4

votes

If you're a 'hardgainer' that wants to gain mass, do you keep eating like crazy even after gaining the mass?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 21, 2011 at 4:08 PM

I'm an ectomorph/hardgainer etc. trying to gain some mass/muscle.

In other words, I'm 31 years old, fairly strict Paleo since the last 2 years (except for optimizing my omega 3 profile), 5'9" and 143 lb. I'm almost back to my 145 lb pre-Paleo weight, with a significantly improved body composition. I've been doing barbell training and martial arts for the past couple years, but realized I need to take it up a notch, so I started Crossfit recently to improve my technique as well as consistency (still in Fundamentals, haven't started regular class yet).

All the research I've done on Paleohacks/Whole9/Lean Gains etc seems to indicate that I need to significantly increase the amount I eat (and add sweet potatos etc), especially on workout days. Here's my question: if it works, and I pack on another 10-15 lb of muscle, do I need to keep eating like crazy even to maintain the acquired mass gains? I simply don't see heavier buddies eating all the time, so I'm wondering if its just temporary until the mass has been gained, after which I might be able to stabilize at a level where I'm eating more than now, but not the 1 gm protein/ day, 4000 cal/ day level in perpetuity.

Does that also imply that rather than not eating enough I have a gut issue? I did have IBS which was mostly cured by Paleo but flares up mildly from time to time and is not quite eliminated yet. Is IBS/stomach trouble common for hardgainers too, and the real reason for inability to gain mass easily?

69f23639eff20502bf68758d4def29c9

on November 22, 2011
at 01:44 AM

If you're goal is to attract women, don't just focus on muscles? That's only part of the equation, chief. Stick w/ paleo, you'll likely fill out. If women are your goal, work on that directly.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 22, 2011
at 12:30 AM

I've been strict Paleo for almost 4 months. My situation is that I'm too skinny for a guy to attract girls easily. For ever, I've force fed tons amounts of food, and never resulted and this advice to eat more to gain size doesnt work! So I eat when I'm hungry, and what do you know, my body started changing.

C77c5f4ef811f3f10476499975db747d

on November 21, 2011
at 10:41 PM

Payam, thats helpful. Did you experience this process yourself?

C77c5f4ef811f3f10476499975db747d

on November 21, 2011
at 10:39 PM

Henry - how long have you been Paleo, and how does that play into your situation?

C3edabc6267abec9b5f8178e5d73552c

(725)

on November 21, 2011
at 07:46 PM

I am basically referring to intermittent fasting (or caloric cycling). Lots of threads here about it.. also check out leangains.com

3193ead7a301b741aafa193c4476edea

(213)

on November 21, 2011
at 06:15 PM

Could you expand on gaining weight without caloric surplus

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3 Answers

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2
C3edabc6267abec9b5f8178e5d73552c

(725)

on November 21, 2011
at 06:06 PM

The advice to eat more to gain weight is based on the assumption that you need to be in a caloric surplus to gain mass. For the most part this is true, although it is possible to gain weight without being in a surplus as long as your meal timing is in line. However, once you want to maintain weight, you don't need to be eating in a surplus. Having said that, since you will have more muscle, the amount of calories you eat to maintain weight will be more than it is now.

Realistically, if your goal is to put on muscle, and you are doing crossfit, you can't eat too much.. particularly on workout days. Eat your biggest meals around workouts, and you will be fine.

As for gut issues, adding some probiotics might help. Also colostrum supplements (if you do well with dairy) and l-glutamine may help. The fact that IBS is better with paleo and flares up from time to time makes me think that it may be gluten that causes problems. Be careful of gluten when you go out to eat as that may be a cause. Flour is used as a thickener in many sauces and dressings where you wouldn't think of it.

3193ead7a301b741aafa193c4476edea

(213)

on November 21, 2011
at 06:15 PM

Could you expand on gaining weight without caloric surplus

C3edabc6267abec9b5f8178e5d73552c

(725)

on November 21, 2011
at 07:46 PM

I am basically referring to intermittent fasting (or caloric cycling). Lots of threads here about it.. also check out leangains.com

C77c5f4ef811f3f10476499975db747d

on November 21, 2011
at 10:41 PM

Payam, thats helpful. Did you experience this process yourself?

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 21, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Once you reach your goal, you ought to be able to relax on eating. The key issue of whether or not you keep the muscle is whether or not you use it. As long as you are exercising enough for the body to think it is a good idea to keep the muscle around, you will likely have enough of an appetite to just eat until you are satisfied in order to maintain the muscle.

0
D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 21, 2011
at 06:50 PM

Strictly from experience here, I have eat TONS of food to escape my skinny awkward frame for my entire life, and never accomplished it. Now I'm only eating when I'm hungry, I'm still skinny, but just look less awkward. For chronic skinny people like us, force eating doesn't work, I've been trying it for 10 years, and probably what destroyed my gut and have me depression.

D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 22, 2011
at 12:30 AM

I've been strict Paleo for almost 4 months. My situation is that I'm too skinny for a guy to attract girls easily. For ever, I've force fed tons amounts of food, and never resulted and this advice to eat more to gain size doesnt work! So I eat when I'm hungry, and what do you know, my body started changing.

C77c5f4ef811f3f10476499975db747d

on November 21, 2011
at 10:39 PM

Henry - how long have you been Paleo, and how does that play into your situation?

69f23639eff20502bf68758d4def29c9

on November 22, 2011
at 01:44 AM

If you're goal is to attract women, don't just focus on muscles? That's only part of the equation, chief. Stick w/ paleo, you'll likely fill out. If women are your goal, work on that directly.

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