Skinny bulking diet: 8 tips to gain weight more quickly
If you’ve done any research into a skinny bulking diet, you’ll probably know the bottomline.
You need to be in a calorie surplus.
In simple terms, you need to be eating more calories than you burn and need to gain weight.
But how do you gain weight more quickly when you’re trying to bulk?
Add these 8 tricks to your skinny bulking diet to see faster muscle gains.
Find out your maintenance calories
Without a clear idea of what you need to eat you won’t have a plan to keep to.
It’s been proven that writing down your plans increases the likelihood of achieving your goal. And bulking is no different, by documenting your starting point with words and photos you’re much more likely to achieve your goal to gain muscle.
As with any plan it’s good to start at the beginning, with a bulking diet the starting point is working out your maintenance calorie intake.
Put simply, this is how many calories your body needs to maintain your weight.
Maintenance calorie calculators take into consideration things like your age and lifestyle (e.g. how much you’re moving throughout the day).
You can also work out a rough intake using this formula:
Eat 16 calories per pound of bodyweight per day.
Once you’ve worked out your maintenance calories you’ll need to add around 500 calories to gain weight. So if your recommended intake is 2500, you’d increase this to 3000 calories per day.
Eat shit loads of food*
•okay don’t eat anything in sight, unless you want to get fat.
Now, in order to bulk up you’re going to need to eat more food.
This doesn’t mean you can eat chocolate, cookies and cake all day.
If you’re eating the usual 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) then try adding in another meal or a couple of high protein snacks into your day to increase your calorie intake – this is essential to any skinny bulking diet.
Track your intake
Without tracking your nutrition you’re going to struggle to know if you’re eating the right amounts and right types of food.
Helpfully though there are so many apps to help you track your eating habits.
My favourite is MyFitnessPal. You can scan, search foods and track easily within the app – making food tracking pretty straightforward.
By measuring your intake, you’re able to adjust as you go along. If you’re missing your calorie target everyday you need to adjust your bulking diet to incorporate more meals or snacks.
If you’re overeating, you’re more than likely going to be adding body fat too which will hide all your muscle gains in the gym. So if you’re seeing loads of McDonalds on your food diaries – maybe it’s time to replace it with a healthier option?
Eat more protein
This one sounds pretty self explanatory but it’s about making sure you hit your macros.
Macronutrients are the nutrients we need in larger quantities that provide us with energy, they’re made up of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
In order to gain weight without adding too much fat, sometimes called a lean bulk, it’s important to try to keep your protein intake high and fat calorie consumption relatively low.
A macro split looking something like the below would be a good starting point:
If you’re weight gain calorie intake needs to be: 3000
Try a macronutrient split of: 35% protein / 45% carbohydrates / 20% fat.
Now you need to actually get your protein from foods, so where can you get protein from?
- Meat (chicken, beef, pork)
- Beans, Nuts & Fruit
(if you’re veggie – these are your best friend if you’re on a skinny bulking diet)
Make sure you’re eating protein in each meal to hit your protein intake targets. Breakfast is usually the hardest meal to get protein into so try adding eggs or yoghurt to your breakfast.
Focus on eating calorie dense foods
Unless you want to be eating 50003023 meals a day you need to be eating foods with plenty of calories packed in.
Carbohydrates and fats generally contain more calories than protein so by maintaining a carb percentage of around 45% you’ll be able to reach your calorie targets more easily than stripping carbs right back.
Types of calorie dense foods:
- Sweet potatoes
Bulking shakes are also handy if you’re travelling or have a busy schedule.
Drink protein shakes (good ones)
Liquids are a great way to increase your protein intake without adding in another meal or trip to the supermarket.
There are so many choices when it comes to protein shakes.
My best bit of advice… buy from a reputable company and make sure you check the ingredients.
My go to when I’m bulking is Bulk Powders Complete Mass with 1:1 ratio of carbs & protein.
Just like the number of protein powders, the list of sports supplements is mindblowing. If you read Men’s Health you’ll know what I mean.
If you believe the hype in men’s sports magazines you’d never have time to eat normal foods for the number of pills you’re popping.
The only supplements I take are protein shakes and creatine, it’s one of the only supplements proven to work and it’s great to incorporate into a skinny bulking diet.
Because it helps your muscles retain more water and increases hormones IGF-1 which is necessary for muscle growth.
When I say snack, I don’t mean cookies, ice cream and fizzy drinks.
You need to use the plan you’ve made to meet your macronutrient targets to identify the best snacks for your skinny bulking diet.
If you’re eating 3 meals a day and don’t fancy adding in another 500 calorie meal – try adding a couple of 250 calorie high protein snacks.
A word of caution here.
Watch out for “high protein foods” often they’re just packed with sugar alongside the slightly higher than normal protein macros.
Healthy snacks could include:
- Nut mix
- Apple with peanut butter
- Greek Yogurt
Making a skinny bulking diet work for you
The most important thing to remember with any diet is the need to stick to it.
You’re not going to bulk up in 7 days.
You can only gain about 0.25kg (0.5lbs) of muscle in a week, over a year that’s around 9-11kg (20-25lbs).
So sticking to your diet is vital to see muscle growth.
That’s why making sure your enjoying the foods you’re eating is essential to sustained bulking, if you’re not eating the foods you like the chance of you sticking to it are slim.
Hopefully some of the tips in this post have helped you get a better idea of what you need to do if you’re just starting with a skinny bulking diet.