The Intelligent & Relentless Pursuit of Muscle™

5 High-Calorie Breakfasts for More Muscle

08/23/11
Melon-and-walnuts

If you've been less than successful in your pursuit to get bigger and stronger, the answer could be you simply need more calories. Not crappy calories either; clean, nutrient dense calories, as I'm assuming your goal is to get muscular, not fat.

It all starts with breakfast. Eat the right breakfast and you'll be on track for the rest of the day. That's what I'm going to help you with today.

When size and strength are the goal, I'll go with a higher carbohydrate approach. If fat gain and insulin sensitivity become an issue, I'll change the types of carbs and begin to drop them.

The macronutrient breakdown that I like to start with is 40/30/30 (carbs/pro/fat). This isn't high carbs by many standards but with my low carb preference, 40% of calories from carbs is 50-100% greater than the maintenance level for most clients.

The next step is distribution of calories and carbohydrates, including types of carbohydrates. As a rule I keep meal size the same during the day and just modify the types of calories that make up those meals.

Here's how to break it down concerning carbohydrate type. If you work out in the morning, use this model:

Morning Workout


  • Meal 1: Starchy carbs & fruits/vegetables
  • Meal 2: Workout nutrition
  • Meal 3: Starchy carbs & fruits/vegetables
  • Meal 4: Starchy carbs & fruits/vegetables
  • Meal 5: Vegetables & legumes
  • Meal 6: Vegetables & legumes

If you work out in the evening, use this model:

Evening Workout


  • Meal 1: Starchy carbs & fruits/vegetables
  • Meal 2: Vegetables & legumes
  • Meal 3: Vegetables & legumes
  • Meal 4: Workout nutrition
  • Meal 5: Starchy carbs & fruits/vegetables
  • Meal 6: Starchy carbs & fruits/vegetables

As you can see, regardless of when you work out, you need a hefty dose of starchy carbs first thing in the morning. I do this for two reasons.

1. Restore Glycogen Levels

The graphic below shows that glycogen stores are relatively depleted first thing in the morning due to your overnight fast. If you're in a hypertrophy phase, you'll hopefully be getting an even longer night sleep, which means they could be even more depleted.

FIGURE1

2. Counteract Cortisol

A hefty dose of starchy carbs will lead to a larger secretion of insulin. As shown below, cortisol levels follow a circadian rhythm, meaning cortisol levels will be higher in the morning. Insulin counteracts cortisol, and the slightly increased insulin sensitivity in the morning compared to the evening makes first thing in the morning a strategic time to fight cortisol with insulin.

FIGURE2

Putting Your Plan into Action

Theory and strategy are nice but let's put it into action. Below you'll find five nutrient-dense breakfasts ranging from 850-1000 calories each. They're all approximately 40/30/30 and will help you get your daily pursuit for size and strength off on the right foot.

Red Pepper & Turkey Bacon Omelet

red-pepper-omelette
  • 3 omega-3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 roasted red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 slices turkey bacon, chopped
  • 2 slices Ezekiel bread
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries

Servings: 1

How to Prepare: Coat a nonstick pan with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Mix eggs and egg whites together in a bowl. Add egg mixture to pan and let cook, occasionally lifting with a spatula so that the uncooked portion of the egg mixture will be exposed to the pan.

Once egg mixture is solidified (but not necessarily completely cooked through), add scallions, turkey bacon, red pepper, and cheese. Fold omelet in half on top of itself; reduce heat, and let cook for 1-2 more minutes. While eggs are cooking, toast the Ezekiel bread. Combine blueberries and strawberries together in a bowl. Eat the omelet and sprouted grain bread with the bowl of fruit salad.

Banana Parfait

banana-parfait
  • 2/3 cup vanilla almond crunch Bear Naked Granola
  • 1 2/3 cups 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop Banana Metabolic Drive® Low Carb
  • 1/4 cup whole blanched almonds
  • 1 banana, sliced

Servings: 1

How to Prepare: Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and drink. For a thicker shake add more ice or less water. For a thinner shake, add more water or less ice.

Hardgainer Breakfast Blender Bomb

shake
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3 scoops Vanilla Metabolic Drive® Low Carb
  • 1 medium diced apple
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Splenda
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 4 ice cubes

Servings: 1

How to Prepare: Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and drink. For a thicker shake add more ice or less water. For a thinner shake, add more water or less ice.

Spinach & Black Bean Breakfast Tacos

tacos
  • 2 omega-3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 oz spinach (1/2 a bag of prewashed baby spinach)
  • 3 Tbsp. salsa
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup low sodium canned black beans, rinsed
  • 4 small Al Fresco chicken sausage links
  • 4 corn tortillas

Servings: 1

How to Prepare: Coat a nonstick pan with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add spinach, salsa, chicken sausage, scallions, and black beans. Once the spinach has wilted, set the mixture aside in a small bowl. Next, mix egg and egg whites together in a bowl. Coat the frying pan again with nonstick spray, add egg mixture to pan, let cook, scrambling with spatula.

Once eggs have scrambled but are still a little watery, add black bean/spinach mixture and shredded cheese. Mix and combine until the cheese has melted. While eggs are cooking, wrap corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Eat the black bean and spinach scramble with corn tortillas as tacos.

Cranberry-Almond Oatmeal

cranberry-oatmeal
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp. dried cranberries, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced
  • 2 scoops Vanilla Metabolic Drive® Low Carb
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream

Servings: 1

How to Prepare: Combine almond milk, oats, and cranberries in a bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes. Stir and let sit for 1 minute. Mix in Metabolic Drive®, heavy cream, and almonds.

Conclusion

Without question, the pre, mid, and post workout window are critical periods for gaining muscle mass, but it's breakfast that sets you on the fast track to Hypertophytown.

Give a few of these quick and easy recipes a shot and see why your Grandma always told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

08/23/11