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Gaining Muscle.. Raise Carbs OR Raise Fats??

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  • Gaining Muscle.. Raise Carbs OR Raise Fats??

    In order to gain muscle, should we lean more towards raising carbs (good carbs though.. Eating TONS of veggies, more starchy carbs like Yams, fruits, & brown rice) OR should we raise fats (avocado, take olive oil shots, nuts, fattier meats).. To gain more muscle & put on a little weight we do need to raise calories a bit.. Not sure if raising Fat or Carbs is the route..
    Last edited by abc123; 06-20-2011, 06:40 AM.

  • #2
    Protein is most important for building muscle and carbs help by increasing the amount of glycogen that your muscles have for use when working out. Raising your fat intake isn't going to do much for building muscles. If you're eating enough protein and having the energy to do you lifts then you will most likely be building muscle.
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    • #3
      It really all depends on you...there isn't any "one-size-fits-all" plan.

      Assuming you are lifting heavy because you say you want to gain muscle so that means you are most likely torching your glycogen stores. Some elevated carbohydrate may help with recovery allowing you to continue progressing with more weight...which will equal more muscle if properly fueled. But only in the presence of adequate protein so make that your priority.

      Consider trying a standard Primal/Paleo diet (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts/seeds, healthy fats/oils -- avocado, mac, olive, coconut) on your non-training days and ADDING starchy carbs (yams, sweet potatoes, squash, more fruit, etc) post-workout on your lifting days. I say adding because you will need to make sure you are not in a caloric deficit if you truly want to add muscle. You could also consider the use of some raw dairy if you tolerate it well for help with mass gain.

      Give it a month or two and see who you look and feel. It's a short period in the grand scheme of things.

      Robb Wolf recommends most consider upping fat intake once you approach your desired leanness. I've also read during a mass gain cycle some additional body fat is damn near inevitable. The carb-refeed article on MDA states you should decrease your fat intake on your carbed up days although it is in reference to losing fat Carb Refeeding and Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple but it seems like the biochemistry behind the concept would be sound for minimizing fat gain while bulking if eating good primal/paleo foods.
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      • #4
        Assuming you are lifting hard and correct, you will need enough protein, lots of fat, and some carbs.
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        • #5
          Thanks much for all the info.. The only reason I ask is because I'm pretty insulin sensitive, & have a wide range of allergies (or sensitivies).. I like the idea of bumping up Fat for the calories, as eating a lot of rice or potatoes bloats me severly & makes me feel too puffy.. Carbs actually seem to run through me.. I actually get leaner when I eat carbs, but its almost similar to a Celiac.. The carbs & fiber flush me out so fast that leaves me dry (very lean!) & almost too thin feeling & looking.. I can eat sugar & trash & put on weight, but eating high fat, high protein, low carb seems to keep me full, satiated, having normal bowl movements, & feeling overall healthier.. My skin even looks better on a high fat diet.. That's why I was asking.. Looking for some support on the raising of Fats to gain some lean muscle.. Thanks so much for the advice! Anyone else that wants to chime in with a similar situation to mine can do so.. Advice, whatever.. Thanks again! Great site, great forum

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          • #6
            My motto is eat for health, train for strength.

            I do the high fat, then protein then carbs.

            If I feel depleted in the gym then I will eat a few extra carbs on my day off from working out. Right now my carbs are from milk and veggies and a banana and some rice on the 4th day if needed.

            I am doing a body building type of routine so that is only about an hour a day on workout days and I walk about an hour 4 days a week.

            Low intensity cycling and running are fine on this ratio too (I was riding 2-3 hours on a ketogenic diet)

            If you do cross fit type of high intensity exercise than more carbs in the mix may be needed.
            Last edited by stephenmarklay; 06-21-2011, 06:09 PM.

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            • #7
              my macros skew to protein and then about an equal ratio of fat to carbs (veg, yam and a little fruit).

              I think you would do well to try an instinctual macro ratio - eating what your body tells you it wants. For me it's protein and fat with veg carbs as an accompaniment. It sounds like for you it might be the same - try eating meat with every meal (or even whole milk) and see how you feel.
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