Gain Weight Diet: Add Muscle, Not Fat

Weight gain comes down to this formula;

  • Consuming many more calories than you are burning.
  • Following a well-structured weight training program
  • Eating the right combination of nutrients (to gain muscle instead of fat).

"I Can’t Seem to Gain Weight"

The chances are, you have a fast-burning metabolism and are predominantly an ectomorphic body type.

You will need to eat large quantities of food, and eating it often.

See the Weight Gaining Calculator for exact calculations on daily calories and nutrient levels.

This MUST be combined with a good weight training program, otherwise ALL that food will be stored as fat.

Don’t Ever Miss Meals

Don’t ever miss meals (such as breakfast) – it is important to eat often. Whey protein and weight gain powders can help – simply because it’s easier to consume the calories in a liquid form than it is to chew your way through them.

Sometimes you may need to eat so much, that it feels like you’re eating all the time – and certain foods may start to become irritating.

Lots of Sleep

If you don’t get much sleep, it’s time to start sleeping more – to slow down, and become a little less active. If you do cardiovascular exercise a lot it may be time to slow down here as well – no more than 20 minutes 3 times a week.

Using a Program

See the Critical Bench muscle program.

See Also: Muscle Growth Diet by Ori Hofmekler

Won’t all that food go to fat?

Just because you are trying to gain weight instead of losing it – is no excuse to throw good nutritional advice to the wind.

Nutrient Ratios

The best ratio of nutrients may actually surprise you. The diet will be higher in protein (typically about 1 gram per pound of weight), and about 30% fat – the remainder will be carbs (good whole carbs such as oatmeal, brown rice, vegetables, etc).

Beginner Gains

If you combine this with a good weight training program, your body will begin to build muscle. Most people often find a reasonable initial muscle gain but can sometimes hit a plateau after a few months.

It can be difficult to maintain the right balance of building muscle, but not overdoing caloric input and gaining plenty of fat as well. Virtually everyone gains fat alongside the muscle – this is normal.

Commitment: Time and Money

Trying to gain weight requires a good deal of commitment – both in time, willpower, and money. All that food is expensive, and sometimes it’s more convenient to skip meals or snacks when you need to be eating.

It does help if your life is already routine or well-structured. You can then fit all your meals into your routine.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Hubal, M. J., Gordish-Dressman, H., Thompson, P. D., Price, T. B., Hoffman, E. P., Angelopoulos, T. J., … & Clarkson, P. M. (2005). Variability in muscle size and strength gain after unilateral resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 37(6), 964-72. Link
  • Børsheim, E., Tipton, K. D., Wolf, S. E., & Wolfe, R. R. (2002). Essential amino acids and muscle protein recovery from resistance exercise. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism, 283(4), E648-E657. Link

139 Comments or Reviews

  1. Cameron

    hey my age is 16 and im 85kg and i really want to gain wight to play football and i really think that this will help thanks so much

  2. sun

    currently im goin to gym n i cn feel ma diffrence,i nid to knw wat to do gain a lot muscle..

  3. natalea

    hi my name is natalea. im 17 and way 6 stone!! i look like a twig and its depressing me. help me please!!!!

  4. james

    i have also been thin all my life, but 5 years ago i bought some whey protein. at first i didn`t see any results. but then suddenly people started to say i was putting on weight. at first it might seem like you`re losing weight but you`re not. just eat 5 to 6 small meals a day and trust me you will see results. don`t give up. you will gain the weight. just keep eating even if you don`t want to. force yourself if you have to. if i can remember, i started to see weight gain within the first three months.

  5. preetham

    I WANT TO GAIN WEIGHT MY AGE IS 18 MY WEIGHT IS 50

  6. sabi

    Thankx good for me !!!

    actually i am 22 years old and my weight is 52 Kg (:S)
    so i want a gain my weight more more than 65.

    i will try to do this.

    Thanks again

  7. daniel

    hey i m 5 11′ and weight only 56kg
    plz give me a shedule diet which will give me a quick weight gain

  8. Taniya

    Hi…. my weight is 42 kg n my height is 5.2 and also i look very thin and my Thais is also very thin so please tell me how i can gain weight,..kindly email me on taniya.merai@gmail.com..thnx

  9. joana

    Hi,
    Myself Joanna here….I have been trying to gain weight from past two years but then i have failed…………….so please let me know how to gain weight…

  10. honey

    Dear Viewers
    my height is 5.0 and my weight is 37 kg which is too low. plz help me to what should i do. send me whole day plan for diet. thank u

  11. JY

    Straight Up drink 3 protein shakes a day.. and dont go buy the expensive stuff theres no point your body can only handle 30-35 grams of protein every 2.5 hours and eat 4 meals aday and if you dont feel like the last protein shake eat ice cream before bed.. i use to be 6’0 155lbs i have been eating healthy with lots of meat and prtein shakes for this past year and i am now 6’0 188 lbs so try it and its not magic it takes time

  12. jerome t hamilton

    this is alot of bs talking i been trying 2 gain weight for like 2yrs now at the age of 20 i was hit with the crazy illness diabetes with being 160bls and 37yrs old i will reach my goal by 4-01-2009 and that is 190lbs and when i get there it will be no more isulin for this type 1 diabetic

  13. stix

    Okay so PINKY! Do you realize that all these steps are talking about eating healthy and not junk foods. So if you do the opposite your gonna be eating fatty foods. Empty calories. Sorry I gotta laugh bwahahahahahahahahahahha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. David

    Excellent article and very good advice. I have been following this type of schedule for some time and it does work. Results do take time if you want to grow bigger so be patient and keep it up, it will pay off!

