When I was first starting out on the road to gaining muscle. I was told to follow three simple rules. - EAT BIG, LIFT BIG, SLEEP BIG. I thought that sounds simple, so I piled on as much weight as I possibly could on the bars in the gym, I slept 12 - 14 hours per day, and I ate everything in sight. Guess what it achieved - A big fat dough boy.
The older I got, and the more I read, the more I realized the three simple rules, weren't meant to be taken so literally. Probably the biggest break through came when I started to plan my meals as much as I was planning what I was doing in the gym. It was actually pretty easy, I just looked at what food I was planning on eating in the week ahead, then I set myself a plan and food preparation plan and stuck to it.
To really stoke your metabolism, you should try to eat 6 meals a day, evenly spaced... every 2 - 3 hours. NEVER leave it for more the 4 hours
Try this on for size :
Wake at - 5,30 am
Breakfast - 6am
Smoke - 9 am
Lunch - - 12 pm
Snack - 3 pm
Dinner - 6 pm
Evening - 9pm
Now its nearly impossible to stuff as much solid food into your mouth to help fuel your muscles. So I supplemented 2 meals a day with a supplement - ie. Protein drink or Protein bar. I always make 3 meals per day a high protein based meal.
The other 3 meal's I ensure I eat, plenty of salad and vegetables. I make sure I eat white meat 3 times per week, and red meat 3 - 4 items per week.
Once per week I give myself a break, and eat what ever I feel like. My guilty pleasure is pizza. I keep away from really bad fast food - ie. McDonald's or hungry Jacks.
That's it, the attention is in the detail, planing your meals at the start of the week, will free up a lot of time you spend doing things that waste time, like spending hours on end in the shops, or prepping food during your busy week.