A Simple And Effective Diet Plan To Help You Gain Lean Body Weight
I'm going to give this to you straight up, if you don't follow a consistent gain weight diet, your setting yourself up for complete failure.
I know, it sounds tough but it's the truth. It's a lesson I had to learn the hard way and it's probably the number one reason why most hard gainers have a hard time gaining weight.
Following a diet that is designed to gain weight and adding quality muscle mass is that important.
To be honest, a quality diet rich in nutrients will be responsible for 60% to 80% of your success in gaining quality weight. Don't let anyone else tell you different...
You need to follow a quality diet and you need to eat the right food in a structured gain weight diet.
Nutrition is one half of the key to building muscle. Without the proper nutrition, you might as well pack your bags and go home. No amount of super sets, negative sets, tri-sets or pre-exhausting will build any amount of muscle mass without the proper nutrition.
Poor dietary habits will hinder your progress and may eventually lead to injury to muscles and bones because they are not supplied with the nutrients needed to support the added stress of weight training.
This is especially true when you're starting a mass building routine. In order to handle the heavy weights, you need to a lot of quality nutrients and you need to follow a healthy gain weight diet.
Remember the following points about nutrition when it comes to building muscle and structuring a gain weight diet:
Every one is different.....
Each person is biologically different and has different nutritional needs. Some people have higher metabolism, some have different bone density, some have naturally more fat etc.. The thing you want to remember is your individuality and how you fit this into your gain weight diet.
What is best for you? For me, I would recommend that two hours before you train, you should eat one banana, one granola bar and one cup of yogurt.
This might work wonders for me and my gain weight diet but it might do little for you. I suggest you find what works best for you. The only way to do this is to find out your optimal nutritional intake and play around a little to find out what works.
How do you know the food in your gain weight diet works? You will know by the feeling you get in your workouts and general lifestyle. When you find your optimal nutritional state, your workouts become the absolute best feeling in your life.
You are more energized during the day and feel all round fantastic. Once you get here, stay there. Just keep adding more and more of the foods that work for you to accommodate your new growth.
When it comes to gaining lean, muscular weight, remember that complete nutrition leads to optimal nutrition. Over supplementation of certain nutrients will lead to imbalances in overall nutrition and is damaging to your building muscle program and health.
New weight trainers and seasoned athletes require different proportions of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals to meet different demands of training.
Focus on attaining complete nutrition. This will lead to optimal nutrition for your body and weight lifting goals. Design your diet with a full spectrum of nutrients from foods and high quality sports supplements designed to provide you with the proper nutrition.
If you don’t know how to design your diet for optimal nutritional intake, please keep reading and I’ll get you started.
Consistency in your gain weight diet
This is the key when it comes to gaining weight. When your designing your gain weight diet that includes the right foods, always remember that consistency will be the cornerstone of your success.
Gaining quality weight and building muscle is a slow and enduring process. In order to constantly improve your performance, you need to be consistent with your gain weight diet.
You might think that there is no way you are going to stick to the same foods year round since your taste buds are going to go stale.
The trick is to stick to your optimal nutritional intake but adjust your menu. Eating plain broiled chicken every day will test even the most dedicated of trainers. I suggest finding a menu that is healthy and tasty.
I’ve added a menu here for you to try. This menu is designed to help you get used to a consistent gain weight diet.
Combinations of foods are the trick to gaining weight and building muscle. No one supplement or food will magically transform your body into a muscle building machine, despite what supplement manufacturer’s say. Find the right combination of foods for your type of body and training goals.
Use these tips for optimum nutrition for your gain weight diet:
1. Cut out the junk food
2. Drink enough clean water
3. Eat a variety of foods
4. Consume the necessary protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals
5. Consume salt in moderation
6. Structure your diet that is low in processed sugars
7. Eat foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and fibre
8. Take quality nutritional supplements
It is very important to understand that the human body is constantly working using and storing energy day and night. It is also very important to understand that in order to keep the machine rolling, you need a to know what and how much to feed it.
How much do you feed your body?
“The Right Food To Gain Weight”
In order to gain quality weight, you need to eat a certain amount of calories that consist of high quality protein, carbohydrates, and fat above your maintenance level. That is, you need to eat more than what your body requires - Sort of like a calorie surplus. You need a surplus of food in your gain weight diet and you need to “right” food to gain weight.
When you need to lose weight, what do you do? Of course, you eat less. The same is true for gaining quality weight, you need to eat more and the right food to gain weight. How do you do that?
