T Nation

Problems with Massive Eating Plan

  1. According to JB’s calculations, at 195 and 8-10%bf, I should be eating ~4400kcal/day to gain weight, but I’ve found that I get fat at 3600kcal/day! Am I to believe that I can take in 800kcal/day beyond what is an already lardiness-inducing quantity of calories and yet not get fat simply by virute of not mixing carbs and fats? Call me skeptical, but this sounds like voodoo. I have trouble believing nutrient intake timing could have such an IMMENSE effect on nutrient partitioning.

  2. Even if separating carbs and fats were the magic bullet of nutrient partitioning, I don’t see how anyone could follow JB’s eating plan and get in all the kcal they were supposed to. Using myself as an example, assuming I eat 6 meals a day, needing 4400kcal, each meal I take in needs to be 700-some odd calories. Assuming a protein intake of 1.5 grams/pound of bodyweight, each protein and carb meal would be 50 grams of protein and 125 grams of carbs. Each protein and fat meal would be 50 grams of protein and 55(!) grams of fat. Now, the meals that JB lists in his Massive Eating articles are more along the lines of 50gpro/30 g. carbs and 50pro/25 g. fat, respectively. So I don’t see how all the calories are supposed to add up. Should I be eating 6 700+ calorie meals per day with the obscene quantity of food per sitting that implies, or am I supposed to eat more on the order of 12 meals per day? To top it all off, one of these mega-meals is necessarily going to occur right before bed. But don’t we all more or less agree that a lower calorie meal containing some casein and a tbsp. or so of EFA’s is ideal just before bed? And as if that isn’t enough, one of the protein and carb meals in JB’s plan should be post-workout. But the 50g. pro and 125g. carbs that needs must comprise such meals on 4400 kcal/day don’t jive w/ JB’s own .8/.4 post-workout formula (which suggests more on the order of 35 g. protein and 70 g. carb post-workout for a person like myself).

Sorry this post is so long. I’m really hoping someone can resolve these inconsistencies for me.

Don’t sweat it: you’re not alone. I think John
Berardi is a great researcher who provides a
lot of useful info. But no one is “on” all the
time. If I ate as many calories as he
recommends, I would turn into the pillsbury
dough boy - fast. Remember, the caloric
formula he gave was what he found to work for
himself - and he admits to having a fast
metabolism. His recommendations probably won’t
be so great for people with a slower
metabolism. Experiment and find out what works
for you. Everyone is different; one size
or formula doesn’t fit all.

I agree with Free. I just wanted to add some points:

1)JB alluded to the fact that tne program was in response to those people who were “Hard Gainers” (or at least feeling they were). Often, he found that the problem was THEY SIMPLY WERE NOT EATING ENOUGH! If you are like me, and gain weight simply by LOOKING at food, you will have to make adjustments.

  1. In some follow-ups on the Forum, JB also said that you may have to make adjustments (which I have). One was to a) eat more meals and b) Subtract 20% from your “Massive” cal total THEN subtract 15% from THAT number. For me, that led to about 18cals/lb of LBM,and that has been working well.

  2. ORDER OF IMPORTANCE: #1) Set your protein requirement #2) Set the proper ratios for your post workout SHAKE (Surge) and later MEAL. #3) Bedtime meal #4) Breakfast. The rest can be a “little off”. As Free said, “don’t sweat it”. Set these meals “in stone” (especially post workout and bedtime), and you’ll be sure to stoke the ole’ anabolic fires!IT IS THAT DAILY MACRO PERCENTAGE (based on your sensitivity) that should be at least close in the end. Again; close is the key word; don’t sweat it too bad.

  3. A fundamental principal of a Rifleman in The Corps is to adapt and adjust. (In the middle of a firefight, you can’t be pullin’ out field manuals!). ALWAYS: ADJUST, ADJUST, ADJUST!!! lISTEN TO YOUR BODY, and DON’T LIE TO YOURSELF WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR! Also, if you can’t get the recommended test for insulin sensitivity and beta call function, you will DEFINITELY need to stay in tune with your body and it’s response to certain types of carbs. (Thank GOODNESS that I don’t have a big sweet tooth; If I eat sweets after going Ketogenic, the bloating and gas is BAD!)

Hope this helps!

Yea I agree with you. I’d be one fat s.o.b. if I ate the amount of calories JB recomended. It ended up somthing like 1600 calories above maintenance.

Thanks for the detailed reply, M (and others). I find it quite interesting that once you adjusted the M.E. diet to fit your needs, it only worked out to about 18cal/lb. That’s been CW in bodybuilding circles for a long time and was what Incledon recommended way back when in his “Get Big” diet.

It’s hard not to take these comments about “inconsitencies” and what not personally but I will try not to let his get in the way because we’re just talking ideas and I know no one intends to offend.

The first thing to remember however is that the formulas I put in my first massive eating article were not just pulled out of thin air. They are well validated equations used frequently in the scientific literature. Of course, they were tweaked to fit in exercise demands, but you gotta do that. So Im not trying to fatten anyone up or to use what works for me on everyone. I try to base all my advice on the literature (either hard data or theoretical leaps) rather than experience (but experience does help).

In addition, the X factor I mention in my article dictates that some people may need less cals than calculated based on the X factor. And we dont really know what that is yet so it's hard to say what to do about it.

Now, as far as the calorie thing goes as well as macros in any given meal, you've gotta realize that I specified that you must find out who you are physiolgically before you pick a diet. If not, youve gotta try them all and see what works or fails to work.

About whether or not you will get fat on this type of intake, have any of you yet tried it? If not, please do not comment on what you think will happen! Ive seen this work in MANY people as long as we can figure out how they respond to carbs or fat and they stick to it well.

This may sound wacky but Ive seen many people who think they are eating above maintainance already start to lose fat% points when UPPING calories. This may be a function of a threshold for fat gain being lower than that for muscle gain (this is just speculation). And when you go higher in cals, the fat gain remains the same while the muscle gain goes way up. In the end, your body fat % goes down although you might have even gained a bit of fat…It may also have something to do with a higher thermic effect of food at that level. Either way, since the whole point of the diet is to maximize the muscle to fat gain ratio and pack on alot of muscle mass, this is ideal.

Next, the idea of 6 meals was a rough guideline. Higher calorie guys may need 7 or so per day. Either way why does it seem so ridiculous to eat a 700 kcal meal of 50g protein and 125g carbs when to get those 700 otherwise you would have been eating less carbs and more fat (in a conventional eating program). I know it appears more "balanced" with less carb and more fat but that appearance doesnt dictate that one is reasonable while the other is not.

And also remember that Ive said that some people may need more p+carb meals than p+fat meals or vice versa. So figure this out then you might end up eating a bit differently.

I agree also with Mufasa when he says that you have to adapt. Just try it. If you gain fat, adjust it. But you will never figure out whether it works or not while sitting around typing on this forum!

JB…I think you just wrote the Massive Eating Part III article, big guy! That was great…as always. I was also wondering if you caught that post I put up earlier in the week about cardio and timing? If not, and you wouldn’t mind taking a look, I’ll dig it up. Thanks, JB.

Zev: I would take JB’s words to heart in regards to taking the diet out for a test drive. “About whether or not you will get fat on this type of intake, have any of you yet tried it? If not, please do not comment on what you think will happen!” JB: Your slight case of exasperation was well justified, although Zev’s not the only T-man here to be “mentally masturbating” with the diet plan. I think you’ve just pointed out a symptom of one of our main problems: Thinking about things without actually doing anything about it. Thanks for the kick in the butt, JB! :slight_smile: