Muscle Gain Mistake #5: Unstocked Kitchen

By

Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer
and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle
Building.

Here’s the truth: getting big is not easy! In fact, packing on pounds of lean muscle mass can be one of the biggest challenges ever. It’s certainly no walk in the park like getting lean is (yes, getting lean is 10x easier than building muscle).

Just like I say, any idiot can lose weight, I believe the contrary is also true, any idiot can gain weight. What separates the men from the boys is the degree of muscle weight you gain during your muscle building journey. How good are you at maximizing the muscle to fat ratio?

That answer is determined by how comfortable you can become with these two ideas I learned from one of my University professors, Dr. John Beardi:

Idea #1 — To gain muscle mass, you’re going to have to spend more money on groceries than you’re currently spending. If you endeavor to get bigger and don’t start increasing your weekly grocery bill, all your muscle building prayers will go unanswered.

Idea #2 — To gain muscle mass, you’re going to have to shop, cook, eat, and clean the kitchen more often than you’re currently doing. That’s right, if you don’t increase your grocery store frequency as well as the amount of food you prepare, the amount of daily fork lifts you do, and the amount of dishwashing you do, your reign as the world’s weakest man will continue to go uncontested.

Yes, this is a huge challenge! However, this is where you need to place your mental energy! This is where the “weight gain battle” is won and lost. All the fancy nutrition tricks in the world won’t do you any good if you fail to address this game-changing nutritional habit.

Since the Internet has exploded with hundreds of “overnight gurus”, everyone is being marketed these fancy nutrition tricks, which certainly have a time and place, however the real issue is ignored — your kitchen is still not stocked! There is no trick to cure no food!

In order to build muscle, you don’t need any more nutrition tricks, you need to ensure your fridge and cupboards are always stocked with the essentials. After you clean out all the processed foods, replace it with “muscle growing foods” and keep replacing it over and over. You need to set up a shopping system (for example, I shop every Thursday and Sunday), or else you’ll find yourself with empty cupboards.

Albert Einstein defined Insanity as, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. In summary, here is a list of the habits that must change if you desire to defeat your muscle-unfriendly genetics:

  • You’re going to spend more money on groceries
  • You’re going to shop more
  • You’re going to cook more
  • You’re going to clean more
  • You’re going to move the fork and knife more

If these habits don’t change then you can kiss your muscle building dreams goodbye. Here is a snapshot of my muscle building kitchen and what it looks like a few days at a time:

—————————————————————————————————-

  • Organic brown eggs
  • Egg whites
  • Organic Greek yogurt
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Gatorade
  • Organic chocolate milk
  • Coconut water
  • Extra lean ground beef
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Avocados
  • Oranges
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic

—————————————————————————————————-

 

  • Bio Trust Protein Powder
  • Poliquin’s QuadriCarb Powder
  • Blue Star’s Creatine
  • All Max’s CytoGreens
  • Revolution’s BCAA
  • Progrades Genesis
  • Powdered Gatorade
  • Poliquin’s Glycine Powder
  • Almond butter
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Lentils
  • Red beans
  • Black beans
  • Canned tuna
  • Salted mixed nuts
  • Sugar free gum
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Ezekiel cereal
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Green olives
  • Organic maple syrup
  • Gatorade
  • Rice cakes
  • Pasta
  • White potatoes
  • Red potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yellow potatoes
  • BBQ spices

—————————————————————————————————-

  • Atlantic salmon
  • Halibut
  • Filet mignon
  • New York steaks
  • Chicken breast
  • Garlic shrimp
  • Shrimp
  • Black cod
  • Breaded cod

.

 —————————————————————————————————-

  • Variety of teas
  • Variety of coffees
  • Stevia
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Variety of spices for steaks
  • Cinnamon
  • White vinegar
  • Cilantro
  • L Carnitine
  • Krill Oil
  • Fish Oils
  • Vitamin D
  • Tangy shrimp sauce
  • Garlic minced
  • Sun dried tomatoes

 

 

.

.

—————————————————————————————————-

  • Lemon juice
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Greens powder
  • BBQ sauce
  • Raspberry jam
  • Hot peppers
  • Tomato sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—————————————————————————————————-

  • Avocado oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic oil
  • Macadamia nut oil
  • Franks hot sauce
  • Coconut oil

 

 

 

 

You’re Up Next!

How does your kitchen compare to mine? Better? Worse? See room for improvement? Leave your comments and questions below.

And then, right after, hit the grocery store and stock up!

