Thursday, September 22, 2011

Appetite, it isn't always there. I can fix that.

Trying to Bulk.
As someone who is lifting weights, new or old, you will come to a point where you want to add mass. Appetite can end up being a pain in the ass sometimes. Stress, hormonal imbalance, and a host of other problems can make it hard for you to eat enough to gain weight. Lean bulking is even harder because chicken gets really old really fast. I have had experiences with eating clean where my body just stopped being hungry because of clean eating, and a strange reaction to 1-test, I would eat and it wouldn't stay down for long. That is why they invented protein shakes. These are a godsend if you have trouble eating. The right protein powder blended up with a tablespoon of peanut-butter can give you a Reese's peanut-butter cup in a glass. There are so many different recipes to try with limits set only as far as you can imagine. Anabolic Gourmet has some wonderful recipes on it for protein shakes, I haven't tried the other recipes on the site though. I know the shakes are wonderful.

How much food is enough?
This question comes up with nearly every new lifter. It's an extremely easy question to answer as well. The real issue with knowing is that people eat when they are hungry usually. The problem is that people become programmed to eat at certain times based on what they are used to. You can see evidence of this by changing from your current eating habits to a schedule of six smaller meals, it makes it easier to break up the calories this way, separated by two or three hours each. Do so for a week or two and then try missing a meal. You will feel like you haven't had food for days, because your body has this wired in, so to speak, and you just messed up it's feeding time. Your metabolism sped up for the expected food, and nothing came. Now actually figuring out how much you need to eat is really easy. Simply put record your food intake for a week. If you gained weight, you are eating enough. If not then eat 500 calories more repeat until weight gain is reached. If you increase too much you will gain more fat than you want.

Training Increases Hunger.
Intense training stimulates your appetite. Your body will be craving more calories to help it recover from brutal workouts and the higher the intensity the more food you will naturally want. If you don't believe me then switch up your routine to something more intense than what you are doing right now. Try squatting three or more days per week. It will bring up your hunger. Cardio really helps with appetite increasing as well. It may not be any fun to run on a treadmill for a half hour a day, but it will help you eat more. Cardio doesn't always mean running though, I use tireflips in my workout for cardio. I know plenty of guys that swap out running for other things. Although sometimes you just aren't hungry anyway.

How can I eat if I'm not hungry?
I am going to cover three different ways to increase appetite. They are Force Feeding, Water Expansion, and Benadryl.

1.) Force Feeding, just as it sounds increases appetite by changing the body's time to expect food and the quantity of it. Basically you set a number of calories you will consume at each meal, pick a reasonable number so you don't vomit because that is kinda counter productive here, and pre-make each meal. The reason I say to pre-make them is so that you can count out the calories before hand and be ready. You can do this with up to a weeks worth of food and you will successfully reprogram your eating habits with it. The first few times will be hell because you will stuff it down until you want to vomit and then stuff a little more down. The same principle can be used for cutting as well. If you restrict calories in the same fashion with a schedule for eating times, and amounts, you will eventually set your body's response to it.

2.) Water Expansion is using volumes of water to expand the stomach to want more food. I have only used this once before and it did work, which surprised me. Technique is to take a gallon jug and fill it with water. Drink it within the course of an hour, wait an hour or two, and drink another gallon repeat for around a week on top of eating. I'm really not sure if stomach size affects appetite, but anecdotally I can say it did for me. It seems to work by stretching the stomach to allow more food inside. I have seen speed eaters use a similar technique, but using a couple pounds of lettuce. The idea behind water is that it will clear fast and allow you to maintain higher calories. The lettuce method may work, but you will be full. You can try lettuce before bed if you really don't like drinking water.

3.) Benadryl is an allergy medication. Using Benadryl to stimulate appetite is a weird suggestion that a friend told me about when I had issues eating enough to gain significant weight. I had used Benadryl before to combat allergies in the spring, but the only side effect I had was that it made me fall asleep. Within a half hour I was out cold, with deep sleep, for a good 10 hours if left alone in a comfortable place. So I always just took it before bed and it seemed to help my allergies. I told my friend this and he told me that if I can fight through the drowsiness I will get extremely hungry. So I figured, what the hell I'm only out $3 if he's full of crap. The first time using Benadryl for appetite stimulus was hard. I took it around eleven in the morning so I could use it for lunch. By the time noon came I was extremely tired and nearly just took a nap, but I fought through it and guess what? It worked. I ate three big bowls of chili, two honey and peanut-butter sandwhiches, with around six cups of milk after not wanting food all day after my meager breakfast of two eggs. I didn't believe that using Benadryl to stimulate appetite would work, but I was proved wrong. It works without fail for me daily, you eventually build up a tolerance to the sleepiness apparently. I just dose my single cap of Benadryl with 200mg of caffeine and they balance out pretty well. It's an easy method to use, but I won't promise it works with everyone. I know there are those who won't be able to stimulate appetite using Benadryl because everyone reacts differently to everything. Please refer to Benadryl's dosing protocol for proper use.

There you have it. Three methods to increase your appetite for a bulk, or if you are underweight. My posts regarding anything is purely hypothetical and a figment of my imagination. I am not liable for anything I post. Please be safe when considering these methods.

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