Diet and working out for bigger muscles can seem like a bit of a mystery to many people. Some guys seem to hit the gym and eat whatever they want whenever they want and pack on pounds of muscle mass. Others try to chug down weight gain supplements like it is going out of fashion and either end up with extra rolls of fat or in the skinny guys case no real muscle growth to speak of. For these reasons, a gaining muscle diet is important to know in detail for your particular body type to get the best results.
If you are the skinny guy that finds it difficult to gain weight with fat or muscle then this is especially important because your body is highly geared to burn through the calorie content of food like a furnace compared to other slower metabolism body types which are like a campfire in comparison. This means that as a skinny guy you need to focus on a few things to do with diet: Amount, Frequency and Food Types which amount to good meal planning.
How much should a skinny guy eat to gain muscle?
Short answer: A Lot!
Seriously though, skinny guys who want to build muscle need to increase their calorie intake by a large margin. What you need to do is to make sure you eat enough that when your body goes through its furnace like metabolism processes it cannot burn through all the calories and nutrients so quickly that there is nothing left to send to the muscles for the task of repairing them after workouts. This is just as essential as a good workout because without the energy to grow what is the point on spending all that time and effort at the gym? It is like fixing up your car and tweaking the engine to perfection then never getting any gas to make it run!
The exact amount you need to eat will vary depending on your initial weight and your target goals. The bottom line is that if you have been working out and found little change in your physique then your workouts may be fine but your body does not have the fuel to grow muscle fast. Start taking note of the calorie content of all your meals and get good at aiming to eat a certain amount of calories per day and see this as a chance to grow muscle not as a chance to stuff your face with food!
How often should skinny guys eat meals for muscle growth?
This is an interesting question and gets a lot of different answers from different sources. Again the differences in body types can determine the bias on this advice. If you want to go from skinny to muscle though then some advice from guys just like you who have built serious muscle is as follows.
As we have discovered your metabolism will churn through your calories very quickly form the food you eat. When your body has no more food to burn through where does it get its energy from until your next meal? Your fat cells and your muscle cell that is where!
What this means is that a skinny guy hard gainer, more than any other body type, needs to change the frequency of his eating from 3-4 times a day which is about the average most people eat to 6-8 times a day. This is about every 3 hours! By continually fueling your body you are giving your muscles the energy to grow and feeding your body all its calorie needs for other body functions without muscle atrophy which is the exact opposite of what you want!
This can seem like a great burden to start with but without keeping your body fueled then consider your trips to the gym punishment because all you do is sweat and hurt and end up with nothing. If you follow this eating plan then each trip to the gym is an opportunity to pack on lean muscle mass and should be something you relish!
What should a hard gainer eat?
This is a big question and the answer is a mouthful (excuse the pun). Without going into all the science behind all the food choices you need to make it must be pointed out that not all food is the same and some is quite detrimental to muscle growth. Some examples of bad food that you should just get rid of immediately include:
- Soda & Juices – Soda seems obvious but the juice you usually buy from the store has so much sugar in them that they may as well be classed the same. Stick with the fruit itself.
- Processed Meat – While this may seem like a place to get some important protein they are also LOADED with fat and sodium. Avoid.
- Cookies, Crackers, Chips etc – More empty calories with salt and sugar.
- White Flour Products – White bread is devoid of all the good nutritional stuff that is in darker bread.
I could go on but I think you get the point. Processed, packaged food is out. Food high in fat and salt and sugar are out too. While these will all give you calories they also come at a price to your body and contain a mix of things that do not promote muscle growth due to their chemical makeup.
What you need to eat is a mixed diet of foods that are high in protein, calories and GOOD fats to promote insane muscle gain. A few foods that should be included in your shopping every week include:
- Vegetables – Your mother was right, they do help you grow up big and strong!
- Green Tea – If you are sick of water this is good stuff as it contains a lot of anti-oxidants. Not the sugary stuff though the REAL green tea.
- Eggs – Get the Omega 3 enriched ones which have a lot more nutrients due to the chickens diet of ground flaxseed.
- Extra Lean Ground Sirloin – Always make sure you get the lean variety. Meat is essential but too often it can come of a hefty fat cost which is not optimal.
- Grains – Not all grains are good but this stuff is good for muscle growth: oats (not the instant sugary stuff), oat bran, whole flaxseed, quinoa, whole barley and wheat bran.
- Legumes – Kidney beans, split peas, chickpeas and lentils are excellent sources of fiber and a great addition to your arsenal.
- Mixed Nuts & Dried Fruits – Great additional calories with good fats in the nuts. If you are having a hard time having so many meals a day this helps as they are easy to carry with you and can make most of a meal.
There is a heck of a lot more detail about a gaining muscle diet that you should know for really fast muscle growth but this basic guide should give you the main thrust of what you need to be doing as a skinny hardgainer to give you the best chance at the physique you really want.
Hi, James McLain from SkinnytoMuscle.net Here,
I know that building muscle and constructing a good diet to gain muscle can be a headache with the sheer variety of options and the constant need to count calories and watch what and when you are eating. This was in fact my Achilles heel when trying to gain muscle! So, if you want to simplify this process and know the reasons behind every dietary change you will need to make then I highly recommend you check out the No-Nonsense Muscle Building guide by Vince Delmonte.
Vince was once a hardgainer. A skinny runt who thought he could never gain the physique he craved but found out the secrets of skinny bodybuilding and went from 149 pounds to 190 pounds of rock solid muscle in less than 6 months!
Now a professional model and fitness coach respected worldwide Vince Delmonte has released a fully downloadable guide on how you can get the body you want without supplements or steroids. This guide has everything you need to know to pack on serious amounts of muscle and comes with a detailed diet section as well as complete meal plans for every part of your muscle gain journey based on the calories you need per day and week. All this amounts to making your eating requirements a breeze so you can concentrate on all the other aspects of your life.