No matter how much you eat, your body seems to burn through it without adding on a single pound. You’re scared to exercise because you’ll lose what little weight you have. Sound familiar?
You probably have a fast metabolism. It’s more common than you think!
If your body metabolizes energy on overdrive, it’s tough to add any weight, not to mention expensive and frustrating.
When learning how to gain weight with a fast metabolism, you’ll need to figure out ways to ‘outsmart’ your body.
There are ways to increase your calorie intake pretty easily, and there are ways to slow that metabolism down a bit to make gains a little easier.
If you’re underweight and want to learn how to slow down your metabolism and get into better shape, I’ve got a few tips and ideas that can help!
OK, so how can I gain weight with my fast metabolism?
You’re in tough, that’s for sure. I’ve got a crazy high metabolism myself, and putting on weight is always extremely difficult for me. The main thing I’ve learned is that it takes intentional effort and a game plan, something most people don’t bother with.
I’m going to focus on three areas in this article. First I’ll look at great foods to gain weight and additives that can increase the calorie content of meals you already love. Secondly, I’ll go over a few ways to potentially slow down your metabolism a little bit. Finally, I’ll talk about the ‘game plan’ aspect of gaining weight quickly, and how a regimen can help in a big way.
OK, let’s get into some great foods to combat a high metabolism and put on weight fast!
1) Conquering the High Metabolism: Food is Essential
You’ve probably heard this so often that it’s getting tiresome, but I’m going to repeat it, ad nauseam: to gain weight, you need to eat food. A LOT of food!
For the ‘average’ person, you need around 3500 calories to gain a pound. That’s 3500 calories over and above your maintenance weight! Likewise, for every 3500 calories of deficit your body has, you will potentially lose a pound of fat reserves.
(There’s lots of great, free information from the US Department of Agriculture about calorie intake and weight gain / weight loss.)
So, if you wanted to put on a pound a week, you’d need an extra 500 calories a day. Doesn’t sound too hard, does it?
Not so fast! If you have a high metabolism, gaining weight is even more difficult because chances are you’ll need even more than that 500 extra calories per day.
That’s why being intentional with your caloric intake is essential to conquering your fast metabolism and putting on weight quickly.
Here are a few ways to do it:
Add A Mass Gainer to Supplement Your Diet:
One of the simplest ways to intentionally increase your caloric intake is to add a mass gainer to your daily routing.
It’s a great way to push above that 500 calories per day mark, since it’s easy to monitor and track. You know exactly what’s in each scoop.
Optimum Nutrition is a personal favourite for taste and consistency.
The obvious downside is that it costs money. Supplements almost always cost more than food. That being said, you’ll need to spend a bit of money regardless, whether it’s on food or on gainers or both.
The biggest advantage to using a mass gainer supplement? Convenience!
Cooking and food prep takes time, and it’s too easy to skip a meal because you’re in a hurry. With a gainer, there’s no such excuse: you just drink and go.
If you want to look at a few more options, I’ve written an article reviewing a few other mass gainers, which you can read here.
Add Extras to Your Meal:
Anywhere you can, try to put some extra calories in your food, particularly foods you already eat and enjoy.
• If you’re eating pasta, for example, put an extra two tablespoons of a healthy oil (say olive) in your pasta sauce. You probably won’t notice the difference.
• If you eat cereal for breakfast, try adding a sliced up banana and a spoon full of peanut butter to your routine.
• Drink a glass of milk with your meals, rather than a glass of water.
• If you eat a salad, make sure there’s some dressing on it, or maybe something tasty like goat cheese.
Get where I’m going with this?
Start Eating Calorie Rich Foods, Intentionally:
I’ve written an article on some cheap foods to gain weight fast, and they’re great for clobbering that metabolism. Fast or not, gaining weight swiftly shouldn’t be a problem if you start incorporating energy dense (but healthy) foods into your diet on a regular basis.
Be sure that each meal includes a healthy portion of carbohydrates. Carbs are often overlooked (especially because many people are concerned with being overweight, not under), but believe me, carbs are your friend!
Make sure that each meal has a couple pieces of bread, a serving of pasta, a heap of rice or another grain. Anything that gives your body quick, accessible energy is good news.
Boost Your Appetite:
Increasing your food intake can be really tricky, especially if your stomach has shrunk from a low volume diet.
An active lifestyle will help increase your hunger, but that’s often simply not enough.
An appetite stimulant such as Apetamin helps, simply by encouraging your body to want more food intake.
With the constant reminder of your rumbling stomach, it can be easier to eat consistently.
