hardgainers: how do you keep motivated and consistent with your diet?

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    Feb 21, 2013 6:38 PM GMT
    Hey there my fellow hardgainers. Me and a lot of you might have this problem too, so I was thinking if there's actually someone who overcame this and could give me / us some advices about it.

    My personal bad habit is that I skip my meals under certain conditions (lack of time, motivation etc.) I would like to develop a good habit of eating regularly. I'm trying different techniques, but I always fail in the end. I have to put a lot of energy to force myself to eat.

    So my question is how do you stay motivated and consistent with your hardgainer diet?
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    Feb 24, 2013 2:01 AM GMT
    I didn't start seeing any progress (and it's still not much) until I literally started counting my calories. I downloaded this app called MyFitnessPal. and consumed 3000-3500 calories a day. No transfats, and no sugary foods. But still...gaining weight is always a struggle for me.
  • babebasil

    Posts: 6

    Feb 24, 2013 8:41 AM GMT
    Do you think taking appetite stimulators is another option? I also can't get myself to eat a lot - I can keep it up days at a time, and relapse even more days at a timeicon_sad.gif.

    So, appetite stimulators? Do they work? should I try them as a solution?
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    Feb 24, 2013 8:52 AM GMT
    I don't mean this with any offense, but why is skipping meals any less comparable to skipping workouts?

    I have a big appetite and like eating but I can't say I want to eat my 2 servings of bran in the morning vs having some bacon.

    I find this hard gaining stuff to a lot of BS. Eat. Its literally that simple. Its the easiest part of being dedicated to the gym. If you can't force food into your mouth how the hell are going to force a 400 lb olympic bar on your back up from a squat? Grow a set of balls.
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    Feb 24, 2013 9:01 AM GMT
    uoft23 saidI don't mean this with any offense, but why is skipping meals any less comparable to skipping workouts?

    I have a big appetite and like eating but I can't say I want to eat my 2 servings of bran in the morning vs having some bacon.

    I find this hard gaining stuff to a lot of BS. Eat. Its literally that simple. Its the easiest part of being dedicated to the gym. If you can't force food into your mouth how the hell are going to force a 400 lb olympic bar on your back up from a squat? Grow a set of balls.


    Haha +1 on this.
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    Feb 24, 2013 12:56 PM GMT
    I have a hard time gaining weight, but I do agree the idea of a "hard gainer" is very much overplayed.

    I use my fitnesspal to track calories, and after about 6 months of doing this religiously I had a sense of how many calories I've been eating a day, and I have been doing great.

    As for meals, I try to plan around my schedule. On a really good day I can make and take everything I'm going to eat for the day with me.. with the goal of the containers being empty when I'm on my way home.

    Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't, but overall I'm doing a good job.

  • HPgeek934

    Posts: 970

    Feb 24, 2013 1:32 PM GMT
    uoft23 saidI don't mean this with any offense, but why is skipping meals any less comparable to skipping workouts?

    I have a big appetite and like eating but I can't say I want to eat my 2 servings of bran in the morning vs having some bacon.

    I find this hard gaining stuff to a lot of BS. Eat. Its literally that simple. Its the easiest part of being dedicated to the gym. If you can't force food into your mouth how the hell are going to force a 400 lb olympic bar on your back up from a squat? Grow a set of balls.


    I disagree with this. I eat between 3000 and 4000 calories a day, and work out 4-5 times a week. In the last month I gained (literally) not an ounce. Some of us have different things going on inside our bodies that make it difficult. I have an intestional disease, so food passes thru me in no time.

    It's not at all a fun problem to have.
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    Feb 24, 2013 11:52 PM GMT
    uoft23 saidI don't mean this with any offense, but why is skipping meals any less comparable to skipping workouts?

    I have a big appetite and like eating but I can't say I want to eat my 2 servings of bran in the morning vs having some bacon.

    I find this hard gaining stuff to a lot of BS. Eat. Its literally that simple. Its the easiest part of being dedicated to the gym. If you can't force food into your mouth how the hell are going to force a 400 lb olympic bar on your back up from a squat? Grow a set of balls.


    Yes you're right skipping meals is no different than skipping workouts. I very rarely skip workouts, finding the motivation to go to the gym is very easy for me. But finding motivation to eat when I don't feel hungry is very hard for me. I go for 3500cal a day but I rarely get to it because I don't know how to get myself to do it.

    And that's the problem.
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    Feb 24, 2013 11:54 PM GMT
    lupsided saidI didn't start seeing any progress (and it's still not much) until I literally started counting my calories. I downloaded this app called MyFitnessPal. and consumed 3000-3500 calories a day. No transfats, and no sugary foods. But still...gaining weight is always a struggle for me.


    Counting calories helps, but forgetting to write down what I ate is pretty easy. Thank god for this kind of apps. I don't see myself walking around the whole day with a sheet, pen and table of nutritional values.
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    Feb 24, 2013 11:58 PM GMT
    babebasil saidDo you think taking appetite stimulators is another option? I also can't get myself to eat a lot - I can keep it up days at a time, and relapse even more days at a timeicon_sad.gif.

    So, appetite stimulators? Do they work? should I try them as a solution?


    I started to eat B vitamins, they are supposed to help with fighting eating disorders. I feel it helps, but it might be only a placebo effect. Anyway give it a try, it's absolutely harmless, you have only few bucks to lose.
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    Feb 25, 2013 12:03 AM GMT
    Prep is everything. Prepare your weekly meals in advance, buy containers to put food in and eat consistently 5-6x a day. I cook all my meals on Sunday afternoon and then don't have to worry about finding decent nutrition at work.
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    Feb 26, 2013 12:52 AM GMT
    kalikomua saidPrep is everything. Prepare your weekly meals in advance, buy containers to put food in and eat consistently 5-6x a day. I cook all my meals on Sunday afternoon and then don't have to worry about finding decent nutrition at work.


    I started to prepare meals for a day in advance. But I'm still not used to it.

    What foods do you cook that they last for entire week?
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    Feb 26, 2013 12:56 AM GMT
    If you figure this out let me know. I have terrible eating habits. I was obese as a kid, and the only way I figured out how to lose the weight was to starve and exercise like a mad man. Of course, I don't do that anymore, but when I sense myself gaining weight, I immediately start skipping meals.
  • ilduce

    Posts: 14

    Feb 26, 2013 12:59 AM GMT
    kalikomua saidPrep is everything. Prepare your weekly meals in advance, buy containers to put food in and eat consistently 5-6x a day. I cook all my meals on Sunday afternoon and then don't have to worry about finding decent nutrition at work.


    I do the same. Prepping food and portioning out to grab readily on the go makes all the difference.

    I grill marinated chicken breast and steak, steam broccoli, male scotch cut oatmeal and bake sweet potatoes for the week every Sunday. All I have to add through the day are salads and fresh fruit.
  • nic_m3

    Posts: 123

    Feb 26, 2013 1:02 AM GMT
    klobasnik saidHey there my fellow hardgainers. Me and a lot of you might have this problem too, so I was thinking if there's actually someone who overcame this and could give me / us some advices about it.

    My personal bad habit is that I skip my meals under certain conditions (lack of time, motivation etc.) I would like to develop a good habit of eating regularly. I'm trying different techniques, but I always fail in the end. I have to put a lot of energy to force myself to eat.

    So my question is how do you stay motivated and consistent with your hardgainer diet?


    So I get that I am still small 170 6'2" but I have gained 30lbs since oct 25th. 2 things keep me motivated, A) seeing bigger guys at the gym and B) I have the livestrong app which I enter in everything I eat to keep track of calories fat etc intake in a day. It has a reminder set up for 6pm that goes off if I haven't made my goal which then usually gets me up to make something.

    Also between work, school and running a seperate business plus working out 2 hours a day, finding time to make meals isn't always easy or practical so I like to keep things that are easy and quick to make or require no prep at all. Things like greek yogurt, chocolate milk, protein bars, cottage cheese, fruits or vegetables etc.

