For ectomorphs, gaining weight is very challenging. I used to be really skinny growing up. I’m 5’7 in height and remember weighting only 100 lbs way back 2004. I tried to increase my calorie intake in hopes to gain some weight since I’m tired of being a skinny guy. This was the time when Manny Pacquiao’s name started booming and he weighed 130 lbs during that time. My goal then was to at least reach the same weight that he had.
Unfortunately, I got tired of eating too much without any pay off of weight gain. It was only late last year (around August 2008) that I tried to get my passion for weight gain again. I was around 110 lbs during that time. I tried to look for books that could give me helpful tips but all I could find are literature on how to lose weight. Guess where I found the information that helped me to gain weight? Where else than the internet, thanks to Google.
At the time of this writing, I know weigh 135 lbs. It may not sound that impressive considering that I started my quest for weight gain about 6 months ago. But then again we have to put into consideration that I’m a hardgainer. 100 lbs in 2004 and only 110 lbs nearly before the end of 2008, that’s only a 10 lb difference in 4 years. With the below tips, I have gained roughtly around 25 lbs in the last 6 months. I hope it helps:
· Eat every 2-4 hours – Ectomorphs or hardgainers have very fast metabolisms which burn up calories quickly so you would want to make sure that you have a steady supply of calories in your body. The body is only capable of utilizing so many nutrients at a time. With smaller meals every 2-4 hours as compared to the conventional 3 square meals a day, there is a greater opportunity for nutrient absorption. Obviously, you would not be able to gain weight unless you provide your body with the proper amount of nutrients. To make it easier to eat more often, there are meal replacements like weight gainers and protein drinks that could substitute for food. But see to it that only a maximum of 40% of your food comes from this source.
· Meals should contain carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Your body’s gas tank is carbohydrates. Don’t expect your car to reach so far w/o carbs on your diet. Carbohydrates are needed by the body since this is transformed into energy and also help in the absorption of protein. My personal preferences aside from rice are sweet potatoes, oatmeal, pasta, and wheat bread.
Protein is the building block for muscles and is therefore vital in your quest for gain weight. It helps regulate blood insulin levels and encourage muscle growth. A high protein diet is advisable especially for those who work out with heavy weights. Some of my personal preferences are chicken breasts, tuna, lean meat, eggs, milk and whey protein.
Fat is highly concentrated. It provides more than twice the calories that carbs and protein provide our bodies. To gain weight fast, our diet should contain 20-30 percent of fat. Stay away from saturated fats though since this can raise your blood cholesterol levels. Aside from natural healthy fats from foods, I also add a tbsp or two of olive oil on my whey protein drink or milk.
· Eat vegetables and fruits - Proteins and carbs create high levels of acid loads to the blood. If this is not balanced out with the help of veggies and fruits which are alkaline rich, too much acid can result in loss of bone strength and muscle mass.
The above are some basics in dieting that has helped me gain weight. They are a bit general but I’ll make sure to give more info on each of them on future blogs. Aside from the above diet tips, I do resistance training 2-3 times a week which will most likely be the topic of my next post. Stay tuned.