A Simple Diet Approach to Building Pure Muscle


I gotta be honest with you guys……

The nutrition and muscle building industry really make eating a lot more complicated than it has to be.

They say that you have to eat these exact nutrient ratio’s to build muscle, you have to eat at precise meal times and you have to eat xxx times per day………. The list goes on and often times most of the rules conflict with each other!

Well I got news for you – this is complete BS.

In fact, a muscle building diet is very simple. You really don’t have to eat 6-8 meals a day……. Unless you want to put on a bunch of FAT and not have a life! Seriously who can live normally eating 6-8x per day?

The truth is and this is what I recommend: three meals per day plus two protein shakes is perfect for building solid muscle.

Remember this guys:

Your body can only put on so much muscle and any EXTRA calories that are not being used to build muscle will be stored as fat!

So from my experience if you’re getting plenty of rest and lifting weights 3-5x per week your body has the potential to put on 0.5-1.0 lbs of muscle per week. That’s IT! Nothing MORE.

Stop listening to the muscle magazines and infomercials that CLAIM you can put on 10 lbs of muscle in 10 days. This just isn’t gonna happen. I mean if this was possible then almost every guy would be muscular.

For those that say they put on 10-20 pounds of MUSCLE in a MONTH. Well there’s no way. Even on steroids this is unlikely. Chances are they probably gained 10-20 pounds in a month – mostly of fat.

Besdies 0.5-1.0 lbs of muscle in a week isn’t bad at all. Especially if you’re doing strategic muscle building that makes that 5 pound muscle gain look like 15+.

In three months of training you can put on 6-12 pounds of muscle and it will probably look like you gained 20 especially because you didn’t put on any fat!

Now it takes 2500 calories to build a pound of muscle. So by knowing this you only really have to eat 200-400 calories above maintenance (the number of calories it takes to maintain your weight) to reach a muscle gain goal of 0.5-1.0 lbs per week. This could be as simple as adding one or two protein shakes into your daily diet. Seriously this isn’t very complicated at all.

This is why the whole bulking up bodybuilder approach to muscle building is complete nonsense. These guys eat 1000-2000 calories above maintenance and most of that converts to fat. But for some reason these guys think that if they eat WAY ABOVE their maintenance level they will force their body into gaining more muscle! Sorry the body doesn’t work like that.

Here’s a sample meal plan that I would recommend for someone that wants to build muscle


3-4 egg spinach omelette

piece of fruit

complex carbs – gluten free cereal


Protein Shake




Brown Rice or Sweet Potatoes


Sub / Sand-which and fruit

Post Workout Meal

Protein Shake



Yams, Brown Rice Pasta, Wild Rice or Brown Rice

Salad or Veggies


Protein Shake

Notes and Recommendations

  • The goal here is to get plenty of protein, vitamins/nutrients and only about 200-400 calories above maintenance
  • Track your progress every week to see if your improving. I recommend measuring your waist circumference and weight. The goal is for your weight to increase about 0.5-1.0 lbs per week without your waist increasing. If you gain any fat then reduce your calories – if you aren’t gaining at least 0.5 lbs per week then increase your calories.
  • I recommend supplementing with a natural multi vitamin/mineral supplement to ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. Veggie Greens by Progressive is one I recommend
  • It is also a good idea to take an omega 3 fish oil supplement. There are so many benefits to fish oils / omega 3’s including testosterone functioning
  • Protein Supplement I recommend is Gold Standard All Natural Whey

My New Bulking Nutrition Plan 

If you want to build muscle while getting even leaner, I’d suggest reading my new article on a nutrition plan for lean bulking.

Incoming Search Terms For Article:

Muscle Building Diet, How to Build Muscle, What Foods to Eat to Build Muscle, How many calories to build muscle, build muscle diet, bodybuilding diet, muscle building foods, bodybuilding nutrition, bodybuilding supplements, muscle building nutrition, pure muscle,

click me


  1. Michael

    Thank you for writing this. You really just made things so much more simple. I’m following Visual Impact Muscle Building as well, and the diet part has been an issue with me, trying to figure out how many meals to eat so i gain muscle, but dont gain bodyfat.

  2. dave

    great post, I’ve watched a few of your videos on youtube and on a few of them you mentioned to eat 5 times a day, small meals. which should i follow? again great post

    • admin

      Its up to you. Whatever works for you is what you should do. I just want to let you know that it doesn’t matter if you eat 1 meal per day or you eat 8 meals per day. Its about how many calories you are putting into your body. Scientific studies have proved this. They proved that eating 5-8 meals per day doesn’t increase your metabolism at all.

  3. Michael

    If you drink 2 protein shakes a day, wouldn’t that be in essence of having 5 meals a day? 3 meals + 2 protein shakes(replacements as meals)?

    Also would drinking 1 or 2 protein shakes a day make a difference? Could you get over Maintenance with just 1?

    • admin

      Yes you can fine tweak it to your needs.
      You can start by just having one protein shake per day. However you have to take into account that your body is going to be burning additional calories of lifting weights. Therefore you have to eat a few hundred more calories just to reach maintaince than 200-400 more calories to gain muscle.

