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Are you a hard gainer, please read!

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  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
  • dharankdharank Posts: 7Member Member Posts: 7Member Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    Since one of the most common threads in this section seems to be that people struggle to gain weight, I wanted to create a one stop source for members to read on how to gain (particularly, specific foods to help and some techniques). First, you have to eat enough calories to get above your maintenance levels; you cannot add mass, if you are not providing a foundation to grow (i.e - calories). Once you achieve a surplus, and you want to minimize fat gains, you should consistently maintain a surplus (as opposed to huge calorie fluctuations) and ensure proper training (progressive overload lifting program that is focused on compound moves).

    There are a variety of reason why people struggle to gain. One of the main reasons why people feel they are hard gainers is because they believe they have a high metabolism. Statistically speaking, the average person doesn't have a slow or fast metabolism, but rather have one of the following issues: 1. current eating style isn't conducive towards their goals, 2. psychological struggles or 3. high/active job/daily routine. What I mean by each is simple. Many people develop eating strategies, whether during dieting or habitual, that focus on many low calorie or "diet" foods. This in turn, makes it very difficult to add enough calories to get into a surplus. Also, bulking can be a huge psychological barrier for many people. It's hard going into a program where you are intentionally gaining fat and getting rid of the progress you previously had. And lastly, there are some people (teachers, construction workers, etc...) whom have jobs that are extremely active and will burn a ton of calories. This in turn, makes achieving a surplus a more difficult task than those of us who have desk jobs. Unfortunately, if you want to achieve the goal of gaining muscle, you must hit a surplus and ideally, in a consistent manor.

    With that in mind, hopefully the below list of foods and some dietary strategies will provide you a guide to meet your goals:

    Foods:
    • Avocado
    • Nuts, granola
    • Olive/Coconut Oil (as a dressing or to cook in)
    • Peanut/Almond/Pumpkin/etc butter
    • Butter and spreads
    • Greek Yogurt (higher fat options)
    • Cheese (put that crap on everything or eat a brick of it)
    • Creams (sour cream, cream cheese)
    • Ice cream, chocolate, candy
    • Chocolate/Strawberry milk
    • Bagels (I use P28 protein bagels and top with peanut butter and jelly/jam)
    • Pancakes (if you want a "healthier" version, then go protein pancakes)
    • Waffles
    • Muffins/Scones
    • Syrup, honey, jams, fluff, nutella
    • [Marinade all meats - especially oil based marinades
    • Add sauces to foods
    • High sugar fruits (pineapple, banana, mango, apples, etc...)
    • High calorie protein bars (Cliff Builder, Cliff Energy Bars, etc...)
    • High calorie protein drinks (put in milk)
    • Red meats (Buffalo, Bison, Steak, 80/20 Hamburger, Duck, Ribs)
    • Dark Fish (Salmon,Tuna)
    • Bacon (thick cut)
    • Eggs
    • Starches (potatoes, corn, etc..)
    • pizza
    • Rice
    • Couscous
    • etc...


    While above is not a full list and I can expand if people have other suggestions, there are a few other things you can try to get those calories up:
    • Increase meal frequency
    • Limit cardio while you bulk
    • No diet foods (stay away from low calorie dense foods - again, aim for the veggies/fruits that are higher in sugars)
    • Limit "clean" foods
    • Drink calories
    • Recognize this is mental and that getting nutrients in a bulk is a lot easier
    • And trust the program and the math.

    Hopefully, this can provide a good start to a bulk.
    @psuLemon Thanks for your post. as you have mentioned im hardgainer. Could you please tell me shall i drink protien shake without workout? or do i need workouts after consuming protien shake. could you also suggest very good protien shake please?
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    dharank wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    Since one of the most common threads in this section seems to be that people struggle to gain weight, I wanted to create a one stop source for members to read on how to gain (particularly, specific foods to help and some techniques). First, you have to eat enough calories to get above your maintenance levels; you cannot add mass, if you are not providing a foundation to grow (i.e - calories). Once you achieve a surplus, and you want to minimize fat gains, you should consistently maintain a surplus (as opposed to huge calorie fluctuations) and ensure proper training (progressive overload lifting program that is focused on compound moves).

    There are a variety of reason why people struggle to gain. One of the main reasons why people feel they are hard gainers is because they believe they have a high metabolism. Statistically speaking, the average person doesn't have a slow or fast metabolism, but rather have one of the following issues: 1. current eating style isn't conducive towards their goals, 2. psychological struggles or 3. high/active job/daily routine. What I mean by each is simple. Many people develop eating strategies, whether during dieting or habitual, that focus on many low calorie or "diet" foods. This in turn, makes it very difficult to add enough calories to get into a surplus. Also, bulking can be a huge psychological barrier for many people. It's hard going into a program where you are intentionally gaining fat and getting rid of the progress you previously had. And lastly, there are some people (teachers, construction workers, etc...) whom have jobs that are extremely active and will burn a ton of calories. This in turn, makes achieving a surplus a more difficult task than those of us who have desk jobs. Unfortunately, if you want to achieve the goal of gaining muscle, you must hit a surplus and ideally, in a consistent manor.

