Things obviously change as we get older because our bodies change. Specifically, our hormone levels naturally decline. One very important example is growth hormone, which, among various functions, controls the breakdown of bodyfat for energy. In other words, the more GH our bodies produce, the leaner we will be. If our GH levels decline, it will be much easier to get fat from the foods we eat.
When I was younger, up to my late 30s, I would routinely bulk up in the off season in order to add more muscle and bodyweight. I would eat as many as 5,000 calories a day including more than 700 grams of complex carbs in order to gain weight and get bigger. Although I would add some bodyfat, the large number of calories and carbs would give me more strength so I could use more weight during my workouts. That, in turn, would enable me to add more muscle and make significant changes in my physique.
I found that as I got older, I could no longer eat as many calories in the off season. If I did, I would add fat very easily. My metabolism had changed because I was not producing as much GH as when I was younger. As a result, I had to decrease my calories and stay leaner to avoid adding fat.
Today, I keep my calories much more moderate than when I was younger. When I’m trying to add muscle, I shoot for about 250 grams of protein a day, 300 to 350 grams of carbohydrates and 50 to 55 grams of fats.
Eating that way provides me with just under 3,000 calories per day. When I was younger, I would diet on 3.000 calories a day to lose fat and get ripped. Things change as you get older, so you just have to make adjustments.
Mr. Natural Olympia