How to Gain Weight Fast in 6 Simple Steps

How to gain weight with these simple steps without getting fat is one of the most frequently asked questions on this blog (mostly men but a few women too!). When I started I was 150 lbs at best before I got serious about weight gain. In just under 5 months, I put on 30 lbs of lean body mass (and I didn’t use weight gain bars) and am able to maintain 190 lbs . Here’s the overview of what foods that help you gain weight and what you must do if you want to how to gain weight the healthy way: (for a more aggressive approach, take a look at John Kiefer’s Carb Backloading)

How to Gain Weight

Have you ever asked somebody who’s trying to gain weight what they eat?

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I did. And the response I received was shocking.

“I just eat.”

That’s what he said. I just eat.

You MUST know how many calories a day you need for your weight gain goal.  This doesn’t mean you need to count calories every single meal and carry around a calculator. It simply means you need to have somewhat of an idea of where you are and how you will get there. Sporadic eating is not my recommended method of how to gain weight.

This person desperately wanted to know how to gain weight and every time I saw him the gym he had some excuse as to why it wasn’t working. Usually it was related to his metabolism or that the weight gainer he wanted wasn’t in stock at GNC.

Let me tell you…

If you want to learn how to gain weight quickly without sending your BMI to the moon (not that I’m a fan of said indicator), you have to eat foods that help you gain weight and ENOUGH of them. Furthermore… if you want to gain weight fast without getting fat, then you bulk with the same principles as if you were on a cutting diet. Choose high calorie foods when given a choice. But keep in mind, if you truly want to gain healthy weight, this isn’t advice to stuff yourself with junk or overeat constantly. You’ll gain weight alright but it won’t be the kind you want (muscle!)

In my years of experience, when I bulked up and gained weight and fat, the biggest mistake I made was not tracking what I ate using some type of calorie counter to get a rough estimate of my situation. I always tracked my diet when I was on a calorie restricted phase (that was a given) but when I wanted to gain weight I just ate everything I could including the use of a weight gainer and the overuse of high protein foods. The path I initially took was not and is not the ideal one for how to gain weight.

Have you ever felt that way?

The simplest concept of how to gain weight is ,you need to eat more than your usual maintenance calorie intake but not so much as to just store the excess calories and get fat. And you need to eat consistently and ensure you are weight lifting to build muscle mass.  You do not need enlist the help of weight gain supplements unless you just cannot eat enough calories given your situation.  I find in most cases, people are just too lazy to eat correctly but there’s always an exception to the rule.

That should have been your “ah -ha” moment.

If you seriously want to now how to gain weight and muscle, this isn’t your cue to eat everything under the sun. In order to gain weight, lean mass and not get fat, you need to eat just over what you body needs to maintain. In this manner, you’ll provide your body with all the calories it needs to build muscle but you won’t give it so much as it stores the excess as fat. This is in conjunction with a weight training program that is progressive and demands your body grow (build muscle).

With any advice like this, you will gain some fat but you want to minimize the storage. Otherwise, the next time you get your check-up the doctor will probably give you a lecture on the BMI (I put little faith in that and I’d ask him for a body composition check!)

[ Remember that anything in excess, even protein, can be stored as fat. ]

The key is to gain healthy weight and minimize the fat gains.

Tip 2: Grocery Shopping for Those Seeking How to Build Muscle

If you are wondering how to gain weight, then don’t have bare cupboards. Go to your kitchen right now after reading this section and take a look at what you’ve got in stock.

Make sure your kitchen is fully stocked with foods that help you gain weight. There are certain foods that help you gain weight that are healthy and work wonders for putting on the weight.

Gain weight foods could be items like whole-grain breads, vegetables such as avocados and potatoes, kidney beans, and high protein food selections like lean red meat, poultry and fish.

Bare cupboards = Not the Weight Gain Diet You’re Seeking!

Bodybuilding doesn’t have to break the bank. Many times you can get bulk items for much cheaper than you think. Packages of tuna, turkey, chicken legs, pasta all are great bulking items that don’t cost a ton of money.

Perishable items like fruits and sugary laden items and condiments are usually things that cost the most. Even though they qualify as high calorie foods, you’ll want to avoid eating a bunch of processed junk.

