Weight gain for skinny guys be tough.
You may not know where to start,
Why You Shouldn’t Depend on Weight Gain Supplements Too Heavily
When trying to bulk up, a common mistake many people make is to go straight for the supplements. The supplement industry makes us believe in taking shortcuts.
But the truth is, supplements aren’t the best place to start when it comes to weight gain for skinny guys, the place you should really start is in the kitchen.
It’s best to start with preparing your own meals. I know, the idea of preparing your own meals can sound daunting to some people, but it doesn’t have to be.
What are the staples? What ingredients do I need in my cupboard?
An important part of bulking is of course calories. But also getting calories from the right sources. Weight gain for skinny guys can feel like a complex balancing act. You can sometimes look at the number of calories you have to hit for the day and think it’s un-achievable in 3 meals.
One of the easiest ways to get in calories is by snacking frequently, ensuring you have the right foods around you to save you from resorting to the quick and cheap option of fast food or processed foods and turning this into a dirty bulk.
Let’s get that possibility as far away from us as possible by ensuring we are only surrounded by good foods!
The key is to minimise the amount of junk foods you have in your home.
One thing I do is make sure I have an abundance of a few staples that are both nutritious and versatile.
- Brown rice
- Black beans
- Olive oil
- Peanut butter
If you eat meat, you can of course store that in the freezer if needs be.
With any change in diet, planning is important. It’s about just making sure you have positive options within arms reach, otherwise a trip to McDonald’s is going to look more and more attractive when you’re hungry, and that’s not where you want your meals coming from.
How Long Does it Take To Bulk Up?
When it comes to building muscle, your body starts to change the moment you challenge your muscles. You will start to bulk up when you break muscle down and it rebuilds itself.
How do you challenge your muscles? By lifting weights.
A complete beginner will see changes in their body within 5 weeks of starting a resistance training program but the most important thing when it comes to weight gain for skinny guys is food, and getting the right amount of calories.
Consistency is the most important thing. You have to ensure you are at a calorie surplus every day in order to see your body grow.
The Book I Use For My Bulking Recipes
Below I have provided 3 recipes to bulk up that I cook regularly myself.
I found these from a bodybuilding cookbook that I’ve had for about a year now and have found very useful in this time. It’s packed with some great ingredient information and recipe ideas and I highly recommend it.
Sometimes I need a new recipe, sometimes I don’t feel like eating the meals I’ve prepped and stored in the fridge so I turn to this book to give me some ideas to throw something together quickly, and it has served me pretty well so far.
I revisit a lot of the recipes in the book for inspiration on high protein meal ideas from time to time and I have tweaked several to my liking. I myself am not a very good cook so it’s good to have a solid book I can turn to.
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Recipe 1 – Quinoa with Mushroom and Spinach
Makes 5 Cups / Prep Time: 10 mins / Cooking time: 20 Minutes
Ideal for pre-workout
This savory side is a nice balance of protein, carbs, and fiber. The spinach and vitamin–D rich mushrooms give the quinoa, even more, muscle-building and fat-burning power.
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium (about 4 ounces) onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 1⁄2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, divided
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced 10 ounces baby spinach leaves Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
1 In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 11⁄2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the onion has softened and turned translucent. Stir in the quinoa.
2 Add 2 cups of broth, 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of thyme.
3 Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender.
Recipe 2 – Chicken Waldorf Salad
Serves 4 / Prep Time: 5 mins /Cooking time: 15 mins / Total time: 25 Minutes
A well-balanced meal, this salad will keep you satisfied for hours. The lean protein from chicken breast is boosted by protein-rich Greek yogurt and vitamin powerhouses, walnuts and salad greens.
- 16 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 2 cups celery stalks, chopped 11⁄2 cups (3 medium) chopped
- Granny Smith apples
- 1⁄2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup Medjool dates, chopped 1⁄4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons granulated stevia
- 8 cups salad greens, divided
Cooking tip: If you have time, leave the finished chicken salad in the fridge for a few hours before topping the salad greens so the flavors can blend.
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2 Place the chicken breasts on a nonstick pan, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Cooking time will vary based on the size of the breasts.
3 Let the chicken cool, and cut into cubes.
4 In a large bowl, toss the chicken, celery, and apples. In a small bowl, mix the yogurt and lemon juice. Add the yogurt mixture to the chicken mixture, and toss to coat.
5 Add the dates and walnuts, and toss. Season with the salt and stevia.
6 Put about 2 cups of the mixed greens on each of 4 large serving plates, and top each with one-quarter of the chicken mixture. Serve cold and enjoy!
Recipe 3 – Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 4 / Prep time: 10 mins / Cooking time: 20 mins
Ideal for pre-workout
The combination of chicken, beans, tortillas, and tomato-based ingredients provides a well-balanced meal of fast- and slow-digesting carbohydrates, protein, and fiber.
It’s just the mouthwatering meal you need to fuel your body through a tough workout.
Note that I use Pulled Chicken here, but you can use whatever cooked chicken you have on hand.
- 1 cup (11⁄2 medium) chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 pound Pulled Chicken
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
- 1 cup (3 medium plum) chopped tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup salsa
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Dash ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into small strips
- 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Heat a large nonstick pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until the onions are softened about 3 minutes.
2 Add the Pulled Chicken, press down, and cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes, until the bottom slightly browns.
3 Stir in the broth, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, salsa, black beans, cumin, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and lime juice. Bring to simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, until heated through.
4 Divide among four bowls, garnish each with the tortilla strips and some cilantro and serve.
You may also enjoy a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt or some avocado (although these toppings are not included in the nutritional information).