JEFF: What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Today we’re talking nutrition. Specifically for hard gainers, and more importantly the mistakes that hard gainers make. And who would I bring into this video? No, not Charlie. He’s doing good with food. We’re talking about Jessie, our resident hard gainer.
Who, by the way – hi Jessie! JESSIE: How’s it going guys? JEFF: Is actually not necessarily a hard gainer anymore because he’s changing his mindset that places the limits on him thinking he’s a hard gainer. So we’ve addressed a lot of his training so far, but we haven’t really addressed nutrition. Honestly, you can train your ass off as a hard gainer. If your nutrition isn’t in check you will not see the results that you want to see.
Particularly in the form of weight gain, or more importantly, muscle gain because you’re not providing the muscles with the proper nutrition. The key is, this doesn’t just mean ‘calories’. Calories is not going to cut it when it comes to building new, productive muscle tissue. You need to provide, as I’ve said plenty of times already, high quality nutrition. Not just food, but nutrient dense food.
So I figured in order to cover this I could take you on my journey because Jessie’s following that journey as we speak, and I take you back to my childhood where my food intake was horrible. I mean, absolutely atrocious. I swear I’ve said this a million times. I was the biggest junk food junkie. I make Jessie look like a complete healthy eater. The fact of the matter was, I ate nothing good. So maybe I was able to come home and my parents would force me to eat, and my grandparents would force me to eat something good at dinner time.
But it wasn’t for lack of trying on my part because I would have for breakfast, some kind of cereal. Fruit Loops, one of my favorites. As a matter of fact, I would put Froot Loops and three other cereals in the same bowl. You know, I couldn’t just choose one. So I’d have that. The problem here: loaded with sugar, no fiber, nothing real beneficial in here. That wasn’t enough though. Of course I had my favorite of all time. Entenmann’s crumb donuts.
These guys. Of course, I wouldn’t have one. So in one you have 250 calories, 20g of sugar. No, I’d have three, or four. At least three, or four. The thing is, when you’re having those types of foods you’re really providing no opportunity to have good, quality nutrition in place of that. So I would say that still wasn’t enough. I would have some chocolate donuts, too. So these guys. You know? The little mini donuts.
These? Okay, I would pound at least three or four of those every morning, too. This is just in the same breakfast. So I could eat and I could take in a lot of calories, but the fact is, I wasn’t taking in nutrient dense calories. This is the kid’s problem right here, okay? JESSIE: Come on! I love them! They’re so good! JEFF: Okay, go ahead. Have one. These days are ending. So the fact of the matter is, you’re not getting a lot of protein, all these foods right there, there’s literally no protein in here at all.
More importantly, let’s say you’re the type that feels that saturated fat is the enemy. A lot of people are in the camp these days saying that ‘it’s not as bad as it used to be’, or as people perceived it to be. That’s fine, but if you do believe that, there’s tons of saturated fat in these things. In just three donuts here there’s 15g of saturated fat, and these donuts over here? Same story. There’s no real good nutrition from that standpoint.
But in my camp, I believe that sugar is really more of the enemy. There’s plenty, as I said, of sugar in these choices here. Other than that, really nothing. So what we know we need to do is, we need to get off that and try to get ourselves to this side of the table, which is where I eat these days. So we have slow cooked oats, oatmeal, pumpkin – rich in vitamins and minerals – this, I put in with the oatmeal. Walnuts.
Great source of fat. We’re not scared of fat, but it’s got a great amount of polyunsaturated fat, okay? So we have a different balance here. Completely on the other side of the equation. The biggest mistake a hard gainer can try to make in making the changes – even if you’re watching this video right now and saying “Yeah, I think I need to eat more of what Jeff’s showing over here” – it’s to try to jump from that to that. Because I tried to do that and that as a mistake. I heard, and read in the magazines that you’re supposed to eat oatmeal.
That’s what all the body builders were eating, all right? Little did I know, they were eating other stuff too, and taking other things, and injecting other things. But I was fixated on the oatmeal and I jumped toward the oatmeal, and I started having this. This was so disgusting to me because I was used to eating all of that sugar, and this has none in it. 1 gram. It was so distasteful to me that I almost got turned off completely to the whole idea of eating healthier. But before I did, I did one thing that I think saved me.
