First things first…

If you want to build muscle, you need to lift weights AND eat enough calories to gain weight.

But not all foods are made equal! With the wrong diet, it can be very easy to gain excess body fat along the way.

Below you’ll 10 cheap foods that are easy to prepare and great for gaining muscle. Plus, I’ve included some quick meal ideas for each food.

Bonus: Download my Muscle Building Workout Routine and get a proven step-by-step routine to take full advantage of these foods and quickly pack on mass.

#1: EGGS

You’ve heard it before: eggs are the perfect protein. Not only do they contain all the essential amino acids required for muscle growth, but the fat and cholesterol found in eggs are a key part of a testosterone-boosting diet.

They are also extremely cheap and versatile – you can include them as part of your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. All of this makes them a staple of any muscle building diet.

Note: Don’t worry about the “bad cholesterol” myth – the cholesterol found in eggs has actually been shown to decrease the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) in your body.

3 QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • Bacon, eggs, and a bagel
  • Omelette (with veggies and meats)
  • Hard boiled eggs (convenient to take on-the-go)

#2: GROUND BEEF

We all know that meat is an amazing source of protein and calories — and this makes it ideal for packing on mass.

Plus, it’s full of iron. And iron deficiency has become quite common. If you experience this deficiency, your strength levels will drop (along with other bad symptoms), and this will ultimately prevent you from building muscle and making progress in the gym.

If you have trouble gaining weight, I recommend getting the “80/20” variety because it packs more calories than a leaner cut like “90/10”.

3 QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • Ground beef scrambled with eggs and veggies
  • Ground beef mixed with instant brown rice and veggies
  • Ground beef hamburgers patties on buns

#3: ORGANIC MILK

Organic milk is a combination of pretty much everything you need to gain weight…

It contains a good source of both whey and casein protein (fast and slow release). Plus, if you stick with whole milk – and get the organic kind – it also contains more calories and more omega-3.

Why do you want omega-3? It boosts cognitive function, lowers blood pressure, and even increases rates of muscle growth. For this reason, I also recommend taking a solid fish oil supplement daily.

3 QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • Mixed with protein powder in a shake
  • Stirred in with oats, protein powder, and peanut butter
  • Chocolate milk (just add chocolate syrup)

#4: AVOCADO

If avocado is not part of your diet, you’re missing out bro. Not only is it stacked with healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, it’s also fucking delicious!

An average avocado contains about 200 calories. Adding just one to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner is an easy way to pack in some extra calories… and make your meal taste WAY better.

I personally prefer to mash it up with a fork and turn it into guacamole. This way, it’s easier to spread on a sandwich or mix in with some rice.

3 QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • Mashed up on a piece of toast with an egg
  • Mashed up and mixed in a bowl of rice with ground beef
  • Mashed up and spread on top of a sandwich or hamburger

#5: QUICK OATS

Oats should be a go-to food for everyone who’s trying to gain weight.

First of all, carbs need to be a large part of your diet if you want to optimize testosterone levels and supply your body with the energy it needs to get stronger and pack on mass.

Second, oats are a “slow carb” which means you can eat a massive bowl of them and not have your insulin levels spike all over the place. When bulking up, your best bet is to eat your oats as part of your breakfast. This will maintain healthy blood sugar levels, control your appetite, and therefore help protect against extra fat gain.

3 QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • Blended with whole milk and protein powder
  • Oatmeal with whole milk and protein powder
  • Chocolate oatmeal breakfast cake

#6: INSTANT RICE

Rice is another slow-carb that’s easy to eat in large quantities, making it great for bulking up.

It will provide your body with the energy you need to get stronger and build mass. I recommend the instant variety, because you can just throw it in the microwave and it will be ready in 60 seconds.

Also, contrary to popular belief, brown rice is not necessarily superior to white rice. Sure, it has more fiber, but it also contains grains that can lead to an upset stomach if you eat a large quantity. Try both and decide which type you prefer.

3 QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • Rice with ground beef and veggies
  • Rice with stir fried chicken and veggies
  • Rice mixed with beans

#7: PROTEIN POWDER

There’s nothing magical about protein powder, but you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle if you try and gain mass without it.

This is because studies show that you need around 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight if you want to maximize muscle growth… And it can be challenging to consume this much protein with only whole foods. For this reason, I suggest taking one scoop of protein per day. You can have it at any time (it does NOT have to be post-workout) .

I recommend finding a basic whey powder that tastes good, because it’s cheaper than other types of powders (and they’re all just protein at the end of the day).

3 QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • Protein shake with milk
  • Stirred in with oats, milk, and peanut butter
  • Gainer shake (blended with milk, oats, peanut butter, and banana)

#8: PEANUT BUTTER

Anyone who’s tried gaining mass without eating peanut butter is insane!

It has a huge amount of protein and healthy fats that are perfect for gaining lean muscle. Plus, it’s dirt cheap and can added to nearly any meal for an instant boost in calories.

If you struggle to gain weight, make sure this is always in your pantry, because it’s often going to be the easiest way to make up for those last 200-300 calories of the day.

3 QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Gainer shake (blended with milk, protein powder, oats, and fruit)
  • Straight by the spoon

#9: QUINOA

Here’s another great slow carb that’s super cheap, quick to prepare, and easy to eat large quantities of.

A lot of people prefer the taste and texture of quinoa (compared to rice). Not only that, but it’s also contains a lot more protein than rice.

This makes it a great substitute for rice. I recommend alternating between the two, so your diet doesn’t get boring and repetitive.

3 QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • Quinoa with ground beef and veggies
  • Quinoa with stir fried chicken and veggies
  • Quinoa mixed with beans

#10: GREEK YOGURT

Greek yogurt is amazing for packing on muscle because it relatively cheap and it contains a shitload of protein!

It’s also very versatile and can be added to lots of different meals.

If you’re trying to gain size, then I recommend getting the fattier “whole milk” version because it contains more calories (and tastes better, too).

3 QUICK MEAL IDEAS:

  • Served with honey and nuts on top
  • Blended in with your gainer shake
  • Straight out of the cup

…And that wraps it up! Focus your diet around these 10 foods and it will be far easier to eat the calories (and protein) you need to build muscle on a daily basis.

Note: Shout out to my man Kale Panoho for helping me create this list! Check out his website here.

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