Eat BIG with a LOW appetite

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    Nov 01, 2015 3:39 AM GMT
    When it comes to bodybuilding we are our own worst enemies. One very emblematic example is the low appetite of many fast metabolism guys that holds them back from making progress. It doesn't help that when they look for help all they hear is "just eat more". If your body doesn't give you the appetite you need, you need to adapt your diet to your low appetite and that does not imply eating less!

    In this post I will list the main tactics available to tackle such situation that I have tried and tested myself. This is not a post on what makes a good diet, how to have a proper meal schedule, how to select and dose the best ingredients, etc. Those are big work and I'll leave those to your dietitian.

    1. Make fats 30% of your macros

    - Fats pack a lot of energy in a low volume and the lower the volume of the food, the less appetite you'll need to consume it
    - Good sources of fat: coconuts, oils and nuts. Cashews are smoother to chew and will require less appetite to eat than hazelnuts. Discuss the options with your dietitian

    2. Include liquid meals

    - Drinking requires less appetite than eating
    - Your meals don't need to be all liquid, but you can, for example, have one or two liquid meals, or have some meal being partially liquid with some small solids to be eaten (eat the solids first)
    - If you have a solid meal that requires more appetite, you can "surround" this meal with meals that require less appetite (liquid, partially liquid, small portion...)
    - Example: I have 5 meals which are entirely liquid (big smoothies or pre/post training shakes), 2 meals which are partially liquid and 2 meals which are entirely solid

    3. Size and distribute your meals wisely

    - There are two opposing factors at play: the time between meals (the longer the time between meals the more appetite you may recover) and the size of the meal you eat (big meals can suppress your appetite for longer), so there is a sweet spot you need to find and it can be tricky
    - The key to finding this sweet spot is being honest about whether you can comfortably eat a given meal. If you need to force feed yourself, make it a smaller meal and include what was taken from it in another meal or include a new meal altogether, but don't lose sight of the big picture of what you macro needs are for the physical activity you will have close to that meal and for your whole day

    Notes:

    - You can use one, some or all of the tactics depending on how low your appetite is
    - Find a sports dietitian to help you with this if you have no experience with making a good diet for yourself. Achieving a good diet is a daunting task and you don't want to lose years on trial and error
    - When these tactics are strategically applied in combination you can achieve very high calories without having to force feed yourself
  • leanandclean

    Posts: 270

    Nov 02, 2015 12:36 AM GMT
    On point number one I will agree about nuts and seeds. I eat a lot of them even though they're expensive. They are hard to digest unfortunately (in fact cashews upset my stomach too much). Macadamia nuts are so fatty that they're gross.
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    Nov 02, 2015 10:56 AM GMT
    Regarding #1 avocadoes are great because they are highly nutritious loaded with calories and very easy to digest.
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    Nov 02, 2015 6:19 PM GMT
    bachian said
    - Your meals don't need to be all liquid, but you can, for example, have one or two liquid meals, or have some meal being partially liquid with some small solids to be eaten (eat the solids first)


    Can I ask a question? I am not disagreeing, just want to understand. Why would you need to eat the solids first? Does it make a difference with digestion/metabolism somehow?
  • leanandclean

    Posts: 270

    Nov 02, 2015 10:27 PM GMT
    donj499 saidRegarding #1 avocadoes are great because they are highly nutritious loaded with calories and very easy to digest.


    Yes, I have a sandwich with guacamole and hummus every day at work.
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    Nov 02, 2015 11:42 PM GMT
    livstud2001 saidCan I ask a question? I am not disagreeing, just want to understand. Why would you need to eat the solids first? Does it make a difference with digestion/metabolism somehow?


    Solids require more appetite to eat than liquids so you better start with them. By the time you finish the solids, if you feel your appetite is dwindling, you can still drink the liquid because you just have to swallow it. Another reason is that if you're drinking something with a lot of protein this might shutdown your appetite, so always leave the (protein) liquids for last.
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    Nov 02, 2015 11:50 PM GMT
    donj499 saidRegarding #1 avocadoes are great because they are highly nutritious loaded with calories and very easy to digest.


    Avocados are great but you need 100g to consume just 160Kcal whereas the same calories can be achieved with just 28g of cashew nuts or just 20ml (one and a half tbsp) of MCT oil.

    Avocados have other merits so I would never exclude them from a low-appetite diet, but you would have to supplement it with other fatty foods if your appetite is low and your metabolic needs are high.
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    Nov 06, 2015 6:18 PM GMT
    bachian said
    livstud2001 saidCan I ask a question? I am not disagreeing, just want to understand. Why would you need to eat the solids first? Does it make a difference with digestion/metabolism somehow?


    Solids require more appetite to eat than liquids so you better start with them. By the time you finish the solids, if you feel your appetite is dwindling, you can still drink the liquid because you just have to swallow it. Another reason is that if you're drinking something with a lot of protein this might shutdown your appetite, so always leave the (protein) liquids for last.


    Cool. Thanks.
  • gamble

    Posts: 48

    Dec 07, 2015 6:07 AM GMT
    Competitive eaters expand their stomach capacity consciously through training which in part involves drinking large quantities of water right after eating larger meals.

    I'm loath to link to a guide here as I really don't know anything about this topic and don't want to encourage people to do anything that could be potentially harmful. Nor do I want to suggest that anyone needs to expand their stomach capacity to anywhere near the extent that competitive eaters do.

