T Nation

Suggestions, Eating to Gain?


I'm mid-thirties, and spent the last year or so dieting my ass down from 180 (est 30% BF) to 150 (est 12%). I've been lifting the whole time but only t-nation style for the last couple of months. My current intake averages around 1500 calories (at 5ft 6inches).
I've read everything about what to eat when I start trying to gain some muscle ... but the question is:
Do I just jump my calories up to the target level overnight or should there be some kind of progression?

I'm assuming progression is required but I'm not clear on how long/slow to take it.



Congrats on your hard-earned results, chub39. Maybe it's time to change you're username now that you're a BUFF 150. (grin)

Take it slow and easy re raising your calories. If you're currently doing cardio, back off to no more than 2 or 3 HIIT-type sessions (20 minutes max).

Give it a few days to a week and watch the scales.

From there you you need to start adding in calories, as you've already surmised. My recommendation is that you add 100-125 calories to your PWO nutrition in the form of starchy carbs. Keep all other things the same. Give it a week. Then add another 100-125 calories once again in the form of starchy carbs to a second PWO meal. Starchy carbs are defined as brown rice, sweet potatoes, yams, oatmeal.

Make sure you're meeting your protein and healthy fat requirements; i.e., 1.5g x LBM for protein and .4 to .5g x LBM for fat. If you work out in the evening, you should be eating green veggies during the day and starchy carbs PWO.

From there, pick a good bulking program. I like Chad Waterbury's programs and Charles Staley's EDT for bulking.

That ought to give you a running start. Once again, congrats on the results.


Read Berardi's Massive Eating Reloaded Part I, it answers your question in detail. Here is the link:


Basically he lays out the progression of how to build up the calories until you get where you see the results you want. Hope this helps.


GREAT info. for you here so far.

I just wanted to add a little link to a VERY recent thread that may help you. Lots of good info. "Bulking Tips for Newbies" they just seem to get buried fairly quickly round here.


I think I might even bump that bad boy up for ya just because it was such a great thread.lol

Hope that helps,