When you’re constantly hungry, eating becomes a more natural thing, and you’ll find that the weight goes on pretty fast.
I should note that not everyone likes Apetamin, as it can make you pretty drowsy, at least for the first little while.
Also, it’s not gluten free, so it’s not an option for those with Celiac or a similar intolerance.
Still, it works for most people, and I’d definitely give it a shot if a low appetite and fast metabolism is keeping you from gaining pounds.
Track Your Caloric Intake:
This may seem a bit obsessive, but I think it’s handy to work out an estimate of how many calories you’re taking in on a particular day.
It’s easy to think “I feel full so I must be eating enough”, but that’s a pitfall.
It’s really straightforward to determine your caloric intake. There are a bunch of different calorie calculators online, or you can just do a search.
For example, searching for ‘avocado nutrition’ will garner pretty precise information on the caloric content of that particular food.
When you take note of what you’re eating and work out the calories, you get to be more intentional about it, and that’s a large part of how to gain weight with a fast metabolism.
You can even joke with your friends that you’re watching what you eat!
2) How To Slow Your Metabolism to Gain Weight:
This is a harder question to answer, and I make no guarantees about its efficacy since everyone is different. There are some things you can try that might help. Ultimately, slowing your metabolism means nothing if you’re not eating enough so look to food first and this second.
Here are a few tips to slow down your hyperactive metabolic rate:
Eat Large Meals, Spaced Out:
You might think that eating constantly is a big help, and it’s somewhat true, but eating frequently also has the adverse effect of speeding up your body’s metabolic rate. That’s why many weight loss programs suggest eating many small meals throughout the day.
To slow down your metabolic rate and put on weight quickly, you can make sure that breakfast, lunch and dinner are huge and well spaced out.
I don’t want you to avoid snacking, as any extra calories are a good thing, but do keep this principle in mind. If nothing else, try to compile your snacking into ‘mini meals’.
Did you know that Japanese sumo wrestlers eat just two large meals per day? It’s true!
Switch from Jogging to Weight Lifting:
A lot of super skinny people I know are addicted to running or cycling. That’s great, but it’s not beneficial to putting on weight and conquering that fast metabolism.
Jogging and cycling burn through calories like nobody’s business. They’re mostly a cardiovascular exercise, so they don’t tend to ‘bulk a person up’.
A good way to slow your metabolism and gain weight fast is to switch your exercise routine to be more weight focused. Weight lifting builds muscle mass, and when combined with a good protein intake it can really increase your weight.
You can maintain good cardiovascular health by switching to long walks or just jog a bit less frequently. It’s not a requirement, but it can help.
On the whole, I’d encourage you to focus on your eating habits rather than obsessing with slowing down your metabolism.
Genetics have a lot to do with your metabolism, and slowing it down enough to see appreciable differences may be outside of your control.
Food is still the key to this whole thing.
3) Create a Plan: Beat Your High Metabolism & Gain Pounds Fast
A good plan to gain weight is probably the best thing you can do. A plan keeps you focused and on task, and it makes it very clear when you’ve cheated or missed a meal. In fact, it’s so important that I’m going to capitalize it from now on!
Let’s take a look at what a good weight gain Plan can do for you!
Write Down Everything You Eat:
This is the toughest part, but you’ll need to write down everything you eat throughout the day, and then look up the calories the food contains. You can average it a bit, but don’t be too liberal with that. Be sure to be as accurate as possible.
I’d suggest breaking down your chart into Morning, Noon and Night, or Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Actually, a diet plan works well for this, like this calorie counter book. It’s meant for losing weight, but you can easily modify it for weight gain purposes!
Figure Out How Many Calories You Need
This can be tougher. There are average figures available to let you know what someone your age might require based on lifestyle, but they’re just guesses based on aggregate data. Here’s a good one.
I’d recommend you find out how many calories are recommended per day for someone your age and lifestyle, and assume you need at least a few hundred more than that number due to your metabolic rate. Write that number down in your calorie counter chart or book for later reference.
THEN, your job is to exceed that number by at least 500 calories per day! That’s tricky, but you’ll find that writing things down and tracking your progress makes a huge difference.
Additional Tips & Advice:
I’d also recommend mentioning your weight goals to friends, family or a mentor. That way they can keep you accountable to your goals. You’ll find that a lot of people will ask about how it’s coming along, and that’s gratifying.
I coined my weight gain regimen ‘Operation Fat Will’, a tongue-in-cheek name to be sure, but people remember it!
Gaining weight with a fast metabolism is a slog at times, but stick with it, eat more and make a plan, you’ll get there!
Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment with your own stories.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, US Department of Agriculture: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.