How to Build the Meal Frequency Habit to Gain Muscle Mass

To build muscle you need to eat every 3 hours. But how do you build the habit. Use my 4 keys to build the meal frequency habit and ensure you get optimally all day long.

The bodybuilding nutrition advice is almost unanimous:

  • Eat, Eat and Eat some more
  • You have to eat every 3 hours
  • You cannot skip a meal!

But no one tells how to systematically build the habit of higher meal frequency - of eating 6 times a day, 7 days a week.

My Hardgainer Nutrition Challenge

As a skinny hardgainer going through medical school I had a real tough time eating 6 times a day!

Scrapping through the day seemed a daunting task. Between classes and case presentations, the day was over in a blink. But I HAD to do something to change my skinny body {which was bigger challenge than passing my medical school!}

Here I reveal some tricks I used and share with my clients to build the eating habit.


4 Keys to Build the Muscle Building High Frequency Meal Habit

The 4 keys below work very well. Your job is to find the right key for your present situation.

1. Make a Conscious Decision to EAT

I know it sounds simple but can be very difficult to implement. 

In today's busy life we juggle too many things. But if building muscle mass is a priority for you, you NEED to the take the time to eat.

Make a conscious decision that you will Muscle nourish every 3 hours. {Using words like nourish or feed your muscles has a positive impact on your brain and motivates you to eat healthy}.

Keep an alarm clock that rings every 3 hours. When it rings, ITS TIME TO EAT.

Most people ignore this advice, but many people don't have the body of their dream either.

Made the decision to feed your muscle? Great! Its time to...


2. Pick your Solid and Liquid Meals

You got the most difficult things out of your way - You made the conscious decision to eat every 3 hours.

Lets make things easier now.

Pick your 3 solid meals:

Your breakfast, lunch and dinner/post workout meal should be made with REAL, solid, natural muscle building foods. I call them muscle meals.

Food has a magical effect on muscle gains. I have never seen ANY supplements outweigh real food in terms of muscle gains.

So get your 3 solid meals every day.

Most of us get lunch time at work or school. And we never skip our dinner. The only challenge is breakfast.

On non-workout days, breakfast is the most important meal of your day. If you do not have the breakfast habit, then remind yourself the benefits of eating breakfast.

Here's what I do. I have a list that I read almost everyday until I memorised it.

  • I have been fasting for 8 hours straight. Will I let my muscles break down and let my intense training go to waste?
  • I am not sure when will I eat before lunch, so breakfast is non-negotiable.
  • Let me try the tasty breakfast recipe I learnt yesterday.

Reminding the benefits works very well to create new habits.

Pick your liquid meals

The biggest gift we modern bodybuilders have are high quality muscle drinks, also called meal replacement shakes.

I am not talking about ready-made MPRs but about using high quality protein powders like whey to create your own personalised muscle shakes.

I have covered 10 best muscle building shakes here.

Your job is to fit 3 shakes a day in your schedule.

The best times I have found are:

  • Mid-morning shake
  • Post workout Shake and
  • Bedtime shake

These are the 3 times when you need them the most. Midmorning shake takes care of the 5 hour window between breakfast and lunch.

Can't get a break from work? Have you seen people go for a smoke break. No once can stop them, they always find a way.

You can get your protein shake or muscle snack break.

Get serious, its your dream body we are talking about.


3. Pick the time to cook 

Time to Cook!

Cook your dinner. If you cannot cook one meal a day, or thrice a week, then the seeds of muscle building are not in you {unless you have a muscle chef or someone to cook for you}.

Can't cook? Anabolic Cooking has 200+ muscle building recipes, many can be cooked under 20 mins.

Your goal is to master 7 breakfast and lunch/dinner recipes.

Dinner is the best time to cook for me

There is time on your side. You can enjoy cooking especially with a friend or mate.

Once you can make dinner, start making breakfast. 

Eggs are a life saver. I know 7 egg recipes that I cook every week. 

I build the same habits in my clients too.


4. Pick the Right Eating Places

Pick this. Not That!

Cooking one meal a day still leaves 2 meals up for grabs.

This is where proper food selection at restaurants or food joints comes in handy.

Select your proteins first

Proteins are the most difficult food to get, so target them first.

Select lean meats, eggs, fish as main course. Add complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa, brown bread, and a salad.


Bonus Tip: Pick the Right Friends and Stick to the Action Plan for 21 days

Man is a social animal and moves in groups. You are no different.

In trying to gel with your group you might abandon your muscle building plan. Peer pressure is always high.

What's the solution?

Join people who are similar goals and make eating plans. Associating with the right people can be of immense help as you feed on their energy and they feed on yours.

Stay on track for 21 days

The toughest part is getting started. 

Just like learning to ride, the initial days are tough.

Your muscle eating plan will put up the same obstacles. But if you stay 90% consistent for first 21 days, I am assure that muscle eating will become a breeze.

After 21 days, momentum kicks in, the habit takes over and things becomes second-nature.


Recommended Bodybuilding Nutrition Program

Ready to master bodybuilding nutrition? Here are 200+ muscle building recipes, shakes and desserts designed to help you build muscle and gain mass.

I highly recommend it


Summary and Action Steps

Here is your action plan:

  1. Make a conscious decision to eat every 3 hours
  2. Pick one meal of the day and make it perfect
  3. Ready your 2 shakes + 1 muscle snack
  4. Stay consistent for 21 days.

And i will you see at the top.

Remember, Not many people build the eating habit, but not many people have the body of their dreams either.

Pick which side you want to be.


› Build proper Meal Frequency Habits

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