Colin: I think this all brings up another point and that is the question what people consider “bulking.” For me the difference between cutting and bulking is about 700 calories, about 2200 when cutting and 2900 when bulking (plus training) and splitting the difference if maintaining. I definitely agree the “see food” diet is not the way to go. With this method you are staying fairly lean but at the same time adding some muscle and fat. I can’t imagine adding 40-50 pounds in a bulk cycle. I look to add about .5 – 1 pound per week. I guess you could say my preferred method would be to stay semi-lean while bulking.
A double cheeseburger and fries will certainly get you to your calorie goals, but processed foods do zero for your insides and general physique. All that sugar, salt, and saturated fat can cause you to crash (lowering your odds of getting to the gym) and also tack on an unwanted layer of fat in no time. With every meal, eat plenty of veggies and lean meats. When choosing your carb source, pick foods like potatoes, yams, rice, whole grains, oats, etc. Also, avoid refined oils, which can sneak in extra calories and lead to more fat gains.