Back in the day, a common belief that is followed by many to this day is to eat big to get big. This means that you should gain as much weight as you can and as fast as you can. Called dirty bulking, this led to extra fat gain. Also, this was considered the result of building muscle.
All in all, the focus was gaining weight and eating big to get big. However, things are not the same anymore. They have changed considerably since. Nowadays, people think smart, train smarter and eat even smarter.
You should know that this methodology no longer works. Why?
Continue reading to know the 5 reasons you should not be following this mantra of eating big to get big.
It Leads to Fat Gain
The energy balance equation rules the weight change. It is also called calories in vs. calories out. It has 3 possible outcomes. And the amount of energy that you consume via calories vs. the amount of energy you use through activity determines which one you are in.
Positive Balance: When you eat more calories than you use for energy. It will lead to weight gain.
Negative Balance: You will lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you use for energy.
Neutral Balance: You will maintain your weight if you eat an equal amount of calories as you use for energy.
For muscle building, you should be in a small calorie surplus. This leads to slow and steady weight gain. It also increases the chances that the weight gain is muscle mass. For most, the 100-1400 calories over maintenance is sufficient. The theory of ‘eat big to get big’ ignores this idea of a small calorie surplus. You gain a lot of fat as a result.
Also, you gain excess fat without any additional muscle gain. It can also hamper your ability to build muscles and achieve your muscle goals.
Getting Lean Becomes Difficult
According to the ‘eat big to get big’ theory, you can put on large amounts of weight in a short time without giving any additional muscle-building benefit beyond what a small calorie surplus is capable of. Moreover, it increases the complexity level and the time you need to get lean after you have finished building muscle.
Usually, after you have built muscle, the next step is to lose any fat you have gained to see how much muscle you have and get a lean and muscular look. In case you have put on a lot of weight, it could take you a few months or even a year to lose weight.
So, the ‘eat big to get big’ method makes fat loss harder and even impacts your ability to build muscle.
You Will Not Build a Lot of Muscle
Muscle building is done in cycles. A certain time is spent in muscle building; you need to work hard till you hit 15-20% body fat before you begin losing fat. Then until you reach 10-12% body fat and then switch back again. You have to switch back and forth till you achieve your ideal body.
You disrupt the cycle when you adopt the ‘eat big to get big’ method. Also, it can jeopardize your results and lead to less muscle building. The process of muscle building is a steady endeavor. Everyone builds muscles at different rates, but this slows it down for everyone. You have to put on weight slowly for efficient muscle building. This ascertains that you are increasing the chances of making it muscle and reducing the chances of making it fat.
You spend more time building muscle before you begin losing fat. As you gain so much weight at such a fast pace, eat big to get big goes out of the window. You end up spending a lot less time building muscles and more time getting rid of all the excess fat.
Messes Up Your Appearance
Let’s admit it. Most of the weightlifters and bodybuilders get into it to look good. Who wouldn’t like to flaunt a well-cut and defined body after all? So, the motivation is to look great, for the most part. When you follow a proper method and build muscles slowly and methodically, you can control the amount of fat you gain. This means that you can spend months training and slowly gaining weight without affecting your looks and aesthetics.
You cannot do this when you follow ‘eat big to get big. When you gain weight at such a fast pace, it keeps you from getting lean. It also decreases the amount of time you spend building muscle and boosting the time you spent shedding fat. This way, you end up spending most of your time carrying a lot of excess fat.
Takes You Longer to Reach Your Goals
The ‘eat big to get big’ mentality prevents you from reaching your goals. If you want to have a more athletic physique and gain more muscles, it is an achievable goal. But it will take time.
You have two options:
- You could either follow the eat big to get big method and then spend 2-4 months building muscles. And then spend 4-8 months getting rid of the excessive fat that you have put on.
- Or you could eat a small calorie surplus and then spend 4-8 months building those muscles before losing the fat for 2-4 months to get rid of the little amount of fat you have put on.
Now, in one method you gain a small amount of muscle and a lot of fat. While the other helps you in maintaining and constantly improving the existing body with slow and gradual muscle building along with brief periods of fat loss.
Eat big to get big is not the shortcut for fast muscle gain. It is an outdated and ineffective way of building muscles. If you want to get results, you need to choose the right method for it.
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