T Nation

Stomach Cramps when Bulking

Whenever I begin a bulk, after 2-3 weeks I’ll start getting quite painful stomach cramps which get worse if I eat more. I don’t have IBS or any IG disorders that I know of, and I find this ONLY happens from eating a lot of food on a consistent basis.

My breakdown everyday is roughly:

  • 4 whole eggs, 70g oatmeal
  • protein and mass gainer (I take half, so ~500cal)
  • 1 burger with whole wheat bun and green kale smoothie
  • chicken breast OR salmon, brown rice, green salad
  • popcorn, peanuts, etc. other snacks
  • 1 can tuna with brown rice

in total this usually comes out to around 3300-3500 cal each day. I’m not consuming much dairy (if any), and make sure to drink about 3 L (almost a gallon) of water throughout the day.


I always encounter this problem around 2 weeks into any bulking attempt, and the cramping forces me to cut down on food quite a bit.

I don’t see anything obvious. That looks really clean too. Perhaps try to change your protein powder or food brands. Are your burger & chicken fresh meat or are you using ‘industrial’ food products.

Have you tried digestive health stuff?

Probiotics, digestive enzymes, betaine HCL?

Have you tried vegetables? Getting more fiber in through supplement form?

If your “bulking” diet is 3500 calories then what are your maintenance calories?

I ask because the solution could be to not increase so quickly. If you are jumping from 2500 hundred to 3500 your stomach may need time to adjust. Stair stepping up at 250ish calories per day for a week at a time might be the solution.

An example might be:
Base: 2500
Week 1: 2750
Week 2: 3000
Week 3: 3250
Week 4: 3500