T Nation

Enough Calories??


Okay, so I'm one of those guys who has a real hard time keeping weight on. I'm 6,1 and my normal weight (while not lifting) is about 150 lbs. I've managed to put on about 10 lbs with the help of a supplement called elite mass in the past 2 months. I'm not exactly a beginner. I've trained myself up to about 180 lbs before, then lost it all from a pulmonary surgery I had on my ribcage and sternum. I've attempted once before to start putting the weight back on, then relapsed. I'm trying again and this time I think I'm in for the long haul again. One thing that's been holding me back is that due to my chest I no longer squat. The doctor said I have no restrictions, however, I don't think he ever imagined I would be lifting as hard as I do because it just doesn't feel right. I can still deadlift, which has become the foundation of my routine (used to be squats). Anybody know any good substitutions for standard squats??

Anyway back to the point. Last night I trained very hard and got out of the gym at about 8 pm. I got a "half-chicken meal" from Boston Market with marcaroni & cheese, mashed potatos, and, well, a half chicken. Then throughout the course of the night I had 2 quarter servings of elite mass with whole milk and ended the night with a small portion of teriyaki noodles. I fell asleep at 3am, then woke up at 9am and had a quarter serving shake, fell back asleep until 2:45, had another quarter serving, and then started studying for a math test. Out of desperation for calories I ate a single pulled pork slider from White Castle and one more shake while studying. That was at about 3:30 pm. I haven't had anything else to eat until just now when I started to write this.

So I know Whitecastle is certainly not the way to go. Not so sure about Bostonmarket either, but regardless, have I wasted my workout by depriving myself of calories for too long? I realized at just about the time I ate that whitecastle burger (which was about 30 mins after I actually got it), that I only had protein shake in my system and it was well into the afternoon. If I have, I'll just have to make up for it, but is it possible to not lose the effort I put forth last night by eating a TON at this moment? Or has the damage already been done at this point.

Silly question I know, but I feel like at least someone will have some words of wisdom for me.


Add it up.

Counting calories is a good idea until you can just eye-ball things and know how much you're getting.

You just generally need more food, timing isn't a big deal if you're eating mammoth meals (neither of yours qualifies, even if it might seems so to you), but you're not.

It doesn't sound like enough calories, it's only 2 meals, and you shouldn't be relying on what sounds like a mass gainer (they're usually composed of shitty, cheap ingredients) to get your calories.

Fast food isn't a problem, but you need to be consuming MORE to make it worth your while.

Eat more food, it isn't rocket surgery. You need to eat until you're uncomfortable sometimes.

As far as squats go, there are plenty of things that can sub for squats, unilateral work isn't a bad idea (I'm not a fan), or you could try things like front squats.


Go to a diet website like fitday and start logging all of your food. It's an easy way to add up all your calories and breakdowns. You'll see the big guys on here recommending something like 20xbodyweight for total calories to gain weight, so for you that would be about 3200 calories (you weight 160 now?).


This just ain't good enough, son!


I looked up Elite Mass, and it says one serving is 600cal. Why in the hell are you taking quarter servings?

You ate four pieces of chicken with mac+cheese and mashed potatoes. That's a good start.

150cal here
150cal there
a small serving of noodles
150cal again
Sleep some more
Another 150

You made the statement that you trained yourself up to 180 before. That's wrong. You EAT your way up in weight. Training just puts that weight where you want it instead of on your gut.


Let me get this straight, you want to know whether the food you ate for ONE day is gonna cut it?


Troll maybe?

How are we supposed to know how much YOU need to eat every day to gain?

Repeat a CONSISTENT daily diet for weeks. It doesn't matter if it's the same foods, just do it consistently (not one binge day, then days of snacking).

Gaining weight? No? Add more to your meals

Do this for 2 years, then come back here with a real question.


If your only eating twice a day, you gotta go big. 1500+ calories a meal.


Zercher squats

1-legged squats (aka split squat, aka "pistol" squat, aka uniliateral squat). The advantage is that it lets you do the equivalent weight per leg, but at 1/2 the weight on your body (with dumbbells). If you back squat 300 lbs, then you can do 1-legged squats with approximately two 75-lb dumbbells. Some will argue it is not as good of a movement, because you aren't involving the back with as much weight, but it is a decent compromise. Lunges would be similar too.


Actually, I am putting on weight. I'm 160 now. And whatever you call it what I was doing worked last time, so I obviously was eating. I never asked if what I was eating was enough. I think it's pretty clear from my post that I know its not enough. My question was how much of a setback would a day such as the one described above be from steady progress; not just for this particular incident but in general.


Um, no.

I've already done that. I was under 140 lbs when I started lifting. That was five years ago. Lost every ounce of progress I made after my surgery, which was 3 years ago. Had the steel bar removed from my ribcage last year.. Now i'm starting over.


We either have differing opinions on bodybuilding success, or you have your sights set very low. At 6'1", you are going to need to weigh well over 200lbs to look like a lifter. You said in your first post that you are one of those guys who has "a real hard time keeping weight on". In actuality, you're one of those guys who has a real hard time understanding that you have to EAT BIG to GET BIG.

I don't understand the point in worrying about it. You can't go back and do it over again. You almost make it sound as if you're planning on doing this every now and then.