“Determine Your Starting Point For Your Gain Weight Diet”
How are you supposed to attain a specific goal if you don’t know where your beginning?
The first thing you need to do is to determine your base caloric intake. In other words, this will be your base starting point. The easiest way to determine your base calorie intake is to take your body weight and multiply it by 17.
This will give you an idea of how much calories you need on a daily basis. For example, let’s say you weight 150 pounds. Your base caloric intake will be around 2,500 calories per day.
By using 2,500 calories per day, you know where to start. From there, you can determine how much protein, carbohydrates, and fat you need to reach your goals. Your goal should be to gain ½ to 1 pound of body weight per 100 pounds of body weight each week.
This should be plenty because anymore than that and you’ll be gaining more body fat than quality muscular weight. You’ll also need to break your meals into 5 or 6 equal servings pe day.
“Give Your Body The Right Stuff For Your Gain Weight Diet”
The next thing you need to do is determine your protein, carbohydrate, and fat needs. These nutrients are called the macro nutrients. I’m not going to get into the macro nutrients here so if you want a more detailed discussion, please visit building muscle 101's weight lifting diet.
Finding the right nutrient combination is a necessary step to gaining weight because your going to be gaining muscular weight, not fat.
To do this, you need to fuel your body with high grade nitro (high quality carbs) and you need to highest quality in building material (protein).
To do this, take your base calorie intake and break it down into varying combinations. Personally, I use 30% protein, 55% carbohydrates, and 15% fat. Here’s how to do it for your gain weight diet:
Let’s say your base calorie point is 2,500 calories per day.
Your per meal caloric intake is 2,500/5 = 500 calories per meal.
To calculate your base Calories per gram of:
Protein: 4 calories per gram
Now, the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat you will need on a daily basis will depend on the your desired goals. For building lean muscle, you will need anywhere from 20% to 30% in protein, 50 % to 65% in carbohydrates, and 10% to 25% in fat.
You will have to adjust these percentages as you progress to find out which ratio is best for you. The one ratio that works best for me is the following ratio:
Muscle building percentages
1) protein = 30%
Given the above ratio’s, you will need the following daily requirements:
Calories: 2,500 per day
Protein: 2500 x .25 = 750/4 = 188 grams of protein per day
Carbohydrates: 2500 x .55 = 1375/4 = 344 grams of carbohydrates per day
fat: 2500 x .15 = 375/9 = 42 grams of fat per day
If your eating 5 times per day, you will need the following meal requirements:
Calories: 500 calories per meal
Protein: 188/5 = 38 grams of protein per meal
Carbohydrates: 344/5 = 69 grams of carbohydrates per meal
Fat: 42/5 = 8 grams of fat per meal
To gain weight, you will need to increase your caloric intake by 500 calories per day in your gain weight diet in order to gain 1 pound per week. Of course you may add or cut back on the amount of calories you ingest but I suggest you do it gradually in order to keep your muscle gains constant.
If for example, you wanted to gain two pounds per week, you will need to increase your caloric intake by 1,000 calories per day. If you wanted to lose two pounds per week, you need to decrease your caloric intake by 1,000 calories per day.
Now you know what your body needs in order to gain quality weight. You now know your starting point for your gain weight diet. The trick is to gradually add more calories over a certain period of time to gain “quality” pounds and not a lot of fat.
Remember, only gain ½ to one pound of body weight per hundred pounds of body weight per week. Anymore and you’ll be gaining more fat than you might want.
I’ve structured a sample gain weight diet and menu at the end of this page to help you with your weight gaining needs.
This is basically a six week gain weight diet program to help you gain weight, so for the first week or so, your going to keep your calorie intake constant.
That is, your going to stick to your base calorie point with no increase in calories for the first week or so. If you find that your base calorie point is 2,500 calories per day, your going to be sticking to this amount for the first week.
After the first week, add another 500 calories to your diet. This will bring your daily calorie intake to 3,000 calories per day.
With this in mind, I've decided to give you a quality menu plan for you to follow. This gain weight diet is designed to pack some meat on your bones. Remember, you have to eat consistently for any weight gaining diet to work.
The following menu is designed to give you a start. You can follow this plan for the full 6 weeks or you can alter it to include the foods you enjoy.
The important thing is to be strict and consistent with your gain diet. Remember this, "If you put the same amount of effort into your diet as you do in your training, you'll gain that much faster".
