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  • Not Hungry Enough?

    Hey guys,

    Just had a few quick questions. Just started the primal lifestyle last week. Currently I workout 5 times a week, two days weight training, two days cardio, and one day I play soccer. Have been active before so this isn't too bad for me. My current weight is at 160, 5'9", with about 23% bodyfat. My goal is to get it down to 14%.

    So I heard that to increase muscle mass, it's best to eat 1/gram of protein per lbs of lean muscle. So if my math is correct, my lean muscle mass is about 123, which would mean I need 123 grams of protein (160lbs x .23 = 36.8lbs. 160lbs - 36.8lbs = 123.2). I mostly eat natural food. The only supplements I take are a multivitamin, fish oil, and some whey after a workout. But a majority of my nutrition comes from real food.

    My problem is that it seems like I'm just not that hungry enough to consume 123 grams of protein. What I mean is, I have three meals a day, plus a snack. I've never been a heavy eater. Even with eating eggs, chicken breast, beef, fish, a load of vegetable etc, plus a protein shake, I only get about 90 - 100 grams of protein. My carb count is usually below 100 grams as well. Now I don't count calories, but out of curiosity, I input some of my data into the Livestrong.com "my plate" thing, and I only consumed about 1000 calories. Thing is, I was completely full the whole day! Didn't even starve myself! How exactly can I get enough grams of protein if I can't down whole food all the time because I'm too full? I can have another shake, which doesn't fill me up that much, but I'm still worried that I might not be getting enough to see an increase in muscle mass.

    Thanks for reading guys. Sorry for the long post. Any advice appreciated!

  • #2
    I wouldn't sweat it too much. Weight training with progressively heavier weight will help you add muscle mass. 1000 calories does seem pretty low though, for someone of your weight/height/activity level. Was this a typical day, or do you eat more than that most days?

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    • #3
      It's a common problem for hard-gainers. Adjusting to eating more may take time and may not always be comfortable. Some things that will help:

      Eat more primal carbs. Rice is helpful here, if you are willing to eat it.
      Reduce cardio. It's just more calories you have to eat. Replace with sprints.
      Make sure you are using a good bulking program.

      Details on diet and lifting/exercise would help.
      Lifting Journal

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
        Reduce cardio. It's just more calories you have to eat. Replace with sprints.
        + A lot.

        Cardio and muscle gains don't mix. Picture an elite level marathon runner. Now an elite level sprinter. Which would you rather look like? Train accordingly.

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        • #5
          Hey guys,

          Thanks for the replies!

          @yodiewan:

          As for my calorie count, it depends I guess. Sometimes I eat more, and sometimes I eat less. It really just depends on how I feel that day.

          @ Apex Predator + SlimIcy :

          My routine consists of two days of cardio. One day I'll jog for about 2 miles. The other day I do HIIT; I sprint for one full minute, slow down for 2, and I do this for about 20 - 30 minutes. My strength training routines is mostly body weight exercises. Occasionally I'll add some weights, but mostly body weight: pushups, pullups, squats, etc two days a week. Then one day, I spend playing soccer. On the weekend, I rest, but I do
          tend to walk about 2 - 3 hours in a week.

          Diet really depends. I stick to whole foods. I eat tons of vegetables for three meals. I have 1 -2 eggs in the morning sometimes, other times I don't but I do make sure I get enough protein when I don't eat eggs. Lunch and dinner is usually chicken, beef, fish, etc, with vegetables. Snacks tend to vary. Usually nuts, yogurt. I drink tea twice a day and I drink plenty of water. I also keep carb below 100 grams. Really it depends what I'm in the mood for, but I keep primal principles in mind.

          Thanks guys!
          Last edited by Will.i.am; 07-18-2011, 11:48 AM.

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          • #6
            That is not going to cut it for adding mass. You need switch to a more advanced BW routine, or barbell training. My preference is for barbell training, but you will have to decide.

            One of the reasons you aren't hungry for enough protein is that right now your body doesn't need it.
            Lifting Journal

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            • #7
              Thanks apex! I edited my original post and included my diet. Will probably need to look for some more advance body weight exercises once I can master the basics first.

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              • #8
                Diet sounds pretty good.

                Remember that you aren't trying to do lots of really easy BW exercises, but ones that push you- ex. you don't want to do 100 bw squats, you want to be doing pistols. BW isn't really my expertise, but there are some good programs- check around and find some.
                Lifting Journal

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by yodiewan View Post
                  I wouldn't sweat it too much. Weight training with progressively heavier weight will help you add muscle mass. 1000 calories does seem pretty low though, for someone of your weight/height/activity level. Was this a typical day, or do you eat more than that most days?
                  How are you going to build muscle mass on a 1000 calorie diet for a 160lbs man? You only grow if you eat more than you need. 1000 calories is nothing.

                  I've said this so many times on this forum, I'm averaging 2400 calories, I'm 150lbs, and I'm barely gaining any weight.

                  At 1000... I'd be dead.

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                  • #10
                    I agree JPA. I was just telling him not to sweat the protein intake. The calories are definitely a point of concern if 1000 is a typical day.

                    Also, you mention that you eat tons of veggies at each meal. Maybe scale back the veggie consumption and replace some of them with more calorie dense food like meat. Veggies are great for overall health, but they take up a lot of valuable real estate in your stomach if you're looking to gain weight, heh.

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                    • #11
                      Hardgainers just don't get hungry when they don't push their bodies.
                      Lifting Journal

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for your help guys! Any other advice is appreciated!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
                          Remember that you aren't trying to do lots of really easy BW exercises, but ones that push you- ex. you don't want to do 100 bw squats, you want to be doing pistols. BW isn't really my expertise, but there are some good programs- check around and find some.
                          Check out "Convict Conditioning" by Paul Wade. It gives you an excellent progression for body weight exercises. I.e. how to go from squats to pistols in a progressive manner without hurting yourself. I've had incredible success doing his program.
                          Prodistat
                          Poke it quickly, with a stick.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by prodistat View Post
                            Check out "Convict Conditioning" by Paul Wade. It gives you an excellent progression for body weight exercises. I.e. how to go from squats to pistols in a progressive manner without hurting yourself. I've had incredible success doing his program.
                            Yeah, I think it and AL Kalvado along with "Never Gymless" are the most popular.
                            Lifting Journal

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                            • #15
                              --eat more protein
                              --eat your high calorie/protein foods first then destroy your veggies (i dont think you need to cut back just make sure you get the calorie dense stuff in first).
                              --try focusing on gaining 10lbs of muscle and getting a lot stronger and the fat will probably start coming off.
                              --try creating a calorie deficite while consuming higher total calories. ex you eat 1000kcal and burn 1500 for a net deficit of -500kcal. insted try eating 2000kcal (or more) and burning 2500. youll still be in a 500cal deficit but your overall energy levels will probably increase and it will be eaiser to put on more lean mass.
                              --its hard to starve yourself to low bodyfat percentages and still look good.

                              good luck!

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