I'll be honest, I don't really like eating. Don't get me wrong, I love SOCIAL eating...like going out for dinner with the girlfriend, or enjoying a post workout feast with some of the guys from the gym. Of course there are those times I even get to enjoy my Mom's cooking when I go home to visit. However, I have never had a big appetite for a guy my size, and eating for bodybuilding has always been a challenge. As I grew over the years, and my body required more calories in order to recover from the progressively heavier workloads, I found it harder and harder to get the calories in to support my bodyweight.

I'm sure many of you have experienced it. You manage to get up to a new high bodyweight, and then can't hold it because your appetite just won't do you any favors. You're then left with the choice of adding junk calories to get the weight back up, or shovel another massive plate of bodybuilder food into your gullet, which can take up to an hour to eat if you feel like gagging the whole time. So you have to have a plan of attack in order to make sure that you can get the food in to begin with. Then you have to be careful to avoid things that hinder your appetite. So here are some things I pay attention to help solve these problems.

First, don't make the mistake of being in a calorie surplus every single day. My appetite gets worse as I get heavier. I find that if I bulk up past 10-12% body fat, my hunger almost completely dies off. So it makes perfect sense to me to have days where you purposely "diet." To keep things simple, I will keep my diet the same for protein and fat intake, and just consume less carbs. If I'm taking in 500-600 g of carbs daily, I'll set up 1-2 days per week (my days OFF training) where I only take in 400. It's still plenty of food but I do notice I lose a bit of weight that day. I definitely think I stay leaner and have an easier time eating my normal diet. It's a type of carb stagger, and I think carb staggers are very useful both off season, and pre-contest.

Secondly, I keep the diet pretty "clean." I know that word is silly, but you get what I mean. Lots of junk food make me feel bloated and makes it hard to eat again for several hours after. I have had days where I threw a calorie bomb meal in, and ruined my appetite so badly that my total caloric intake for the day wasn't even up to my minimum required. So I would have gotten more cals in just by sticking to the regular diet. That's a definite sign that certain foods don't work for you. I now know what foods I can "cheat" with and still be able to eat again when my next meal rolls around. That helps a lot.

So my average week would be 2 days (OFF training) of 300-400 g carbs, 3-4 regular training days of 500-600 g carbs, and then 1-2 other training days where my carbs would spike to 800-1000 g carbs. Usually I'll do the high days on back and leg days. By the end of the week my total food intake is pretty high, and my appetite still functional.

Give that type of thing a try if you find you lose your appetite too much in the off season.

Train like hell!
Ron