Some people have asked me if I.F can be used when trying to gain muscle. They find it hard to believe that eating only once/twice a day doesn’t make you go ”all catabolic ‘n shit” and find it hard to conceive of being able to consume enough calories within a small eating time frame to make it a feasible bulking strategy.
Initially, any changes you make to the routine you’ve been following is going to more than likely be a tough transition. Change isn’t always easy. At first, you’ll feel hungry as hell during the day because you’re body has been (psychologically) conditioned to eat at certain times. You’ll find it difficult to slam a days worth of growth calories within a few hours. You might even get bad brain fog and physiological responses in the form of headaches as your body begins to detox and heal your digestive system from the bombardment of multiple feedings it received for so long. Ride it out, because it’s all good after a while.
What to eat? I found that when I was bulking I.F style, I was losing fat at the same time – one of those ”never-never lands” of bodybuilding lore and legend. You can’t do both, the experts say. Well, my waist lost 2 inches while bulking and my size and strength increased from month to month. I wasn’t even trying to lose fat at this stage and my diet was pretty much an eating free-for-all at nights. Next time, I will do more of a controlled bulk using carb cycling and more clean sources of food, but back when I was starting this way of eating, it was a case of anything goes. I’m going to write an upcoming post regarding dietary choices, gut permeability and it’s role in efficient digestion and health, because I found that once I got that sorted and started making better food choices, my ”brainfog” problems that plagued me from the beginning of the year magically disappeared.
Here is an example ”bulking day’s” calorie breakdowns from one of my earlier month’s logs for those wanting to see what and how much I ate on any given day. I’ve always laughed at people that cry on forums saying they find it hard to put down 3000 calories in a few hours. If you can’t eat more, then sorry, you need to find a new sport. To paraphrase a quote from David Kessler in his book, “The End of Overeating”; ”Overeating is an incremental process that occurs with repeated exposure.” In other words, you have to train your body to accept more and more calories over time until it adapts to larger feedings. Just eat what you normally do in greater quantities and monitor the changes. Then, add in a little bit of food over time. Don’t try to scoff the whole pantry all at once. Good things, sometimes take time.
As you can see, my resulting macros are almost Zone-ish/Isocaloric with each macro-nutrient receiving fair play. This was unintended, but it’s how I intuitively eat these days. Don’t fret over the details however just eat, eat big and then fine tune things with carb cycling once you have the basics down to achieve a successful lean bulk over time.