any tips on achieving the amount of calories needed to maintain weight

  • thatdudechris

    Posts: 17

    May 05, 2014 4:47 PM GMT
    Hey everyone, i'm new to this website. I heard about this site from a friend. So far I like it. This is my first post here.

    heres my problem: I"m actually looking to gain muscle. Im pretty slim. But i've discovered a problem I must solve first before I can achieve my 'muscle mass goal'. The problem is about the food I eat.

    To maintain my current weight, I need to consume 2152 calories per day. I'm not sure how I can do this if I just eat healthy all the time... Things like chicken breast, nuts, salmon (my favorite icon_smile.gif ) are high in protein, but low in calories.

    I know i'm supposed to eat six times per day, but those are supposed to be smaller meals. If I stick to eating healthy, it seems very difficult to maintain my weight.

    Keep in mind i'm supposed to actually consume about 3000 to actually gain muscle mass and pickup some weight.

    Simplified, I'd like to be better built and have muscle. There is to much information on the internet that contradicts so i'd like to know from actual people.

    Any advice? I need to solve this problem first before I can actually begin to gain muscle. I can easily hit 2152 calories (maybe surpass) if i eat fast food everyday haha.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    May 05, 2014 5:23 PM GMT
    There are a lot of "healthy" foods that are higher in calories. Whole milk, nuts (contrary to what you wrote in your post, these are very caloric: a cup of roasted almonds has nearly 1,000 calories, 90g of fat, and 33g of protein), avocados, olive oil, cheese... You can also supplement your caloric intake with protein or mass gainer shakes. However, I weighed nearly 40 pounds less than I do now when I started university, and I ate my fair share of burgers, pizza, and other "unhealthy" foods to get me where I am now.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    May 05, 2014 6:11 PM GMT
    You may be over thinking this. If you're eating healthy and getting enough protein, the actual calorie numbers may not matter as much as you think.

    Being precise about calories--and not all calories are equal--becomes very important if you're a competitive body builder or model. But for the rest of us, it needn't be that big a deal.

    Eat when you're hungry. To some extent, time your meals around your workout. Eat to feed your muscle growth and activity level. If your muscles are growing (you have to take accurate measurements not just look in the mirror, and it takes awhile, they don't grow perceptively very fast) you're doing fine. If you begin to get a belly bulge, you need to be more conscientious about the ratios of fats, carbs and proteins.

    For sure, don't eat fast food every day LOL… but once in a while is no big deal if you aren't fat.
  • thatdudechris

    Posts: 17

    May 05, 2014 6:54 PM GMT
    Great answers guys! Thanks! But I already have a small gut though. Its not big at all but its good enough to be called skinny fat. Should I watch the "fat calorie" intake in my meals while doing this so it wont get any bigger?
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    May 05, 2014 6:59 PM GMT
    thatdudechris saidGreat answers guys! Thanks! But I already have a small gut though. Its not big at all but its good enough to be called skinny fat. Should I watch the "fat calorie" intake in my meals while doing this so it wont get any bigger?

    Learn the difference between the different kinds of dietary fat. Again, they're not all equal. You *have* to have good fats in your diet. Saturated fats are best limited if not eliminated. Belly fat can be two different kinds: subcutaneous (under the skin) and visceral (around organs inside the abdominal wall). The latter can make your abdomen distend even if you have a low subcutaneous fat percentage. However, working out hard, getting sweaty, some aerobics, etc., usually takes care of that IF you're eating healthy most of the time (greens, proteins and good fats).
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    May 05, 2014 7:45 PM GMT
    BTW, I'm of the opinion that it is sugar that gets transformed into body fat more so than dietary fats.

    Nutritional science is very complicated. You'd think it would be simple. It isn't! So many different factors, including genetics, plays a part.

    Looking at your pix, I'd say we have similar body types. When I was your age I could eat anything and my weight never changed. (I wasn't at all athletic.) As I got older, especially after 40, that came back to bite me hard and its been a struggle ever since. You're the prime age to be transforming your body. It will still take dedication, focus, knowledge and time… years.

    But it doesn't have to be "rocket science" for someone of your body type and age to get "cut"… "Ripped," now that is another matter. If you're not genetically prone to be around 10% BF, then it takes almost starving yourself to get there--not a good idea for any length of time.

