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Weight Gain
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I am too skinny! How can I gain weight fast? Plz HELP!

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Hey guys,

So I am 18, 5'11" and around 120-125 lbs. depending on the day.  I am aware I am quite underweight so please don't tell me "OMG!!! your underweight". 

 no, I do not have an eating disorder, I eat more than enough.  One thing this site did teach me was that even eating fatty foods constantly doesn't always help you gain weight.  The thing is I have been told I just have a really crazy metabolism rate (i can drop or gain 5 lbs. in a day!). and my dad was really skinny until about 19 and then he fattened up too.  I am just getting worried because I have grown up but not out yet and I am already 18.

 Does anybody have any help on what can help me to gain weight fast?  Are there any good vitamin supplements or pills out there that are SAFE and actually give me everything i need? Do you guys have any tips on what kind of foods to eat, etc?  I wouldn't say I eat very balanced or healthy and I eat out quite a bit but I usually thought that wouldn't really affect somebody like me who would burn it off easily.

 I do not go to the gym and have stopped playing soccer a year ago (my only form of real exercise).  I know I should exercise more and I am going to start lifting weights and going to the gym now I have more time off work.  But will lifting weights actually help me gain weight or just build some muscle?  Muscle is good but I am actually looking to just even gain 20-25 lbs. of fat so I am of average BMI for my age and height you know?

 Sorry for the long post but I really just needed to see if anybody has been in my shoes or knows of what can help me gain weight fast.  I really appreciate anybody's reply, even if it seems obvious.  Thanks so much!

Edited Oct 07 2013 20:13 by coach_k
Reason: Locked to prevent unnecessary zombie or spam bumps
41 Replies (last)
Fast + safe = not real
BUT you can do it
How much do you eat a day? Do you log cals
Dont worry. I was very underweight, and gained a bit and still cant get more, but its possible. I wanted fat too, but if you pile it on by eating cheeseburgers you'll get sick
 Lifting weights will help. How much protein do you get?

My tricks were
* make sure i'm getting the right RDI of everything especially calcium and iron
* eat nuts and dried fruit mix instead of blueverries. Maybe not every day but now and then. Try to get the raw and unsweetened kind. Mmm dried dates = love. Have a bowl by your work desk and snack
* make sure when i exercise i eat more pasta for dinner. at least a cup at each meal. Chew slowly, dont rush it and feel sick
* dont be scared of the rice bowl. Its calories without fat.
* Get into the good fats - omega 3's from salmon will also add GOOD fat and calories,.
* add stuff. A little everywhere will help. Add avocado to your salad, nuts to your stir-fry, bread in your soup, milk on your oatmeal, peanut butter (healthy) on the crackers.
* dont bother with diet trash. Or even real stuff (except for treats) when it comes to drinks. Have milk or even juice with the pulp. Have real sugar or at least honey. Say no to sweeteners if only cos they have 12 less cals than sugar. It all adds up

My fav. bulking "recipes"

Before bed have a glass of warm milk (or soy even better) with a tbsp of blackstrap molasses - tastes almost like coffe or caramel. i hate molasses plain and coffee but i likes this.
Make agar-agar with milk.
Stir fried chicken and yummy veggies on basmati rice, sprinkled with cashews.
Cereal mixed with fruit and nuts (mmm almonds and dates) Like granola.
Protein shake made with milk, into a smoothie. Mmm yummy. You can add cocoa and peanut butter and a banana for a real treat!!
A mammoth bowl of creamy oats with banana, brown sugar and raisins.
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^^ Those recipies are pretty good.

Another option is to buy a hard gainer powder from a place like GNC. Each serving is like 2200 calories!

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Thanks guys!  That helps quite a bit.  dm84, are those safe to use (sorry for being such a noobie)?  Can too many calories at once be dangerous or will it just really make you pack on the pounds?

 red_herring thanks so much for your words of wisdom.  I never eat breakfast but I usually have a good size lunch and a large dinner and sometimes a midnight feast on snacks and stuff.  I know it's not too healthy but I am trying to change that.  I also have heard breakfast is a really important meal to have, am I right?

