Trying to gain weight, feeling discouraged.

  • mattrd

    Posts: 10

    Feb 04, 2016 3:31 PM GMT
    Okay, here's the deal. I'm skinny. REALLY skinny. I've been extremely thing my whole life. I can't help it. I can't gain weight. People have asked me if I had an eating disorder before. I'm 6'1 and weight 115 pounds. Everyone has always said it's because I have a high metabolism. I burn off everything I eat even when laying around. So I'm joining a gym this month and I'm going to see if it's possible for me to bulk up a bit. My biggest concern is eating. I've been reading diet plans for putting on mass. My question is, how does anyone eat that much food??? I know I won't be able to eat that much. Here is a day from a diet plan I was reading.

    BREAKFAST:
    1.5 cups raw oatmeal
    1 cup skim milk
    1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
    1 TBS flax oil (cinnamon flavored flax oil works well with oatmeal too)
    750 calories, 35 g protein, 90 g carbs, 18 g fat

    MIDMORNING SNACK:
    1 cup skim milk
    1 large piece of fruit with 1 TBS natural peanut butter
    1 low-fat mozzarella stick
    500 calories, 30 g protein, 30 g carbs, 18 g fat

    LUNCH:
    2 cups egg salad on 2 whole wheat pitas
    1 banana
    600 calories; 74 g protein, 16 g carbs, 30 g fat

    AFTERNOON SNACK:
    1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
    1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
    1 cup blueberries
    2 TBS wheat germ
    1 TBS honey
    600 calories, 38 g protein, 80 g carbs, 2.5 g fat

    DINNER:
    6 oz grilled salmon
    1 large sweet potato
    1 cup cut green beans
    1 cup skim milk

    700 calories, 45 g protein, 70 g carbs, 20 g fat

    AFTER DINNER SNACK:
    Peanut butter smoothie
    600 calories, 30 g protein, 35 carbs, 16 fat

    That's almost 4000 calories, and I think I would probably need even more calories than that due to my insanely fast metabolism. When I read things like this it's very discouraging because I don't see how I'll even do it. How can I increase my appetite? I don't want to eat so much that I puke. And I have a very hard time overeating in the first place. What can I do? Any suggestions??
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 04, 2016 7:17 PM GMT
    I'm sure that you'll get some great advise. I will say that drinking calories via smoothies and protein shakes may help. It is much easier to tolerate. It certainly helps me.
  • rod020

    Posts: 3

    Feb 04, 2016 8:35 PM GMT
    For years I have also struggled to maintain my weight, and I would lose any gains I made all too easily.

    But after years of splashing out on protein powders and mass gainers and chicken breasts I think I have the solution......

    Train, regularly and eat really healthily and be patient it's gonna take 2-5 years - but it WILL happen.

    TRAINING
    You don't have to go crazy and spend hours every day lifting weights so heavy you might hurt yourself or someone else. Just train 3-4 times per week 30 mins to 1 hour each time and you will soon notice more muscle tone. Over (a long time) you will make muscle gains, but the body is not a muscle factory, you can only realistically build a few grams a day, but you and others will see differences within weeks.

    Also lay off the cardio. Do stretching rather than cardio for warm ups. For cardio fitness walk briskly when you walk, but don't spend your time on the treadmill, you'll just be burning calories you need for your weight training.

    When training, concentrate on the main compound movements, and pay attention to good form and concentration rather than high reps or impossible weights.

    FOOD
    Wholegrains and loads of fresh vegetables and fruit, sensible amounts of protein, small meals often. Avoid all processed foods, added sugars etc. The more natural the better.

    Being a major contributor to the world's daily chicken holocaust will not build you muscle fast. It will just kill more chickens and your metabolism will quickly reject all that excess protein. Nor is it worth giving yourself mercury poisoning by eating 3 ton of tuna a day.

    There's a limit to how much protein a body can absorb at any one time (google it), so stuffing yourself with protein is pointless and probably unhealthy. Get some basic Whey or Soya protein to supplement occasionally - but don't rely on these. Find a simple balanced natural diet and stick to it.

    BODY IMAGE, DISCIPLINE & PATIENCE
    I've been training for 30+ years and it took me a long time to understand that total body transformation is not really possible. Gains are small for high metabolic guys like us, but over time those small gains do build, but you've got to keep at it, but at the same time learn to value the body and build you have - it's part of you - it's natural to you, you can build on it, but it's you.

    If you train consistently, eat well, sleep plenty and stick with you will notice changes to your body within weeks, but the big gains will slowly establish themselves over years, but once you get them their yours to keep.....

    I hope this was helpful.
    Rod


  • mattrd

    Posts: 10

    Feb 04, 2016 8:40 PM GMT
    Thank you Rod! Very informative.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 04, 2016 10:47 PM GMT
    Not only is it tough to eat 4,000 calories per day, it's EXPENSIVE. Grocery prices are obscene. I totally sympathize.

