If you want to grow bigger you have to eat more calories that you burn, every day. For some people that’s easy, but for others it can be a huge task! There are loads of ways you can ensure you get the calories you need to grow, even if you have a busy lifestyle. I have received a number of emails from readers telling me “it’s impossible to eat that much”, or “I don’t get time to eat that much”. If you have that problem, help is at hand!
Calories are essential for growth. Don’t get enough calories and you don’t grow, simple as that. So if you’re not prepared to eat the food and take the supplements that your body needs you may as well give up now. Not ready to give up? Great, here’s some tips for you!
How to get the calories you need to grow:
1. Eat Calorie Heavy Foods
Some foods contain more calories per gram than others. Fatty foods are the most calorie-laden as fat contains 9 calories per gram. But we’re looking to get bigger, not fatter. So what you should be eating is carb-heavy foods. Foods like pasta, potatoes, cereal and brown rice are high in complex carbs and high in calories. This is exactly what you need, calories and a long lasting energy source. Perfect!
2. Use Weight Gainer Shakes
Weight gainer supplements give you a massive dosage of calories in a simple drink. This is by far the easiest way of increasing your daily calorie intake. Most weight gainers contain between 600 and 900 calories per serving making them ideal for bodybuilding. Be careful when selecting weight gain products as many of them are often high in sugar and fat. Good products are High Protein Mega Gainer, Cytogainer and Prolab N-Large II.
3. Beef Up Your Post Workout Shake
If you’ve been reading this blog you should know by now that a simple whey protein shake after your workout is not going to cut the mustard. You need simple carbs, in the form of dextrose. Dextrose also happens to be very high in calories and of course it counts to your total daily calorie intake. Check out my other post on the best post-workout nutrition for fat loss & fitness.
4. Take Your Own Meals To Work
You should aim to prepare your own food as much as possible. That way you can control how many calories you get, how much protein, carbs, fat etc. Chances are that you won’t get the calories you need at any lunch time store without getting some sort of fatty food. Having a mircowave at work would be handy of course, but there are still plenty of options for cold food.
5. Add Essential Oil Supplements To Your Diet
I recommend EFA supplements to anyone wanting to build muscle or lose weight…well, for anyone really! You can take EFA supplements in pill or oil form. I prefer the oil form because you can easily add it to meals and in also gives you a calorie boost. For example, let’s say you’re taking 40 grams of UDO’s essential oils per day. We know fat has 9 calories per gram so that’s an extra 360 calories you’re getting per day.
6. Bulk Cook Foods On The Weekend
Preparation is everything when it comes to sticking to a bodybuilding diet. I have been bulk cooking for years. For a few hours on Sunday afternoon I prepare most of my meals (excluding dinners) for the whole week. Some of the meals I freeze, some I refrigerate. I know the nutritional content of each meal, so it’s easy to pick the meal I need for my calorie goals. You can also take these meals to work with you. Some good examples are of bulk cooking are chillis, stews, Mexican chicken and boiled potatoes. Be creative!
7. Eat A Decent Sized Meal Before Bed
Usually, we try to avoid eating too much before bed because it can make you fat. In most cases I’d advise against it, but we’re trying to build muscle here! You need the extra calories at night as fuel for your muscles. Most of muscle repair takes place while you’re sleeping, so this makes pre-bedtime nutrition essential. If you don’t have time to eat a meal grab a casein protein shake with some toast, or have your whey protein shake with milk for extra calories and slower digestion.
8. Power Snacking!
Power snacking is a term I use for snacks that contain nutritional needs for your performance. So in this case, we’re looking for power snacks that are high in carbohydrates and calories, but not too high in fat. Protein bars are perfect here. Take a bunch of bars and throw them in your bag in the morning. As soon as you get the slightest bit hungry and there’s a bit of a wait before your next meal eat one! Make sure you choose a bar that is high in calories and carbohydrates.
9. Drink Your Shakes With Milk
Drinking your shakes with milk is an easy way to add some extra calories to your diet (and also get some more protein as well!). You can have any of your protein shakes with milk except for your post workout shake. The fat in milk slows down the digestion of whey protein and aminos, which is OK for all other shakes except your post-workout.
10. Increase Portion Size
Increasing each portion size even by a small amount can have a huge impact on your total calorie intake. Increase the portion size of every meal, just by about 10-20% and you’ll see the difference.
Got any more tips? Leave them in the comments below. Good luck with your dieting!