It’s taken weeks, perhaps even three months or more, but I finally seem to have increased my capacity to eat. Sure, I still can’t sit and eat a single, blow-out meal, but I can at least now eat at a decent clip every two hours and not feel like I am dying.
When I first started this latest bulking cycle, increasing my intake to the point where I could hold and make gains was brutally hard. Gut was permanently distended and I was not remotely hungry from the point I finished breakfast right up until I’d hit the sack. It was really pretty depressing and I wanted to bail on the bulking process more than once.
Still, a few months on and I am able to more food down more often, and the gains have come. I think the biggest revelation in my progress was reading an article from Dr Spencer Nadolsky, a natural bodybuilding doc, no less. He turned me on to his “bulking” strategy which was so mind-bogglingly simple, I’d not considered it. He simply added an apple and peanut butter to his daily regimen. Yes, mind blown. Why? Because I had been trying to increase the size of my meals and get extra protein down my neck, and that was just not working. It’s amazing how often we overlook the really simple stuff. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last two months, and it’s worked a treat.
In terms of kcal and macros, I couldn’t tell you what I eat… not a clue. I’ve decided I will NEVER count calories again, nor try to balance my macros. I’ve done it enough that I have a good sense of things, and while the lack of accuracy will likely reduce my precision and agility in diet changes, I’ll take that over the soul-crushing counting process.
As for the food, I eat with pretty good consistency, largely as a product of my day job and habitual routine. Here’s a (very) typical days intake:
- Pre-breakfast (5am) I slam 50g of whey protein before my morning coffee (~200kcal)
- 2 cups of egg whites mixed with 2 cups oatmeal (cooked) with flax, hemp, almonds, cinnamon and cranberries. (~700kcal)
- One slice of 9-grain toast with 1/3 avocado and sliced tomato (~300kcal)
- Maybe a waffle or pancake if they look good that day (~200-500kcal)
- Mid morning and mid afternoon (10am and 2pm) I eat an apple and two sachets of Justin’s peanut butter with honey. ~300kcal per apple/butter
- Large green salad with olive oil and vinegar (~200kcal)
- Large chicken breast filleted and grilled (~400kcal)
- Small ice-cream or treat (~300kcal)
- Protein and veg, occasional starch
- Salmon, squash and peas
- Chicken, broccoli and sweet potato
- Pork chop and asparagus and baked potato etc.
- Protein portion is minimum 8oz and sometimes 12-14oz.
- Guesstimate dinners to end-up around ~800kcal on average, but with huge variance
- Protein pudding (low fat cottage cheese, 0% greek yoghurt, casein, pb2, blended) (~400kcal)
- Or sometimes 1 cup of Alpen muesli (~400kcal)
Anyway, by no means exhaustive, and weekends vary a lot, but I’d estimate daily kcal to be in the region of 3500 to 4000, depending on what I end-up eating.
Could I be more scientific about this and move more slowly, trying to reduce the fat gain? Sure, but ain’t nobody (but a competing athlete) got time for that.
Holding 185lb every morning right now, showing 186.4lb this morning. I have another dunk (hydrostatic body fat test) in three weeks, and would love to walk in there at 190lb. Don’t think it’s going to happen, that’s a lot of weight to gain and I know deep down it would be mostly fat. Still, we’ll do what we can.
That’s where I am with things… hope that helps answer a few questions and gives you a few ideas of your own.