Gaining weight can be difficult for some, but the science behind it is really easy. All you need to do is consume more calories than your body burns for energy. However, that doesn’t mean loading up on junk or oily food all day – these can make you gain weight, but in the form of unwanted body fat.
In the past, I also had trouble understanding why I couldn’t seem to gain weight – even if I kept stuffing myself with food all day. In this article, I lay out some of the primary reasons why you have difficulty gaining weight no matter how much you eat.
If you are a skinny person who faces challenges in gaining weight, this post can help hit your fitness goals. After reading this, you can make the necessary adjustments to your diet and exercise activities, and finally be on your way to packing on lean pounds.
What stops you from gaining lean weight?
It makes sense to just go on a non-stop eating spree all day if you want to gain weight. But to gain lean muscle, you just can’t go around eating burgers, fries, chips, candy bars, or soda from morning to night – unless your goal is to get chubby arms or a bulging belly.
Check out some of the reasons why you can’t seem to get that lean physique that you want:
Eating the Wrong Food
The quality of the food you eat matters the most if you are trying to gain weight. As an example, eating 100 calories of French fries can have significantly different effects on your body than 100 calories of quinoa.
Junk foods are typically loaded with calories, refined carbs, and unhealthy fats. These highly processed foods usually have a poor nutritional value – leaving your body with low amounts of nutrients that can be used for building muscle.
What you need are nutritious and calorie-dense foods, such as chicken, fish, milk, legumes, nuts, or sweet potatoes. Instead of snacking on a sugar-loaded candy bar, fix yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with whole wheat bread, which gives you extra protein, healthy fats, and clean carbs.
A Fast Metabolism
Some people seem to have little trouble packing on lean pounds of muscle. But if you are one of those who seem to have a faster body metabolism, you will probably have a harder time gaining weight.
Your metabolism is the rate at which your body uses energy or burns calories. If you have a fast metabolism, that means that your body tends to burn off calories much quicker.
Even if you have a high body metabolism, that’s no reason to feel discouraged. Just stick with the basics of gaining weight – consume more healthy calories to achieve a caloric surplus at the end of the day.
If you have trouble finishing 3 large meals, divide those into smaller portions that you can eat throughout the day. Snack on nutritious treats, such as dried fruit, protein bars, oats, nuts, or yogurt.
By doing so, you give your body a constant supply of nutrients and calories – allowing you to slowly build muscle mass and protect existing muscle tissue from getting burned off into energy.
Drinking Too Much Water
Drinking water is essential to survival – but drinking too much water can make it harder for you to gain lean weight.
Water is a calorie-free beverage and it can take up valuable real estate in your stomach. A study published in 2011 showed that drinking 2 cups of water before each meal caused weight loss, probably because it makes a person eat less.
Instead of drinking water right before eating, try drinking it in-between your meals instead.
Working out is an important part of your weight gain journey. Doing the wrong exercise, however, can end up with you losing weight instead of growing in size.
If you are planning to effectively bulk up, you might want to cut down on aerobic and cardio exercise – as these are meant to burn fat and tone muscle.
To help you build mass, you are better off doing push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, or bench press sets. These exercises engage major muscle groups at once. When done properly and regularly, your muscles get to increase in size and strength.
Not Getting Adequate Sleep
Muscle growth only takes place while you are at rest, not during exercise. After exercising, you need to nourish your muscles with the right nutrients and give them time to recover.
Lack of sleep can also make you feel stressed out all day – which can either lead to unhealthy weight gain or unwanted weight loss.
To help your body build mass effectively, it is recommended that you get at least 7 to 9 hours of deep sleep every day.
Is There a Way to Gain Weight Faster?
Building a lean physique doesn’t happen overnight. There will be those times when you just don’t feel like working out or skipping out on a healthy meal. It happens to everyone, so you don’t have to feel bad about yourself.
At the end of the day, what’s important is you get back on track and stay focused on your long-term goal of building a muscular body. Keep in mind that gaining weight is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Just stay consistent with your exercise, your diet, and your healthy lifestyle, and you should be hitting your fitness goal in no time.
Can Drinking a Mass Gainer Help You Grow in Size?
If you want to have an easier time hitting a caloric surplus each day, adding a weight gain shake to your diet can help.
Mass gainers are packed with high amounts of calories, protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Some may also contain performance-boosting compounds, such as creatine. Some also feature vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, or added amino acids to help you build muscle faster.
A weight gain shake, however, should not take the place of your everyday meals. Just drink it to supply your body with extra calories and protein, particularly after working out or in-between your meals.
So.. What’s next?
Planning to add a mass gainer to your diet? Check out this post to find out the Best Mass Gainers for Skinny Guys.