Consume more calories. Eat a well-balanced diet that contains high quality proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Avoid empty calories contained in soft drinks, candy and chips, which do not help build muscle, but may increase fat.
Eat more carbohydrates for increased energy. Consume 2.3 to 3.6 grams per pound of body weight. Good sources of carbohydrates include whole grain breads and pastas, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
Add fats in moderate amounts. Although not a fuel source with high intensity and resistance exercises, fat is an essential macro-nutrient. Aim for a diet containing 20 to 35 percent of healthy fats from fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Limit your intake of trans-fats and saturated fats from whole milk, butter, high-fat cheeses and animal fats.
Eat protein to help build and maintain muscle. Consume .63 to .77 grams per pound of body weight. Good sources of protein include lean meats, skinless chicken and fish, legumes, eggs and low-fat dairy products or soy.
Drink plenty of water. Consume at least 64 ounces per day to avoid dehydration. Fluid intake is important before, during and after exercise to help with optimal performance.
Perform more resistance training to increase muscle mass. Lift heavier weights to the point of muscle exhaustion. Do three to six sets with six to 12 repetitions. Take a 30 second to 1 1/2 minute rest between sets. Beginners should gradually increase weight load and intensity.
Perform compound exercises that work larger muscle groups, such as squats, dead lifts, bench press, push-ups and pull-ups. Do not lift weights on consecutive days.
Add cardiovascular exercises to help lose fat. Do at least 30 minutes on the days that you are not lifting weights.