Let's face it. Tall guys need a lot of food just to make it through the day let alone to build a bunch of muscle. This isn't helped by the fact that most food servings are calculated to suit your average sized meerkat. Some of us end up not eating enough because that might require a full extra portion (if you're eating out). And it's why many of have become pretty good cooks because it's easier to feed yourself satisfactorily and economically if you do it yourself. Besides being good value being a good cook is hugely self-enabling and sexy as hell.
Maybe you're like me and have huge caloric needs but you still have a human-sized stomach. You get crazy hungry, get full fast then are hungry quickly all over again!
You Probably Should Eat More
We've all heard the crazy stories of Michael Phelps' diet when he was training for his first Olympics. And this makes sense when you consider his height (6'6"), his training intensity and frequency and factor for him being in cold water all day.
The trick is getting enough calories. A 6'5" 220lb guy who's training hard every day or so will need to consume 5000+ calories per day to maintain body weight, lean muscle and recover from hard training. That doesn't come close to Phelps' diet but it's still a lot of food to get through in a day!
Some Simple Rules for Tall Guy Feeding
eat more often.
You need to keep that energy coming especially if you want to not weigh yourself down with huge meals throughout the day. This is where clever macronutrient combinations help keep you full with many smaller meals. A little protein, a little carbs, a little fat - make sure you get all three each time!
eat more carbs.
The culture is really excited about paleo, keto and other fat-favouring diets. Switching carbs for fat as fuel is an effective strategy for a lot of people but for tall guys who need more calories it doesn't always work. Plus it gets really expensive.
I can run my system on fat but I find it simpler to keep complex carbs as a key source of energy to round out my meals. I'll take yams and squash over rice over potatoes which I'll take over wheat products.
eat more fat.
I know this kind of contradicts what I just said. I mean good fat like avocado and coconut, not fast food! Fat is a super dense source of energy. It's also the macronutrient which signals satiety (foods high in fat will make you feel 'full'). Personally I'm quiet carb-tolerant but I get tired of eating huge amounts of food so I'll go heavy on fats like avocado, olive oils and coconut products (oil/milk/cream) to make a smaller meal more satisfying.
eat closer to sleep.
If you're a slim tall guy trying to gain weight or replenish from hard training it's worth packing extra hits of nutrition before bed and right upon waking up. The former ensures you keep getting sufficiently refuelled after hard training. The latter kickstarts your metabolism after an 8-hour fast. Smoothies are perfect for this - especially if you don't like to eat first thing in the morning. The point is to not let your system run dry - when your system runs dry it inhibits recovery.
It's tempting to resort to protein or gainer powders but I've been experimenting with a whole foods gainer I made myself.
Homemade Whole Food Gainer Ingredients
- 3/4 cup blueberries
- 1 banana
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 5 tbsp flax meal
- 5 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond or whatever)
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk
- 1 tbsp of MCT oil (or other dense oil)
- The chia seeds are not readily digestible and will need to soak in water or coconut milk for at least 30 minutes (or soak them in coconut milk the night before). I put all the ingredients in the blender and let them soak while I make coffee or take a shower.
- Add enough water to cover all the ingredients. Add more water if you like your smoothy more or less runny. Or substitute fruit juice if you prefer it sweeter.
- Blend and enjoy!
- Try different rich fats like coconut milk/cream, tahini also work.
Also check out Building Tall Strength