T Nation

Caloric Intake Not Logical

hi folks,

I got a short question on caloric intake.
I am around the iron game for some time now-but one thing I never get:

I read a lot of the T-Nation’s articles and they have all one thing in common-If you want to grow-you have to EAT MORE than your daily caloric balance.

That is absolut not logical for me!

When I need a daily caloric amount of about 3500 calories (the training included)and I eat MORE than that-lets say 4000 calories-I consume MORE energy I need-it will be changed in bodyfat.

When you eat under your caloric needs you will loose weight.

When you eat above your caloric needs you will add weight and hell yeah it will be fat and ONLY fat-because the energy you don?t is stored in fat.

I don?t get the clue why this should be working
Thanx!

The idea is that you eat more than what you need to maintain your current weight. In other words, you have to know how much energy expenditure you actually have.

Since you won’t know this, you increase the daily calories slightly. Using your example, go from 3500 to 3700. If you are able to gain weight without gaining fat, you are at a good level of energy consumption and expenditure.

You can then repeat the process. Once you find you are gaining fat, drop the calories back down.

You are right that if you eat too much you will gain fat. The trick is to eat enough to grow, since you should be stressing the muscles and convincing them to grow.

This should help:

Don’t think of it as “excess energy”, think of it as requisite energy for your body to adapt to training. If your bady wants to add 5 lbs of muscle in response to your training, you are going to need extra calories to build the muscle (remember, it’s around 4 cals per gram of protein), and extra calories to meet the energy needs of the new muscle that you’ve put on.

It is logical if you look at it this way. . .

When you figure out your daily caloric balance, do you factor in the calories it takes to actually build the new muscle tissue? Likely, no. The calculations you have made include your BMR, weight, activity level, etc, but don’t factor in the energy that it takes to build; this is what your body uses the ‘extra’ calories to do.

So, in reality, the extra calories are part of your daily calories burned.

Hope this makes as much sense as it does in my head.

[quote]bulkingup1 wrote:
hi folks,

I got a short question on caloric intake.
I am around the iron game for some time now-but one thing I never get:

I read a lot of the T-Nation’s articles and they have all one thing in common-If you want to grow-you have to EAT MORE than your daily caloric balance.

That is absolut not logical for me!

When I need a daily caloric amount of about 3500 calories (the training included)and I eat MORE than that-lets say 4000 calories-I consume MORE energy I need-it will be changed in bodyfat.

When you eat under your caloric needs you will loose weight.

When you eat above your caloric needs you will add weight and hell yeah it will be fat and ONLY fat-because the energy you don?t is stored in fat.

I don?t get the clue why this should be working
Thanx![/quote]

What isn’t logical is why this is hard for someone to understand when they claim they have been lifting “for some time now”. If you want to gain muscle, where do you think that extra muscle will come from if you are ONLY eating enough to maintain bodily functions? If breathing, eating, farting, walking, blinking, and scratching take up 3,000cals a day for you, guess what? You won’t be gaining a damn thing unless you INCREASE that amount.

All of that weight lifting you have been doing “for some time now”? Yeah, that would be to promote your muscles to feel the need to grow as adaptation to stress. That means that if you are training hard, you will not simply gain fat from increasing calories. If you eat more and simply sit on your ass all day, yes, you will gain fat. The difference is TRAINING.

[quote]Arioch wrote:
The idea is that you eat more than what you need to maintain your current weight. In other words, you have to know how much energy expenditure you actually have.

Since you won’t know this, you increase the daily calories slightly. Using your example, go from 3500 to 3700. If you are able to gain weight without gaining fat, you are at a good level of energy consumption and expenditure.

You can then repeat the process. Once you find you are gaining fat, drop the calories back down.

You are right that if you eat too much you will gain fat. The trick is to eat enough to grow, since you should be stressing the muscles and convincing them to grow.[/quote]

Thank you very much for your reply so the caloric needs per day is a guideline,which you have to personalize by adding or subtract some calories.

So is it also possible to take an average for guideline-? means:

I train monday for 1,5hours on wednesday for 1 hour and on friday for 1hour.
The rest of the week ist off.

My caloric intake on"off days" should be 2720 calories
At training days with one hour 3230 calories and with 1,5hours 3500 calories.

So my intake thorugh the week will be:
monday:3500kcal (train for 1,5 hours)
tuesday:2720kcal (off)
wednesday:3230kcal (train for 1hours)
thursday:2720kcal (off)
friday: 3230 kcal (train for 1hours)
saturday:2720kcal (off)
sunday:2720kcal (off)

So my daily caloric average intake will be approx:
2977kcal- so about 3000kcal

Now I take bodyfat and body measure and increase the calories about 200.
When i gain weight without adding fat I maintain these 200.
When I don?t gain I take 300 and so on until I notice a slight increase in fat-themn i go one step back and maintain these calories.

