A Simple How To Guide On Putting On A Couple Pounds In Just One Week
So you want to know how to gain weight fast? OK.
I’ll summarize what I’ll say right at the beginning: If you haven’t gone far enough along puberty, you’ll have to play the agonizing waiting game. Calories in has to be more than calories out. Aim for 3,000-3,500 for starters. My ‘magical’ diet hack and a mass gainer shake is an easy 2,000 calories in no time. Add some PB&J sandwiches, cups of milk, chicken, potatoes and veggies and you’ll hit that 3,000-4,000 goal very easily. 3 sessions a week of in the gym doing starting strength routines will help build the base of your future muscular growth. Hit that 7,000 calorie surplus, meaning at least 1,000 calories more in per day than out. A couple pounds in a single week is easily achievable.
Ok, Now That’s Out Of The Way, Here’s How To Really Do It
Trust me, I know how hard it is to gain weight fast. I’ve been in the exact same situation you’re probably in right now. For many years I was called skinny, underweight, hungry skeleton, stickman – you name it. In all likelihood, you’ve been told you could hide behind a street lamp too, and it hurts to hear. If you’re also like me, you’ve probably heard some of the common suggestions out there like “Hey, why don’t you just eat more?” and even worse, the complaints from a sister or friend “I wish I had your problem”. Well, I’m going to tell you exactly what I did to solve my problem.
Gaining mass is difficult, hell, I’ve visited a few nutritionists because I thought there was something wrong with me, however there is glory at the end of the tunnel if you stick with it! So, what are the best ways to gain weight? There’s a few key points to this that I’ll skim over and divide it into little bite sized pieces to digest. Diet, mass gainers, supplements, age, and exercise to name a few.
I’m going to start with the odd one out – age, or more specifically, puberty.
I hopped on the puberty bus late, and as much as I hate to say it, it’s a huge factor. I didn’t start packing on much weight until I sprouted a few dozen pimples and my voice got really weird. Even then it was quite a while before I started packing on the pounds. There’s little you can do about growing faster, and it’s even worse if you’re getting tall quickly, because all of your bodies efforts are spent on growing bone and ligaments rather than muscle and fats. If you’ve yet to begin shaving once a month even or a single chest hair has sprouted out, I recommend just playing the difficult waiting game and letting nature take its course before taking any other advice I have for you.
If you are past the beginning stages of puberty and you want to know how to gain weight fast, then read on.
The Calorie Game
This will be of no surprise to you, but it’s simple. If calories in > calories out, you will gain body mass. In other words, if your body takes in more energy than it exerts, you’ll gain weight. In order to gain 1kg in a single week, you’ll want to end up with around 7,000 calories in surplus.
There are plenty of online calculators available to give you a ballpark estimate of what your Base Metabolic Rate (BMR) is based on age, height, weight, etc. If you have a place nearby or your local gym offers this service (mine charged me $10), you can get a body composition analysis which will tell you your muscle mass %, fat mass, water weight, BMR, and so forth. If not, try out an online calculator.
Your BMR is likely around 1500-2000 calories, but I find this estimate is lower than what it really is considering the circumstances, and depending on how much activity you do, you might need upward of 3,000 – 4,000 calories each day. I needed around 4,000 calories each day just to start putting on mass – however I do a lot of physical activity.
Not Sure How To Gain Weight Fast? Check Your Diet!
There’s one hack that I discovered, that actually tastes good, is pretty cheap, and works like a charm. Bonus – going to the bathroom becomes magical. I’ll get to that in a second, but before that we’ll talk general diet.
It’s a no-brainer that food and diet is definitely a huge part in this. Maybe you eat a crazy amount of food and yet still can’t put on a single pound. I know what this is like. There are some crazy solutions you can try like GOMAD (Gallon Of Milk A Day), and it certainly works to an extent, but there are some heavy drawbacks to it too. In reality, most important thing to really get is all the vitamins, fats, and proteins your body so heavily craves. If you’re trying to gain muscle mass fast, ensure you get at least two liters of water a day. You will see no progress if you don’t hydrate well enough. As for protein intake, the rule of thumb is 1 gram of protein per 1 gram of body weight.
