T Nation

How The Hell Do You Eat Big?

alright i have been reading on this site for about 3 years and i do not want to post pics of myself because i weigh 165, but i have made some progress since i started at about 115, the thing i want to know is how am i suppose to eat big? is there some way to begin to eat more?

i know that my problem with gettin big is my nutrition, i dont eat enough, i train hard and smart my workouts never take longer than 45 minutes and i do the big lifts, bench squat and deadlifts, but my main problem is with eating more? any advice i would sure appreciate, and by the way i am a college student so i dont have a lot of money to spend on food?

[quote]pure_country wrote:
alright i have been reading on this site for about 3 years and i do not want to post pics of myself because i weigh 165, but i have made some progress since i started at about 115, the thing i want to know is how am i suppose to eat big? is there some way to begin to eat more?

i know that my problem with gettin big is my nutrition, i dont eat enough, i train hard and smart my workouts never take longer than 45 minutes and i do the big lifts, bench squat and deadlifts, but my main problem is with eating more? any advice i would sure appreciate, and by the way i am a college student so i dont have a lot of money to spend on food? [/quote]

Many of us were poor college students. I didn’t even have a car until my junior year. Your question makes me wonder why you would expect any other answer than, “consistently eat more each day”. It gets no more simple than that. EATING has to be a priority. It is about 4:30pm where I am. Today was mostly meetings which fucked up my eating schedule. I was still able to get down 4 meals so far simply because I planned ahead. My food was cooked last night for today. This is all about how badly you want to make progress. Being broke didn’t cause me to stop growing. I found ways around it.

I can help you out brother. I’m also a poor college student but I ‘try’ to make it work. When you do shop, just buy the basics, don’t get all the fancy stuff that the adults can afford with their real world jobs. My basic shopping list every sunday is like this:

  1. 4 full chicken breasts(8 breasts) ~ 8-9$$$

  2. 2 pound tub of standard oats ~ 3-4$$$

  3. biggest chuck steak I can find, usually 3 lbs ~ 8-9$$$

  4. Biggest bag of mixes veggies I can find, then buy two ~ 4-6$$$

  5. four tubs of FF cottage cheese ~ 10-12$$$

  6. two dozen jumbo eggs ~ 4-5$$$

  7. Every other week- 2 gallon bucket of frozen mixed fruits. -15$$$

  8. 2 hands of bananas ~3$$$


That’s usually as far as my wallet will allow and really all I need. I’ll buy some nuts and what not here and there but that’s the gist of it.

I’ll rarely go over 70$ a week and since I work only one or two days a week it works out well. Just gotta get good at mooching of people’s liquor on the weekends :wink:

Well, being a college student I’m assuming you’re probably at least 19, in which case you started training at at least 17. Going from 115 to 165, provided it’s not a fat 165, is already a great accomplishment.

If it’s a lean 165, then this sounds somewhat like a case of “if it’s not broke don’t fix it.” Whatever has worked for you to accomplish that, if that’s the case, is obviously not bad, though perhaps it can be improved yet further.

On your general question, there’s no reason to increase caloric intake by more than 1000 per day over what has been maintenance. Actually that is usually too much of an increase, at least over an extended period of time, but is reasonable for shorter periods.

Hopefully you’re already getting solid nutrition at least six times a day already – not every one has to be a meal, some could be meal-replacement product or that plus some small amount of food. If that’s not the case, and instead you’re going more than 3 hours at a time with no food, I’d look first at improving the frequency of eating.

If the frequency is fine, then all it takes to add 1000 calories per day is to add about 167 calories per meal if six meals per day; even less if it’s more. That can be accomplished with nothing more than a scoop or two of a protein product, or with quite small amounts of any nutritious food.

Precision and diligence will easily do it, only exception being if an eating aversion occurs due to the amount simply being too much.

On the other hand, I would certainly make an effort to measure bodyfat before assuming that eating to gain say 10 lb in the next few months is a reasonable goal, or if instead it might not be better to drop 10 lb of fat and then gain the 10 lb (or whatever) of muscle.

On the cost, personally a favorite source of added calories and nutrition is a Hungry Howie’s pizza over the course of the day. About $8. Actually that’s 2080 calories, 122 g protein, 253 g carbs, and only 21% calories from fat (at least this is the standard; some individual franchises are greasier.) So half a pizza, five slices, would give you that 1000 extra calories at a cost of about $4. I haven’t compared costs of MRP’s so I don’t know if they are less or more, probably more.

