When bulking, It’s important to consume enough calories for your body to be in a calorie surplus. However, on top of that, it’s important to try and reach your daily goals for macronutrients, more specifically, protein carbs, and fat.
One specific meal that covers all 3 of these is a burger. And more specifically, it is beef burgers (hamburgers) that we will be discussing today.
We will talk about its nutrients and calorie content to see whether it fits the criteria that any good bulking meal should follow. We will also talk about different variations and alternatives to the beef burger so that you can cater it to your body type, diet, and personal food choices.
Ultimately, we’ll let you know, are burgers good for bulking or should you avoid them?
What is a Burger?
The hamburger dates back to the 1880s when it was just a meatball squashed between 2 slices of bread, however, it has evolved into an American food enjoyed around the whole world.
Related – Is bread good for bulking
Nowadays a burger consists of a bun containing a meat of choice and is normally enjoyed with salad cheese and a type of sauce. The meat within the burger can vary hugely; however today we’re going to be mainly discussing a beef burger.
A burger is a great meal to incorporate into your diet as it is rich in 3 of the main macronutrients for bulking. Carbs from the bun and protein and fat from the burger.
How Many Calories Are in a Burger?
Burgers are a great way to get calories in and work towards your daily targets needed to gain weight.
Let’s have a look at the average calories in a beef burger.
As you can see from the table, 1 beef burger contains around 266 calories. This would probably break down to about 200 calories in the burger patty, and the excess 166 within the bun. This is not to count the extra calories that you will get from the cheese or a calorie-dense condiment like mayonnaise.
This is great because while bulking it helps to eat calorie-dense foods so that those daily targets are as easy to reach as possible. Some people with low appetites struggle to hit their calorie goals so eating food like burgers in moderation can really help.
Are Burgers Good for Bulking?
Due to their coverage of 3 big macronutrients, caloric density, and ability to incorporate vegetables (lettuce and tomatoes mainly), burgers are a great meal to incorporate into your diet during a bulking phase.
They are also not overly expensive, as you can purchase 4 beef patties for around $3. This alongside the cheapness of the buns means that burgers are affordable to students and anyone on a budget.
See also – Budget bulking foods
If you are someone with a busy schedule or lifestyle, then burgers are a great meal due to their low cooking times. A burger can be taken straight out of its packaging and be ready within 5-6 minutes on the frying pan. This gives you the perfect time to prepare the rest of the burger or chop any vegetables.
One of the best things about burgers when it comes to bulking is the protein content. As you can see from the table above, 1 beef patty contains around 13.3g of protein. This can be a huge contribution to your daily targets and really helps out anyone struggling to get their protein in.
If you have the appetite to do so, eating 2 burgers is a great meal while going through a bulking phase. When totalled together, 2 burgers can easily reach 1k calories and about 45g of protein. This proves burgers to be a protein-packed and viable way to help gain mass.
Ways of Eating a Burger
One of the great things about burgers is they can be prepared in a long list of ways with different proteins and different carbs. Today we’ll be going over a few variations that you can hopefully put to use in your diet.
Firstly, one of the most popular variations of the burger is the chicken burger. This is the same as a beef burger however uses either a chicken breast or fried chicken alongside slightly different sauces and salads than a normal burger.
You can choose this option for a change within your meal plan or if you simply don’t like beef burgers, this is because chicken and beef contain minor differences in nutrition and are both great for bulking.
This second option could be seen as a slightly healthier option potentially for people with low metabolisms. Instead of using a bread bun for your source of carbs, you could substitute this for pasta and break up the burger into a tomato sauce.
This may be more beneficial due to white bread being higher in fat than pasta which may cause some people unwanted weight gain. Another difference is that the incorporation of tomato sauce and the removal of cheese causes it to be an all-around healthier dish.
Burger Alternatives for Bulking
For those of you that may be vegan, vegetarian, or are simply looking for a healthier alternative, here are the dishes for you.
Firstly if you really want to cut out the majority of carbs from your meal while also keeping the fat content down, then what is commonly known as a lettuce-wrapped burger is the best option for you.
This is pretty self-explanatory as it involves removing the bread bun of a burger and replacing it with lettuce. As expected the burger is then far healthier due to the absence of the bread and normally the lack of cheese.
This is a great way of enjoying a burger while keeping the calories down. However, this may not be the best for bulking due to its substantially lower calorie count.
Another great option for vegans or vegetarians is the veggie burger. The veggie burger is made up of vegetables, whole grains, beans or sometimes lentils, to recreate a burger patty in the vegetarian form.
On top of this, you would have the same salad found in a normal burger followed by a regular bun. A great thing about veggie burgers is they now rival regular meats for their gram for gram protein content enabling them to be a great alternative for any vegetarian looking to use burgers in their meal plan.
To conclude, when you look at the macronutrients contained in the different elements of a burger, they prove to be a superb meal to incorporate into any bulking phase.
If you are going down the path of a slightly cleaner bulk then I would maybe recommend a regular burger with minimal cheese and high-calorie sauces like mayonnaise. This will help you to keep the fat content down across the whole burger and to help prevent you from gaining any unwanted extra weight.
However on the other hand, if you really struggle to gain weight and get your calories in, then you can take a slightly different approach. Think of incorporating things like fried chicken, extra cheese and maybe even bacon. These will heavily boost the calorie count while also being a great source of extra protein and fat.
When you take all this into consideration, including the simple preparation and the low cost of the meal, burgers should definitely be considered when trying to incorporate new things into your diet.
They can be a great source of protein, carbohydrates and fat, and can be tailored to suit any style of bulking phase or diet.
If you’re reading this and looking into bulking food options, you’ll definitely want to check out our guide on the best dirty bulking foods next.
Also check out – Are bagels good for bulking
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