    I just look at is as your only cheating yourself and I've never seen the point in doing anything half ass especially if I can do it right and get results twice as fast.
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    Feb 26, 2013 5:12 PM GMT
    I feel you. I don't think I am a hardgainer per say. If I eat more, I will gain weight for sure. For me, it is a matter of motivation to eat too. Most of the time, I don't eat enough and just don't have the appetite to eat. Also, preparing meals is the something I hate to do. And then you have those microwave dinners (or other instant meals), those are so loaded up with sodium and other non-nutritious stuff that I feel guilty eating them, so I avoided them too. I let myself go hungry.

    I need suggestion on fast and healthy meals and snacks...
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    Feb 26, 2013 5:27 PM GMT
    You really should think about taking a couple of hours on Saturday or Sunday to prepare all of your meals for the week and then packaging them into individual servings in tupperware.

    I'll grill two 5 lb bags of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, make a ton of brown rice and sautee a ton of broccoli and that will break down into probably 10/12 individual meals that I can just grab out of the fridge, warm up and slam down.

    I'll also make a ton of homemade basil pesto and pour it over wholegrain pasta with some chopped up chicken and that's another 6-8 meals to give some variety.
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    Feb 26, 2013 5:30 PM GMT
    7Famark saidYou really should think about taking a couple of hours on Saturday or Sunday to prepare all of your meals for the week and then packaging them into individual servings in tupperware.

    I'll grill two 5 lb bags of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, make a ton of brown rice and sautee a ton of broccoli and that will break down into probably 10/12 individual meals that I can just grab out of the fridge, warm up and slam down.

    I'll also make a ton of homemade basil pesto and pour it over wholegrain pasta with some chopped up chicken and that's another 6-8 meals to give some variety.


    Amen. The food seems monotonous but I honestly just force myself to eat it on the consistent regular (though I will say I can pretty much eat whatever, it's a gift in my family lol...but still no excuse to eat shitty), and then I just drink a ton of water. Have to jut chug water tons and tons of it man. Keep your body flushed.
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    Feb 26, 2013 9:41 PM GMT
    uberick saidI feel you. I don't think I am a hardgainer per say. If I eat more, I will gain weight for sure. For me, it is a matter of motivation to eat too. Most of the time, I don't eat enough and just don't have the appetite to eat. Also, preparing meals is the something I hate to do. And then you have those microwave dinners (or other instant meals), those are so loaded up with sodium and other non-nutritious stuff that I feel guilty eating them, so I avoided them too. I let myself go hungry.

    I need suggestion on fast and healthy meals and snacks...


    I'm not a hardgainer per say too. But I'm gaining weight very hard too. It's the same as you said. Finding the motivation to constantly eat is very hard.

    As someone mentioned cottage cheese is fine and quick, I have our fridge stuffed with it. You can grab it and eat it as it is, or put there some olives, sardines, pesto, pineapple, sun dried tomatoes etc.

    Flapjacks are also great, I have always a few ready.

    Nuts. I especially like cashew nuts. You just grab some and that's it.

    But there my list ends, I know there is jerky, but that's something I can't find here, buying certain stuff is like chasing unicorns in my country.
    If you have any more quick grabs, please share.
  • goofrider

    Posts: 22

    Mar 12, 2013 6:21 AM GMT
    klobasnik said
    uoft23 saidI don't mean this with any offense, but why is skipping meals any less comparable to skipping workouts?

    I have a big appetite and like eating but I can't say I want to eat my 2 servings of bran in the morning vs having some bacon.

    I find this hard gaining stuff to a lot of BS. Eat. Its literally that simple. Its the easiest part of being dedicated to the gym. If you can't force food into your mouth how the hell are going to force a 400 lb olympic bar on your back up from a squat? Grow a set of balls.


    Yes you're right skipping meals is no different than skipping workouts. I very rarely skip workouts, finding the motivation to go to the gym is very easy for me. But finding motivation to eat when I don't feel hungry is very hard for me. I go for 3500cal a day but I rarely get to it because I don't know how to get myself to do it.

    And that's the problem.


    For years I tried to workout and put on weight, and here's what actually help me to put on weight:

    don't just eat enough, eat too much

    If you aim for a specific calorie target every day, I bet you'll be undereating half of those days. The only benchmark I have these days is: I eat till I can't eat any more. If you're filling a black water bottle, how do you know it's full? Well, if it overflows, it's full!!