“Supplements To Help The Weight Gaining Diet Process”
I’ve decided to include supplements into the gain weight diet plan because they can give you a real boost once you have your diet plan down. The main supplements I recommend here are the ones I personally use and I know they work well with a structured diet.
Selecting and using the right weight lifting supplements can be a very confusing subject, so I decided to include only those supplements I believe will be of benefit to your gain weight nutritional plan.
The main supplements are:
In order for supplements to function properly for your gain weight diet, they must be taken at the proper times and in the proper amounts. I’ve specified in the following plan when to take the supplements. However, I must stress that we all vary according to our body types so you might want to experiment with different time frames.
Alright, let’s take a look at the gain weight diet plan.
I've based this plan for someone who is either going to school or working 9 to 5.
Here's the plan:
6 week menu / gaine weight diet plan:
Get Up: 6:00 am
2 glasses of water with 5 grams glutamine. Your body is very dehydrated when you first get up so try and get two glasses of water into your system right away.
Gain weight diet - Meal 1 - Breakfast: 6:30 am
one half cup of oatmeal
Gradually stir oats into boiling water. Add egg whites to the oatmeal. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Cook until the mixture becomes "fluffy". Cover and remove from heat.
Let stand a few minutes and add brown sugar and raisins. Serve the oatmeal with a serving of Cytogainer. I prefer the Cytogainer because it's a pretty good weight gainer. If you don't want to use Cytogainer, you can try other brands.
You might want to try Interactive Nutrition's Mammoth 2000. It's a good substitute for Cytogainer. As soon as you've finished breakfast, take a multi vitamin with plenty of water.
As for San V12 and Expand, they are both fantastic. Although, I tend to lean towards Dynamatize's Expand. The product is almost identical to San V12 and is a little cheaper.
However, if you are consistent with your servings, both of these products will do wonders for your strength. I would recommend you give these products a try because they do certainly work.
This is a very large breakfast but trust me, if your consistent with this meal, your going to see some pretty impressive results.
Gain weight diet - Meal 2 - Mid morning snack: 9:30 am
½ cup of 1% cottage cheese
Add mandarins to the cottage cheese and mix. I usually toast the bagels and add 1 tbsp of peanut butter. Have with a glass of water.
Gain weight diet - Meal 3 - Lunch: 12:00 am
6 " whole wheat bun
Add roast beef, tomato, lettuce, cheese, and mustard to whole wheat bun. Serve with 1 cup of orange juice.
Gain weight diet - Meal 4 - Mid afternoon snack: 2:30 pm
You can also substitute a protein bar with milk if you wish. The important thing is to get some protein into your system prior to your workout.
Workout - See the workout section of "How to Gain Weight Fast".
Gain weight diet - Meal 5 - Post Workout
1 serving of SAN V12 or Dynamatize immediately after your workout. Follow up 15 minutes later with a serving of serving of Cytogainer.
I'm guessing most of you will either go to school or work so I strongly suggest you prepare both of these drinks in the morning before you start your day and take them with you. I usually have these drinks packed away in my pack sack and simply take them out when I need them.
This meal will be one the most important so do not skip this meal. Always have something after your workout - Preferably with 30 to 50 grams of whey protein and 60 to 90 grams of carbohydrates.
Gain weight diet - Meal 6 - Dinner: 6:45 pm
2 whole potatoes
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place potatoes on two separate pieces of foil. Cut potatoes lengthwise but do not cut through. Add half a tsp of butter to each potato and add a dash of salt and pepper.
Fold the potatoes in the foil wrap. Set timer for 40 minutes. Place potatoes in the oven. Cook potatoes until the timer is complete or until the potatoes are soft all the way through.
Meanwhile, wash and clean steak and mushrooms. Season steak with mrs dash seasoning. Heat oil In a medium sized frying pan. Place steak in the pan and pan fry for 5-10 minutes each side.
Meanwhile, heat a non stick skillet and saute mushrooms. Once mushrooms are soft, set aside. Once potatoes are done, take out and set aside for 3-5 minutes. Take steak out of frying pan and top with mushrooms. Serve with potatoes.
For those of you who don't prepare your dinners, try and eat something that is balanced with protein, carbs and fat. However, the choice might be limited to what your being served that night. Just remember to eat enough to the point of being satisfied - Do not stuff yourself!
It's very important that you eat a dinner with lots of protein and carbs an hour or two after you've finished your workout. Remember, this is crucial to big time growth! Never skip this meal.
