calorie-counting program. 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 per food group, which will help you more easily control your serving sizes and the types of foods you are eating.

Use the sample meals as guidelines to get you started on changing your diet. Obviously we don't expect you to eat the same thing every week; these meal plans are there to help you learn about proper nutrient distribution and eating habits. Be creative with your cooking and feel free to substitute similar ingredients, different foods, or use your own recipes as you go.

Getting Started—Choose a Starting Program
To begin the program, you must first read through the Muscle Weight-Gain Program Overview to understand how the program works. It's important to note that you should not begin this program until you have lost any excess fat weight first. Once you have determined you are ready to start, read below to choose the starting meal plan that's right for you. This 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 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).

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. 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).

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. 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.
Important Note on 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. 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 plan samples 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).
REALJOCK.COM MUSCLE WEIGHT-GAIN PROGRAM: 2600-CALORIE MEAL PLAN: DAY 1
2600-CALORIE MEAL PLAN GUIDELINES
Macronutrient Distribution Carbohydrates (grams) Protein (grams) Fats (grams)
Carbohydrates (50%), Protein (25%), Fat (25%) 331 grams 155 grams 72 grams
DAY 1 MEAL PLAN
Meal: Breakfast Allowances Sample Meal: Cereal Amount Actual Meal Eaten Actual Allowances
2 G&S High-Fiber Cereal 1.5 cups
2 Fruit Raisins 4 Tbsp.
1 NFM Low-Fat (1%) or Non-Fat Milk or Soy Milk 1 cup
1 Fat Flaxseed Meal 2 Tbsp.
Meal: Snack Allowances Sample Meal: Fruit, Cheese, and Almonds Amount Actual Meal Eaten Actual Allowances
2 Fruit Fruit of Choice 8 oz. or 1 cup
2 VLM Low-Fat or Fat-Free Cheese 2 oz.
2 Fat Almonds 12
Meal: Lunch Allowances Sample Meal: Chicken Salad Amount Actual Meal Eaten Actual Allowances
2 NSV Lettuce, Celery, Scallions 2 cups
2 Fruit Apple 8 oz. or 1 cup
6 VLM Chicken Breast (Grilled, Baked, or Broiled) 6 oz.
2 G&S Garbanzo Beans 1 cup
2 Fat Low-Fat Dressing 4 Tbsp.
2 G&S Whole Wheat Flour Pita Bread 1 pita
Meal: Snack Allowances Sample Meal: Flavored Yogurt with Fruit and Pistachios Amount Actual Meal Eaten Actual Allowances
1 NFM, 1 Sugar Lite, Non-Fat Yogurt with Flavor/Fruit Added 1/2 cup
1 Fruit Fruit of Choice 4 oz. or 1/2 cup
1 Fat Pistachios 15
Meal: Dinner Allowances Sample Meal: Fish Tacos Amount Actual Meal Eaten Actual Allowances
2 G&S Corn Tortillas 2 tortillas (5-inch diameter)
5 VLM Fish (Baked, Grilled, or Broiled) 5 oz.
2 G&S Black Beans / Corn 1 cup
1 NSV Steamed Broccoli, Zuccini, Cauliflower 1/2 cup
2 NSV Sauteed Peppers and Onions 1 cup
2 Fat Olive Oil 2 tsp.
Meal: Snack Allowances Sample Meal: Yogurt with Almonds Amount Actual Meal Eaten Actual Allowances
1 NFM Lite, Fat-Free, Plain Yogurt 6 oz.
2 Fat Almonds 12
FOOD GROUP KEY
Abbreviation Food Group Details: Foods and Serving Sizes
G&S Grains and Starches G&S Overview
Fruit Fruits Fruits Overview
NFM Milks and Soy Milks 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