How to Gain Weight Quickly and Safely

Often, it seems that the entire industry is fixated only on weight loss/cutting/getting lean/toning up… whatever you want to call it! In reality, this is only a very narrow view of things. Plenty of people are trying to gain weight, especially in the form of muscle mass. Lots of men especially (men genetically carry less fat than women) identify as ‘hard gainers’, this is to say, they are ectomorphs.

The three body types do massively over simplify things as most of us are somewhere along the spectrum, and do not clearly fit one of the three. But for those in the far left, it is easy to maintain a lean shape, but very difficult to build muscle.


There are several reasons why you may want to be heavier in sport:

  • More powerful tackles in contact sports such as rugby
  • Weight moves weight, and may benefit sports such as powerlifting
  • You may be moving up a weight class, for example in MMA or boxing


Here are my top 4 tips to gain weight safely and easily


  1. Blend your food

If struggling with appetite and/or time to cook and eat meals, making a high calorie shake of whole foods can be a great, cheap way to get calories in. Essentially, this is your own personalised mass gainer! Try using ingredients such as oats, banana, honey, peanut butter, whole fat milk and whey. This will go down easily and quickly to prevent any stomach upset, plus of course it will taste great!


  1. Eat more calorie dense foods

It is extremely hard to rack up a few thousand calories with lean meat and greens alone. Rather than go on an all-out ‘dirty bulk’ introduce foods which contain a lot of calories for their weight. As a rule, these tend to be higher fat foods such as nuts, steak and coconut oil.


  1. Reduce energy expenditure

While cardiovascular health is incredibly important, and you should never become completely sedentary in an effort to gain weight, you may have a very active job/lifestyle that you can make small adjustments to. For example, if you are averaging 15,000 steps a day, try cutting it down to closer to 10,000.


  1. Eat little and regular

Huge heavy meals might make you feel heavy and full, smaller meals every 2 hours or so give your body time to process each meal before you eat again.



The disclaimer here is the same as always, supplements supplement your diet and exercise programme. Supplements should only be added when you have those two things in check.



Final thoughts

  • Be prepared to be a little uncomfortable with the volumes of food that you are eating while your body adjusts.
  • Increase calories slowly, monitoring changes week to week, for the best results.
  • Take progress pictures when possible to help with judging when it is time to ease off on your gaining phase!

About the Author

Savannah Westerby, BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition. IG:@savannahwesterby
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