A very common question I get from people trying to get those peach gains is “how do you increase your appetite while trying to gain”! So, I’m going to take you through some of my top tips for eating more during a bulk.
Why Should You Increase Calories?
When you're trying to make booty gains, or any other gains, you need to be eating in a surplus of calories. Eating in a surplus helps:
- Increase your energy - your body will have more fuel to burn to create energy for your body so that in turn you can move heavy enough weights to help you grow efficiently through a hypertrophy program.
- Recovery - Protein synthesis, which helps repair and recover your muscles after and during a workout, is fuelled by energy. That means you need sufficient energy to help your body and brain function during the day and when you have muscle growth goals on top of that basic energy you also need additional energy to fuel your workout and repair your muscles. This is why a surplus is so important to ensure all of your systems are fuelled to optimize recovery (which is where your muscles grow).
Methods to Increase Your Appetite
Increase your physical activity
Exercise more! It's not only good for your health but will also trigger your metabolism by calling for energy to your muscular and cardiovascular systems - this puts a demand on your energy systems and sparks your metabolism into action. Something that helps me when my appetite lowers is to do a fasted morning brisk walk/bike etc. I suggest to do your morning activity for no longer than 30 mins - just to get the heart rate up and body working (sometimes 10-15 minutes is enough for me to work up an appetite). This helps spark your metabolism first thing in the morning and gets your body active and ready for the day.
Eat foods you enjoy
One of the things that works best for me is to make sure I am always looking forward to my meal. I’m proud to say that I have created a healthy diet in which I never dread a meal (because I make them all delicious, healthy and enjoyable). Don’t torture yourself with dry meat and dry rice (the typical body builder diet). Your goal should be to make fitness a sustainable part of your life... so make your meals fun and enjoyable but be conscious of the nutrition you need, and the ingredients you DON'T need.
Take it slow
Changing your diet in any way should always be gradual, and as I always say - sustainable! I have intentionally eaten as low as 1700 calories a day and as high as 3000 calories per day, and whenever I put myself in a deficit or a huge surplus it happened gradually over time - that's how it became sustainable enough for me to continue for the duration it took to see results (usually a couple of months at a time).
My advice would be, for example, during week one add 100 calories to your day and start there, that can mean adding some avocado to your breakfast, some peanut butter to your snack or eating a banana as a snack. Week 2 add 200 calories to your regular diet - this can look like adding the above ^ and then also increasing your portion sizes! If you normally eat half a cup of rice eat 1 cup of rice, for example. If you usually use the small bowl for your oatmeal use the bigger bowl for your oatmeal. And as you get used to these new amounts keep adding new ingredients, snacks or even full meals and portion adjustments until you have reached the amount of calories you hope to eat for your goal! [Calculate the calories you need for your goal HERE]
Find what works for you
There really isn't one size fits all when it comes to the way you structure your diet and how your individual body responds to different eating patterns. Some people swear by smaller more frequent meals, others (like me) swear by bigger less frequent meals. It really depends on what you like, your metabolism and your lifestyle. I personally don’t like interrupting my work day to eat so I like eating 3 bigger meals during the day and having a couple of easy snacks I can eat throughout my day that don’t interrupt me much. Whereas some people would rather eat every 2/3 hours and have smaller portions during those meals. It’s up to you, do what works for you! The important thing is getting in the calories and nutrition... timing is not as important!
Avoid high empty calorie drinks
I know I know, we all love a 350 calorie Grande decaf coffee frappe with 4 pumps of vanilla and 2 pumps hazelnut from Starbucks (my regular order)... or is that just me 😂 Anyway, most high calorie drinks like my fav Starbucks order are void of proper nutrition. Think your latte, hot chocolates, coffees (with creams and sugars), alcoholic beverages and sugary fruit juices. Many people forget to account for their drinks in their caloric accounting for the day because it doesn’t feel like you're eating, but in those drinks are calories and usually a lot of empty calories. I personally cut these drinks out as much as possible and just drink water and black herbal teas so that the calories I’m consuming in my day are predominantly from my food, useful and full of the nutrients I am intentionally setting out to consume.
We can help!
Increasing your appetite during a bulk can be hard but following a nutrition plan you’re devoted to is an amazing strategy to consistently hit your goals and see the results you’re looking for! Our Certified Nutrition Coach is available to make you a custom meal plan with all of your goals in mind and to help guide you through the plan with weekly check ins! Check out our meal plans & also check out our Nutrition Month bundle deals available when you sign up for a transformation program + Kali's cookbook or meal plan!
Learn more by tapping the links or visiting our nutrition section of the site!