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Hardgainer gains a gut: Am I eating too much?


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Hey All,

 

I'm trying to gain significant amount of muscle via a *semi*-permanent change in my dietary lifestyle (permanently vegan, but just changing my macro-ratios and caloric intake for a while). I made some changes a few weeks ago and was surprised at the results. I just want to make sure I'm on track and not doing myself a disservice because frankly I look weird now.

 

3 weeks ago: ~3,800cals; fat (40%), carb (36%), protein (24%); weight 183lbs

Since then: ~4,000-4,300cals; fat (~35%), carb (~45%), protein (~19% at 200g/day); weight ~190lbs

 

A seven pound gain for my body is unheard of, especially in such a short time frame. I'd love it, except for the fact that alllll that weight seems to be sitting in my gut. The only change I made was less fat and more carbs, I was not getting fat this quickly before despite having a high-fat diet. I have an unsightly kangaroo pouch now, and I feel rather bloated. Sometimes when I eat my stomach hurts.

 

Is this normal? I want to gain muscle, not a belly...unless of course that belly will redistribute and change into extra muscle more readily. Should I maintain and tough it out, or are further tweaks in order? How does everyone else feel when they bulk?

 

Thanks so much everybody, you've been a great help!

 

-Steve

Edited by trying2bvegan
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If your exercising and lifting regulary, I feel your macros are out of whack. You have way more fat intake than protein. You need to change that up. I am on a 4000 calorie diet right now and my split looks something like this 50/30/20 (carbs, protein, fat.) I am putting on about 1 - 1.5 lbs of lean muscle a week my body fat % is dropping as well. I am hardly bloated and I am probably going to increase my calories by about 300 - 500 since I do at times still feel slightly hungry.

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If your exercising and lifting regulary, I feel your macros are out of whack. You have way more fat intake than protein. You need to change that up. I am on a 4000 calorie diet right now and my split looks something like this 50/30/20 (carbs, protein, fat.) I am putting on about 1 - 1.5 lbs of lean muscle a week my body fat % is dropping as well. I am hardly bloated and I am probably going to increase my calories by about 300 - 500 since I do at times still feel slightly hungry.

 

Pegesus, can you send me an example your meal schedule/contents for a day? Thank you!

 

I'm already eating 200-210g/protein/day which I personally feel is adequate, so I'll probably keep that where it is for a while unless I really begin to plateau. Both my sisters are vegans, both have PhD's in nutrition, and they're constantly talking my ear off about how even my current protein intake is unhealthy, weight training goals or not. I'm not educated enough to argue with them on this point, but I am admittedly weary of jacking my intake even higher.

 

I eat a lot of fat (nuts) because they are calorically dense and I can't imagine putting any more volume in my stomach (e.g., from carbs) to get the equivalent amount of calories. I'm already bloated, haha! Per your advice (and what I've heard from others), I'm going to try for a 50/20/30 (carb/PROTEIN/fat) ratio. Not exactly identical to yours, but definitely less fat considering I was at 40% before!

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There's no evidence supporting that a high protein diet is bad for you.. Especially for an active person.

 

If a person has kidney and or liver issues then I would say a high protein diet is a bad idea.. But you're active, and whatever protein your body doesn't use just gets urinated out.

 

If you're eating so much that your stomach hurts it could be that you're eating too much, or eating too fast, eating the wrong foods, or not chewing your food well enough.

 

Several foods can cause gas and bloating including high sodium foods, soy products, wheat and other gluten-rich foods, beans, broccoli, etc.

 

Remember to drink LOTS of water, especially since you're eating so much protein. It should help ease the bloating and aid in digestion. Also make sure you're getting plenty of fiber, which should be easy on a vegan diet

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Marcina, thanks for your reply!

 

So I've been eating 7x a day, with LOTS of water and obviously plenty of fiber.

 

7:30AM, 10AM, 12PM, 2:30PM, 4:45PM are meal times. Gym from 6-7, gulp down a shake afterwards, and eat again at 9:15PM. Bed @ 10:30.

 

The problem is...I eat a shit ton o' food so each of these meals takes between 15-30 minutes (if I'm lucky, since I'm at work and often get distracted) to chomp down. So while I've planned to eat every 2-3 hours, it ends up being more like every 1.5-2.5 hours. Sometimes I feel like I'm forcing it, but I think that's a necessary component of getting significantly bigger.