    With that in mind, hopefully the below list of foods and some dietary strategies will provide you a guide to meet your goals:

    Foods:
    • Avocado
    • Nuts, granola
    • Olive/Coconut Oil (as a dressing or to cook in)
    • Peanut/Almond/Pumpkin/etc butter
    • Butter and spreads
    • Greek Yogurt (higher fat options)
    • Cheese (put that crap on everything or eat a brick of it)
    • Creams (sour cream, cream cheese)
    • Ice cream, chocolate, candy
    • Chocolate/Strawberry milk
    • Bagels (I use P28 protein bagels and top with peanut butter and jelly/jam)
    • Pancakes (if you want a "healthier" version, then go protein pancakes)
    • Waffles
    • Muffins/Scones
    • Syrup, honey, jams, fluff, nutella
    • [Marinade all meats - especially oil based marinades
    • Add sauces to foods
    • High sugar fruits (pineapple, banana, mango, apples, etc...)
    • High calorie protein bars (Cliff Builder, Cliff Energy Bars, etc...)
    • High calorie protein drinks (put in milk)
    • Red meats (Buffalo, Bison, Steak, 80/20 Hamburger, Duck, Ribs)
    • Dark Fish (Salmon,Tuna)
    • Bacon (thick cut)
    • Eggs
    • Starches (potatoes, corn, etc..)
    • pizza
    • Rice
    • Couscous
    • etc...


    While above is not a full list and I can expand if people have other suggestions, there are a few other things you can try to get those calories up:
    • Increase meal frequency
    • Limit cardio while you bulk
    • No diet foods (stay away from low calorie dense foods - again, aim for the veggies/fruits that are higher in sugars)
    • Limit "clean" foods
    • Drink calories
    • Recognize this is mental and that getting nutrients in a bulk is a lot easier
    • And trust the program and the math.

    Hopefully, this can provide a good start to a bulk.
    @psuLemon Thanks for your post. as you have mentioned im hardgainer. Could you please tell me shall i drink protien shake without workout? or do i need workouts after consuming protien shake. could you also suggest very good protien shake please?

    You can drink them with or without a work out. Its just a protein supplement.
  • serapelserapel Posts: 411Member Member Posts: 411Member Member
    PsuLemon, I have gained roughly 5 lbs over the past 5 months (as you know :)) and it's mostly more of a body recomp effort due to how slow I'm gaining it seems.

    My maintenance cals used to be 2000 cals, so I increased daily cals to 2250 cals.

    For every pound of muscle, you need an extra 40 cals right? So as you gain muscle, you increase your cals? So if I've gained about 4 lbs of muscle (bc visually I don't see any extra fat), I should now be eating about 2400?

    Man that is a lot of food if that's accurate!!!

  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    serapel wrote: »
    PsuLemon, I have gained roughly 5 lbs over the past 5 months (as you know :)) and it's mostly more of a body recomp effort due to how slow I'm gaining it seems.

    My maintenance cals used to be 2000 cals, so I increased daily cals to 2250 cals.

    For every pound of muscle, you need an extra 40 cals right? So as you gain muscle, you increase your cals? So if I've gained about 4 lbs of muscle (bc visually I don't see any extra fat), I should now be eating about 2400?

    Man that is a lot of food if that's accurate!!!

    For every lb of muscle its 4 to 6 calories per day.
  • trigden1991trigden1991 Posts: 4,658Member Member Posts: 4,658Member Member
    serapel wrote: »
    PsuLemon, I have gained roughly 5 lbs over the past 5 months (as you know :)) and it's mostly more of a body recomp effort due to how slow I'm gaining it seems.

    My maintenance cals used to be 2000 cals, so I increased daily cals to 2250 cals.

    For every pound of muscle, you need an extra 40 cals right? So as you gain muscle, you increase your cals? So if I've gained about 4 lbs of muscle (bc visually I don't see any extra fat), I should now be eating about 2400?

    Man that is a lot of food if that's accurate!!!

    It's really not.
  • comptonelizabethcomptonelizabeth Posts: 1,683Member Member Posts: 1,683Member Member
    serapel wrote: »
    PsuLemon, I have gained roughly 5 lbs over the past 5 months (as you know :)) and it's mostly more of a body recomp effort due to how slow I'm gaining it seems.

    My maintenance cals used to be 2000 cals, so I increased daily cals to 2250 cals.

    For every pound of muscle, you need an extra 40 cals right? So as you gain muscle, you increase your cals? So if I've gained about 4 lbs of muscle (bc visually I don't see any extra fat), I should now be eating about 2400?

    Man that is a lot of food if that's accurate!!!

    Honestly,it's not - it's around what I've been taking in and I'm not a big eater.
  • serapelserapel Posts: 411Member Member Posts: 411Member Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    serapel wrote: »
    PsuLemon, I have gained roughly 5 lbs over the past 5 months (as you know :)) and it's mostly more of a body recomp effort due to how slow I'm gaining it seems.