Other choices include adding for example lower-fat cheese, or as slickid said, eggs. Eggs are a fairly inexpensive source of protein. A dozen eggs per day is about 840 cal and costs under $3 (there is no problem with blood cholesterol incidentally, as shown in a study by the American College of Sports Medicine finding blood lipid profile to improve with increasing egg consumption up to the limit studied, which was 12 per day.)

I find that the more I eat, the hungrier I am consistently.

Great post by Bill Roberts. There’s an article on this website by Berardi’s brother Steve Berardi on eating big cheap. It’s geared towards maximizing nutrition for gains for college students who don’t have a lot of cash.

This rule I used ever since I started lifting two years ago and is so simple but works wonders:

Eat every two hours . . . . no matter what! Not every 2-3, but every 2! This will allow you to get maximum number of meals in each day.

Don’t let classes get in the way between you and food. It’s all about planning. Even if the meal is as small as a protein bar, just make sure you eat every 2 hours. Kids in some of my classes know that each time I’ll be bringing my protein shake and bag of nuts and they find it humorous, but they are also the ones whining about not eating since breakfast and how hungry they are.

I don’t have any tips on what specifically to buy if you’re broke but if you haven’t thought of it yet, let your friends swipe you into the cafeteria. If your problem is not having enough money to support the food, get a job or use your friends for help.

Good job on the gains though!

I am still in college. I live off campus but I still have a meal plan at the dining centers. $7.50 for all the food you can eat within walking distance of class and home.

Eating till I feel like puking several times a week on top of regular meals has worked wonders for me. I’m not aiming to be huge or cut, but it was an easy way for an extra 25 lbs of lean mass.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
I find that the more I eat, the hungrier I am consistently. [/quote]

I agree 100% on this. lol I’m just starting to get my training back to a program now and just did random fun workouts this week, and next week I turn up the heat of my training. Anyway I’m also kinda “preparing” my body for the food. I’m getting in around a little more than 4000 cals a day now. If you’d like here’s a sample plan of mine so far:

Meal#1: Bagel + herbal garlic spread, + 4-5 boild eggs (4 whole eggs, 1 just white), 250mL milk + protein shake - 1-2 pieces of fruit (usually a banana and asian pear) - 900 cals.

Meal #2: 4 pieces chicken (which would make about 2 large pieces), 85g pasta, milk + protein powder, lots of water, fish oil, fruit. - 920 cals.

Meal #3: Beef Burger (buy it in bulk) + bun + fish oil + fruit. + lots of water. - 500 cals

Meal #4: Protein shake + fruit. (300 cals)

Meal#5: Natural peanut butter sandwhich + jam on whole wheat bread + protein shake and milk. + fish oil + fruit. - 1000 cals. ( i put 180 cals worth of peanut butter on each sandwhich which is 2 tbsp.)

Mea #6: (bed time) - 2 cups cottage cheese, which is 30g protein + 55g almonds. - 500 cals

Total cals: 4120
You could follow that, just change it up as in not as much food if you’d like but I think it’s good, its been working good for me this past week, I feel much stronger. Also I didn’t mention in there but on the side there will be little bit of veggies and stuff, in the replace of fruit.

I also sometimes will have the natural peantuer butter sandwhiches after breakfastsometime , then the chicken for the next meal depending on tmie I have and such. Anyways hope this can help as a guidline. Just try to get protein first, some carbs, and get some fruit or veggies, make it a lot a lot of food. You should be good. Don’t forget the fats too!

[quote]IronDude17 wrote:

I don’t have any tips on what specifically to buy if you’re broke but if you haven’t thought of it yet, let your friends swipe you into the cafeteria. If your problem is not having enough money to support the food, get a job or use your friends for help.

Good job on the gains though![/quote]

Using friends, while almost always a bad idea at any other point in your life, is how broke people get through college. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for the existance of women on this planet, I would have graduated at least 50lbs lighter.

well thanks everybody, and i am fairly lean so im not worried about gaining weight or getting fat, i am one of the guys on here who is skinny but i dont care to increase a little bodyfat to put on some weight, recently i have been trying to eat more frequently but today a guy in the cafeteria told me i would never get big eating as little of portions of food as i do? so i was just wondering if eating little meals all day long is doing me any good? If you guys would want to see i can post my before and after pics, but i am a little self conscious about them because i still feel skinny as hell on this site! but thanks to every one for being so helpful

Keep it dead simple. I have 4 main meals that I eat. My meals are:

Chicken drumsticks + vegetables
90% lean ground beef + vegetables
1 cup egg whites + 3 eggs and vegetables
Cottage cheese + protein powder recipe I got from Berardi’s recipe book

When I go to the grocey store (more often, warehouse store) all I have to buy is the items for those meals. It’s easy as can be.

