How Do I Eat More?!

By Valerie Solomon

What a crazy question, right?!  

But in the fitness world, from women who are trying to eat well and NEED to eat more, I get asked this a lot.  

Surprisingly, I coach more women to eat MORE for fat loss and muscle growth than I coach women to eat less.  

Eating more of the right food, can change your body’s composition into a strong and lean force to be reckoned with. 

It seems like everyone in our society is trying to lose weight and get smaller.  

Since we were little girls, we’ve been marketed to to eat less to get that tiny bikini body we are supposed to desire.  

Commercials are all about low calorie, low fat, etc. Bookshelves are filled with newest low calorie diet craze.  

It should be no surprise that so many women really do not know how to handle the goal of eating more. 

But what if we want to get FIT? What if we actually want to grow muscle? 

What if we are accustomed to a 1200 calorie diet and it’s time to stop the craziness and fix a damaged metabolism? 

What if we are blessed/cursed with a metabolism that requires us to eat a lot more than we are used to or naturally comfortable with to reach our fitness goals? 

Eating more is a different kind of diet challenge. It requires planning and effort just like weight loss.  

Sometimes having to eat more than you really want to eat can be frustrating.  

Anyone could eat 2000+ calories of cheeseburgers and fries, but when you are aiming to eat healthy and get strong, suddenly that plate of food looks huge! 

If you know you are an under eater for what ever reason, bite in to these 5 tips to help you make progress with your goals of gaining: 

3 Tips for Eating More to Gain Muscle

1.Retrain Your Brain

Gone are the days of you living by the portion control methods of weight loss that you may have been taught as a child.    

Your portion of meat is going to have to be bigger than palm sized. Your portion of carbohydrates is going to have to fill two or 3 of those little portion things.  

You eat more by eating more. There are new rules for you now.  

Order the bigger steak, buy the bigger potatoes, have seconds, etc. It’s not how we are accustomed to eating as little ladies.  

But, little lady, you have the metabolism of a teenage boy (or you are now training like one!).  

Give yourself permission to eat like a one (one that’s really into nutrition…ha). 

2. Battle Being Full

We are used to eating a certain amount of food to support our current body.  

But to add muscle, you have to be above average with your eating. It can be physically difficult to eat more.  

Sometimes, those of us with fast metabolism also have low appetites, especially in the morning.    

This is the time that I try to cram as many calories into the smallest physical food size as possible.  

For example, I will add as little water as possible to my whey protein shake.  

Also, I’ll blend my oats into egg whites and make a protein pancake rather than eating fluffy oatmeal and a pile of eggs.  

I want small and easy to get down the hatch. Check labels.  

You may find that you could be eating a wrap instead of thick slices of bread and meeting the same carb requirements, for example. 

Also remember that fat grams have 9 calories each compare to protein and carbohydrate grams, which only have 4.  

So if you are short on calories, a spoonful of nut butter, oil on your greens, a handful of nuts, avocado, etc. can help you reach your caloric target without having to consume bulky food. 

3. Set Yourself up for Success 

With out focus and a few safety nets, it’s easy to skip a meal or two. 

A meal or two here or there is one thing, but when it is a consistent habit, that lack of calories really can add up. 

Putting pressure on yourself to cook 100% of the massive amount of food you may need to consume is a sure way to fail.  

Rely on protein shakes, protein bars, easy to grab veggies and nuts, etc. to have on hand at all times.  

Stock your car console, your desk drawer, and your bag. Life is crazy. 

Make sure you have some easy meals ready to go all of the time that do not require you to be in the kitchen. 

When you do cook, cook in bulk. If you are cooking chicken for the family, for example, throw on plenty of extra to have around. 

Just minor planning ahead like this can save you from skipping a meal the next day. 

The point here is: Keep easy to grab and go food around at all times.

If your goal is to add more muscle than you currently have, you have to do more than you currently do. 

Not only do you have to work hard in the gym, you have to support muscle growth with good nutrition. 

I can share this advice because I’ve learned the hard way over and over. I get in a rhythm where I plan and eat well, and then life happens.  

I start skipping meals or eating too little, and I get small again. It’s ok.  

Life has its challenges; enjoy the ride.  

Continue to educate yourself about what your body needs to reach your fitness goals and when you can, get right back on track. 

Thankfully our bodies are wonderfully and beautifully made. 

They can grow with good nutrition, and they can bounce back when we slack off. 

Eat big. Get strong. 

Example Day

Total Calories: 2140 

Total Protein: 193 

Total Carbs: 207 

Total Fat: 60 

**Add in fiberous greens like lettuce, spinach, broccoli, asparagus.  They are not included in calculations; considered freebies. 

Breakfast: 3 eggs, 2 slices of Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread 

Snack: Protein meal replacement shake* and medium banana 

Lunch: 6oz rotisserie chicken breast and 1 cup brown rice, tbsp olive oil on greens 

Snack: Protein meal replacement shake* and medium banana 

Dinner: 6oz 97% lean beef and small baked potato 

*I use Isagenix Isalean PRO Shakes: 36g protein, 20 carb, 6 fat