How to Gain Weight 101 – All You Need to Know

how to gain weight

How to Gain Weight 101 – All You Need to Know

You see it everywhere: How to lose weight

But you probably might have never seen anywhere in the media on how to gain weight. Well I got your solution!

When losing weight or gaining weight, you have to understand what macronutrients are. All food sources are classified mainly into macronutrients.

 There are 3 macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates, and fats.

  1. Carbohydrates (4 Cal/g) – They provide quick sources of energy.
  2. Protein (4 Cal/g) – They are the building blocks of your body and they help repair and synthesise tissue.
  3. Fat (9 Cal/g) – They help regulate metabolism and cognitive function as well as store energy in the body for later use.

and they may contain micronutrients

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

It’s recommended that you check out what Macronutrients and Micronutrients are so you come out with overall knowledge on how to gain weight.

As you can see, fats contain 9 Calories per gram so they are dense in calories. If you’re trying to gain weight, it is recommended that you consume more fatty foods (Good fats) as they pack the calories easily.

Protein can fill you up and satisfy you easily so you should not over eat protein.

How Much Should I Eat?

When your granny wants you to eat, just eat! It’s a life or death decision!

I probably could have guessed that you tried eating as much as you can and did not see visible results.

If you eat whatever you can without understanding what you eat then it would be difficult to gain weight.

You will need a clear goal – count your calories – here’s how to do it.

  • You need to calculate your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure AKA Maintenance Calories) using a TDEE Calculator here then go below to the Macronutrients tab and click Bulking and find how much protein, carbs, and fats you need to eat.

Your TDEE is how much calories your body uses for metabolic functions and your activity levels. (Yes, you do burn calories for just living!)

Let’s say my TDEE is 2,100 Calories a day. Which means I burn 2,100 Calories a day. If I eat less than my TDEE I will lose weight, if I eat more than my TDEE I will gain weight.

  • Now that you have your TDEE, you have to eat more calories than your body burns.

Back to my 2100 Calories a day, if I eat 2,600 Calories a day then my body would store 500 Calories and keep them which would make me gain weight. I would need to stay consistently over 2100 Calories to gain weight at a steady pace.

You may check more on TDEE here on How Many Calories a Day Do You Personally Need?

If you want to gain weight then aim for eating 500 Calories more than your TDEE. Eating more than 500 Calories than your TDEE everyday will make you look fat with very little muscle.

I want to look lean and muscular

If you’re looking to be muscular and aesthetic then you are in a very good starting point if you’re skinny.

You have to lean bulk. To lean bulk, you have to add weight training in addition to eating 300-400 more calories a day in order to fuel calories for your muscles and to not gain as much unwanted fat.

Check out:  5 Simple Tips to Getting Rid of a Fat Chin

Implement compound exercises with your weight training such as squatsbench press, and deadlifts.

How Do I Track My Calories

I recommend using the app MyFitnessPal or the web version however you may use other calorie tracking apps. Myfitnesspal has a huge database of food with its calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients.

If you’re at a restaurant, most of the time, they provide Caloric information on their menus. You have to set up your calories and macronutrients to your goals which can only be set up from the web version. (Check the picture above)

What Should I Eat?

Earlier, out of the three macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats), fats are the most dense in calories with 9 calories per gram (that’s why our body stores fats, not carbs or protein for survival). Aim for foods

  • Dairy products (cheese, full-fat greek yoghurt, full-fat milk)
  • Puddings
  • Avocados
  • Oils (olive oil, sunflower Oil, coconut oil)
  • Butter (full-fat butters, peanut butter)
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts…)
  • Sauces such as mayonnaise, guacamole, ketchup
  • Meat (chicken, beef, pork, lamb. Go for fattier cuts if possible)
  • Tubers (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Oats and rice

I recommend that you read Is Fat Good or Bad? to give you more information on the types of fats and which ones are good for you so you gain weight safely.

How to add more calories to your meals

When gaining weight. You may sneak these fats by

  • Adding butter on top of cooked meat, potatoes, rice…
  • Adding oils to your shakes (You won’t taste it!)
  • Opt for full-fat dairy products so you get the most calories out of them
  • Occasionally go for cakes, brownies or whatever you want! As long as you have or will have space to reach your macronutrient goals.
  • Add extra peanut butter to your shakes or bread
  • Add sauces to your meals
  • Aim for 3 meals a day to make sure you keep your appetite
  • Snack between meals if you can! Just make sure you track it

Don’t buy weight-gainer shakes or products

It’s pretty much as waste of money. Weight-gainer shakes primarily contain lots of fat such as full-fat milk and other fatty foods. You’re just paying them to compile it for you.

You may buy it but once you gain your goal weight then you will have to live without the weight gain powder and you’ll probably lose weight again because you didn’t establish a habit of more “natural” food.


Don’t worry weight gain is a lot faster than this! This picture just goes to show how different you may look with more weight

When gaining weight, you should eat 500 calories more than your TDEE/Maintenance Calories consistently every day.

Trust me, once you get a habit going then time will fly by

You will feel less full the more you get used to it. You should focus on fats as they contain 9 calories per gram of fat which includes full-fat milk, peanut butter, butter, oils, and nuts to name a few.

I also recommend that you use a calorie-counting app to make sure you are on track with your calories as you may easily go overboard or underboard.

Check out:  How to Get From Skinny Fat to Muscular - The Complete Guide

One final note to add is to make sure you eat your fruits and veggies so you will stay healthy while you bulk up!

Jonathan Sumner
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Jonathan Sumner

Hi, It's nice to meet you! I'm Jonathan Sumner, the owner of this blog. I am a dietetics student who just loves to share what I learn!

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Jonathan Sumner
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