T Nation

Scared To Raise Calories...?

anyone else here start off fat and get lean on a really low calorie diet? I did that, and now I want to actually put on some muscle, not just be skinny, but i’m terrified of adding calories.

I know I sound like a little wuss, but I worked so hard to lose the fat I guess I’m afraid of going back to where I was.

Can anyone relate? How did you overcome this?

My plan is to start ramping calories next week… Hopefully i’ll stick to it.

by the way
i’m 27

5’8’’

185 lbs.

anyone know of a good number to aim for as a baseline?

Dude, I know exactly how you feel. I was fat growing up and lost all the weight within 6 months when I was in a military type program.

The world is a completely different place when people think of you as “fat”. I know what its like to borderline obsess over gaining fat and going back to that.

I’d say gradually ramp your calories is the best way to go about it, a sudden increase is likely to put on more fat than muscle. I’m no expert though.

Read this, the FFB handbook.

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=05-118-diet

I know what you guys mean about losing fat and then gaining muscle. I was about 300lbs a little over a year ago, now I am down to 215 and still have a gut and I guess somewhere around 20-25lbs to go. I then want to gain some muscle and the thought of it freaks me out.

I was weighing in at 225 at 6’3" a couple of months ago. I had been trying to get lean and lose weight while considerably restricting my calories. After all the cardio and days of listening to my stomach growl I got fed up. I decided to go the other way and bulk up. Much to my surprise I have leaned out considerably, all while gaining 20 pounds. I am now taking in anywhere from 4000 to 4500 calories a day. I lift hard and heavy and eat often. Don’t be afraid to eat. Just make sure you’re eating the right stuff and lifting and you’ll be fine. If you feel you’re gaining to much fat, cut back on the calories.

Don’t worry, ramping it up a couple hundered cals every other week or so, or faster, you won’t just blow up. You hopefully have more muscle which will help you since your RMR will be higher.

[quote]midgethearsexb wrote:
I was weighing in at 225 at 6’3" a couple of months ago. I had been trying to get lean and lose weight while considerably restricting my calories. After all the cardio and days of listening to my stomach growl I got fed up. I decided to go the other way and bulk up. Much to my surprise I have leaned out considerably, all while gaining 20 pounds. I am now taking in anywhere from 4000 to 4500 calories a day. I lift hard and heavy and eat often. Don’t be afraid to eat. Just make sure you’re eating the right stuff and lifting and you’ll be fine. If you feel you’re gaining to much fat, cut back on the calories.[/quote]

Great point about the right stuff.

3000 calories a day of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats, and moderate-to-low GI carbs, with maybe a protein shake or two in there, is a few galaxies away from 3000 calories a day of McDonalds and tastykakes.

I wonder if the OP ment he started very heavy and lost weight (50+lbs) and now wants to bulk or if he is like the 225lbs 6’3 guy. These two kind of people are very different.

sorry… I used to be about 210… pretty much all fat… now i’m about 185.

My diet and workout seem to be doing well still, but i’m just a smaller version of my current self… i’d like to gain some size and muscle.

thanks so far!


here’s me about 1 and 1/2 weeks ago… see I just look average.

I want to look like I actually go to the gym and eat healthy.

I’m sick of looking like this and not making progress and I really believe it’s because I eat too little…

here was my starting pic and my cut from last year… I’d like to get that lean again, but with more muscle on my frame.

Sucks to see I got off track long enough to put on the fat I did…

Could well be mate - you need to get yourself to the point where you’re eating a fair bit without getting fat. That won’t happen overnight so I’d say ‘ramping’ your calories up is a bad idea.

I’d start by beefing up the meals before and after you workout & also before bed that night a little. Then start bumping them up more, & then bump up other meals too until your food intake is decent.

You can always give yourself lower calorie days if you feel like you need them and getting more and more active either through cardio or just sports training or whatever will help alot too.

It definitely can be done though - I’m an FFB and I can eat more than anyone else I know without getting fat now. It just kind of takes time to build it up.

I have been in the same situation and I know exactly how it feels. Growing up, I was chubby, but during my senior year in high school I combined running with diet and lost 50 pounds getting down to 6ft 150.

When I started working out 6 months ago, I was eating about maintenance level but still seeing newbie gains. After a few months and a couple weeks of cutting (wanted to look good for parties where little clothing would be worn), I reached frustrating plateaus.

Currently, I’m bulking despite summer coming for the following reasons:

-With maintenance diet, I was unable to increase my weights weekly and got stuck at low weights. After raising calories, I have busted every plateau despite gaining some fat along the way. Worth it to me.

-Set a clear goal and know what you want. Then decide HOW you will get there. I’ve decided that it’s easier to bulk and then cut later to get a muscle physique than it is to make slow gains on a very difficult diet (like carb cycling).

There’s nothing wrong with adding fat as long as you keep your goals in mind. Remember that you’ve lost fat before and you can do it again if you put enough effort into it.

Raise those calories, train hard, and sleep well!

PS I am also a nocturnal protein feeder.

i can empathise with you.

this time last year i was 17 stone in weight.

i ate nothing but vitamins and 1 piece of toast a day for 4 months, drinking nothing but water and dropped 6 stone.

now i’ve started training and i’m back up to 12.5 stone and i’m terrified to eat more than 2000 calories a day in case i get fat again.

You seem to be in the same boat with a lot of people, myself included. As a FFB, the idea of being fat again is the scariest thing I can imagine. I went from 210lbs to 160 lbs in about a year or so when I was in high school.

I leaned out this spring but realized I am in serious need of a bulk, so I gradually raised my cals over the last 3 weeks. I am going to start the Superhero Program next monday.

I tweeked my diet (added cardio as per the “Fasted Cardio Roundtable” 2 days a week, and I’m cycling off carbs on sundays) towards my needs because I know how my body responds to certain things, and with no cardio and big carb days every day of the week, I know I will quickly accumulate fat.

I’m not trying to get lean AND gain mass at the same time because I know I will fail at both if I do so. I also know that you should not strive for doing the same. I am dedicated to building mass as I’m sure you are, but with little tweeks in your diet here and there you can make sure you don’t add too much fat.

The best thing for you to do is to:

  1. Realize that for you to reach your mass goals in good time, you might have to put on a LITTLE bit of fat.

  2. Know that it’s a lot easier to cut the fat once you have put on a respectable amount of LBM. Besides that, you will look 10x better when you eventually do get lean again because you’ll have nice mass.

  3. Listen to your body and look in the mirror. Only you know how well you will respond to certain things, and more importantly, if you start to get too fat, back the cals up a little bit.

I know how you feel man, it sucks so much, but how much better will you feel in a number of months when you’ve added a inches to your arms, and you impress your friends and others with your transformation?

-dizzle