The most important key to packing on muscle for those of you struggling to gain weight is nutrition. People sometimes tend to shy away from this aspect because it’s difficult, but it’s very necessary. The first thing to do if you are a hard gainer is to start tracking everything you eat to see where you are. I find smartphone apps the easiest and most efficient way to track my food, but do what works best for you. Once you have a feel for that, take a look at the total calories and protein you consume on a daily basis. If you’re trying to gain muscle and have a fast metabolism, you should at least be getting 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Ideally, you should also get a healthy balance of fats and carbohydrates. Between 30 and 40 percent of your calories should come from protein and the rest can be split between carbohydrates and fat. For example, I aim for a diet of 35% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 25% fat. Although you should eat healthy, you should still eat a ton if you’re a hard gainer. If you’re exercising most days, you should eat about 1,000 calories above your base caloric intake to start. However, you will want to tailor this based on how your body responds. So once you’re consuming a large caloric surplus and eating at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight in healthy foods, you’re well on your way to growing.
The Right Supplements Can Help You
I would like to stress first if you don’t want to spend the money or are against using supplements for any reason, that’s fine, they are not required for weight gain. That being said, they are quite useful, especially when you are trying to increase your protein intake and gain weight. I previously talked about mass gainers and how they are mostly empty calories and I stand by that. Mass Gainers are essentially just protein powders packed with a bunch of extra empty calories. I would recommend taking a simple whey protein shake to help add extra healthy calories and protein. You’ll be better off and save money by having a protein shake or two and eating healthier foods instead of using mass gainers. One trick I used when I was initially trying to gain weight, and still use today from time to time, is to drink a protein shake before bed. This is a great way to add a few extra calories and help fuel muscle growth overnight.