  4. austin greer

    hey im 15 and im 127lbs i wanna add weght and muscle mass so i can be 245lbs when im 18 i figure with hard work i can do it? but how can i do it i read this but it dosentt seem like there are any carbs or anything?

    • admin

      Of course there are carbs. You have to eat carbs just not as much as the food pyramid tells you.

      245 pounds is very, very heavy. Arnold was 6’1.5″ and he was 240 pounds. This blog is not about gaining monstrous amounts of weight. There are many other sites and forums for that.

      This post is about building muscle without any fat. Unless your taking large amounts of steroids there is no way your gonna be 245 lbs without being overweight. Why do you even want to be 245?

  5. austin greer

    would this diet help me add weight too though? and for pro wrestling, and i wanna follow this diet and add muscle mass because im so skinny i wanna add some weight though too instead of losing weight

    • admin

      Yes you will add weight. However since you are a teenager you can get away with eating a little bit more as your body is going to naturally be putting on muscle because of all the hormones coursing through your veins.

  6. austin greer

    this is hard? i mean its hard for me to eat 2,500 calories a day and its a lot of calories for me to eat in the 3 meals its like 800 calories?! what should i do? i really dont wanna bulk up ill get fat i wanna add muscle and add weight here and there.

  7. Kodge

    Great article mate. I was just wondering how long before sleeping should you have your last meal. And should you avoid carbs all together in your last meal?

    • admin

      Thanks man!
      Ideally you want your last meal to be 3 hours before you go to sleep. When you sleep your body naturally releases large amounts of Growth Hormone (growth hormone is your best friend when it comes to building muscle and burning fat). If you eat before going to bed (especially high carb meals) your insulin levels rise forcing GH levels to be minimized. In addition your more likely to store fat if you eat before going to bed. If you worked out before your last meal you can have carbs with your meal. Just make sure you have lots of protein too.

      Hope this helps,

      Greg O’Gallagher!

  8. Jon

    OK, WOW. I am much older (45) and in need of an overhaul :-) I am coming off a foot injury received in May 2010 in Afghanistan (Mortar attack) broken left calcaneus and a big hole left. I am now back and walking without a limp and very little pain, but need to lose weight and get a “healthy” body back..I gained quite abit while on crutches and rehab..so now it is time to get back. What advice do you have for someone like me? The diet is a given.. going to veggies and fruit/lean meat, egg… follow your 3 a day advice..but what about workouts?

    • admin

      Hey! Checkout this post on the best fat burning workout – http://www.kinobody.com/138/the-ultimate-fat-burning-workout/

      In addition I am working on a program for giving the best fat loss benefits – http://www.kinobody.com/717/3-day-workout-split/

      Your diet should be focused on protein, protein and protein. Eating lean protein in every meal is the trick to losing fat. Keeps you full, feeds your muscles and if you keep your carb intake low you will melt fat easily. In addition to protein you want to eat lots of veggies. Think meat and greens. Fruit in moderation is fine too. Avoid carbs for the most part.

    • admin

      When it comes to losing weight it really comes down to diet. Cardio and workouts are just gonna speed up the process.
      I would start with walking. Build up to 45 minutes per day. In addition I would lift weights for your upperbody. Since your upperbody isn’t injured. You can follow my 3 day split for a super shredded physique – http://www.kinobody.com/717/3-day-workout-split/
      just leave out the circuits and intervals

    • admin

      Yes that would be a good idea only that fish contain large amounts of toxins – mercury and PCB’s. Therefore its not good to have fish more than a couple times per week.

  9. kodge

    Hey Greg,

    Your answer to my previous question was very helpful, thanks. I am just curious as to how much carbs, protein and fat you consume a day. With protein most people say to consume 1 to 1.5g per pound. However, with carbs some people say to consume 1g per pound whilst some same to consume as high as 3g per pound. I weigh 160 pounds and i want to clean bulk. My maintenance calories is 2400. How many grams of carbs should i consume? Thanks in advance


  10. Michael

    Hey Greg, I just found your article and its really useful. I’m kind of confused on how many calories I would need to gain muscle. Right now I’m 5’8 140 pounds and I want to gain 15 pounds to be 5’8 155 pounds. How many calories should I be eating each day?

    • admin

      Shoot for about 250-500 calories above maintenance per day. This will allow you to gain 3-5 pounds per month. This can be accomplished by adding an extra 1 or 2 protein shakes into your daily meal plan.

  11. Michael

    Thanks Greg, last question I have around 12-15 percent body fat according to my weight scale. I’m only 5’8 140 pounds right now, but I’m not sure If I should work on getting below 10 percent body first or to start gaining weight and building muscle. What you think I should do? Is it possible for me to reduce my body fat and stay at 140.

  12. Michael

    Thanks Greg, Lastly can I use your workout and visual impact? Which one is better for muscle gain? Also how long can I stay on your routine before my body adapts? Thanks again.