 

 

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Comments

58 thoughts on “Muscle Gain Mistake #5: Unstocked Kitchen

  1. What about wild game (duck, venison, etc.) and cheeses like goat, monterey jack, or swiss?

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  2. To eat like that would cost me 3 to R4000.00 per weak in South Africa so i guess my chances of gaining muscle is pretty much zero then?
    love the advice though!

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  3. Good info exactly. You can reach 3000-3400 cals a
    day easy if you keep track. The are phone apps to help keep track of what you eat. Breaks down cals, pro, vitamins, carbs, fats, etc. Gained 3 lbs the first week eating right foods. Once you get started and buy what you need, you can’t go wrong.
    Just shop for best costs on foods.

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  4. My place is not even close, food is the hardest part and we all know it. I still live at home so I don’t have complete control on what comes in. I really like Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce but it’s got a bunch of crap in it! Do you know of a healthier tasty non hot BBQ sauce?

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    • Hey Kyle, I don’t know if your local Walmart has it, but they have this sauce by Organicville that’s ORGANIC (of course lol) and it’s “sweet and smoky” hope that helps!

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  5. wow you have a lot of healthy nutritional organic foods i dont think i would be able to afford that much 🙁

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    • Hey Tony, when Vince had his first transformation of 40+ lbs he didn’t even know organic food existed…

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    • Hey everyone just bought the basic package and I was wondering if I use mass gainer with the meal plans as the sub for the protein shake? Will it do the same job? The amount of information in the package is unreal thanks vince.

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  6. I’d say I have 80% of what you have, not as many supplements though. Fruits and vegetables are always in my kitchen. I don’t feel “right” if I don’t have daily servings of them.

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  7. OMG¡¡¡¡¡

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  8. Nice. i am missing few things. will correct it this weekend 🙂 great article like always. one question. i see l-karnityne listed there. can it be taken while bulking up to control fat gain or only when cutting? if can be what is the best time and dosage for it? thanks

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    • Mario, l-carnitine is great for both. 3-7g per day has been proven beneficial.

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  9. Hi Vince,This is always what i have wanted to see,all the different foods you eat,i know you have the meat and nuts breakfast,what are your preferred type of nuts and how much per day do you consume.again great insight with the article.

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    • I’m pretty sure Vince doesn’t have a do and don’t eat list of nuts, he eats just eats a variety. How much you consume depends on your goals.

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  10. Hi Vince , do you eat hole eggs , and if yes how much . I eat 3egg white and 3hole 3 days a week for a hole year and made a blood test and found that my cholesterol is high ? Can you help . Thanks

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    • Tarzan, eggs have actually been proven to lower cholesterol…

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  11. I just realized how my supplement shelf is starting to look like I robbed a supplement store.

    I definitely have more leafy greens and eat less fruit. Local berries are pricey so they are a treat. My staples are
    2 bunches of spinach (Collins Farms, ON, not organic but not sprayed)
    Kale
    Beets
    Carrots
    Tomatos
    Peppers
    Eggplants
    Zucchini (my fav)
    2 different types of salad leaves, 1 purple, 1 green

    2 bags of organic chicken breast, white fish and pork tenderloins in the freezer
    Tons of tuna and salmon cans
    Quinoa, nuts, seeds, hemp seed, chocolate (85- 99%)
    Prunes and raisins
    No PAM. I got spray bottles from Kitchen Stuff Plus and fill in with my own oils, 1 for olive, another for sesame
    I think Gatorade is disgustingly colorful and raspberry jam may have HFCS. Is there a better alternative with no artificial colors? I totally excrete it when I drink it. I even prefer to eat prunes for potassium.

    That’s why we have abs, I guess?

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    • Use dextrose instead of Gatorade. Abs are not for excreting waste their function is to stabilize and flex the spine.

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  12. Other than all of the red meats that I don’t eat, your kitchen is stocked pretty much the same as mine (other than the extra kid snacks we have for the wee ones – they get the sweet stuff that I try to ignore, lol).

    I never gained size until I started eating. Most skinny guys say “Oh I eat more food than you can imagine, I must be eating at least 5,000 calories a day” and I just respond “HAH!” I’m over 210 lbs of raw muscle and I don’t usually eat more than 3,500-4,500 a day during bulking phases.

    Little tip guys to buffer Vinces response – KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU EAT! You’ll be surprised how little you actually eat during an entire week. One day of heavy eating at the buffet does not equal a whole week of eating the calories you need to gain solid quality mass. And eating the food mentioned above at the quantities to get your 3-5k calories is a LOT OF EATING – EVERY DAY!!

