T Nation

Chronically Undereating

I hate admitting this…but I know it’s true, I undereat. I don’t meant to do it, I just don’t feel really…hungry I guess. I probably average out at about 2000 cals/day. Now I’m a pretty big guy @ 215, 6’2, 18 ish % bf, I know that I need more calories. The problem is that it’s hard to get more clean calories in. Of course I could be wrong about the undereating but I doubt it.

Sample day:

Breakfast:
-2 cups of fruit (320 cals, 80g’s carbs)
-protein shake (2 scoops = 200 cals, 40g’s protein, 10g’s carbs)

Lunch:
-homemade wrap made of whole wheat flatbread, chicken, avocado, tomato’s and several other vegetables (not sure)

  • .5L of water (0 cals)

Snack:
-protein bar (300 cals, 23g of protein, 40g of carbs)

Dinner:
-Half barbecued chicken (300 cals?, 40g’s protein?)
-2 cups of cucumber salad (400 cals?, 25g’s carbs)
-2 cups green tea (180 cals, 28g’s carbs)

(estimated totals for the wrap added)

Total: 2000 cals, 150g’s protein, 230g’s carbs

(Estimated from FitDay)
Also I take 3 tabs/pills/capsules of fish oil in the morning if that matters.

Can anyone who’s had issues with this plz give some insight?

According to Berardi I should be eating 6800 cals a day (f***) during football season…s*** I’m eating a third of what I should be. I just downed like 4 handfuls of almonds which brings up my protein by 50g’s (according to the can) :).

The thing is that I don’t feel hungry, I seriously would eat more but the problem is that I don’t feel it when I’m hungry (except for the middle of football practice which doesn’t help very much with my concentration on the game). What other snacks would be good?

add a snack between breakie and lunch, and have a carb free snack before bed. the trick to eating lot isn’t stuffing your face in one meal, its eating as soon as you aren’t full from the last meal.

ie, you cant eat 2000 calories for one meal, so you have 1000, then 1000 an hour and a half later

i like to have some nuts before bed (walnuts are great lots of ALA) along with a tin or two of tuna or some cottage cheese.

i prefer the tuna because it digests slow compared to powder or cheese, and dairy makes me breakout :frowning:

Sounds like it’s time to visit price choppers lol. My family only eats like 2000 calories a day (they’re all way smaller than me though except my dad who’s quite ‘husky’) and my lunch is packed for me lol so I don’t control what I eat at all. I’ll visit price choppers and pick up some cans of tuna and I’ll pack myself some almonds. Any other snacks that are great w. the cals?

Also I’ve been eating this way for like 2 years (don’t remember before that) so how much should I increase my daily calories every week? Should I increase my daily amount by 200 every week? 300? more? If I do it all at once my body probably wouldn’t respond well. All help is appreciated.

IWM

[quote]schultzie wrote:
add a snack between breakie and lunch, and have a carb free snack before bed. the trick to eating lot isn’t stuffing your face in one meal, its eating as soon as you aren’t full from the last meal.

ie, you cant eat 2000 calories for one meal, so you have 1000, then 1000 an hour and a half later

i like to have some nuts before bed (walnuts are great lots of ALA) along with a tin or two of tuna or some cottage cheese.

i prefer the tuna because it digests slow compared to powder or cheese, and dairy makes me breakout :([/quote]

Good advice shultzie.

Itwastnme,

Another thing to consider is that Berardi’s articles are more geared towards “ectomorphs” or those who have a hard time putting on muscle, but tend to stay lean very easily.

If you’re only eating 2,000 kcals per day and are still 6’2" and 215 lbs, you’re probably not an ectomorph. I’d follow Berardi’s “7 Habits” which can be found in his “Massive Eating Reloaded” article (I believe part 1). If following that, without necessarily trying to jump right to eating 6,700 kcals per day, doesn’t cause you to start gaining weight, then start implementing his tips for increasing your caloric intake.

Stop adding calories when you start gaining weight (if you’re worried about fat gain) and keep that many calories until you stop gaining. Then continue the process until you reach your goal.

Another important note is that when trying to gain weight, you should not be relying on feeling hungry to prompt you to eat. You should instead have already designated times when you will eat already designated meals. So, for instance if you are eating every 3 yours, you eat a meal at 9am and 12 noon, regardless of whether or not you “feel” hungry at those times.

Finally, start a food log/journal. It really helps to actually keep track of what you are eating to know really how many calories you’re actually taking in on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. This also helps make you accountable for your diet.

Good training,

Sentoguy

With the exception of every 2-3 hours rule, I’ve got this pretty covered except for my breakfast which is still partly whole and is usually rushed.

Since I’m 6’2 with a large frame wouldn’t I need quite a bit more calories than what I already take in? I realize that I’m definitely not an ectomorph but wouldn’t my body need more calories to lug around my frame? I look muscular and have the muscle already and what I need to do is to maintain for now and cut down once the football season ends to hopefully 10%. The only problem is that according to Berardi’s get shredded diet (which I suppose I would be using), I should be ingesting approx. 2000 cals which I already do on a daily basis. If I wanted to cut a bit I’d be ingesting so few calories…it doesn’t even make sense. I even eat less than my base metabolic rate (2185 or something) on a daily basis. How does this make sense? I’m losing weight very slowly if at all and I burn 3000+ calories a day with weight lifting every other day and football practice every day. The numbers just don’t make sense.

I’ll try eating every 3 hrs from now on and see what effect that has on my body.

Once again all help is appreciated!

