Trying To Gain Lean Body Mass - Hack My Intake Ratios!

Last time I checked with a DEXA scan, I had 17.5% body fat, but due to low overall weight, I do not need to lose any fat, I just need to add muscle, lean body mass and the percentage will go down.


So now for 25 days I have been eating like this: I record everything I eat with

Average daily intake over the last 25 days:


145g protein, 54g carbs, 301g fat.


Which adds up to 3288 kcal daily.


I am also doing BBS once a week.


Result: I gained in total 4.3 kg (9.5 lb) in those 25 days.


So my weight gaining rate is: 172 g/day, 1.2 kg/week, 5.2 kg/month (0.38 lb/day, 2.7 lb/week, 11.5 lb/month).


Now, this is probably much more then the amount of muscle that anyone can possibly gain in that time. So I most likely gained quite some fat, but some muscle too (I hope). Bear in mind I was almost underweight before I started all this: 60.5 kg (133lb) at 176 cm height (5'9.3"), male. Now I am significantly heavier of course. Or is such a big gain fine, because I was so low in weight before? Is this the most efficient way to gain lean body mass, or is this too fast? Keep in mind I am only eating 54g carbs a day.


And Dave writes on :

"When carbs are limited to around 100-120 grams a day (or less if you’re trying to lose weight) on something like the Bulletproof Diet, you may see a gain of almost pure muscle (which is exactly what I’ve found through personal testing)."


According to that statement, I would be now gaining 5 kg of "almost pure muscle" a month, which seems much too good to be true. 


My questions is basically - is this an efficient protein/carb/fat plan to gain lean body mass (despite probably gaining fat which I will later need to lose)? The idea is that its easier to lose fat then to build muscle, so lets gain as much of everything as I can, and will deal with the fat later.


I am especially asking people who have any experience with underweight people finally gaining weight with overfeeding. I am happy that my weight went up, but now wondering - am I doing it right, or am I doing it wrong? Because in the end I want to increase the lean body mass, not the fat obviously, and drop my body fat percentage from 17.5% to something between 12%-15%.


  • i am kind of in the same boat...i was about 130lbs pre-bulletproof about a year ago, then discovered i was at 140lbs about 5 months ago. in june i decided to start seeing if i could intentionally add some lean mass by increasing protein intake and caloric intake, not to the extent you have though. i have been slowly gaining, kind of a 2 steps forward 1.75 steps backward kind of thing. kind of taking a similar approach in that i figure once i hit 150 or close to it i will focus more on leaning down. so yeah, i think you are probably on the right track, but am experimenting moreso than speaking from experience. just keep tracking and see what happens, cause even if someone offers advice from experience, different bodies respond differently....

  • @Jason Miller: No, I am not doing carb refeeds - I am eating exactly the same each day. Generally the reason I am not eating more carbs is that I am simultaneously doing GAPS/autoimmune (in hope on improving my ADHD, concentration, social interaction, allergies, leaky gut), so starch is avoided, I just get my carbs from non-starchy vegetables and raw honey before sleep, so its difficult to get more then 50 grams without starch - but doable if I load-up on fruits, and more veggies/honey.


    Does not doing carb refeeds hurt my muscle growth progress very much or just a little?


    I plan on doing another DEXA scan in September to see how much of what I gained is fat, and how much lean.


    I am continuously upping my protein intake to be around 1g/lb of body mass. 


    By "reassess you total intake" do you mean increasing it even more when I notice my weight gains levels off? For example increasing everything (protein, carbs, fat) by 10%, which will end up around 3500 kcal? When should I start reducing my intake to lose some of the surplus fat I accumulated over this overfeeding process? Because I don't quite believe that I am not getting tons of fat gain with this. Anyway I'll know for sure how much fat I gained with the DEXA in September, but assuming more then half of my gains is fat? I'll be positively surprised if less then half of it is fat. I'm curious if anyone here did DEXA fat percentage test before and after several months of overfeeding with 80% of calories from fat.

  • @omegater what type of training are you doing in order to gain this lean mass? I personally think it' a high expectation to expected 5kg of pure muscle in a month but will be very interested to see your results. 


    What sports supplements (if any) are you taking at the minute? 

  • And even in my BEST years (21 to 23 years old), I'm 27 years old now, I was only able to put on 1lb of lean muscle mass per month as measured by a DEXA scan. All these people who think they can pack on 20lbs of muscle in a couple months are either not measuring their gains with an accurate method like a DEXA, Hydrostatic weighing or BodPod, or they are lying about it, or using steroids.


    My guy that runs the DEXA scanner has seen tons of data and runs all types of statistical analyses and tracks all types of people, from different ages, genders, ethnicities, etc.... and he rarely if ever sees anything more than 1lb a month, and that is when people really have everything dialed in.


    One time I took a full year off of working out due to a significant back injury, and I was at my heaviest in terms of muscle mass at that point in time. I started at 205lbs, and after a little over a year, I came back at 195lbs. My clothes fit me the same, and I really didn't think I had lost too much muscle and even thought I dropped a bit of body fat. Turned out that I lost 23lbs of muscle put on 13lbs of fat, which explained the loss in 10lbs of body weight.


    Please keep us updated!


    Recently I got stalled for some weeks, because of some mold poisoning from a pineapple (the mold wasn't visible, but somehow I am very sensitive to fruits), and had diarrhea for some days and then couldn't get back to eating 3200 kcal so easily, so I am still at the same weight now, but now starting to do the 3200 kcal again.


    Based on what you write should I blindly reduce my caloric intake by 500 kcal/day so that my gain is not more then say 2-3 lb per month? As otherwise its gonna be mostly fat anyway? Does it make sense to bulk 10 lb per month, only to have later to shred all that fat? If others have tested this so much, there might not be much sense for me to test it again.


    But a lot of people write that bulking and cutting is effective. So what is more effective - bulking and cutting, or gaining slowly?


    Which way can I most likely achieve more muscle in 1 year from now: by bulking 10 lb/month for 6 months, and then taking 6 months to get rid of the fat?

    Or just gaining much more slowly for 1 year, with much lower caloric intake (say 2700 kcal instead of 3200 kcal)?


    From what I observed about my body, 2700 kcal is likely to gain me 2 pounds a month, if not I'll adjust it a bit.


    I plan to do another DEXA when I reach 150lb=68kg.

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