    Eat Healthy – Eat constantly – and Keep track of your food intake. What is measured can be controlled and can be changed.

    Thanks as always vince – good article 😉

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    • Thanks for the addition James. Very valuable insight.

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    • My kitchen looks almost exactly the same except for the gatorade and some of the supplements. Whats the importance of the greens powder?

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      • neutralizing the acidity of the other foods you eat in bodybuilding (i.e. protein converts to acidic load in your blood pH, and it’s healthy to bring it back to the basic side with greens and veggies)

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  13. I went and looked at my kitchen cupboards, and then at my fridge. Scary. Clean out and restock day today. Thanks again, these tips are really effective.

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    • Good job Andrew. Replace and keep replacing.

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  14. When I shop for food, I automatically disqualify by brand name: Kellogg, General Mills, Nestle, Nabisco, Minute Made, Dole, any commercial food company owned by the tobacco industry. I don’t even read the label if it is made by any of these merchants of blimptitude. I am in my 60’s so glycemic index and excess sodium are worth considering when I choose what to buy. Almost everything you show us appears to do this except Gatorade. I use sweet potatoes rather than white potatoes. Also, I look for bananas not made by Dole. Also, I can’t stand the smell of garlic or onions and I could never get them through the gas mask I would have to wear if they were on my dinner table. Other than that, what a banquet!

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    • Interesting approach Barney, I like it.

      Gatorade is during and post workout to blunt cortisol, provide energy and take advantage of heightened insulin sensitivity.

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  15. No lie Vince, your kitchen looks like my kitchen’s twin brother minus the workout supplements!!! It’s almost scary, lol. I like how almost all of your food is organic too by the way. People underestimate that not only is organic food better for you than regular but it is also easy on the body, where as a lot of regular foods are so unnatural that the body spends more time cleaning it out instead of actually putting the nutrients to good use. The thing I love about grocery shopping like this is you appreciate everything you buy because it costs a lot and it comes from your hard earned money.

    Keep up the good work Vince! And God bless =)

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    • I don’t always shop organic but there are some foods that research has shown to have higher antioxidant values – broccoli, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are 4 biggies.

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    • Stanford university medical doctors did a study on the claims of organic foods being superior to non organic foods, because their patients kept asking if organic was in fact better. Their results, that organic is in no way superior and in fact has the exact same nutritional content of non organic foods. That a person is not going to get any added benefit by eating organic over non organic. Its like buying supplements, there are so many out there making outrageous claims to get you to spend “more money” to buy their product. Don’t always buy into the hype or what’s “trendy”. Just do what works for you. Vince always preaches about knowledge. Gain it. Our bodies are all different and and what works for one doesn’t always work for another. Find out what’s best for you and work. Just keep to the basics and adjust accordingly.

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      • So, Sam… Any idea on WHO funded this “study”? And WHY? Didn’t think so. In short, the “study” didn’t actually study anything new–it was a “metastudy” or a re-hash of =previous= studies–which, incidentally, left out LOTS of important stuff. You can read Mike Adams’ take on the whole issue at Natural News.com.

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      • It’s not that organics have any more nutrients than no organic. However organic, if ‘truly’ organic, do not have all the pesticides or growth hormones and food coloring as found in organic or natural foods. Again the key word is organic, since the FDA has been persuaded by the mass producers, as to how organic should be defined. And if only one university has performed this study, makes me wonder who funded this study.

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        • oops meant to say organics do not have all the pesticides or growth hormones and food coloring as found in NON organic or SO CALLED natural foods. Sometimes I think my left brain lives in a vacuum!

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  16. I will stop going to the gym…

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  17. I eat a lot of veggies, greek yogurt, lean meat, and drink nothing but water, almond milk, unsweetened tea, and once in a while, some coffee or cappucino. I seldom eat pasta, or starches, nobody ever died from a starch deficiency… I have lost almost 100 pounds of fat in the last year, and gained about 15 pounds of muscle, so for an old fart of 58, I am doing pretty well and my mirror tells me I am looking a lot better than I did a year ago.

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    • Rock TJ! Keep going strong.

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  18. I am working in the Ashanti region of Ghana and the difficulty here is that there is just not the variety of foods especially berries and so forth nor any specialty items such as Greek Yoghurt etc so we find ourselves having to eat the sames things quite regularly. It is difficult sometimes but we adapt.

