If you’ve been strength training, eating a lot of protein, and not seeing any results, it’s because you’re not eating enough food.
In order to gain weight, you need to be consuming more calories than your body is able to burn. No matter how healthy and nutritious your diet is, if you’re not eating enough calories you will not gain weight.
The main thing you need to do to gain weight is to eat more food. However, certain medications, health conditions, or your genetic predisposition can make this difficult for some people. In these cases, it may require more dedication to eat even when you’re not hungry, and to the point of being uncomfortably full.
7 Eating Strategies for Skinny Guys to Gain Healthy Weight
The following are the top strategies for gaining weight healthily and quickly.
- Eat More Often to Gain Weight
You can increase your calorie intake by eating more at each meal and eating more often. This means eating more than three meals a day or multiple snacks. Every time you eat is an opportunity to support your weight gain goals. When you sit down for a meal, eat until you’re full or even to the point of feeling stuffed.
If you find yourself not being hungry or forgetting to eat, make a schedule for yourself and add it to your calendar or set an alarm on your phone.
- Choose Low Volume Foods to Gain Weight
Low-volume foods are foods that have a lot of calories in a small portion, so you can eat a lot of them without consuming a lot of calories.
It will be easier to get more energy from smaller meals than from salads, but this doesn’t mean you have to eat junk food. There are plenty of healthy foods that can provide the energy you need.
You can get a lot of calories from foods by taking out components like oils, proteins, and sugars. This is a convenient way to get the nutrients you need without taking up a lot of space.
You can also improve your nutrition by choosing the right type of bulking macros for your health and needs.
Healthy high-calorie foods to eat more of include:
- Plant-based oils, 1 tablespoon = 120 calories
- Olives and avocado, 10 olives or 1/2 cup avocado = 120 calories
- Nuts, seeds, and nut butters, 1/4 cup nuts or 2 tablespoons peanut butter = 170 calories
- Full fat cream and cheese, 2 tablespoons cream or 1 oz cheese = 100 calories
- Natural sugars like maple syrup, honey, agave, and molasses, 1 tablespoon = 60 calories
- Whole-grain muffins, pancakes, and waffles, 1 large = 175 to 200 calories
- Dried fruit, 1/4 cup = 100 calories
- Whole milk dairy products like yogurt and milk, 1 cup = 150 calories
- Protein powders, 1 scoop = 120 calories
- Get Protein At Every Meal to Gain Weight
If you want to gain weight, you need to eat more food. The amount of protein you eat is also important. Protein is the building block for most of your body, so if you want to build muscle, you need to eat more protein.
High protein intakes may help to prevent fat gain during periods of overeating.
A month-long study examining the effects of consuming 1,000 additional calories per day found that consuming 20% of those calories from protein resulted in approximately half the amount of fat gain as when 10 to 14% of those calories came from protein. The high protein group gained 2.5 pounds of fat, while the lower protein group gained 4.5 pounds.
You should try to include protein in every meal and snack where possible, using foods that are high in protein, or protein supplements.
- Add protein powder to your foods like oatmeal, mashed potatoes, baked goods, pancakes, or a glass of milk.
- Swap your sour cream for greek yogurt
- Switch to whole grain or protein pasta
- Cook With Healthy Fats to Gain Weight
One way to add more calories to your meals is to cook with healthy oils. These oils are high in calories (9 calories per gram) and most foods will absorb the oil during cooking. Additionally, some oils (such as olive, avocado, and flaxseed oil) have been linked with positive heart health benefits.
Choose a plant-based oil for cooking that you like the taste of, and use it to coat your pots and pans, and to season your food. You can also add a little bit more oil after plating, for extra flavor and fat.
- Use Toppings, Sauces, and Add-Ons to Gain Weight
Toppings and additional ingredients can help you reach your goals, similar to oil and butter. This is where many of the low-volume foods mentioned previously can be helpful. More add-ons means more chances to add additional calories.
- Top your food with cheese, seeds, nuts, and avocado
- Use mayo on sandwiches and in dips
- Use cream-based sauces
- Drizzle maple syrup or honey on your toast or pancakes
- Track Your Intake to Gain Weight
Doing this allows you to see exactly how much you are consuming and whether or not you need to make any changes. There is no way to know if you are consuming enough food if you do not measure your progress. Log everything you eat and drink using a food tracking app to be able to see how much you are consuming and if any changes need to be made.
Be as precise as possible by avoiding estimating whenever possible. Here are some easy tips you can use to get the most out of your calorie-counting app:
- Measuring the amount you are actually consuming using measuring cups and spoons
- Consider weighing your food for even more accuracy
- Include ALL ingredients used, including oils, seasonings, sauces, dressings, and toppings
- Track every food and beverage you eat or drink, even small bites and sips count
- Be specific about brands when searching in the app or use bar-code scanning
- Be Consistent to Gain Weight
In conclusion, there is no such thing as progress, growth, or change without consistency. Lasting results cannot be achieved in a short period of time; it takes dedication and persistence to see results.
Consistency is the most important factor in sticking to a nutrition plan, followed closely by choosing a diet you can actually stick to.
Following these tips will help ensure your success in reaching your fitness goals.
Eat More Food
You need to consume more calories than your body burns to gain weight. Keep track of everything you eat instead of guessing, as it is easy to miscalculate calorie intake. Find out how many calories you need to consume to gain weight, and then eat that amount consistently.
