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. jbgray

    HI
    I AM 34 YRS OLD AND I HAVE LOST SO MUCH SINCE I LOST MY JOB FOR ABOUT 6 MONTH. THE WEIGHT LOST WAS MAINLY DUE TO NOT EATING ENOUGHT/ANY FOODS AT ALL AND/OR STRESS.
    I LIKE HAVING A HUGE MUSCLINE BODY SIZE.
    PLEASE ADVISE ME ON HOW TO GO ABOUT DOING THIS.
    THIS GIVES ME CONFIDENCE WITH MY GARMENT SIZE AND POSTURE.

  2. abid

    i m satisfied but i havent tried it yet. my weight is
    63kg but i m too thin. i want to be skinny and i want to make some muscles.pls help me

  3. Dan

    I couldn’t agree with Damien more…. Did you not just read the article?

  4. Damien

    You people who comment are absolute morons. I’m surprised you were even able to make it here.

    How do you gain weight?? DID YOU EVEN READ THE ARTICLE??

  5. CHANDRESH

    I AM 21 YEARS AND WEIGHT 48 KG HEIGHT 5.10″ I WANT TO GAIN WEIGHT SUGGEST ME SOME DIET.

  6. letsholo batsile

    how do i gain weight very fast

  7. jacque

    am 49 kg,25 years and SO MUCH WANNA GAIN WEIGHT IT GIVES ME STRESS, HELP…..

  8. kkk

    hiiiiiiiiiii i m also skinny since last 12 years….i m nt gaining weight….i m 22 nd my wt is 51…..tell me some solution

  9. Akila

    Hi

    I am 26yrs old but my weight is only 49 kgs.zpls suggest me how to gain weight.

  10. raj

    I AM 22 YEARS AND WEIGHT 46 KG HEIGHT 5.8″ I WANT TO GAIN WEIGHT SUGGEST ME SOME DIET.
    and send me some weight gainer supplyments name

    • ted

      Hey guys, since everyone has been asking for a diet, we’ve included a really good one above. Give it a try and good luck!

  11. hi

    hi i weight 1kg, how can i gain weight?

  12. divyaa

    am 20 yr and my weight is only 37 kg i want become 45 kg can u please help in gaining weght can u tell me the diet schedule so that i can gain weight

  13. Zach

    hey, here is some info that will motivate most of you if you’re looking to gain weight. First off, you have to let biology lead the way. Most men don’t start getting those testosterone levels high enough to gain significant weight until atleast 18 years old, so relax. Its a simple input to output ratio, and if you’re eating less calories than you’re burning off, either through natural metabolism or exercise, you won’t put on pounds. I was 6’0 about 165 and put on about 40 lbs of muscle in roughly 2 years. It takes time, but it definitely can be done. Make sure you’re eating calorie dense foods, as well as tons of protein, in forms such as red meat, chicken, and protein shakes. Space them out over the day so that you are eating 5-6 meals per day. Basically, eat all the time, but choose the right nutrient rich foods, not just empty calories. Also, make sure you’re getting carbs in the forms of whole weat, oatmeal, and fruits and vegetables into your diet, as they contain many of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs for growth. With a heavy weight lifting routine, and diet like I mentioned, you will start noticing results within weeks, the hardest part is just maintaining it.

  14. simon madge

    hi, realy need help with gaining weight. I am 20 years old about 5,6 and only weigh about 8 stone, i am very skinny and it is realy efecting my life and self confidence as strugle to find cloths to fit me which i feel happy in, please please help me get to a size where i feel confytable. thankyou

  15. sujith

    my legs .. waist.. face also very lean.
    that too i want to make my face looking good by increasing cheeks..

  16. sujith

    im 25 yrs my weight 58 height 6 from past 4 yrs im same weight
    i want to increase weight .one more thing im staying out of my home
    so plz specify the low cost food items to increase the weight im student . most of the time im studying only..
    so please help me to increase weight ..

  17. tinana

    hey im 17 and I find it very hard to gain weight.I eat and eat but my weight stays the same. I weigh 56

  18. semere

    i’m 17 6.1ft 135lbs. people tell me with my height i should be 170-180. what can i do to gain weight within a couple of months?

  19. rin

    i am 24 years. my weight is 43.pls tell me how can i increase my weight

  20. preeti

    am 23 year old my weight is 45kg plzzzz send me a diet plan

  21. ruth mutelu

    Am 25 and 1 weigh 24.What can i done to gain weight?

  22. apsara

    hi i m female of age 17. my weight is 36 kg only and i m looking for a diet to increase 6 kg of my weight in a month.. can any body help me?

  23. udayakumar

    i am 23 years old and i need weight gaining food and other thing is to improve my weight. now i have 50 kg.

  24. Michael

    Thank you! 🙂

  25. Gauntbastard

    Good advice but im thin as a stick and still get all the girls!

