Eating lots and lots of food is mandatory for determined bodybuilders. Because if don’t consume enough calories – you can’t grow. And if you have a caloric deficit, you will lose weight and your muscle.
And of course you can’t consume any calories. Quality always comes first. No junk food, sugars or processed foods. But we will not talk about healthy diet principles in this article, instead we will find out how much should you eat, to get optimal strength and mass gains.
Most people delude themselves thinking they eat enough, when it is nowhere near the required amount. To illustrate this better, let’s look at Shawn Ray’s bulking diet:
(click on the image and then on a small re-size button in the upper right corner)
And that’s for a short guy who’s offseason weight was around 230lbs (it’s not such a big deal for guys who are 1.85m and taller). I bet some of you don’t consume that much food in 3 days! No wonder you don’t have desired results.
You might think that it’s impossible to eat that much food. And yes, if you can’t eat a lot, you shouldn’t be “stuffing” yourself. But that just means you don’t train hard enough. If you do at least 3 intense trainings a week, you will feel hungry more often. The more you train, the more you want to eat, that’s natural. And some professionals train every single day (some guys do it twice a day), so Shawn’s diet shouldn’t be surprising.
So what are the numbers? Go for 35%/45%/20% – protein/carbohydrates/fat diet. That means 35% of calories should come from proteins, 45% from carbs and 20% from fats. Remember that 1 gram of fat equals to 8.8 calories (you can round it to 9), and 1 gram of protein or carbs = 4 calories.
If you want to shed excessive fat, try 50%/35%/15%. High-protein diets are known for fat loss properties. Your fats should consist of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats; saturated and trans fats should be kept to a bare minimum. Calorie count will vary greatly for each individual, and it could be a real pain in the butt – trying to count everything you eat. However, we have something good for you – http://scoobysworkshop.com/calorie-calculator/
This is a caloric calculator that will give you precise numbers you’re after. Scooby did a great job creating this thing. There is even a sample meal structure. Just fill everything accurately and select proper goal. Don’t use this calculator as a strict rule, but rather as a guideline.
And finally, some tips for eating more without stuffing yourself:
1) Add a tea spoon of olive/flax/grapeseed oil to your meals (up to 3-4 a day). You will get healthy fats and a nice boost in caloric consumption.
2) Add a snack somewhere between your main meals. Eat some raisins, nuts, a banana/apple (if you are shedding fat – watch your carbs consumption!).
3) Drink 1-2 protein shakes between meals. When it comes time to eat your next meal you will feel hunger and be able to eat a little bit more than usual. Whey isolate is the best for this, as it’s absorbed really fast.
4) Always drink at least 1 full glass of water with each big meal. Preferably 1.5-2. It will keep you hydrated and, surprisingly, you will be able to eat more.
That concludes this short overview. Hopefully, you will implement learned knowledge and see results faster!