Note from Jaz: This post was originally written January 21, 2019 and has been updated for more detail and accuracy.
This is near and dear to my heart because I know what it’s like to want to gain weight and feel like you just can’t. No matter how much you eat or what you try that number on the scale either never changes or shockingly goes down. Like how could it be going down?! Well after 2 years of me not only putting on weight but figuring out how to keep it on, what better way for me to share the love than to give my best weight gain tips for all my skinny minis out there.
Just so you know I’m not just pulling this stuff out of my butt, I’ve been skinny all of my life. Kids used to pick on me and call me toothpick, pencil, stick. Any skinny long object really. I also got a lot of compliments too from people saying I should be a model because of my figure. So being skinned wasn’t all bad. I’m too short to be a model though. I’m just a naturally skinny girl with a fast metabolism. You can’t help your genetics but that doesn’t mean you can’t counteract them either. My weight stayed between 105 – 110lbs the majority of my life all the way up until I was 23 years old, which was the year I decided to get serious about my weight gain journey.
This picture here. . . This was me January 2017.
This was me a year later, after gaining 30 pounds.
And this next picture is me now.
*I will say that I did end up losing 10 pounds between the 2nd and 3rd pictures due to life changes but I ended up liking it better than the weight I was at before so it’s all good. I’ll get into that later*
So how exactly did I do it? If you want step by step instructions I got you! I’ve already written them down for you in my post all about How to Gain Weight Naturally. But if you want weight gain tips that I didn’t mention there then you should stick around.
Related posts on gaining weight:
The Best Weight Gain Tips for Skinny Girls
(This post may contain affiliate links to products that I truly recommend, at no extra costs to you, if you decide you’re interested in anything mentioned. Feel free to check out the disclosure for more info.)
Tip #1: Stick to a routine.
I’m talking about your eating schedule and your workout schedule.
Have staple foods in your diet.
I know not everyone is okay with eating more or less the same things everyday but if you want to make things easier for you I recommend trying it. Maybe not have everything be the same but having some staple meals and snacks will help you a lot!
My top favorite meals and snacks to eat when I’m focused on gaining weight are protein oatmeal, spaghetti (really any pasta), and granola bars. And if I’m being 100% honest I eat oatmeal almost every single day. On the days I’m really craving something different I might go for eggs and a bagel or french toast.
In order to gain weight you have to eat a certain amount of calories a day. As for the amount of calories, the number varies from person to person. But once you figure out how many calories you should be eating a day, then you have to figure what foods and how much of those foods will help you reach that goal everyday. It’s a lot easier to calculate the calories of a small group of foods that you’d eat almost every day than a variety of foods.
If you eat too much of a variety of foods then you constantly have to calculate the calories to make sure you’re getting enough everyday. If that doesn’t make sense then hopefully this will.
When I was focused on gaining weight 9 times out of 10 I would stick to eating 3 different types of breakfast foods, 4 types of snacks, and 6 different types of lunch/dinner. That way I can rotate them and create different combinations out of those meals and snacks that would equal my goal calorie intake every day. That would’ve been a lot harder to do if I were always eating something different.
Have a proper workout schedule.
No matter what type of workouts you do, stick to a routine. If you do body building, create a workout split that you can follow every week. You don’t have to do the same exercises every time but at least know how many days you’re going to work out each week and what body part you’re going to work on that day. If you prefer to do full body workouts then decide how many days you’re going to train that week. If you like powerlifting or CrossFit, figure out what your schedule is going to be like each week. And make sure that you stay consistent!
At minimum I would do 3 workouts a week and plan really good full body workouts. And if I had 4 or 5 days available to work out? I’d get more creative and switch between doing upper and lower body workouts every other day. The schedule really doesn’t matter as much as consistency.
Tip #2: Don’t underestimate the power of a shake.
There are women I know that are really into fitness that swear by Ensure shakes to help them gain weight. I’ll be honest, I’ve personally never tried them. But I have made my own high calorie shakes with protein powders like Syntha6, and I’ve purchased pre-made protein shakes like Premier protein . Any of the shakes that I mentioned will work as long as you have them in combination with a proper diet.
If you didn’t know, it’s much easier to drink calories than to eat them.
