T Nation

How much is too much?

On the topic of bulking up and massive eating, I’d like to know how many calories and grams of protein per day this would constitute? Is there not a point where it becomes unhealthy to eat over a certain amount of calories per day? I know I;ve read somewhere that it’s been proven that the more excess calories you eat, the shorter your life expectancy will be. Anyone think consuming over 4500 cals/day would be harmful to your health and digestive system if done so for a prolonged period of time? (I don’t wanna end up with stomach problems later on in life) Also what kind of ill effects (if any) does eating your food in a quick manner all the time have on your digestive system?

First question - how big are you? What are your stats?

This is clearly an individual thing and no blanket statements can or should be made.

who do you think is healthier?

someone who is into bodybuilding and ocassionally uses a massive eating type protocol, builds a signifacant amount of lbm, and maintains good cardio vascular health. or the average person that eats cheetos and pork skins all day and doesnt exercise at all?

lonnie lowery actually did an article on the subject some time ago. but i think this one can be answered with common sense.

This is going to be different for everybody.

4500 calories may be a bulking diet for one person, while another person requires that amount to maintain their weight.

I mean…ya gotta eat for what you’re tryin to do…ain’t no two ways about it.

Well the more excess calories you consume, the more free radicals you have floating around your cells,looking to steal H+ molecules from your DNA. Science has actually proved that the opposite:, a calorie restrictive diet (or Cr for short) can actually extend your life expectancy.

As far as 4500 cals a day, If you were > 6’2", and > 260lbs at a bf or 4-11%, 4500+ calories would be O.K. if you are not as big as this you may not need to eat that much to get the results you want.

250 pounds, muscle or fat, is hard on the kidneys, heart, etc.

Muscle is obviously superior to fat (in terms of health benefits), but you see the point. No caveman was walking around sporting a 220+ pound physique.

Dan “But at least I ain’t getting eaten by a saber-toothed tiger. Who’s the winner now?!” McVicker

That line of thinking is what ‘life extensionists’ subscribe too.

Basically the theory goes ‘caloric restriction of a nutrient-rich diet throughout the life span of a mammal will extend the life span. It has been demonstrated to work in rats, mice, and is now being studied in monkeys. While some people practice caloric restriction as a means of extending lifespan, its primary value is as a model to explore how aging can be controlled. Although none of the therapies in this section have been proven to retard aging.’

Some people actually do this and restrict their calories so much they walk around looking like they just escaped from Auswitch. At its most draconian, followers take in about 1,200 calories a day.

Personally if you want live like this then fine but I’d rather enjoy being active and being able to move around at faster than snail pace. Sex for these people must be like watching two tortoises go at it.

BTW I know some strongmen competitors eat upwards of 8000kcal a day while training.

Thunder;
Blanket statements are ALWAYS good.

Josher,
As the forum stated it depends on your goals. Trying to get hyuuuuuge?Training for strongman? Either way carrying that size and eating that many calories ALL the time will ultimately put a tremendous stress on your digestive system, kidneys, etc. You seem to be concerned with just having good amounts of muscle, med-low bf%, and overall goood health and longevity. If so then cycle your training/dietary focus to include periods of both hyper/hypo-caloric intake and reap the benfits of both.

I’m about 190-195, probably 8% bf year round, and a hair under 6 feet tall. I eat 4300 calories a day, and I never gain too much weight, so I fiqure 4300 calories is probably my maintenance quota. I was just wondering if eating that many calories every day and increasing it substanially to say 5000 a day on a bulking cycle would cause me to have stomach problems or soemthing to that effect down the road from eating so much food.

As far as my goals are, my main goals are too just keep increasing strength, but I would also like to get up around 210lbs I think.

[quote]
Thunder;
Blanket statements are ALWAYS good. [/quote]

What?

Creed,

Dr. Roy Wolford of UCLA, a self proclaimed life extensionist, has been on a low calorie diet (1500 calories per day), since the late 1970’s. His hopes are to be able to live to 120 years of age with this method. He is currently 76.

The joke is that while he may not make 120 he will certainly feel like he made it!