  15. Shrey

    thanks for tha tips… very helpful!

  16. Sam

    These are good and common information. I would like to add this to the info, If trying to gain mass, its not going to happen fast. its gonna take like years and years to look muscular good unless there is a secret that i don’t know. I have tried steroids too but you need to take alot of it to look big and good.

  17. me

    hmm its hardly a bunch of crap emo_chick but it IS very general and may not work for all of us as we’re all different. I found a lack of advise on lifestyle and what NOT to eat/drink eg coffee, smoking, exersize, alcohol which i have found can hinder my progress when trying to gain weight. Overall I found the article quite helpful, if not a little obvious in places.

  18. JJ

    i have tried this and it works. the main thing that people dont understand is that you have to work out alot. eating properly is just 50% of what is needed to gain weight….the other half is simply having the ambition to sit down for at LEAST an hour a day and do STRENUOUS workouts. another point i would like to make is that for some people losing weight is literally as easy as breathing. for people with this problem, gaining weight is just as hard as for those who constantly try to lose it. dont be ignorant when making your comments….

  19. Switch

    I’ve had this kinda thing work for me before but I’ve never had it summarised so neatly! Thanks for making it easier to digest. (pardon the pun)

  20. Mohsin ali

    Great information!thnx

  21. Emo_Chick

    Does this even work?
    sounds like a bunch of Bologna.
    Sorry for everyone it worked for.
    but it just sounds like a bunch of crap to me.

  22. juan m.

    this does not work dont try it

  23. jazz

    i am from phils. im trying to gain weight but its seems its not possible im 19 5’9 110 lbs. what should i do/

  24. Anonymous

    I have an overweight sister, would it be beneficial if she uses this diet because some people said they the WHOLE diet

  25. Anonymous

    im trying to gain weight fast but it seems impossible wat would you think would be the best thing for me to do

  26. Vic

    One problem regarding fats. Are saturated fats really bad? I would lead you to westonaprice.org to read Dr Mary Enig’s intensive research on the subject. She has shown that saturated fats are not only not bad, but they are essential to health, including butter, coconut oil, organic palm oil and others. This is worth looking into for a fuller understanding.

  27. Nick

    Some good information. Big thanks.

  28. Anonymous

    really nice info. I was looking for something which was easy to understand and follow, and I found it hear …. thanks a lot for such a great work

  29. B

    I agree with the panel, good information; straight and to the point, and step two was seriously funny…thanks

  30. Osama

    very nice advice

  31. shrek

    MIKE…to answer your question, you would have to intake about 3,150 calories a day if you still weigh 150 pds. Also, if you google this, CALORIE INTAKE CONVERTER and click on the first link you see which should say something like calorie converter calculater…it will allow you to find this out for yourself. Go take a look ; )

  32. bhaioo

    my weight is 49.5kg n my height is 5.5 so please tell me how i can gain weight,and also tell me is this weight fine with my height..kindly email me on marshal78@gmail.com..thnx

  33. lewis

    great! helped alot

  34. gyqexifu

    If you have to do it, you might as well do it right

  35. aria

    thanks a lot…it really helps….

  36. ronnie

    good article

    one thing the author might want to add is this:
    To gain muscle, make sure you’re in a calorie surplus.
    I.e Consume more than you burn. That’s something which over 90% of the people don’t do.

    They simply eat a lot of protein, or a lot of fat yet they’re calories still don’t go in surplus.

    So that’s to say, if you burn 2500 calories a day (and you do weight training), make sure you eat 2900 calories a day. QUALITY calories.

    Other than that point, this article was very clear. Good work

  37. Mike

    How many calories should your intake be if you are looking to gain muscle weight. I am 5’10 150 and would like to be at least 165 with muscle weight gain.

  38. dwayne

    the guy is talking about muscle weight not body mass weight

  39. Adrian

    This is BS, to gain weight you don’t need to have a diet, just eat like a crazy bastard and that’s it.

    Is harder to lose weight than to gain.

  40. Pinky

    This is great! I want to lose weight so I guess I do the opposite of whatever is said here. Thanks.

  41. Abhinav

    Just on the line, I needed !!

  42. Jordan

    Exactly the guidance I was looking for, thanks!

  43. Maia Papaya

    Simply laid out well put, thank you!

  44. amber

    This is by far the best information I’ve come across. BRILLIANT! God bless you!

  45. Drew

    Very interesting ideas. Great information!

  46. Anonymous

    very good information….definately the best!!..Thanks

  47. scott

    this infomation is really good i really like the 7 steps thing!

  48. janelle

    Ive looked up heaps of other sites on this topic and this one is definatley the best!

  49. Anonymous

    Too good… Thanks

  50. Dottie

    Probably the best information I ever received on this topic.

Last Reviewed: January 28, 2018