So, if you’re 130lbs, make sure you’re getting 130 + 13 (or 143) grams of protein every day once you’re settled into a healthy workout schedule. Healthy fats are super important as well. Nuts/peanut butter, fish, avocados, etc, will now become your best friend, and honestly, taste pretty good! Oh, and dark chocolate too. Lastly, you’ll need some veggies. Greens like sprouts, green beans or salad make sure your body gets all the vitamins it needs to actually use all the protein you’re taking in to build muscle. Check out our list of foods to gain weight here.
Yogurt and Granola
Ok, now back to that hack that I was talking about earlier. It tastes good, it’s pretty cheap, packs a mad amount of calories in it, and starts the day off real well. Yogurt and granola.
Hold on, I know that sounds weird, but hear me out here. 100 grams of granola has almost FIVE HUNDRED calories. Well, if we go by what Google tells us, 471 calories. Throw in 250 grams of granola into a bowl, 250mL of yogurt (vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, apple, whatever, about 150 calories) and we’re breaking almost 1,000 calories just at the end of breakfast! We’re practically a third of the way there in less than 30 minutes. Oh – and that bathroom part? There’s lots of fiber in granola, and going number two is a breeze. You mileage may vary though, that’s what I and others I know experienced!
For the rest of the day, a peanut butter and jam sandwich or two on whole grain bread, a heaping amount of potatoes or rice and chicken for dinner, a mass gainer shake and some snacks and it’s easy to hit the 3,000, 3,500 and 4,000 calorie mark.
Mass Gainers And Supplements
These do help to gain weight. Disclaimer: many mass gainers are not very healthy. With that being said, you’ll get the results you want to achieve. If pure mass is what you’re after, 750-1,000 calories in a shake is easy. Some walnuts or almonds, chocolate sauce, yogurt, whole milk and a scoop or two of mass gainer is an easy chunk of calories and often tasty.
Pro tip – get a chocolate flavor. In my experience, cookies and cream, vanilla, fruit punch and other flavors 95% of the time taste completely awful 🙂
Other very highly recommended supplements I have, although they’re more for sports performance and weightlifting, in order, is:
- Beta Alanine,
They’re optional, but do help to gain weight. Also read our Best Mass Gainers guide.
Creatine is pretty self-explanatory, hundreds of people have covered that topic. Beta Alanine delays the onset of lactic acid, the stuff that makes your muscles feel like they’re burning when you’re lifting. BCAA’s are a big building block of protein, likewise with glutamine. I take all of these, as well as a multi-vitamin, Omega-3/fish oil, Vitamin D3 (which is really important if you live in a place without much sunlight) and of course my protein powder.
If you’re already weightlifting and have a good base, you can go ahead and skip this section. If you’re a beginner, following a standard Starting Strength program is a really good start. I would recommend starting with three sessions per week in the gym, I personally do 5 sessions in the gym a week, two leg days, two upper body, and one back day. 3-5 core exercises sprinkled in at the end of each session too.
If you’re just starting out though, stick to 3 and let your body recover after each session with plenty of rest, good sleep, and protein intake within an hour of the workout, ideally within thirty minutes. Work on good form. Technique is the SINGLE most important thing when it comes to weight training. You will not get anywhere without good technique.
If you’re physically too young, I’d hold off. You won’t see much growth beyond building the foundations of weightlifting, which can be very beneficial if you nail form and technique at this point. You’re going to want at least 7,000 calories surplus each week, or 1,000 per day more than your BMR will require. This number is probably anywhere from 3,000 – 4,000 per day. A healthy diet is extremely important, yogurt and granola is the best morning starter, combined with a mass gainer shake you’ll hit 2,000 in no time. Some regular food for lunch and dinner and snacks along the way will make this goal very easy. Throw in some proper exercise and sleep and you have yourself a recipe for success.
So, if you liked my How to gain weight fast guide, leave a feedback below 🙂