T Nation

'You Must Eat to Grow!'

To be fair I took this from another board. I though it was a good read and wanted to share it with y’all

To be big, you MUST eat big! End of story! No ifs, ands, or buts about it here. Train hard, train consistently, eat a lot of healthy foods, rest, and Grow!

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this line working at GNC. “I just can’t seem to put on any weight because my metabolism is too fast.” When I ask them how often they eat, they supply me with the universal answer: all of the time. Next I ask them how much they eat and once again, I once again get the universal answer: a lot. Well, when I talk more and more with this person, I make them realize that they’re not consuming near enough calories to put on quality mass. The average person thinks eating a lot is eating 3-4 times per day with a main staple consisting of burgers, fries and cokes. Hey pal, I’ve got news for you. If you want to be big, you have to eat big. This is one of the absolute truths of bodybuilding. To be big, you MUST eat big! End of story! No ifs, ands or buts about it here.

Bodybuilding is really a simple formula. Train hard, train consistently, eat a lot of healthy foods, rest, and GROW. I am always coming across new articles with a new twist on muscle growth but I think these people have too much time on their hands. I guess you can say I’m old school because if you follow this simple formula, muscle growth is guaranteed unless you have a condition which causes muscle deterioration. However, the odds of this are very slim to none, so I suggest you read the rest of this article, stop whining about being a hard gainer and start doing your homework. After all, spring break is around the corner.

STEP ONE: POUND THE CALORIES

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, calories are key. If you’re not eating enough calories, you WILL NOT grow. Sure, reduced calories are great dieting down but if you’re looking for size, you have to go the other way and up your calories. It may be difficult for you to pound back those calories initially but I promise that after 2 weeks of eating more than you’re used to, it becomes almost second nature. You should aim for around 20-25 calories per pound of bodyweight. So if you weigh 200 lbs, you should strive
to consume 4000-5000 calories per day. I know it sounds like a lot but
if you eat the right foods, it really isn’t that bad.

STEP TWO: MACRONUTRIENTS

Now that we’ve established your daily caloric needs, we need to consider the macronutrient break up of your calories. There are several schools of thought on this subject but I’ve found what works for me and a few others and I will dispense this information. In my experiences, one should strive to consume approximately 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fat. Your numbers may vary slightly but this is of no concern. So this translates into 500-625 grams of carbohydrates, 300-375 grams of protein and 88-111 grams of fat per day. This takes a lot of planning but once you’ve been doing it for a week or two, it becomes second nature once again. You see a pattern forming here?

STEP THREE: PLANNING

Now that we’ve established the first two steps, we now have to come up with a plan of attack. Ever heard the saying: he who fails to plan, plans to fail. Well, the old saying holds true here also. If you know where you’re going but you don’t know how to get there, what’s the point? So my advice to you is to write it out on paper. Better yet, keep a journal. I know it’s tedious but it works. It also helps because it allows no room for discrepancies in your eating and training. If you’re not making gains, you know exactly where to look to correct the problem. Without a plan, you will be walking blindly into a maze.

STEP FOUR: CONSISTENCY

If you have a nutrition plan and you know where you’re going and how to get there, that’s great. However, if you aren’t consistent with this plan then once again, you are merely spinning your wheels. Another absolute about bodybuilding is consistency. Ever heard the phrase: consistency is key? Well, it is another important aspect of bodybuilding. Days build on weeks, which build on months, which build on years.

Now that you know the four steps to eating intelligently for mass, I will outline my daily mass building diet.

DIET: BUILDING MASS

WAKE UP @ 7:30am

1 serving Trac

MEAL ONE @ 8:15am

1 cup orange juice
1 cup milk
40 gram whey shake
�½ cup grits
multivitamin
500 mg vitamin C
400 IU vitamin E

MEAL TWO @ 11:30am

1.5 cup rice
1 can tuna
10 gram whey shake

MEAL THREE @ 3:00pm

post workout shake
75-100 grams carbs
40 grams protein
5 grams creatine

MEAL FOUR @ 5:00pm

1.5-2 cups rice
40-50 grams protein from either chicken or tuna
500 mg vitamin C
400 IU vitamin E

MEAL FIVE @ 7:30pm

1.5 cups rice
30 grams protein from either chicken or tuna

MEAL SIX @ 9:30pm

1.5 cups rice
8-10 oz steak
salad

This translates into roughly 4500-5000 calories per day with minimal fat intake and high carbohydrates and high protein which is the ideal bodybuilding diet for myself. You can use this or alter it according to your needs. I try to get most of my protein from real foods rather than supplemental protein and I also try to eat red meat at least once a day. Sometimes on the weekends, I will even eat red meat up to three times a day. This tentative eating schedule that I outlined is based on my schedule which requires school and work. If you’re really serious about packing on quality size, you will make ends meet. It just takes a little planning and a lot of dedication.