Tip 3: Essential Meal Planning Tips for How to Gain Weight the Healthy Way

Part of performance nutrition is eating 5-6 times a day. Every 2-3 hours you should be consuming a meal consisting of a lean protein, fibrous/starchy carb and potentially a healthy fat.

If you really want to know how to gain weight, you might need to eat 5-6 times a day! And it needs to be consistent. This means no skipping meals. Some people can eat less often and get the necessary calories. In my case, having a 1500 calorie meal just wasn’t my style. I like breaking them up into smaller meals, so I’m essentially grazing but getting my nutrients and am fueled up for a workout.

Eating 3 times a day full of bacon and eggs might have worked for some of the past legends but it probably won’t do you any good.

Keeping your system flushed with nitrogen (protein) will ensure you keep all the muscle you are working to build and that you are consuming slight excess calories to gain weight. One of the concepts I like about eating smaller but frequent meals is that it keeps my hunger at bay and I can consume my daily calories when I need them instead of huge meals where I feel stuff.

If you eat a big dinner but skip snacks and have light breakfasts, that is part of the problem. The difference between those who know how to gain weight comes from people who are consistent in their eating and don’t skip meals.

Failure to plan your meals ultimately means you won’t be eating enough to gain weight and that is a big flaw in a weight gain diet (consistency and planning).

Tip 4: Nutrient Variety is Key

It happens to the best of us trying to learn how to gain weight fast… We get used to eating certain foods and we don’t budge. For a weight gain diet, this can be a killer as it drastically limits the number of calories you can eat. Plus, you will limit the nutrients and vitamins you will be able to intake. Both are essential to gain healthy weight.

Did anybody ever tell you that nutrients (and a variety of them) are essential to gain muscle? If so, lucky you have such informative friends.

Tip 5: Essential Meal Timing

While it might be socially acceptable to eat just 3 times a day, that is not acceptable for those who are serious about putting on lean muscle mass. You’ve heard all the benefits of performance nutrition and eating 5-6 times a day but re-read this…

Quality muscle gain without putting on fat requires a higher metabolism (Hint: weight lifting!) AND an excess number of calories.  In order to do just that, you need to eat frequently. That means 5-6 times a day (or more).

Tip 6: Eat, Eat and Eat [ did I mention eat ]

Don’t feel hungry?

Eat. Now in most cases, that is against the current movement but in reality, if you want to put on quality mass you have to eat regardless of your hunger levels. Eating based on your mood is not the path to gain healthy weight.

Countless people tell me they cannot eat like a 200 lb bodybuilder.

DUH! That’s because they are not a 200 lb bodybuilder (yet).

Once they eat more, gain muscle mass, they will be and it will seem like nothing to eat like a 200 lb bodybuilder. This doesn’t mean stuffing yourself with high calorie foods that are junk, gorging on food or getting sick. It means eating more and more gradually over time in order to prime your body for more frequent meal times. Slowly start adding more food to your portions until you’ve nailed your perfect gain weight diet based on your calorie needs.

All this means to you is…

A higher metabolic rate (No, not thru the thermodynamics of food but that pesky weight lifting you will be doing) and more calories! The two critical components of how to gain weight without the excess fat.

: Additional Tips on How to Gain Weight :

  • Drink plenty of water. With your additional meals and workouts, you’ll want to ensure you are properly hydrated.
  • Engage in a weight lifting program. Building muscle is a priority during your bulking phase. Since you will have plenty of energy from your carb sources, you should be fueled and primed to get some of the best and most intense workouts of your life. Now is an opportune time to build muscle.
  • Limit your cardio workouts. Cardio workouts are a tool. Use it sparingly depending on your metabolism. If you feel like you aren’t putting on weight, reduce the amount of cardio you are doing. If you feel like you are putting on a bit too much fat, increase the cardio.
  • Take weekly weight and body fat measurements. By taking a weekly measurement, you can see if the weight you are putting on is fat or muscle.

I sincerely hope this helps some of you seeking answers to how to gain weight.

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37 Responses to "How to Gain Weight Fast in 6 Simple Steps"

  1. MotivateToLift:
    April 01, 2008 08:32 pm

    Simple, yet powerful information. People need to stick to the basics…A,B,C and understand that weight gain or loss is a process, not a quick fix. Keep up the great work!!

