Author Topic: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits  (Read 8203 times)

Tim

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Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« on: December 20, 2012, 05:29:27 AM »
I'm looking to gain some muscle while keeping a reasonable grocery bill.

Anyone have suggestions for foods that gain while maintaining Mustachian principles?

-Tim

Ben

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 05:42:29 AM »
Eggs.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 05:53:25 AM »
Yea eggs.  And protein powder.  And on-sale meat.  And just eat a lot of the regular staples.

Tim

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 05:54:19 AM »
Would egg whites fit the bill as well? I pick up three packs at Costco for around $5.50.

jpo

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 06:56:11 AM »
Would egg whites fit the bill as well? I pick up three packs at Costco for around $5.50.
You might as well just eat the whole egg, yolk and all.

http://www.livestrong.com/blog/do-eggs-cause-heart-disease/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/egg-nutrition

Matt K

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 09:43:44 AM »
Yogurt and lentils (just not at the same time)

In "The Abs Diet" (stupid name, but I found it to be very helpful start to learning about nutrition, diet, and exercise) they reference a study that showed men who exercised put on more muscle mass when eating yogurt daily than the control group of men who exercised but did not eat yogurt.

While good greek yogurt is not cheap ($5 for a container that provides my wife and I just shy of a week's worth of breakfasts when mixed with granola, dried fruit and nuts), it is rich and filling (especially when mixed as above) and beats the heck out of breakfast cereal while being much faster to prepare than tastey egg breakfast.

Lentils meanwhile are supper cheap, and very dense with protien. They have roughly 25 grams of protein per 100g of uncooked lentil (drop to 9g protein /100g after cooking, but that is because cooked lentil absorb a lot of water, not because they lose protein). Compare that to 36g of protein / 100g for lean beef ( http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-highest-in-protein.php ). And while the beef costs several dollars per pound, I can buy a few pounds of lentils per dollar (if I'm willing to buy a big enough bag).

I prefer red lentils because they basically disintegrate when cooking and add next to no flavour. You can put them in any stew/chili/curry and not notice them. My wife prefers green lentils which don't fall apart, and have a distinct flavour (they work great in Indian curries).

MustacheMike

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2012, 09:48:53 AM »
I'm looking to gain some muscle while keeping a reasonable grocery bill.

Anyone have suggestions for foods that gain while maintaining Mustachian principles?

-Tim

How much muscle are we talking here? Are you a competitive bodybuilder or just someone who wants to be fit? I believe it comes down to your focus. If you are looking to stay and look fit, a balanced diet that includes protein is enough. If you are looking for swollen muscles, it will cost you extra in the amount of protein you want to consume.

Being a fitness guy myself and going from phases of wannabe bodybuilder to rugby player to just plain wanting to be fit, I can tell you that muscles are energy intensive and require a lot of time, energy and money to get to a the big swollen point (eating frequently, eating lots of protein in every meal, only egg whites, only skinless boneless chicken breasts etc.), up to that point, in many cases, it's just a matter of eating healthy and staying lean.

While definitely not Mustachian, have you checked out Mark's Daily Apple? For diet ideas. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/

I hope that helps!

EDIT: I hope to answer your question with this edit. I've found that fasting -- yes fasting, as in not eating anything -- has been beneficial to the way I look and feel. I no longer eat breakfast, and in many cases do not eat lunch. I still try for my daily quota of calories. I have not noticed any muscle loss, yet I look leaner and have more mental focus. This is a Mustacian approach, since you're not eating anything! Yes, you make it up in calories later in the day, but I believe the economics of having one or two massive meals rather than three different meals makes a difference. For this, I recommend leangains.com

« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 09:54:25 AM by MustacheMike »

Tim

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2012, 10:39:29 AM »
Lentils meanwhile are supper cheap, and very dense with protien. They have roughly 25 grams of protein per 100g of uncooked lentil (drop to 9g protein /100g after cooking, but that is because cooked lentil absorb a lot of water, not because they lose protein). Compare that to 36g of protein / 100g for lean beef ( http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-highest-in-protein.php ). And while the beef costs several dollars per pound, I can buy a few pounds of lentils per dollar (if I'm willing to buy a big enough bag).

I prefer red lentils because they basically disintegrate when cooking and add next to no flavour. You can put them in any stew/chili/curry and not notice them. My wife prefers green lentils which don't fall apart, and have a distinct flavour (they work great in Indian curries).

