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Reach Your Muscle-building Goals with Delicut

Nutritionally balanced and protein-rich meal plans, designed to support muscle gain and enhance your fitness journey.

30-Day Muscle Gain Meal Plan
Jun 11, 2024 | 10 min
30-Day Muscle Gain Meal Plan

Embarking on this journey towards building muscle and enhancing your overall health is an exciting step. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or just starting, proper nutrition is crucial for achieving your fitness goals. Our carefully curated meal plan focuses on nutrient-dense, high-protein foods that fuel your workouts and support muscle growth. 

With recipes inspired by the rich and diverse cuisine of the UAE, you can look forward to effective and delicious meals. Let’s dive into this muscle-gain meal plan and start transforming your health, one meal at a time!

How Meal Plans Play an Important Role in Muscle Gain?

  •  Protein Synthesis and Muscle Repair: Adequate protein intake ensures the muscles recover properly, grow stronger, and increase in size. High-quality protein sources include lean meats, fish, dairy, legumes, and protein supplements​.
  • Energy Supply for Workouts: Carbohydrates are the body's primary energy source, especially during high-intensity workouts. Meals rich in complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, fuel intense training sessions. 
  • Hormonal Balance: Certain meal nutrients can influence hormone levels that regulate muscle growth. For instance, healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, and olive oil are vital for producing hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone, which play significant roles in muscle development. 
  •  Nutrient Timing: The timing of your meals can significantly impact muscle gain. Consuming protein and carbohydrates before and after workouts helps maximise muscle protein synthesis and replenish glycogen stores. Pre-workout meals provide the energy needed for exercise, while post-workout meals aid muscle recovery and growth.
  • Hydration and Recovery: Proper hydration is essential for muscle function and recovery. Meals that include water-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contribute to overall hydration. 
  • Overall Caloric Intake: Muscle gain requires a caloric surplus, meaning you must consume more calories than you burn. Well-planned meals that balance macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) ensure you meet your caloric needs for muscle growth​.

Muscle Gain Meal Plan Recipes

Here are some delicious, nutrient-dense recipes perfect for your muscle gain meal plan.

Week 1: Setting the Foundation

Chicken Machboos

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water or chicken broth
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Instructions:

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. 
  • Add the onions and cook until golden brown.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  • Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides.
  • Add the spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg) and salt. Stir to coat the chicken with the spices.
  • Pour in the water or chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the raisins and toasted pine nuts.
  • Serve hot.

Lamb Kofta with Tahini Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Skewers

For Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Combine the ground lamb, onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well.
  • Form the mixture into sausage-like shapes around the skewers.
  • Grill the kofta skewers for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked.
  • Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic, and salt in a small bowl until smooth.
  • Serve the kofta with the tahini sauce.

Week 2: Increasing Caloric Intake

Shakshuka

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 6 large tomatoes, chopped (or 1 large can of crushed tomatoes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Instructions:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened.
  • Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper, and cook for another minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer until the mixture thickens, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Make small wells in the tomato mixture and crack the eggs into the wells.
  • Cover the skillet and cook until the eggs are set about 5-7 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and parsley.
  • Serve hot.

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced

Instructions:

  • Rinse the quinoa under cold water.
  •  In a pot, bring the water to a boil, add the quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
  • Combine the parsley, mint, green onions, tomatoes, and cucumber in a large bowl.
  • Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and add it to the bowl.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  • Top with sliced grilled chicken breast.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Week3: Focus on Protein and Recovery 

Beef Kabsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of beef stew meat, cubed
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water or beef broth
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Instructions:

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  • Add the beef cubes and cook until browned on all sides.
  • Add the spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg) and salt. Stir to coat the beef with the spices.
  • Pour in the water or beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Stir in the rice, cilantro, and parsley. Cover and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the raisins and toasted pine nuts.
  • Serve hot.

Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  • Combine chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, coriander, baking powder, flour, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth.
  • Form the mixture into small balls or patties.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Fry the falafel in batches until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Whisk together tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic, and salt in a small bowl until smooth.
  • Serve the falafel with tahini sauce.

Week 4: Balanced Nutrition and Meal Variety

Chicken Shawarma

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Serving:

  • Pita bread
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped cucumbers
  • Sliced red onions
  • Tahini sauce

Instructions:

  • In a large bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Grill the chicken thighs for 5-7 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Chicken Fajitas with Bell Peppers and Onions

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken breast, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Whole-grain tortillas

Instructions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken, bell peppers, and onions. Cook until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
  • Season with chilli powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Serve with whole-grain tortillas.

In Conclusion

Focusing on nutrient-dense, high-protein meals provides your body with the essential building blocks needed for muscle synthesis and repair. Incorporating balanced macronutrients ensures you have the energy required for intense workouts and effective recovery. 

These meals, with their balanced nutritional profiles, support muscle growth and enhance overall health. Remember, consistency is key to seeing results. Stick to the plan, stay hydrated, and rest adequately to complement your nutritional efforts.

FAQs

1. What foods should be avoided when trying to gain muscle?

Avoid processed foods high in sugars and unhealthy fats, such as sugary snacks, fast food, and soda. These foods offer little nutritional value and can impede muscle growth by causing weight gain from fat instead of muscle​. Opt for whole, nutrient-dense foods to support your muscle-building goals.

2. How important is protein in a muscle gain meal plan?

Protein is crucial in a muscle gain meal plan as it provides the essential amino acids for muscle repair and growth​​. Consuming adequate protein helps maximise muscle protein synthesis, ensuring effective muscle recovery and development post-exercise.

3. What are some high-protein foods to include in a muscle-gain meal plan?

Lean meats like chicken and turkey, fish such as salmon and tuna, eggs, dairy products like Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, legumes, and protein-rich plant sources like quinoa and lentils​ are high-protein foods to include in your muscle-gain meal plan ​.

4. How can meal timing affect muscle growth?

Meal timing can significantly affect muscle growth by ensuring your body has a steady supply of nutrients for recovery and growth​​. Consuming protein and carbohydrates before and after workouts can optimise muscle protein synthesis and replenish glycogen stores, enhancing performance and recovery.

5. What are some good sources of healthy fats for muscle growth?

Avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish like salmon​ are good sources of healthy fats for muscle growth. These fats support hormone production, reduce inflammation, and provide long-lasting energy, all essential for muscle development.

Read More:

30-Day High-Protein Meal Plan for Effective Weight Loss

20-Day Meal Plan for Heart Health: Strengthen Your Heart

20-Day Meal Plan for Improved Digestion: Enhance Your Gut Health

15-Day Vegan Meal Plan for New Mothers: Nourishing Recipes and Tips

10-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Seniors: Recipes and Benefits

About The Author

Maurice Maffeo
Culinary Director, Delicut

Chef Maurice Maffeo has over 30 years of experience in the culinary world. He has been executive chef to top names in the middle east like Carlucios and Cafe Bateel and Strada Group of Restaurants in the UK.

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