IWM

I have no idea who said this, but a guy on here told me to do this and it helps. There’s two things. After every meal you have, it sounds weird, but after every meal eat a scoop of peanut butter. And just seriously force yourself to eat. (clean that is, eat clean) Oh yeah, milk too.

yeah it takes a while to get used to eating BIG, i still really cant get more than about 4500 clean calories in a day, and thats with thinking about eating non stop throughout the day

  1. For breakfast:

Grind up 250ml(1 canadian Cup) of oats in the blender and add it along with 500ml(2 canadian Cups) of milk and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your protein shake. Flavor to taste with the fruit on your list (or some other flavoring, like maybe honey or peanut butter) and suck down. You’ll get about 670 calories or so per shake and 800+ if you use 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

  1. before bed, eat a small meal of:
  • some tuna as suggested earlier
  • cottage cheese
  • a tablespoon of peanut butter or a handful of almonds.
  1. If you can handle it, drink a glass of milk with every meal.

I remember a while ago, one of the guys on the board told someone to do a TBSP of peanut butter on top of each meal. that sounded like really solid advice to me.

[quote]schultzie wrote:
yeah it takes a while to get used to eating BIG, i still really cant get more than about 4500 clean calories in a day, and thats with thinking about eating non stop throughout the day[/quote]

I find this hard to believe, but if it’s true, talk to some of the former fat boys on here, they can give you all kinds of ideas on how to add calories, because those are things they had to stop doing. Here are a few examples:

  1. Peanut butter, and any kind of nuts are VERY calorie dense. Heck a large handful of nuts is like 1000 calories.

  2. Mayonnaise, goes great with meat and really packs a calorie punch. Make sure to get the kind made with canola instead of soy.

  3. Calorie laden beverages. You have to be careful here to pick healthy choices, but you can suck down 1000 calories worth of orange juice or v8 in a hurry. (watch your carb timing though)

  4. Salad dressing. Just about any kind is calorie dense, just use more than normal. Blue cheese or italian are probably the healthier choices.

  5. Hollandaise sauce on your vegetables

  6. Thicker soups like bean & bacon or cream of mushroom are often pretty calorie dense. Fry up some hamburger and toss that in for that extra calorie punch.

  7. Whole wheat pasta and brown rice dishes are generally pretty calorie dense. Mexican rice dish for example (hamburger, brown rice, hot sauce, cheese, taco seasoning, onions, sour cream, refried beans)

If you can’t get at least 6000 calories a day, you’re not even trying. That’s only 1000 calories a meal. If you’re really still having trouble, try adding more meals say 8 per day instead of 6.

Eat a big mac every day. :wink:

I’m at 18% BF, I’m definitely not an ectomorph and I have no idea how I can maintain at 2000 cals /day. I’ll try adding a spoonful of peanut butter after every meal. Like I said before, off to Loblaws! I’m 100% sure that I shouldn’t be adding these calories all at once so how many cals should I up it every week?

You’re in starvation mode. I’m a chronic undereater as well. I used to eat 1200-1600 for about 15 years. I balooned up to 266 lbs with 54" waist. @ 36% BF.

At the time, I could not understand it either. But your body is designed to survive. It sees muscle as dagerous, because it uses calories. when you’re below your BMR, it slows down heart rate, body temperature, no testosteron (I’m on testim), it goes into super econo mode. When I changed my diet, I noticed little differences. like thicker nails.

I started eating 2600 calories and started to loose weight. And that worked for a while but stopped again. and I am now a 44" waiste @ 29%BF

I slowly started adding 250 calories / day for a week and I am currently at 4000 calories and still maintaining my weight. I am still adding slowly and will do a mini bulk. ~2-3 lbs / month for 3 months.

I am hoping this will reset my metabolism. I, and several others above, would suggest you start eating until you start putting on weight. Do it slowly, and do it for a few months.

Yeah I know you want to loose weight. You can try to loose weight, and it may work, it may not, and it may work temporarly like it did for me. If you don’t fix your metabolism, it will get worst, and harder to recover.

Good luck

try adding snacks as the other guys have said … like mixed nuts, beef jerky, a block of cheese that you munch on between meals - this will add up to 1,000 calories depending on what and how much you eat, and you don’t really realize how much you are eating because you’re constantly munching throughout the day

stormbringer - your answer so far seems to make a lot of sense, can anyone else provide information on this or their opinion?

Also if storm is right, is there anything specific I should eat to help boost and recover my metabolism?

beginner - Yeah I tried just going through the day snacking most of the day and it did raise my numbers alot, only thing is that I shouldn’t raise the calorie number by a large amount all at once.

Also storm I’m only slightly concerned at the moment with losing weight because of the football season. When it ends though I’m going to try to lose a little and lean up a bit for the snowboarding season.

Try waking up an hour early, chugging a protein shake, going back to bed, and then eating eggs for breakfast. That�??s what I do.

I would do that supa but the thing is that it takes me FOREVER to fall asleep. The average person falls asleep in 7 mins, it takes me half an hour to an hour to fall asleep, sometimes even longer.

u can try a weight gainer

[quote]ItWasntMe wrote:

Also if storm is right, is there anything specific I should eat to help boost and recover my metabolism?[/quote]

YES!!! Pre- and post-workout nutrition! I cannot believe you could even drag yourself through weight training and football on that amount of calories. I strongly recommend you do a search on this site for the thousands of good suggestions as to exactly what and when you should ingest this most precious of meals.

Your strength and metabolism will rise, your gains will go up, and your DOMS will disappear. Plus you can pack in around 600 easy calories a day without gaining an ounce of fat. This is where I shamelessly plug Surge. Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it’s worth it.

-Sab

From what I’ve read so far I’ve basically come to the conclusion that I take a load of protein before training and a bunch of quick digesting carbs after. I don’t know how I possibly managed to drag myself through football and lifting but I did so w/e. I’ll focus on downing another protein shake or 2 during the day and see how that goes. My football season is almost over so that will make life a little easier. You meant Surge Recovery right?