“How to gain weight fast for skinny guys”
One of the questions that I get is “how to gain weight fast for skinny guys” with the question coming mainly from you guessed it, skinny guys and girls.
The $64m question. How to get weight fast for skinny guys? I guess what people really mean is “how do I gain lean muscles fast” There is nothing worse than actually gaining weight when you are skinny around your midsection so you end up being a skinny guy with a pot belly!
One of the problems that we face as skinny guys is the absence of some digestive enzymes in our bodies and together with a lot of us having a higher than usual acidity levels we face challenges to gain weight. More on that below..
OK so lets get started…before we find out how to put on weight we must first understand our Soma-types and how that affects us.
The different Soma-types or body types
Typically there are 3 different body types that we are born with,
Typically tall, long limbs, small shoulders, small bone structure find it hard to put on weight. Fast Metabolism, over-active sympathetic nervous system. High carbohydrate tolerance.
Your typical gym person, the one which everyone wants to emulate, large bone structure, athletic build, able to put on muscle easily and loses fat easily when on a dieting phase. Anabolic hormone dominant. Moderate to high carbohydrate tolerance.
Your typical “Power-lifter” or line-back or for our European friends a “Hooker” in Rugby, has lots of muscle but also lots of fat. This guy also builds muscle easily. His carbohydrates tolerance is low so that person is likely to put on weight very easily.
As we get older and our eating and training habits change its possible to have a what I call an “in between” Soma-type, so you can be an Ecto-Meso or an Endo-Meso or an Ecto-Endo.
Have you worked out which body type you are? Yep you got it, the Ectomorph. Now did you know that your body is acidic? If you go back to your science days at high school and the PH table where you have values of Acids and Alkalis and a number between 1-14 where 1 is more acidic and 14 is more alkaline?
So by having an acidic system the food you eat is basically going to waste. Have you heard the saying “you are what you eat“? Thats true but also truer is the statement “you are what you absorb“. If you are with me you will start to understand that our body type is not efficient at absorbing the food especially protein. Our bodies have poor muscle protein synthesis. It is broken down into amino acids it stays sitting on the cell waiting for it to be transported to the muscles but because of the inefficiency the protein doesn’t get used properly and so it gets excreted. As well as that we have fast metabolism which means the foods that we eat gets burned very quickly.
The traditional way for Ectomorphs to gain weight has always been about stuffing themselves with lots of food each and every meal. They typically eat the wrong food types in the hope of gaining weight such as pizza, fries etc..
You will gain weight with these foods right where you don’t want it and it will be around your midsection giving you a nice pot belly. I am going to show you how to gain weight without stuffing yourself.
Here we go guys…
- Eat low volume foods with condensed calories. This means eating foods with high calorie content such as nuts, dried alkaline fruits like Dates, Prunes, Figs, Goji Berries
- Eat Healthy Fats – Mono-Unsaturated fats – this kind of fat is used for building the cell structure and in order to produce hormones such as testosterone we need dietary fats in our body. These fats are called functional fats, that means the body has a use for them.
Typically these foods are Avocados, Olive oil though make sure it is the extra virgin type that you use, nuts such as Almonds, Sesame seeds, Cashew, Pecans to name but a few. The body doesn’t store these fats as they are “functional fats” meaning the body is using them for a purpose. When you eat “bad fats” the walls of the cell structure don’t become as strong.
- Double Insulin Spike – Post workout to replenish glycogen stores. Make sure you take carbohydrates with the protein to help it get transported to the muscles. Normal sugar is very acidic so would need to have something like “Black Strap Molasses”. Typically you might need between 30-50g of carbohydrates in your protein shake. One hour after your workout have another high carbohydrate meal to spike your insulin again. This is what is called the Window of Opportunity which is post workout when insulin is at its highest sensitivity and your carb tolerance will be higher due to exercise with the body needing to replace depleted glucogen stores in the liver and muscles. And no guys that does not mean you can have a pizza or a hamburger and chips! I did say forgiving but not THAT forgiving!
- If you are going to use a protein shake use a high quality protein such as Whey not Cassein. The reason is that Cassein is slow absorbing can take between 8-9 hours to get absorbed whereas with the high quality Whey it has higher protein amino acids available.
- Eat complete lean protein with every meal – Chicken, Fish such as Tuna, Salmon, Meat such as Lean Beef and Turkey and also Eggs. Remember to eat the yolk in the eggs as this is has the most amount of protein as well as vital minerals and antioxidants.
- Eat fruits and vegetables with every meal, 2-3 servings per meal. Healthy first and foremost and also their contents of plant chemicals (phytochemicals) are essential for optimal physiological functioning. Vegetables and fruits also provide an alkaline load to the blood which is what we Ectomorphs want to gain weight! They also help absorb the food better and also slow down the absorption of carbs.
- Eat whole foods instead of supplements whenever possible – I know sometimes it is easier to pick up those protein bars “ahem” sugar bars try swapping that for some nuts if you are stuck for time
- Eat as wide a variety of good foods as possible – It is important to include seasonal foods with health variety. Instead of eating chicken, beef and eggs you can incorporate meats such as venison, bison, ostrich, boar etc. The same would apply with fruits instead of apples, oranges try pineapple, mango, berries, apricots, and so on.
- Eat 5-7 meals per day as per requirement. If you want to pack on the weight this is what you need to do. You cannot do that in 3 meals and if you do you know what the end result will be. What? How? Are you kidding?? Oh my gosh I don’t have time to do all this I am too busy etc… I can hear the cries and gasps out there. Read the next point and you will see how
- Plan ahead and prepare food in advance – It’s all about planning my friends. Ever heard the saying by Winston Churchill “Failing to plan is planning to fail“ ? Whether you wake up 30 minutes earlier to cook for the rest of the day, hiring a chef do to the food for you, or cooking a bunch of meals on a Sunday for the rest of the week you need a plan. As you get into the habit it gets easier and it will take you less time.
- Plan to break the rules 10% of the time – your favourite part guys! Unless you are an athlete playing pro football each week or a body-builder posing on stage then a “scheduled treat” as I call it is needed from a psychological perspective to eat the foods that are shall we say imperfect. The way I would go about the 10% is count your total meals per week and take 10% off although don’t get yourselves stressed out about it. Use these meals as a source of pleasure not stress! Don’t go overboard though and you know what I mean!
- Eat small and often – try and eat every 2-3 hours. Gives your body constant flow of nutrients as well as being able to meet or exceed you target calorie requirements without putting too much strain on your digestive system.
We talked about ways to put on weight, now the next question you will ask me is how much food do I need to eat? There is no really one answer for this as it depends on the individual. For example someone who is really active, has a physical job and exercises will need more calories than someone who is sedentary, is in an office type job and does next to no exercise. So I am going to do a simple equation for you guys below so you get an idea of what you need to do to gain weight.
Daily Calorie estimator for weight gain
Sedentory – Body weight in lbs x 16-18
Moderately Active – Body weight in lbs x 18-20
(Exercise 3-4 days per week)
Very Active -Body weight in lbs x 20-22
(Exercise 5-7 days per week)
Now these numbers are typical. Follow it for 2-4 weeks and monitor you results then adjust accordingly.
Now lets have a look at the Macronutrient estimates
Ectomorphs average starting %
Carbs % 55
Protein % 25
Fats % 20
The figures above are not set in stone however depending on your goals you can manipulate the figures accordingly. I would recommend starting with the above and tweaking it based on the results that you are getting.
During my training days I would consume a lot of carbs to spike my insulin. Insulin is a very anabolic hormone and if used correctly can lead to good muscle gains. Abuse it and you will most likely end up with a large waistline. On non training days I would consume starchy carbs in only one out of my 6 meals. The rest is made up of Fats and Proteins and a few fibrous veggies.
Remember guys its he who uses carbs best wins!