If you’re a naturally skinny guy or a hardgainer, then having the proper weight gain diet is one of the most important aspects of your quest to build lean muscle mass and gain healthy weight. In fact, your diet is even more important than your weight-training program, believe it or not.
Many people make the mistake of thinking they can simply eat a lot of garbage food like hot dogs, cake, or pizza, and that will help them gain weight. Sure… If you just want to get fat.
I’m here to give you some solid weight gain diet rules to follow if you want to build solid muscle weight fast.
The most important factors we’ll cover are:
- Consuming more calories
- How much food to eat
- What kind of food to eat
- Meal Frequency
We’ll start off with the most obvious rule for weight gain, which you’ve probably heard before…
Consume More Calories Than You Burn[adrotate group=”1″]This is where some people get confused. They know they’re supposed to be eating more calories, and they may even be trying to eat more calories, but still can’t seem to gain weight no matter what they do.
The problem here is they don’t know what kind of food they should be eating. Don’t worry; we’ll cover this in more detail later.
I just want you to understand the basic principal that in order to successfully gain weight you need to eat more food on a consistent daily basis than your body needs to fuel itself.
But… There is also a line you can cross where you could actually be eating too many calories to the point where you are gaining more fat than muscle mass. We’ll discuss how to avoid this by fine-tuning your caloric intake, and measuring your results. This brings us to the next question…
How Much Food Should You Eat To Gain Weight?
There are many different calculations you can use to determine the right amount of calories to consume to start gaining mass. Here are some of the calculations I recommend you start with:
If you are super-skinny with hardly any body fat, use this formula:
20 x (Bodyweight in pounds) = Daily Caloric Intake
If you are a skinny guy but you have a little bit of a gut from too much beer or junk food, use this formula:
18 x (Bodyweight in pounds) = Daily Caloric Intake
Pretty simple, right?
Realize that these calculations are only meant to give you a starting point for how many daily calories you should be consuming. The fact is, everyone’s body is different. Everyone has a slightly different metabolism and you may require more or less calories to gain weight.
Now that you have your starting daily caloric intake figured out, start off by consuming that amount of calories every day for the next week. Monitor your results by weighing yourself before you start, and 1 week later.
It’s important to weigh yourself first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This will tell you your true weight. You’ll also want to weigh yourself in your underwear as opposed to weighing yourself with an extra 5 pounds of clothes on. Don’t fool yourself here; you want to get your actual bodyweight.
If, after a week you are gaining weight, then great – you don’t need to change a thing. If not, then simply add 400 calories to your daily caloric intake and weigh yourself next week. Continue this pattern until you see results. It’s really about trial and error here. But once you find that sweet spot that has you gaining weight and muscle, then you’ll know exactly how much food you need to eat.
(Please remember that your weight gain diet should be in addition to a solid weight training program if you want to see muscle gains.)
What Foods To Eat To Gain Weight
We already talked briefly about the fact that you shouldn’t just stuff your face with junk food unless you want to get fat. So what kind of food should you be eating if you want to bulk up?
There are 3 specific types of categories (macronutrients) that your food will come from: Protein, carbohydrates, and fat. You need each of these to gain weight. In this section, I’ll give you specific examples of food you should be eating.
Your body needs protein in order to build and keep muscle mass. For an average person, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein intake is 0.36 grams per pound of bodyweight. So a 130 lb. person would need to consume about 47 grams of protein per day. This is about the equivalent of a 6 oz. chicken breast.
But if you want to gain weight and build muscle you’ll need to consume between 1.5g. and 2g. of protein per lb. of bodyweight.
Why so much protein? If your goal is to gain weight, you’ll be lifting heavy weights in the gym, which increases your body’s demand for amino acids (which is what protein is made up of.) Your body will break down existing muscle tissue if it does not get enough protein from your diet. Needless to say, without enough protein in your diet you can’t gain weight.
Here are some good protein sources that you should be eating:
- Lean Red Meat
- Cottage Cheese
- Whey Protein
Every weight gain diet needs to have plenty of unrefined carbs. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose and glycogen in the body, which supplies your body with energy – which is essential for both heavy weight training, and just to keep your body fueled throughout a normal day.
Here are some good carbohydrate sources you should be eating to gain weight:
- Brown Rice
- Whole Grain Breads
Some people have a misconception that all fat is bad and just makes us… well… fat. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Including fat in your weight gain diet is essensial for many reasons we’ll talk about right now.
Fat is divided into different categories. The bad ones you should limit your intake of are saturated fats and trans fats.
Today we’ll just talk about the good kind of fat: Unsaturated fat… Which is what you need in order to gain weight.
Unsaturated fats are often labeled as “essential fatty acids.” They can benefit you in many ways including an increase in testosterone.
Here are some good fat sources that you should be eating:
- Flax Seed Oil
- Fish Oil
- Olive Oil
- Fish (like salmon)
Most average Americans eat “3 square meals a day.” Well guess what? Most Americans have average or below average physiques.
In order to build muscle and gain weight you need to be eating 5 – 6 small meals throughout your day. But don’t get the wrong idea… These don’t need to be large full course meals. The point is to consistently feed your body with the nutrients it needs to build and maintain muscle weight.
Eating only 3 meals a day allows your body to go into a catabolic state, which means you WON’T be able to grow new muscle weight and your body will break down muscle for energy. Essentially your body is starving for a few hours in between each meal.
Eating 6 meals a day keeps your body in an anabolic state that promotes muscle gains and limits fat storage.
Video: Weight Gain Diet Advice For Skinny Guys
In this video I’ll reveal a time-saving tactic that will make your weight gain diet much easier to manage, which will increase your chances of actually sticking to your diet.
Now you’ve got a solid outline to follow for your weight gain diet. If you follow the rules I’ve outlined and stay consistent with your diet you WILL start putting on mass.