"Clean" Bulking

This was on my mind a few days ago. Why you ask? I remember when I first started training, I’d nearly always refuse to eat “dirty” foods. By “dirty” foods I am talking about foods that are considered by most to be unhealthy. The word dirty, in the context of food is undefinable in my opinion now. However, back in the day, I considered dirty food to things like pizza, fast food, pop, candy etc.
I used to think to myself that dirty food had an inherent characteristic, which made you fat. Through everything I have read and learned, I now know that just plain isn’t true. As I’ve discussed numerous times, the body will gain or lose weight with any kinds of food you put in your mouth. Remember the old low-fat (LF) craze, followed by the low-carb (LC) phase? This study performed on obese adults compared the effects of isocaloric diets using either LC or LF. What were the results you ask? Nearly identical weight loss.
This shows you that calories are calories. Yes carbohydrates, proteins and fats have different properties. Since diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome are all prevalent in our societies, it’s not as easy as saying eat whatever you want. Not to mention biomarkers of health will have an impact on macronutrient composition and vice versa. However in a true sense, with nothing holding you back (like diabetes etc) you can lose weight as long as you are consuming less energy than you are expending.
I realize I’ve been talking about weight loss thus far, but that was just to prove a point about the belief that various foods are inherently more fattening than others. Which just isn’t true. Now, back to my point. In order for individuals to gain weight you need to be in caloric excess.
If you are consuming more than you are expending you will gain weight. Depending on various factors such as: lifestyle and level of activity, you will will gain lean mass and/or fat. Obviously it is the goal of most people who are looking to put size on, to gain mostly muscle.
Eating healthy foods is great. You get nutrients and vitamins from various foods and it’s definitely the healthiest way to go. However, if you’re caloric needs are 4-5000 calories on training days, you’re going to run into problems eating only ‘clean’ food.
For this reason, I do suggest the addition of supplements like carb powder, protein powder, milk etc. You can stay on your high horse about only eating clean, but I’d like to see how big you really are. If you can eat 4-5000 calories in a day of clean foods then good on you, keep going. For others though, you may need to make additions to your diet that might not exactly be ‘clean.’ If you do add something like milk, don’t feel bad about it, it might be just what you need to reach your body weight goals!

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