The vast majority of guys workout to get in shape and then get BIG! One of the biggest challenges to getting big is “eating big.” To gain muscle and grow, you’re going to have to eat and eat and eat so you provide your muscles with enough fuel to not only recover and repair the damage done in the weight room, but also a big enough surplus to stimulate NEW growth. This calorie surplus helps your body to increase its size, which leads to bigger and badder muscles!
However, the dubious side effect of eating more food, means that you need to buy more food. This can be especially hard for those gym bros who are strapped for cash or the college student who’s working a side job just to afford tuition, let alone mounds of food and supplements.
Luckily, we’ve got some tip and tricks to help you get big without going broke!
Think food NOT supplements
Supplements are just that, products meant to complement a diet or help ensure you’re meeting all of your vitamin and mineral requirements. They are NOT necessities. They are simply meant to fill in the gap that you can’t meet through whole food sources. For those tight on money, focus on crushing it in the weight room and eating plenty of whole, nutritious foods.
Dollars are a premium right now, and they’re much better spent on real food than some magical pill that will give you 10 lbs of muscle in 2 weeks!
The golden rule when trying to build muscle is eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. This means if you weigh 180 pounds, you will need to eat at least 180g of protein each day. Keeping with our point above, we want to accomplish this through whole food sources in order to maximize nutrient intake while minimizing frivolous spending.
Luckily, there are several affordable protein sources that are high in protein, incredibly tasty, and can be dressed up hundreds of ways to constantly avoid palate fatigue! Some of the best and most cost-effective protein options include:
- Chicken Breasts
- Ground Beef
Bulk shopping stores
Cheap protein is most definitely easy to find at bulk stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. If you’re in the states, consider going to these to load up on cheap eggs, beef, and chicken.
Also note that chicken thighs are cheaper (yet higher in fat) than chicken breasts. If you’re okay with the fat content, give them a whirl!
Consider Protein Powders
If you’re over 200 lbs, it can be difficult to cram that much whole protein down each day though, and a protein shake may make things easier. Fortunately, whey protein is incredibly affordable and a low cost option when looking to meet protein requirements! Yes, it may be considered a supplements, but this is the exception to the rule.
The best way to get cheap protein is to sign up for PricePlow’s supplement deals, they frequently find protein powders where you get well over 40g of protein per dollar!
Load up on carbs
Now that we’ve taken care of our protein needs to ensure we’re hitting the required minimums, it’s time to tackle some carbs! The body’s preferred source of fuel is carbohydrates, and this is great news for anyone with limited cash reserves, as they are CHEAP!
Remember to grow we need to be in a caloric surplus, and carbs provide a tasty and cost-effective way for us to hit those high calorie levels that we need to GROW.
Another great benefit of carbs is that they are many of the pantry staples you probably have around the house now. There are numerous options of carb-dense foods, but not all are created equal. Complex carbohydrates are the most nutrient dense and cost effective. Make sure these are in your grocery basket when you hit the market:
- Frozen Vegetables & Fruits
- Rolled Oats (not instant)
- Sweet Potatoes
Finish with Fat
Fats are vital to ensuring optimal health as they support optimal hormone production in the body, ensure vitamin absorption, and provide cushioning for the organs. They’re also an incredibly dense source of energy, weighing in at nine calories/gram. It doesn’t hurt that fats taste good too!
Some foods that we’ve already mentioned are a combination of protein AND fats (ground beef and eggs). So, you’ll already be getting some fats in your diet, but there are a few other great, and affordable, option you can put in your cart without breaking the bank:
- Peanut Butter
- Olive Oil
To get the most bang for your buck, you’ll have to do the majority of your own chopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning. A surefire way to blow your budget is to go and buy pre-cut fruit and veggies, deli meat, or any type of “convenience” meal that you’ll find in the freezer section. Steer clear of these options and you may just end up with some bonus cash in your wallet at checkout that you can use to maybe buy some ice cream!
Yes, we’ve all heard the saying, “to get big you have to eat big!” This doesn’t mean you have to spend big, though, use the pointers above and you’ll be able to grow and not go broke! Strategically plan your shopping sales, and you can save BIG!
Eating on a tight budget sometimes means sacrificing flavor for quality, but that’s where you can get creative in the kitchen with all kinds of herbs and spices! Remember to keep your eye on the prize and that means eating to grow, not having the refined palate and taste preferences of Gordon Ramsay! Keep these tips in mind and you’ll see how easy it is to get big without going broke!
Get Help with Nitramine!
Yes, it’s possible to grow big muscles without supplements, but what about getting ready for your training session? For that, you’ll want a high-quality and affordable pre workout that will get you in the zone without breaking the bank!
Myokem’s Nitramine is a versatile, affordable, and effective pre workout that delivers unparalleled focus and long-lasting, sustained energy. Take it 30-45 minutes before your hit the gym and be ready to wreak havoc on the weights!