eat to optimize muscle-building: key strategies and dietary tips for max results

muscle-building, macros, nutrition, protein, meal timing,lean muscle mass, metabolic rate, weight management, body composition, strength training

Ready to take your muscle-building game to the next level? You’re in the right place! 

In this episode, I talk all about how to optimize your nutrition to build lean muscle mass. Tune in to learn how to use your macros to achieve your ideal body composition. I also share the importance of supporting your strength training with enough total calories and protein, and provide actionable tips for meal timing and frequency. Some of the things I cover in this episode are:

the 6 major benefits of increasing lean muscle mass

You might be wondering, is increasing lean muscle mass just about looking better naked? No way. There are many benefits to muscle-building including these major reasons:

  1. Increased Metabolic Rate: Individuals with higher lean muscle mass have a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the number of calories the body burns at rest. 
  2. Improved Body Composition: Having a higher proportion of lean muscle mass and a lower percentage of body fat contributes to a healthier body composition. This not only enhances physical appearance but also has significant implications for overall health.
  3. Increased Strength and Functional Ability: Having well-developed muscles improves physical performance in daily activities. It also enhances athletic performance, allowing individuals to excel in sports and other physical activities.
  4. Enhanced Bone Health: Building and maintaining lean muscle mass can help improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. 
  5. Hormonal Balance and Metabolic Regulation: Optimizing muscle mass through exercise and proper nutrition can positively impact hormonal processes and support overall metabolic health.
  6. Increased Functional Independence: Strong muscles and good physical fitness are associated with a higher quality of life and the ability to perform activities of daily living independently – especially as you age. This includes tasks like carrying groceries, getting up from a chair, or walking up stairs.

what is the role of nutrition in muscle-building?

You likely already know that nutrition definitely plays a role in changing your physique or else you probably wouldn’t be here. By ensuring an adequate intake of macronutrients and micronutrients, you can optimize the muscle-building processes. A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of protein sources, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and nutrient-dense foods rich in vitamins and minerals supports muscle growth, recovery, and overall health.

how many calories are enough to gain lean muscle mass?

As a general rule, eating at maintenance, or consuming at least as much as the body needs, is necessary for muscle building. However, a calorie surplus is preferred for efficient muscle growth in seasoned athletes. 

The specific calorie intake and surplus may vary among individuals and depend on factors such as body composition, metabolism, training type and intensity, and overall goals. It is recommended to work with a registered dietitian for personalized guidance.

Need help determining your calories, “at maintenance”? Download the DIY Macros Guide.  

is it possible to lose weight and build muscle at the same time?

Yes, it is possible to lose weight and build muscle at the same time, with a process known as body recomposition. However, it can be challenging and depends on factors such as being a beginner to resistance training, having a higher percentage of body fat, and following a well-designed strength training program that includes progressive overload and targets all major muscle groups. 

why protein is the key macro for muscle-building.

When it comes to muscle-building, protein is often the shining star, and for good reason! Protein plays a crucial role in muscle-building due to several key reasons:

Just to name a few, it provides the necessary amino acids for muscle protein synthesis, repair, and maintenance. It also has a thermic effect, meaning it requires more energy to digest and can increase metabolism. Protein can also promote satiety and minimize muscle loss while promoting fat loss. 

If you are having a hard time hitting your protein goals, here are a few suggestions that may help! For many, getting enough protein comes by adding a supplement. Here’s a guide for how to choose the best protein powder for you.

If you’re tired of all the weight loss centered education out there, this episode is a refreshing change of pace that focuses on the benefits of muscle-building for overall health and athletic performance.

Thanks for listening! Be sure to tune in to all the episodes to get more advice for reaching your health goals with a macros approach.

If you enjoyed this episode, I’d love to see you share what you took away from it by taking a screenshot of the episode and tagging me on Instagram!  And don’t forget to follow, rate, and review the podcast and tell me what you want to learn about next!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • DIY Macros Guide – Follow this free guide to set your own macros so you can start eating to your needs ASAP!

  • Macros Made Easy – Get on the waitlist to learn when we enroll next and qualify for exclusive bonuses. This is a professional led, self-paced online course that teaches you how to track macros—the stress-free way. Learn how to eat for your unique needs so you can be in the driver’s seat of how you look, feel and perform without relying on a restrictive diet plan ever again.


  • Eat to Lean Coaching – If you’ve mastered the basics of macros, but there’s still room for more clarity and personalization for your particular goals, join us in Eat to Lean Coaching! ​In this group coaching program you’ll learn nutrition, exercise and mindset changes alongside other women who are in your exact shoes.

follow Macros Made Easy on Instagram for more macro tracking how-tos