 

As for the whole protein intake issue, I think I'm going to have to disagree with you on one point - the point about healthy, active individuals. I naturally agree no one with pre-existent kidney or liver issues should adopt a high-protein diet. Again, I'm no expert here (unlike my vegan, nutrition PhD sisters who are constantly warning me about my potential dietary changes), but from what I understand, what I would classify as VERY high protein intake (1.7-2g/lb/day) puts a good deal of strain on the livers and kidneys of even the "healthiest," most active individuals, even if they do make a point to significantly increase their water intake (which will of course alleviate some strain). High protein intake may be sustainable in the short term, especially when one is seeking strength and mass gains and is on the younger side agewise, but I doubt such a high-intake will lead to optimal health over the long term.

 

I'll try to post some studies to the forum. I think there is a lot of credible (albeit inconvenient) research out there to back up my fears and suspicions I say "inconvenient" because I want to get big and strong, while not compromising my overall health.

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I'm not getting defensive cuz I'm on a high protein diet.. But once I tried to tell a bodybuilder that high protein diets were bad for the liver and kidneys and he put me in my place. Though he didn't exactly prove his point either.. Therefore I'd be really interested to find out what the truth is.

 

My diet is reasonably high in protein. I don't count grams or anything.. Though I bet if I did I'd have better results.

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I'm not getting defensive cuz I'm on a high protein diet.. But once I tried to tell a bodybuilder that high protein diets were bad for the liver and kidneys and he put me in my place. Though he didn't exactly prove his point either.. Therefore I'd be really interested to find out what the truth is.

 

My diet is reasonably high in protein. I don't count grams or anything.. Though I bet if I did I'd have better results.

 

Well Bodybuidling and Heath are competely different things. You can look like a greek god and still have liver and kidneys problems. Getting health advice from a typical bber is like getting job advice from a out of work career planner. Many of the leading experts in the feild of health talk about the overconsumption of protein. The China study has alot of good into on this. Dr McDougall has alot of great info on this along with countless others. I look at protein like the materials to build a house. If you were placing a order for the material to build the house you'd get the exact amount or slightly above , the more you go over that it goes to waste and drains your bank account. In the case of protein heavy excess takes it's toll on the liver/ kidneys along with other parts of the body.

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A seven pound gain for my body is unheard of, especially in such a short time frame. I'd love it, except for the fact that alllll that weight seems to be sitting in my gut. The only change I made was less fat and more carbs, I was not getting fat this quickly before despite having a high-fat diet. I have an unsightly kangaroo pouch now, and I feel rather bloated. Sometimes when I eat my stomach hurts.

 

Is this normal? I want to gain muscle, not a belly...unless of course that belly will redistribute and change into extra muscle more readily. Should I maintain and tough it out, or are further tweaks in order? How does everyone else feel when they bulk?

 

A seven pound gain in 3 weeks? No that is not normal. You're getting fat, plain and simple. And no, your belly will not redistribute and change into extra muscle more readily. Cut your cals down, you're eating too much.

 

I am on a 4000 calorie diet right now and my split looks something like this 50/30/20 (carbs, protein, fat.) I am putting on about 1 - 1.5 lbs of lean muscle a week my body fat % is dropping as well. I am hardly bloated and I am probably going to increase my calories by about 300 - 500 since I do at times still feel slightly hungry.

 

1. 4000 is too many cals for a 160 pounder.

 

2. Gaining 1 to 1.5 lb of lean muscle per week is IMPOSSIBLE without chemical assistance... and even then a lot of it is water retention that will cease once the cycle is stopped. Expect to gain 5-10lbs of lean muscle per YEAR if you're natty.

 

3. Increase cals another 300 - 500? See point one.

 

Well Bodybuidling and Heath are competely different things.

 

Not true! In extreme cases yes... but to say they are two COMPLETELY different things is an exaggeration.

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Yes body building and health are very different as is all sports and health. You can be the best body builder on the planet and then die of heart disease. I guess it's possibile to be healthy body bulding, but the extremes required arn't healthy at all so you'd not be as healthy as you'd be without the extreme measures taken.

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Yes body building and health are very different as is all sports and health.

 

So most athletes are unhealthy?

 

Your definition of bodybuilding seems to be limited to the pros who are full of anabolic steroids and who choke down pounds and pounds of meat to a point where they carry an amount of muscle mass far beyond what nature intended. I'm surprised to see such a limited view on a "vegan bodybuilding" website.

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I don't know if most athletes are unhealthy, but the fact that one is a athlete doesn't make them healthy or living a healthy lifestyle. Michael Phelps is a world class athlete, but he eats as bad or worse then regular people but 4 times as much and he's all ready on High Blood Pressure meds at 23-24.

 

As far as bodybuilders go, the ones that are on the top of even natural body buidling eat massive amounts of animal products with a restricted carb diet, and most the body builders on here i see eatting a ton of processed powders/ mock meats.

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