Iain Valliere discusses the often ignored struggle of eating mass amounts of food to reach pro bodybuilding size… and shares tips to improve your appetite.

Iain Valliere is a pro bodybuilder on the rise in Men’s Open. In 2021, he received much hype for his physique winning multiple shows throughout the year. He also placed 7th at the Olympia 2021. This is nothing to slouch at. That’s why we turned to him for advice that he could share with up and coming bodybuilders. During our discussion, the topic of diet, nutrition, and the challenge of eating high amounts of calories became a focus. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Iain Valliere shares his personal struggles with eating like a mass monster and shares his tips for how to improve appetite.

Men’s Open bodybuilders are massive. There’s no getting around that. For fans of the sport, we might all be used to the mass monster size. But to the average person, these athletes look like freaks. That’s part of the appeal. But the reality is, even if it’s largely muscle, Men’s Open bodybuilders weight between 240-300 pounds on average. That’s a lot of weight. Training hardcore in the gym alone doesn’t build that kind of size. It takes a lot of food to build up that kind of weight as well. It’s a situation that Iain Valliere knows very well.

It’s no secret that most pro athletes consume far more calories than the average person. Bodybuilders fall on the most extreme side of this. In order to maintain 250 pounds of muscle, a bodybuilder needs to eat a lot. This is not natural for most people – even for most bodybuilders dedicated to the sport and lifestyle. In fact, Mr. Olympia champion Jay Cutler himself described a bodybuilder diet as force feeding.

During our conversation with Iain Valliere, we talked about bodybuilding diets and the struggle of eating mass amounts of food. Valliere revealed that he is naturally a hardgainer. When he graduated high school he only weighed 106 pounds. Putting on massive bodybuilding weight was always a challenge for him. Eating large amounts of food every day was basically a chore.

So what can a hardgainer do when they simply have no appetite to eat more food? What happens when the prospect of eating one more bite of anything disgusts them? We asked this question to Iain Valliere – and he had some vital tips to share.

First there’s the unfortunate truth, it simply takes time for you to physically and psychologically adapt to eating mass amounts of food. Iain Valliere admits he had more struggles when he first started. But consistency and constant effort into the sport simply rewires your mentality over time. It’s not going to make the early efforts any easier – but it does get better.

Thankfully, Iain Valliere also has some truly actionable tips to help increase your appetite. Many bodybuilders will avoid cardio during bulking season. This is due to the fear of cardio cutting away at muscle on top of the fat. Valliere has learned that cardio is actually necessary for bodybuilders – even during the off season. It doesn’t have to be hardcore cardio – but some aerobic action each day will increase your appetite. Valliere suggests talking a jog or walk after every meal. It will not burn too many calories – but help prevent bloating and fullness in the long run.

You can watch Iain Valliere explain his full experience with eating and his tips to increase appetite in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.