Most folks have heard that in order to get big and muscular you need to eat BIG and feed those muscles – you are what you eat, after all.
While this is partly true, it’s really only half of the story. The biggest problem facing many folks is that they will often gain fat as well as muscle while bulking up. If you’re a skinny guy that might not be such a huge problem, but if you’ve already got a body fat percentage that is fairly high you can’t really afford to take on any more without sacrificing your health.
- High Fat and Salt Intakes
Since you are consuming a larger amount of calories each day on a bulking diet not enough emphasis is placed on the quality of the calories that you are taking on, and where those calories come from. Most bulk up diets involve you consuming high amounts of salt, sugars, unhealthy fats, corn syrup and trans fats. As I’m sure you will agree, those things are recipes for bad long-term health and an increased risk of heart disease and other cholesterol-related illnesses.
- Insulin Resistance
Usual bulking diets make your body develop insulin resistance which can make muscle building difficult since insulin resistance makes your body send the carbs that you consume to your fat stores instead of your muscle tissue.
Insulin resistance can be hard to reverse, meaning that as time goes on it will become increasingly difficult to lose the body fat but easier to GAIN it…not good! This is a major reason why skinny people can stay lean despite eating pretty much they want.
- Underactive Thyroid
Too much fat gain can play havoc with your thyroid production. This hormone is responsible for speeding up the whole fat-burning process, and the fatter you are the less effective it becomes, resulting in you gaining fat faster – this is a nasty vicious circle that you should definitely avoid.
How To Avoid These Bulking Up Pitfalls…
As you can see, failure to understand how your body reacts to what you put inside it is a major cause of excess fat gain while bulking, but also of the increased chances of long-term health risks.
The key to avoiding these dangers is to reduce your high-calorie bulking cycles. In other words, many bulking cycles can last for several months – this takes a toll on your body and metabolism. Shortening your cycles to a few weeks will reduce the risk of fat gain and also get enough variety into your routine.
Focus on timing your meals appropriately too – don’t just eat whenever you want throughout the day. Understand that your nutrient requirements fluctuate throughout the day. Understanding how and when to eat certain meals and food groups will maximize muscle gains and minimize fat gain. This is the art of nutrient timing.