A good calorie calculator will tell you that you need to consume about 16kcal/lb of body weight every day to maintain your weight. This averages out to about 2112kcal/day for a skinny guy who weighs 135lb/60kg. Keep in mind that this number does not need to be completely accurate; you can adjust your food intake based on your progress.
Gain weight by adding 500 calories to your diet each day. A 60kg/135lb skinny guy who needs 2112 calories to maintain his weight would need to eat 2612 calories each day to gain weight. It’s okay to round this number down to 2600 calories to keep things simple. Remember that the calorie counts on food labels are not always 100% accurate.
When you reach a weight that you’re happy with, you can maintenance by eating what you were before plus 500-1000kcal/day If you want to gain weight, you can add an extra 1000 calories to your diet each day. For someone who weighs 60kg/135lbs, that would be 3100 calories each day. It might be easier to start with adding an extra 500 calories each day so that your body has time to get used to eating more food. Once you’ve reached a weight that you’re happy with, you can maintain your weight by eating what you were eating before, plus an extra 500-1000 calories each day.
Your weekly and monthly average calorie intake is what determines if you will gain weight. Eating more food every day is the key to not gaining weight.
In the beginning, it’s normal to find it difficult to consume all your calories for the day. However, as you eat more, your stomach will gradually expand. Within two weeks, you’ll be able to eat your calories more easily. You’ll actually start feeling hungrier. However, the first week is usually the most difficult. You may have to force yourself to eat.
You should weigh yourself every week at the same time and day for the most accurate results. The best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning after you use the restroom. Weighing yourself every day can be confusing because your weight naturally fluctuates based on things like what you eat and drink, and how much water or salt you retain.
You should try to gain 0.5kg/1lb of weight each week. skinny guys who are malnourished often gain more weight in the first few weeks, but this is mostly because of increased bowel/stomach content and extra water weight. Remember that you can only gain a maximum of 0.5lb of lean muscle each week on average.
If you are not gaining weight, eat more calories. Add 500kcal/day and see what happens. If you still don’t gain weight, keep adding calories until you do.
This means that the food intake that helps you gain your first 10kg/20lb will not necessarily help you gain your next 10kg/20lb. Those who are skinny and have less muscle need fewer calories than those who are big and strong, because they burn fewer calories at rest. The bigger you get, the more you will need to eat to continue growing.
Drink Mass Gainer Shakes
When you blend your food, it breaks down into a liquid form that is easier for your body to digest. This can lead to feeling fuller faster, and being able to eat more frequently. However, it is also easier to gain weight if you consume some of your calories in liquid form.
It is easiest to hit your calorie surplus for the day by making your own mass gainer shakes. They only take five minutes to make. Here is a simple 1000-calorie homemade mass gainer recipe for skinny guys who want to gain weight…
- 100g Oats
- 1x Banana
- 1tbsp Peanut butter
- 300ml Whole Milk
- 2 scoops of Whey protein
All you need to do is mix everything in your blender. This shake provides 1048 calories from 80g of protein, 120g of carbs, and 28g of fat. If you drink one for breakfast, you will have consumed a third of your daily calorie surplus. You will gain weight easily if you eat two more substantial meals and some snacks throughout the day.
We would recommend that you avoid weight gainer supplements as they often contain cheap sugars which can lead to weight gain and flatulence. A more cost effective and healthier option would be to purchase regular whey protein and make your own weight gainer using oats and milk. This would be healthier as you would be getting vitamins, minerals and fiber instead of fake sugar.
If you want to gain weight quickly and don’t want to put in much effort, drink milk. One liter of milk has 600 calories and 33 grams of protein. Two liters of milk have 1200 calories, and four liters have 2400 calories. Milk is also tasty and easy to take with you, and doesn’t require any preparation. Drinking a gallon of milk a day is a lot, but it’s very effective in terms of weight gain.
Treat Food Like Training
And to gain weight you need a calorie surplus of 500-600kcal above your maintenance level. The math is simple: You can’t out-eat your workouts Most skinny guys who want to gain weight find that it is harder to eat than it is to train. This is because they are only training three times a week for about an hour using the StrongLifts 5×5 method. In order to gain weight, they would need to eat four to five times a day, seven times a week, during a 16 hour window. And to gain weight they need a calorie surplus of 500-600kcal above their maintenance level.
If you don’t plan ahead, you are planning to fail. You wouldn’t go to the gym and then try to figure out what to do once you’re there. You would have a plan. The same goes for food. You shouldn’t open your fridge to find it empty and then wonder what to eat. You should do your weekly grocery shopping and have a meal plan.
The StrongLifts 5×5 workout plan involves doing the same exercises every week, with the only variable being the weight. This has the advantage of making it easier to stick to the program. The same principle can be applied to nutrition, by eating the same thing every day.
This means that you will get a variety of different meals to eat each day, but they will mostly be the same four to five meals. If this sounds repetitive, most people eat the same meals most of the time anyway (80/20 rule). Plus, if you get bored with your diet, you can just switch some of the meals and continue.
If you eat the same foods every day, you will be able to make a simpler grocery list. You will need to buy fewer ingredients overall, and you can purchase them in larger quantities. This is also more cost-effective in the long run. If you plan your grocery shopping properly, you will be less likely to run out of food during the week and end up skipping meals.
If you plan ahead and cook your meals in advance, you can avoid feeling stressed about what to eat during the day. Try cooking in the morning before you leave for the day, or when you get home. Alternatively, you can batch cook meals on Sunday afternoon to have food ready for the week.
Make sure you have some snacks with you in case you get hungry. A 100g serving of mixed nuts or trail mix has over 500kcal.