T Nation

Not Enough Food?

Been lifting for 1.5 years. Not long. But, I’ve done tons of research… days upon days of it. Went from 5’11" 150 (7 percent body fat) at the beginning, to 5’11" 215 (12 percent body fat) currently.I just began a new eating regiment. Seems to be working, but I am worried that it is not enough. I am looking for mass (as most are). I don’t care about being cut right now. Eating 8 meals a day. Totals: 3 cans of tuna, 3 steaks (12 oz. each), 2 baked potatoes, 4 cups rice (or more), 24 egg whites, and several protein shakes (not to mention the numerous add-ins I eat, such as chicken breasts, and so on). I have not been lifting nearly long enough to be able to use gear, though I will use it later (YEARS from now). If any of you have comments about what I am eating, if you believe it is enough for me, or whatever.

-Protein intake looks good.

-Where are the essential fatty acids? Incorporating some fish oil, flaxseed oil/ground flaxseeds, natural peanut butter, or other healthy fat sources is very important. You’re natural, so fat intake must be sufficient to support endogenous testosterone levels.

-Baked potatoes don’t score very well on the glycemic index; you’d be better off with sweet potatoes (yams).

-Rice is okay if you need a very caloric dense carb source. In terms of its nutritional value and GI rating, you’d be better off with some other carb sources.

-Where’s the oatmeal? Veggies? It’s tough to say what your fiber intake looks like, but at first glance, it seems a bit low.

-I really hope that you’re taking in roughly two gallons of pure water per day.

-24 egg whites is a LOT! Don’t be afraid of throwing in a few yolks. Contrary to what Joe Weider’s sampel diets have asserted over the years, they do have some nutritional benefits.

-3 cans of tuna could be a little excessive if you’re the kind of person that stays up at night worrying about mercury poisoning. I’m not, so I wouldn’t sweat it.

-I’m assuming the protein shakes aren’t soy and that you ARE using proper post-workout nutrition (e.g. Surge).

That’s about all that I can think of off the top of my head, although I’m sure a few other things will pop into my head as soon as I hit “post message.” Congratulations on your gains.

If the diet is working, then there’s no reason to alter it too much. Since you’re using all those egg whites, you have quite a bit of “alteration room” available as you need more calories - ie. 24 egg yolks! You can just add them in if you’re not gaining the weight you need/want.

Eric mentioned a very good point, in that you don’t mention vegetables. You’ve got a racing metabolism, and so the turn-around for metabolic products is pretty high - this means that you’ll lose the micronutrients much faster than a normal person. You should be getting “a lot” of vegetables every day. Note that I’m a vegetaholic though, since I credit them with most of my gains.

The essential oils are also really important. Actually, I consider them to be one of the magic ingredients that people are missing. Maybe eat two of your three fish tins as Salmon instead of tuna? My Salmon has 14g of fish fat per tin.

Thanks for the advice. I am going to add yolks to my diet. I also know I need to add more carbs, such as yams and oatmeal. I KNOW I need the veggies… I just have not made them a priority, though I know I need to now. I’m switching it up so that I can get more fat and more good protein sources. As I type, I am in the midst of taking a break from altering the plan. Thanks again.

If I was you, I would buy those big 10lbs bags of chicken breasts for $20, thaw about 3 days worth, marinate, bake, refrigerate, and microwave when necessary because it’s a hell of a lot more satisfying that eating egg whites and fairly cheap, definately moreso than red meat. And get some vegetables. frozen peas are about a dollar a pound and three-four cups a day is good for your taste buds and GI tract.

Actually, the price of an entire eye of round roast (the leanest steak there is) will cost you about the same per pound as chicken at any wholesale club. Chicken is okay, but nothing will make you grow like red meat. Just some food for thought (no pun intended).

Plenty of good advice here. There is so much variation between peoples’ metabolisms and activity levels, that the only way to know whether you’re getting the right amount of calories is through keeping close track of bodyweight and composition measurements.

Yo I was just curious what area you’re in and how much Eye of Round Roast goes for there?

I’m in Maine. For the entire thing (you have to cut off a fair amount of the fat yourself), it goes for $2.05 at Sam’s. Case price (15 per case) is about $1.79. Last summer, it was down as low as $1.49 for regular (I assume case was lower). I wish that I had stocked up for the winter!

Wow, bet you have a big grocery bill. The amount of food you eat seems good, maybe watch the timing and how much you can digest and have at each sitting. Do you sleep all night, or do you eat once or twice? Keep concentrating on compound movements; build large muscle groups, rather than arms or calves. To gain five pounds on your back is easier that five on your bi’s. Also without knowing what you drink with your meals, I’d say that you are eating enough, but maybe you burn too many calories or overtrain to gain faster. Do you train once-a-day, double split, HIT, Powerlift?

It comes down to this, when you increase your body weight you increase your Resting calorie requirements. So you will have to increase your calorie intake. Somewhere in the previous issues or the archives, or even under Mag-10 in the store is a link to John Berardi’s Massive Eating. It gives you formulas for figuring out your daily calorie requirements for gaining weight. It’s good info.

Yeah, I went on that site (on T-Nation) and found out that, without working out, I burn roughly 4000-5000 cals… just LIVING. Intense. Regarding putting muscle on my back: I would love to do that. I just feel like I am not growing, and nothing I do is helping. I need to eat more, I am sure, but I think I might be overtraining. I split my days into two parts, but I think that is something I should not be doing. I think it take too much outta me. Grocery bills are not a problem. Any suggestions are more than welcome.

“I split my days into two parts.”

Do you mean that you train twice per day? If so, stop. Train with the compound movements no more than four days per week. Cut out the cardio (if you’re doing any) and monitor your weight gain. If you don’t gain, add 500 calories. If you still don’t gain, add 500 more, and so on.

You might even give Ian King’s “The Bulk Building Workout” a try. Run a search of previous issues and you’ll find it. Hope this helps; keep us posted on your results!

Well, I’ve been out of commission for a bit because of this virus I caught (though I admit, it’s hard to stay away from the gym). I realized (after reading an article on the t-mag.com site… and after reading the last post from Eric) that training in the morning, and then again in the afternoon or evening is NOT a good idea. It took too much outta me. Once I recover (as sally as it seems, I do need to get better before I can even think about getting back onto any serious diet). I’ve added essential fatty acids (such as peanut butter, olive oil, fish oil, flax seed oil, et al), veggies, and even more carbs. I found this article called “Skinny Bastard Blues” - sic article. Really helped me think about pushing the threshold of how much I can eat. I will write more once I’m back in the gym.