What Are the Macros for a Clean Bulk Diet?

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In the language of bodybuilders, "bulking" is a conscious effort to gain weight in the hope of increasing muscle mass. There are two general types of bulking--clean bulking and dirty bulking. Dirty bulking focuses on maximizing caloric consumption with little regard for the source of those calories--pizza, burgers and other less-healthy foods are fair game. Clean bulking, on the other hand, focuses upon gaining weight at a slow and steady rate using healthy foods, minimizing fat gain while adding muscle at a reasonable rate.

Bulking is a conscious effort to gain weight while trying to increase muscle mass.
Bulking is a conscious effort to gain weight while trying to increase muscle mass. (Image: Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images)

Clean Bulk Diet

Consume a diet consisting roughly of 40 to 50 percent carbs, 30 to 40 percent protein, and 25 to 35 percent fat while following a clean bulking diet. While most of your meals should contain a fair blend of the three macronutrients, the meals before and after your workout should consist of just carbs and protein (in a 2:1 ratio) with minimal fat. This approach will avoid the slowdown in digestion that occurs from fat consumption, helping to shuttle more nutrients into your muscles when you need them most--to prepare you for an impending workout and to recover from a completed workout. Beyond that, each meal you consume should be roughly aligned with the listed percentages--most of the meal should consist of healthy carbs such as fruits, vegetables, brown rice, whole grains and sweet potatoes; a moderate portion of the meal should consist of lean protein from low-fat meat, chicken, turkey, eggs or seafood, and a smaller portion of the meal should contain healthy fat from fat-containing fruit (think avocados), nuts, seeds or healthy cooking oils like olive or coconut. Aim to consume just enough calories to add roughly a pound per week, as this slow but steady rate of gains should be sufficient to enable you to add maximal size without adding excessive fat to your waistline.

For carbs you should eat healthy whole grains and sweet potatoes.
For carbs you should eat healthy whole grains and sweet potatoes. (Image: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images)

Sample Meals

A sample breakfast while on a clean bulking diet might consist of several scrambled eggs, a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon and several fish oil capsules. A sample lunch might consist of a large garden salad with several grilled chicken breasts, and a few tablespoons of natural peanut butter. A sample dinner might be a lean cut of flank steak served with a sweet potato and a spinach and tomato salad with olive oil or balsamic dressing. As a snack throughout the day, consider blending up protein powder in milk with berries and a tablespoon or two of natural peanut butter for a healthy high-calorie shake to help you reach your goals.

Scrambled eggs can be part of a healthy breakfast.
Scrambled eggs can be part of a healthy breakfast. (Image: vikif/iStock/Getty Images)

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