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Eating Clean Above Maintenance = Too Full?

Hey, Starting Strength newbie here. Some stats:

H: 6’7"
W: 295 lbs. (I’ve got some weight to lose)
A: 26 years old

The program’s been working great for me so far. My newbie squat’s gone up 40 lbs. after 4 weeks. It’s going to be sad when linear progression ends, eh.

My problem is that I’ve been shooting for a Leangains approach; a little on the lean side. Part of the alleged ground rules are that you should chew your food, and that carbs should come from probable paleo-type stuff; mainly leafy vegetables, potatoes, etc.

But even on a 3000-calorie intake diet for lifting days, I just can’t fit that much fucking food into my stomach in an 8-hour window. I didn’t become a 295 lbs. fatty by eating light; I was always the guy in my group of friends who actually didn’t get full on biscuits at Red Lobster and could eat as much as I wanted anywhere I went. But clean eating…the calories in clean foods are so low that it’s just kicking my ass on volume, and it’s skewing my entire idea of what’s healthy/clean and what should be done for a lifting diet. I can’t make it through the second meal of my attached diet, and it’s really screwing with me mentally, as I’m worrying I’m not eating enough and I’m going to stall way before I should. On days I can’t finish the clean foods, I’ll usually throw some dirty stuff into the mix for my last meal to compensate for the calories.

So realistically:

  1. How healthy can one reasonably expect to eat when bulking and building muscle? At what point for you has it been impossible or impractical to keep shoving more healthy food in your mouth, and better to just eat some fast food or chug shakes, get the calories, and keep the intake high for muscle growth? Or maybe you know some better, more calorie-dense stuff I could be eating…

  2. If anyone’s tried Leangains, how do you even hope to eat high above maintenance on lifting days without some dirty foods, especially for the carbs? The 2 potatoes are killing my ass.

Diet’s attached. I’ve eaten dirty my entire life and I’m still kind in shock at how much quantity is needed to even approach those levels of calories with clean foods. Big thanks to anyone who helps with this and sorry if some of this is a little uninformed, I’m still starting out.

Leangains ins’t for everybody. I’m learning that going Paleo or close to doesnt fit perfectly well with 16/8. You’ll have to be more flexible.

I was introduced to IF watching the Hodge “fasting” Twins on youtube. These MoFOs already SWOLE can BULKKKK on only 2800 kcals/day. Secondly, they eat caloric dense foods, which is a selling point of lean gains.

My suggestion is simply to add some dirty(or dirtier) foods in moderation. I’m using a rice bread from Joe’s. Refined carbs, YUP! Gluten free? At least it is.

Second, try going 14/10 instead for a while. You still have most of the day with bascially null insulin.

Lastly, another gentlemen on here mentioned you can bulk on less calories doing IF. I don’t know if this is true but you can try it and see how the scale tips and the mirror reflects.

60 grams of fat is going to make life difficult.

I would add more fats to bring that number up to at least 90.

You could also look into some bars that could provide a more concentrated source of energy. Finibars, obviously, but there are plenty of options out there.

30 extra grams of fat and a bar give you almost 700 extra calories right there. It will allow you to cut out some of those other things like potatoes that might be making life difficult.

You could also consider some less-filling carb choices like a handful of raisins instead of a pile of vegetables. Obviously not the same impact, but at least more concentrated.

Those are just some practical tweaks…I’ve tried this all in the context of an IF-schedule and it works well.

Try snacking on nuts. They’re very morish and extremely calorie dense - full of fat and protein.

Steak and boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

Oats and whey.

Seriously, looking at your food log you need to have some ‘volume foods’ that you can eat a lot of. For example, double your eggs per serving.

Lonnie Lowrey had a podcast a few years ago where he basically said that he had certain meals that he just doubled. Like, however much oatmeal he normally ate, he would just double.