 I have not measured out on average per day how much protein I get but I am guessing not enough considering my high metabolism.  I am starting to use the tools on this site to log how much I eat per day and will get an idea of it soon.  Do you know how much an 18 year old should be getting per day?

 Thanks again so much for your help!  Any other help is really appreciated.


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They're not dangerous, but if you drink enough of them, you will pack on the pounds quickly.
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Haha excellent!  I definitely need to grab some of these.  Where can I buy them?
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GNC, Vitamin World. Just ask the guy behind the counter for a hard gainer shake mix, and pick the one with the most cals. Some have anywhere from 1,000-2,500 calories per serving.
Eating more than 800 calories at once can seriously mess up your body. You should concentrate on getting your nutrition and calories from FOOD not powders or bars.
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Original Post by zebulancherry:

Eating more than 800 calories at once can seriously mess up your body. You should concentrate on getting your nutrition and calories from FOOD not powders or bars.

 Sorry Kate, that's just not true. Depending on caloric requirements, people may have no choice but to take in more than 800 calories in a sitting. Your body doesn't care, as long as everything balances out at the end of the day.

I agree with you though that people should concentrate on getting calories from food, but this kid probably needs like 6,000 calories to gain weight. Can you imagine yourself eating 6,000 calories of clean food? I can't. Better he drinks the powder than stuffing his face with ice cream and cake. 

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Haha well now I don't know who/what to believe.


dm84 is right Kate, in the fact that I worked it out and without even exercizing I need at least 2700-2800 calories a day to get up to 145 lbs. in a month or two.

 If you break 2800 calories into 3 meals then that means I need 933.33 calories per meal to be able to achieve that caloric rate per day.  If you argue I should eat 6 smaller meals a day, then it's 433.33 but then I wonder how my body can tell the difference because at the end of the day I still have obtained 2800 calories.  Does it really matter how many of those calories were all at once?

 Kate, if I was to use these powders I would obviously know that they wouldn't hold much nutritional value or have many vitamins included (if any) and I wouldn't just sit there all day and drink powder shakes. 

Many fast food places contain around 1100 calories in one sitting.  Because it's fast food it obviously has a LOT of salt and sugar and saturated fats, but no nutritional value.  It is not a healthy way to gain calories, but is there actually anything wrong with gaining THAT NUMBER of calories in one sitting?  I don't believe it is, but then again I don't know that much.  Can anyone confirm either dm84's statement or Kate's?  Thanks.

Ok, call me crazy but I joined this website just to respond to your question.  It alarmed me. 

When I was 18, I weighed 125 pounds and I am also 5'11".  At that time (don't ask how long ago) that was nothing to be alarmed about.  There were girls like me, some bigger, some skinnier.  That's just the way we were.  It seems that there is way too much focus on how a person should look now, either too skinny or too heavy.  If you are healthy then what is wrong with letting your body decide how much weight to carry around at 18 years old?  Trying to gain weight when there is nothing wrong with the weight you are is like a red flag to me.  What about your doctor?  Has he/she said you are too thin?  I would suggest if you are really concerned about your weight that you start there instead of listening to other online people that could be giving you advise that might not be healthy for you.

Ok, I've said my peace.  Hopefully I haven't offended anyone and have helped Ms. mdrake123. 


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mdrake is a guy. A guy at 5'11" 125 is not in an ideal situation. He realizes that and he's willing to do whatever it takes to get to a healthy weight.
That's a relief.  I still suggest a doctor.  None-ya can give him good medical advise on gaining weight.  Gaining too fast isn't any healthier than loosing too fast.  He'll end up with a belly instead of all over bulk.  And as he said, "Now I'm really confused".
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Yea k your right I'm still confused.  I don't really need a doctor.  I am going to start working out and eating healthy as well as high-cal foods to gain weight.  I calculated that I need around 2700 calories just to gain a pound a week.  That's quite a lot more than an average diet of 2000 cals.

