Everything You Need To Know For Gaining Weight With A Fast Metabolism
So, you want to know how to gain weight with a fast metabolism? Or how to slow down metabolism? Ok, I will try to help you.
Gaining weight can be difficult, and having a quick metabolic rate certainly makes it much harder. How can I overcome this problem then? Well, developing an understanding on how your particular body type works is key to unlocking the answer. There are a few vital points I’ll touch on that you can apply to your life so you can get stronger and bigger much faster!
There are three main body types – ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. Understanding which category you lie in is important. Right off the bat, if you’re reading this article, there’s a high chance you’re not an endomorph. Endomorphs are naturally those with a ‘stocky’ build, have a slow metabolism, and are larger by default.
You’re most likely an ectomorph – fast metabolism, lean, and typically skinny. The last one is mesomorph. They sit right in between the other two types I mentioned, somewhat the most fortunate type. No problem though, as an ectomorph, when you get muscular and strong, you get an incredibly shredded and defined body compared to others! Think Olympic Sprinters, professional soccer players, basketball players, swimmers and other related sports.
Now we’ve understood that you’re likely an ectomorph, what does that mean? Well, as an ectomorph myself, this means we need to abide by different diets, eating routines, weightlifting styles and more. It’s never easy to gain weight. First up is eating routines.
More small meals is better than less big meals
Being an ectomorph, your digestive system naturally works in a different way than others. You need at least 3,000 calories a day, sometimes up to 4,000 and beyond. Eating 3 giant meals a day over 1,250 calories each is too much for your stomach to easily process, and you’ll feel more sluggish throughout the day. So how can a person with a high metabolism gain weight?
Five meals a day is the recommended amount for the people with fast metabolism. So if you want to gain weight you need to eat more often. Breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon, dinner and later in the evening. Aside from a larger breakfast, I aim for meals around 750 calories. For breakfast, I aim of upwards of 1,000 calories and the other four meals at around 750 each. I hit my 4,000 calorie goal quite easily with that general plan in mind. 4,000 sounds like a large number to hit, but there are many great foods to munch on that makes reaching that number easier!
You need a good diet plan to gain weight fast. And it doesn’t matter if you have fast metabolism or not.
Caloric dense foods for people with a fast metabolism
To reach your calorie goals, there are some key foods that are nice and dense in calories that make weight gain much easier and don’t taste completely awful! So, this is a short list of high calorie foods for weight gain:
Whole-grain bagels are one of my favorite foods for good reason. They taste good, quick to eat, can be loaded with tasty toppings and are very calorie dense. Your average bagel hits between 250-300 calories, and with some peanut butter, regular butter, cream cheese or jam you can break 400 calories easily in a single bagel. A perfect mid-day snack alongside a glass of milk and dried fruits.
Just 100 grams of granola is around 450 calories. That’s less than 1 cup of granola! A cup and a half of granola in some yogurt with berries or jam is really delicious and easily breaks 1,000 calories. This is my go-to breakfast every single morning and it really is magical.
Peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, cashews; there’s at least one type of nut anyone will like. These are all calorie dense weighing in at an astonishing 600 calories per 100 grams. Nuts are loaded with tons of healthy fats, protein, fiber and vitamins. A real life hack for the ectomorph in need.
Dried mango, raisins, dates, cranberries and apricots are prime examples. So if you have a fast metabolism and you want to slow it down – try them. They all taste good, super easy to eat (who doesn’t love mango?!), vitamin rich and packed with vitamins. On average, dried fruit yields 350 calories per 100 grams. You may have noticed a trend – lots of the things I’ve mentioned are in trail mix. Well, unsurprisingly, trail mix was made to be ultra calorie dense for long hiking trips and activities. Store bought trail mix is often too expensive and honestly not that tasty, but a homemade one is much cheaper, tastier and even healthier. Give it a shot!
Shakes & smoothies
Great for the mid-day or evening snack, shakes and smoothies are a very quick and tasty way to get what your body craves. A cup or two of milk, some tablespoons of yogurt, (optional) vanilla ice cream, a protein powder or mass gainer, some pure cocoa powder and a chopped fruit makes a perfect, delicious, dense shake. Depends on your recipe, you can yield between 750-1000 calories in a single large glass. Experiment with your own recipes and flavors. Great to have after a workout especially! It helps to gain weight.
Pretty self-explanatory, chicken, beef, pork and fish are all protein-rich and quite calorie dense. A single 200 gram chicken breast is around 300 calories. I tend to avoid beef and pork as chicken is much healthier. Fish is also great and healthy if you live in a place with affordable and tasty seafood.
Last up is cheeses. OK, cheese isn’t exactly the healthiest thing for you, but it tastes great and is calorie dense. On average, cheese is around 400 calories per 100 grams, but I wouldn’t over-do it personally. Great for a light topping onto your chicken, added to a bagel, or just on its own. Get gourmet and visit your local boutique cheese-maker since you have the advantage of being able to eat almost anything you want! So yeah, try it too if fast metabolism is keeping you from gaining weight.
Calories in has to be more than calories out
Although this is pretty obvious if you want to gain weight, it’s often forgotten by so many people with a fast metabolism. Making 100% sure you’re getting more calories in your diet is best done by tracking your calories. If you’re under 3,000 for the day, you’re just going backwards.
Count your calories. Seriously, doing a ballpark estimate on what you think you got today is a big mistake people do and is the culprit of becoming frustrated by not seeing progress. The goal should be a 1,000 calorie surplus each day.
That means if you burn 3,000 calories per day, you need to be taking in 4,000 a day. On average, most ectomorphs burn between 2,500-3,000 calories per day including exercise. Get 3,500-4,000 calories per day if you’re on the taller side of the spectrum and are relatively active.
So, since you’re an ectomorph you need to eat differently, but you also need to weightlift differently. How is that? The body type of an ectomorph benefits much more from compound lifts. This means deadlifting, overhead press, power cleans, bench press, squats, dips, and so forth. They will help you to gain weight. Isolation movements like bicep curls, leg extensions, chest fly’s and so forth are not quite as effective.
You benefit much more from focusing on power oriented exercises rather than endurance and tension-over-time exercises. Bearing that in mind, some exercises like ‘21s’ for biceps I found worked extremely well for gaining volume, however to get larger overall, compound lifts are your friend.
You benefit more from 2-3 minute rest periods in between of sets when it comes to these large compound lifts. Do some light stretching and shaking out between sets to really prepare your muscles for the next one! You also have the benefit of not needing to do much cardio since we’re trying to keep calorie consumption low rather than raising it! That’s the way to slow your fast metabolism and gain body mass.
Before you start tossing plates onto the barbell like a madman though, really make sure your form is 100%. Scratch that, 200%. With improper form, especially with compound lifts, you become much, much more prone to injury compared to isolation movements. Trust me, a pulled quadriceps ligament or sprained shoulder tendon is the last thing you want. Your progress in the gym will halt and in no time you’ll be back to square one.
Plus, nothing looks more idiotic than a skinny guy (with fast metabolism) lifting with hilariously bad form – you probably don’t want to end up being the subject of the next viral video on YouTube titled “Beginner Gym Newbie FAIL”!
Some good weightlifting exercises
A healthy workout regimen for the beginner and intermediate lifter would follow a simple leg day, push day, and pull day cycle. Start every workout with an incredibly thorough warm up. Develop that flexibility to further enhance your form and prevent injury!
Leg day should consist of any combination of power cleans, front & back squats, single leg split squats, lunges, deadlifts, calf raises, and more. Wait until your form is on point before attempting power cleans since they’re a relatively difficult movement to master.
Push day should consist of any combo of bench press, overhead press, standing bicep curls, incline/decline bench, overhead triceps extension and more.
Pull day should have some movements like chin ups, lat pulldowns, bent over row, back row, wide grip chin ups, and more.
Every session I sprinkle in between 3-5 core exercises at the end such as leg hold, Russian twists, plank, side plank, ab wheel and others. Every single day should have very thorough warm ups and stretching at the end of the workout. Rep ranges for the bigger compound lifts are best between 5-7 and I like my other exercises never to break 10 reps, finding 8 and 7 repetitions to be my sweetspot. At the end of the day I want to gain weight, right?
You can’t ruin good food with a bad workout, but you can ruin a good workout with bad food!
Gaining weight, strength and muscle is a multi-step process. And it doesn’t matter if your metabolism is fast or not. If you only cover one of the areas you need to, you won’t get anywhere. The three most vital steps are diet, exercise and rest. If you get enough exercise and rest but eat terribly, you won’t get very far. If you eat and work out well but don’t rest well, you won’t get anywhere. You need to get all three bases covered. Without thorough coverage of each aspect, you really won’t get far – especially with the body type you were given.
Help your digestive system. Slow your fast metabolism down. The section on nutrition covered a lot of it, but ensuring you cover simple things such as a minimum of 2 liters of water per day, all of your vitamins and minerals with vegetables, no over-consumption of fats or sugars and so forth plays a surprisingly big role. Without enough potassium you’re much more likely to experience cramping. Without enough zinc your sleep cycle could suffer.
It’s OK to snack down once in a while on a bag of chips or some cookies, and to be frank those extra calories do help a little to gain weight, but they’re not exactly what the body uses best. Dark chocolate melted down with fruit dipped into it is by far my favorite tasty, sweet and easy snack. It’s proven too that a square of high-cocoa chocolate each day is actually healthy for your brain!
So if you want to gain weight fast, extra supplements can be hugely beneficial: BCAAs, Beta Alanine, Glutamine, L-Arganine, Creatine – they all help tremendously in and outside of the gym! Seriously, the before and after comparison of my performance in workouts changes drastically if I’m on a supplement cycle or not. Fish oil/Omega-3, Vitamin D3, a general multivitamin, Vitamin C, etc all contribute to even better health and ensuring your body functions to its best ability. So never forget mass gain and other supplements.
To wrap it up
You’re an ectomorph; you naturally have a harder time gaining mass and burn more calories. Hit between 3,000 and 4,000 calories a day depending on your height, current weight and activity level. Eat calorie dense foods to make it an easier process (getting 4,000 calories in just salad is a terrifying task). Do more compounds lifts with 2-3 minutes rest in between sets, don’t worry about cardio, get 3 sessions per week for beginners. Sleep really well, eat well and train well or else you won’t get very far at all. Sometimes it’s not easy to gain weight, especially if your metabolism is high, but Im sure you can do it.
I won’t lie to you like Mens Magazine, Fitness World or any other magazine will – getting jacked in one month, let alone two weeks isn’t really possible. You’ll start to see awesome results within weeks and by the three month point you’ll be very excited with your results, but to get to the level of outrageous pictures you see online takes years, and some good photo manipulation! With that being said, six months will speed by without you even noticing it and in that amount of time you’ll have easily gotten far enough that you’ll be very comfortable being shirtless, probably even excited to be! Hope this all helps and you can achieve your goals a little more easily!