Bulking is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you’re putting on a ton of muscle- and on the other hand, you’re also putting on fat.
This is why you do a ‘cut‘ after a bulk, to get rid of that excess stomach fat you may have gained.
But, what do you do if you start gaining too much belly fat while bulking?
Obviously, most of us DON’T want that. In fact, I’d say most of us aim to have as little fat as possible on our bodies.
So, how do we fix this?
When you’re gaining too much belly fat while bulking, simply start lowering the calories you’re eating by 250. Then, stay on that caloric number for a week and measure your results again. If you are still gaining too much belly fat, then lower it by 100. Rinse and repeat until you fine-tune it and find that ‘golden number’. It’s best to use a calorie tracking app like MyFitnessPal or Cronometer for this.
Now, most of us can agree that cutting calories is not the easiest thing to do. It can leave you feeling like you have no energy, it can impact your performance in the weight room, et cetera.
So, we are going to also cover in this article some other alternatives to fix the problem of gaining too much belly fat while bulking.
Let’s get into it.
#1 – Cut Your Calories
This is the most straightforward solution to the problem of gaining too much belly fat while bulking.
We all know that there are different types of bulks. For me personally, as a bodybuilder, I prefer the dirty bulking method. But, most people that want to minimize body fat will typically do a lean bulk.
If you want a straightforward solution to this problem, just cut the number of calories you’re consuming every day. Start by reducing your daily caloric intake by 250, then measure the results at the end of the week. If you’re still not where you want to be, reduce your daily caloric intake by 100 and check-in again at the end of the week.
However, most of us don’t want to do this as it may cause our energy to drop. And some of us just feel so fatigued on those lower calories.
Honestly, I really like the amount of energy I have in the gym when I dirty bulk. As a natural weight lifter, it can be hard to get in there every day and feel recovered. Dirty bulking helps that.
Some of us don’t like lowering calories, mainly because of how tired you might feel. So, let’s cover some other methods you can use to reduce the amount of belly fat you’re putting on during this bulk.
#2 – Cardio While Bulking
Ugh, I know, cardio sucks. But, doing cardio while bulking is actually a great way to stop gaining too much belly fat while bulking.
When you do cardio, you burn calories. This means you can eat more- while gaining less weight.
In the case of people like me that have a hard time eating a low amount of calories, cardio while bulking is a savior.
When you do the cardio, you are reducing the fat you gain, while still eating the same amount of food you were going to eat regardless.
So, NOTHING in your diet changes at all. You get to eat the same as you would normally, but you’re going to put on less fat because of it.
And anyway, I think most of us hate cardio because you haven’t found a way to make it ‘fun’ yet. If you really take the time to make cardio enjoyable, you’ll actually start doing it regularly.
For instance, cardio doesn’t just have to be running in place for an hour. (although, doing 60 minutes of running while watching a TV show, podcast, or YouTube videos is a great way to make it fun)
Personally, I love boxing with some of my friends. Sometimes I get a game of kickball started, or even basketball. Cardio can be fun!
Even if it’s something like swimming water games or a game of tag, cardio can be really fun for everyone involved. It doesn’t have to be exercise machine bicycling for hours on end.
I mean, let’s be honest. Gym class in school was some of the best moments of our lives. There’s no need to stop playing those fun games just because you’re older. Get some of your friends and play some dumb things like tag and watch that fat burn away, all while having fun.
#3 – Make Sure You Aren’t Eating Foods That Make You Bloated/Inflamed
Honestly, it’s really common that someone starts a bulk, introduces their stomach to new foods that end up causing bloating, inflammation, and cramping, and then it looks like they’ve put on a ton of fat- when in reality, they haven’t.
People brush this off and say that this isn’t the reason they look so much bigger because they didn’t have problems on their cut. But remember, your cutting and bulking diet are almost nothing alike.
When you are cutting, most of us are eating healthy vegetables like broccoli or something- right? Lean meats, et cetera.
But, when you are bulking, the menu is almost endless. This means you are introducing tons of new foods that could be inflaming your stomach and intestines.
A big issue for most people is ice cream, actually. They eat ice cream on their bulk, then their stomach looks 2x the size the next few days and they think they’ve gained way too much body fat- when in reality, it’s just inflammation.
Generally speaking, 65% of the world is lactose intolerant. Chances are, things like ice cream may just be making you really bloated for a bit, not actually ‘fat’- per se.
Log what foods you eat, and take note of what foods may be different than your cutting diet. Also, note which foods may be causing the inflammation through your mood. If you eat food that causes inflammation, you will usually feel really groggy or tired after eating it.
It is alarming after your first few days bulking to suddenly be thinking you have a 4-month pregnancy down there. (That’s probably why you googled this in the first place.)
But rest assured, monitor and adjust your food intake a bit, and check back a week later.
Personally, if I eat super healthy on a bulk for 2 days, my body will look night/day different due to the bloating/inflammation going away.
Whenever I have a pool party coming up, I just swap to the healthy foods a few days before and my body looks shredded again.
Conclusion of How To Fix Gaining Too Much Belly Fat While Bulking?
So, let’s recap.
If you’re gaining too much belly fat while bulking, here’s what you need to do:
- Lower your calories
- Do cardio while bulking
- Change the food you’re eating and make sure it isn’t causing inflammation.
That should fix your problem. Stick with your bulk, keep lifting hard, and you’ll see those results in the gym soon enough. Good luck!