It may not feel like it, but summer is here, and there’s a chance of at least a couple of days of beach weather over the next couple of months, so it’s a good idea to try to get into shape ready to show off your physique by the pool!

Building lean muscle isn’t easy, though – even if you’re blessed with good genetics there’s not much chance of packing on more than a pound or two of lean muscle per month; but if you eat right you can pump up the muscle that you do have, and cut fat to make it stand out.

Building lean muscle whilst also reducing your body fat percentage is known as doing a “recomp”, and it’s a hard and slow process, but it can be done.  The key is to work out hard, and eat filling, high protein foods.  Some people call those foods “clean” foods.

Personally, I prefer to just say foods that are high in protein but that are not calorie dense.  Here’s a few good examples of healthy, satisfying lunchtime meals that will help you to build muscle without gaining fat:

Tuna Salad

This is a simple bodybuilding stable – simply mix tuna with salad leaves and some hard boiled eggs for a lean protein dish that will fill you up. Avoid calorie dense salad dressings – if you need something to add flavour try some spices or vinegar.

Turkey Burritos

Turkey is another popular bodybuilding stable.  Mix it with quinoa, rice, and kidney beans, add a bit of spicey sauce and put it in a wrap for a great protein boost on the go.

Beef Burger Cheat Meals

Cheat meals are an important part of fat loss for many bodybuilders.  If you’ve been following a low-carb, high protein diet for a while you might start to crave some carb-laden snacks.  Instead of depriving yourself until you binge, why not add a cheat meal to your diet once a week?  This cheat meal can be a pizza, a burger, a desert, or whatever you want.  If your cheat meal itself is high in protein (for example a fresh, quality beef burger), then that’s even better!

Steak Fajita

Steak fajitas are popular with people that follow keto diets.  Simply mix thin cut strips of steak with peppers, onions, and spices, and serve on fajitas.  It’s quick and easy to cook, and full of food for your muscles.

Building lean muscle requires you to eat well and train hard.  Exactly what you eat, and when, doesn’t matter too much.  Don’t over-complicate your training by forcing yourself to eat at certain times of day, or worrying too much about the timing of your meals and exercise.  Exercise regularly, and make sure you hit your protein requirements for each day without going over your calorie allowance.  If you do that, you’ll be well ahead of the curve when it comes to your training.  It takes time to see results, but if you start now, you should see results before the end of the summer!

Wayne Barker writes for Slimming.com about a wide range of healt topics including lean muscle, healthy living and weight loss.Visit their site for more information.