T Nation

Help With this Bulking Diet?


I've been living on around 600-1,800 calories a day for years. Sometimes I'd go a whole day on just a bowl of cereal and milk, or just a bowl of ramen noodles, some days I'd just eat what my mother made for dinner, some days I'd have a lot of what she made, plus a few bowls of cereal/ramen noodles. So I'm 125lbs at 5'7'', no clue what my BF is, or if it even matters right now.

For the past few months I've been thinking about how to change that, and I've been making an effort to eat more because I really didn't know enough to know how. Unfortunately, I pretty much just ate more ramen noodles, more of whatever my mom happened to cook, and more cereal, and a whey shake or two. Now I know a little more, so I'm trying to come up with a diet. My budget will be $50 a week:

Six meals a day, all will be this:

One can of tuna.
Some whole-wheat pasta.
Two tablespoons of peanut butter.

Then, as a snack at night, a can of pineapple chunks and half a cup of cottage cheese.

One can of tuna = 150 calories, 1.25g fat, 32.5g protein

I do not know how much whole-wheat pasta I will be eating, or what the nutritional facts of it are.

Two tablespoons of peanut butter = 190 calories, 16g fat (3 saturated), 7g carbs, 8g protein.

Pineapple chunk can = 270 calories, 15g carbs.

Half-cup of cottage cheese = 110 calories, 5g of fat (3g saturated, is that good or bad?), 5g carbs, 13g protein.

That comes to 340 + x calories, 17.5g + x fat, 7g + x carbs, and 40.5g protein per meal.

2420 + x calories per day.
110g + x fat per day.
62g + x carbs per day.
256g + x protein per day.

Will that be enough for a decent bulk? How many calories should try to get every day? How many grams of fats and carbs should I try to get? How many grams of protein?

I do have 15lbs of whey protein powder sitting in my garage, waiting to be used. I had 20lbs, but I've been using it..

Should I shoot for having a shake with every meal, or would that be too much? With just the milk and protein it would be 22g protein and 120 calories from the whey, plus 150 calories and whatever else the milk has, which would buff my meals by 22g and 270 calories. I realize I'd pretty much be saying "screw you" to vegetables and fruits if I did this, but they don't offer anything I can't get from vitamins, right?


Fruits and vegetables are beneficial to your overall health and you can't replace them completely with just vitamins. Your carb intake seems extremely low to me as well, especially for a bulking diet. Also, not to shoot holes in the plan, but with the mercury content in tuna, eating six cans a day for an extended period of time could have some repercussions.

I would recommend you go read Berardi's Massive Eating article, and his first Tailor-made Nutrition article for starters. I'm not sure how much help can be given until you go over the nutrition articles already on this site. At 125, it seems bumping up your calories even a little should provide you some decent gains, especially since you're eating so little already, but some research in the archives, everything you need is there already.


Oh, you're right. I forgot about the rules in that tailor-made nutrition article. I'll just add some celery, carrots, or broccoli to every meal, then. I could have a protein shake with fruit instead of tuna half the time, I guess. Also, I don't mind the "shooting holes". I posted this here so I could be told about the holes. I'm not looking for a "Yeah, that's awesome! Go for it!" I just want to know what's wrong with it. Thanks. :slightly_smiling:


Variety is the spice of life...


6 cans of tuna a day! that won't be good for your mercury levels. plus you will get bored of it very quickly. i started out at your weight and found having a blenderised drink every morning and evening helped a lot.

this is what it contained:
1 pint full fat milk
1 table spoon olive oil
75g oatmeal
1/4 tub of low fat yoghurt
1 scoop Grow!

i buy chicken in bulk and cut it all up in one go then weigh out even portions into bags and freeze them. make it as easy as possible to eat regularly. Re-read over bernardis articles and write down relevant notes that you can carry around with you.


Hm. I've just found out that my parents can't spare $50, instead the number is about $35, at best $40. Whole-wheat pasta is a lot more expensive than regular pasta.. Would oatmeal be good instead?


I don't know if you have one where you are, but costco is a godsend for me. 5 dozen eggs goes for around 5 bucks and I have about 12 eggs a day, usually two meals of six in the morning with some other meat, bacon or sausage or beef. Oatmeal is inexpensive and a good choice.

My shopping cart typically contains: oatmeal, potatoes, beans, brown rice, bags of frozen mixed veggies, apples, bannanas, few lbs of ground beef, and bags of frozen chicken, eggs...I'd get salad, but I don't have much room since I share a fridge and it always gets crushed. I'm not sure how it'd work for your budget, but you can make those work if you're buying in bulk, and I'm just throwing out ideas.


Given your past history, I'd worry more about just eating properly. Don't go for some funky dietary regime that won't give you what you need.

Beans, potatoes, various vegetables and oats can be damned cheap. However, as you say you are bulking, you don't need to be so picky, just have whatever everyone else is having, then have some more a couple hours later.

As for custom foods, stock up on oatmeal, cottage cheese and maybe fish oil and eat them at appropriate times.

While you are getting your shit together with respect to eating normally (I'm not trying to insult you but once a day eating isn't realistic) you can read up on the nutritional and workout information on this site.

You don't have to fix everything at once, that can be difficult, but at least keep fixing things, one or two at a time, as you incorporate new good habits into your lifestyle.