Calories and macronutrient ratios

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icifyr
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Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by icifyr » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:07 pm

Hi, I'm 5"9' and I weigh 140 pounds. I also have a very low bf ratio. I want to gain weight (to 165 pounds, atleast) and begin strength training. I want to gain muscle mass and develop strength - I'm not too worried about looks. What kind calorie intake and macro nutrient ratios should I be looking at? Also, what does bulking and cutting mean?

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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by stuward » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:17 pm

Start working out right away. The early strength gains will be neurological and will not really stimulate much in the way of muscle gains for about a month or so. I would first focus on cleaning up the quality of your food, eliminating all junk food and generally increasing the good food. Meat fish and eggs should be the bulk of your calories. If you increase your calories too fast it will mostly go to fat.
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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by icifyr » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:00 pm

stuward wrote:Start working out right away. The early strength gains will be neurological and will not really stimulate much in the way of muscle gains for about a month or so. I would first focus on cleaning up the quality of your food, eliminating all junk food and generally increasing the good food. Meat fish and eggs should be the bulk of your calories. If you increase your calories too fast it will mostly go to fat.
Ok, I will try. I was unsure if I should start working out right away because I didn't want to lose more weight (I've lost 10 pounds). I feel like I can't even play sports anymore otherwise I'll lose weight. I don't eat any junk food or saturated fats. So I should be on a high protein diet? Do you have any recommendations for macro ratios? What do you think my calorie goal should be? I was thinking around 2500 but even that seems a little high and I don't know if I should use weight gainers.

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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:01 am

why are you avoiding saturated fats ?

Lots of good meat has plenty of it

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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by Jungledoc » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:53 am

The best protein and the best fat travel together!
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by stuward » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:10 am

Jungledoc wrote:The best protein and the best fat travel together!
Usually on 4 legs. (or swimming or flying)
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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by robertscott » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:56 am

icifyr wrote:
stuward wrote:What do you think my calorie goal should be? I was thinking around 2500 but even that seems a little high and I don't know if I should use weight gainers.
if you think 2500 calories is high, you are really going to struggle to gain weight

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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by hoosegow » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:22 am

Eat until you are full. Eat some more. Then eat until you can't. Wait two hours and repeat. 2500 calories is a meal, not a day.
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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by stuward » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:33 am

icifyr wrote:
stuward wrote:Start working out right away. The early strength gains will be neurological and will not really stimulate much in the way of muscle gains for about a month or so. I would first focus on cleaning up the quality of your food, eliminating all junk food and generally increasing the good food. Meat fish and eggs should be the bulk of your calories. If you increase your calories too fast it will mostly go to fat.
Ok, I will try. I was unsure if I should start working out right away because I didn't want to lose more weight (I've lost 10 pounds). I feel like I can't even play sports anymore otherwise I'll lose weight. I don't eat any junk food or saturated fats. So I should be on a high protein diet? Do you have any recommendations for macro ratios? What do you think my calorie goal should be? I was thinking around 2500 but even that seems a little high and I don't know if I should use weight gainers.
My rule of thumb for gaining is 20 cal/lb so 2800 in your case. For young skinny guys you could go up from there. Try to get your calories from real food. It's not that hard. 2800 is a cutting diet for me.
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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by ephs » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:58 am

the idea that lean muscle gains are only possible with a caloric surplus is a bit old. newer studies have shown that you can increase LBM, if you are dropping around 2kg BW per month.

look at this for example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21558571" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

but you can obviously not bulk like a hulk with a caloric deficit.
"his hands can't hit what his eyes can't see" - muhammad ali

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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by robertscott » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:31 am

hoosegow wrote:2500 calories is a meal, not a day.
well said hoose.

To answer your other question about "what is bulking and cutting", it basically refers to bodybuilders eating a ton during the offseason to really put on as much mass as possible. During this time they don't worry too much about fat gain, as it's an inevitable consequence of eating so much.

Cutting is when (usually pre-contest but really just anytime they want) they decide to burn off the fat they've gained in order to show off the muscle they've built, by drastically reducing calories and carbs, and increasing cardio.

It's a pretty old school approach, and it certainly works, but there's a downside too. For one thing, people usually way overestimate how much muscle they've built and underestimate how fat they've gotten. Leads to disappointment once they cut down. Also, a lot of people can't handle the idea of deliberately letting themselves gain bodyfat. They want to rock those hot abs year round. Also, it's not really very good for you to carry round loads of fat, regardless of how much muscle you have. Lots of people use the "I'm bulking" excuse to eat fast food five times a week and ruin their health.

If you are looking to get huge, an all out bulking assault where you don't care about fat gain is definitely the way to do it. For average joes like us though, you're as well just increasing your calories a bit and staying lean. There's always going to be a bit of fat gain when you're trying to get bigger, but if you're smart you can keep it to a minimum.

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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by KPj » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:16 pm

I just tell people like the OP, if eating is not a chore, then you're not eating enough. And, if you're gaining too much fat you're not eating clean enough or you need to think about cycling carbs.

It's much simpler if you just eat enough to actually grow, first. Then iron out the details. Unless you're already quite big, then making the scales go up should be straight forward. If this is not happening then I would just concentrate on "eating more". When your weight starts going up, then start messing with the macros, or cycling, or fasting, or whatever-way-you-want-to-call-it.

Most beginners asking this question just don't know how to eat, though. Otherwise, the question is, "i'm gaining weight but losing too much definition" - these guys are one step ahead if you ask me, tweak a few things here and there and they're on track, but atleast they know how to eat.

In short, stop worrying and eat loads. You should be an embarrassment to your friends and family due to the amount of food you can put away - make this your goal.

It's like building a new wall with bricks. You NEED enough bricks or you can't build the wall, and then you need some more. You know, for breakages. So, eat lots, then some more.

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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by Stephen Johnson » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:33 pm

@icifyr:

Could you list what you eat on a typical day? Also list your physical activities.
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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by Ironman » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:20 pm

I would say your calorie level should be 3000 to 3500 per day based on your size. If you are getting plenty of protein, it's alright to eat a little junk food. Eating pizza a couple times a weeks is fine. Hamburgers are a good bulking food. Meat (including fatty meats, but not too much or it will make you too full to eat enough), eggs, peanut butter, and lots of carbs. If you are getting more than 200g of protein a day, that should do it, no need to go over 250. Drink full sugar chocolate milk with some whey powder added after workouts. It will replace your glycogen and give you quick protein which is important.

These are general recommendations, nothing set in stone. But getting from a lean 140 to 165, probably with a fast metabolism, is going to take something along those lines. Eating 2500 calories of rabbit food won't work. Give that a shot and let us know how it goes.

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Re: Calories and macronutrient ratios

Post by icifyr » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:07 am

@robertscott

It seems like a lot, I only get 1500 on average or even less.

@hoosegow

That's what I've started to do, I eat until I'm full then I walk around then eat again until I can't eat anymore. Hmm, I'll try every two hours but that seems very hard I usually eat every 4-5 hours.

@stuward

Ok.

@robertscott

Ok.

@KPj

Ok.

@Stephen Johnson
Two slices of bread
Sardine or eggs
Tea
Rice with lentils or meat and veg
Rice with whatever I have above
Sometimes I have snacks like crackers.

A lot of walking, I'm a university student.
This is also on a good day some days I skip meals.

@Ironman

I'll try to get 200g of protein in and see how I go. Yep, I'll will.


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Thanks for all the help, I will try to put some of the advice into action.

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