    But the general principals for getting "cut" are this: Eliminate all refined sugars from your diet. This is far harder than most people think because these sugars are in almost everything you buy in a store if it comes in a box, can or bottle. You may need to also eliminate wheat and other gluten containing grains. Some people have to eliminate dairy.

    Most all carbs get transformed into sugars in our bodies. This is a good thing. Our muscles use these sugars as fuels. It is the EXCESS fuel that gets stored as fat. Too much of anything (dietary fat, protein and carbs) gets stored as fat. So, feed your muscles with good clean foods: Meats, eggs, vegetables, especially greens, some potatoes (not french fries!), perhaps some dairy, some fruit (not too much) etc. Supplement with protein shakes if you feel you're not getting enough protein from solid food. Eliminate everything that comes out of a box, wrapper, can or bottle. Keep active, workout hard, have fun and it will happen. The body is amazing that way!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 06, 2014 3:56 AM GMT
    OP: What's your goal? Are you trying to hit a certain weight for sports? Or are you just want to look muscular? If it's the latter, then don't stress about shoveling food down. Keep your food intake clean/lean throughout the day. BUT increase the calories before and after your workouts. Doesn't have to be solid food. Make a protein shake that is higher in simple carbs. Add frozen fruits, or a couple of scoops of Glyco-Maize, or add a few graham crackers to the blender. Or some combination of all three.
  • thatdudechris

    Posts: 17

    May 06, 2014 6:43 AM GMT
    MikeW666 saidBTW, I'm of the opinion that it is sugar that gets transformed into body fat more so than dietary fats.

    Nutritional science is very complicated. You'd think it would be simple. It isn't! So many different factors, including genetics, plays a part.

    Looking at your pix, I'd say we have similar body types. When I was your age I could eat anything and my weight never changed. (I wasn't at all athletic.) As I got older, especially after 40, that came back to bite me hard and its been a struggle ever since. You're the prime age to be transforming your body. It will still take dedication, focus, knowledge and time… years.

    But it doesn't have to be "rocket science" for someone of your body type and age to get "cut"… "Ripped," now that is another matter. If you're not genetically prone to be around 10% BF, then it takes almost starving yourself to get there--not a good idea for any length of time.

    But the general principals for getting "cut" are this: Eliminate all refined sugars from your diet. This is far harder than most people think because these sugars are in almost everything you buy in a store if it comes in a box, can or bottle. You may need to also eliminate wheat and other gluten containing grains. Some people have to eliminate dairy.

    Most all carbs get transformed into sugars in our bodies. This is a good thing. Our muscles use these sugars as fuels. It is the EXCESS fuel that gets stored as fat. Too much of anything (dietary fat, protein and carbs) gets stored as fat. So, feed your muscles with good clean foods: Meats, eggs, vegetables, especially greens, some potatoes (not french fries!), perhaps some dairy, some fruit (not too much) etc. Supplement with protein shakes if you feel you're not getting enough protein from solid food. Eliminate everything that comes out of a box, wrapper, can or bottle. Keep active, workout hard, have fun and it will happen. The body is amazing that way!


    Thanks for the advice. You sound really smart about this stuff. I've got everything set in stone. I'm going to start my plan next week. College finals are top of my mind right now. But ill have extra time after this week to plan my meals and when ill go to the gym. Got a workout partner too!
    Thanks!
  • thatdudechris

    Posts: 17

    May 06, 2014 6:45 AM GMT
    xrichx saidOP: What's your goal? Are you trying to hit a certain weight for sports? Or are you just want to look muscular? If it's the latter, then don't stress about shoveling food down. Keep your food intake clean/lean throughout the day. BUT increase the calories before and after your workouts. Doesn't have to be solid food. Make a protein shake that is higher in simple carbs. Add frozen fruits, or a couple of scoops of Glyco-Maize, or add a few graham crackers to the blender. Or some combination of all three.


    Well I'm really thin with a small developing gut. Yikes! So I'm trying to get muscle mass and eliminate that gut. I currently weigh 152 and I was hoping to hit at least 170.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    May 06, 2014 11:32 AM GMT
    You will need to have an excess of calories in order to build the muscle that you want. I just in my profile about being a hard gainer and resorting to eating sticks of butter. A lot of athletes go through cycles of bulking and cutting so that they can gain mass without worrying too much about where their calories are coming from and then dealing with any consequences in cycles. You may find that with lifting weights and doing your routine, your gut goes away even as you increase your calorie intake.