    My maintenance cals used to be 2000 cals, so I increased daily cals to 2250 cals.

    For every pound of muscle, you need an extra 40 cals right? So as you gain muscle, you increase your cals? So if I've gained about 4 lbs of muscle (bc visually I don't see any extra fat), I should now be eating about 2400?

    Man that is a lot of food if that's accurate!!!

    For every lb of muscle its 4 to 6 calories per day.

    You mean 40 to 60 cals per day?
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    serapel wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    serapel wrote: »
    PsuLemon, I have gained roughly 5 lbs over the past 5 months (as you know :)) and it's mostly more of a body recomp effort due to how slow I'm gaining it seems.

    My maintenance cals used to be 2000 cals, so I increased daily cals to 2250 cals.

    For every pound of muscle, you need an extra 40 cals right? So as you gain muscle, you increase your cals? So if I've gained about 4 lbs of muscle (bc visually I don't see any extra fat), I should now be eating about 2400?

    Man that is a lot of food if that's accurate!!!

    For every lb of muscle its 4 to 6 calories per day.

    You mean 40 to 60 cals per day?

    No, I literally only mean 4-6 calories extra burned per day. So 10 lbs of muscle (not lean body mass) would be 40-60 calories. The claims of calories burned per lb of muscle are highly exaggerated.

    edited November 2016
  • serapelserapel Posts: 411Member Member Posts: 411Member Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    serapel wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    serapel wrote: »
    PsuLemon, I have gained roughly 5 lbs over the past 5 months (as you know :)) and it's mostly more of a body recomp effort due to how slow I'm gaining it seems.

    My maintenance cals used to be 2000 cals, so I increased daily cals to 2250 cals.

    For every pound of muscle, you need an extra 40 cals right? So as you gain muscle, you increase your cals? So if I've gained about 4 lbs of muscle (bc visually I don't see any extra fat), I should now be eating about 2400?

    Man that is a lot of food if that's accurate!!!

    For every lb of muscle its 4 to 6 calories per day.

    You mean 40 to 60 cals per day?

    No, I literally only mean 4-6 calories extra burned per day. So 10 lbs of muscle (not lean body mass) would be 40-60 calories. The claims of calories burned per lb of muscle are highly exaggerated.

    that sucks!!!
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    serapel wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    serapel wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    serapel wrote: »
    PsuLemon, I have gained roughly 5 lbs over the past 5 months (as you know :)) and it's mostly more of a body recomp effort due to how slow I'm gaining it seems.

    My maintenance cals used to be 2000 cals, so I increased daily cals to 2250 cals.

    For every pound of muscle, you need an extra 40 cals right? So as you gain muscle, you increase your cals? So if I've gained about 4 lbs of muscle (bc visually I don't see any extra fat), I should now be eating about 2400?

    Man that is a lot of food if that's accurate!!!

    For every lb of muscle its 4 to 6 calories per day.

    You mean 40 to 60 cals per day?

    No, I literally only mean 4-6 calories extra burned per day. So 10 lbs of muscle (not lean body mass) would be 40-60 calories. The claims of calories burned per lb of muscle are highly exaggerated.

    that sucks!!!

    Increases in TDEE generally come from exercise and NEAT.
  • socially_awkward_and_hungrysocially_awkward_and_hungry Posts: 41Member, Premium Member Posts: 41Member, Premium Member
    Great thread
  • LaShonaKLaShonaK Posts: 2Member Member Posts: 2Member Member
    So is anyone giving all this advice on here, have a professional Medical Degree?
    edited December 2016
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    LaShonaK wrote: »
    So is anyone giving all this advice on here, have a professional Medical Degree?

    You'd be more informed by people who hold degrees in biology, chemist, biochemistry, etc... . One of my best friends is a pedantic cardiologist and i know a crap ton more than her in nutrition as she didnt have any classes in it.
  • letsgain01letsgain01 Posts: 104Member Member Posts: 104Member Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    LaShonaK wrote: »
    So is anyone giving all this advice on here, have a professional Medical Degree?

    You'd be more informed by people who hold degrees in biology, chemist, biochemistry, etc... . One of my best friends is a pedantic cardiologist and i know a crap ton more than her in nutrition as she didnt have any classes in it.

    Right? You don't need a degree to know what you're talking about
  • AnvilHeadAnvilHead Posts: 18,543Member Member Posts: 18,543Member Member
    LaShonaK wrote: »
    So is anyone giving all this advice on here, have a professional Medical Degree?

    No, the majority just have EXPERIENCE...much more useful!

    Especially when you consider that most doctors have minimal (at best) training in nutrition:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430660/
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,241Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    In all seriousness, if you want, there are a plethora of good people to follow on social media or on other sites, many of which have PhDs or Masters: Layne Norton, Alan Aragon, Brad Schoenfeld, James Kreiger, Lyle McDonald, Mike Matthews, and so many more.
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