How To Gain Weight
Been quite skinny all your life? Always classify yourself as a ‘hard-gainer’? Try as you might, you just cannot put on any body weight – fat or muscle?
If so, this is for you. While most of the world is on the hunt for the big secret to losing body fat successfully, for a select few, it’s all about how to gain weight.
They’re naturally thin and their body wants to stay that way, so it’s a constant struggle to try and build up the lean muscle mass they desire.
Sadly, many of these people approach things in the wrong manner. They spend more time in the gym, exercising more in hopes it will bring about increases in muscle size.
In reality, they need to do less exercise, while instead focusing on making key changes to their diet. Whether or not you gain body weight will come down to your energy intake versus your energy expenditure. So with their rapid fast metabolisms, these people need to basically out-eat their body.
It’s a challenge for sure, but one that you can accomplish if you go about it in the right manner.
Let’s look at how you should be eating if you hope to gain weight and consider yourself the ‘skinny guy’.
Track Those Calories
First things first, you must be tracking your calories. Now, for many of those who are naturally thin, they’ve likely thought that tracking calories was only for those who needed to lose weight.
They simply eat as much as they can – all the time. No need to track, right?
Wrong. If you aren’t tracking your calorie intake, you have no way to gauge whether or not you are truly eating more than you were before. You’re just going by feel and depending on the foods you eat, some may fill you up far faster for fewer calories than others.
By tracking your calories, you gain a level of precision to this goal to gain weight that will almost guarantee success.
If you know that for one week you took in ‘X’ calories and you still haven’t seen weight gain, then you simply need to increase it by say 25%, eat that for one week and then re-evaluate.
Focus On Calorie Dense Foods
Next, make sure that you are focusing on calorie dense foods. Basically, you need to do the opposite of what those who are dieting do.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you should go feast on as many unhealthy, calorie dense foods as you can fit down your throat. Don’t take this to be an all you can eat fast food buffet. Do that and you’ll be putting on weight but it won’t be quality weight.
You want to instead fill your diet full of nutrient dense, calorie dense items.
Great options include dry oatmeal (rather than cooked), whole wheat bagels, dried fruit, avocados, nuts and nut butter, whole eggs, 2% or whole milk, cheese, steak, salmon, ground flaxseeds, and whole wheat pasta.
These will help you get to that high calorie goal much easier than if you are filling up on foods liked cooked oatmeal, vegetables, egg whites, and white fish.
Try eating 4000+ calories of those foods and you’ll find yourself hardly able to move you are so full.
As you go about your diet, you’ll soon learn which foods help keep you feeling comfortable while still providing sufficient calories to help you meet your daily needs.
Eat Multiple Times Per Day
It’s also important that you make sure that you eat multiple times per day. Again, consider someone who is taking in around 5000 calories per day to gain weight.
If you were to divide this into just three meals per day, you’d be looking at over 1500 calories per meal. That is a lot of food if eating healthy.
If you instead break this down into six meals, that’s just 500 calories per meal – which is a more realistic level.
Eating this frequently will also promote a higher level of protein synthesis, which can also help to speed the rate in which muscle building is taking place as well.
Consider Liquid Calories
The next must-do is to consider liquid calories. The body won’t register liquid calories like it does solid calories, so you’ll find that you can get more in without feeling full.
One word of caution: don’t run out and purchase the first weight gainer you find. Most commercially prepared weight gainers contain too much sugar to be considered a healthy clean source of muscle building nutrition.
Instead, consider preparing your own. You can do this by mixing together some whey protein powder, ground oatmeal, along with some ground flaxseeds or if blending, some frozen fruit or bananas along with nut butter.
You’ll get a balance mix of nutrients and can easily take in 400-600 calories per shake. For those who really struggle, adding a few of these shakes to your day can really jumpstart your progress.
Fuel Up Around Your Workout
It’s also going to be critical that you eat well around your workout. This is when your body will be primed to take in the energy that you fuel it with and when your metabolism will also be at its highest.
Eat something around 60-90 minutes beforehand – a decent sized meal of around 300-500 calories depending on what your body can tolerate.
Then immediately post workout, make sure to eat another 300-600 calories, primarily from carbohydrates. This is the prime time to support anabolism in your body.
You’ll still want to take a scoop or two of whey isolate protein powder, but the rest should be a combination of fast acting carbohydrates mixed with a few slower carbs to keep blood sugar stable.
You might even consider sipping on a protein shake during the workout as well. Don’t be afraid to put a good 30-50% of your calorie intake in the time period before, during, and after your workout session if your stomach can tolerate it.
Never Give Up
Finally, never give up. There will be times when you simply don’t feel like getting in that last meal. You’re full and are staring down at a plate of food in front of you.
Know that the longer you eat this way – fueling your body with the higher calorie intake it needs to build lean muscle mass, the easier it’s going to get.
Soon your body will be more used to accommodating to these larger amounts of food and once it does, you won’t feel that incredibly stuffed feeling like you might when you first begin.
Likewise, after each calorie increase, you’re also likely to feel that very full feeling. Push through it. Soon your body will adapt and you’ll be onto the next level of your muscle building quest.
So if you’re a hard-gainer, keep these tips in mind. You definitely do need a specific diet strategy to see the results that you’re looking for but if you put it into place, you will be more than happy with the outcome.
Just be patient and realise that gaining weight won’t happen overnight, but with consistent effort over the next 6-12 months, you can make an impressive body transformation.