So, Toby has IBS and his question for me is; how can I bulk up on a F.O.D.M.A.P diet?
Toby follows a F.O.D.M.A.P diet. If you don’t know what F.O.D.M.A.P stands for, it stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. So, what these things are, are fibres or sugars that some people can’t digest particularly well. And generally these people are people who have things like IBS.
Well Toby, you’re in luck, because that’s not so much of an issue to do with F.O.D.M.A.P but rather to do with total calories, so let’s look at what you could use within the bounds of the F.O.D.M.A.P diet to bulk up. I’m assuming what you mean is to increase muscle mass, so obviously one side of that is progressive weight training; you have to be in the gym – the other side is calories and gradually increasing calories over time.
So, let’s talk about calories. Where should they come from? And maybe talk about some issues that might arise from eating things like protein, which we’re going to cover first, when you have something like IBS. So, we’ll start with protein.
If you want to bulk up and you want to put on a bit of muscle mass, I would say that you want to set your protein intake to about 2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. So lets say you weight 80 kilos, your daily protein intake should be at about 160 – if you do a ton of weight training on top of that you might want to up it a little bit – but I would say that if you have IBS, this might be difficult if you want to go high on the protein, because some people struggle to digest things like the darker meats, like beef as well. So what we’re going to look at is some alternative proteins you might be able to use within your F.O.D.M.A.P diet that would help you with that.
You can certainly eat things like lean chicken, lean fish, and I would always say that having some animal protein in there is a good start because you want to have essential amino acids – that just means your body can’t produce those ones so you have to eat them. So things like lean chicken, lean fish – fantastic options.
But when it comes to trying to digest things, like the heavier meats, like beef, anything that’s darker, I would say that if you didn’t want to eat those, this is when things like protein supplements might come in useful. Now, obviously whey protein has a potentially tiny, tiny, tiny, zero-point-zero-one percent lactose element to it, so to be sure, if you were going to use a whey protein supplement to just increase the amount you were able to consume in a day, then I would chose a whey protein isolate version. The isolate version just means that they’ve filtered out any lactose molecules that might be in there.
Just let the dishwasher… do it’s thing.
Okay, so, when it comes to spreading your meals out across the day Toby, I would say that you should have maybe three main meals and one snack. And what we’re going to do is try and spread 40 grams of protein across each one of your meals, and that would give you a nice solid base that we can then build your diet on top of.
The next food you want to look at are carbohydrates. So, if you want to bulk up, I would say that the most efficient way to do that is by gradually increasing your carbohydrate intake, so depending on how much you actually weight train, or how much you exercise, this is very much going to dictate how much carbohydrate you should have in your diet. But if you are looking to bulk up, you need to get in the gym and you need to lift lots of weights. So, I’m going to say that we’re going to have carbohydrates to a moderate to high level, but it doesn’t have to be as high as that at the start, we want to build it up gradually. And that’s how we hopefully stave off putting on too much unnecessary weight like body fat, we don’t really want that.
So, things like bananas, oats, rice noodles, rice, basmati rice, you don’t need to eat the brown rice… Now Toby, you will know with just trial and error with your diet what carbohydrates work for you. So, I’m not actually going to tell you to change anything about your diet, because when we’re building muscle, all we’re doing is trying to gradually increase calories over time, and if those calories can come from carbohydrates, and you’re doing lots of weight training, then that’s probably the best start for you in terms of bulking up. So whatever you’re eating at the moment, just eat more of it.
And when it comes to specifics, I mean, it’s very individual, it depends on height, metabolism, and again, like I said, how much you actually do exercise, I would start with something like, again, lets say we set protein and carbs to a similar level to begin with, so if we do something like 2 grams of carbohydrate per kilo of bodyweight again, so that would give you 160 grams of carbohydrate a day. For me, I would say that’s pretty low, so you could push that up, you could push that to 200, you could make it 2.5 grams, 3 grams. It all depends perhaps on what you’re training that day, whether you’re going to do a lower body session or an upper body session – this is something you’ll have to experiment with over time, just seeing what happens, seeing how your own weight on the scales changes every morning if you weigh yourself.
But – and this is the takeaway point for carbohydrates – set them to a limit every day, perfectly weigh them - you don’t have to this forever because you’ll learn how much things are every day – and then if you feel like you aren’t putting on any weight, and you’re trying to bulk up, then what you need to do is to increase those carbohydrates, so you might look at taking another 500 calories from carbohydrates and adding them into your diet, and again, spreading those through your four meals during the day. So it shouldn’t feel like a colossal amount each time, and we’re just gradually, over time, increasing those carbohydrates, until you do start to tip the scales upwards, and then you know that you’re on track.
When it comes to fats, now no need to go crazy on the fats. A lot of people are eating a lot of fat these days. You just need to match your body weight in grams, so for me, I weigh 77 kilos, I would probably round that up to maybe 80 grams, but I definitely overeat on fats anyway. You don’t have to worry too much about the fats, if you’re eating too much fatty cuts of meat, obviously there’ll be some in that anyway, but if you want to add in some additional healthy fats, things like extra virgin olive oil, rape seed oil is great, coconut oil.
What we should probably check is, is coconut oil a F.O.D.M.A.P? Apparently you’re okay on the coconut, I just checked! Yeah, you can eat all of it. God that could have been a disaster!
So Toby, I know in some places that was a little bit vague, but all I’m trying to say is, you know at the moment know what diet works for you in terms of what foods you can actually eat. My takeaway point really for you is that I want you to just be a little bit more consistent with things like protein intake; spread your carbohydrate through those four meals as well; weigh yourself every morning, if you aren’t tipping the scales up, increase the carbohydrates; and weight train.
I hope that helps. Anyone else, any questions, subscribe, comment below and I will give you your own one-take answer.
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