Before bed: 9:45 pm
I suggest having one serving of glutamine (5 grams). You can drink this with one glass of water.
Total for the day:
There’s a lot of nutrients here to work with so it should give you a solid start for your gain weight diet.
Follow this menu for a couple of weeks. This menu provides close to 3,500 calories so it should be enough to get you on the track to big time growth. Remember, the key is to be consistent with your eating habits - Never skip a meal!
For your gain weight diet, you must always provide your body with a constant flow of nutrients. This is alot of food to consume so if you find yourself having a hard time managing to keep up with the suggested intake, try reducing the portions. The important thing is to stay consistent and form a healthy eating pattern.
You should be gaining at least one to two pounds per hundred pounds of bodyweight per week. If your not gaining at this desired rate, try and add another serving of Cytogainer or other weight gainers to your daily intake.
Or you can try and add another couple of tbsp of MCT oil to your meals. So, if you weight 150 pounds, you should be gaining at least a pound and a half per week.
You can follow this type of menu for non-training days as well.
Here's how your gain weight diet progression should look:
Week 1 and 2:
Follow the above noted diet for the first two weeks. Your body needs time to adjust to the new level of nutrients coming in.
Weeks 3 to 6:
If you are not gaining at least one to two pounds per hundred pounds of body weight, try increasing calorie intake by 500 calories per day.
That is, if you are start out with 3,000 calories per day, add another 500 calories on top of the 3,000 figure. You should be consuming 3,500 caloires instead of 3,000 per day. Simply add another weight gain drink to you daily intake.
Follow this type of diet for at least 6 weeks and you should be able to add on at least 10 more pounds.
Once you start being consistent with your diet, your going to start noticing that your workouts are much better. Nutrition is the number one key that hard gainers overlook. Do not neglect your eating habits or you'll not gain an ounce of muscle.
Here are some tips to help you with your gain weight diet:
1- Try and do your grocery shopping on a day like Sunday. Always make sure what you plan on eating for the following week. This way you ensure that your eating consistently and you always know how much nutrients are going into your body.
2- Consume at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight each day. For example, if you weight 150 pounds, you should be eating at least 150 grams of protein each and every day.
3- Consume at least 3 to 4 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight each day. Make sure that most of these carbohydrates come from complex sources such as pasta, rice, oatmeal, potatoes and yams and fibrous vegetables such as broccoli and asparagus. The only time you should be feeding your body fast acting carbohydrates is immediately after your workouts.
3- Ingest health fats from sources such as nuts and seeds, olives, flax seed and canola oils. Reduce your intake of saturated and trans fatty acids. If you want to increase your caloric intake, try adding a tbsp of medium triglycerides (MCT oil) to your meals.
5- No need to starve yourself on this program. If you want to add muscle, you need to consume calorie dense foods such as complex carbs and weight gain drinks. I suggest you try a weight gain drink such as Prolab's N2 Large, Mammoth 2000 or Cytogainer.
6- Your diet ratio should be 50 to 55% carbohydrates, 25 to 30% protein and 15 to 20% fat.
7- Spread your eating over a minimum of five to seven meals per day, taking in at least 30 grams of protein per meal. By spreading out your meals in this fashion will ensure that the nutrients for the muscle building process are constantly being supplied.
8- Try drinking a whey protein shake 1 hour before your work out. This way you ensure your muscles are filled with top quality protein before going into a hard workout. Trust me, this tip can greatly enhance your weight lifting program.
9- Try drinking a protein shake immediately after training. The shake should be made up of 40 to 50 grams of whey protein and about 50 to 100 grams of fast acting carbohydrates. This is a very important tip! And will definitely boost your efforts.
10- Consume more calories. Eat slightly beyond the point of satiety. Remember to eat a big, healthy breakfast.
11- When boosting your caloric intake, gradually increase the amount of calories over a period of 7 to 10 days. This way, you are using the extra calories as fuel as opposed to storing it as fat. If you find yourself stuck, gradually increase the amount of calories per day.
12- Pick a day where you can cheat, like Saturday or Sunday. However, Don't go crazy on the cheating principle. Try and minimize the amount of high fat and high sugar foods you consume.
10- Drink a lot of water! Try drinking at least one gallon of water per day for this gain weight diet. Water is essential for building muscle.
Remember, the above noted menu is meant as a guide for this gain weight diet so don’t feel you have to eat oatmeal or a sub sandwich day in or day out.
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