Trying to build more lean muscle mass but struggling? If so, it might be time to look at how you’re preparing your foods. The fact is, as a hardgainer, your main mission with your approach must be to constantly be increasing your calorie intake higher and higher.
You have the body type where you just continually speed up your metabolic rate in accordance with what you are eating so if you aren’t doing something that will overcome this, you will find that muscle building success aren’t coming your way. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that you always have to go about your day feeling absolutely stuffed because you are just eating so much food. There are ways that you can add more calories to your day quickly and easily so that you can see enhanced success. Here’s what you need to know. Sneak them while cooking and this process will be ten times easier.
Always Cook With Oil
First, no matter what you are cooking, always try and use a little olive oil as you cook. Whether you’re baking chicken breasts, baking some sweet potatoes, or just stir-frying some vegetables, olive oil should get in there. This will help you add more moisture and flavor to your foods as well as help to boost the healthy fat content.
Puree Fruits And Vegetables
Next, consider pureeing any fruits and especially vegetables that you are going to be eating. Pureeing the vegetables into a sauce is a great way to cut back on the total volume that you are eating in that meal so you don’t feel so stuffed after it’s done. Since vegetables provide so few calories, but do contain important nutrients your body needs, you do need to get them in, but this allows for them to be lower in total volume. Fruits can also be blended into shakes or for use in homemade protein bars as well. A pureed banana will add nice flavor and sweetness to any recipe you are preparing using protein powder. Yes, you need these too.
Choose Fattier Sources Of Fish
When it comes to your protein sources, always aim for the higher fat, healthy cuts of protein. Salmon, mackerel, steak over chicken, and so on. This way, you will get in more calories for the same amount of meat overall. Remember that you should never fear healthy fats as a hardgainer. Not only are they the most calorie dense nutrient that you can take in, they will also help to keep your testosterone levels higher as well, which can then mean that you are able to build muscle faster. Since testosterone is a key muscle building hormone, it’s not one to be overlooking. If your diet is too low in healthy fats, you will see a decline.
Use Healthy High Calorie Sauces
It’s also a must that you start focusing on some higher calorie sauces as you go about your cooking. For instance, rather than just using a little lower sodium soy sauce with your meal, which is virtually calorie free, consider preparing a Thai sauce with some peanut butter as well. Or, make a marinara sauce with olive oil rather than just using plain tomato sauce, which also tends to be very low in calories. Sauces are a great way to add more flavor to your dish, jazz up your diet, and when prepared healthfully, can really pack in the additional calories. Just do your best to stay away from sauces that are too high in saturated fats such as cream sauces, hollandaise, or cheese sauce. While some saturated fat is important to have in your diet as a hardgainer, you don’t want to overdo this either as it is an unhealthy fat variety.
Add Dried Fruits And Nuts To Your Dishes
The next way to boost your calorie intake with the method that you choose to cook with is to simply add some dried fruits and nuts to your dishes. This works very well when preparing salads since these are typically very low in calories to start with. Sprinkle on some dried fruit and un-candied nuts (the candied varieties are quite high in sugar so are not ideal for health purposes). This adds more taste to the salad and also makes it more balanced in nutrients as well. Nuts and dried fruits can also be added to your morning bowl of oatmeal, to main course meat entrees, as well as to muffin or bar recipes you might be preparing (or having your significant other prepare)
Try Coconut Milk
Another option to boost the calorie intake of your day is to add coconut milk into any meals you can. Coconut milk actually works great as a stir-fry sauce or can be used as a base ingredient for any other sauces you are preparing to go with your dishes. It can also be used in many cases to replace regular cow’s milk in most recipes, but will pack in far more calories and a healthier form of fat. Coconut milk is excellent since it adds that creamy taste to your foods that you’d only get with high fat cream – which isn’t as healthy of an option.
Add Dry Oats To Shakes
Finally, when preparing your protein shakes, consider adding some dry oats in as you blend it. You’ll hardly notice them in there but this can easily add a few hundred calories of energy packed carbohydrates to help fuel your day and get your calorie intake up there. So there you have the key points to know and consider about cooking for the hardgainer. Take some time to pay attention to your cooking techniques and this can easily help you overcome your genetics and build the lean muscle mass that you desire. Always look for little ways to boost the calorie intake of any recipe you are preparing and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can actually get your intake up to where it needs to be. Leave feedback with your experiences! Eric Guzman is author of SkinnyGuyGoes2Gym, a blog helping you gain weight and build muscle. Popular articles include Stop Blaming Your Skinny Genetics and Supercharge Your Workout: Techniques That Hardgainers Should Or Shouldn’t Do. Eric has been a fitness enthusiast for a long time and now is sharing his knowledge and experience on his site. He also loves looking at pictures of cats online but he would never admit it.