As surprising as it may sound, plenty of men struggle to gain weight. Although staying lean may come easy to them, that doesn’t go to say that gaining muscle is any easier, either.
Despite regular exercise and time in the gym lifting weights, these are the men that struggle to increase strength. They’re the guys hunting for size small clothing, blaming their genetics for the problems they face when it comes to gaining.
But it needn’t sound all doom and gloom for the lean men amongst us, as the correct balance of diet and exercise can get you building muscle, power and strength in no time.
But first, let’s talk diet.
Plating your meals high may sound like the dream, but it’s important to choose quality over quantity. Treat every meal as fuel for your body, providing the protein it needs to build muscle.
And then there’s another equally important factor: lifting.
Creating micro tears in your muscle will lead to muscle repairs – resulting in stronger, and bigger muscles. But in order to gain muscle without the fat, your diet needs to kick the junk to the curb.
Looking to gain weight the right way? Following these strategies will help you build muscle and strength fast.
Protein supplements aren’t the only way
While incorporating protein supplements into your regime can be effective, they’re not a magic wand for building muscle.
With the right combination of training, weights and healthy diet, who’s to say you can’t gain muscle without them.
Put simply, supplements are great if you’re struggling to hit your daily protein target. But how much should you aim for? At least 0.7 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight should be your daily dose – so, while they’re not 100% necessary for muscle gain, they can help you hit your daily target.
Get ready to eat a lot of protein
Previously, people were led to believe that 5 to 6 small meals would kick your metabolism into gear and help you shed fat a lot quicker than, say, 3 bigger ones.
That no longer seems to be the case. As studies have shown that spreading your protein intake out evenly across your day is more likely to speed up the rate at which new muscle protein is laid down.
Small, more frequent meals may not help you lose fat a lot faster, but an increase in your protein frequency can have a positive impact on your muscle weight gain in the long run.
Kick your diet into place
A healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring, but you also can’t rely on junk for extra calories. Instead, start adding more fruits, healthy fats, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and most importantly, protein, into your diet.
Instead of reaching for a packet of crisps, try focus on nuts and fruit. You can also combine fruit you may not usually eat into your post-workout smoothies, for an extra health kick.
It doesn’t sound too tricky, does it?
Don’t fear the fat
You may already be well clued up on high-fat keto diets. While the diet has muscle-building benefits, you don’t have to go too hard with it.
Instead of going full keto, consider adding one or two high fat meals into your diet. This will have a number of muscle-boosting benefits for anyone looking to gain muscle weight.
Don’t be tempted to fill your diet with high fat junk food, however. All it takes is the addition of some extra healthy fats, such as avocado, pistachio nuts or flax seeds.
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, supporting heart health, blood sugar levels and healthy ageing. There are plenty more benefits to avocado than your healthy fat boost.
Muscle-building tip: Add ground flax seeds to post-workout smoothies to get an extra boost of omega-3 fats and added fiber.
Take note of food portions
We all know that constant snacking is bad for us, and the same applies to adding more meals into our routine, too.
Instead, start increasing calories into larger meals, rather than increasing the number of meals daily.
Nuts are a great food to grab to curb any snacking habits, they also provide nutrition that can improve your mental wellbeing – as well as boost your intake of healthy fats and fiber.
As we already mentioned, pistachios are the perfect go-to for an easy way to bump up your daily calorie intake – while also providing a good source of healthy fat.
Don’t go too hard, too soon
Although it may be tempting to throw yourself in at the deep end, your body will reap the benefits by taking a slower approach.
Adding too many calories too soon can cause gastrointestinal issues, upsetting your body’s normal routine. In order to avoid the possibility of bloating, heartburn, constipation or diarrhoea (noooo, thank you), it’s best to add calories gradually.
Before getting started, working out your baseline is key to understanding your calorie intake. Then, start adding around 250 calories per day and be sure to review at the end of the week.
For example, if you’re currency consuming 2500 calories daily, give it a bump up to 2750. Gaining muscle weight doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s important to allow your body to adjust.