PROVE IT !

If bodybuilding were easy, then everyone would be 240 lbs with 5% body fat with an overabundance of trophies in their possession. But it isn’t and it takes only the most dedicated and disciplined individuals to succeed in this sport. Are you one of these individuals? If so, prove it.

I agree with the main jest of nutrition (and planning) being so important. Curious who authored the piece though. I don’t know too many individuals who weigh about 200 lbs and eat 5000 cals a day and aren’t constantly complaining about how “soft” they are -lol. Obviously individual metabolic rates (and the muscle mass currently maintained) will factor in, but I’m never a fan of just throwing out a huge blanket figure like that. I’ve seen too many younger trainers end up very unhappy with their results.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I agree with the main jest of nutrition (and planning) being so important. Curious who authored the piece though. I don’t know too many individuals who weigh about 200 lbs and eat 5000 cals a day and aren’t constantly complaining about how “soft” they are -lol. Obviously individual metabolic rates (and the muscle mass currently maintained) will factor in, but I’m never a fan of just throwing out a huge blanket figure like that. I’ve seen too many younger trainers end up very unhappy with their results.

S[/quote]

Yep, for someone like me who used to be quite corpulent, 5,000 calories/day just mostly results in fat gain. I don’t even need 4,000 calories/day, and we’re still talking about quality foods here, not “junk” per se. I do best finding maintenance, tapering off the conditioning to just slow, steady state cardio, and consuming 500-700 calories per day above maintenance from quality sources.

The whole “just fu**in eat” mantra is not a problem for me, and if I take the advice to heart verbatim, I’ll have a summer job down at Myrtle Beach selling spare shade.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Curious who authored the piece though.[/quote]
I don’t think it’s “outing him”, since it’s from an article on bb.com, so it’s by Phano Som. And for whatever it’s worth, the article is from 2003.

Some info from Som’s profile:
Height: 5’6"
Contest Weight: ~170 lbs
Offseason Weight: 190-195 lbs
Years Bodybuilding: almost 4 years

Contest History
2000 NPC GA - 4th Place MW
2000 Southern SNBF Open - 1st and Overall Novice, 2nd Medium class
2000 SNBF Nationals - 3rd Short Class
2001 Atlanta SNBF - 4th Place short class
2001 NPC GA - 1st MW
2001 Southern SNBF Open - 2nd short class

Extra Info

BS Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Certified Fitness Trainer
Certified Health Nutritionist

Seriously. I like the principles he mentioned, I do something similar when I ask people who complain about their gains “what, exactly, did you eat yesterday”, but I believe some of the specifics are where his ideas get muddy.

A high-calorie, high-carb diet as suggested by the article is going to require a ton of major kickass training (which, odds are, most beginners aren’t exactly up to), and possibly some “damage control”-type cardio.

Best response to I eat a lot already is “I didn’t say you don’t eat a lot, I said you don’t eat enough”.

no it’s not from bb I don’t go there anymore. I got it from a source board and that’s why I didn’t post it on here. I though it would of just got deleted if I did.

[quote]barfly320 wrote:
no it’s not from bb I don’t go there anymore. I got it from a source board and that’s why I didn’t post it on here. I though it would of just got deleted if I did.[/quote]
Yep, links won’t fly, but I had Googled a full paragraph and your OP is word-for-word the article “Eating Intelligently for Mass” by Phano Som, published there on Jan 17, 2003. It definitely could’ve been copy/pasted elsewhere since then. No biggie.

yea I just looked at the post I read it on and it was just posted. yesterday by a guy called big-john

@ Stu:

I know I can add two Finibars per day to my regular clean diet and gain fat within 2 weeks. lol

Maybe some added muscle but def appear to “soften a bit”.

with this ideology I’d have to consume 6,250 calories…just thinking about that makes me feel sick! lol

I generally agree with the post. Though there’s too much rice for my liking, broader range of foods equates to a better variety of micronutrients. Speaking of micronutrients I see a severe lack of vegetables, and the effectiveness of multivitamins is debateable I honestly wouldn’t call that a very good meal plan.

At closer inspection I found a lack of fats, not good. To be honest that would be a 5/10 meal plan it just looks like something the average tom dick and harry could come up with.