What is really the best way to gain weight and muscle as a skinny person?? Being skinny might seem like a blessing for some people, particularly when compared to carrying excessive fat around in your body, but being underweight also comes with a number of potential problems.
Not only do you have to worry about picking up a girl with a skinny body, but you also need to take the potential risks that come with being underweight into account.
Gaining muscle mass adds to your physique. That is common sense.
What you may not realize is that a healthy amount of muscle mass in your body could also lead to potential positive effects related to your general well-being.
The problem that does come into play here is that gaining weight is not always as easy as you would think.
We explore the best way to gain weight and muscle for skinny guys in this post – from changing how and what you eat, to implementing an appropriate exercise plan to develop lean muscle mass.
We will also consider a couple of useful supplements that could help to speed up your results.
Table of contents:
- The Basic Principles Of Gaining Weight
- Eating Right For Weight Gain
- Creating a Caloric Surplus
- Focus On Food That Is High In Protein
- Eat Food That Is Caloric Dense
- Consider Adding Some Mass Gainer Shakes To Your Daily Routine
- Make Your Own Weight Gainer Shake
- The Role Of Exercise In Gaining Weight And Muscle
- How Supplements Can Be Helpful In Your Journey
The Basic Principles Of Gaining Weight
If you have been finding it hard to gain weight, particularly as muscle mass, then you need to start at the basics. This means you need to educate yourself on the basic principles behind weight management – and, in particular, learn how exactly it works when a skinny person needs to gain weight.
When it comes to weight management, there are two factors that need to be taken into account. These include:
- Calorie intake: This refers to the number of calories that you consume through foods and drinks on a day-to-day basis.
- Calorie expenditure: This refers to how many calories you burn every day through physical activity – this includes calories burnt during inactivity as well, which is a factor affected by your resting metabolism.
If you are trying to simply maintain your weight at the level it is at right now, then you need to implement a diet where your calorie intake and calorie expenditure are the same.
When you exert more calories than what you consume on a daily basis, then it means you will be losing weight. This type of scenario is most often referred to as a calorie deficit.
When it comes to weight gain, you need to create an imbalance between the two elements discussed above.
You will only be able to gain weight – whether that is in muscle mass or fat mass – when your daily caloric intake surpasses the number of calories you exert through physical activity. This is generally referred to as a caloric surplus – you get more calories than you burn.
This is the only real way to gain weight – but we do need to get a little more technical. When you are looking to gain weight, you most likely to not want to gain that weight in the form of fat. You want to increase your lean muscle mass.
Simply creating a diet where your calorie intake is higher than your calorie expenditure without considering what you eat will not help you gain muscle mass.
Instead, this might make you more likely to gain that extra weight you need as fat.
Eating Right For Weight Gain
“You are what you eat” – this is a scenario where you need to take this reference into account.
Create a caloric surplus by eating takeouts and greasy foods, and you are sure to find the fat piling up in your stomach area, as well as the rest of your body. Sure, you will be gaining weight, but not in a healthy way.
In fact, the fat that accumulates in your body with these foods can cause a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and make you more likely to become obese.
On the other hand, implement a diet that ensures you eat foods that are rich in the essential nutrients your body needs, along with appropriate levels of protein and complex carbs – in this case, you are sure to find that you will be able to gain weight in a much healthier way.
With the right diet, you will be able to experience better energy levels in the gym – plus your muscle tissue will develop faster with each weight training session you participate in.
Creating a Caloric Surplus
The first step to gaining weight through your diet is to create a caloric surplus – but in a healthy way. This starts by increasing your daily caloric intake. You will need to consider how active you are before you start working out a plan to create a caloric surplus.
If you are not sure how to calculate the number of calories you burn every day, then getting your hands on an activity tracker is definitely something worth considering.
The Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker is an excellent example of a simple wearable device that gives you the ability to track the calories you burn through everyday activities effectively.
The device has an affordable price tag and even lets you set the specific activity that you will be performing.
If your budget is strict, consider something like the K-Berho Fitness Tracker HR – available for less than $30.
When you know how much calories you burn on a daily basis, then you can develop a diet plan that focuses on ensuring you eat more calories than the number you exert.
If you are skinny and find it difficult to eat more, then you should consider dividing your meals more effectively.
Instead of focusing on two or three big meals per day, rather try to eat smaller meals.
This way, you can eat more frequently and keep your body full – thus also ensuring you have an adequate supply of nutrients to give you more power and strength during exercise routines.
