Gain weight you need to eat more calories than your body burns.
It doesn’t matter if you think you eat a lot. If your average calorie intake is smaller than your calorie expenditure, you won’t gain weight. To get bigger you must create a caloric surplus. You have to eat more food than you do now to put on weight and stop being skinny.
This is the definitive guide to gaining weight naturally for skinny guys, hardgainers and ectomorphs.
Why You Can’t Gain Weight
Skinny guys usually think they can eat anything they want without gaining weight. They believe they can eat junk food all day because they have a fast metabolism. Some think they can’t gain weight because they don’t digest the food they eat, are stressed out, or “have worms”…
Here’s the truth: you can eat everything you want without gaining weight because you don’t eat a lot. I know you think you do, but you don’t – otherwise you wouldn’t be skinny. Really.
Track your daily caloric intake for proof. Spend the next week logging everything you eat in an app like myfitnesspal. You’ll see you’re not eating that many calories. This is the main reason why you’re not gaining weight. Skinny men always overestimate how much they eat.
This doesn’t mean a high metabolism doesn’t exist. Some people have a harder time gaining weight because they’re more active (hardgainers tend to fidget more). Others are naturally skinny because they have small frames and thus aren’t born to be big and strong (ectomorphs).
But every skinny guy, hardgainer and ectomorph who eats more calories than he burns gains weight. It doesn’t matter if you have a high metabolism, skinny build, or bad genetics. The only difference is that you’ll need to eat more food than the average person to put on weight and get bigger.
Stop believing you can’t change your body because of your metabolism. Stop thinking you’ll always be skinny because everyone in your family is. Start understanding this is mostly a matter of nutrition. Eat more calories than you burn – consistently – and you’ll gain weight. It’s that simple.
How to Gain Weight
The three ingredients to go from skinny to muscular are nutrition, training and consistency. Here are the most important tips to gain weight for skinny hardgainers and ectomorphs…
- Eat More. Eat more calories than your body burns. How much depends on your metabolism and activity levels. But if you’re not gaining weight, you’re not eating enough.
- Eat More Meals. Small meals are easier to eat than big ones. They don’t make you feel stuffed. Wake up earlier, eat breakfast, and then eat 3-4 more meals a day.
- Eat Caloric Dense Foods. Food high in carbs and/or fats has more calories per serving. It takes less eating to create a caloric surplus. Bulk on pasta, dried fruits, nuts, etc.
- Eat More Protein. Your muscles need protein to recover from your workouts and grow bigger. Eat a whole source of protein with each meal – meat, chicken, fish, eggs, etc
- Go Liquid. Blended food digests more easily than solid food. Make weight gainer shakes by mixing oats, milk, banana, peanut butter and whey protein in your blender.
- Track Calories. Skinny guys over-estimate how much they eat. They think they eat a lot but they don’t. Track your calorie intake to make sure you’re eating enough to gain weight.
- Lift Heavy. Stop wasting time with curls and flies. Do free weight, compounds like Squats and Deadlifts instead. They trigger more strength and muscle gains to gain weight.
- Be Consistent. If you eat a lot today but little the rest of the week, you won’t gain weight. You must consistently eat more than you burn to increase your body-weight.
Weight Goals for Men
How much weight do you have to gain to stop looking skinny? A simple rule is to take your height in centimeter, substract 100, and that’s your goal weight in kg. Anything less you’ll always look skinny. Here’s a table with minimum goal weights for skinny guys, and maximum muscular weights.
As an example, I’m the ectomorph type with a small frame, narrow wrists and long limbs. I weigh 77kg/170lb at 1m73/5’8″. I’m not a big guy but people I meet always notice I lift weights.
Eat More Food
You need to eat more calories than your body burns to gain weight. Don’t go by feeling since it’s easy to overestimate your calorie intake. Instead start by tracking everything you eat. Find out how many calories you need to gain weight. Then consistently eat more calories.
Good calorie calculators will suggest about 16kcal/lb of body-weight to maintain your weight. For the 135lb/60kg skinny guy that’s about 2112kcal/day. This number doesn’t need to be 100% accurate. You’re just looking for a starting point and will adapt your food intake based on your progress.
Add 500 calories per day to gain weight. For the 60kg/135lb skinny guy 2112 maintenances calories becomes 2612kcal/day. Round this down to 2600kcal to keep things simple – this isn’t surgery, and the calories on food labels aren’t 100% accurate anyway. Ballparking it is fine.
If you want to gain weight fast and don’t care about gaining some extra belly fat, add 1000kcal/day. So for the skinny 60kg/135lb guy, that’s 3100kcal/day. It’s however easier to start with 500kcal/day extra so your body has time to get used to eating more food.
Keep in mind it’s your daily average calorie intake at the end of the week and month that determines if you’ll gain weight. If you eat 3100kcal today but then only 1500kcal the next three days, you’re unlikely to gain weight. You have to consistently eat more food. Hit your numbers every day.
It’s normal to struggle to eat your calories every day in the beginning. But your stomach will stretch as you eat more food. Within two weeks you’ll have an easier time eating your calories. You’ll actually get more hungry. But the first week is usually the hardest. You may have to push yourself to eat.
Track your progress by weighing yourself every week. Do it the same time and day every time, ideally first thing on waking up, after you pee. Don’t weigh yourself every day. Your weight fluctuates daily based on your stomach/bowel content, water/salt intake, etc. This will confuse you.
Aim for 0.5kg/1lb of weight gain a week. Skinny guys who start malnourished often gain more the first weeks. But this is mostly because of increased bowel/stomach content, and extra water weight. Remember you can gain max 0.5lb of lean muscle a week on average.
If you gain weight, keep eating the same amount of calories. If you don’t gain weight for two weeks, despite eating the same amount of calories every day, then bump your calorie intake. Add another 500kcal/day and check what happens. Repeat until you gain weight.
Read more https://stronglifts.com/gain-weight/