Lean Bulk Meal Plan: Overview and Guide For Perfect Muscles
‘Lean bulk’ or ‘Clean bulk’ is a common bodybuilding term popular among passionate bodybuilders. It involves a specialized diet that improves muscle building instead of fat. As other diets focus on adequate protein intake, the lean bulk meal plan targets specific foods to support muscle building.
Go through the detailed guide to learn everything about lean bulking, including diet, effectiveness and downsides.
What is lean bulking?
In general, bulking is a calorie surplus, in which you eat more calories than you burn, which helps you to gain weight. Eating calories alone does not help to gain weight or build muscles, but lean bulking also involves high resistance training to boost muscles and strength gains.
When following the lean bulk, you should strictly follow the lean bulk meal plan and robust exercise or training to prevent excessive fat gain.
About lean bulk meal diet
Even if you’re training hard, the quality of diet still matters to maintain overall health. The lean bulk diet is mainly comprised the minimally processed whole foods. High calories and junk foods are restricted in a lean bulk meal diet.
Who considers a lean bulk meal plan?
Lean bulk or clean bulk diet or clean bulk meal plan is mainly followed by the athletes who desire to have a robust body, such as mixed martial art (MMA) fighters, boxers, fighters, gymnasts, strength athletes and physique athletes.
However, this approach is unsuitable for all, as weight gain is slower than other bulking methods.
How to start a lean bulk meal plan?
The first step to follow the lean bulk meal plan is to figure out the number of calories you need to maintain your weight. This is calculated based on various factors, including height and weight, and several online calculators can help you estimate the number.
An average-sized (75 kg or 175-pounds) man can approximately intake 250-500 calories, while a woman (61 kg or 135 pounds) should take around 200-400 calories per day. While adding this number to your lean bulk meal plan, make sure to add 0.7.1 pound protein of bodyweight 1.6-2.2 grams per kg to support muscle gain.
What can you add and avoid to your lean bulk meal plan?
As you know, lean bulking mainly focuses on whole and unprocessed foods, though you are allowed to intake a small number of high calories and processed items. Here is the list of the foods that can be eaten and should be avoided while following a lean bulk meal plan.
Foods to eat
- Healthy fats- olive oil, nut butter, nuts, avocado, fatty fish, and seeds like chia, hemp, and flax seeds
- Lean protein– chicken, fish, turkey, beef, pork, Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, protein powders, tofu and tempeh, eggs and egg whites
- Fruits- Apples, oranges, bananas, pineapple, grapefruit, and all types of berries
- Dark leafy greens- spinach, kale
- Beverages- plain water, diet soda, tea, coffee
- Legumes- All types of beans
- Cruciferous veggies: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage
Next is the list of the foods that should be avoided in the lean bulk meal plan.
Foods to limit or avoid
- Saturated fats- butter, certain oils, and margarine
- Proteins- processed pork or beef, fatty cuts of beef or pork
- Highly processed foods- chips, fast foods, full-fat ice cream, canned soups, fried foods, pastries, cookies, and processed meats including ham, salami, pate and sausage.
Benefits of following a lean bulk meal plan
Health-conscious people follow a lean bulk meal plan, including athletes and bodybuilders. It has various benefits that are explained in the following section.
Prevent negative health effects
A lean bulk diet focuses on the significant number of calorie intake that may lower the risk of negative effects.
Eat more nutrients
Since the lean bulk diet focuses on whole food, it is higher in nutrient factors.
Limit excess fat gain
A lean bulk meal plan is a calorie-controlled approach, it tends to prevent excess fat gain.
Downsides of following a lean bulk meal plan
While there are several benefits of lean bulking, you should be aware of the following downsides.
May affect flexibility
Lean bulk follows a rigid plan, which means you’re restricted to eating all types of foods and should maintain good health. The restriction of not eating pizzas, burgers, cold drinks and other food items is difficult to maintain for a long time.
Progress may slow down
Due to a strictly controlled calorie surplus, your progress may slow down or even stagnate. When you utilize conservative calories of surplus, it is easy to underestimate the number of calories you need to build muscles.
Lean bulk or clean bulk meal plan involves eating patterns with the high-density training programs. Remember to check with your healthcare provider before starting a lean bulk meal plan, especially when you have any specific health condition.