T Nation

15 Yr Old Weight Gaining Advice


#1

My son is about 6' tall and weights about 160. He eats everything under the son like most teenagers and plays football and doesn't gain much at all. He has been lifting with the football team for a year and a half. He is stout and has the heart but needs to put on more pounds to be a greater threat on defense against kids older than him.

He has been taking Metabolic Drive as suggested by a gnc store manager friend of ours. I dont want to burn him up or out early but any suggestions on weight gainers or what the best foods for him to eat would be greatly appreciated.


Getting Started w/ Sleds, Father and Son
Getting Started w/ Sleds, Father and Son
#2

drink milk instead of juice

add cheese to everything

make sure he’s getting 1g of protein per lb of his bodyweight

make sure he’s eating tons of carbs


#3

[quote]chenoweth wrote:
He eats everything under the son like most teenagers and plays football and doesn’t gain much at all.[/quote]

“Everything under the sun” might not actually be as much food as you think.

Some people think eating “everything under the sun” means “having seconds for dinner” forgetting that their kid skipped breakfast and lunch.

To add to Yogi’s suggestions, just a couple more:

  • full fat versions of food that some people are scared of. Full-fat yogurt, not fat-free yogurt. Whole milk, not skim. Real butter.

  • A big shake every night with protein powder and natural peanut butter. If he’s a real twig and doesn’t seem to be adding fat, maybe some ice cream, too.


#4

Ditch the weight gainers. He needs to actually track what he’s eating and I guarantee it is nowhere near as much as you or he believes. Eating something like more red meat, ice cream, cheese, etc is always better than a weight gainer.

Edit: Ice cream doesn’t make you fat. I’m a fan of eating actual food. Ditch the protein powder. Eat chicken (thighs not breasts), lean beef, more eggs, and tuna. Getting in 160 grams of protein a day is nothing.


#5

[quote]Yogi wrote:
drink milk instead of juice

add cheese to everything

make sure he’s getting 1g of protein per lb of his bodyweight

make sure he’s eating tons of carbs[/quote]

And handfuls upon handfuls of nuts.

OP, you can continue to use Metabolic Drive to help reach a daily protein goal, but there’s really no need for weight gainers. He can easily make up the calories with the better food sources Yogi listed above.


#6

Thanks Guys thats really what i wanted to hear was more natural weight gainers (fatty food) than the supplements.


#7

[quote]chenoweth wrote:
He eats everything under the son like most teenagers[/quote]
Like AG said, I’d look into this first. To me, “everything under the sun” means four or more big meals seven days a week. Is that the case here?

Farm animals or water animals in every meal:

Definitely nothing wrong with Metabolic Drive made into a calorie-dense shake with whole milk, fruit, peanut butter, or whatever, but make sure it’s in addition to three big meals, not as a “meal replacement”.

Dan John and Jim Wendler have written a bunch about training younger lifters and athletes. In particular, this is a great piece by Wendler specifically for high school football players looking to play in college:

EDIT: [quote]more natural weight gainers (fatty food)[/quote]
Don’t over-focus on just “fatty foods”, because that almost sounds like a free pass to have ice cream sandwiches for lunch. Fat is calorie-dense, so it’s a relatively easy way to bump up daily calories and animal fats have a few other benefits (for hormones, etc.), but like Yogi said, carbs are also crucial and shouldn’t be avoided.


#8

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
EDIT: [quote]more natural weight gainers (fatty food)[/quote]
Don’t over-focus on just “fatty foods”, because that almost sounds like a free pass to have ice cream sandwiches for lunch.[/quote]

Just piggybacking on this once more, I agree, CC.

My mention of “fatty foods” was meant to head off the skim-milk drinking, skinless-chicken-breast-and-egg-white-eating attitude that some folks might bring to the table because they’re afraid of dietary fat, even when trying to gain weight. “Fatty foods” should mean eating your chicken with the skin on, pork roasts, fatty fish, whole milk, cooking your vegetables in butter or coconut oil, etc.


#9

Yes he probably eats more seconds than extra meals such as 4 or 5 meals a day. I will work with him on that maybe hearing it from other people will convince him Im right. He is drinking 2 percent milk so I will get him on whole milk. He drinks his protein shake after supper before bed and mixes frozen fruit and milk with it.

Should this be when he drinks the shake? So is a “trail mix” with fruits and nuts a good thing for him to be snacking on? Somebody mentioned handfuls of nuts earlier. Thanks for all the great advice.


#10

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:
My mention of “fatty foods” was meant to head off the skim-milk drinking, skinless-chicken-breast-and-egg-white-eating attitude that some folks might bring to the table because they’re afraid of dietary fat, even when trying to gain weight.[/quote]
Ha, for sure. If I had a buck for every teenager who said “Yeah, my diet’s great. I pretty much only eat chicken breasts, egg whites, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal”, it would pay for my monthly Ben and Jerry’s habit.

