How to Gain Weight for Skinny Guys (with Weight Gain Diet)

Skinny guys often say they can eat anything they want without gaining weight. They think they’re blessed with a fast metabolism. They’ll say: “I make women jealous with my metabolism. I can eat junk food all day without gaining weight”.

Truth is you can eat anything you want without gaining weight because you’re not eating a lot. I know you think you do, but you’re not. Otherwise you wouldn’t be skinny. Here’s how to gain weight for skinny guys.


1. Track Calories
. Skinny guys often overestimate what they eat. Read the labels, use a food scale and track your daily caloric intake using FitDay.com. You need at least your body-weight in lbs x 20kcal daily to gain weight.

A rule of thumb is at least 1kg for each cm above 1m (use this converter). Anything less you’ll always look skinny. There’s no upper limit, if you want to weigh more go for it. Examples of minimum goal weights:

  • 1m70/5’7″ at least 70kg/154lbs
  • 1m75/5’9″ at least 75kg/165lbs
  • 1m80/5’11″ at least 80kg/176lbs
  • 1m85/6’1″ at least 85kg/187lbs
  • 1m90/6’3″ at least 90kg/200lbs


3. Eat Every 3 Hours
. You need at least your body-weight in lbs x 20 kcal to gain weight. That’s 2700kcal/day if you’re 135lbs. If you have a physical job or move a lot, you’ll need even more. Eat every 3 hours.

  • Breakfast. Get calories from the first hour. Read how to build the habit of eating breakfast and try these breakfast recipes.
  • Lunch & Diner. Prepare double portions while making breakfast. 1 portion for work/school, 1 portion when you get back.
  • Snacks. Mixed nuts, fruits, dried fruits, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, sandwiches, milk, protein shakes, …
  • Post Workout. Physical activities burn calories. Eat post workout to get that energy back. Check this post workout shake recipe.


4. Eat Calorie Dense Foods
. 100g raw rice is 380kcals. 100g raw spinach is only 25kcals. Getting your daily calorie intake is easier if you eat foods high in calories. Your best options:

  • Pasta. 100g pasta is 380kcal and easier to ingest than 100g rice. Whole grain pasta is healthier, but takes longer to digest. Eat white pasta.
  • Whole Milk. If you don’t bother gaining some fat, drink 1 gallon whole milk per day on top of your current food intake. I’ve seen guys gaining 60lbs/year drinking 1 gallon per milk per day while Squatting 3x/week.
  • Nuts. Mixed nuts & natural peanut butter have +500kcal/100g, about 50% healthy fats and 25% protein. Use mixed nuts as snack & throw peanut butter on sandwiches for work/school.
  • Olive Oil. Protects against heart diseases & cancer. Sip it like vodka (it’s not that bad, really) or use it for tomato pasta sauce. 1tbsp is 100kcal.


5. Get Stronger.
You want to go from skinny to muscular, not from skinny to chubby. Get into strength training. More strength is more muscle. If you don’t know where to start, check StrongLifts 5×5. Some tips.

  • Free Weights. Force you to stabilize the weight and allow for natural motions. Start light, focus on technique and add weight progressively.
  • Compound Exercises. Do exercises that work your whole body. Squats, Deadlifts, Overhead Press, Bench Press, Pull-ups, Dips, Barbell Row, …
  • Squat. Leg exercise stressing your whole body. When you can Squat 1.5x your body-weight for 1 rep, you’ll no longer be skinny. Squat often.
  • Rest. Muscle grow when you rest, not when you workout. Don’t train daily. Sleep, drink 1 gallon water daily and eat fruits/veggies.


    6. Plan.
    Failing to plan is planning to fail. You don’t have time to cook 3x/day, and the food at work/school is often low quality/more expensive. Prepare your food in advance and take it with you.

    • Do The Grocery. Avoid skipped meals because you don’t have food available. List everything you need for 1 week and go buy it.
    • Cook in Advance. Prepare all your meals once per day: while preparing breakfast or while preparing dinner. It takes about 40mins.
    • Keep it Simple. Make double portions, take leftovers with you, use cans of tuna & mixed nuts, 1 gallon milk per day, …
    • Take Food with You. Food containers for work/school, mixed nuts at the movies, eat before going to town, take protein shakes to the gym, …


    7. Track Progress.
    Success breeds success. Knowing that you’re losing your skinny look will keep you motivated. Track everything.

    • Track Calories. Continue tracking your daily caloric intake using FitDay so you get a confirmation of how many calories you’re eating.
    • Weigh Yourself Weekly. Gaining weight? Don’t change anything. Not gaining weight? Increase your daily caloric intake by 500kcal.
    • Take Pictures. The mirror is subjective. Pictures don’t lie. Shoot pictures bi-monthly so you have objective measurements of your progress.
    • Track Strength Gains. When you can Squat 1.5x your body-weight for 1 rep, you’ll no more be skinny. Use the StrongLifts 5×5 spreadsheet.


    Weight Gain Diet.
    3500+kcal example diet for a skinny guy who wants to weigh 180lbs/81kg. This can be too much at once if you’re only 135lbs/61kg or not enough if you’re very active. Individualize the diet based on your needs.

    • Breakfast: 100g oats, 50g raisins, 1scoop whey
    • Snack: 100g mixed nuts or 1 liter milk or tuna sandwich
    • Lunch: 200g white pasta, bolognese sause, parmesan cheese
    • Snack: 100g mixed nuts or 1 liter milk or tuna sandwich
    • Post workout shake: 1.5scoops whey, 60g oats, milk, banana
    • Dinner: 200g white pasta, bolognese sause, parmesan cheese
    • Pre bed: cottage cheese, berries, flax seed, fish oil

    Like this post?

    Signup for my daily motivational email tips. I'll send you free tips every day to help you get stronger. These tips are free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Get access by going here.

    Fed Up Being Weak?

    So was I. The best routine I've found to get stronger is called "5x5". It's simple and easy: three exercises, three times a week, 45 minutes per workout. This 5x5 routine works whether you want to gain strength, build muscle or lose weight. And it's 100% free. Give it a try by clicking the button below.

    Get Stronger