What Should You Eat to Build Muscle?

It’s all about the macronutrients!

Outside of the gym, it is your job to supplement your body with the right food! Hopefully you already know to cut down processed foods, decrease sweets, and increase fruits and vegetables. But, what should you eat to tone your muscles and decrease body fat?

Increase Protein: Protein gives muscles the nutrients needed to build and repair after weight training.

Maintain Carbohydrates: Carbs are the primary source of energy for exercise. For muscles to maximize performance during exercise, we must have adequate carbohydrate intake.

Decrease Fat: Fat is the most calorically dense of the macronutrients per gram. Reduced fat intake will decrease overall calories consumed in addition to fat storage.

Step 1: Download MyFitness Pal

MyFitness Pal is a free app that can be downloaded to your smart phone. Upon creating a profile you can customize macronutrient intake goals. Set the Carbohydrates between 45 and 50%, the Protein to 35% and the Fat to between 15 and 20%.

Step 2: Check out Your Daily Macros

As you enter daily meals and snacks, macronutrient intake will be tracked. To view a pie of chart of macronutrient percentages and track your daily intake follow the directions below.

  1. Open the diary tab on the bottom of the app
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the diary and hit the Nutrition pie chart
  3. This will pull up a pie chart of the daily macronutrient breakdown

Step 3: Adjust Accordingly

The truth is that every body responds differently to exercise and dietary adjustments. If after 3 weeks you do not find adequate progress is being made it may be time to decrease fat closer to 15% and increase carbohydrate closer to 50%. Another option is to decrease carbohydrate to 45% and fat to 15% with an increase in protein to 40%.

Step 4: Caloric Intake

After using the InBody, the results will produce a Basal Metabolic Rate. This is the baseline amount of calories that your body needs to function on the daily basis, not counting exercise. Therefore, using MyFitness Pal, caloric intake should be below Basal Metabolic Rate + caloric expenditure from exercise. Start with restricting calories between 100-300 per day.


The next step is to ensure that you are eating the best sources of protein, carbohydrate, and fat.  We have recommendations for the best foods to fulfill the macronutrient requirements.  These foods will sustain energy, muscle building, fat loss, and overall wellness.

Complete Protein:  These are protein sources or combinations of protein that foster all 9 essential amino acids. Consuming these sources of protein will give muscles the best recovery after workouts and will supplement many other functions of the body.

  • Tuna, Salmon, Shrimp
  • Egg, Chicken, Turkey
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Protein Shakes
  • Black Beans + Rice
  • Soybean products
  • Quinoa

Complex Carbohydrates:  These are carbohydrate sources that provide a slow release of energy to they body. Unlike simple carbohydrates these foods maintain stable blood sugar for long lasting energy, provide fiber, and have been shown to prevent chronic disease.

  • Whole wheat bread and other whole grains
  • Brown Rice
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Beans

Healthy Fats:  These are fats with properties that foster healthy blood pressure and will not compromise fat loss if eaten in moderation.

  • Whole milk yogurt
  • Avocado
  • Seafood
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive Oil

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions!