Although most people are aiming to lose weight, a small percentage, mainly guys, would like to put on some weight. So what’s the key to gaining weight in a short amount of time? If you want to know how to gain weight fast, read on.
It’s Just Math
If you ask most people what you should do to gain weight, after looking at you weird, they’ll say just eat more. Of course, if you’re a hardgainer and have been skinny your whole life, you’ll probably laugh at how wrong they are. You already eat a lot and no matter how much you put in your body, you still can’t gain weight, right?
The truth is, it’s all about math. If you consume more calories than you can burn, you must gain weight. There’s no way around this. Unless you’re so unique that scientists would want to study you, if your goal is to gain weight, just eat more, a lot more.
Let’s do some quick math.
1 pound is about 3,500 calories. This means for every 3,500 calories you consume over the amount your body burns, you will gain about a pound. This is why many people will recommend adding 500 calories a day to your diet. That’s 3,500 calories over 1 week which should result in a gain of about 1 pound per week.
This only works if you have been quite steady with your weight for some time. If you’ve been losing weight recently, then you’ll have to increase the amount of calories a bit more.
How Many Calories Should I Eat To Gain Weight?
To get a more accurate number, the best thing to do is to keep track of all the calories you eat during an average week. From there, divide the amount of calories you’ve consumed over that week and divide by 7 to get the average amount of calories you consume a day.
Once you have that, simply add at least 500 pounds to that number and make it your goal to consume at least that amount from here on out.
For example, let’s say you keep track of your calories for a week and come up with 15,000 calories. Divide that by 7 and you’ll get your average of 2,142 calories per day. What you’ll want to do is start eating at least 2,642 calories a day (an additional 500 calories). It doesn’t have to be exact of course but make sure you make that number your minimum.
Now if you’re lazy and don’t want to bother counting calories, simply add at least 500 calories to your normal diet. This works out to an extra meal a day. Eat an extra meal a day.
I can’t eat that much!
Adding on calories can be tough for some people simply because they get too full too quickly. The good news is that it gets easier the longer you do it. A good tactic is to eat at the exact same times each day. For example, 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm. Pick whatever times work for your daily routine.
The point of doing this is to train your body to get hungry around those times. That way, you’ll be able to actually finish your meals. It’ll be hard first week or 2. You’ll likely still be full when the next feeding time rolls around. If this happens, either eat smaller meals or just force yourself to eat. After a week or two, your body will adjust and you’ll find it a lot easier to eat those extra calories.
I don’t have time to eat that many meals!
You don’t need to eat 5 or 6 meals a day. It’s not about how many meals you eat but how many calories you consume. If you can meet your minimum caloric intake a day in 1 meal, do it in 1 meal. If you can do it in 2 meals, do it in 2 meals. The more meals you spread your calories out into, the smaller your meals will be which will make it easier to eat but it will take more time.
Another thing that will help is to drink a mass gainer. In fact, 1 serving of a mass gainer will be more than 500 calories which means you can eat like you normally do and just add on 1 shake a day!
Now, these are supplements which means you should try to get your calories through regular food first but if you’re having a hard time, then use a mass gainer to help you reach your daily calorie minimum. Just don’t rely solely on them. One shake a day should be the limit.
It cost too much!
Consuming an extra 500 calories will mean you’ll need to spend more money but unless you’re eating expensive meals like steak, it shouldn’t cost you more than a few bucks to get that extra 500 calories a day. If you’re eating anything to gain weight, fast food is probably one of the cheapest options. If you’re sticking to healthy foods then things like egg whites or wheat bread are low cost. Those mass gainers are also relatively cheap per serving wise.
It’s been a week and I still haven’t gained any weight!
The weird thing about gaining weight is even if you’re consuming an extra 3500 calories a week, you won’t always gain a pound. In fact, you might if lose a little bit of weight on some weeks. You need to take the long term approach and look at the average. Some weeks, you’ll gain nothing while other weeks, you’ll gain 2-3 pounds. Over the course of several months, you should average about 1 pound a week assuming you are consistent with your calorie intake.
Note: As you gain weight, you’ll need to increase your calorie amount since the more you weigh, the more calories you’ll need to keep gaining weight.
1 pound a week is too little. I need to gain weight fast!
If that’s the case, up your calories by 1000 or more. At an extra 1000 calories a day, you should gain about 2 pounds a week. Again, this assumes you’ve been at your current weight for some time which means however much you’re eating is enough to maintain your current weight.
Now the challenge of trying to gain weight fast is that you’ll have to eat a lot more than you usually do. If you’re able to do it, then go for it. You’ll typically find though, that in order to hit those high numbers, you might have to start eating some unhealthy foods since they’re typically higher in calories. You can stick with healthy foods of course but they tend to be lower in calories which means you’ll have to eat a LOT more in terms of quantity.
For example, one healthy food choice is boneless chicken breast. A 4 oz piece of chicken breast is around 180 calories. You’d have to eat 12 ounces of it to match the calories in 1 Big Mac.
For those of you who don’t care about what you eat and just want to gain weight, then just eat anything you want to hit those calorie numbers. You’ll want to cut down later on to burn down the amount of fat you’ll gain but if the goal it to gain weight quickly, anything goes.
I’m too lazy to eat!
If you’re too lazy to eat, then you probably didn’t read this far. As with just about anything else in life, if you want something to change, you must first change. Results in life don’t just magically appear, you have to work to get them.
If you’re too lazy to eat, fine, there’s nothing wrong with it. Just stop complaining about being too skinny and stop looking at yourself in the mirror and wish you were bigger. Wishing and hoping doesn’t get you anywhere in life.
Perhaps you’re not unsatisfied enough with your weight. Perhaps you’ve accepted the fact that you’re skinny and have learned to live with it. But if that’s the case, you wouldn’t be reading an article like this.
The truth is, you’re not lazy, you just don’t have enough reasons to want to gain weight. Until your desire to gain weight outweighs your laziness, you won’t make the necessary changes.
Consistency is Key
Eating more for a few days or weeks won’t cut it. If you want to hit your weight goals, you need to consume those extra calories every single day. Those who are skinny who say they can’t weight no matter how much they eat are those who eat a lot every now and then and basically starve themselves the other days. Track your calories for a week and you’ll see just how little you actually eat on average.
Now, some of you may find that you have to eat a LOT of calories due to your high metabolism or because you’re quite active throughout the day. It may be the case that you have to consume 3,000 calories or more just to gain a pound a week or every 2 weeks. Even if that’s the case, if your goal it to gain weight, you just gotta do what you gotta do and do it consistently.
If you’re consistent with the right set of actions, your life can completely change in just a year.
My guess is you don’t just want to gain weight but you want to gain some muscles as well. If that’s the case, then aside from eating more, you’ll also need to start lifting weight if you’re not already.
The main exercises to focus on are all compound movements: Bench Press, Deadlift, Squat, Pull Ups, and Should Presses.
The reason for lifting weights and building muscles is because muscle gain will equate to gaining weight as well.
Don’t have the money to join a gym? Do workouts at home like push ups and pull ups. Find some used weights on Craigslist to do squats and shoulder presses or find heavy items around the house as substitutes. Weight lifting is all about pushing or pulling against resistance in order to force your muscles to grow. Just make sure you’re using correct form when performing the exercises.
There are plenty of home exercises on Youtube you can follow along with.