Most lifters who want to gain mass find the time to train hard because we all LOVE to work out. With a busy schedule, though, it’s easy to let your diet slide, and that can kill your gains if you don’t get it back under control quickly.
A hectic schedule doesn’t have to mean the end of gains if you put a little effort into your plan before hand.
With that in mind, here are five ways to eat for mass even with a busy schedule.
Take Your Lunch
One of the biggest dietary pitfalls for the working man is lunch. Between long morning meetings, work that needs to get done, and lunch meetings, it’s easy to end up with substandard nutrition in the middle of the day. In the worst case, you might even find yourself skipping lunch entirely. While that won’t kill you once or twice, it’s a road to NO gains in the long run. The easy way to ensure you get the meal you need in the middle of the day is to make it at home and take it with you. If you have access to a refrigerator and microwave at work, then you can pack just about anything you want, including chicken and rice, yogurt, and other perishable muscle goodies. Even lacking those modern conveniences, you can pack a shaker with protein powder, an apple, good fats like peanut butter or almonds, and some high-fiber starches for a quick, nutritious meal.
Prepare in Bulk
When you’re making that lunch for tomorrow, you might want to consider packing one for the next day … and the next … and the next. By preparing multiple meals at once and stowing them away in Tupperware containers, plastic baggies, or the fridge, you can take the guesswork out of several weekly feedings AND make the entire process easier and quicker.
Carry Protein Bars
Protein bars are NOT perfect foods by any means, but they are a lot better than candy bars and chips, and modern versions exist to fit into just about any kind of diet. Opt for ones that have 200 calories or less with at least 15 grams of protein — 20 or more is even better. You can keep these bars in your desk or carry one in your shirt pocket for a ready supply of amino acids and a quick uptick in blood sugar when you need it.
Know Your Fast Food
Although it’s not your preferred muscle-building fare, fast food can be a suitable alternative to going hungry, and certain dishes can even be a regular part of your bodybuilding diet. Most burger joints these days have salads and grilled chicken options that will fit most dietary needs, and many have other one-off items that aren’t too shabby in terms of calories or protein, either. Make it a habit to occasionally read through the latest nutrition information for McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and other fast food staples so that you’ll know what is suitable in a pinch.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Gas Station
Believe it or not, a quick stop at the local gas station or convenience store can keep you in muscle-building mode when you don’t have time for anything else. Most carry milk and other dairy products, lunch meat, protein bars, and even fresh fruit. With a little creative thought, you can build a gas station “meal” that will meet all your dietary needs, or at least keep your muscles from wilting until dinner.
Be Flexible and Creative
Above all else, when you’re trying to build muscle in the midst of a crazy-busy life, you need to keep an open mind and not get locked into one way of thinking or eating. Look for opportunities to take your food with you, or for creative ideas about how to get suitable bodybuilding fare wherever you find yourself at meal time. Nutrition is vital to your success in all forms of strength training, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible obstacle to a fulfilling life.