When you decide to gain weight, it should be to gain weight fast and to make sure as much of it as possible is muscle. The 8 weight gain tips in this article show you how to make it happen. Follow them and you will gain weight, build muscle, get stronger, and achieve the look you desire.
1. Eat Enough Calories Every Day – But Not Too Many
While it should probably go without saying, the first key to gaining weight fast is to eat more. This doesn’t mean eating until you feel sick or bloated but enough extra food to support muscle growth and weight gain. On average, an extra 3,500 calories (500 a day) beyond what your body needs to maintain it’s current weight will help you gain 1 pound a week. This is about as much as you want to gain weekly to limit putting on excess body fat.
You first need to determine how many calories your body requires every day and make sure you are eating at least that much daily. This calorie calculator from the Mayo Clinic does a good job at estimating it for you.
You may need to adjust the amount you calculate but it does a good enough job to get you started.
2. Alternate Between Solid And Liquid Meals
One of the easiest ways to get the extra calories you need to gain weight and build muscle is to add an extra meal or snack to your diet. The problem is that eating more food, especially 500 or more calories daily can be tough to do every day. The solution is simple. All you have to do is alternate eating solid and liquid meals in the form of weight gain or protein shakes. Getting extra calories from protein shakes is convenient and much easier on your digestive system than eating more food. Alternating between solid and liquid meals for 4-5 meals daily will enable you to easily get the calories your body needs. You should choose a weight gain shake that has about 500 calories per serving. Read this article to learn the best weight gain shakes that are loaded with calories, high in protein, and low in sugar.
3. Eat The Right Types Of Carbohydrates, Fats, And Protein
Just because you need to eat more to gain weight doesn’t mean you should eat junk that contains little more than empty calories and fillers that will leave you heavier but feeling weak and looking bloated. You should instead focus on high calorie and quality foods. This means carbohydrates that are slow burning for sustained energy like fruits, sweet potatoes, and yams. Forget about eating lots of bread, pasta, or sugar rich sweets like cake as they will do little to give you energy or build muscle. Fats are great for extra calories and should make up part of every meal. Eat a combination of saturated fats from red meat (rib eye steaks are great), omega 3 rich fats from fatty fish like salmon, and other healthy fats from foods such as nuts, olive oil, and avocados. Last but not least, you need to get enough high quality protein every day. This means about 1 gram per pound of body weight, i.e. if you weigh 150 pounds eat 150 grams of protein daily over 4-5 meals. High protein foods you should eat include: whole eggs, fish, pork, and red meat (think ground beef, rib eyes, sirloin, and strip steak). Limit chicken and other poultry as they’re not the highest quality protein and are low in calories.
4. Use Supplements That Are Proven To Help You Gain Weight And Build Muscle
Taking the right nutritional supplements can help you gain weight fast. The first you should consider taking as it really works is creatine monohydrate. Taking it alone can help you gain between 5-10 pounds in a short period of time. I recommend using a micronized creatine powder as it mixes easily in water. Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate is a good choice. When you take creatine following a loading phase during the first 5-7 days of supplementation will help you get results fastest.
Other supplements worth taking are a quality sports multi-vitamin, a fish oil supplement, and branch chain amino acids. A sports vitamin like Gaspari Anavite will not only help ensure your daily needs are met but also help you train harder, longer. The omega 3 fats in a fish oil supplement like Controlled Labs Oximega are great to add to your diet since they are shown to help stimulate muscle growth. Last but not least, taking branch chain amino acids such as Optimum BCAA caps or Optimum BCAA 5000 powder between meals can help your body stay in an anabolic (muscle building) state throughout the day.
If you’re a woman who wants to learn more, check out my article The Best Weight Gain Supplements For Women.
5. Always Eat Before And After Your Workout
Eating – or drinking – a meal before and after you lift weights can really help you gain weight fast. This is because these are the times your body and muscles are really able to fill themselves with carbs and protein for energy and new muscle. Drinking a half serving of a weight gain shake like Gaspari Real Mass Probiotic 15-30 minutes before and after you workout will give you energy to train hard and help you recover and grow faster between your workout.
6. Train Hard, And Smart
When your goal is to gain weight and build muscle you need to lift weights. The key to great results is to perform lifts that train the large muscles of your body. This means squats, rows, pull ups, bench presses, kettlebell swings, and military presses to name a few. Forget about biceps curls and triceps push downs. They’ll only waste your time.
You should lift weights 3-4 days a week and perform exercises for every body part at each workout. Alternate exercises at each workout for variety and perform between 3-5 sets of 5-10 reps for each exercises. Minimize cardio workotus too as they burn a lot of calories and don’t help you gain weight or build muscle.
7. Keep A Food Diary For At Least A Week
I recommend tracking everything you eat for at least a week to make sure you’re eating enough every day to gain weight. An easy way to do it is to use a free online tool like Fitday.com which has the calorie and nutritional value for thousands of foods in its database. They make a free app for the iPhone too.
8. Track Your Progress
You must keep track of your weight gain progress on at least a weekly basis to ensure that you are moving toward your goal. The best ways to do so are to weigh yourself, take measurements of your arms, chest, thighs, and waist, and have someone photograph you wearing shorts or a bathing suit. If possible have your body fat measured every month too. Doing all of these things is super simple, takes but a few minutes, and will ensure that you are gaining more muscle than fat.
Conclusion – Now It’s Time To Gain Weight Fast!
Now that you’ve read through my tips it’s time to get to work. Include all of them in your diet and workout programs and you’re sure to be successful. Shoot for gaining an extra 1-2 pounds a week and if you ever hit a plateau, reevaluate your diet, supplement, and workout routines and make whatever changes are necessary for you to get back on track. They may be to eat more calories, take a new supplement like creatine or a weight gainer with more calories than the one you’re using, or change up your workout. Make sure you subscribe to our free weekly newsletter too for diet, supplement, and workout information and tips that will help you achieve all of your fitness goals.