I have to completely agree with you on this topic. What sort of a life does he, and others who do this, really have? If you can’t sit down to a steak smothered with mushrooms, washed down with your favorite glass of wine, or beer, what’s the point? (that meal alone is probably 1500 calories or so.

On the subject of longevity, I subscribe to Jack LaLanes view. Nutrient dense natural food diet, with plenty of supplemention along with very consistent and intense training sessions. LaLane turns 90 in September and he is going to do one of his fitness stunts. At the age of 90 most people, who are fortunate enough to be alive, are lucky to be able to wipe their own nose.

Don’t worry so much about the calories that you consume as long as they are “clean” and mostly from natural food. That means food that man has not either made or messed with. Then follow it up with a consistent training regime.

Ahh, I wasn’t talking about eating as little as possible, I just wanted to know if eating a lot, ie, 5000cal or more consistently, poses digestive problems later on.

I was going to start my own thread today regarding Massive Eating. I just started a bulking phase yesterday and I was going to comment on how difficult it actually is to eat 5100 calories a day. I would recommend doing this for a week to anyone who wants to drop weight, because you will be so sick of eating you won?t even want to look at food. I feel like I am going to burst. I am 6’3" 255 lbs at around 16% body fat. I know most of you think I am too fat to go on a bulking cycle, but I am not really in it for the aesthetics of my physique. I am a highland games competitor and I am trying to pack on a little more LBM before throwing season starts up again. Also I have lost a lot of weight/fat since the beginning of last summer. In June I was 274lbs @ 29-30%BF. So I’ve lost around 38lbs of fat and gained about 19 lbs of muscle. My goal is to be at around 260lbs @ 10-12%BF.

Josher, “too much” is relative. If you’re getting fat, whatever you eat is TOO MUCH and not good for your health. If you’re busting your butt in the gym and not putting on size, it doesn’t matter what amount of calories you’re eating, it’s NOT ENOUGH!!!

The only other consideration is quality of food. No matter how many calories you’re taking in (or not), if you’re eating donuts and fried food and chips and beer, it’s TOO MUCH and not good for your health. I don’t care what your waistline or your body looks like.

Don’t worry what the numbers are. Make sure you’re eating 6+ meals a day, getting protein every meal and choosing quality carbs, fats and protein. Keep a food log and increase calories by 250 a day if a week or two go by and you don’t gain weight. That assumes that you’re busting your butt in the gym, too!

Good luck to you, and if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

“Blanket statements are ALWAYS good”

this was humor.

I agree with all that TT said in her last post.

The way she laid out about adding 250 kcals a day is a very solid approach to add on LBM and limit fat gains. So many ppl decide to bulk and just simply jump in head long, following some equation for kcals that is said to be correct for adding mass gain. So they automatcially up their intake a few thousand Kcals. In most cases this increase in kcals comes right on the tail end of a cutting cycle in which the person was on a hypocaloric diet. So what usually happens is they add on a lot of fat, and then get discouraged, and start the whole yoyo of bulk, cut, bulk, etc. This just doesnt work to well.

By following the multiple moderate increases TT suggested, you give your body time to adjust. You get past your bodies natural response of storing these extra kcals for what it expects, yet another period of calorie deficite. This is just a natural response you cant stop. The first thing your body will do after a diet is store to survive, building new LBM just isnt on the top of it’s list of priorities.

The other benefit is by increasing in this fashion you will come to find the exact amount that you need to GROW. When that growing reaches a plateau then you know it’s time for another increase.

So you get all your looking for. U Grow and you limit the fat gains. It may take a little longer, and it’s a little more work. But if this was easy everyone would be HUGE.

Just my 2cc
Phill

Zeb
I’d love to meet Dr. Wolford on his death bed and ask him if he thought it was worth it!

TT and Phill
Very good point there about slowly increasing your calorific intake to avoid excess fat gain. I definitely made the mistake of piling an extra 1000kcal of food into my stomach of ‘high quality’ P+F+C and still gaining too much fat after a period of calorific restriction.
I’m guilty of wanting results yesterday!

Systematically increasing calories is definitely the way to go.

I use this approach with most people.

Good advice.

What about Machine who got results by shifting from bulking to cutting in microcycles?