If you want to bulk up but don’t have the money for a cupboard full of fancy weight gain supplements, you’ll be glad to know there are some budget-friendly foods out there that fit the bill. Let’s have a look at four foods that will help you grow without shrinking your bank balance.
Of course, oatmeal is a staple food — and for good reason. It’s high in nutrients, easy to prepare and goes well with lots of things. Buy your oats in bulk at any of the big supermarkets, but make sure they’re of the rolled or steel-cut variety for top nutrition.
Oats provide fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including one in particular that is believed to fight against cardiovascular disease. Oats also bring down the blood sugar and cholesterol levels and are gaining popularity as an accessible, tasty superfood.
A classic bodybuilder’s meal is a mixture of eggs and oatmeal. Cook the oats and mix them up with scrambled eggs for a high-protein, high-fiber meal that will bring you the calories and fats you need to add muscle mass. You can also blend a mixture of cooked oats and a scoop of casein for an easy, power-packed meal.
Although we tend to associate rice cakes with weight loss, they are actually one of bodybuilding’s secret weapons. They’re clean and easy to eat and provide a source of calories that goes with almost any other foods. They’re also budget-friendly.
So grab a rice cake and load it with nut butter and a dollop of natural fruit preserves or jam. Obviously, don’t go for the sugar-laden jams that are all too common. Instead, choose a jam that contains a substantial amount of fruit and minimal sugar. The fruit will provide healthy nutrients.
Because of concerns about mercury levels in fish, don’t overdo the canned tuna. Rather include it as just one of a range of canned fishes that you eat. You can go for canned salmon — especially wild-caught — and white albacore. Chunk light tuna, which is usually made from a smaller fish and carries a reduced risk of mercury poisoning, is another great option.
Along with your canned fish, add some potatoes or rice as well as some salad greens for maximum nutrient value. You can use low-calorie sauces like mustard, soy sauce or hot sauce. Most other sauces contain high levels of sugar.
Dried nuts and fruit
Dried fruit and nuts are excellent for snacking, which is essential if you want to bulk up. Go for raw nuts such as cashews, almonds and hazelnuts for extra calories to keep you in surplus. Avoid nuts with added sugar. Buy in bulk and keep some on you at all times to snack on throughout the day. Add them to your breakfast oatmeal or just munch on them alone.
Now all you have to do is train real hard, and you’ll be ready to grow.