The majority of people that decide to start a workout or wellness routine do so to lose weight. However, there is a smaller group of individuals who begin working out to gain weight.
By putting on muscle mass, they hope to gain weight and escape their skinny physique. You probably know someone like this, even if they do not workout.
The type of person in question is that friend that eats whatever and whenever, but never gains a pound.
For them, packing on this muscle is less about ramping up reps at the gym and more about saddling up to the dinner table.
They may think they have a high caloric intake because they eat a lot of junky food that would add an extra five pounds to the normal eater, but in reality it is not a high calorie diet at all.
Adapting a Bulking Meal Plan
If you really struggle to put on weight and muscle mass, also known as being a “hard gainer,” then your first step, even before you start hitting the gym, should be to create a bulking meal plan.
Especially if you are a hard gainer, when it comes to putting on weight, planning out your meals is ultra important. After all, we are trying to create a diet that is healthy and high calorie, while being low in fat. So, get the ideas of hitting the buffet table every night out of your head.
The first step to a bulk meal plan is calculating your personal, adjusted BMR. With this number in hand, you can determine the exact number of calories you need to properly begin bulking yourself up with the right meals.
Planning is important because it ensures that you consume the proper amount of calories to begin making the gains you want. Sometimes an adjusted BMR is going to take a lot of calories to counter-balance.
In order to achieve this high calorie goal, you need to focus on foods with lots of calories, so leave the burgers and soda at the fast food restaurant. Instead, choose meal options like chicken, eggs, rice, steak, etc. All of these foods are high in calories and have other nutritional values, while generally being low in fats.
The Difficulty of a High Calorie Diet
A lot of people with difficulty gaining weight run into a number of problems with a bulking meal plan, which makes it hard to diligently maintain the diet. This may be because of money (you are going to be spending a lot more on food), time (most plans consist of six separate meals), or even appetite.
You may fancy yourself a big eater, but until you really try and push the caloric envelop, you might not want to be so certain.
To cut down on costs and time, some people choose a weight gainer powder. These are by no means a substitution or replacement for meals, but may give you the added boost to your daily intake, especially on days when you fall behind on your meal plan or don’t have a big appetite.
Another smart tactic, especially if you are trying to avoid or limit your fat intake, is to sneak in small calories when you can, whether it is a shake in between meals or adding a calorie-rich butter or sauce to your meals. Anywhere you can add is good. Remember, a little fat is fine, especially with an active lifestyle.
There is a reason these people are known as “hard gainers.” The path to putting on muscle mass is not an easy one; obtaining your weight gain (or loss) and wellness goals rarely is easy. It is more than just going to the gym and getting in shape.
You also have to commit the time to eating the right foods more often and doing the right research to understand your body and how it processes food and calories. From there, your success hinges on your ability to remain determined and hard working towards achieving those goals. You are not going to see immediate, fast results. It is going to be a slow process, but one that will make you a healthier, fitter and happier person on the other side.