Most of the people tend to believe that its a piece of cake to gain weight & you don’t really have to do much besides eating all the time. In reality, it could not be further from the truth. It all boils down to your genetics, body type & metabolism. Doesn’t matter if your goal is to lose some extra pounds or gain weight, the struggle remains the same. It all depends on your eating habits, lifestyle & the kind of hard work you are willing to do to achieve your respective goal.
First & foremost let’s talk about the reasons why some people are hard gainers & while some put on weight relatively quite easily. As I said above it boils down to your genes, body type & metabolism. Talking about genes, a research was conducted on over 5000 people for 10 long years & it was found out that a particular gene called MMP2 in one-third of women & a gene called FTO in 87% of men were found which relates to fatty tissue occurrence in the body & could lead to fat accumulation & weight gain.
Coming to body type, there are basically 3 human body types namely:-
- Ectomorph – Long & lean, the hard-gainers who find it difficult to put on muscle mass & gain weight. they have a very high metabolism rate.
- Endomorph – Wide & stocky build, have muscles but find it difficult to stay lean because they tend to store fat quite easily. Best strength among the three body types but very low metabolism rate.
- Mesomorph – These are the ones we envy the most. 👿 They have a naturally athletic build with well defined lean muscles.
In this article, we will be primarily talking about the ectomorphs as they find it quite difficult to gain weight & put on lean muscle mass. But here’s the thing, your body type is not the end of the world, it can be altered & redefined by your lifestyle, training & eating habits & that’s what we are going to focus on.
5 Ways To Gain Weight & Build Muscle
Calorie Consumption & Strength Training
I have talked about Calories consumption & the importance of Weight training to build lean muscle mass in my last article in detail on the 5 most effective ways to lose weight. You can read the article here – https://mindmuscleblogs.com/5-most-effective-ways-to-lose-weight-fast/
The only obvious difference in calorie consumption would be to increase your daily calorie intake by 300 – 400 above your maintenance calories in the beginning. Observe the changes that are happening & then proceed further. Strength training more or less would remain the same, you got to focus more on compound movements which would help you to get stronger & lift more weights & eventually resulting in building lean muscle mass.
Eat Caloric Dense Food
You have to include caloric dense foods in your daily diet to reach your surplus calories every day. This is because it gets quite easier to gain weight if you eat foods that contain more calories per serving. You cant keep eating every hour so it’s better to include these foods which will help you to get to your calorie intake goal every single day. These foods are generally high in carbs & fats which is optimal that are optimal macros if you want to gain weight.
For Example – Vegetables & Salads are very healthy & nutritious foods but 100 g of salad would serve you around 25-30 Cal. Whereas 100 g of Pasta will serve you around 350-400 Cal. The difference is more than 12x.
Few examples of Caloric dense foods are:-
– Dairy Products
– Sweet Potatoes
– Nuts, Dates
– Whole Grains
– Dry Fruits
– Olive Oil, Butter, Ghee
P.S – Junk foods are also a great source of high calories but that doesn’t mean you start binging on McDonald’s, icecreams, chocolates, chips, cookies, etc. Once in a while is alright & you can treat yourself but try not to make it a habit & gain weight as healthily as possible by eating clean dense foods.
Eat More Meals
I know this sounds very cliche but there’s no other way around. You know you got to eat a lot to reach your daily calorie intake, so instead of eating 3 big meals, try to split it up in 5-6 small meals. For example, if your daily calorie intake goal is 3000 Cal. So instead of eating 3 meals of 1000 Cal, eat 5-6 meals of 500-600 calories. It gets much easier & doable.
In big meals, you have to push yourself at the end to finish the meal & you can feel like throwing up in the end so instead of that eat smaller meals to keep it interesting & something that you can follow for a longer period. For squeezing in more meals you have to wake up early & eat your breakfast & from there eat a meal every 2-3 hours. You will be good to go.
Eating solid food 5-6 times a day can get a bit hectic & hard to digest. So always try to include at least one high-calorie liquid meal in a day to make things easier for you. It would save time & also would be easier to digest. You also won’t feel full for long & can have your next meal more quickly. The best & easiest way to do this is to make your customized mass gainer shake or smoothie at home. It would only take 5 minutes for preparation & would help you to reach your calorie surplus goal easily.
Here is my simple 900 Calorie mass gainer shake recipe that I used to have while bulking up:-
Adequate Protein Intake
Protein intake is very essential when it comes to putting on healthy weight. Muscle tissues are made up of protein & without it, the majority of the extra calories that you are eating might end up as stored fat in your body. A high protein diet helps those extra calories to turn into lean muscle mass.
Now you might be thinking that in the previous article I told you that a high protein diet also helps you to lose weight. But that’s how protein works. You have to be really smart about it because it’s a double-edged sword. Eating a lot of protein may reduce your appetite & make it harder for you to reach your daily intake goals. When you are trying to gain weight, go for a protein intake of around 1g per pound of your body weight. That should be more than enough to start with. Take the rest of the calories of the day from fats & carbs which will help you to gain weight significantly.
- Avoid drinking water before your meals. It would make you feel full & make it hard for you to consume those calories.
- Use bigger plates. It’s a psychological thing. 😀
- Get quality sleep & recover well to grow your muscle mass.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking up. Of course.
- Be consistent.