That was, I tried to pick something in the middle. This is oatmeal, too. Okay? It comes in this little package. Jessie eats these every now and then. The thing is, these are – this is the fast oats. There’s really not as much fiber in this as there is in this, in the slow cook oats, but beyond that, these are loaded with sugar, right? So they have the maple kind, the maple brown sugar, they have – what did you eat? JESSIE: I ate the brown sugar. That’s why they’re so tasty. JEFF: I know. No kidding. So they made that more tasty by putting a lot of sugar into it, but at least I was still eating oatmeal instead of eating donuts. Instead of eating Froot Loops. So I felt like, to me, it was an upgrade.
And it was! But it wasn’t where I needed to get to, but if I never did this first, then I never would have been able to get to this because what I did was, I would take two packets of this, and that would be my breakfast. I would have a glass of orange juice, or whatever else I would eat with that. But then I started to combine one pack of this and then one serving of this and I was able to tolerate it because I was getting more and more of a taste for oatmeal in the morning. Then I would take two of these, but I had to start putting in my own brown sugar.
I put a lot to try to make it taste a little bit better. But then I started to be able to wean that down because it started to taste a little too sweet to me. Instead, I started to put in bananas, sliced up banana, which is a source of sweetness that wasn’t as bad as just pounding the brown sugar. So over time I made better and better choices to what I have these days. Which, again, is pumpkin mixed with – and I put this recipe up on our channel here a long time ago – but pumpkin mixed in with some brown sugar, and cinnamon, and the oats, and the walnuts, and then even a little bit of whipped cream on top. It’s freaking awesome.
But the fact is, I never would have even gotten here and had a tolerance for this if I didn’t start somewhere in the middle. For a guy like Jessie, we see what he eats. He loves gummy bears. What else do you eat? Potato chips, right? JESSIE: Potato chips, Doritos. JEFF: This is his daytime meal. This is what he’s eating. When he goes home and eat dinner he has a good dinner? JESSIE: Yeah, a great dinner. I’ve got an Italian mom. Of course.
JEFF: Italians mother’s going to make sure he’s eating at least normal foods, as opposed to all this fast food type stuff, processed stuff. So he at least gets that part right. A lot of times it’s out of convenience, but don’t confuse the fact that he’s not taking in enough calories and don’t confuse the fact that you might not be taking in enough calories. You probably are. You might be taking in a lot.
They say “Eat big, get big”. It’s not that. It’s not that. It’s “Eat GOOD, Eat high quality food, get big”. So if you even take and start making these swaps you might find that your calories will go down. But because your nutritional value and the quality which you’re taking in is better, more productive; your body can do more with it. You’re going to start seeing gains and start building muscle.
JESSIE: Because they’re higher quality calories, right?
JEFF: That’s what I just said. So the fact is, you want to make sure that quality is dictating your choices, not quantity. As a matter of fact, the quantity will start taking care of itself. The good news is, you will be able to eat a lot more of this, provided your stomach is able to accept it. A lot of times your stomach isn’t able to accept it because you really haven’t been eating lot of fiber, you really haven’t been eating a lot of protein. So you’ll find that you get full pretty quick when you start eating the more nutritious foods. So that might take a little time for you to adapt to, and start eating a little bit more in quantities. But at that point, you could eat a lot and eat more, in terms of quantity, as long as you’re eating high quality. Now the gains really start coming. So we’re working with Jessie on his nutrition. As I said, that was your last shot, buddy. You want one more bite?
JEFF: Go ahead. Take another bite. All right. There you go. So we’re working on improving his nutrition so that over time here, he’s going to be providing much more productive calories for his body to actually do something with, and that’s going to help us to add the gains to his physique as we continue to compliment what he’s doing in the gym with what he’s doing in the other 23 hours of the day.
All right, guys. If you’re looking for a complete training program that has a nutrition plan that is forgiving – in other words, it’s not telling you just to jump into this and eat bland and hate the way your life feels when you’re eating this stuff. It’s about showing you how to eat better and making it actually enjoyable and giving you plenty of options to choose from so you actually like what you’re eating. That’s our X-Factor Meal Plan.
It’s in our ATHLEANX training system over at ATHLEANX.com. In the meantime, whatever you want us to cover here, especially with Jessie as my guest here, we’ll do that in future videos and make sure that we answer the questions that you want us to answer. All right. I’ll talk to you soon, guys. See ya. Say ‘bye’, Jessie. JESSIE: See ya, guys.