  26. kdman

    um 25 years old n um weighing 48kg n i had been told that um under weight. so i want you to prescribe me a diet that will help me to gain weight. you should take in consideration that i leave in africa.

  27. Nate

    This is exactly the info one should know to gain weight. I was getting so frustrated trying 2 gain weight at all with my metabolism being so high. Then when i wanted to work out and gain muscle my projected calorie intake was ridiculous, I figured i would have to eat a TRIPPLE WHOPPER every meal to gain weight. Good advice on the olive oil.

  28. april hudson

    Hey. I’m 18 about 5’3 and. 85lbs. How do I gain weight? Please help

  29. kate

    wil surely follow ur advice n hope it works.thnx

  30. nick

    i agree with rob james

  31. Nathan S.

    Hello, I am 15 years of age 6′ 2″ and 155 lbs. I would like to be given information about how much I should eat as in protein, fats and fiber. I currently work out every day due to school schedule, but im not able to get in after school since I am very active in sports.

  32. g.shalem raju

    hi every one my age is 16 and my height is 5.7 and my weight is just “45” so plese help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  33. u.k. mishra

    sir i am umakant my weight is 55kg. my height is 5.11 ft. sir what i am eat to gain weight.because i am thin and tall. please sir send me answer about my deit and some related tips…

  34. sachin kumar singh

    sir iam sachin my weight is 59kg. my height is 6ft . sir what i am eat to gain weight . because iam thin and tall. please sir send me answer

  35. jason

    if you stick with this guide and i use http://www.livestrong.com it records what exercise you are doing/foods you eat. The page will also list a compass on what protein-carb ratio you consumed already, and how many glasses of water you drank. I am calculating my calories each day and more when i work out etc, i notice a slightly change in my weight, but due to a fast metabolism i have to keep eating more 🙂

  36. gugulethu

    hi my name gugulethu. im 24yrs old. i only weigh 53 and im 1,60m tall. im naturaly thin. so im one of those people who have a had time gaining weight. no metter what i eat i just csnt gain weight. so is they anything that you recommend i should buy or eat.

  37. Avinash

    Hi i m 23 years old i m 5foot 8 inch i weigh only 54kgs is there any short cut to add weight

  38. LEE

    IM TRYING TO GAIN WEIGHT. DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTION ON WHAT TO DO

  39. MANU

    I AM 28 YEARS AND WEIGHT 59 KG HEIGHT 5.8″ I WANT TO GAIN WEIGHT SUGGEST ME SOME DIET.

  40. preeti

    hi i 25yr old my weight is judt 40kg..plzzzzzzzzzz help me.suggest somexercises

  41. feroze

    Hey I am 23 yrs old and I need to sincerely gain weight.I am 57kgs and I need to put more meat in my bones aghh!Sometimes I look at myself and find it hard to imagine I look like an Electricity pole.Help me on the best foods to eat.

  42. Manoj

    Sir. I m 20 yrs . My hight 6″1 . My wait 124 lbs. I wanna gain wieght . Because i m thin n please tell me diet plan

  43. rob james

    proberbly the best weight gain infomation ive found on the internet, it is honest and correct plus its not trying to sell somthing to me but too help me.

    thank you

    Rob James

  44. Nathan

    Hey Shantal at 45kgs for 15 years, with golf stick legs, sounds fun.. I think this image is totally attractive.. even more attractive is the image of a girl no matter what size looks at herself in the mirror and sees an attractive woman..

    Live Laugh love with the kindest regards Nathan.

  45. jrone harris

    so how do you gain weight wat do you eat, drink, and snack

  46. Inah

    Thanks for the tips abovementioned.Gives me the confidence to gain weight.I`ve been skinny since I was young,until now,I`m still skinny.How sad can that be?.I`m 1.72cm and weighing 48-50kg.Quite frustrating though.I won`t give up

  47. n simons

    well im gonna change my diet then and see if this works what you are saying. I eat unhealthy foods all the time and still cant gain wait. maybe you could email me a list of foods i can eat and when too. i will report back in a few months. thanks

  48. shantal

    I have been 45kg for the last 15 years of my life , i have tried everything under sun to gain weight, i have the skinniest waist and golf stick legs …… its embarrassing , i am 27 years old . please help someone!!!

  49. Natalie N.

    Oh, sorry, I meant low metabolism.

  50. Natalie N.

    OMG!

    This has given me so much help!
    I’m 5’4 and 85 lbs. and I couldn’t seem to get anymore fatter. I went to my weight specialist and he told me that I had a very high metabolism and it would be hard for me to keep my weight. So, I searched on google for a way to gain weight without get high cholesterol or diabetes…This is probably the best information I’ve gotten! Much Thanks :]

Last Reviewed: January 28, 2018