Can I do it this way?

Thank you very much!

Well, I would say that your muscles aren’t fully ‘healed’, or fully finished using nutrients after the day of training, so it would make sence to still be above maintenance on your off days.

There are tons of nutrition articles here too that are very informative.

I’m still working through them myself, so I can’t realy recomend any in particular.

You can check out Vroom’s thread and follow the links there. He has tons of great links to articles:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=640350

[quote]bulkingup1 wrote:
Arioch wrote:
The idea is that you eat more than what you need to maintain your current weight. In other words, you have to know how much energy expenditure you actually have.

Since you won’t know this, you increase the daily calories slightly. Using your example, go from 3500 to 3700. If you are able to gain weight without gaining fat, you are at a good level of energy consumption and expenditure.

You can then repeat the process. Once you find you are gaining fat, drop the calories back down.

You are right that if you eat too much you will gain fat. The trick is to eat enough to grow, since you should be stressing the muscles and convincing them to grow.

Thank you very much for your reply so the caloric needs per day is a guideline,which you have to personalize by adding or subtract some calories.

So is it also possible to take an average for guideline-? means:

I train monday for 1,5hours on wednesday for 1 hour and on friday for 1hour.
The rest of the week ist off.

My caloric intake on"off days" should be 2720 calories
At training days with one hour 3230 calories and with 1,5hours 3500 calories.

So my intake thorugh the week will be:
monday:3500kcal (train for 1,5 hours)
tuesday:2720kcal (off)
wednesday:3230kcal (train for 1hours)
thursday:2720kcal (off)
friday: 3230 kcal (train for 1hours)
saturday:2720kcal (off)
sunday:2720kcal (off)

So my daily caloric average intake will be approx:
2977kcal- so about 3000kcal

Now I take bodyfat and body measure and increase the calories about 200.
When i gain weight without adding fat I maintain these 200.
When I don?t gain I take 300 and so on until I notice a slight increase in fat-themn i go one step back and maintain these calories.

Can I do it this way?

Thank you very much!

[/quote]

Honestly, what is the deal with some of you acting as if you can calculate and micromanage your body in this way? Your body doesn’t work like that. What happens if your body supercompensates and tries to gain muscle on your day off yet you are eating less than it needs?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
bulkingup1 wrote:
hi folks,

I got a short question on caloric intake.
I am around the iron game for some time now-but one thing I never get:

I read a lot of the T-Nation’s articles and they have all one thing in common-If you want to grow-you have to EAT MORE than your daily caloric balance.

That is absolut not logical for me!

When I need a daily caloric amount of about 3500 calories (the training included)and I eat MORE than that-lets say 4000 calories-I consume MORE energy I need-it will be changed in bodyfat.

When you eat under your caloric needs you will loose weight.

When you eat above your caloric needs you will add weight and hell yeah it will be fat and ONLY fat-because the energy you don?t is stored in fat.

I don?t get the clue why this should be working
Thanx!

What isn’t logical is why this is hard for someone to understand when they claim they have been lifting “for some time now”. If you want to gain muscle, where do you think that extra muscle will come from if you are ONLY eating enough to maintain bodily functions? If breathing, eating, farting, walking, blinking, and scratching take up 3,000cals a day for you, guess what? You won’t be gaining a damn thing unless you INCREASE that amount.

All of that weight lifting you have been doing “for some time now”? Yeah, that would be to promote your muscles to feel the need to grow as adaptation to stress. That means that if you are training hard, you will not simply gain fat from increasing calories. If you eat more and simply sit on your ass all day, yes, you will gain fat. The difference is TRAINING.
[/quote]

Thank you prof x.
“Some time” means about 5 years.
I started with 73 inces (186cm) and 143 pounds and now I am at 73 inches and 190 pounds.(86kg)
In this time I trained with a lots of plans and had meals I wanted.
Now I want to change sth.with my nutrion for more results.
Nutrition is not my special friend thats why I have these stupid newb questions;)

ProfX,

I wish you’d quit it with the truth and common sense, it isn’t selling well!

Anyway, from the latest post, at 6’+ and 190 lbs, after five years, why don’t you just … wait for it … STFU and eat?

I don’t mean to be rude, but if you lose sight of the dimple in your bottom set of abs for a few weeks the world isn’t going to stop spinning.