    Nonetheless, taking on a bodybuilding diet will involve expanding your stomach capacity somewhat whether it's a process you're consicous of or not and I'm curious to know if anyone here has applied any of those kinds of techniques in a deliberate way.
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    Dec 07, 2015 11:38 PM GMT
    gamble saidNonetheless, taking on a bodybuilding diet will involve expanding your stomach capacity somewhat whether it's a process you're consicous of or not and I'm curious to know if anyone here has applied any of those kinds of techniques in a deliberate way.


    What do you mean by bodybuilding diet? There are many competitive categories, including those in which you're suppose to have a thin waist. High calories don't imply high volume of food - that's what the 3 techniques are for.
  • gamble

    Posts: 48

    Dec 08, 2015 7:16 AM GMT
    Sorry, I guess I should have said "bulking" diet.
  • southernscot

    Posts: 9

    Jan 04, 2016 1:48 AM GMT
    I have a very difficult time gaining weight. Having people say "eat more" doesn't really help. There's only so much food I can shove in my mouth before my body acts like it wants to puke.

    There are a few things I have done to increase my weight:

    1. Don't eat all healthy meals. Healthy food is great, but consuming 3,000+ calories a day on baked chicken and broccoli is crazy with no appetite. You're skinny so there's nothing wrong (in my opinion) with throwing some fatty food in for an extra 500 calories or so.

    2. Stop burning all the energy from over working out. You don't need 30+ min of cardio a day or workout for 2 hours. Lift heavy and then go home.

    3. What I'm doing now is I'm big on the weight gainer shakes. I used to drink them between meals but then I wouldn't be that hungry when meal time came. Now I'm downing the weight gainer shake about 10 min after my meal. Just chug the 600ish calories and then I'm hungry by my next meal to eat.

    I'm not an expert, but these are things I've done and doing to bulk up that are working for me.
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    Jan 04, 2016 2:38 AM GMT
    southernscot said1. Don't eat all healthy meals. Healthy food is great, but consuming 3,000+ calories a day on baked chicken and broccoli is crazy with no appetite. You're skinny so there's nothing wrong (in my opinion) with throwing some fatty food in for an extra 500 calories or so.


    Depending on what you mean by fatty food, I totally disagree. There are many good fats that you can include on your diet and you don't need to include burgers, fries or such crap. And why should chicken be the only source of protein in your diet?

    southernscot said
    2. Stop burning all the energy from over working out. You don't need 30+ min of cardio a day or workout for 2 hours. Lift heavy and then go home.


    Agree 100%. My workout sessions last 30-40min.

    southernscot said
    3. What I'm doing now is I'm big on the weight gainer shakes. I used to drink them between meals but then I wouldn't be that hungry when meal time came. Now I'm downing the weight gainer shake about 10 min after my meal. Just chug the 600ish calories and then I'm hungry by my next meal to eat.


    Weight gainer shakes are something I've used when I was beginning and they are quite convenient because they can replace an entire meal. However, you should avoid such gainer shakes for 4 main reasons:

    1. They oftentimes contain maltodextrin, which is not the kind of carb you want when you're not about to workout (its glycemic index is higher than sugar)
    2. They contain sugar and artificial flavors you don't need
    3. They will make your life very difficult once your diet needs become less trivial: because weight gainers are a monolithic block of carbs and protein, if you need more carbs or more proteins independently and your diet relies on these shakes too much, you won't be able to change one without changing the other. You lose control of your macros.

    I'm all for shakes, but please, do them yourself. You can buy flavorless-sugarless whey (for half the price of your favorite brand name whey), mix it with a fruit of your liking, add complex carbs like oats and chia, add a spoon of MCT oil (120Kcal/tb.spoon) and there you go: a high calorie, low glycemic shake that's a lot healthier, less fat inducing and with complete control over the macros contained in your smoothie.
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    Jan 25, 2016 1:09 AM GMT
    Thank you for all of these tips! I was just about to start a topic about how I can never seem to put on mass despite constantly eating (in fact that's the main reason I joined icon_biggrin.gif).


    I'll try these over the next couple of weeks and see how it goes.
  • gamble

    Posts: 48

    Jan 27, 2016 5:02 PM GMT
    bachianYou can buy flavorless-sugarless whey (for half the price of your favorite brand name whey)...


    Do you have a brand you recommend? I've been looking for unflavored whey but the ones I've found are actually more expensive than the flavored kind for some reason.
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    Jan 27, 2016 11:28 PM GMT
    ^

    Here in Canada I buy from canadianprotein.com (they have an American website too) Because they sell in bulk (up to 50lbs!), I save 50% compared to the average price I would pay for whey at a supplement shop. They also have flavorless casein.
  • Noeton

    Posts: 208

    Feb 04, 2016 1:48 AM GMT
    Great advice! You've got the results to prove it. Personally, I like to include a bit more fat. And thanks for the protein site link!
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    Feb 04, 2016 2:45 AM GMT
    Noeton saidGreat advice! You've got the results to prove it. Personally, I like to include a bit more fat. And thanks for the protein site link!

    I've started frying with lard and frankly it's amazing. With vegetable oil you always get something that feels and tastes oily but not with lard. If you're worried about the lard in the grocery store because it says there's hydrogenated lard in it, it's fully hydrogenated which does not produce trans fats; partial hydrogenation is what they had been using that did produce trans fats. I wrote to Armour and their lard contains less than 1% of fully hydrogenated lard. The same is true of Farmer John lard, another brand available here. Another place to get lard, here at least, which is freshly made is a Mexican grocery store that has a butcher in back. You may have more options in NYC.
  • Noeton

    Posts: 208

    Feb 04, 2016 3:04 AM GMT
    So true about lard! It's all I fry in, too. And so delicious!