15 Best Foods For Gaining Muscle Mass

To build muscle and gain size you must eat more calories than what your body burns throughout each day. Building muscle can be tricky; but once you get the rules down you will be a pro at understanding how it works and how to change up the game for yourself.

Here is a guide on the best foods to eat when you’re trying to gain muscle mass. So throw out your plain salads and turn your cheek to a whole new world! In this blog I show you what 100 grams of everything looks like, even for foods like PB. Keep in mind that you won’t actually eat 100 grams of it; that’s just too much.

If you’re a hard gainer like me, where it’s difficult to put on weight and size because of your genetics, or if you would just like to learn more information about building muscle, check out some of these other posts that might be very helpful.

13 Tips To Gaining Muscle Mass For A Petite Person
100% Clean Homemade Mass Gainer Shakes
Muscle Gaining Rules You Shouldn’t Overlook

1. Chicken Breast

Yes, one of the biggest, if not the biggest staple in the fitness bodybuilding world. Chicken breast is easy to prepare, and can be cost effective depending where you shop. The amount of protein in them is insane, which makes you want to eat it because of its extremely high protein value. It’s great to buy them in bulk and make a bunch ahead of time, that way you have food for the whole week! Meal prepping is the way to go to and if you need some tips to make it work for you check out 10 Tips On How To Successfully Meal Prep.

Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 30 g
Carb – 0 g
Fat – 1 g

2. Extra Lean Ground Beef

Ahh, red meat will always be my favourite! Beef is a huge staple of mine when I’m gaining muscle mass and even with just maintaining my figure. Extra lean is the way to go; if you just get regular or medium ground beef the fat intake is pretty high. Extra lean ground beef usually goes on sale, where we can get a huge amount for only $10. This is where we take advantage of the deal, buy it in bulk and stock up. Ground beef is great for portioning into little zip lock bags and freezing. It’s also a great protein as even when we cook it from frozen, it’s simple to prepare dinner and always tastes delicious.

Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 21 g
Carb – 0 g
Fat – 15 g

3. Flank Steak

If you haven’t tried flank steak you’re really missing out! Flank steak is one of the leanest and tastiest red meats out there and it has ZERO fatty pieces, hence why it’s my favourite. We have this rotating on our dinner menus at least every other week and sometimes twice in one week. You could just prepare this with pepper and salt and it would still taste good. The steak is so tender that it rips apart with my fork.

Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 30 g
Carb – 0 g
Fat – 11 g

4. Wild Salmon

Salmon is delicious and there are plenty of ways to make it flavourful. Add lemon zest with lemon pieces on top and bake it, make a delicious sauce with plain yogurt and dill etc. Salmon is great for those rest days. It’s light, but filling, cheap, and always turns out delicious.

Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 26 g
Carb – 0 g
Fat – 4 g

5. Wild Raw Yellow Fin Tuna (sushi grade)

If you’re looking to make homemade poke bowls this raw fish is the way to go. We used to pay $15 CAD each in Toronto for one poke bowl… We would pay almost $40 dollars for some raw fish, veggies, and rice. But, now we learned how to make our own and it’s the best dinner idea with all the right nutrients. Just go light on the soy sauce. 😉

Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 23 g
Carb – 0 g
Fat – 1

6. Eggs / Egg Whites

One egg alone has 6.3 grams of protein and if you’re a person who has more than 1, your protein will add up really quickly. You will be consuming healthy fats along with some other healthy benefits.

Egg whites are a game changer and by having just 3/4 cups you have already consumed 21 grams of protein! I usually do 3/4 cup egg whites with one egg, so that is around 27 grams of protein just in my eggs alone.

Egg whites: Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 11 g
Carb – 0 g
Fat – 0

Egg: Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 12 g
Carb – 0.7 g
Fat – 9 g

7. Hemp Seeds

These are great to add into your yogurt, you can substitute granola for these seeds and it tastes just as good. Keep note that there is a ton of fat in them, but it’s healthy fats! Take everything in moderation and watch your portion sizes.

You obviously don’t want to add 100 grams into your food because it is a lot, I’m just showing all the foods with the same serving size, so you can get an idea of the macros and how jam packed these foods are with protein.

Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 33 g
Carb – 3 g
Fat – 50 g

8. Plain Greek Yogurt

This will become your favourite go-to snack. The amount of protein with no fat and very little carbs make it perfect to get in some extra protein for the day. Flavour and top it how you’d like.

Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 10 g
Carb – 3 g
Fat – 0 g

9. Oatmeal

You know damn well carbs are just as important as protein. They fuel our body and help us stay energized and strong. Overnight oats are my go-to snack that I enjoy between 1-2 times a day. You can make them in so many different ways and have them taste different each time.

You can add in scoop of protein to make it protein and carb friendly for your gains! It’s also a great pre-post workout snack.

Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 16 g
Carb – 66 g
Fat – 6 g

10. Peanut Butter

I think PB is a snack that a lot of people enjoy especially with some honey on toast. YUM! When you’re trying to gain muscle mass or even cut down, your protein, carbs and fats are always important! For some healthy fats I love crunchy organic PB!

Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 26 g
Carb – 20 g
Fat – 46 g

11. Low Fat Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is packed with casein protein. Casein is slowly absorbed, helps you grow your muscles and also helps with muscle repair. If you’re a person who doesn’t like cottage cheese due to the texture you can add some scoops into your blended protein shake or just blend up the cheese and put it in the freezer for a bit and top it with berries. It tastes just like a cream cheese dessert.

Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 11 g
Carb – 6 g
Fat – 1 g

12.Rice

Brown rice, white rice, sushi rice, any rice. I don’t believe in eliminating any type of carbs no matter what your goals are. If you have a sedentary job, then maybe be more mindful of how much you’re eating. I’m not a fan of just boring plain white rice, since they do strip the nutrients, out of them. Example; Jasmine rice is my favourite; it’s filled with flavour and it still contains iron and niacin, which is vitamin B and really good for you!

Jasmine rice – Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 3 g
Carb – 32 g
Fat – 0 g

13. Potatoes

White potatoes and sweet potatoes are a great carb source! There are so many ways to making it different and yummy! BBQ them, roast them with veggies for extra flavour and even cut them into wedges, cover them with cold water for a couple hours and bake them with some olive oil! It will turn out crunchy and perfect!

Sweet potato – Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 1 g
Carb – 20 g
Fat – 0.1 g

14. Pasta

Yes, indeed, I did say pasta! hehe! When you’re trying to put on size you will need to eat more of a variety of carbs, and pasta is one of them. Are they unhealthy? No. As long as you are mindful of what’s in your pasta, it’s completely harmless for your goals, and will actually help you. So get in the mindset of throwing the term “bad carbs” out the window! Adding pasta to your daily diet is a healthy way of building muscle. It’s rich in carbs and protein. Adding light sauces, lean meats and low fat cheese are recommended .

I can make the most delicious pasta from just ground beef, sautéed onions, peppers, spices and a tomato based sauce. Learning about adding the right spices and herbs will make a huge difference.

A lot of people think pasta is the enemy because it can be known for being a “refined carb,” however most pasta these days are made with durum wheat flour, which breaks down slowly and provides glucose for fuel! Pasta also can have more protein than potatoes, which makes it unbeatable at times. Win-win situation. Pasta and extra protein.

Penne – Serving of 100 grams:
Protein – 12 g
Carb – 74 g
Fat – 1 g

15. Protein Shakes AKA Muscle Gainer Shakes

Want to know a quicker way of getting down your macros? Homemade muscle gainer shakes are the way to go! You can buy them but they would be packed with some other unnecessary things, so why not save some money and make them yourself. The best thing about them is being able to change up the flavour each time.

Muscle gainer shakes consist of a higher calorie shake by adding in lots of oats, 1 scoop protein power, PB, yogurt, milk, fruit, and veg if you’d like. You can make them to be whatever macros you’d like. I’ve had some where my shake was 800 calories and some that were 400. It all depends on how your day is and sometimes a quick shake with healthy ingredients does the trick. I noticed huge changes in my body when I was bulking and it was the greatest thing!

Here are some of my recipes with the nutritional facts included.
100% Clean Homemade Mass Gainer Shakes


A lot of carbs have “bad raps” about being “bad” “unhealthy” etc. The way I think of it, if you eat everything in moderation and pay attention to your portion sizes you will do great!

It’s better to consume more calories when you’re putting in hard work at the gym and not just sitting around. Carbs are life and they really do give you the energy you need to lift! There are more foods that are good for you, but these are some of my major staples. If you need help with trying to figure out your macro intake, I suggest you read “Understanding Macros”

So lift heavy, don’t be scared, consistency is key and you will have the success you’re looking for! Keep on going and never give up.

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