If there was one Golden Rule to gaining mass and strength it would be the CALORIC BALANCE rule. Take in more than maintenance and gain, take in maintenance and maintain, take in less and lose.
This is the single most important rule for beginners to advanced to know, apply, and always remember!
Let's put it this way to really put it in perspective: you could eat 8 perfect meals/day, plus take Grow!, Surge, creatine, glutamine, multi's, arginine, whey, casein, ZMA and tibulus. On top of this you could follow a perfectly designed program, hit the heavy basics hard and frequent, neither over or under train, do it just right. Even with ALL of this going for you, if you are taking in even 100 calories less than you require for growth...guess what? NO GAINS! ZERO! maybe some strength but NO MUSCLE OR WEIGHT GAIN!