Building Muscle Quick | The Betancourt Guide


Building muscle mass is more of a delicate balance than most people think. More than just eating a lot and throwing weights over your head, it requires strategy and dedication to avoid going too far in calorie intake/calorie burn. Research has shown that it takes around 2,800 calories to build a pound of muscle. Team Betancourt has your back though, with this easy guide to building muscle mass quicker and more efficiently through dieting properly. So grab your bib and get ready to EAT!


It is the most important meal of the day and oftentimes the most neglected, however, breakfast really does set the tone for your day. Starting your day with a complete and strong breakfast will give you the initial energy source to start the day. Not to mention, eating a healthy breakfast sets the trend for your day to eat properly throughout. Not sure what constitutes a healthy breakfast?

  1. Cereal- Avoid anything with the words ‘choco’ or ‘frost’ in them. They may taste good but the high sugar levels are a disaster for your metabolism and will only provide a fast energy surge while promoting fat storage. Even many boxed cereals which claim to be healthy due to their whole wheat content are high in sugar so they may keep you satisfied for slightly longer but are still not as healthy as they promise. Pay close attention to your cereal’s sugar content and, if possible, we suggest adding granola or fruit to further up the calorie quality of your cereal.
  2. Go Natural- Natural sources such as oatmeal and porridge oats are the best cereal you can find. But if you need a boxed cereal in your life, include whole wheat products now and again.
  3. Bread- Avoid white flour breads like the plague. Instead go for whole wheat options such as wholemeal or granary with complex carbohydrates in them. Also be conservative on toast toppings such as marmalade, honey, jams, and jellies as they are high in sugars. They are okay in small amounts but remember that sugars are detrimental to your overall metabolism, only providing quick bursts of energy while promoting fat storage.
  4. Eggs!! So many Eggs!- Eggs and beans are a protein-high compliment to your breakfast, which you may want to have as a regular staple that you can add healthy veggies to (if that’s your thing)
  5. Avoid the fry up- It can be hard to resist fried bacon and sausages, but they are not going to help your endeavor. The high fat levels will inhibit nutrient and energy absorption.
  6. Get Fruity- Exchange anything that would otherwise be too sugary with fresh fruit for those natural sugars. Mangoes, grapes, cherries, pears, and watermelon are all fruit that you want to eat in small servings as they are high in sugar content.



In addition to eating the right things, eating at the right times is also crucial to building healthy muscle mass. You want to stick to your core meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) interspersed with meals post workout, pre-bed, with a couple of light snacks in between. By keeping food intake up with small meals versus a few big meals will decrease your stomach size. Cravings will also decrease and you will ultimately avoid overeating. As counterintuitive as it sounds, small snacks will hold you over much better so come dinnertime your appetite is levelled and overeating is more avoidable.



FACT: Your body needs protein to build and maintain muscle. It is just the way the cookie crumbles and you need it often to increase mass. To achieve this, you should be looking to intake around .7 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. That is A LOT of protein, which is why it is recommended that you include it in every meal. These include:

    1. Red meat- Beef, pork, lamb, etc.
    2. Poultry- Chicken, turkey, duck, etc.
    3. Fish- Tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc.
    4. Eggs- Don’t believe the cholesterol myths. Eat the yolk.
    5. Dairy- Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, quark, yogurt, etc
    6. Whey- Great for easy post workout shakes and meal replacements
    7. Vegan Proteins- Lentils, tofu, seeds and nuts.



Most fruits are low calorie: you can eat your stomach full without worrying of gaining fat or weight. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber (which helps digestion). Again, just be weary of fruits that are too high in sugar content such as mangoes, grapes, cherries, watermelon, pears, and pineapples.


Yes, carbs are important for energy, however, most people eat way more than needed. We recommend keeping your carb intake for after your workout. Make sure these carbs are complete and eaten in moderation. They include:

  1. Brown Rice
  2. Pasta
  3. Potatoes (also sweet potatoes)
  4. Quinoa
  5. Oats


Healthy fats improve fat loss while you increase muscle mass as they are digested slowly. As a general guideline, fat should make up 20-35 percent of your total calories. Healthy fats such as coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, avocadoes, almonds, and macadamias are just a few examples of healthy alternatives to trans fats that can contribute to adverse health consequences.


Strength training causes water loss through sweating, which can impair muscle recovery and growth. It may sound like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how much inconsistency most people have when it comes to water intake. Drinking water continuously throughout your day will prevent dehydration, muscle catabolizing, and can also help curb appetite when you’re not eating. Setting reminders on your phone can often help you get that drink in often.


Yes, this guide is a tall order. It can get costly having to eat so often, and time is not always available to take a snack break. We know this, which is why there is always the option of protein supplementation to get the intake you need while on the go. A Mass Building protein is high in protein and calorie content, which can be used to get your fix in. With enough consistency in your diet, a strength training program, and the proper dieting – you should notice an increase in muscle mass while trimming unnecessary fat.