My main barrier to gym gains used to be eating. I just wasn’t doing enough of it. I used to do all of the exercise and switch routines at set intervals, but there was always a ceiling on my progress. My strength gains were stalling, along with my weight gains. The elephant in the room wasn’t addressed until much further down the line, and I wish I got on with it sooner.
I looked at the diet plans of people that obviously knew what they were doing, and were having 6 meals a day! I knew I wouldn’t have the time (or money) to go as far as that straight away, but there were two obvious ways to pack more calories into my diet:
- Having larger portions
- Snacking more
The larger portions thing sounds great in theory, but isn’t as practical. It felt like most meals (my evening one especially) felt like an earring challenge. It took me 40 minutes to an hour to eat these XL plates of food, which obviously can’t run when I have things to do.
So I went with the plan B: snacking. Between meals, I made sure I kept having more of whatever I read I should have. I recall that one week, I forced myself to enjoy the taste of peanut butter by taking a spoonful every time I thought of it. Impractical, but it worked.
Around the same time, I started on the protein shakes. Serious Mass chocolate was the product of choice and it’s served me well ever since. That guarantees a baseline of protein intake for the day, along with whatever I need to chew to consume for the rest of the day. This is something I’ve actually kept up and would recommend.
The third way I managed to pack more into my diet was to explore more things. I like to keep food simple, so was never a fan of this kind of thing. It obviously held me back, as I was capping my calories far lower than it needed to be with my basic daily food consumption.
One thing to note is that I don’t actually count calories. When I started taking exercise more seriously, I read up on how much calories are in what, and have kept a mental note ever since. Counting them just isn’t practical for me. However, I know without checking that I’m having a considerable amount more than before, and my weight is on the up as a result. That’s all that matters.
If you have any tips on how to get them cals up, feel free to share them.