How To Eat For Weight Gain
We talk a lot about weight loss on this blog. But what if you wanted to gain weight instead? Maybe you're underweight and need to put on a few pounds. Or you've been skinny your whole life and would like to put on some muscle.
How would you go about it in a way that is healthy, and not result in excessive FAT GAIN as well?
Eat 10% calorie surplus daily to gain muscle but minimize fat gain.
Eat fast within the first 20 minutes of the meal to hack your brain.
Continue to choose quality foods as bad quality foods at the same calorie intake will still affect your overall body composition.
Everything regarding weight loss and weight gain rises and falls on Energy Balance.
As we've mentioned numerous times before, losing weight involves eating LESS than your body requires.
Hence, logically, gaining weight involves eating MORE than your body requires.
This is confirmed in multiple scientific studies showing that a calorie surplus increases muscle protein synthesis, as well as better performance in the gym.
However, there is a limit, as eating TOO many calories will no longer boost muscle growth and cause significant fat gain instead.
So how much is too much?
1. Eat 110% of your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)
TDEE refers to the total amount of energy your body uses in a day in terms of calories. It takes into account your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) as well as your average activity level.
So how do you calculate your TDEE in the first place?
Simple. Just Google "TDEE Calculator" and you'll get tons of results!
Having said that, there are different methods of calculating TDEE, and I've found that the one provided by Legion Athletics is the most accurate so far, and it's the one I personally use.
Whatever your TDEE result is, multiply that by "1.1".
For example, if my TDEE was 3,000 calories.
3,000 X 1.1 = 3,300 calories
I would have to consume a total of 3,300 calories a day at a 10% surplus of my TDEE.
At a 10% surplus, you are at the point where muscle gain is optimized.
Any additional calories, you would not experience any significant increase in muscle mass while gaining significantly more fat.
2. Eat Fast
If you are currently underweight, or skinny by nature, chances are you are currently at a calorie deficit. And to increase your consumption to a 10% surplus overnight might prove more difficult than you think.
Using this psychological trick might help you to consume more food without much more effort.
As our brain requires at least 20 minutes in order to receive signals from our stomach signaling fullness, by eating fast, we are able to consume more than we normally would.
This is why you often see bodybuilders, powerlifters, strongmen, professional people who are trying to gain weight for a living, chomp down on their food like it's the apocalypse.
So take advantage of this 20 minutes rule and eat as much as you can in the first 20 minutes of your meal.
3. Eat Mostly Whole Foods
While energy balance most important for weight loss and weight gain, it isn't entirely the whole story.
While a calorie is a calorie, regardless of where the calories come from when it comes to weight loss. It's a completely different story when it comes to your body composition (body fat and muscle %).
A calorie of protein has very different effects on your body compared to a calorie of carbohydrate or fat.
Hence, while trying to bulk up, you also want to focus on the quality of calories and ensure that you are consuming adequate amounts of protein.
So that's all you need to know if you're looking to gain weight quickly while minimizing fat gain.
If you want to lose weight? Do the opposite of points 1 and 2.