Each one of us has a different body type; accordingly each one of has a different metabolism. When we talk about gaining weight, it might be very difficult for a few people. A few of us might gain and lose weight very easily but for others either of the tasks seems tough.
Let’s discuss some simple strategies which aid in your weight gain regime and have worked very well with other hard gainers.
Know Your Body Type
All humans can be categorized into 3 different body types. The body type is determined by some specific characteristics. “Ectomorphs” usually refer to hard gainers.
The image above depicts the different body types. Let’s go deeper into some of the specific characteristics of these different body types.
Ectomorphs are characterized by narrow hips and joints .They have a thin build and have taller limbs. These are those skinny and thin guys. The people falling in this category have narrow shoulders as well as flat chest. There is almost no visible fat on their skin.
These people are also hard gainers, meaning it’s difficult for them to put some mass and weight.
The Endomorphs are characterized by larger hips and clavicles. Hips might be larger than the clavicles. They are short in height, have thin, shorter joints, can have a belly and visible fat around their body. They gain weight very easily but it’s tough for them to lose it.
The Mesomorphs are characterized by wide clavicles, have small and narrow waist and are athletic. Guys who are into sports like running and boxing usually fall into this category. They have well-defined muscles, thin joints and they gain muscles easily. They tend to gain fat easier than the ectomorphs.
Weight Gaining Tips for Hard Gainers
It’s been 6 years for me in the fitness industry and I have seen skinny guys struggling to gain weight. With industry experience and my own journey from a hard gainer to carrying more muscle, I can conclude these basic points do hold true in the long journey towards the goal.
Tip 1: Calculate Your Macros
Most of us don’t do this and this is the most crucial aspect of dieting. You have to record what you are eating and how much calories you are eating. I advise you to maintain a monthly log, diary or a mobile app to keep track of whatever goes into your mouth. Maintaining a log helps in tracking down the total calorie intake. It might be happening that you aim for a 3000 calorie diet but your intake is only 2600 calories even though you feel like you’re eating a lot – a 400 calorie deficit diet. That might be the first and foremost reason that you are not gaining at the first place.
Tip 2: Eat Surplus Calories
To gain weight, you need to eat huge and whatever you eat is a calorie count. If your goal is to eat 6 meals a day, make sure you have one or two items having a good amount of calories. What kind of foods have 1000 calories? Foods like avocado oil, pizzas, burgers, and cheese sauces are all calorie-rich. Don’t get hung up on the accompanying fat – eat big to get huge.
Tip 3: Mix Your Carbs
To put on mass, don’t always rely on fruits and vegetables as your carbohydrates source. Carbohydrates should be mixed. Try eating bread and oats, as well as starchy carbs like white rice. Include simple and complex carbs with mixed proportions and give carbs priority in your daily diet – make sure your diet has 50% or more calories from carbs.
Just eating fruits and vegetables alone won’t give you weight gains as they are lean carbohydrate sources.
Tip 4: Eat More Frequently
Hard gainers don’t eat frequently and whenever they eat, they get full very early. Eat fast and as much as you can before the brain signals a “done” flag. Eat the very moment when you feel hungry and eat at a faster pace. It’s advisable to chew the food properly, concentrate on your food entirely and try to finish the portion within 20 minutes.
Tip 5: Supplement with Mass Gainers
Mass gainers come in real handy when 3000 calorie seems a mammoth task. Mass gainers are ideal as snacks or as a post-workout meal where calories are required the most.
Tip 6: Decrease Cardio Workouts
To gain weight, it’s must to decrease long runs on cardio machines. Too much cardio means too much muscle loss. Try to keep cardio as low as 2 short sessions per week, preferably low in intensity. Cardio is beneficial for general health but comes at the cost of muscles.
Tip 7: Engage in Weight Training
Nothing beats weight training. Try to have at least 3 sessions of weight training focusing on the upper as well as lower body. Weight training will add size and stamina, and the gains will surface soon.
Tip 8: Consume Liquid Carbohydrates
A liquid diet is quickly absorbed by the body and the nutrients are rapidly released. It’s advisable to have carbohydrate-rich shakes in the diet regime – the carbs can be from fruit or a mass gainer shake.
Tip 9: Eat Huge at Dinner
It’s a common saying to eat like a pauper at dinner but it’s the complete opposite for hard gainers. The final meal of the day should be a huge one, mainly compromising of carbohydrates and proteins. Eating well in the dinner makes sure that the body stays away from catabolism. Make sure you have your dinner at least 1 hour before your sleep.
Tip 10: Keep Munching
Keep munching food. A protein chocolate cookie might not fill your stomach but would definitely provide some sort of nutrition to the body. Munching bars, cookies rich in protein and carbs help in reaching weight gain goals easily.
Take Home Message
Being a hard gainer, putting up some considerable amount of weight might take around 6-12 month time. Constant eating habits will aid into weight gain and the weight gain doesn’t happen in just one month. It’s progressive – after one month of eating in surplus, there might be a gain of 2-3 kg. Considering the fact that it’s hard for ectomorphs to gain weight, 2-3 kg is a decent amount and can be built upon by following these tips.