Start your day with breakfast. Make lunch and dinner a priority too. Then make sure you eat in between these meals as well – this could be small meals if you prefer, just be sure to reach your daily caloric requirement.
Focus On Food That Is High In Protein
Protein is one of the most critical factors that you need to add to your daily diet if you wish to build muscle mass and gain weight. In fact, looking at any guide about the best way to gain weight and muscle will inform you to add more protein to your diet.
Protein helps with the synthesis of muscle tissue and can also assist with factors like muscle recovery and strength.
In addition to helping with the production of muscle tissue, protein also forms as a building block for hormones and organs. In fact, every single part of your body depends on the presence of protein for adequate functionality.
There are many foods that are naturally high in protein.
Consider adding a good balance of both animal and plant-based protein sources for your diet to maximize the benefits you gain from this particular nutrient.
Some of the most important sources of protein that you need to ensure you add to your diet include:
- Chicken breast
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Lean beef
- Ezekiel bread
- Turkey breast
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Brussels Sprouts
Eat Food That Is Caloric Dense
In addition to adding protein-rich foods to your diet, you also need to focus on food that is high in calories.
This is important since calories form the basis of weight gain – as we have mentioned previously, you need to ensure you eat more calories than the amount you burn on a daily basis.
Let’s consider some of the best high-caloric foods that you can add to your diet to help you reach your daily calorie goal faster and easier:
- Cream cheese – each tablespoon contains 50 calories
- Avocado – half an avocado contains 180 calories
- Baked beans – you get 190 calories in half a cup of baked beans
- Butter – there are 102 calories in a tablespoon
- Eggs – one egg contains an average of 78 calories
- Granola cereal – a single serving offers 135 calories
- Cheese – 115 calories in a single slice
Consider Adding Some Mass Gainer Shakes To Your Daily Routine
When it comes to creating a diet that focuses on helping you gain more muscle mass, you might find that reaching your calorie requirement with just a few meals each day can be hard. With this in mind, you might want to consider adding some mass gainer shakes to your daily routine.
These shakes are specifically designed to help you reach your goal calorie intake, while also providing you access to high-quality protein, amino acids, and other nutrients that boost muscle tissue development during intense workout sessions.
There are quite a few different options for you to choose from when looking at mass gainer shakes. Do make sure to research the top options and find one that is appropriate for you.
We share a couple of useful options that you should consider if you are looking to make a mass gainer shake part of your daily life.
NAKED Nutrition Chocolate Less Naked Mass
First is the NAKED Nutrition Chocolate Less Naked Mass. This is an ideal shake if you are finding it exceptionally difficult to reach an appropriate daily calorie intake. The product is one of the highest calorie options that you will find on the market – providing a total of 1,360 calories in each serving.
The NAKED Nutrition Chocolate Less Naked Mass supplement contains no soy and is also a gluten-free product.
There are no artificial ingredients used. Instead, the company focuses on providing an all-natural weight gainer. You can choose between vanilla or chocolate flavors. The supplement is also available in an unflavoured option.
In addition to the high caloric content, the NAKED Nutrition Chocolate Less Naked Mass supplement also contains 251 grams of carbs and 50 grams of protein in each serving.
You also get a good dose of BCAAs, which are essential amino acids that further helps with the synthesis of muscle tissue.
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder
Another option to consider is the Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder. This one comes at a slightly lower price point than the previous option we suggested and gives you 12 pounds of protein powder in a single container.
If your budget is tight, you can also select a smaller six-pound bag instead.
The Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder comes in a variety of flavor options – allowing you to choose between chocolate, banana, vanilla, strawberry, cookies and cream, and a chocolate peanut butter option.
Each serving gives you a total of 1,250 calories, along with a 50-gram dose of protein.
There is a 252-gram dose of carbohydrates in each serving as well. The protein powder comes enriched with 25 different vitamins and minerals.
In addition to these ingredients, the powder also contains both glutamine and creatine to maximize the benefits you will gain from the product.
Make Your Own Weight Gainer Shake
If you prefer to avoid the weight gainer shakes that are available on the market, why not consider making your own.
You will only need a few ingredients to help boost your daily caloric intake, while also giving your body essential nutrients – including protein – to enhance muscle growth during weight training sessions.
There are different recipes that you can use to make a weight gainer shake without the use of these supplements.
