You finally found it…
This is your easy guide to finally gain some weight and put on muscle.
As I mentioned in my previous post, nutrition is #1 when it comes to going from skinny to fit. You can get really complex with it, but I prefer to keep things simple.
There are 3 main macronutrients you’re worried about: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. With protein being the most important for building muscle. Though the other two have their place as well.
You’ll see estimates as high as 1.5-2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Which is a crazy amount! That’s about a 1 and 1/2 pounds of sirloin steak a day if you’re 120 pounds.
A more reasonable amount is closer to 0.7 grams per pound which is more like 10 oz of steak. You can expect to see about the same gains as well without having to stuff your face full of meat.
All sources of protein will work though animal sources are the easiest because they are the only real complete sources of all your essential amino acids, which is what that protein breaks down into.
Supplements like whey and casein protein powder or BCAAs all fall under this category and don’t really provide any additionally benefit other than helping you hit your protein requirements.
Fat is another essential macronutrient because it is broken down into the building blocks that make your various hormones, such as testosterone, which keep you feeling good and actually help your stay leaner as you’re putting on mass.
While you can get away with as little as 0.35 grams per pound of fat, which is about 4 tablespoons of butter, there is nothing wrong with having more.
Fat will help you feel satiated throughout the day and give you a slower burning fuel.
Your fat sources, again, don’t matter a lot, so feel free to have fatty cuts of meat if you enjoy them or use butter to top your foods. The only thing you might want to consider is eating sources that are higher in Omega 3 fatty acids, such as oily fish and nuts. These tend to offer you a bit more heart protection in the long run.
This is where the most variability will come in. Because as much as we like to think we do and our body craves it, we don’t actually need carbohydrates or just a very limited amount.
That’s not to say that they don’t have their place. Carbohydrates are a great energy source when it comes to high intensity exercise. They can also speed recovery and help you sleep better at night.
But, on the other hand, too much can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes, which has plenty of complications that you don’t want.
Nowadays, you’ll find carbohydrates in pretty much anything you eat, but the best sources are those that are unprocessed. Vegetables, fruits, and grains in short.
Where to Start?
The best place to start is a mixed diet which is about 20% protein, 30% fat, and 50% carbohydrates by calories. This will make sure that you’re hitting minimums on everything and generally feeling good.
Make sure that you’re also eating enough calories in general. If you’re not gaining some weight on a week to week basis then it’s going to be difficult to finally gain that muscle. And just keep at it! Consistency is key.
I’m currently trying to play around with this a bit by raising my protein slightly to 25%, since I am eating at a slight deficit and want to preserve my muscle. I also bumped up my fat to 40% to keep me feeling full. This means that my carbohydrates ideally sit at about 35% because I find that I still need some when I’m lifting 3-4 days a week.
In the comments tell me what your current macros look like.