For example, let’s say the reason you have trouble gaining weight is because you have a hard time eating. Whether that’s because you forget to eat or you don’t have time or you’re just not hungry. And let’s say you have a daily calorie intake goal of 3000 calories. What you could do is, make a very high calorie shake of around 900 calories in the morning and drink that. You’ll already be 1/3 of the way to your goal before your day has really started!
Or if you work out while trying to gain weight, and I highly suggest that you do, you can have a mass gainer protein shake right after your workout. Their servings are usually around 1000 calories.
Tip #3: Healthy oils can make a difference too.
Have you ever paid attention to your cooking oils? Did you know that olive oil has over 100 calories in just one tablespoon? Same goes for coconut oil. If you want to talk about weight gain tips it can’t get any easier than this. Don’t limit these oils to just cooking your meals. If you like to make shakes or smoothies I recommend adding a spoonful to your drink to get the added calorie benefit! And don’t worry too much about it affecting the taste. It’s not very noticeable.
Tip #4: Carb it up!
Carbs are not bad. I REPEAT: Carbs are not bad. I know this is about gaining weight but even if you were trying to lose weight carbs as a whole aren’t bad. You just have to understand them better to know what carbs you should be eating regularly and what carbs you should be limiting.
There are simple carbs and there are complex carbs.
Simple carbs. . .
Simple carbs are the ones that can be broken down quickly for your body to use as energy but most of the time they don’t provide much nutrients. Typically speaking these are the carbs that you should be limiting. The reason I say typically is because simple carbs are found in cakes, cookies, candies, and other sugary treats. BUT they’re also naturally found in fruits, vegetables and dairy products. So if you’re going to have simple carbs the better choice would be to get them from healthy foods that have other vitamins and minerals to go with it.
And, sure, you can enjoy desserts every once in a while but they definitely shouldn’t be your main source of simple carbs.
Complex carbs. . .
Complex carbs are considered the “good” carbs because they tend to have more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than simple carbs. Your body slowly breaks complex carbs down which means you’ll have a lower amount of sugar released more steadily. That steady release gives you energy throughout the day., unlike the crash you may get from having too many simple carbs.
Some examples of complex carbs are:
- Whole wheat breads and pastas
- Brown rice
*The rule for finding good carbs is the higher in sugar it is and the lower it is in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, the worse it is for you.*
Tip # 5: Always have snacks on you.
You can keep them in your purse or your book bag. At your desk. Or all 3. But try to always have snacks available. And I mean healthy snacks for the most part. Because what if you miss a meal for whatever reason. You don’t want to be set back too far in reaching your calorie intake for the day. The snacks won’t be a meal replacement but it’ll at least help out until you can get the chance to eat a real meal. If you need specific snacks I’m talking granola bars, fruits and veggies. I’ve been loving Belvita Protein Biscuits lately with some berries as a quick snack.
Related posts on gaining weight:
Tip #6: Do little to no cardio.
I know this is going to be hard for some people to get their heads around but cardio is not going to help you if your end goal is to gain weight and/or build muscle. Cardio burns calories. So for you to be doing cardio would be counter productive to your end goal. The only way that I could ever recommend doing cardio to someone focused on weight gain is if it’s done in 20 minutes or less and you go up on your calorie intake to make up for the extra calories that you burned that day doing cardio. So if I burned 100 calories on the stair master I’d eat an extra 100 calories that day.
Tip #7: The ultimate tip. Make sure you’re doing it for you.
Social media can have a big influence on the decisions we make for ourselves. A lot of the times you can think you’re buying something or doing something just because you want to, when really it’s because you saw 10 other females buying or doing the same thing on Instagram. I’m guilty of it too. I had already reached my weight gain goal after a few months but I kept going just because I wanted to look like certain women I saw on Instagram. I was constantly comparing myself and my journey to theirs. If you want to know how I dealt with my body dysmorhpia in depth you can find out here.
So I kept going and got to a weight that I was actually uncomfortable with, thinking that that’s what I wanted. Due to unrelated circumstance I ended up losing some of the extra pounds I put on and liking the way I looked a lot better than before. I’m saying this to say, make sure your choices are actually your choices. And that you’re trying to gain weight because you really want to. Would you still want to gain weight if being thick wasn’t the “in” thing right now?
If you liked this post, it would be a big help if you could…
Share the Love: