A muscle building diet has to incorporate all three of the major food groups: protein, fats and carbohydrates. Protein, fats and carbohydrates each play an important role in helping one to build muscle. The majority of one's diet should come from healthy carbohydrates which act as your body's main energy source.
Why Carbohydrates Should Constitute the Major Portion of Your Diet
As mentioned before, carbohydrates should constitute the major portion of one's diet as this is your body's main energy source. If you do not consume enough carbohydrates then your body will break down muscle tissue for energy and you do not want this to happen! After all, your goal is to build muscle tissue, not to break them down. This is why you need to ensure the majority of your diet comes from carbohydrates and you get sufficient carbohydrates on weight training days when a lot of energy is going to be expended in physically exhausting exercises. If you don't then your body is going to have to fall back on breaking down your muscle tissue for energy. This is just a nightmare.
Carbohydrates are also responsible for shuttling the nutrients from the protein you consume to the muscle cells that need it to grow. This is why protein focused diets are so ludicrous because no matter how much protein you consume it won't make a difference if they are not being transported to the muscle cells that need it. Carbohydrates are needed to facilitate this process of transporting the amino acids broken down from protein to the muscles.
It's best to obtain your carbohydrates from natural sources so that you get the best quality energy as well as the needed vitamins and minerals to aid in muscle growth. This means brown bread or brown rice over white bread or white rice. Ensure you also have a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet. These foods will give you long lasting energy superior to the short-lasting energy from processed carbohydrates like candy, pastries, sodas and doughnuts.
Why Protein Is Important
Protein is important in a muscle building diet as it is responsible for building and repairing muscle tissue. Amino acids are broken down from protein in your small intestine which is then shuttled to muscle cells which need it to grow. If your muscles do not get enough protein then it cannot repair itself after brutal weight training. Remember, weight training breaks down muscle tissue and without the protein to rebuild stronger tissue you will be losing muscle instead. Attempt to get your protein from lean sources of meat, fish and dairy products like milk, cheese and eggs.
Fats Are Important to Build Muscle
It is unfortunate that fats get such a bad rap because it is a very important part of a healthy diet especially one in which building muscle is the aim. Fats are responsible for transporting important vitamins and minerals which are needed for muscle growth. Fats also aid in the production of growth hormones that will help one to build more muscle. Therefore, fats play an essential role in a muscle building diet. It's best to get your fats from natural, healthy sources such as nuts seeds, fish, oil, olive oil, avocadoes, milk, cheese and butter. Do not over consume however as over consumption will result in increased fat levels. Do not go beyond the recommended 20% of your diet being fat.
If there is one thing I'd like you to take away from this it is that a balanced diet is the most important thing in building muscle. All major food groups need to be had in the correct amounts and this has to be combined with a smart weight training plan. With a bit of patience and persistence you will be on your way to building a lot of muscle in no time.
Check out this Sample Hardgainer Meal Plan intended to build muscle.