    My workout routine is pretty aggressive and my metabolism has gone way up. Instead of using regular Whey protein powder as a supp, I started making a big shake using Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass powder.

    It's been really slow going, but I have managed to jump from 165# to almost 180 in about a year. For me, that's huge. The scoops are large and for a full serving you use two of them, so you need a big blender. I use almond milk and some ice to make it like a frozen shake. You DO have to stay active so the carbs in it don't turn to fat - but if you're super skinny, that shouldn't be a problem. My flavor preference after trying all of them is strawberry. But read the reviews on the link below.

    Just an idea.

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/opt/sm.html

  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Feb 05, 2016 1:21 AM GMT
    Some good advice above, but if a thorough check by a doctor and perhaps a conversation with a nutritionist do not yield any red lights, your best bet may be a moderate exercise program and maybe a few sessions with a good therapist for some insights on body image.

    My uncle was skinny as a rail and was active into his 90's. Sometimes you just have to deal with what you've got.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 05, 2016 4:21 AM GMT
    I don't get why that diet has everything skim/lowfat wherever possible. What sort of food do you eat now? There are healthy foods denser in calories and nutrients than most of the hypothetical diet you've listed here (with the exception of the salmon), which might help.

    The advice you've already received here is good though, better than what I can give. Best I can do is probably to help brainstorm things to add.
  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Feb 05, 2016 7:52 AM GMT
    I had a little trouble gaining weight when I was younger. For me, the worst part about being really thin is that I felt bony. I have an Aunt that did as well. The rest of my family is really big. This is not healthy but drinking milk shakes was one of the few ways we found to gain weight...and eating eggs....lots of them....again...that is not a healthy way to do it.


    In_n_Out_Chocolate_Shake_332567.jpg


    I have a friend that had trouble gaining weight because his digestive system was badly damaged. He did everything possible to gain weight.

    He used to drink a lot of Boost and we used to look for foods that had just tons of calories that he might be able to digest, which was not an easy task.

    Dairy Queen has some large shakes that are over 1,000 calories

    http://calorielab.com/restaurants/dairy-queen/16


    17 Of The Highest-Calorie Chain Restaurant Items
    http://www.businessinsider.com/17-highest-calorie-chain-restaurant-items-2013-5?op=1


    One slice of Cheesecake Factory's Banana Cream Cheesecake is 930 calories. It is really good but so bad...

    http://www.cheesecakefactorynutrition.com/restaurant-item.php?rid=58&mid=2218

    It is not something you want to do for a long period. You just want to get your weight up and then your body will get used to being heavier...and then cut out eating like that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 05, 2016 8:55 AM GMT
    Rod's advice is absolutely spot on. I have always found it difficult to put on muscle. But that is my genetics. So just take the long view, be patient and follow Rod's advice.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 05, 2016 4:48 PM GMT
    Ultra heavy squats will kick up your human growth hormone and testosterone. It's how Marines gain 30 lbs in boot camp. Also yoga inversion poses to stimulate your thyroid. When your throat gets warm and scratchy feeling you will know it's working. Change your sleeping habits to early to bed. Roast a big turkey so you alsways have high quality protein to eat.
  • leanandclean

    Posts: 271

    Feb 05, 2016 10:31 PM GMT
    Heavy squats and deadlifts, friend.

    If you do put on weight, then at some point you sacrifice being cut up, especially if the weight gain comes from an unhealthy diet.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 06, 2016 12:23 AM GMT
    Hope you've seen this one: http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/4133042
  • dumbbell

    Posts: 32

    Feb 06, 2016 1:16 AM GMT
    Good advice so far. Get yourself a copy of Brooks Kubik's "Dinosaur Training" for about $20. Be prepared to eat (or drink) plenty of calories. The reality is that many (probably most) men who make a serious commitment to the project of doubling their lean bodyweight must make different life choices in other areas to give priority to that project -- a simpler dwelling, a simpler or no car, fewer expenditures on discretionary items in favor of food (and supplements, and in some cases of course, anabolic drugs.)

    Train two or three times a week, not more. Train less, eat more. 5 X 5 training is good. Focus on squats, do your pressing standing up.

    In a nutshell, lift heavier (for you) less frequently, eat more and sleep well and as much as you can.

    Eat even more if you have a physically-demanding type of job in which case expect your gains to be slower anyway.

    Be patient and consistent.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 06, 2016 10:59 AM GMT
    Your diet is typical of someone trying to lose weight/maintain muscle.