As dm84 says, jdpickle, I am underweight (according to BMI) as well as by looking at me.  But you're right.  I am not UNHEALTHY and by no means do I have an eating disorder.  I've been told by the doctor a while back that I am just a skinny kid and I would eventually bulk up maybe a couple years after my late teenage years.  Is there anything wrong with saying, "hm, I don't really want to wait, I'd like to gain weight now and bulk up?".  I don't think so.  I have a metabolism that knocks 3-5 pounds off while sleeping sometimes and it pisses me off having to fight an uphill battle.

So unless anybody can tell me some scientific information about the danger of having a high-vitamin, high-calorie diet then please let me know.  Otherwise I am going to pick up some Quickmass weight gaining powder (1010 cals a serving) and start working out, eating a high-cal diet, and hopefully putting my insanely high metabolism to rest. 

 dm84, and everyone else, thanks again for the tips!

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I've always been skinny and have a crazy metabolism also.  It's nice to know that other people have the same problem as me...which until a few years ago wasnt a problem in my eyes. My doctor freaked out on me and was like your way under BMI your 18 5'7 and weight only 100 lbs...which isnt consistent with in the week i can go from 98 to 107. I eat very healthy and always make sure i at least get 2000 calories a day. I am also a runner so that takes alot of calories off and once i actually sat down and figured it out, with the amount of running i do i should be eating 4000 calories a far without help the closest to that i've gotten is 3100 and i still stay the same tiny size (except my ass seems to become mushier) my mom is freaking out about it all the time and its really stressing me out. People just assume that i'm happy being little but sometimes it really sucks. Especially with stupid prom dress can always get a size bigger but you can't always get a size smaller....hmm this turned into a rant...i wish i could gain!
peanut butter lol
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Original Post by armywifecurtis:

peanut butter lol

What do you mean peanut butter?  As in it helps you gain weight?  Please be more specific.

As for everybody else thank you very much for your replies.  All have been quite helpful, although everybody should know I am a guy and that my weight situation isn't very good.  My BMI is 17.4 and I am underweight, not unhealthily but just I don't like it.

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Original Post by mdrake123:

Original Post by armywifecurtis:

peanut butter lol

What do you mean peanut butter?  As in it helps you gain weight?  Please be more specific.

As for everybody else thank you very much for your replies.  All have been quite helpful, although everybody should know I am a guy and that my weight situation isn't very good.  My BMI is 17.4 and I am underweight, not unhealthily but just I don't like it.

 PB has 190 calories per 2 tbsp. So if you eat a lot of it, you get a lot of calories.

Pecan nuts. I suggest you eat plenty of those, coming out at almost 900 calories a cup. Nuts are a brillaint way of snacking for those extra calories. High in polyunsaturates or monosaturates. And they're lovely and tasty :)
Just a couple of my pennies for thought:

It is impossible to lose 3-5 lbs of fat/muscle in your sleep.  One pound is 3500 calories so I could go along with maybe one in a day, but no what you are losing and gaining is mostly water.

I agree with David on this one.  It is important to get as much of your needed nutrients in eating healthy foods, but incorporating protein drinks/suppliments into your diet to up your calories and protein (which is more beneficial in building lean muscle by weight training) is safe.  Some controversy exists about excessive amounts of protein b/c your body can only digest/use so much, the rest is filtered by your kidneys, which can be hard on them.  So, in saying that, if you do not plan to build muscle and weight train, high levels of protein is unnecessary.

I am guessing you chose sedentary for amount of calories you consume b/c I would have guessed you needing even more than that, closer to 3200 really (to gain).  When I am moderately active I burn 2300 a day and I am 30 ish, but I have always had a higher metabolism.  BTW, as a side note, this site says I burn 1900 on moderate level...but by slowly upping calories I found it to be 2300, everyone's metabolism is different.  You will have to do trial and error too, if you find you are not gaining the pound a week then you will need to up your calories another 100 a day until you are gaining a pound a week.
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Thanks for your reply leiann.  It must be water then, but my point really is that not everyone drops that drastically and it is NOT my scale - haha.

 I do plan to start working out as I said, but right now am just trying to learn to count my calories and ensure I eat enough calories in a day so as to even maintain/gain weight.  It is really frustrating for me because I have never needed to be so hard on focusing what I eat, when, and if it is high enough in calories.

 Thanks for your advice.

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