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  1. #1
    cheffy's Avatar
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    How much should I be eating?

    Primal Fuel
    Okay, so here's my background first:
    I'm a 20 year old male, 5'9", 140 lbs. Been primal for about six months now, and have done a lot of research on leptin, carb refeeds, lean gains, etc. I work as a chef, 8 hours a day, and I basically run around the kitchen all day. I'm trying to gain muscle mass, while losing body fat, and considering my already low weight, I'm not expecting to lose any weight, just body fat. I'm figuring that I'm going to recomposition. I lift heavy things 3 days a week, and what I do varies each day (dead lifts, bench press, military press, squats, pull ups, all that compound stuff). I try to do a combo of at least 3 lifts, one push, one pull, and squats.

    Now, the question. What I want to know is, how much should I eat each day? On days that I lift AND work? On rest days? On days when I only lift? I've been eating around 1800 calories on rest days, low carb, moderate protein, high fat. On days that I lift and work I eat more, around 2000-2300 calories, sometimes high carb low fat, sometimes the opposite. I also carb refeed on lift+work days every once in a while. Basically what I want to know is, what is a good guess on what my maintenance calories should be? Am I eating enough to lose fat and gain muscle, or should I eat more/less? I'm basically calorie/carb cycling (primal, of course) but how much is enough? Do I eat at maintenance or more on lift days? Any advice is much appreciated, thanks!

    Forgot to mention I do a 16/8 IF daily, a la leangains!
    Last edited by cheffy; 01-18-2012 at 10:13 PM.

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    How's it working out for you? Are you frequently hungry? Do you have enough energy and are you putting on muscle or getting skinnier?

    Now I don't count calories, but I know I eat a lot more than that and I sit on my butt all day.
    I'd have thought that 1800 won't be enough even on rest days, unless that's literally all you do, rest.
    If you want to add muscle, Id say shoot for at least 2500/day, with 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per lb of body weight each day and just play with your carb to fat ratios. Adding more carbs from primal foods post workout on training days and maybe less carbs on off days, but you may find that you just do better at higher amounts of carbs every day, at least until you've put on some muscle.
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  3. #3
    cheffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misabi View Post
    How's it working out for you? Are you frequently hungry? Do you have enough energy and are you putting on muscle or getting skinnier?

    Now I don't count calories, but I know I eat a lot more than that and I sit on my butt all day.
    I'd have thought that 1800 won't be enough even on rest days, unless that's literally all you do, rest.
    If you want to add muscle, Id say shoot for at least 2500/day, with 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per lb of body weight each day and just play with your carb to fat ratios. Adding more carbs from primal foods post workout on training days and maybe less carbs on off days, but you may find that you just do better at higher amounts of carbs every day, at least until you've put on some muscle.
    Honestly I feel like I'm getting nowhere. And I rarely get that FEED ME NOW kind of feeling, so it's hard for me to tell if I'm hungry, or just eating out of habit. Either its very slow progress, or I'm impatient, or I'm doing something wrong. My friend told me you have to eat A LOT to gain muscle, but he's a very 'conventional wisdom' kind of guy. And secondly, I don't want to gain fat! But I feel like I'm just stuck where I'm at, which is why I posted this thread.
    So you're saying I should shoot for around 2500 even on rest days? And most of the time I don't truly just rest and lie down all day, lol. Rest days and working-non-lifting days my carbs are around 0-50, usually 30 or less. I feel like maybe that's barely enough, or not enough...

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    Are you increasing your weight each session?
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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    Yep!

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    Cheffy,

    I agree with Misabi. You need to eat more. The only way to gain a lot of muscle mass is to lift heavy AND EAT! It's hard to gain a lot of muscle mass and stay really really lean though. Some people cycle, Gain lots of mass with some fat gain then do a lean out period and try and maintain the gained muscle. At 5'9 and 140 lb you can afford to eat a lot more anyway, especially considering how young you are. Are you doing any cardio? I would lay off lots of cardio work too if I was on a muscle-gaining cycle. Just my thoughts. Anybody more proficient care to chime in?

  7. #7
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    then you're not eating enough. and at 5'9", 140, i sincerely doubt you have any bodyfat to lose. gaining muscle is a slow process. and if you want to gain muscle AND lose body fat at the same time, it's an even slower process. just eat. if i were you, i would ditch the low-carb thing too. start with the basics, 1-1.5g of protein per lb of bodyweight. thats 140-210g/564-840 calories. then shoot for about the same in fat 140g/1269cal. then fill in the blanks with carbs. 150-200g/600-800cal. maybe more. keep lifting heavy.

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    Idk I'm not really a big fan calorie calculators but you could use one and see what number pops up then mentally calculate your food and see if that number sounds right.

    This is a "girly" fitness site but you can click on the male tab and the # should be somewhat appropriate.
    Calorie Calculator | Calculate Total Daily Energy Expenditure

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    You are going to have to gain some fat to gain mass. There is really no way around it if you want to do it in this lifetime (meaning not have it take 2 years). The easiest way is to start off high.. say around 3000-3500. Then, taper down if you are gaining "a lot" of fat. In Beyond Brawn, the suggestion is "eat as much as you can (without gaining too much fat)". See how your body reacts to that amount of calories. You could even go higher if you aren't seeing a lot of fat gain. You gotta eat carbs (potatoes, white rice, bananas). 150g or less ain't going to be putting on any mass!!! Just remember carbs aren't the enemy and after your bulk they will become your best friend for cutting the excess bodyfat you gained.

    Eat maintenance on non-training days and go big on training days. Don't worry about nutrient timing... just eat (1 meal, 10 meals whatever).


    Just realized you were IF'ing. I am also doing lean gains, not to bulk though. I go high carb, moderate protein, low fat on training days. I eat high protein, moderate/high fat, lower carb on non-training.
    Last edited by Fernaldo; 01-19-2012 at 10:33 AM.

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    If you are able to add weight you are getting stronger, eat more and the size will come.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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