[quote]chenoweth wrote:
He drinks his protein shake after supper before bed and mixes frozen fruit and milk with it.

Should this be when he drinks the shake?[/quote]
That’s fine. Or on the weekends when it’s more convenient, he could mix a giant shake in the morning and have it through the day, making sure to finish it before bed. The bigger point is to use a shake literally as a supplement, with the whole food meals being the base of his diet.

Trail mix is fine, especially if you can throw some chopped up jerky in with it. Nuts are an easy way to throw down calories quickly. A handful can be like 200+ calories eaten in a few seconds, so they’re always an option. Only thing is that they’re relatively-light on protein, so I wouldn’t go over-rely on them too much. Hard boiled eggs work great for a higher protein, still-calorie-dense snack.


#11

[quote]chenoweth wrote:
Yes he probably eats more seconds than extra meals such as 4 or 5 meals a day. I will work with him on that maybe hearing it from other people will convince him Im right.[/quote] I would advise that you and he need to sit down together and figure out recipes that have ~1000 calories. Make it like a fun research project. Researching this is so easy now a days. 1000 is just an example. Find a number that works and stick with it. Breakfast 1000 cal meals, lunch 1000 cal meals, and dinner 1000 cal meals. No skimping just cause he’s not as hungry on a particular day. Focusing on quality nutrient dense food and well balanced in terms of protein, fat and carbs. This will teach the value of food. Focus on 3 sizable meals will also teach consistency. Kids, and all of us starting out trying to gain weight learn best when we can see efforts pay off and not spinning wheels. If you stick to something this simple, it will quickly show that calories are what makes the difference. Also, naturally we all want to snack, so nuts, fruit, and protein bars/shakes can make up the difference to push into the size zone in terms of calories (when training heavily etc).

[quote]He is drinking 2 percent milk so I will get him on whole milk. He drinks his protein shake after supper before bed and mixes frozen fruit and milk with it.[/quote] Good idea, though he doesn’t even have to drink milk. Just an example, but Pea protein has an excellent amino profile. I’m not recommending against milk, but many do have issues without realizing. Just my .02 there. Avocados, peanut/almond butter, egg yolks, MCT oil are a good ways to beef up shakes without adding much volume.

Focus on adding extra cals on workout days via “peri-workout” nutrition. Overall, the “keep it simple” method is a great teaching too and will likely make it easier to conceptualize and learn how to use calories.


#12

i ll have to agree with the most above, but i d seriously take into consideration of creating good eating habits, at least 150-200g protein (mostly of animal origin) , at least 60-80g of fats (mostly poly and mono unsaturated, try to eliminate saturated and trans fats except the ones from the protein sources) per day.

Also a big emphasis should be given on micronutrient and fiber intake which should come from fruits and vegetables and NOT supplements(hardly as efficient). I d also try to avoid most proseccesed foods (and obviously junk foods) and I d save my protein powder for my periworkout nutrition. I d only use protein powder other times of day if it was an absolute necessity(e.g. skipping a meal).

A good thing to do would be to increase the meals in the day and make them from 3/4 to 6/7, that way the volume of food ingested can be significantly bigger. I 'd also advise you to check out how much he sleeps and also his stress factors. Now as long as he trains hard and smart enough with that nutrition and lifestyle he will have the optimum anabolic environment in which he will Grow! Hope this helps


#13

Pretty much agree with all that has been said above, as I’ve been there/done that and been that skinny and tall kid.
At that age,though, you usually just forget to eat until you’re hurting, and then you put away more than anyone would think possible. That’s where the ‘he eats a lot’ myth comes from.

I used to resort to nuts and old school weight gainers.


#14

If he’s at least maintaining his weight, then so long as he doesn’t eat any less, finding means to “hide” calories in attempt to outpace a humming bird’s metabolism should be simple.

When my brother was a teenage, and about 135 lbs, I bought him a few jugs of weight gainer. I told him to eat whatever he’s already eating, but in addition, he’s drink 1/2 a shake before bed, and 1/2 a shake with breakfast instead of a glass of milk.
He did that for 6 months and gained plenty of size from the training he had already been doing.

Another variation is to simply add a Tbsp of Natural Peanut Butter after every meal. 5 meals/day = an additional 1000 cals each day.

S


#15

Havnt checked for a few days and was glad to see all the info that has been added and the questions answered. Great ideas and I really appreciate the help. Im sure I will have more questions, again thanks.


#16

the reason is very high metabolism at that age. there r many good gainers but they are just meal replacements. whole foods would be more healthier.
calorie dense foods but the ones he likes. that will ensure he eats those consistently. cycle them so he doesnt get bored of one thing. healthy fats like nuts which are calorie dense, oats with cream, butter etc. in breakfast would help.

also ensure that he rests well. The less active he can be, will preserve his cals to grow more.