Struggling to eat enough...

Associate
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I have been going to the gym seriously for the past 6 months however have been seeing a PT for the past 3 months where I have really seen speed up in my gains. I'm 2m tall and weight 88kg. I started off one year ago at 82kg and have not gained any fat (or that I can tell). I currently do 3 heavy gym workouts a week, go bouldering once / twice a week and cycle from 100-150km a week.

I'm keen to gain weight. I have a goal of ~95kg, maybe more but I'm not sure until I get there. Based on my goals and current exercise level, I need to be consuming in the region of 4k calories a day and ~150-200g of protein but I really struggle to eat that much food. I track my diet and I'm averaging just over 3.2k calories per day and feel like I'm really hitting a wall, I'm just never hungry and I feel like I'm really forcing stuff down. My weight has stagnated for the past few months but I want to maintain my cycling as it's my method of commuting and a really enjoy it.

I mostly eat oats and rice for my carbs with a mixture of eggs, chicken and beef for the protein. I also consume quite a lot of olive oil. Naturally I get some green stuff in there, too. I have one or two Huels a day on top of the food.

Has anyone else hit this wall of eating? Any food tricks or psychological stuff that could help?

Thanks!
 
Soldato
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Add some calorie dense snacks to your diet?
Nuts are reasonably healthy (depends on coating) and have a surprising amount of calories in. Can also have liberally applied peanut butter to some wholemeal bread as well.
 
Soldato
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4k cals is a lot and can be a chore in itself to eat.

Try some calorie dense shakes..... Protein powder, banana, peanut butter, full fat milk etc - should be 600-800 cals.

Also we have Gold milk locally - a little high in sugars but very calorie dense.

Nuts as above are good
 
Associate
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the likes of Huel/protein shakes can help ?

I have a condition that takes me double the time to digest food ,and its really the only way i can get enough in
 
Soldato
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Drink some sugary calories. If you’ve already got your nutritionals covered with your meals and don’t want more food volume then it’s obviously the easiest way to get more in since there’s little to no satiation. Also Soreen ftw: a little 260g malt loaf is just over 800 calories.
 
Soldato
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Having been a similar size and height in my twenties when very fit best just to enjoy it and not fixate on weight gain. At that age I ate phenomenal amounts of food and put on little or no weight at all, but had no aim to gain any weight either. Being healthy is far more important for me.
 

fez

fez

Soldato
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Oh to be able to eat 4000 calories a day.

Put some protein powder in your morning oats. Use full fat milk. Eat larger portions. Your stomach will expand a bit if you eat some larger meals and then your won't find it so hard to eat more.

Bear in mind that 2 of the sports that you do will get harder the heavier you are, especially bouldering. At 88kg you are quite light for your height but not that bad. Is there any reason you are trying to bulk up more? Do you enjoy the gym more than you enjoy cycling and bouldering?
 
Man of Honour
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I eat between 3.5-4k a day fairly easily - but I've been doing it a while. Actually that's not that accurate. I average 3.5-4k per day, it's more about weekly trends really.

It's about calorie dense foods but having smaller portions more often for me or snacking. Some people can polish off larger portions 4x a day instead. Though yesterday I made a risotto which was over 1000cals and I ate it all easily enough.

Calorie dense foods are things high in fats such as nuts, avocados, oats, and fatty meats and oily fish. You can always have 30ml of extra virgin olive oil with every meal which helps and is also good for you.

Once you're used to it eating more calories isn't so hard. Choosing your sources and not eating crap is important too.

I will caveat this. I struggle with weight numbers. I.e. I used to fixate on the scales rather than appearance. I'm a lot shorter than you 1m84 and only about 95kg, but having been 105kg+ I still struggle being "lighter". I no longer use the scales. I go by my clothes and the mirror and people's reactions (oh you look like you go to the gym?). People's reactions can have the best impact.

Not sure how old you are but when I was in my 20s it was all about being bulky and less about being lean and cut. Albeit I played decent level rugby so a bit of padding was always nice! As I'm in my 40s my goal was clear - non conventional dadbod. I.e. not soft and squidgy. My weight has become irrelevant ever since my superficial epigastric vein has become visible I feel a lot more confident.

Don't worry about being bulky. At your height with some decent weight training you can be solid without necessarily having to carry 100kg of flesh around. I've been there and it is tiring! So is eating 1kg of pasta every day.

What is the main reason you want to be heavier? Bear in mind muscle will take time to build if that's what you want. Also the heavier you are the harder endurance training becomes. If you just want to be more of a monster then you have to accept some things will be compromised.

Also, bear in mind that genetically your body will have a preference to be a certain shape, size and so on. So you going to have to fight against your body to either put on mass or muscle or wait to change your physiology.
 
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Soldato
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And Walnuts to your porridge. And some sultanas plus full fat milk.

I wish I was allowed to consume 4k cals per day.
 
Soldato
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cycling 100 - 150km a week

thats your weight gain problem

you need to be ditching that cardio
 
Soldato
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cycling 100 - 150km a week

thats your weight gain problem

you need to be ditching that cardio

it's certainly hard to maintain/gain weight doing that much,

I know when I was doing around 150 miles a week on the bike I dropped loads of weight - down to a level where people were worried about my health!! I was eating loads as well.
 

fez

fez

Soldato
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I think a lot of people are just really bad at actually knowing how many calories they consume in both directions. I know people who say they eat loads and they really don't and I know people who claim they have no idea how they put on so much weight when its very obvious.
 
Man of Honour
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I think a lot of people are just really bad at actually knowing how many calories they consume in both directions. I know people who say they eat loads and they really don't and I know people who claim they have no idea how they put on so much weight when its very obvious.

100% - a lot of people under/over estimate calorie intake - and it also has a lot to do with macro nutrient profile as well. Getting 2000 cals from just fat, protein or carbs is not really going to be as effective as a more blended macronutrient approach. Ideally you'd want to find out how insulin sensitive you are, and also include fibre in your food to maximise absorption of the micronutrients too. However that starts to get really anal with details with 99% of people (myself included) is just not interested in. And frankly unnecessary. Carbs are often demonised wrongly in my opinion.

Full fat milk helps me, 2 pints a day along with usual food etc. Some people can hack it, some can't :)

I'm no vegan activist, but dairy whilst calorie dense, is not really all that "good" - sure it's not bad for you, but I'd be trying alternatives if possible. MCT oil, olive oils, nuts, nut butters, etc...
 
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