A lot of people who are skinny wish they could gain weight and a muscular physique, but don’t know where to start. And going to the gym can be intimidating when you’re a beginner. The myth is that skinny guys like me always say they can eat anything they want without gaining weight because they’re blessed with high metabolism. The truth is that skinny guys like me aren’t eating enough calories, our ‘eat anything and everything we want’ amount of food is not enough for our weight gain. Even if you have a fast metabolism, you’ll need to eat more to gain weight. Couple that with strength training and you’ll go from skinny to muscular.
1. Track Calories:
Skinny guys (like me ._.) often overestimate what they eat. You need at least your body weight in lbs x 20kcal daily to gain weight. Read the labels to check on the food calories and track your daily intake. I personally use the S Health app on my Samsung Galaxy S4 to track my daily food calories intake.
The S Health app allows you to even take a photo of your food, search for your food category in the existing database with estimated calories included (or you could always add a new type of food) and it amounts it to a total number of calories daily.
2. Eat Every 3 Hours
Skinny people need at least your body weight in lbs x 20kcal to gain weight. That’s 2,600 kcal/day if my weight is 130lbs (60kg). If you’re an active person (like me) who plays sports, have a physical job or moves around alot, you’ll need even more calories by adding on the ideal kcal/day intake. The effective way to do that is to eat every 3 hours daily.
Try not to skip breakfast as it gives you the kickstart of the day and is considered the most important meal of the day. Get the calories from the first hour during breakfast. Then you can opt to prepare double portions while making breakfast; 1 portion for work/school, 1 portion when you get back. Or if you often eat out, then you’ll have to discipline yourself to set the timing and get more food when the time comes. Snacks such as mixed nuts, fruits, yogurt, eggs, sandwiches, milk and protein shakes will do you well for your weight gain as well. Don’t forget your post-workout meal too as physical activities burn calories. Eat more to get back the energy.
3. Eat Calories Dense Food
These days I always opt for only certain food with dense calories (trying not to stay so skinny anymore lol). Imagine 100g of rice is about 380kcal and 100g of spinach is about 25kcal. Of course it would make sense that a skinny person needs to eat more rice (because it’s high in calories) in order to get his daily calories intake higher. Here are some good options of food with high calories:
Pasta – 100g of pasta is about 380kcal and easier to ingest than rice.
Whole Milk – Drink a gallon of whole milk per day on top of your current food intake. Protein shake works better but if not, milk works fine too.
Nuts – Mixed nuts and natural peanut butter have +500kcal/100g, about 50% healthy fats and 25% protein. Use mixed nuts as snacks during breaks and peanut butter in sandwiches whenever you’re a little hungry.
Steak & Potatoes – Another option of high calorie foods for skinny guys like me can include the traditional steak and baked potato meal. People became big and strong eating this traditional meal for centuries before the invention of protein shakes.
Fish - Most fish is a great source of high quality protein and delivers over 20 grams per 6 ounce on average. Not to mention, they are typically packed with supercharged omega-3 fats.
and many more…
4. Get Stronger
You want to go from skinny to muscular, not from skinny to chubby. Do some strength training exercises. More strength means more muscle.
Free Weights – Force you to stabilize the weight and allow for natural motions. Start light, focus on technique and add weight progressively.
Compound Exercises – Do exercises that work your whole body from top to bottom. Squats, Deadlifts, Overhead Press, Bench Press, Planks, Pull Ups, Dips, etc..
Squats – Leg exercises stresses your whole body. When you can squat 1.5x your body weight for 1 rep, you’ll no longer be skinny. Squat often and you’ll see results.
Rest – Very important! Muscle grow when you rest, not when you workout. Don’t overwork your body by training daily because it still needs rest too. Sleep well, drink 1 gallon of water daily and eat fruits/vegetables.
5. Track Progress
Lastly, remember to track all your progress – from workout, to calories burned, calories intake, etc.. Success breeds success. Knowing that you’re losing your skinny look will keep you motivated. As I mentioned in the first point earlier, I personally use my smartphone to track my progress as it’s much more convenient than having another device to carry around for tracking. S Health by Samsung offers few good tracking features and I think it’s sufficient for people who want to gain weight like me and it’s also better for people who want to lose weight because you could track your calories burned using Walking Mate & Exercise Mate.
Hopefully these tips will help all the skinny guys out there. I recently just trying this out myself too, so it might take months to see the real result. Oh don’t forget, don’t expect to see immediate result and don’t give up too fast. Consistency and determination is key