Yeah, I went down the same path. I stuck 100% to a diet in my last 'offseason' attempt, and was generally worried and anxious about hitting the perfect daily allotment. I realized that friends get pissed, girls think you're weird, life kinda sucks, and it's just unrealistic. I realized that the only time one should be so 'anal' about food is if they're dieting for a reason (contest, etc...). I then bolstered this belief when dieting myself. I was anal and paranoid about the foods I ate, avoided going out b/c I wouldn'g have chicken breasts, blah blah blah. That's fine when dieting, but after 10 weeks I switched into a gaining diet, and realized that offseason eating is more about hitting a MINIMUM rather than precision eating.
4 principles to follow though (these are mine, not necessarily for everyone, open to interpretation, but this works for ME)
1) Always do cardio - right now I'm doing HIIT one time per week...but I walk to and from the gym, which is over a mile each way.
2) Eat as much as you want, but keep it CLEAN - clean is pretty subjective, but also pretty obvious. What I mean by clean is that foods should have natural ingredients. Hamburgers, fresh pizzas, hot dogs, falafel, steaks...are all clean in my book. A pizza, for example, is just crust,
cheese, and meat...nothing wrong with that
3) Have 2 'cheat meals' a week - I usually order a large pizza from Little Ceasars and maybe some extra oats on Thurs nights (legs day, need more kcals), and then on Sat night I'll usually have some candy and a quart of ice cream.
4) Limit sugar to those 2 'cheat meals' and/or peri workout. Surge Recovery or Coke or whatever float your boat are all sugars, but they're fine around workouts. Just don't wolf down candy all day er day and use bulking as an excuse.
- One of my favorite posters, DeltaOne, made INSANE progress rapidly. Almost freakishly fast. In his log he said that he eats as much as he wants, as long as its clean. I PERSONALLY shoot for 350-500 g carbs / 250-300 g protein / 50-100 g fat a day. That yields aroudn 3,00-4,000 kcal a day, except for my two 'cheat meal days.' I also sometimes hit up a buffet after training, whatever.
The guys who look like they lift weights all didn't give a fuck about getting a bit soft in the pursuit of muscle. Read MODOK's thread about how you gotta almost trick your body into adding muscle. PM Prof X (who used to be a skinny dude). Just keep pushing. Get your weight up. I am 6'2 190ish right now. Unacceptable. So I posted in the BOI and told a few individuals that I vow to be 220-240 by December. I can do that without turning into a loaf, without sugar, and without dropping cardio. Just get nasty with the weights, know that food is arguably more important than the program you're following, and live life without 'majoring in the minors.' I'm fairly new to this mindset, but feel free to PM me or anybody else on this site who (hopefully) knows what they're talking about. Oh, and always bring a towel...