It's really important how many calories you are taking in when trying to bulk up so you must set an eating plan and stick to it as you can easily lose track of your food. What you need to determine is how much carbohydrates, protein and fats should you be getting from your diet. A very popular ratio is a 50/30/20 ratio where you are in taking 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fats in your diet. As far as the calories go you need to be taking in more calories then you are burning off. If you are not then obviously you are going to be losing weight no matter what!
A good starting method with your diet is to track your calories for a couple of weeks which involves writing down everything that you have eaten within that time period. You then need to determine the calories of each meal and find out the average number of calories you are consuming per day. Once you find out the average calories you have been consuming you are going to add 300-500 calories to your current diet for the first two weeks. For the next at least 8 weeks you are going to add 300 calories to your daily intake each week.
As far as how often you should be eating it really depends on how fast your metabolism is. If you have a really fast metabolism then you should eat every 2 to 3 hours so that all your fuel isn't being burnt so quickly.
Carbohydrates are essential for energy in your diet and you need a lot of carbohydrates as stated earlier, up to 50% of your diet must consist of carbs. For the weight gaining diet there are two types of carbohydrates you will be consuming, simple and complex carbs. You should only eat simple carbs which consist of sugars/dextrose after your workout only as they will provide a large insulin spike in your body and this can cause you to store more fat. Complex carbohydrates on the other hand are great for bulking because the energy is released slowly into your body and do not create a spike. Therefore you will focus your diet on more complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates include:
• Sports drinks
Complex carbohydrates include:
• Brown rice
• 100% whole wheat bread
• Vegetables in particular the greens
Protein is very important because it builds lean muscle tissue and that's how you get big. As we stated earlier your weight gaining diet should roughly consist of about 30% of protein and you should be getting about 1-2 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. You will find that your recovery after each workout with a good intake of protein is going to be a lot faster. Besides the food sources for protein sometimes time can be short and you may not be able to cook the food you need for you weight gaining diet as often. Therefore whey protein supplementation is very popular as you can drink a protein shake that gives you about 40 grams of protein and only takes a few minutes to prepare. These shakes are not to be the sole source of your diet as obviously they don't contain all the other nutrients found in other food sources. It's just that it's very important when you are sticking to a strict weight gaining diet that you are getting your necessary protein and don't fall behind. Important foods that contain protein include:
• Chicken breast
• Egg whites
The final 20% of your weight gaining diet should consist of fats. Most people today who are training seriously overlook the necessity of fats in their diet. In recent times ‘fats' have got a bad reputation and people are trying to avoid it no matter what. Supposedly everyone feels that fat equals fat around your belly. There are two types of fat and that's the most important factor. You have saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are the fats that should be avoided at all cost as they are the bad fats and have no benefit what so ever. The unsaturated fats such as poly and monounsaturated fats are helpful and help the body and have been proven to raise natural testosterone. Salmon and fish are excellent sources of protein and the fat that we want. There's virtually no saturated fat in fish and that is good to keep your bulk diet clean. Be sure to consume a lot of nuts and cook with olive oil. Good fats include:
• Olive oil
• Sunflower oil
• Safflower oil
• Flaxseed oil