Eating more is the only way to gain weight. There are no shortcuts.
Step 1: How much am I eating? Count calories for a week. It's tedious, but you can give it up after a week. Fitness tracking apps like MyFitnessPal or Argus can help with this. Don't leave anything out.
Step 2: How much more should I eat? Take a minute to visit this site to find out your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), aka how many calories you burn every day just by being alive.
Set your daily calorie goal to something above your BMR. How far above? Rule of thumb is that it takes a surplus of 500 Cal/day to gain 1 pound a week. Gaining more than 4 pounds a week is not advised.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What should I eat? This may vary wildly, as personal tastes differ. Here is one example suggested by a user.
Q: What if I'm not hungry? Exercise more. It increases appetite. If you're having serious appetite problems, ask your doctor.
Q: What if I get full too easily? It's probably because your stomach is small. You can increase your stomach capacity by repeatedly eating until you're full. Your body will slowly adapt over months.
Q: How do I eat the most in one meal? This Article by Popular Science answers this question pretty comprehensively.
Q: I did steps 1 and 2 but I'm not seeing any gain. Don't expect to be able to see a difference for at least a month. After that, it will depend on the rate you're gaining and what your starting weight was.
Q: I'm trying to gain, but my weight went down! Your weight fluctuates constantly, and will occasionally go down even during extreme gains. Try not to measure your weight more often than once a week.
A few simple tips to make things go smoothly
- Eat Healthy. Junk food has loads of calories, but overconsuming can lead to other health problems.
- Keep an eye out for calorie density. Salads wont net you as many calories as steak.
- Don't skip breakfast
- Have scheduled eating times, and stick to them. Don't wait for your stomach to tell you when to eat.
- Reduce the barrier to snacking. Have snacks out all the time.
- Use big plates. It tricks your brain into eating more.
- Swap out milk for whole milk or half and half.
- Get proper sleep
- Don't smoke
- Adopt an attitude of not wasting food.
- Find small ways of adding calories to things you already eat (add butter to food, add cream to coffee, buy higher-calorie versions of store-bought snacks)
\This is by no means a comprehensive guide yet. Suggestions for edits and additions are encouraged.*
submitted by /u/flonnf