I usually cook some beef that lasts for 2-3 days, then cook some chicken that lasts for 2-3 days.

To adjust calories, I add cheese cubes to the meals. 1 cheese cube = 25 calories. On the cottage cheese meal I eat almonds with it to adjust calories instead of adding cheese cubes.

And I eat 6 times a day. I’m in college right now. I eat once in the morning, once between a couple of my classes, once immediately after I’m done with classes, and then 3 more times in the afternoon and evening.

It’s really not that hard, you just have to want it and realize that you won’t be doing what everybody else around you is doing. I don’t give a crap if people think I’m weird that I get into my classroom early and open up my cooler and start scooping cottage cheese into my mouth and you shouldn’t either.

I forgot to mention I do eat carbs post-workout as well.

Also, the other advantage to what I said above is that it’s really easy to adjust calories. Which you should be doing. You should know pretty closely how many calories you are eating. Weigh yourself every week. If you are not gaining weight, increase calories. If you want to increase by 300 calories a day, and you’re eating 6 meals a day, that’s 50 calories a meal. Which just means eat 2 more cheese cubes with each meal. I think that’s as easy as it can get.

Well in August I was at 160 and I wanted to get bigger, and by thanksgiving I was 186. Basically, I’d have a shake consisting of protein and fruit in the morning, after classes I’d have some oatmeal, go to the gym an hour later and after the gym I’d have a big shake with 2-3 scoops of protein, skim milk and a frozen banana. In addition to the shake I would have a bowl of cereal, like Smart Start which has a ton of carbs.

About 2-3 hours after that I’d get a wrap with turkey and some veggies and I’d have another bowl of cereal with that. 2-3 hours later I’d have another wrap, sans cereal. 2-3 after that, I’d have egg whites. And then before bed I’d have a protein shake.

Anyway, there are lots of ways to do it. That’s just what I did with the stuff availible to me. I’m sure the other guys on here have better ways of doing it, but hopefully this helps.

Well, this is pretty much to repeat, but if as described you’ve gone as an adult from 115 to 165 and this is fairly lean condition, then clearly the numerous small portions you’ve been consuming have been enough and if you’d eaten more in that period you’d almost certainly just be fatter. That’s a fast rate you accomplished and a large amount.

It’s true that the further one progresses the more calories have to be to gain further, but this is not such a radical difference. It’s at least 20 cal per lb per day but not more than 50 (not something I’ve ever established too accurately, perhaps someone has) and most likely 30-40 cal/lb/day.

So in other words, whatever it took to take you from 155 to 165 in comparably lean condition, you would now, being 10 lb heavier, need probably only 300 or 400 cal per day more than you were consuming to get to 165. That is in terms of average calories over time.

That isn’t to say you may not want brief periods of higher calories still: that works well for short periods but long term will just get you fat. I’ve been there and done that, sadly.

what about adding in some peanut butter sandwiches through the day? or maybe something like this that is easy to fix and that i like to eat, i cannot make myself eat something that tastes horrible i guess thats one reason that i have plateud lately because i am a picky eater

Milk helps. A lot. A gallon of milk a day on top of a decent diet works wonders.

All you can eat Meal Plan at my school. Its been treating me well.

Just this morning I was able to fit 9 Eggs, 2 cups of Oatmeal, and a Banana… I had great difficulty walking back to my apartment. I Loved It!

The best part was the look the lady behind the counter gave me when I took 9 eggs.

[quote]pure_country wrote:
recently i have been trying to eat more frequently but today a guy in the cafeteria told me i would never get big eating as little of portions of food as i do? so i was just wondering if eating little meals all day long is doing me any good? [/quote]

The guy may not be completely off. I was eating like other football players and most of them could put away more food than I could ever hope to at the time. Over time I was able to match them. Like Bill Roberts wrote, however, you base this on your own progress. if you are growing at a decent rate, then avoid making DRASTIC changes for no reason. I, unlike him, don’t consider your weight gain all that impressive. 115lbs was skeletal unless you were 5 foot 2 at the time. That means your body will gain weight by simply NOT starving it. Getting past “average” body weight is going to take a lot more focus, consistency and drive to get more food down.

I would suggest JB’s “Precision Nutrition” He’s got you eating 4000 clean calories per day not including Protein shakes or post workout Surge.