If you happen to be a naturally skinny guy like myself, you have to understand that what you eat is probably more important than what you do in the gym. Sure they are both very important – but for an ectomorph, you have to eat big to get big.

There are 3 main types of body types. There is an ectomorph (naturally skinny), mesomorph (naturally athletic), and an endomorph (Naturally bigger and fatter).

brad pitt fight clubAs an ectomorph, you will have the hardest time putting on weight but the end result will also be the most aesthetic. As an ectomorph you have lower body fat than the other body types so when you put on lean muscle you will look shredded! Some of the best bodies in Hollywood are ectomorphs (Think Brad Pitt in Fight Club) so you shouldn’t be discouraged if you fall into this category.

I admit that in high school I was pretty scrawny as well. I was always naturally skinny and had been a basketball player my entire life. My sophomore Year in High school I stood 5 ft. 11 and weighed 135 lbs! Yes – I was pretty much skin and bones.

I began to take training and working out very seriously and realized that if I wanted to put on weight I needed to eat a ton of quality calories. I have experimented with tons of workout programs and meal plans over the years and have come to some conclusions on what it really takes to get big.

Several years later after a dedicated workout program and lots of personal research on the best foods to put on muscle – I was 6 ft. 1 and 185 lbs. The best part was that my body fat remained the same as when I was 135 lbs.

Recently – I even started to fitness model. I don’t mean to tell you this to brag, but to show you that an ectomorph can have an incredible physique if they learn how to eat properly.

The best thing an ectomorph can do is eat lots of quality calories. These are calories that are nutrient and calorie dense – and provide long sustaining energy to your muscles. I have found for an ectomorph to really gain weight quick you must eat a lot of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Most ectomorphs don’t eat enough healthy fats to get big. Remember that fat is 9 calories per gram, compared to carbohydrates and protein at just 4 calories a gram. As an ectomorph, healthy fats will be great fuel for your muscles and to help you recover. If you want to gain weight as a naturally skinny guy your diet has to consist of a lot more than just protein. Most skinny guys do a good job at eating enough protein – but fall short on the complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.

Let’s take a look at the best foods to gain weight for skinny guys. Make sure to incorporate as many of these foods into your diet every week, and remember the old saying, “You have to eat to get big!”

Top 7 Best Foods to Gain Weight for Skinny Guys:

1. Peanut Butter

skippy peanut butterPeanut butter is a great food to gain weight because it is high in monounsatured fat(The healthy kind), and is also high in protein. Just 2 tbsp of peanut butter is almost 200 calories. Peanut butter is extremely caloric, but they are quality calories consisting mostly of healthy fats and protein. If you are a peanut butter fan like me, try eating a few tbsp. of peanut butter per day plain out of the jar. You can even mix it in with chocolate protein powder to make a delicious high protein and high calorie snack. Eating a few servings of peanut butter per day is a great way to boost your calorie intake and provide extra fuel for your growing muscles.

2. Quinoa

cooked quinoa in orange bowlQuinoa is an incredible source of complex carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fiber. Quinoa has one of the highest amounts of protein for a grain based food. Quinoa is in fact considered a “super food.” The best aspect to eating a lot of quinoa is that it contains 14 percent protein. This is more than twice the protein of brown rice, potatoes, and most other starchy carbohydrates.

3. Sweet Potatoes/Yams

roasted sweet potatoesSweet potatoes are one of the best forms of carbohydrates on the planet. They are fairly high in calories at around 200 calories per medium sized sweet potato and contain a ton of vitamins and minerals. If you look at most body builder diets, sweet potatoes will be a consistent choice for lunch and dinner. If you are looking for an incredible source of Vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates to help your body recovery from an intense workout – sweet potatoes are the perfect choice.

4. Nuts

assorted mixed nutsNuts are the perfect snack for any skinny guy looking to gain weight. Some of the best choices are Pistachios, Almonds, Peanuts, Walnuts, Cashews, and Brazil Nuts. It is good to eat a variety of nuts every week and not stick to just one kind. Nuts are delicious, and very high in calories due to the high fat content. Don’t worry about the fat content, as it is the healthy kind (Monounsatured). A diet high in nuts has been shown to naturally elevate testosterone levels as well. Boosting your testosterone naturally is one of the best things you can do to build lean muscle mass. In the book “The Four Hour Body” it was noted that a daily intake of Brazil Nuts can boost testosterone levels as well due to the high content of Selenium. Make sure to eat at least 2-3 servings of nuts per day to boost your daily calorie intake and get your daily value of healthy fats.

5. Whole Wheat/Whole Grain Pasta

whole grain pasta cookedWhole grain pasta is one of the best dinner choices for the skinny guy looking to add weight. Whole wheat and whole grain pasta contain almost 200 calories per serving, and have a good amount of protein as well as a ton of whole grains. Boosting your intake of whole grains will fuel your muscles glycogen levels and allow you to train more intensely. One of my favorite muscle building meals is a big plate of Whole Grain pasta with grilled chicken. A few servings of pasta and 2 grilled chicken breasts with tomato sauce and/or olive oil will put you in at around 1,000 calories. This is the perfect meal because it has high levels of healthy fat, protein, and complex carbohydrates – the 3 essential elements to weight gain as an ectomorph!

6. Steak

Grilled steakSteak is a great choice for anyone looking to pack on muscle mass. Steak is high in protein, fat, zinc and creatine. All 4 of these combined make steak the perfect muscle boosting catalyst. My favorite cut of steak is the sirloin because it is lower in saturated fat than other cuts like the prime rib and filet mignon. Although regular consumption of red meat is considered bad for your long term health – I am a firm believer that everything is fine in moderation. Consuming a big steak once or twice a week in conjunction with a balanced with and regular exercise program will not kill you! Load up on a big steak once a week and you will soon see your muscles grow!

7. Salmon

Grilled salmonSalmon is an excellent source of protein, healthy fats and omega 3’s. This makes it the top sea food choice for the skinny guy looking to pack on muscle. Salmon is a regular staple in many bodybuilder diets because of its high content of protein and healthy fats. It also has one of the highest concentrations of omega 3’s. If you are looking for the healthiest salmon make sure to get the Wild Salmon or the Sock Eye Salmon. You may pay a few dollars more but these have the highest content omega 3’s and are much better cuts.

Troy Adashun

Troy Adashun is a graduate of World Renown Sports Academy IMG in Bradenton, FL where he has trained alongside many top professional athletes.

Troy is currently living in Florida and spends his time writing, working as a fitness model, shooting educational fitness videos, and doing online coaching at MuscleTactics.com.

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  • Hi, my question might sound a little bit stupid but I still can not understand this: So I am trying to get rid off the fat, I am femLe, 23 years old(150 pound) with 22 body fat% and I am required to eat all these products that you leasted, but my friend he is male, 27 years old(125 pounds) with 7,5% fat is trying to gain weight and he needs to eat the same thing as well! How come?
    Please explain it to me
    Thanks a lot!