Bulking is essentially the act of eating more food than your body actually needs. The goal is to have plenty of leftover calories for recovery and repair after weight-training. In order to get larger you need to eat a lot of food. Pretty simple, except getting the required calories is often a significant monetary expense. The following cheap bulking diet plan will have you adding mass quickly with less expense.
Cheap Bulking Diet: Protein
Our cheap protein source of choice? Whey protein. This should come as no surprise. Whey protein is a complete, non-filling protein source that goes for pennies per serving. Even the most expensive brands are going to give you more bang for your buck than beef or chicken. It's probably not a good idea to remove all solid sources of protein from your diet, but don't be afraid to use whey for half or more of your protein intake. You will need the extra room in your stomach for all the carbs you'll be eating!
Cheap Bulking Diet: Carbs
When choosing carbs, it is hard to beat rice. Rice is very cheap, versatile, and nutritious. Buy it in bulk to save money. Get 50-pound sacks if they are available. Fruit and vegetables should also be consumed, but don't overdo it with the veggies as they are low in calories and more filling. You can eat more veggies when you start cutting in the future.
Cheap Bulking Diet: Fat
The cheapest and healthiest fat source for the bulker is probably olive oil. Buy one of the large tins to save money, and you've got yourself an excellent fat source for pennies per serving. Olive oil is a good source of omega fats; these type of fats are believed to improve cholesterol profiles. Flax seed oil and fish oil supplements are a bit more expensive per serving, but they are more widely used by bodybuilders and possibly more convenient than olive oil. Each of these fat sources have their own distinct flavors, so that should also be taken into consideration.
Cheap Bulking Diet: Supplements
It is very important to supplement with a quality multivitamin so that your body does not become deficient. Muscle growth can be stopped in its tracks if your body is lacking in even one important vitamin. Play it safe and get a quality multivitamin. Obviously a whey protein supplement is a must, and a BCAA drink can be very effective at keeping a positive nitrogen balance in your body between meals. You may also want to consider antioxidant supplements such as n-acetyl cysteine and glutathione since your body will be under additional oxidative stress while eating at a surplus.
How much should I eat when bulking?
First, it is important to find out how much you are currently eating, so if are not currently tracking calories then you should begin doing so. Once you've determined your current caloric intake, simply add 100 calories to your daily diet. Do this for a week and see if your weight changes. If no change, then add another 100 calories the following week. Eventually you will reach the point where you are gaining about 1 pound per week. Remember, a gradual increase is going to be better than immediately eating everything in sight. Doing that will just blow you up with fat gains. A gradual lean bulk is more efficient than getting too fat, and then having to cut for months.
How long should I bulk?
Ideally, you should bulk until your bodyfat is around 15%. At this point your abs will start to disappear and you will start looking a little chubbier, but you will have gained a large amount of muscle and strength as long as you have been training with a good bulking routine. When you're ready, switch to our fat-cutting diet and begin training with our cutting routine. Enjoy!