Are you looking to gain weight and bulk up? If you want to achieve your weight gain goals then your diet needs to be right. You can do lots of exercise but without the right diet (a more in-depth article on bulking can be read here) you won’t reach your full potential.
People often see pictures of bodybuilders online and think they will be able to achieve results in a matter of weeks. In reality, it takes months of hard work and dedication. If you are up for the challenge and are determined to gain weight then here is what you need to do.
What should you eat to gain weight?
Those wanting to gain weight should eat high amounts of protein and medium amounts of carbs. Do not eat large amounts of carbohydrates because excess carbs will lead to you putting on fat rather than muscle.
Good sources of protein include foods such as steak, steak mince, lamb, game, chicken, turkey and eggs.
What a lot of people don’t realise is that to gain weight you need to eat medium to high amounts of fat. Fat has been demonised in the fitness industry which is a shame because it is a vital part of our diet.
You should include medium to high amounts of fat in your diet if you want to gain weight because fat is dense in calories. With fat you get a lot more calories compared to the equivalent carb amount.
The types of fats you should eat include nuts, oils (uncooked in natural state), avocados, oily fish such as mackerel and sardines and also coconut oil.
Good sources of carbohydrates include foods such as basmati rice, oats, white and sweet potatoes. Remember to also eat lots of vegetables to get the nutrients you need to stay healthy while you are training. Especially green vegetables, because they are generally more nutritious than other colours. For example broccoli, spinach and green beans.
How much should you be eating?
The carbohydrate/protein breakdown you need will vary from person to person. Protein replenishes the muscles, so this is more set, but the amount of carbs you should eat will depend on how active you are and your bodyweight.
It’s difficult to say exactly how much of each food group people who want to gain weight should be eating. This is because it depends so much on the individual. For example, some people do better eating slightly more carbs whereas others can thrive without them. How much you need to eat depends on your body weight, height, age and metabolic rate.
If you are looking to gain weight your protein intake should be between 1.5 and 2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight protein a day. For example you if you weigh 70 kilograms, this would mean you need to consume between 105 and 140 grams of protein per day.
A lot of professional athletes and bodybuilders consume large amounts of eggs. Eggs are very nutritious because provide both fat and protein. They have a very high biological value, (around 100) which is how quickly protein is absorbed and how much is used by the body.
Eggs can should be boiled or poached so you don’t increase the trans fats while frying. However, if you make scrambled eggs make sure you cook them in butter instead of oil. Other proteins which have high biological value include chicken, turkey and white fish.
Don't forget to supplement!
As well as eating the right foods, you can take a whey protein blend that has extra carbs in to help you gain weight. To save some money, buy a standard whey protein and add extra oats.
Of course if you want to gain weight you won’t be able to do this without exercise. Eating a high calorie diet will help you to gain weight but you won’t put on the right sort of weight if you don’t exercise.
If you want to build muscle then you will need to train at least four to five times a week. The more regularly you can train the quicker you will gain muscle. The sort of exercises you should be doing include compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench press and pull ups. These are the most ‘bang for your buck’ exercises for gaining muscles.