Bulk diet: how many calories, how many meals, when to eat them, and which foods to prioritize

Bulk diet: how many calories, how many meals, when to eat them, and which foods to prioritize

There is already a lot written about the bases necessary to gain muscle mass. If we had to choose the main pillars that support this process, we would talk about two points:
  • Hypercaloric diet 
  •  Strength training

In this way, we need to combine strength training and a hypercaloric diet. Of course, we must continue to maintain an active lifestyle in general.

Training and being active is surely understood, but how does following a hypercaloric diet work? This is what we will cover in this article.

How many calories should i eat? 

What is not measured cannot be improved and that is that we cannot go blind when it comes to ingesting calories, that is to say, it is not worth us with statements like "I already eat a lot". We must estimate what our maintenance calories are and after knowing them apply a surplus. What to say has that we must also keep a record of what we eat to know if we are maintaining the proposed surplus. A good way to track your diet is with apps such as Fatsecret or MyFitnessPal.

Calculating our maintenance caloric needs is simple, we simply have to know our basal metabolism and multiply it by an activity factor. Basal metabolism is nothing more than the energy expenditure that we produce simply by living and the magnitude of this energy expenditure depends on variables such as weight, height, age, fat percentage and gender. Basal metabolism can be calculated in a simple way using the Harris-Benedict formula.

Finally, the activity factor is nothing more than a rough average of the different levels of activity that a person can have. If you work in an office and do not practice any sport, which we do not recommend, your activity factor would be 1.2, sedentary. On the other hand, if you have a physical job such as a postman or bricklayer and you practice sports more than five days a week, your activity factor would be closer to 1,725, which is very active.

Once we have the estimated maintenance calories, applying a reasonable and consistent caloric surplus will roughly increase your maintenance calories by 15-20%. In this way, if you are a man and have a maintenance caloric expenditure of 2500 kcal., You can aim for a surplus of between 375 and 500 kcal, that is, 2875-3000 kcal.

On the other hand, if you are a woman with a maintenance caloric expenditure of 2050 kcal. We would be talking about target calories of between 2350 and 2460 kcal.

With these figures we can expect a weekly weight gain of between 0.5 and 0.7% of body weight approximately.

How many meals should I eat a day?

Although it is true that the number of meals is indifferent when it comes to gaining or losing weight, depending on the goal we have, it may be more reasonable to do more or less, not because of any effect on metabolism but because of a simple optimal management of total calories.

In our case, we want to gain muscle, the ideal would be to move between four and six meals for most people. This is due to the fact that the daily availability of total calories is increased, so for satiety issues it is surely convenient to distribute those calories in four, five or six intakes.

At what time should I make meals?

This refers to the timing of a diet. Timing is the time of day when we ingest the nutrients.

An example of timing is if we eat more meals a day or less, or if we take more carbohydrates at breakfast or dinner or even if we eat the protein shake (in case we want to take it) when we leave the gym. The decisions we make in these cases shape the timing.

Drinking a protein shake after training is no more important than getting your daily protein count.

The only advice you have to take into account is to eat meals at the times that suit you, equitably distributing the daily proteins in each meal and trying to concentrate the carbohydrates of the day in the hours around training, preferably after .

What foods should you prioritize?

Bulk diet: how many calories, how many meals, when to eat them, and which foods to prioritize

It depends on the context in which we find ourselves, it is convenient to select the foods in our diet through one strategy or another.

In a diet with a caloric deficit, the perspective would be different, but if we are looking to gain weight, we must select foods that are not very dense in nutrients, that is, those that provide a great variety and quantity of nutrients with the lowest caloric intake. The reason these foods should be used in moderation is because they can fill us up too quickly and make it difficult for us to eat the rest of the total calories.

Examples of them are vegetables like kale or broccoli, tubers like potatoes or sweet potatoes or legumes in general.

We must not misinterpret what we are commenting on here. Of course we can eat vegetables, tubers or legumes but we may need to prioritize other foods that are easier to digest.

There are people who need more than 3,500 calories to gain weight, so getting to cover all this volume of calories with foods like those mentioned can be an odyssey. That is why it is more interesting to use non-whole grains or even sugary products to allow us to cover the carbohydrate needs. Of course, in the context of a diet that covers vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Images | iStock, Unsplash
Source: vitonica

Bulk diet: how many calories, how many meals, when to eat them, and which foods to prioritize Bulk diet: how many calories, how many meals, when to eat them, and which foods to prioritize Reviewed by TalafarPlus on November 09, 2020 Rating: 5

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