Suggest meal plans for weight and muscle gain.


For weight and muscle gain, the offers several recommendations based on scientific insights shared by experts like and . Here are key suggestions to structure your meal plan:

Key Meal Plan Elements

  1. Protein Timing and Type:

    • First Meal: Consume 30 to 50 grams of high-quality protein (e.g., meat, eggs) to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. This should sustain muscle growth for about 2-5 hours 1.
    • Subsequent Meals: Ensure each meal contributes to your daily protein needs (e.g., 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight). Mixed sources of protein (animal and plant) help meet this goal 2.
    • Final Meal: Consider proteins like milk or casein, which are beneficial for muscle health overnight and may help with sleep 1.
  2. Meal Composition:

    • Mixed Meals: Combine protein sources with carbohydrates (e.g., fruit, pasta, rice) and maintain a balanced protein to carb ratio to optimize muscle protein synthesis. The quality of protein becomes crucial in mixed meals, with animal-based proteins showing better results than plant-based ones 2.
    • Fiber: Include fiber-rich foods (e.g., berries) to support gut health and prolong satiation. Carbohydrates should be earned through exercise 2.
  3. Personalized Adjustments:

    • A personalized diet app can help track energy expenditure and adjust calorie and macronutrient intake accordingly. This approach offers flexibility in dietary preferences, which can improve adherence. Tailoring meal plans based on personal goals (e.g., muscle gain vs. fat loss) is critical for long-term success 3.

      Optimal Protein Timing

      Gabrielle emphasizes the significance of the first meal for muscle protein synthesis, suggesting 30-50 grams of protein. She discusses the impact of subsequent meals on protein balance and the potential benefits of adding a fourth meal for hypertrophy. Andrew explores the idea of consuming specific types of protein at different times of the day for optimal muscle health.

      Huberman Lab

      Dr. Gabrielle Lyon: How to Exercise & Eat for Optimal Health & Longevity

Sample Meal Plan


  • Scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms
  • Oatmeal topped with berries and a scoop of whey protein

Mid-Morning Snack

  • Greek yogurt with mixed nuts


  • Grilled chicken breast with quinoa and steamed vegetables

Afternoon Snack

  • Protein smoothie with a banana, spinach, and almond milk


  • Baked salmon with sweet potatoes and a side salad

Pre-Bed Snack

  • Cottage cheese with a handful of berries

These suggestions are designed to optimize protein synthesis throughout the day and support your goal of gaining weight and muscle. Always consider consulting with a nutritionist or dietitian to tailor this plan further to your specific needs and lifestyle.


Any specific tips for meal timing?


For weight and muscle gain, meal timing can be crucial in optimizing muscle protein synthesis and overall metabolic health. Here are some specific tips from the podcast:

  1. First Meal:

    • The first meal of the day is the most important for muscle protein synthesis. It's recommended to include 30 to 50 grams of high-quality protein, which helps set up your metabolism for the rest of the day 1.
    • This initial meal should be rich in dietary protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and can last for about 2-5 hours 2.
  2. Subsequent Meals:

    • While the first meal is paramount, the timing of the second and third meals should also focus on meeting your overall protein goals (e.g., 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight) to maintain a positive protein balance throughout the day 2.
    • Distributing protein intake evenly throughout the day, particularly in multiple meals, can support better muscle protein synthesis over a 24-hour period 3.

      Muscle Nutrition Insights

      Andrew and Gabrielle discuss the importance of prioritizing dietary protein over carbohydrates for healthy skeletal muscle. Gabrielle emphasizes the significance of the first meal of the day in setting up metabolic health. They delve into the impact of carbohydrate intake on overall health and muscle composition.

      Huberman Lab

      Dr. Gabrielle Lyon: How to Exercise & Eat for Optimal Health & Longevity
  3. Meal Frequency:

    • For those aiming to maximize muscle hypertrophy, consuming four meals a day, each rich in protein, can be beneficial. This helps maintain muscle protein synthesis and supports muscle growth and repair 2.
    • Specific types of proteins, such as casein or milk proteins, might be more advantageous for consumption before bedtime to support overnight muscle health 2.
  4. Fasting and Meal Timing:

    • While intermittent fasting can be beneficial for metabolic health and weight management, it might not be optimal for individuals focused on muscle gain. Older individuals or those aiming to build muscle might find extended fasting periods counterproductive 4.
    • For those practicing intermittent fasting, protein should still be prioritized in the first meal after the fasting window ends, ideally consumed within the first 60 minutes upon waking or sometime before 10:00 AM 5.
  5. Protein Quality and Types:

    • High-quality protein sources like meat, eggs, and dairy can be more beneficial at different times of the day. For example, animal proteins early in the day and casein or milk proteins closer to bedtime can optimize muscle health 2.
    • Leucine, an essential amino acid found in many high-quality protein sources, is vital for muscle growth due to its role in the mTOR pathway 6.

In summary, structuring your meals with a strong emphasis on protein intake at the first meal, balanced distribution of protein throughout the day, and consuming four protein-rich meals can significantly aid in muscle gain and weight management. Adjust these strategies based on individual needs and fitness goals. Always consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist to personalize your plan.