[banging my head against the wall]

Bottom line is that it’s only possible to add muscle when eating at maintenance or a caloric deficit for so long. Someone who has achieved decent size and has been training hard for awhile will need to eat at a caloric surplus to gain appreciable muscle. Some of the gains will be fat. But much of it if not most of it will be muscle.

It’s a myth/overgeneralization that you can’t gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. People lean out and gain muscle and strength or at least maintain. But the amount of added muscle if it was achieved is comparitively miniscule. The best way to make significant changes and add significant muscle is to eat a caloric surplus and train hard.

Yeah seriously, 50lbs in 5 years isn’t great, especially starting out that skinny. Then again, that’s not surprising considering you’ve been trying to eat at a maintenance level. Do a search for Massive eating and massive eating reloaded, and then, well, eat.

thanx for reply,but in my eyes this 20kg gains in 5 years are (for me) quite good…I am not proud of it but it is not THAT bad.

I appreciate your reply guys,thank you very much!

[quote]bulkingup1 wrote:
thanx for reply,but in my eyes this 20kg gains in 5 years are (for me) quite good…I am not proud of it but it is not THAT bad.

I appreciate your reply guys,thank you very much!

[/quote]

No one is saying it is “that bad”. We are saying that if your goal is mediocrity, you will never have that far to go.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
bulkingup1 wrote:
thanx for reply,but in my eyes this 20kg gains in 5 years are (for me) quite good…I am not proud of it but it is not THAT bad.

I appreciate your reply guys,thank you very much!

No one is saying it is “that bad”. We are saying that if your goal is mediocrity, you will never have that far to go.[/quote]

LMFAO. Seriously, I used to be in the category of not eating enough. I’m working on it, but I’ve come a long way. For a long time I was not eating enough. So I remember the days when I didn’t eat at least 2500-3000+ calories a day, I used to get 1500-2000 on a good day, and I wasn’t making sure to eat enough protein either.

I remember those days; one moderately intense workout would make me sore for DAYS. To the point that I couldn’t walk after squats or raise my hand over my head from benching or any upper body work. I also remember progressing at a snail’s pace.

So, when I hear all the advice on here telling the skinny metrosexual wanna-be’s to shut up and eat, I think they are on to something.

BTW, ProfX, thanks to you I’ve been able to eat a double-Whataburger once in a while without any guilt! Whataburger rocks!

[quote]bulkingup1 wrote:
thanx for reply,but in my eyes this 20kg gains in 5 years are (for me) quite good…I am not proud of it but it is not THAT bad.

I appreciate your reply guys,thank you very much!

[/quote]

It’s not that bad. But if you were satisfied with it, you wouldn’t have posted. The important thing is not to be overly concerned with maintaining leaness. Some will tell you that you should just continously bulk for years on end. I personally don’t think this is necessary. Perhaps best. But not necessary for excellent progress.You can interject some brief leaning out phases in between weeks and months of solid bulking to control fat gain. But when you are bulking, you really need to take it seriously and eat appropriately. You can’t just eat at maintenance and/or stop just cause you gain some fat.

[quote]bulkingup1 wrote:
thanx for reply,but in my eyes this 20kg gains in 5 years are (for me) quite good…I am not proud of it but it is not THAT bad.

I appreciate your reply guys,thank you very much!

[/quote]

How much of it was in your first year of training seriously? You’ve gained more than me, and you are bigger than I am right now. That doesn’t mean your progress is even close to as good as it could be, or that you don’t have a lot to learn.

[quote]Aleksandr wrote:
bulkingup1 wrote:
thanx for reply,but in my eyes this 20kg gains in 5 years are (for me) quite good…I am not proud of it but it is not THAT bad.

I appreciate your reply guys,thank you very much!

How much of it was in your first year of training seriously? You’ve gained more than me, and you are bigger than I am right now. That doesn’t mean your progress is even close to as good as it could be, or that you don’t have a lot to learn.[/quote]

I don?t get the meaning of your last sentence.So when my sucess is good,on the other side it is not good,because i have to learn more and my suxess could be even better???
My first year of training? No clue perhaps 3 kg?
the 20 kg are not only mass of course i am not that lean any more i used to be…

Thank you very much for all replies!!!

Just because something is good doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be better. It’s good that you gained weight, but you haven’t gained as much as you could have. If you are gaining a lot of fat, that may be a problem too. I really suggest you read Dr. Berardi’s article on eating.

I would take their advice. Not that gaining 50 lbs in 5 years isnt good but thanks to everyone at T-Nation (both the coaches and frequent posters) Ive gained over 30 lbs in about 10 months of training with only a small amount of bodyfat. These people know what they are talking about and the advice they are giving works…