T Nation

Having Problems Gaining Weight

Hi Everyone,

I’m 23 y/o, 6’5" and weigh 185 pounds. I am very skinny and have always been this way. It is extremely hard to put on weight. I have visited these forums in the past just to find some information.

Well after a year of trying to break the 200 lb mark I decided I needed to try something different. The first thing I wanted to try doing different was basically taking a different approach to everything and start from scratch. I will state now that I am in perfect health and my doctor has blamed my lack of weight on just an extremely fast metabolism.

For the past year I have been working out 3 to 4 days a week doing a basic split of Upper Body one day and Lower the Next, then a day off. and so on. I do abs when I do my lower body. I am not trying to be huge, I am just trying to be defined and have a little more size so I’m not a twig.

I have been taking the following supplements: creatine, GNC Pro Performance Weight Gainer 2200 Gold and a Multi Vitamin. I take the creatine as recommended and have 2 Shakes of the Weight gainer daily which already puts me at roughly 4400 Calories a day. I take the weight gainer in the morning after breakfast and then at night an hour before bed, unless it was a day I went to the gym. Then I take it right after I work out.

I eat breakfast every morning. Usually 3 eggs, 5 slices of bacon, whole wheat toast with butter and a glass of orange juice.

Lunch I usually eat 2 Chicken Salad sandwiches on wheat, a small serving of pasta salad and a small bag of chips.

Dinner can vary. I do eat out a lot at restaurants. Most nights I have a decent size salad 12 oz steak or piece of chicken breast with mashed potatoes and steam broccoli. I also eat a lot of cheese sticks lol.

In between meals if I am feeling hungry I usually have a soup-at-hand thing because they are fast and easy to make at work.

Anyway as you can see I am easily taking in over 5,000 calories and it�??s not that crappy I don’t think. What should I do? Do I need to take more supplements? Do I need to work out differently? Do I just need to give up and except that I’ll always be skinny? Please let me know.

6’5" . . . . I feel ya, my tall brother.

Ok, I looked up that weight gainer on the GNC site ad it says that each serving is 3 rounded scoops, with 5 servings per container. So are you going through half a tub a day, or just taking in one scoop at a time? If so, you are eating less than you think, which is why you shouldn’t base your diet around suppliments.

As far as food goes, you really aren’t eating that much. 3 meals, any one of which doesn’t look like it breaks 700 calories. You need McDonald’s my friend. And taco bell, and ice cream.

Try eating even more; say for just 2 weeks you double your whole food intake (not the weight gainer shakes).

To do this, I would add 3 more meals in between your others, consisting of things like nuts, peanut butter, fish, turkey/chicken, beef, high GI carbs, etc. Add 2 servings of fruit to every meal (meaning, 2 fruits of your choice). Make sure you are never hungry / always full except around workout time.

Lastly, write down all that you eat every day.

In addition to what the other guys have said, add a few cups of whole milk and a dozen eggs a day.

Brant_Drake: Yes I am taking a full serving every time I take the shake, thats 3 scoops with water. It gets expensive lol but I dont really have the time to eat all the time. Mcdonalds and Taco Bell, so basically by that you mean any food in my stomach is good food? I can eat the taco bell like nobody’s business lol.

rsg: It would be very hard for me to eat 3 more “full” meals each day. Would bringing sandwiches in plastic bags work? My office is kind of hectic and its hard to find time.

[quote]Ruffrider25 wrote:
Brant_Drake: Yes I am taking a full serving every time I take the shake, thats 3 scoops with water. It gets expensive lol but I dont really have the time to eat all the time. Mcdonalds and Taco Bell, so basically by that you mean any food in my stomach is good food? I can eat the taco bell like nobody’s business lol.
[/quote]

Ok, if you like taking it then go ahead.

With any diet plan the number of calories is the most important factor, followed by macronutrient breakdown, so yes, any calories are good calories. Just make sure that you have protein with every feeding (with Taco bell this shouldn’t be a problem.)

If 5000 isn’t making you grow, well then, it’s time for 6000!

Okay then its off to Taco Bell tonight I guess :P. I was also looking at the Skinny Bastard diet. That pretty much says you just wanna eat eat eat so I guess that will be my new philosophy on things lol. So should I just say screw eating healthy? Im kind of scared of getting the extra fat, but is that just a natural by product of trying to gain weight?

A person might gain fat when adding muscle, but from the sounds of things that should be the last thing you have to worry about. Besides, with a fast metabolism any fat will come right back off once you calm down on the diet.

Don’t say screw eating healthy either - eat the taco bell/pizza/mcd’s - just be sure to get fruits and veg with other meals.

mmmmmm food.

How hard do you workout? You may already know this but if you only work out until you feel a tiny burn then your not going to gain. I do the last set of each workout until I am almost crying(exaggerating of course), then I get someone to spot me so I can do two more.

And like the others, it doesn’t seem like you are eating enough food.

You eat the way a person would if they were DIETING, aside from the weight gainer shakes which you have clearly miscalculated.

If you want to gain weight, you need to begin eating at least 6 protein-based meals every day, and a lot more calories.

looks sheepishly at billaJ

Do you read this forum?

I’ll also give a vote for the “eat more” suggestion. Being an ectomorph (meaning that you tend to be naturally quite lean) means that getting fat isn’t as much of a concern for you as say an endomorph. Even if you do start to get a little fatter than you’d like, all you’ve gotta do is drop a few hundred calories from the diet or just add in some cardio and your metabolism should do the rest.

Also, I’d suggest that you train less often. You don’t grow in the gym, you grow while resting out of the gym. The fewer days you’re in the gym, the easier it’ll be to eat a caloric surplus throughout the week.

Why not try just training 3 times per week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (still doing the Upper/Lower split). You can still stimulate growth on this split in the gym and the extra days off will make it easier to grow.

Hope this helps.

I would first like to thank everyone for the responses. I’ve been reading through the forums and the articles on this site and it seems that what I have been doing isn’t “completely” wrong, but I haven’t been doing enough of the proper thing to really see any results. I’m going food shopping tonight and from the couple of weight gaining articles I have read I have made a huge list of items I need to pick up.

I guess my main question for this post is, how do you guys find the time to eat 5 or 6 decent meals in a day? I’m an IT guy for a marketing office and I’m usually running around the office so much I don’t have time to sit down and eat unless its my lunch break so the question is. If I increase the size of Breakfast Lunch and Dinner and manage to snack on things throughout the day, will replacing the other 2 meals with the Weight Gainer shakes be sufficient? If not is there any type of quick fix I can take? I don’t wanna seem not 100% committed to what everyone is telling me but eating other meals during the day would be really hard lol.

How about taking boiled eggs and nuts along to work, get through a few eggs and a handful of nuts now and then. Use your imagination, you can even prep some food in a container and eat it (or use a microwave if there’s one at work)

My guess is you shouldnt rely on that shake so much, it must be expensive over time and may not be being ingested as well as actual food would be.

When i used to use weight gain shakes i also found it simply lessened my appetite for the real meals!

I’d be pretty confident you’ll clear 200lbs in a few weeks or months, and get stronger too. Hope it goes well.