Eat Smaller Meals Several Times Per Day
The first thing I would recommend if you are trying to figure out how to increase your appetite is split your macronutrient intake into 5-6 meals per day.
Whether it’s a mental thing or not, I have absolutely noticed that it’s much easier to eat an overall greater amount of food during the day if I break my meals up into several smaller ones.
Instead of having 2-3 giant meals, I try to have 5-6 smaller meals while bulking.
Splitting the meals up has me feeling much less bogged down and sluggish, and I get hungrier again a lot quicker.
Yes, do cardio even while you're bulking.
Cardio may seem counterproductive while bulking, but on the contrary, it is one of the best ways to stimulate a lacking appetite.
Keeping some form of cardio in your regimen while bulking at least a few times per week is not only essential for cardiovascular health, but it will absolutely help your appetite and allow you to eat more food.
Think about how many calories you actually burn while doing cardio.
Maybe a few hundred calories or so.
It's really not that many when you break down the numbers and realize that the majority of our total daily energy expenditure occurs at rest, however, it does stimulate your metabolism and will boost your appetite more than enough to make up for those few hundred calories you burned off.
So no, cardio during a bulk phase is not counterproductive unless you are doing excessive amounts.
If you are researching how to increase your appetite via pharmacological intervention, MK-677 is probably the most effective ghrelin receptor agonist right now.
MK-677 (also known as Ibutamoren) is not just a GH Secretagogue, it is also an oral ghrelin mimetic.
Ghrelin is also known as the “hunger hormone.”
It is a peptide that is secreted by your stomach that stimulates your appetite.
When your stomach is empty, Ghrelin is produced to signal to your brain that you are hungry and need to eat.
As you would expect, Ghrelin levels are high before meals, and low after finishing meals.
This is how your body regulates its appetite and knows when to eat and when to stop eating.
With growth hormone releasing peptides (GHRP’s) and growth hormone secretagogues (like MK-677) they function by stimulating the pituitary gland to pulse out GH.
However, these GHRP’s and MK-677 also have a very significant effect on Ghrelin.
The most notable being GHRP-6 and MK-677.
These are both notorious for being appetite stimulating compounds.
MK-677 can literally take you from a subpar appetite to being ravenous within one day of using it.
This growth hormone releasing peptide (GHRP) works by stimulating the pituitary gland to release GH after it is injected.
There are several GHRP’s, but GHRP-6 in particular has the most significant impact on ghrelin levels, substantially increasing them very quickly post-injection.
I have used GHRP-6 many times in the past when I couldn’t even look at food and I knew I had a large meal coming up that I had to mow down.
A quick 100 mcg shot has me able to eat anything in sight within 15 minutes of pinning it.
If I was using GHRP-6 for its GH spike benefits, I couple it with a 100 mcg shot of Mod GRF 1-29 (a GHRH) to substantially compound the GH producing capabilities of the compound.
Using it exclusively for appetite though, a 100 mcg shot of GHRP-6 on its own is more than sufficient.
The benefit of GHRP-6 vs. MK-677 is you can time when you want to be hungry.
Right after pinning GHRP-6, you can expect your appetite to soar within 10-20 minutes, and then return to baseline within a couple hours, whereas with MK-677 you will be VERY hungry all day long.
This makes GHRP-6 better for specific situations you want to be hungrier for, like a reefed day or a huge carb up meal, whereas MK-677 is better for when your appetite just overall sucks and you need to be hungrier all day long.
Even with my crappy appetite I could probably win some eating competitions by pinning GHRP-6 beforehand.
Eat More Calorie Dense Foods
This one is obvious but by eating more calorie dense foods you can get more calories into your system without feeling as full.
More calorie dense foods typically become essential to incorporate in some capacity at one point or another for most individuals during an effective bulking phase to prevent plateaus.
One of the first things I do when I’m transitioning from cutting to bulking is I start rotating out white meat meals for red meat meals.
Red meat is far more fatty and has a lot more calories than chicken, fish, etc. so I can actually eat the same amount of food on my plate, but get more calories in by simply swapping the types of meat as I start to plateau in my weight gain.
Another great strategy is to start adding Macadamia Nut Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil to your meats.
Even adding 1 tablespoon onto 1 meal each time you plateau is a great way to increase your calories without having to eat a greater quantity of food.
Eat Less Fiber
It takes your body longer to process fiber-rich food than it does other food, which is why fibrous foods increase levels of satiety.
While cutting, high amounts of fibrous foods are great because they leave you feeling full for a long time, but during a bulk this can be counter-productive because you want to get hungry again as soon as possible after each meal.
Thus, reducing your intake of fiber-rich foods is a great strategy for keeping your appetite strong.
This is an interesting one that you may or may not know about, but research has shown that your brain can take upwards of 20 minutes from the time you start eating to start sending signals through your body that it is full and satiated.
So, if you simply eat your meals faster, you can beat this timeline and actually consume more food than you would normally be able to before feeling full.
Wake Up Early
This one is a major key.
I find that when I sleep in (sometimes I sleep in as late as 2:00-3:00 PM) it is MUCH harder to get my meals in.
If you are bulking my recommendation is that you get yourself into a consistent sleeping routine where you get to bed at a reasonable hour so you can wake up as early as possible and get started on your day, and get your first meal in before you would normally be able to.
The earlier I wake up, the more food I can shove down my throat before I go to sleep, and the hungrier I actually am to eat those meals.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.