    Leave a reply  
  2. MotivateToLift:
    April 01, 2008 08:32 pm

    Simple, yet powerful information. People need to stick to the basics…A,B,C and understand that weight gain or loss is a process, not a quick fix. Keep up the great work!!

    Leave a reply  
  3. karen:
    August 04, 2008 09:38 am

    i need to put on weight how do i go about it,i need the weight all over

    Leave a reply  
  4. karen:
    August 04, 2008 09:38 am

    i need to put on weight how do i go about it,i need the weight all over

    Leave a reply  
  5. Juan:
    October 25, 2008 01:32 pm

    Excellent advice! I'm 5'9..113 pounds, and my nutritionist put me on a 6 meal per day diet, almost as identical as this. I used to be one of those who ate a lot without much consciousness. Now, i've noticed that as time has passed, and as I eat more, I frequently get more hungry. I still haven't checked my weight, but it does feel good to eat a lot, and healthy too.

    Leave a reply  
  6. Anonymous:
    December 10, 2008 11:19 pm

    Hola a todos ,,,,,,,,bueno la verdead es que me gustaria subir de peso pero no puedo lograrlo si alquien me pudiera dar un consejo para lograr mi meta que es subir de peso se los agradeseria mucho

    Leave a reply  
  7. michaelket34:
    January 20, 2009 04:51 am

    Very helpful article. Just stick to the basics and you're good to go. So often people fall to the general trap where they try to find shortcuts or the 'magic remedy', which very often doesn't exist.

    Leave a reply  
  8. calories in avocado:
    January 28, 2009 09:29 am

    One might want to look at creatine and good hydration, this is not the best way I guess but it does work quickly. The creatine causes muscles to absorb more water and thus bloat.

    Leave a reply  
  9. Weight Loss Diet:
    February 04, 2009 10:32 pm

    Effective tips to be healthy.Whether you want to gain or loose your weight ,proper planning is required.

    Leave a reply  
  10. emofree:
    May 11, 2009 10:48 pm

    well you still need to eat balance food if you wanted to gain weight because sometimes when you gain wait it will result on obesity which isn't healthy.

    Leave a reply  
  11. survivordean:
    August 26, 2009 11:44 pm

    The “Eating based on your mood is not the path to healthy weight gain” principle is great. I must put this law in my everyday routine. You know, I am a skinny man who regularly lift dumbbells (hammer and concentration curl, 30 reps/ 2 sets) to gain muscles but still “very” hardgainer.

    Leave a reply  
  12. Litos Morales:
    September 17, 2009 04:15 pm

    This is very helpful information. I've been looking for some type of advice and this gives me all I need to know. I'm glad this website is iPhone compatible. I have it saved in my bookmarks.

    Leave a reply  
  13. ssssurve:
    November 12, 2009 11:34 pm

    Hi frnds,
    I hadbeen joined jym since past 5 month, i check my weight every week bt it's nt gain so please send me some tips about how to gain my weight.

    Satish Surve

    Leave a reply  
  14. everythingcalories:
    January 19, 2010 06:50 pm

    I agree to that weight gain/loss can be controlled to a certain extend by having a good knowledge about the amount of calories you intake with your diet.

    Leave a reply  
  15. everythingcalories:
    January 20, 2010 02:50 am

    I agree to that weight gain/loss can be controlled to a certain extend by having a good knowledge about the amount of calories you intake with your diet.

    Leave a reply  
  16. camaren:
    April 20, 2010 03:32 pm

    but its like im trying but its not helping at all

    Leave a reply  
  17. Pradeep Singh:
    May 28, 2010 09:26 am

    Awesome information , I'm going to plan my meal per day 5-6 time , and hope that it work for me …… (: thanks buddy

    Leave a reply  
    1. JAnje:
      October 19, 2010 09:29 am

      Thank you, i need to eat starting now…lol

      Leave a reply  
  18. how to gain weight:
    August 29, 2010 08:30 am

    Make sure you have the calories up there too! More than 500 calories per meal

    Leave a reply  
  19. litos morales:
    September 01, 2010 02:03 pm

    Wouldn’t someone loose more weight if he exercised around 4 times a week with a high metabolism?

