Stop. Before you judge the title of this blog post, I will admit I have used a little click bait to entice you 😉
Following on from my instagram post about ‘diet culture’ this is the caption I wrote about my story:
‘We live in a world obsessed with Diet culture
Magazine covers, Instagram transformations, ‘celebrities’ and ‘influencers’ releasing meal replacements, diet plans etc etc
It’s no wonder we’re constantly trying to make ourselves smaller, eat less, exercise more.
So trying to gain weight, gain strength, gain a life goes against everything you think you know.
It’s the biggest mental battle because you have to ignore EVERYTHING going on around you.
It’s having the strength to stand out.
To accept you don’t want to ‘follow the crowd’
To create your own version of healthy and do what works for you regardless of how different that makes you.
This realisation has been such a challenge for me too, I’m always getting DMs about how I overcame it, what I ate to stay ‘lean’ and how I dealt with feeling full/ uncomfortable/ bloated etc
I really hope it helps and remember that you never ever have to be afraid or explain yourself to anyone.
Do what works for YOU ✌🏻’
I want to use this platform to educate you, give you tips and tricks and talk about things that helped me gain muscle and strength but still remain relatively lean.
Considering winter is approaching and many of us find this a good opportunity to eat in a little surplus (which means more food than you need to remain at the same body weight you are currently) and generally just relax a lot more around food I thought i’d share some tips on fitting in more food without feeling too bloated.
Now don’t get me wrong, not everyone wants to actively put on muscle or increase their strength but if you are someone who’s new to the gym or if you’ve hit a plateau in your training then you may which to look at introducing a little more food into your diet.
Believe it or not, ‘toning’ up and ‘growing a booty’ requires you to eat in a surplus. You need to essentially ‘eat to grow’ or else you will look and feel exactly the same. Building muscle through weight training will achieve that ‘toned’ look along side the adequate nutrition you need to do so.
Other benefits you’ll find are how much more energy you have and how much healthier you feel by nourishing your body the right way!
You can find a lot more information in my book along side PLENTY of simple recipe ideas too here- https://veesfitnessfood.com/shop/
So back to ‘bulking’ or eating in a surplus.. the one problem i seem to have is the bloating, you feel a little uncomfortable shovelling down more food than you need and as a result may start to feel a little sluggish too.
I personally love eating fruit and veg so find it so easy to in fact eat too much fibre, which isn’t always a good thing and can leave you feeling very bloated indeed.
So what’s the best thing to do here?
Some of the best advice I can give you is:
1.Space out your meals
What I mean by this is start eating early and finish eating as late as you can manage (within reason of course) rather than having 3 large meals why not try 3 meals and 3 snacks in order to space out your food and give your body the best chance at digesting it between meals?
2.Watch your fibre
So I touched on this already but fibre can be your best friend as well as your own worst enemy. You want to make sure you’re getting enough (so roughly 15g for every 1000 calories you eat) but you don’t want to overdo it at the same time.
Opt for white rice over brown, regular white potato over sweet potato, choose fresh over dried fruit, etc. What you’ll find by eating in a surplus is that you will get enough fibre without even really trying so it’s okay to sneak in foods here and there with slightly less fibre too. Another great tip is choosing ‘cream of rice’ over oats/porridge. Porridge is brilliant and I eat it twice a day, check out some of my recipes if you’d like ideas for what to do with it, but too much can also mean too much fibre. Sometimes i’ll opt for cream of rice or quinoa porridge as a change.
3.Fats are your friend
I know what you’re thinking, surely ‘fats’ are bad, but trust me, not all fats are created equally. Fats are very calorie dense meaning you can eat a very small amount of them for a high amount of calories. Fats have 9 Calories per gram (again this is discussed far more detailed in My Book– Macros and Micros) so snacking on foods such as nuts (which are very high in fats, especially Walnuts) mean you can reduce the volume of the food you’re eating yet still get in as many calories as you need!
4.Sneek calories in
The easiest way to do this without really noticing is to add salad dressings, use ‘regular’ ketchup and ‘full fat’ mayo. You’ll find making the swaps back to the higher calorie version will definitely help you bump up those calories.
5.Reduce your fizzy drink consumption
Fizzy drinks are the WORST for bloating, Some people cope well with them, others don’t and personally I find I don’t at all. Opt for still drinks, squash is great too. Hot chocolates are perfect at this time of year also. But do be aware of the bloating that comes a long side fizzy drinks.
6.Watch out for ‘Polyols’
Now Polyols are a big topic in themselves but essentially they are sugar alcohols which your body cannot break down fully. They are used to sweeten sugar-free foods, are found in chewing gum, protein bars etc. You may have noticed them on the back of packets of chewing gum and sugar-free foods- you can recognise a polyol from the ‘-ol’ at the end of the word and they come in many forms. The reason they bloat you is because we simply cannot digest them fully but again, they affect different people in different amounts so that’s just another one to keep your eyes pealed for!
7.’DIY’ Mass gainer smoothies
Don’t be put off, as a female or even a male, it’s very very hard to really put on a lot of weight and end up looking bulking (believe me i’ve been trying!) making your own mass-gainer style smoothies simply means making a smoothie that contains all weird and wonderful foods that can bump on your calories. The best way to do this is to add oats, add nut butters, use full fat milks and yogurt. You can squeeze a hell of a lot into one smoothie for a big amount of calories without a large volume necessarily.
So there you have it, my biggest tips to increase your calories without experiencing too much of a bloat.
Don’t be afraid to eat more, you’ll build muscle, get stronger and feel full of energy. If you’re afraid to do, then just eat a little more every week at a very slow rate, that way you won’t even notice it!
Thank you for all your blog post suggestions, i’ll be answering the most popular topic weekly.
Don’t forget to let me know if you found this useful or even share your advice with me too!
All my love ❤