I read your whole post and these are the thoughts that came to mind:
- To answer your secondary question whether the program is good for him if he is lean and only wants to build muscle: The program is perfect for him. In fact, he stands better chance than anyone else for that matter. BFL is afterall, a watered-down body building program.
- First, you are taking many roads to Rome in one go. You are 1- counting calories, 2- Use gadgets to assess your calorie output/consumption, 3- Doing Body for Life, 4- Comparing professional body buildings and professional stats to a watered down program (BFL). Body for Life is not calorie-orientated. If you follow the portion sizes from the lists of foods, your calorie deficit will be negligible, you will only need to pick the foods that suit him. A closed-fist size of granary bread is a lot of bread! Combine that with a wallnut size of butter, a healthy portion of greens and veg, and add the 5-oz of protein and multiply by six and that's a lot of food. But if a meal is a protein shake that's not going to give any feeling of satisfaction for someone who needs to feel fuller and needs more energy.
The deficit will be created by the Hurculean effort exerted in the gym. Not by the food itself. Although, I must say that when I calculate it down to the letter, there is a deficit of about 200-300 calories, but not always.
Generally speaking, to answer your question in a nutshell as to whether a lean guy can increase bulk while on a calorie deficit, the answer is yes with caution. A friend of mine is a bodybuilders. She survives on 700 calories pre-competition to drop her body fat to below 8%, which is dangerous. So, the question itself is flawed some how. The right question, is whether your husband can or should.
Humans needs 2000 calories to survive on a daily basis and this does not include heavy activity. The numbers you mentioned based on the website or gadget he is using, are way off the charts, unless his job is really really active (a tennis player, an active sports coach, a swimmer, a construction site worker with an active lifestyle, etc.).
I think the best advice he should follow, is to stop doing it by numbers. Follow the lists of authorised foods and if he feels famished he can add a bit more. Till he feels it is just about sufficient, but not filling. Another factor, is whether he has a sweet tooth and needs to battle with sugar addiction. Sugar suppresses sensitivity to leptin -the hormone that signals satisfaction to the brain-, and until sugar and cravings are completely out of his system, he won't really feel satisfied with the amount he is eating.
Unless something is wrong with the way calories are counted, 2200 should be more than enough.
I have had great success on BFL even though I had completely stopped counting calories. In fact, it helped me a lot to stop counting them.
When it comes to muscle building, results start to show anywhere between week 10 and 14.
MsPlatty- Your husband is what's classified as a "Hard Gainer". You can google that for tons of diet information. He's going to have to have a surplus of calories daily to gain size if he's already lean no matter what program he uses. BFL is a great program to use. In order to get the calories he can add things like peanut butter into his diet. This can give him quite a few calories in a small amount of food. Might even look into a weight gainer shake.
Thank you both for your responses. :)
I will definitely look into what it means to be a hard gainer. If my husband does not see results after completing the first, by the book BFL challenge, we will definitely be moving him to a caloric surplus.
A life worth living-
Thank you for your insight! I appreciate the amount of time you put in to your response and you have given me several things to consider. Most useful was your mention of Myoplex and EAS products as a possible cause for hunger. My hubby and I have been using them extensively (often 3 meals a day, sometimes 4), and it is very possible that this is contributing to his sugar cravings and persistent hunger. The BFL books are geared to sell Myoplex and in our case, it worked! ;P
We will continue the program and tweak our diet to discover what works best for our metabolisms; and of course continue to post our progress and questions.
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