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How To Eat More On Your Bulk

Bulking excites people. They think it's a lot of take out pizza, heavy weights, and big muscles. However, the truth is, in order to see the most amount of muscle gain, minimal fat gain, good gym performance, and a healthy gut, you can't just say f*ck it and eat whatever you like.

Once you get to a serious amount of calories (I'm talking 3,000+), it can be hard to eat well whilst also eat enough. Here's some tips to help you get started!

Work Out How Many Calories You Actually Need

Bulking isn't a case of ramming in 5,000 calories every day through pizza and chips. Just like cutting and maintaining, we all need a different amount of calories in order to grow, whilst keeping fat gain to a minimum.

The first thing you need to do is work out what your maintenance calories are. These are the average calories you need to eat in order to stay exactly the same. These are easy enough to work out with a simple food diary. Just keep a record of everything you eat and drink over the next 7 days, add up the calories for each day, and work out the average. If your weight stayed near enough the same over the week, you know you've got your maintenance calories. From here, you only need to add on 200-300 calories in order to begin the process of bulking.

Keep on assessing your weight gain, looking for a gain of around 0.5-1kg per month, and make adjustments as needed.

Create A Meal Schedule (Even A Light One Will Help)

When calories start to get high, it's easy to let things slide and, before you know it, you'll have 150g of carbs left an hour before bed. This is stressful, bad for sleep, and not fun. This is where a schedule, even a light one, can come in handy.

I have a couple of my own meal plans written down on a spreadsheet that I can use on days where I'm busy with work. These tell me what I need to eat and when I need to eat it. On days where I'm not working, I can go back to using MyFitnessPal. This is also good for days I might be eating out with family or getting a takeaway.

You don't have to commit to one way of doing something. It's good to use a combination of methods to help you hit your targets.

Take Your Peri-Workout Seriously

Your peri-workout routine is what you eat pre and post workout. Both of which are super important if you want to fuel your workouts correctly, and recover as well as you can.

Pre-workout you have three choices; no food, a small snack, or a big meal. Really, fasting pre-workout is only something I would get somebody on a bulk to do if they don't have enough time to eat in the morning before working out. If this is the case, try to get a good meal in before bed the night before, and drink plenty of water (around a litre) in the morning before you workout.

If you're eating a small meal/ snack, you'll want to consume this 1-2 hours before working out. Anything bigger and you'll want to leave about 2-3 hours before hitting the gym.

When it comes to post-workout, I like to break the following 3 hours down into two meals. Around 30-45 minutes post workout I'll have a high carb and protein meal. Usually a scoop of whey with some cereal. Other things I like to have in place of the cereal include cream of rice, or bagels and jam.

Then, around about 2 hours post workout, I'll have a bigger meal that also includes some fats.

Low Volume Foods Are Key

When calories get high, the last thing you want to be doing is eating foods that fill you up, but offer little in terms of calories. Essentially, the opposite to what you'd want to eat when cutting.

A good example here is a little snack of some dark chocolate, dried fruits and nuts. This little bowl of food has the potential to offer you hundreds and hundreds of calories. Where as, something like a chicken salad, offers a ton of volume, but not a lot of calories in return. On their own, both chicken and salad have their benefits. Chicken is obviously packed full of protein, and salad is full of micronutrients, but to just have this as a meal could be a mistake when bulking. You might be better off halving the salad, and adding in some rice, for example.

Keep Your Digestion A Priority

Ramming in high calories means there's a risk of upsetting your gastrointestinal system. Not only could this leave you in pain, it could also leave you not absorbing your foods properly, as well as leaving you lacking in hunger (not good when you've got 3,000+ calories to get in!). Make sure you're ticking the following boxes...

  • Chew your food properly

  • Don't eat when stressed - i.e. at your work desk, on your busy work commute, when arguing, straight after a workout, etc.

  • Remove foods that cause you discomfort - Keep a food diary if you feel something is triggering bloating, gas, etc. but you're not sure what it is.

  • Try and walk around for 5-10 minutes after eating

  • Try to space your meals out so you eat every 3-4 hours - Food takes around 3-4 hours to fully digest, if you eat every 2 hours you're just piling food up in your stomach.

As odd as it sounds, if you can maintain a decent level of hunger whilst on a bulk, you're on to a winner.

Hopefully, you're now ready to get your 2022 bulk in full swing! If you found this post useful, please click the heart button below!


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