    The point is, just eat as much as you can, all the time, and listen to your body and watch your weight progresses. After a while you'll know how much is enough. Most of the calorie intake guide are not suitable for people like us, as we have much higher resting metabolism, and even higher when we're working out. Targeting a number distract you from listening to your body.

    there's no right way to eat, just eat

    This is what you're having problems with: eating 6-7 small meals a day. My meal plan these days on bulking is very simple: breakfast, 2 full size lunches (12pm & 4pm), normal full size dinner, a post-workout protein shake, and a night-time MRD. No set calories or portion sizes on these, I just stuff myself. And if I don't put on weight, it means I need to eat EVEN MORE. It's that simple.

    Don't worry about eating healthy. Eat junk food, eat ice cream, eat butter and whole milk. Getting fat is not your problem. Just eat whatever you can, whenever you can. If you missed a meal, an MRD is a really easy way to make up for it.


    carbs > protein

    What surprise me the most is that I used to take 100-150g of whey protein a day and still can't put on weight. Now I take a single 800-1000 calorie weight gainer MRD at night instead and it's actually been more effective. So basically, it doesn't matter how much protein I eat, if I don't eat a ridiculously excessive amount of carbs, I'll burn all my fat + protein intake as well. This might be true for you as well.

    MRD > protein

    Just as I mentioned above, you should try a good MRD, it's a very good way to stuff calories when you're not hungry. It packs 800-1200 calories (mostly carbs) and at lead 20-30g of protein. Keep a big jug of premixed MRD in your fringe and sip a big glass of it at night when you're watching TV. Add a post workout protein shake @ about 30-40g protein and that's more than enough protein to supplement your diet.


    train less, lift hard

    5x/wk is too much, and you probably focus on too many isolation exercises if you're lifting 5x/wk. It's ABSOLUTELY essential that you're loading progressively. If you record hasn't gone up a week or 2, you're basically just throwing calories away, Change up your routine when you plateau, if you haven't put on any weight for a month, go back to the basics and do only the 4 major lifts (bench press, shoulder press, squat, deadlift). Don't do any other lifts until your records on all of them starting going up progressively again. When stuck, change rep/set (3x10, 5x5, 7x3, etc) and keep pushing yourself until they go up.


    do the big 4 before doing anything else

    People say it all the time but it's really true: The best result I get is when I really try my best focus on the big 4 lifts (bench press, shoulder press, squat, deadlift): don't cheat, don't replace it with another exercise, and always try to hit a new record. Generally, if i'm not grunting at the last rep or 2, I add more weights. And if I don't fail the last rep, I do another set. The actual rep/set numbers are not important. The only benchmark is I need to lift harder and heavier than the week before on all 4 lifts.

    And when done right and pushing hard enough, they're the most satisfying exercises: you're firing your CNS on all front, recruiting fibers from all over your body, and you can feel the pump 1-2 days afterwards. You'll be starving and eat like a pig the next day, and you just feel stronger and tougher overall. A lot of guys skip out on squats and deadlifts (myself included), but for guys like us they're probably the best exercises to build strength and size. I used to skip out on them too because, let's face it, they are TOUGH., until I really take the time to do my research and spent a couple weeks focusing on fixing my for, trying to improve it in every little place possible (grip angle and position, stance, foot angle, etc. EVERY LITTLE THING), now you literally have to pull me off the squat rack.

    eating is the real work

    You can actually get big by doing only the big 4 lifts 2x/wk and nothing else, as long as you eat enough and lift hard enough. Eating is something you need to do 7 days a week, so it's actually much harder work.

    Nobody else can tell you how much is enough, only your body can. So how about spend a month or 2 focusing on getting into an eating routine that you can stick to and produce good result for you?





  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 12, 2013 6:25 AM GMT
    1. Count Calories. I count calories to the T (I started 2 months ago though). Been eating around 3,000 calories.

    2. Measure your weight daily. Every morning before you consume any food/water is ideal. Then, if it appears that you're losing weight, checkout your food log from yesterday and then increase accordingly (usually carbs is the most variable macro).

    3. This might take a few weeks before you figure out the ideal numbers for bulking.


    Oh, and if you're gonna cheat with a protein shake, drink it while you eat solid food. It'll help your body digest the drink slower.