Gaining Weight: 5 Nutrition Strategies to Help You Bulk Up

So, you wanna get big huh? Well step in line with the millions of athletes around the world who are trying to bulk up also.

Luckily, throwing on some quality lean mass comes down to one fairly simple formula:  energy in vs. energy out.

Granted, gaining weight is more complex than that, but if you bring in more energy (calories) than you’re burning it's highly likely that you'll gain weight.

As opposed to getting into the nitty gritty of counting calories (which I hate doing by the way), I’d like to give you 5 simple strategies that you can start implementing today in your quest for bulk.

Constantly measure and only change one thing at a time

This is more of a mindset than anything, but really important nonetheless.

I find it interesting when I talk to people who have serious body recomposition goals, such as putting on 15 lbs and cutting 4% body fat at the same time, who don’t keep track or measure what they’re doing.

How do you expect to make gains if you don’t know what’s helping or hurting your progress.

And no, I’m not talking about counting calories.  There are simpler methods than that.  For example, in our free ebook Winning the Nutrition Battle we walk you through how to craft meals based on your body types and goals using nothing but your hands

Using that as our guide, we now have a baseline from which to start measuring progress.

Thus, from week to week (on the same day) you should weigh yourself to see what kind of progress you’re making.  Generally speaking, I usually recommend shooting for 1 pound a week for those looking to gain weight.

If you step on the scale and notice you’re losing weight, then reassess what you’re doing and change ONE THING about your routine.  It could be adding more dense carbohydrates with each meal, bumping up protein intake, or adjusting your workout routine, really whatever goes.  Just pick one thing, change it and then monitor your progress over the weeks to come.

If you begin to make progress, then stick with what you’re doing and ride it out as long as you can.  Once progress starts slowing down, then repeat the same procedure as before.

Ultimately, this is how progress is made.  You have a baseline plan that serves as your starting point.  You then measure progress at realistic intervals (one to two week spans) and make adjustments as you see fit.

Drink a shake while you workout

A great way to counteract the large number of calories you’ll burn when you lift is to drink a shake as you’re lifting.

This shake should consist primarily of denser carbohydrates (because your body tends to “burn” glucose in intense bouts of exercise) and protein (because your body will be in need of increased amino acid availability) in something like a 2:1 (carb:protein) ratio.

Here’s an example of what that shake might look like:

2 servings (just pour two 11.1 ounce containers into a blender bottle) of Coconut Water mixed with 1 serving of Whey Isolate Chocolate.  This comes out to 30 grams of carbohydrates and 21 grams of protein.  It’s not exactly a 2:1 ratio, but it’ll get the job done.

Have a glass of chocolate milk at every meal

As I mentioned above, weight gain comes down to how much energy you bring in vs. how much energy you burn.

So if you want to gain weight you need to be in a positive energy balance as often as possible.

One easy way to boost calorie intake to maintain a positive energy balance is to have a glass (1 cup worth) of chocolate milk at every meal.

Assuming you’re eating 5 times a day, this will add somewhere in the vicinity of 1000 calories to your daily intake.

Do all your cooking on Sunday

Arguably the hardest part of gaining weight is finding time to cook all the food you need to be eating.  One thing I implemented that works well is to treat Sunday (you can use whatever day you like) as my cooking day.  I plan out whatever meals I’m going to eat that week, go to the grocery store, and then cook everything in about 2 hours.  It’s way easier to grab something already made out of the fridge after a long day than having to come home and cook.

Eat faster

If you saw my post on losing weight, you’ll remember I talked about eating slower to allow time for your satiety hormones to kick in.  Well if you’re looking to gain weight you should be taking the opposite approach.  Eat fast and eat a lot before your body realizes it’s full.

That’s about all for today, but post any questions or comments you have below.