A Simple Muscle Building Diet to Build Pure Muscle

Simple Muscle Building Diet

I need to be honest with you guys…

The nutrition and fitness industry really makes eating enough calories to build muscle more complicated than it has to be. In reality, all you need is a simple muscle building diet for maximum gains.

The fitness industry says 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 simple muscle building diet is all you need. 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 6-8 times per day?

What I recommend with the simple muscle building diet is to eat 2 to 3 meals and an optional snack for building solid muscle.

How Fast Can You Build Pure Muscle?

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 times per week, your body has the potential to put on 0.5-1.0 lbs of muscle per week. That’s it! Nothing more. Outside of a simple muscle building diet, this is a critical piece you must understand. You’re body can only synthesize so much muscle naturally!

So stop listening to the muscle magazines and infomercials that claim you can put on 10 lbs of muscle in 10 days with the “build muscle fast diet.” 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 and most of it was fat gain.

Besides, 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 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 another small meal or snack into your daily diet. My favorite snack is frozen yogurt and chocolate chips or another recipe from KinoChef. Seriously this isn’t very complicated at all.

This is why structuring a diet for building muscle around eating 1000-2000 calories above maintenance is complete nonsense and a wast of time. The reality is, most of that converts to fat.

But for some reason these guys think that if they eat way about their maintenance level they will force their body into gaining more muscle. Sorry the body doesn’t work like that!

That’s why I put together my Greek God Program, to teach guys how to put on muscle properly and create a natural and stunning physique as easy as humanely possible.

*Your results may vary. Testimonials and examples used are exceptional results and are not intended to guarantee, promise, represent and/or assure that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.

Here’s the simple muscle building diet I would recommend for someone that wants to build muscle:

The Simple Muscle Building Diet Plan

Intermittent Fasting

Black Coffee

Sparkling Water




Brown Rice or Sweet Potatoes



Yams, Brown Rice Pasta, Wild Rice or Brown Rice

Salad or Veggies


Dessert/treat of choice

Notes on the Muscle Building Diet

  • The goal here is to get a moderate amount of protein (.82g to 1g per pound of bodyweight), a balance of fats and carbs, 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.
  • If you want to build muscle while getting even leaner, I’d suggest getting the Greek God Program.
  • If you need help cooking delicious meals with great macros for building muscle and staying lean, I recommend checking out KinoChef.

Your Kino Question For The Day: How can you use the information discussed in this article to improve your muscle building journey? Which aspects do you struggle with the most?  Let me know in the comments below.



About the Author


I'm Greg O'Gallagher the founder of Kinobody.com

103 responses to “A Simple Muscle Building Diet to Build Pure Muscle

  1. 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. 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

    1. 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. 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?

    1. 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. 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?

    1. 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. 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

    1. 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. 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. 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?

    1. 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. 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?

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

      In addition I am working on a program for giving the best fat loss benefits – http://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.

    2. 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://kinobody.com/717/3-day-workout-split/
      just leave out the circuits and intervals

    1. 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. 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. 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?

    1. 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. 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.

    1. Since your only 140 lbs and 12-15% body fat is decent I would recommend working on increasing muscle mass first. Get a tape measurer and record your waist measurement. Follow this diet to ensure you gain pure muscle with no fat – http://kinobody.com/145/a-simple-diet-approach-to-building-pure-muscle/
      And follow this workout – http://kinobody.com/906/workout-for-muscle-mass/

      Measure you’re waist once per week in the morning. If your waist measurement starts to go up then reduce your calories slightly. Once you’ve built up a decent amount of muscle and strength you can switch to a cutting program.

  12. 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.

  13. Also Greg I used the calorie tool you gave me. According to the calculator I should be eating around 2200-2300 calories to maintain weight. So should I be eating around 2700 calories to gain weight and will i need to eat more calories If I use your 5 day a week routine.

    1. Yes for sure! Creatine is one of the few supplements that is scientifically proven to help increase muscle mass and strength. However I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners. Only for those with at-least a couple years of experience strength training. Beginners tend to experience pretty rapid results as it is. Therefore it is better to save the extra kick when things plateau.

  14. article is spot on mate, I’m 5’11 and weight 180 pounds, weight train 4 times a week but i also do intense boxing training twice a week, how many more calories if any will i need to add because I do cardio? Also are those shakes with milk or water? cheers.

    1. You probably burn around 600 extra calories on your boxing days. So on those two days I would bump it up by 600 plus 200-400 to gain weight. Although if you find it very easy go gain weight I would lower that.

      You can mix it with water or milk. My favorite option is to mix it with unsweetened almond milk.

  15. Hey man thanks for the advice with the food, today I tried to Spartacus workout I sweet like crazy, my question is is I do cardio at the end of my weight workout could I possibly burn muscle mass with fat? I just want to loose some fat but mantain my muscle, thanks man again.

    1. If you don’t want to lose muscle then either do intense sprints or intervals for cardio or perform low intensity cardio at 65%-70% of your heart rate (walking on a treadmill at 3.5-4 mph with an incline of 6-12 degrees).

      Steady State cardio at 75-85% of your heart rate is what can cause some muscle loss.

  16. Great stuff Greg
    I’m 5’11 and 150, but I want to be 170 175 I’m 22 and always had trouble putting on muscle, how many calories should I be eating a day to gain mass.

    1. @Ct

      You should be eating a lot more then you are now. I don’t like to count calories when bulking. Its just a pain in the ass. Instead weigh yourself once per week and eat enough that your weight goes up 0.5-1 lbs per week. If you aren’t gaining then you should be eating more.

