My current financial situation isn't bodybuilding friendly. Could use some advice!

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    Joshua86's Avatar
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    My current financial situation isn't bodybuilding friendly. Could use some advice!


    I go through ups and downs as far as money goes, because I'm still in college and I have bills to pay. Planning on getting a better job this summer so I can have more money without having to worry about my budget so much. Well, the sucky thing about everything is that I don't have the amount of money I need to continue trying to bulk up. If I did a bulk diet, I'd probably eat like a horse for a while, then not have any food left and minimal money to go buy more.

    My original goal was to bulk up about 10lbs or more than I am now before cutting up a bit, but that's probably not going to happen. I'm probably not going to be able to do any kind of bulking for at least 2-3 months or more, which by then, summer will be well under way. My question is, do you think I should maintain what I have for now, and then once summer starts to kick in, cut down on the bodyfat? I don't have a lot of fat, and I'm guessing it would take me maybe a month or so to lose enough fat to where I was happy. For instance, my abs are somewhat visible right now, just not to the point where I'd want. It's kind of ****ty because I had planned on having more lean mass by the time I started my cut, so even if I get cut up for the summer, I'll be a little smaller than I'd planned on. But the good thing is, I can definitely afford a cutting diet. lol

    I'm thinking I might start actually cutting in about a month, maybe less, keeping my protein intake as high as possible. Until then I'm going to maintain my current mass and try to build my strength as much as possible, even though that's going to be hard as hell if I can't eat as much as I want.

    Any advice on this situation?

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    You don't have to cut dude, just run a recomp - focus on maintaining your weight, but dropping that fat you don't want. I.E. replace it with muscle.

    Set cals to maintenance level on lifting days, a bit lower on recovery days, and concentrate your carbs at breakfast and around your workout. Throw some cardio in, here and there and you're set.

    Fat-loss is slower than on a cut, but you're gaining muscle simultaneously too, so it's more than a fair trade-off, IMO.
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    do what you can afford to do and still progress. if bulking is out of the question, there's still lean bulking (300 calories above maintenance), recomping, and cutting.
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    how much do you have a week to spend?

    have you looked into things like beans? there are cheaper foods that are still very healthy.
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    Well, there are lots of options.

    ground turkey. You can find it at wal mart at 93% lean for under $2 a pound

    watch meat sales. when boneless/skinless chicken goes on sale for under $2 a pound, stock up. I NEVER buy meat unless its under $2 a pound. A big freezer comes in handy.

    cottage cheese is your friend

    almonds pack a caloric punch, and can be reasonably priced if you go to Sam's or watch sales

    generic cereal with a scoop of whey protein on top is a cheap and effective way to start the day

    Think generic!

    TUNA!!! Canned tuna is one of the cheapest sources of lean protein. Watch sales and stock up

    If you collect coupons, watch sales, and shop smart, you can get your calories in you need. I usually eat for under $10 a day.
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    Trust me, I'm no stranger to shopping smart, it's just that I'm pretty unstable when it comes to finances. I live in a three bedroom house, and recently one my roommates pretty much flipped his lid, went crazy, and moved out. It was quite the ordeal. But the result is that my other roommate and I have to pick up his slack, so that's essentially a 50% increase on almost all of my bills. And I was cutting it pretty close most of the time before he decided to move out. So until I get a better job, I'm pretty much stuck in this situation. It sucks!

    For instance, my main sources of protein include fish (tuna, tilapia, sometimes flounder), chicken breast, been doing ground turkey recently but I don't really like it, whey protein, and eggs. For carbs I stick with whole wheat products (breads, cereals), brown rice, oats, sometimes potatoes, and beans. I supplement with fish oil, eat natty PB, and use the fats from the other food sources. These are just some of the foods I eat, and although they are pretty inexpensive, they add up if you're trying to gain mass.

    So gaining mass is pretty much out of the question for me at the moment. I'm probably just going to wing my diet as best as possible and probably start making some meal replacement bars. I can make four 500+ calorie bars for less than $1 apiece.

    I'm in pretty decent shape already, and my goal is usually to just look good. So it's not that I'm totally F'd, it's just that I won't be able to reach my weight goal that I wanted.

    But we'll see how it goes. Thanks for your replies everyone!
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    I wish there was a Sam's club around where I lived. The closest one is 45 minutes away, but I don't even really have enough extra money to make us of that at the moment.

    But as soon as I get on my feet again, watch out Mr. Olympia!
  

  
 

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