The amount given above is an estimate of how many calories you need to eat per day to MAINTAIN your current weight. In order to gain weight, you need to eat MORE calories than this amount.
How much more? Well, in most cases, you should eat 300-500 additional calories per day.
Since most people want the weight they gain to be muscle and NOT fat, this is the ideal amount of calories that I would recommend. Any less and you won’t be gaining anything. Any more and you’ll end up gaining way more fat than muscle.
So, whatever maintenance level the calculator estimated for you, just add 300-500 more to it and start eating that many calories each day from now on. For example, if your estimated maintenance level was 2500 calories (just an example), you’d now start eating between 2800-3000 calories per day.
If your calorie intake is indeed accurate, you should end up gaining between 0.5-1 pound per week.
To make sure this is happening correctly, weigh yourself at least once per week (always first thing in the morning on an empty stomach) and make sure weight gain is taking place as fast as it should be.
- If it is, then you’re perfect.
- If you’re gaining weight slower than you should be (or just not at all), you need to add an additional 300 calories to your weight gain diet and see what your weight does then.
- If you’re gaining faster than you should be (which would mean too much fat is being gained), you need to reduce your calorie intake by 300 calories and see what your weight does then.
Whenever you end up gaining weight in that ideal range of 0.5-1 pound per week, you’re perfect. Keep eating that amount of calories.
Now, while most men and women who want to gain weight want that weight to be muscle instead of fat, there are some people who just want to know how to gain weight of any kind as fast as they can (even if it is fat).
In these rarer cases when you don’t care if you gain fat, muscle or both, a more aggressive weight gain diet can be used. Specifically, eat 500-1000 additional calories per day (which would cause you to gain 1-2lbs per week).
However, since most of us want to avoid gaining fat and only gain lean muscle instead, 300-500 extra calories per day is definitely the maximum I’d recommend for most people.
Step 2: The Rest Of Your Weight Gain Diet
Now that your calorie intake is all figured out, you already know the big secret of how to gain weight… just eat more. Simple as that. That’s literally the one and only thing you need to do.
Of course, you probably still have a bunch of questions about the rest of your weight gain diet. Let’s quickly cover them all right now…
- Eat enough protein. Specifically, eat between 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 170lbs, you’d eat between 136-204 grams of protein per day. Common high protein foods include chicken, fish, turkey, meat, eggs and of course protein supplements.
- Eat enough fat, especially the essential fatty acids. About 25-30% of your calorie intake should come from fat, with the majority of it coming from healthy sources like fish, nuts and olive oil. Even more importantly, make sure are getting enough of the Omega-3 fatty acid found mostly in fish oil supplements.
- Get the rest of your calories from carbs. After you’re getting enough protein and fat, the rest of your diet will be comprised of carbs. The majority of your carb intake should come from natural, nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, brown rice, beans, potatoes, and most whole wheat/whole grain products. Of course, since weight gain is your goal, foods like white rice and pasta can be eaten as needed to reach your ideal calorie intake.
- Don’t waste your money on useless supplements. No matter what they claim, 99% of supplements are pure crap. The only supplements that I’d recommend are protein powder, fish oil, multivitamin and creatine.
- Eat a proper post workout meal. How you organize the meals in your weight gain diet is entirely up to your own preferences. However, the one important tip worth mentioning is to eat a proper post workout meal… which is the meal directly after your workout. I explain how to do that here: Post Workout Meal
Step 3: A Proper Workout Routine
While a proper weight gain diet (specifically eating enough calories) is the only real requirement for how to gain weight, there is a second requirement that exists if you want to make sure the weight you gain is muscle and NOT just fat.
I’m of course talking about a proper weight training workout routine.
In order to get the best muscle building results possible, you MUST combine the type of weight gain diet I just explained with a workout routine that is designed specifically for building muscle quickly and effectively. If you don’t, you’ll just gain fat.
If you don’t mind just gaining fat, then feel free to use the diet by itself without a workout routine. But if you want to build muscle and not just get fat, a proper workout routine is REQUIRED.
So, what is a proper muscle building workout routine? Well, explaining all of that here would be way too much for one article.
So, for the full details of creating the best workout routine, check out my articles about workout routines and how to build muscle. Or better yet…
Need A Weight Gain Program That’s Already Proven To Work BEST?
We’ve now covered the most important details of how to gain weight successfully. Men, women, young, old… it all applies just the same. Eat enough calories per day, make sure you’re gaining as fast as you should be, get the rest of your diet and workout routine right, and do it all consistently.
Now, it’s still possible that you’ll have some additional questions about designing the weight gain diet and muscle building workout that will work as effectively for you as possible. You may also just want some help doing it. Well, after nearly 10 years of people asking for it, I’ve finally created the solution.
It’s called The Ultimate Fat Loss & Muscle Building Guide, and in it I provide every additional answer, detail and fact you will ever need to get the best results as fast as possible. It contains the proven diet and workout system I’ve used to help countless men and women gain weight, build muscle and completely transform their bodies.