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    • Yup! Focus on what you DO have, not what you don’t. Always be grateful despite the circumstances.

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  19. maybe i missed it, but i didn’t see ground up flax meal. i add about 4 tbs to oatmeal in the morning, and about 3 tbs to a cup of cottage cheese at night

    speaking of which, i also didn’t see cottage cheese.

    i also never eat extra lean ground beef, but instead use extra lean ground turkey (like you did in season one of living large).

    and i noticed ketchup in your cupboard. i’d get that out. it’s just empty calories, and you can live without it (and certainly find suitable healthy alternatives)

    i also use about 200 calories worth of this pomegranate, blueberry, carrot, yam and beet juice, which comes with about 6 grams of protein and almost as much fiber. i blend it up with about two cups of spinach (because i hate the taste of spinach).

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    • Both fine options… I don’t consider either necessities to my diet but they are certainly fine options.

      Turkey IS excellent. A great protein most guys neglect.

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  20. WHen do u take on gaterade ?? DUrin or post worout with creatine ?? and how many grams of cars and sugar carbs are in ur standard 500ml bottle ?? dont get alot of it in ireland thanks Vince !!

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    • 30 minutes into my workout. When I’m cutting I take the zero carb one for the electrolytes.

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  21. Weres the wine and ice cream? Haha.. Your such a square Vince. haha.. But I lika you..

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    • haha. I would have shocked everyone if I showed you my wine collection 🙂

      As for ice cream… that’s just not safe to bring into my house!

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  22. Good stuff!
    Some Gatorade & Pam spray is no big deal.
    I FINALLY got some coconut oil for cooking!

    How about some MCT oil? It’s a fantastic way to add in quality cals, for gaining or cutting. I remember Vince talking about it once or so.

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    • Yup, I had coconut oil in the cupboards – lots of mct oils there.

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  23. My fridge looks alot worse than this, but that’s cos some of the people I live with eat alot of junk food. Harder to avoid temptation when your hosuemates and girlfriend eat alot of [email protected]! The food that I would consider ‘mine’ is still healthy, although as I’m from the UK I find it alot harder to find grass-fed beef and other healthily-raise meat, it’s just not as big a deal in the UK yet!

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  24. Love the idea of a stocked kitchen and the reality check around making wholesome food to meet weight lifting goals! Great pics, too!

    From a nutrition perspective, Gatorade is not optimal. Coconut water has more minerals and less additives and sugar,and is more bioavailable. Plain water with added palm sugar (mineral rich), and mineral drops will be much more beneficial. The minerals are superior and there are less colours and corn syrup, which spiked insulin and leads to all the major diseases.

    Pam cooking spray is also not wholesome. Better to get a pump and put olive oil in it. Any vegetable oils (PUFAs) are not safe to cook with. Coconut oil is superior to them all.

    Lastly, organ meats and bones for broth are extremely important when you are sweating all the time to replace minerals lost and to help build healthy tissues. Easy to make: just toss in a crock pot and simmer on medium with herbs and a tbsp of AC Vinegar for 12-18 hours, then strain and add veggies and braggs for the best soup ever.

    And sprouted lentils (I like mung beans) are super protein packed snacks and really easy to make. They take a salad to new heights and have a perfect amino acid profile in the most bioavailable form.

    I work with clients with challenges like inflammation or food intolerances/ allergies to help them achieve their goals and these are a few of the staples I recommend.

    Namaste and thanks for a great post!

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    • Thanks for the insights sista.

      I prefer Gatorade primarily for the electrolytes – has a better balance of electrolytes than coconut water, when it comes to working out.

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  25. Is there a reason for the Krill/Fish Oils to be in the fridge/freezer? Can’t tell which, i take ProGrade EFA ICON, but don’t keep cold, should I be?

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    • I believe they should be refrigerated.

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  26. Hey Vince,

    Great post! Super proud — my kitchen and fridge already look exactly like this, except the gaterade! Thanks for the post and will see results in the near future.

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  27. Do you know what pemmican is and how it is made?

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  28. I take it then the Gatorade is mostly for post workout Vince?

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    • Yes, i usually start drinking it 1/2 way into the workout.

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  29. Awesome Vince. It’s great how you open up and show us exactly what is in your stock. I didn’t see any “junk” – I know that depending on your cycle and your goals, you sometimes include a meal a week where you allow some junk. Do you just buy that out, so that you are not tempted by having it in your house all week?

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  30. Nice.

    Gotta add some liver and pemmican in there, bro. Two of my favorite new power foods…

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