    I was 155 freshman year and shot up to 185 in a couple years from eating FOOD. Forget the skim milk and oatmeal, eat PASTA, BURGERS, PIZZA. EAT FOOD. Much easier to tone up once the weight is there.
  • badbug

    Posts: 800

    Feb 06, 2016 2:53 PM GMT
    Heavy squats and deadlifts


    Eat big. Sleep/Rest big. Lift big. (for you)

  • Hypertrophile

    Posts: 1021

    Feb 07, 2016 3:19 PM GMT
    First of all, you're not going to follow that diet quite as outlined, so don't be put off by it. You won't need to eat quite that much. Not yet.

    I would first focus on exercise, particularly weight training. Muscle consumes calories, without even moving, so the more you have, the more you'll burn, and the bigger your appetite will be. Conversely, fat is not active tissue and doesn't burn calories, except when you're lugging it around.

    At this point, your caloric need is nowhere near 4000 calories. I'm a 6' 190lb bodybuilder and work as a handyman. My minimum daily requirement is estimated at about 2300 calories. Like you I have a faster than average metabolism and by counting calories have determined that I burn closer to 3000. You will be somewhat lower than this. To gain weight, I've increase my calories to about 3300, which should result in gaining about a pound per week.

    There are online calculators to help you estimate your daily need. This is a good place to start. For weight gain, I would then gradually increase calories by adding a couple hundred extra a day for a week, and see what happens. Do this until you start gaining. For example, I'm doing 3300 a day. If by this time next week I haven't gained anything, I'll bump it up to 3500. If you continue to work out and add muscle, your caloric needs will also increase, so increasing your intake is pretty much an ongoing process.

    Unless you have a high level of bodyfat already, and I would assume you don't, then don't worry too much about doing cardio, or carb, cycling or any fancy stuff. Get your protein from as many different, clean, sources as possible (eggs, chicken breast, white tuna, fresh fish, some beef, and whey protein powder), and take in a lot of high quality carbs, much like outlined in the diet, and be patient, and you'll be fine.

    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 14, 2016 8:58 PM GMT
    As someone already mentioned, it takes time. Not 1 day, few weeks, but years, unless you become a steroid junkie. For a decent build you will need at least 2 years. Eat, gym, sleep repeat!
    It's easy to get discouraged if you monitor your progress each and every day, especially, in the beginning. But you need to stick with it. You need to make it as a part of your daily routine and plan for long term. That's why people advise to use proper form, avoiding injuries, and not lifting with ego.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 05, 2016 11:43 PM GMT
    mattrd saidOkay, here's the deal. I'm skinny. REALLY skinny. I've been extremely thing my whole life. I can't help it. I can't gain weight. People have asked me if I had an eating disorder before. I'm 6'1 and weight 115 pounds. Everyone has always said it's because I have a high metabolism. I burn off everything I eat even when laying around. So I'm joining a gym this month and I'm going to see if it's possible for me to bulk up a bit. My biggest concern is eating. I've been reading diet plans for putting on mass. My question is, how does anyone eat that much food??? I know I won't be able to eat that much. Here is a day from a diet plan I was reading.

    BREAKFAST:
    1.5 cups raw oatmeal
    1 cup skim milk
    1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
    1 TBS flax oil (cinnamon flavored flax oil works well with oatmeal too)
    750 calories, 35 g protein, 90 g carbs, 18 g fat

    MIDMORNING SNACK:
    1 cup skim milk
    1 large piece of fruit with 1 TBS natural peanut butter
    1 low-fat mozzarella stick
    500 calories, 30 g protein, 30 g carbs, 18 g fat

    LUNCH:
    2 cups egg salad on 2 whole wheat pitas
    1 banana
    600 calories; 74 g protein, 16 g carbs, 30 g fat

    AFTERNOON SNACK:
    1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
    1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
    1 cup blueberries
    2 TBS wheat germ
    1 TBS honey
    600 calories, 38 g protein, 80 g carbs, 2.5 g fat

    DINNER:
    6 oz grilled salmon
    1 large sweet potato
    1 cup cut green beans
    1 cup skim milk

    700 calories, 45 g protein, 70 g carbs, 20 g fat

    AFTER DINNER SNACK:
    Peanut butter smoothie
    600 calories, 30 g protein, 35 carbs, 16 fat

    That's almost 4000 calories, and I think I would probably need even more calories than that due to my insanely fast metabolism. When I read things like this it's very discouraging because I don't see how I'll even do it. How can I increase my appetite? I don't want to eat so much that I puke. And I have a very hard time overeating in the first place. What can I do? Any suggestions??


    The first thing I noticed is that you mention "fat free" this and "skim milk" that. If you really are super skinny (like you can see your abs and muscle definition) then the first thing you need to do is cut it out with that stuff and go for the higher caloric/fattier stuff.

    Also, I added up all your protein (252g) and unless you are only 126lbs, that is nowhere near enough protein. As a "hard gainer" you need to be getting at least 2g per pound you weigh. If you focus on that, you'll gain weight in no time.