How Do I Get Enough Calories?

I can’t seem to get enough calories to make proper gains. I’m 6 foot tall and about 165 lbs. I’ve gotten stronger over the years, but my weight has remained largely unchanged and I feel I could have gotten a lot stronger had I been able to increase my food intake. According to different resources I should be getting some 2500-3000 calories per day considering my activity level which is 4-6 CrossFit and lifting sessions per week.

The basic problem is that I simply can’t eat the required about of calories without feeling sick to my stomach. On days where I manage 3000 calories I feel stuffed and I find it hard to train when I’m that full. Also, having a full time job I find it hard to even find the time to eat the food in the first place let alone prepare it. I try to focus on rather calorie dense foods. I eat a lot of nuts, avocados etc. I usually add a home made shake which has about 800 calories. But it keeps me stuffed for 5-6 hours.

I’ve read articles about body builders who consume up to 10000 calories per day! I simply can’t understand how you can take in all that food.

I’m not asking for a diet plan here. Was just wondering if anyone have had the same issues and what they did about it? You’re comments are appreciated.

You get used to it if you stick at it for longer than 2 weeks. Just increase by a bit each other day if you are really struggling.

Fat and shakes are your friend.

When do you train? I’ve had the same problem as you before, esp regarding training when too full.

Now I prefer to train something in the morning, either a full session or split the day into an AM and PM session. This eliminated the problem I had before. Training on empty stomach might leave you feeling dead, but for me the key to avoiding this was really loading up on food the day before.

As far as getting enough calories is concerned, GOMAD works and I recommend it to everyone that can handle it. Even if you don’t go full GOMAD, whole milk is an easy thing to add to your diet. It is honestly much cheaper per calorie than anything else that has balanced macros, in my area anyway. Making large batches of foods like rice, chicken, meat chili, etc can be done on the weekends and portioned out all at once to save time on your work days

Crossfit is hard and you probably need more than 3000 calories. For reference I llift 2-3xWk and have judo 2-3xWk and I need 4000+ Cals to gain at this point

Nuts. Snack on cashews, macadamias, almonds and peanut butter.

Do you like pizza?

I wish I had this problem.


Wonderful problem to have!

Here are a few tips:

Load a tbsp. of nut butter onto a couple of rice cakes and eat them after or in between a meal = 150kcals; double the dose, if you can, and you’ve added 300kcals to your meal and you will hardly have noticed. Do this 1-2 times a day, more if you can.

After dinner at night, empty 50g cashews into a bowl with around the same volume of giant raisins. Snack through them after dinner and you’ve added nearly 800kcals, again you will hardly notice the bowl being drained.

Another option is mixing up shakes in a blender a la Dave Draper et al. The point is adding calories dense foods like nut butter, full fat milk, banana, coconut oil, etc. are all simple ways to crank up calories in a 500ml drink, which can be easily downed (even before bed).

A carb tip is to chose rice over potatoes. It’s far easier to eat 100CHO from steamed rice, IMO, than the same macros from potatoes. As an aside, rice is really flexible and can be used for sweet purposes too, using syrups, honey, nut butter, etc.

Finally, watch your fibre intake. Green veg, etc. is great for you and shouldn’t be shunned but some folks underestimate their fibre intake and, as a result, you do literally feel full (because you are). (Oats can do this in the morning too, although they are a good calorie source. Again, I’d argue the same macro quantity in rice or quinoa is far easier to consume). For this reason, another tip is do the reverse of dieters and consume your greens last. Start meals with aggressive tastes; salty meats work well, with your carbs, and your appetite is more likely to flourish.

don’t be scared to add some fast food, either. Is it healthy? Of course not, but you can load up on calories. I’m not suggesting you eat it every day, but a couple of times a week would help.

Thanks for the input guys!

Digestive enzymes with hcl, especially with big post workout meal -pushes back the feeling of indigestion and bloat and improves nutrient absorption. Personally use now foods brand whihc seem good quality

Also slop virgin olive oil all over your pre workout meal

When bodybuilders say that htey consume 10k calories, they arent always " clean" calories!

Add a couple of high calorie protein shakes a day to your meals. A simple 500-700 calories can come from 2 to 3 scoops of whey, 1 to 2 cups whole milk, 1 to 2 cups rolled oats, a banana or two, 2 to 3 tablespoons peanut butter, throw in a blender and enjoy a nice clean high-calorie bulk shake. Drink one or two of these a day to add a ton of easy to stomach calories. I’m 6 feet tall, 210 pounds and 12-13% body fat and wish I had your problem.