    1. Yah! A cheat day would be absolutely fine. Especially since this is a muscle building diet you can definitley get away with a cheat day once per week. I recommend having the cheat day on a workout day and start eating lots after the workout

  17. hey I just turned 15 im 5′ 11 and around 140 pounds. I’m a competitive tennis player and I am pretty lean, with very little fat. I just want to gain muscle, while losing the little fat I have. What diet plan and workout would you recommend?
    Thanks so much,
    Your the best

  18. hey greg. I’m currently 5’10” at 150 lbs right now. i wouldn’t say I’m skinny but I’m definitely not the size that i want to be or should be for my height. i just started phase 2 of visual impact after doing phase 1 for the full 8 weeks. I’ve been trying to bulk up and gain muscle with minimal fat but I’ve been really struggling with the diet. It seems like if i eat slightly less than usual for one day, i come back 3 pounds lighter the next day and I’ve been stuck at 150 for about a month now. i don’t want to push my calories to the extreme cuz I’ve already developed a bit of a belly but I’m just lost as to what i should be eating and when in order to be packing on the muscle and weight i need without getting fat. whenever i cut down on calories i lose a few pounds immediately and whenever i increase calories the weight never seems to go to the right place. my chest and arms could definitely use it but it always seems to land in my stomach/abdomen area. any suggestions or recommendations you have would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

    1. I think you need to focus on getting ripped first. When you’re really lean your bodies insulin sensitivity becomes very good and excess calories are more likely to be stored in the muscles. Also I wouldn’t worry about scale fluctuations. Those don’t mean anything. Thats just changes in water weight and glycogen. Track the overall change in weight over a period of several weeks. You should be gaining 2 lbs per month for muscle gaining.

  19. Hey greg. I feel like I made same comment before somewhere put idk if they are coming through or not but if not just wanted to ask you that if it is ok to drink 2 protien shakes on off days because I am not really sure if this diet will give me the protein I need and im currently 150lbs. Also, I use whey protein so how many scoops should be in 1 shake for me?

  20. When using Gold Standard All Natural Whey as a protein shake, how many servings would you recommend. It says 130 calories per serving. Would 2-3 servings be enough. That would give me 260-390 calories ( along with my standard 3 meals a day)

  21. Cheers for this mate, was getting annoyed at looking through fitness articles and then seeing so much on the page that there was hardly any point reading on, almost seemed like they were going out of their way to be complicated, this was a perfect description for me and also the only one that really made any sense, so again, cheers for putting this out there man.

  22. Hey man, love your work!

    Just started using isolyze whey protein.. On my workout days, is it a good idea to have a shake with dinner or after dinner as a snack at about 8pm? I have my first meal at 2pm then 5pm.. Keep in mind I usually workout in the mornings. Just started introducing shakes into my routine so am keen to get your opinion.


    1. Personally I would have it as a snack later in the evening but it’s up to you. It shouldn’t make much difference as long as you’re getting the same amount at the end of the day.

  23. Hey again

    1. How many pounds of meat and scoop of protein do you recommend each day with this diet?

    2. What kind of sauces would you recommend to make the food taste better?

    1. 1. I’d suggest 1g of protein per pound of goal bodyweight. So if you want to be 180 lbs you’d want 180g of protein per day. You can get this from 600g of meat and 500g of cottage cheese or 2 scoops of protein.

      2. Whatever you like. Barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, mustard, hot sauce…..

  24. I m following this meal plan at the moment. but now i when the weekend come i want to have a free meal with some friends and family.

    what do you thin about this approach

    chicken, rice and vegetables? or chicken and only vegetables?

    Dinner (free meal) with some friends and family

  25. Hey Greg

    How big part of the plate would you recommend protein, carb, vegetable on this meal plan? Right know i cover my plate with 1/3 Protein, 1/3 carbs, 1/3 vegatables.

  26. Hi, on top of my three meals a day is it ok to have half servings of protein shakes? I’m thinking breakfast, then half serving, lunch, then half serving, dinner then workout then full serving.



  27. Hey Greg.

    In gonna give this routine a try tomorrow. R
    Right know i having 3 meals a day. 2 bigger meals (meat,carbs, veggies/fruit) and 1 smaller meal (cottage cheese and berries)
    I feel like having a meal a 2-3 hours before i train. would you recommend i eat one of the bigger meals before training or the smaller meal?

  28. This meal plan with just 2 meals. what option would you recommend that i use?

    Option 1


    3-4 egg spinach omolette

    piece of fruit

    complex carbs – gluten free cereal

    and some Chicken/Steak/Fish

    Meal 2




    Brown Rice or Sweet Potatoes

    or option 2

    Meal 1



    Brown Rice or Sweet Potatoes

    3-4 eggs


    Yams, Brown Rice Pasta, Wild Rice or Brown Rice

    Salad or Veggies

    1. All looks pretty good… I recommend combining whole eggs with egg whites or whole eggs with very lean protein (chicken)

      You can have russet potatoes too which are fantastic

  29. i was wondering if you could tell me about how many grams of protein in the protein food sources like meat , fish , eggs , milk , etc… , cause i don’t know how to get 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight from just food , as i don’t want to take supplements and i want only to take my protein requirements from food only but my main problem is the nutrient intake of protein as i don’t how many grams of protein are in the natural food sources.
    if you could help me on that , i would very much appreciate it , thanks.

    1. go use myfitnesspal app or any other app that will help you see the macro nutrients lol. it’s almost impossible for Greg to list it for you since all proteins have different ounces and grams

  30. Hi , I am alergic to protein shakes, probably cuz of lactose intolerance, I even tried whey isolates, what kind of protein diet would you recommend which can replace protein shakes. Regards

  31. Hi Greg, Your program sounds good, but before I buy your warrior workout program. Pls clarify how can a vegetarian like me who doesn’t even eat egg can manage the diet which you are promoting??

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