    Leave a reply  
  20. willie:
    December 06, 2010 05:52 am

    the music at the end is epic

    Leave a reply  
  21. Marvinlucero30:
    December 10, 2010 06:47 am

    tnx men…i hope this one works..
    i hate being thin..

    Leave a reply  
  22. Wade McMaster:
    December 20, 2010 08:25 am

    I think its a major mistake, constantly repeated that people just eat anything they can to gain weight, and as you said, its a god way to gain fat…

    Leave a reply  
  23. Deleishaparkinson:
    February 25, 2011 10:40 pm

    i really need help with gaining weight other than eating every thing that comes in my path that is edable

    Leave a reply  
  24. Wayne:
    March 10, 2011 03:40 pm

    Nice info and tips there, but maybe you could reveal some examples like which food source to get carbo and proteins from?

    Leave a reply  
  25. Mozzi:
    May 12, 2011 06:08 am

    6 meals a day is not needed and eating times other than eating around your actual workouts are not important, just lift weights and get your allocated cals and macros in any way that you find comfortable and convenient. Surplus cals gain weight, deficit lose, maintenance stay same. Best tip ever, protein only needs to be 1 gram per 1lb of ‘lean muscle’ fill the other macros as you please and don’t believe the hype.

    Leave a reply  
  26. Martha Billy.:
    June 29, 2011 01:41 pm

    Thanks pal for the weight gain tips but this EAT eat strategy just cant get into my head,personally i have a serious eating problem ie i dont have the apetite I only wish you touched on that too.Oh my!how and where do i get the apetite from to EAT and EAT.Thanks pal.

    Leave a reply  
  27. Ntombie Ncana:
    August 08, 2011 02:49 pm

    5-6 times that is a lot for people who do not have all the ingrendients

    Leave a reply  
  28. al12:
    May 30, 2012 01:11 pm

    WoW this is the worst nutritional website there is out there. Eating too much will only make you sick and sluggish. It is important to do cardio and eat moderate portions regardless of your body mass. This isn’t a BS comment, it’s the TRUTH.

    Leave a reply  
    1. Marc:
      May 30, 2012 01:24 pm

      Your comment is such bulls**t. This is a NoBull blog. Take a hike piker.

      Leave a reply  
  29. melissa:
    July 22, 2012 06:31 am

    i am 30 year old female i am trying to gain weight i am 5’1 and i weigh 106 lbs im looking to get up to 120 atleast but i eat and eat and eat and never gain weight i dont look sickly i just feel like i should have a bit more fat on my body i need suggestions do i work out to build body muscle first than work on building on the fat or do i not workout people say to do that to build muscle and tone than itll help you gain weight?

    Leave a reply  
  30. Issa:
    August 30, 2012 02:51 am

    very helpful tips, but i wander how a person will manage for 5-6 times meals while s/he hardly gets 3 times meals. and interstingly the problem is with those who are not rich enough; like me??????

    Leave a reply  
    1. Marc:
      August 31, 2012 08:20 am

      Meal splitting is common for people who can’t sit down and eat a huge calorie meal. Multiple meals feels more like snacking than a huge sit down meal and for people looking to gain weight, it’s a proven strategy to get all the required calories over time. In essence, it isn’t that much more food, just split up. If you wanted to just eat 3 times a day, assuming you could get enough calories in and it worked with your training schedule, that would be fine. As far as “wealth” it’s a mere ~500 calories more. That could be a couple of extra peanut butter scoops, a bagel or any other lower cost higher calorie food. No need to shop organic and such to add a bit of high quality calories. Bottom line, eating is becoming more expensive for us folks in the United States. No matter how you slice it, it’s going to cost more to eat more to pack on weight. Unless you look to high calorie low quality foods which presents an entirely different health issue.

      Leave a reply  
  31. raju kanojiya:
    November 27, 2012 05:07 am

    dear sir… my name is raju kumar kanojiya,i very thin… but i want a fat and healthy man…so plz advice me.. with regards… rajukumar kanojiya

    Leave a reply  
  32. shivani:
    December 24, 2012 03:32 am

    plz telme hw can i gain my weight ?

    help me???????????????

    Leave a reply  

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