Healthy Diet Tips For Hard Gainers
Most, if not all exercises, revolve around taking inches off one’s waist, losing weight, and building more muscle in general. This usually means having to significantly cutting down on one’s food intake. This doesn’t help those hard gainers out there trying to put weight on their skinny bodies, which already is a struggle, even when they try the time-tested methods to gain weight.
In most cases, these people work equally hard as their buffed friends, but they just cannot seem to pack enough weight to build muscles from the food they consume. Professional trainers believe that in order to gain healthy weight, it’s not only about eating more and eating right, rather, it’s the strategy one implements alongside their diet. This includes the approach to weight training, the attitude you maintain, as well as the rules you must obey. In this article, we will discuss these very aspects of hard gaining, from the strategy you should adopt, to the diet plan you should follow, as well as the rules.
Strategy to Pack in more pounds
This section is dedicated to the ideal weight training ritual for a hard gainer.
Weight training coupled with Rest days
In order to grow, muscle stimulation is necessary. In the case of hard gainers, this stimulation must be coupled with abundance of rest. The problem most hard gainers face is that they workout hard, in fact, too hard. When they don’t see their muscles grow, they automatically assume they need more training. The truth is; muscle-training tears down muscles and muscles grow in the rest period after training, in order to allow your muscles to grow, give them rest; workout but no more than four days every week.
To clarify, rest days aren’t only the days you refrain from weight training but also from cardio, as well as strenuous activities like, basketball and swimming. These activities burn a lot of energy, and in the case of hard gainers, the very source of this energy is the muscle mass they are trying so hard to gain. This is actually counterproductive to your goal; ensure that you get three full days off for rest every week.
Place emphasis on compound exercises
Compound exercises are multi-joint moves, like dead lifts, pull-ups, bench presses, and squats. These exercises take significantly more energy to perform, but in return, they stimulate the muscle growth that hard gainers are looking for. Compound exercises use major muscle groups simultaneously, allowing you to lift more weight. This in turn, gives your body a bigger boost with the release of growth hormone and testosterone.
Moderate training sessions
Hard gainers are tempted to do as much as five or six exercises for each body part in a training session, thinking that more stimulation would mean more growth. Multiplying each of these exercises with multiple sets results in over training of your body, one part at a time. In order to gain, focus on training large muscle groups (chest, back, and legs) with 3 to 4 exercises per session, and for smaller body parts (shoulders, biceps, triceps, and abs), 2 to 3 exercises per session; totaling no more than 20 to 22 sets per workout session.
A hard gainer’s ideal diet plan
In this section, we are going to discuss and lay out the complete diet that a hard gainer must have on a daily basis. This diet plan is a very realistic one, designed for individuals that have an average income and who maintain an average lifestyle.
This diet plan follows a grazing routine, meaning you will eat 6 to 7 small meals a day spaced 2 to 3 hours apart:
Meal #1 Breakfast: 8:00am
Whey Protein Shake, provides 50gm of protein
One of the following: Grits, Oatmeal, or Sugar-Free Cereal, provides about 40gm of carbs
One Glass of Milk, provides 10gm of protein
Meal #2 Snack: 10:00am
A Peanut Butter sandwich, providing 15gm protein, 40gm carbs, 20gm fat
Meal #3 Lunch: 1:00pm
A cup of either Beef, Chicken, or Fish, provides 50gm protein and 5gm fat
A cup of potatoes or rice, provides 40 gm carbs
A cup of Vegetables, provides 20 gm carbs and 10 gm of fibre
OR a Tuna Sandwich, provides 25 gm protein, 40 gm carbs, and 5 gm fat
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A glass of milk, provides 10 gm protein
Meal #4 Snack: 4:00pm
A Peanut Butter Sandwich, provides 15 gm protein, 40 gm carbs, and 20 gm fat
Bananas, provides 10 gm carbs
Meal #5 Post-Workout: 6:00pm
Whey Protein Shake, provides 50 gm of Protein2 tablespoons of Waxy Maize or Dextrose, provides 15 gm carbs
Half a cup of Rolled Oats, provides 30 gm carbs
Meal #6 Dinner: 8:00pm
A cup of Chicken, Beef, or Fish, provides 50 gm protein and 5 gm fat
A cup of rice or potatoes, provides 40 gm carbs
A cup of Vegetables, provides 20 gm carbs, 10 gm fibre
A glass of milk, provides 10 gm protein
Meal #7 Before Bed Snack: 11:00pm
Whey Protein Shake, provides 50 gm of Protein
A cup of Fat-Free Cottage Cheese, provides 50 gm of Protein
Rules that hard gainer must adhere to
Go Back To the Basics
As a hard gainer, use simple math; compare your energy intake with your energy expenditure. There aren’t any crazy routines for this. Simply maintain the grazing routine above to keep your energy levels topped at all times.
Consistency is one aspect of a fitness routine that is key to bringing about the kind of weight gain that you are looking for. Only with consistency can your transition be a seamless as well as a painless one. With a regular intake, you’ll know precisely when to add meals to your diet plan.
Reassess Every Few Weeks or So
Of course, each week won’t bring about the change we are all guilty of expecting as a beginner. Space out these assessments, so you don’t get discouraged with your progress. As you near your weight goals, begin working on a strategy to maintain the weight you’ve successfully gained.
If you have been making any of the mistakes mentioned above, rectify them immediately to get back on track to hard gain. Just as losing weight is a game of patience and consistency, so is hard gaining.