Most interesting. I bought some red lentils from the bulk store, haven't cooked them yet. Food is fuel to me, so I'll mix them in with pretty much anything.

I try to avoid anything dairy due to an allergy. I'll to find out what it is about yogurt that produces those gains.

Quote
How much muscle are we talking here?

Nothing insane, I more want to look defined than anything else. Something along the lines of the Mark from Mark's Daily Apple :D

Right now, I'm 162 lbs, 6'2. I'd like to add 13 lbs of lean muscle (175 lb) and set my next goal from there.

-Tim

MustacheMike

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2012, 10:46:55 AM »
So, you're interested in getting ripped. I would recommend a diet not out of the ordinary for your Mustachian goals. Keep it healthy and follow some of Mark's fitness training advice. I would also recommend the fasting because it seems to maintain muscle while shedding fat.

In all, you'd be modifying your grocery budget 0%, if you already eat a decent amount of lean protein and start the fasting.

Just my recommendation! Best of luck with whatever path you choose!

GuitarStv

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2012, 11:17:08 AM »
I've bulked up for wrestling tournaments with some success.  The key to remember is that for a skinny guy it's not possible to gain muscle without significantly increasing your caloric intake.  I'm 6' tall and went from 170 to 198 with about 10% body fat.  In my experience it's much easier to put on excess fat while building muscle, and then cut the fat while eating a high protein diet than it is to put on muscle while staying lean.  YMMV.

dragoncar

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2012, 11:57:39 AM »
I agree with MustacheMike.  You don't need excessive protein if your training program is good.  I understand that MMM himself used to eat "delicious and kickassedly nutritious muscle-carving rolled oats."  Sure, there are optimizations you can make at the higher-performance levels (professional athletes or bodybuilders), but I think the Pareto rule applies here.

KGZotU

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2012, 01:05:21 AM »
For me, the cost of food is not nearly as much of an issue as the convenience of food.

I added a weight gainer to my diet that has helped me add mass. It's the Serious Mass 12lb bag off of Amazon. 1 cup of powder is 600 calories and a little less than a buck. It's a lot of carbs, so to each bag I add 28oz of soy protein and ~10oz of ground flax seed. Comes to 45 grams of protein per cup. I supplement with my regular eating with 2 1-cup shakes a day and I am adding lean muscle. It goes down really easy for 600 calories, and is super convenient to shake up in a "blender bottle".

Look also to your healthy fats. I dump two or three tablespoons of canola or olive oil in each serving of pasta or rice and beans, at a cost of about a quarter per 600 calories.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2012, 03:13:40 PM »
I'm a very avid lifter. Cost-wise this is what worked for me:

carbs
oats (.89/lb) brown rice ($.50/lb)
potatoes

fruit
raisins

fats
natural peanut butter (just peanuts and salt) (9cents/ounce)
olive oil (get something not from Italy because half of it's not olive oil)
other nuts
fish oil (as a liquid)

vegetables
frozen vegetables. I went all fancy and got the steam-in-bag kind which I'd buy in bulk for a ritzy $1/12 oz

protein
eggs (toss the yolks on a few of them for a greater percent of protein)
skinless boneless chicken breast
salmon in pouches
I used a bit of whey too but that's not the most cost-effective

Should be a good start. While you don't need ENORMOUS amount of protein, you do have elevated protein needs. Current levels backed up by literatrue are around 1.5-1.7 g of protein per kg of bodyweight. When you do the math it'll seem like a lot, but when you consider how many calories you'll be taking in in total, protein will probably only account for 25-35% or so of your intake.



Ed Mills

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2012, 03:22:56 PM »
If you're interested in whey protein powder, I buy mine from the link below.  It has no extra stuff added to it...I hate artificial sweeteners!  This stuff mixes with water and tastes like powdered milk.  If you know of a cheaper place to buy whey protein, please post it. 

http://www.novuslifesolutions.com/view_cart.asp?catid=

kkbmustang

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2012, 10:59:13 PM »
Don't forget about quinoa. According to this article, one cup of cooked quinoa as over 8 grams of protein. I just checked on Amazon and you can get a 10 lb bag for $48.25. It's similar to rice in texture and can easily be substituted where you use rice.