For a quick 1,000 calorie boost through the use of a homemade weight gainer shake, try combining these ingredients:
- About one banana
- One tablespoon of peanut butter
- About 100 grams of oats
- A cup of whole milk
- Two scoops of your preferred whey protein powder
You will need to ensure you buy a high-quality whey protein powder. There are a lot of options to choose from on the market, but they are not all equal in terms of quality.
The powder should also give you a high dose of protein to support your efforts to enhance your lean muscle growth.
Here are a few options to consider when adding whey protein powder to your homemade mass gainer shake:
- Pure Label Nutrition Grass Fed Whey Protein – 24 grams of protein per serving
- Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate – 25 grams of protein per serving
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder – 24 grams of protein per serving
The Role Of Exercise In Gaining Weight And Muscle
Once you have sorted your diet and created a plan that will allow for a caloric surplus, the next step would be to implement an appropriate exercise plan into your lifestyle. This can be a tough one – as a skinny guy, you might find that your strength still lacks somewhat.
This means you should not push yourself too much during the earlier stages of your program.
Instead, start out slowly and then work your way up.
The caloric surplus that you created earlier will become exceptionally helpful during this step of your program. You do need to ensure that you add an adequate amount of physical activity to your daily life. This is critical when you create a caloric surplus.
When you fail to burn through enough calories, the excess calories that you get from food will be turned into fat cells instead of being used as a source for energy.
The food you eat serves as a way for your body to generate energy – this essentially helps you get through an intense training session.
Additionally, the food also contributes to the recovery of muscles – a critical factor to lean mass development. This factor comes into play after you have performed an intense workout.
Weight lifting is definitely your best option to opt for when looking to not only gain weight but also to increase your muscle mass.
When you perform cardio or aerobic exercises only, you will be burning through calories without fully activating your muscles. You need strength training workouts, with a particular focus on weight lifting, in order to produce bigger muscles.
There are a few factors that you should take into account when you start to implement weight training to your muscle-building routine.
The tips that we look at below are particularly tailored toward skinny guys who are looking for the best way to gain weight and muscle.
- Start with free weights instead of directly opting for the weight machines at the gym. Free weights are often considered to be a more effective way of building muscle mass. This is primarily due to the fact that you will be in control of balancing the weights – with a machine, the weights are balanced for you. This can make the activity less effective.
- Start with a smaller weight. When you take advantage of free weights, it means you are able to increase the weight of the barbell by one pound at a time. Thus, you can take things slowly. As you increase your resistance and strength, you can slowly add more weight in order to get better results from each workout.
- Do not overlook the importance of compound exercises. These can help to target more muscle groups than weight lifting alone. Compound exercises can further contribute to muscle growth. At the same time, these exercises are also helpful for boosting muscle strength. Excellent examples of compound exercises that a skinny guy should consider include rows, bench presses, deadlifts, and squats.
- Make progressive overload a priority. Each time you hit the gym, try to increase the weights you lift a little compared to the previous session you had.
How Supplements Can Be Helpful In Your Journey
When you implement a caloric surplus into your program, you may still find that you lack strength in the gym, or the results are not what you expected them to be. This is quite normal – it can be hard to add all the nutrients your muscles need to grow larger and stronger into your diet.
The good news is there are several supplements that may be helpful to give you an extra boost.
Do note that many of the muscle building supplements that are out there right now tend to make impossible promises. Make sure you opt for one with realistic claims – and one with a proven record.
Below are a couple of great muscle building supplements that you could consider taking.
They give you a good balance between essential amino acids, as well as natural ingredients that may boost your strength and endurance during a workout session.
- Jacked Factory Nitro Surge Pre Workout Supplement – Take this supplement about 30 minutes before you start with your workout. The product contains a range of ingredients that are able to help boost blood circulation during your workout, allowing more nutrients to reach your muscle tissue. The product can help to increase muscle and strength gains, enhance your energy levels, and give you a clear mind.
- Legion Athletics Legion Recharge Post Workout Supplement – This is an excellent example of a muscle building supplement you can take after your workout. Wait at least 15 minutes after your workout session ends before you take the supplement. It will help to speed up recovery while also further contributing to muscle growth.
Skinny guys often find it difficult to gain weight. Being underweight is something that causes problems with both the mental well-being of a person, as well as poses several potential physical risks.
Finding the best way to gain weight and muscle should start by assessing your current lifestyle.
We shared a few helpful tips to help you determine why weight gain might be an issue for you at the moment.
We also shared the basics of weight gaining for skinny guys – which essentially include implementing an appropriate diet and making frequent strength training exercises part of your life.