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Weight Gain: Continue to Add More Food?


I have been lifting seriously for about a year now. Currently, I can not squat or deadlift because of ACL surgery I had in December. However, I am currently weight training 4 days a week and am doing 2 days of physical therapy which I consider my "leg day". I have been having trouble breaking 165lbs. My diet is...

Meal 1
Bagel cream cheese

Meal 2
Turkey and cheese sandwich
Baked chips

Meal 3
Peanut butter sandwich

Meal 4

Meal 5

Meal 6
Protein shake

I also have been taking Gaspari Real Mass between meal 5 and 6. I did not buy it, a friend did and decided he didn't want it so I thought I would give it a try. I am a senior in high school so my dinner is mostly based on what my mom cooks. My question is, do I just continue to add more food to my diet? If so, what kind of food? A majority of the diet articles I read on here talk about metabolic rate or other terms which I do not understand and I kind of give up guessing what they mean. Are there certain concepts I should learn in order to gain the size and weight I would like?


Before you start worrying too much about the finer points of your diet, start by getting a baseline for how many calories you're currently taking in and what your rate of growth looks like. Ultimately, growing demands more calories. Because you're unable to do many of the "money" exercises like squat and DL, you should probably be pretty conservative with how much you add to your diet. Experiment, weigh yourself, and keep detailed notes about how many calories you're taking in.

A lot of the diet stuff people will tell you are things you probably already know. Bagels with cream cheese, pretzels, and baked chips aren't exactly "muscle food," ya know? Think of people who have gotten big and strong in the past--they were typically eating whole eggs, steak, cottage cheese, chicken and beef, etc.

Some basic foods that are acceptable depending on your macronutrient goals:
meats--lean beef, chicken breasts
nuts, nut butters
veggies--broccoli, spinach, peas, etc
cheese and dairy
whole eggs
olive oil

That list isn't comprehensive--there are tons of others. Whole foods, unprocessed stuff, etc.

Personally, I would recommend going for more in the way of fats and protein than carbs. But if that's too much for you at the moment, then just focus first on your overall calories and that you're eating sensible foods.

What does your current training split look like? How much longer until you are able to incorporate leg work into your routine?

And ultimately, I'd advise that you just start reading articles on this website. This site has an amazing amount of useful information about all this stuff.


WEll, I would pretty much just agree with what 3commandments wrote here, with the added piece of advice that the very first diet article you need to read is posted up TODAY on the front page with Lonnie Lowery and fortney. Called "forced anabolism".

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about gaining muscle through food stems directly from this article. A lot of great articles out there, and a lot of useful concepts to learn in nutrition, but the very bottom line to gaining muscle is contained within that article and if you forget that article's main points, it won't matter WHAT kind of details you have dialed in. People make this thing much too complicated--look, you can always adjust the details if you are getting the big picture right: drop some carbs, add some carbs, change carb timing or sources, whatever. That's all details. Get the fundamentals first, and make sure you are working hard in the gym as well. Without that hard, heavy gym work the extra food is going to waste (or fat).

This is the plain unadulterated fundamental truth to eating for gaining muscle.


Thank you for your responses.

To 3commandments
I won't be able to incorporate squats or full deads until about June. Before my surgery I was squatting 275x5 and deadlifting 335x1. Currently I am doing 3/4 deadlifts or rack pulls. I train with a coach I am friends with and believe I have the correct form. While I know chips and pretzels aren't muscle building foods, I just throw them in there because I enjoy them and don't feel that these really add any fat to me. I have pretty low body fat (10% or less I'd say) I will continue to count my calories but where do I go from there? As for my training split, I do one body part a day. So I'll do chest monday, shoulders tuesday, physical therapy wednesday, back thursday, physical therapy friday and arms either on Saturday or Sunday. I suppose I also should mention that I am a Waiter on the weekend working from 8 am to 3 pm and only have a bagel and cream cheese until I get home from work.

In the mornings I usually need something quick and easy. Would you suggest another choice?

and thank you Aragorn - I will read that article


Also, how am I suppose to determine things like steak and potatoes and how many calories of that I'm taking in? I am looking to learn as much as possible and that anabolism article actually inspired me to post these questions.


Read the article on the first page


If your current diet is maintaining your weight, you are just a few hundred calories short of a surplus diet

Eating just the healthy foods is better. But if you're worried about not gaining, or you've been stuck for awhile, my inclination would be to just MAKE SURE you actually increase your calories by like 500, at least for a few weeks, even if it means throwing in some less-than-stellar cals. (assuming you are already getting enough protein from the rest of your food). Poptarts with lunch or a pre-dinner double cheeseburger from BK have been my personal choices... lol. Or add a few glasses of milk. Something like this. Easy and definite.


That's what he just did, hence "that anabolism article actually inspired me to post these questions"

Best advice I can give you is to go to dailyplate.com and search the food database for the kind of steak and the kind of potato you are eating. They have values for everything there. The other best advice is to not get caught up in being precisely exact with every small number where fresh foods are concerned--steak varies by the cut, and by the weight, just as hamburger calories varies by the fat % in the burger.

Find a good approximation value for what cut of me ats you use and go from there. Being off by 20-30 calories in a day is not going to stall your progress unless you are going to compete on stage, and probaby not even then if you are being consistent with your measurements. Being off by 200-300+ calories in a day might stall you though.


Protein shake. Takes about 30 seconds to blend up with oats and milk, and you can drink it on the way. Hell, you should pack 2 for work in a cooler. You should be able to slam them between tables pretty easily. Much faster than solid food definitely.


Make a big shake ~1500-2000 cals worth. You have a few seconds here and there to chug some of it, even while you're waiting. Put it in a convenient place where you can access it while working.


What all could I put into that shake? All I'm thinking is oats, peanut butter and protein.


Your whiny annoying little ass is still here?


Yes. I came to this website like a lot of people and thought I knew what I was talking about. I didn't. I have been training hard and trying to pack on muscle. I was annoying, I understand that. However, if youre willing to give me advice of my weight gain, my ears are open.


We did give you some advice. You have to do some leg work too. In this case that involves doing some searching for shake recipes--there are hundreds of recipes on this site, and dozens of shake recipes a google search away. Hell, there's always trial and error in real life too...throw some ingredients in and drink.

Banana, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, almond milk, cream, orange juice, apple juice, flax seeds, the list is endless. Pick three or four, add protein, go. Experiment. Try.

Heavy cream is calorie dense. Use that. Also, you can make more than one "regular" calorie shake and just drink a couple at work instead of one giant one. You know that right?