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/healthnutrition/qt/Quinoa-Nutrition-Facts.htm

RadicalPersonalFinance

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2012, 02:05:03 PM »
EDIT: I hope to answer your question with this edit. I've found that fasting -- yes fasting, as in not eating anything -- has been beneficial to the way I look and feel. I no longer eat breakfast, and in many cases do not eat lunch. I still try for my daily quota of calories. I have not noticed any muscle loss, yet I look leaner and have more mental focus. This is a Mustacian approach, since you're not eating anything! Yes, you make it up in calories later in the day, but I believe the economics of having one or two massive meals rather than three different meals makes a difference. For this, I recommend leangains.com

This sounds like the Warrior Diet, which I first heard about from Jacob at ERE.  Has anyone else done this?

Zaga

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2012, 04:36:36 PM »
Lentils meanwhile are supper cheap, and very dense with protien. They have roughly 25 grams of protein per 100g of uncooked lentil (drop to 9g protein /100g after cooking, but that is because cooked lentil absorb a lot of water, not because they lose protein). Compare that to 36g of protein / 100g for lean beef ( http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-highest-in-protein.php ). And while the beef costs several dollars per pound, I can buy a few pounds of lentils per dollar (if I'm willing to buy a big enough bag).

I prefer red lentils because they basically disintegrate when cooking and add next to no flavour. You can put them in any stew/chili/curry and not notice them. My wife prefers green lentils which don't fall apart, and have a distinct flavour (they work great in Indian curries).

Most interesting. I bought some red lentils from the bulk store, haven't cooked them yet. Food is fuel to me, so I'll mix them in with pretty much anything.

I try to avoid anything dairy due to an allergy. I'll to find out what it is about yogurt that produces those gains.

Quote
How much muscle are we talking here?

Nothing insane, I more want to look defined than anything else. Something along the lines of the Mark from Mark's Daily Apple :D

Right now, I'm 162 lbs, 6'2. I'd like to add 13 lbs of lean muscle (175 lb) and set my next goal from there.

-Tim
I also have a dairy allergy, and a soy one just for added fun.  If yours is as bad as mine, you want to stay FAR away from yogurt and any sort of protein powder, they are usually made from whey which is actually the part of milk I (and many other allergy sufferers) am the most allergic to.

To save money on meat my husband and I buy a half cow from a local farmer, the meat is cheaper and better than what you get in the grocery store.  You can also get bulk chickens and pork in this manner.

Working Mama

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2012, 06:46:04 PM »
Dear Tim,
Try making your own yogurt.  We do and it is easy.  Google recipes.

As for the last step... I use the crock pot filled with warm water on low and a large bowl on top.  Just lovely and very affordable and you can save the world/environment by using less plastic containers.

Love, mama

fiveoh

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2012, 08:52:17 PM »
Some good tips here.  I'm going to have ot look into the bulk lentils, I wasn't aware of their high protein content. 

I dont eat like I used to when I was younger(and way obsessed with gaining muscle), but I still eat 6 meals with a good amount of protein in each(25+ per meal usually).   One of the thing that I have found saved me the most money was stock up on whats on sale. 

We have a kroger and HEB within a 5 mile radius, I check both the ads and see what meat is on sale.  Usually 1x a month one of them will have chicken at 1.99/lb.  I will stock up and buy a bunch of packages.  Next week it will be sirloin for 2.99/lb.  Again I stock up.  That week I will eat chicken from the week before etc etc.  Most of the time I keep my freezer stocked with chicken/beef/fish and never pay full price. 

Also canned tuna is cheap protein.  I used to live off that in college. 

MustacheMike

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Re: Gaining muscle with Mustachian spending habits
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2012, 03:27:08 PM »
Ultimately, the key is sustainability. It sounds like downing cans of tuna and egg whites is fine as a phase, but can you continue it as a lifestyle?

It comes down to why. "Why more muscle?" Aesthetics? Sports? Personal reasons?

I work out because I have to. It is what keeps me level and focused and feeling great. It's a habit that's just a part of me. Muscles and fitness are just a side-effect.

I recommend that everyone pursue fitness and get into the habit because you have nothing if not your health. But as far as doing it only for the sake of bulking up and gaining weight (or conversely losing weight), I believe that is the wrong approach to take. A healthy body (and mind!) will be produced from a healthy lifestyle.

Just my two cents!