How To Gain Weight With a Fast Metabolism

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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.


Don’t Obsess

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.

 

References:

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, US Department of Agriculture: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

 

25 Comments

Draco Lusus

about 2 years ago

I'd like to actually try again, been close to 5 years since my last attempt. I know a negative attitude is not helpful, but...I consume a LOT for my size, and high fat, high protein, high carb diet and I lose weight...I rate the only option after attempting this is to try something like Anavar :(

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Kayth Bagnaes

about 2 years ago

Thank you so much for this! I mean, I'm really under-weight and my ribs and bones are poking out of my skin. So I really feel thin and malnourished. I eat plenty, a lot actually, but nothing happens. So this summer, I planned to really motivate myself to get fat enough to keep my weight in line. So when I read your article, I was like, "woah, why didn't I think of that?!". Hahaha! So this is going to be a wonderful guide for me. I'm really determined to get fat this summer. So again, Thank you so much!! I will stick to your helpful articles! They're awesome, believe me. THANK YOU!!! I LOVE YOUR ARTICLE SO MUCH!~ <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

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Namitha Mani

about 1 year ago

Hey Kayth, sounds like we have the same issue. I just wanted to ask if these past four months have made a difference? I'm going to try these tips as well, guess i'm looking for some motivation :/

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esperanza

about 1 year ago

im a 15 year old girl and im 5'5 and weight 85 pounds im hoping this will work cuz im tired of being called to skinny even though I have a fast metabolism but my goal is 95 or 100 so hopefully I can reach it with eating healthier foods and not junk food

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Erica

about 2 years ago

Thanks so much for giving me all these tips I really think I might be able to pull through and make this happen!!!!!thanks again😄

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Cissy Spear

about 2 years ago

Am so desperate on gaining some weight and so i use appetising tablets which make me eat alot and at the same time i sleep alot because they make me sleepy and weak.Wont this affect me in anyway and make my stomach grow fat? Thank you alot.

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Ray Ray

about 2 years ago

Took hella notes and going to get started tomorrow. I'm at 145 rite now....very bad for a 25 year old, 5'8" dude =[ very bad. I really hope I cand do this. I will post a comment when I've reached 155! Thanks for your tips.

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reece

about 2 years ago

I am glad I have come across this article. Ive always wanted to gain weight, but I was doing it the wrong way; eating loads of unhealthy fast foods. Cant wait to begin #OperationFatWill

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Will Henry

about 1 year ago

#operationfatreece! :)

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Ray moreno

about 2 years ago

I feel so glad to have come across your article facing this issue. I love your article and it really gives me hope to be in line with what my weight should be for my age. I am super skinny and these tips/tricks will really help me reach my goal to fatten up this summer, thanks again. -Ray

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Ak

about 2 years ago

I noticed that by eating only 2 big meals, I had gained 4 lbs. But lost 2 pounds when starting eating 3 or 4 meals.

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Will Henry

about 1 year ago

The sumo wrestler analogy in action! :)

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Hopewadi

about 2 years ago

- THANK YOU FOR THE TIPS.. I am underweight =40kg due to genetics. I am going to follow your steps and i hope i will make some difference.

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Diane Hill

about 2 years ago

I have a fast metabolism, so I started doing what you said, but it's strange because I only gain weight on my stomach. That was the one place I didn't want all the weight to go to. At least my arms or legs. Maybe it's just me but it did still work. Maybe it's because I'm getting older or it's because of this but I do think I see a lot of improvement in my weight. SO THANK YOUU!!

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Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi Diane, yes people will gain weight in specific areas sometimes. I gain in my stomach too; my wife gains in her legs. It's our genetics that determines this. Building up muscle is the only way to increase mass in specific areas. In addition to the diet, I'd recommend a regimen of arm and leg workouts. You'll want heavier weights and lower repetitions (heavy enough that you can only manage 6 - 8 repetitions at a time). I may write another article about this specific topic, so thanks for the inspiration!

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Shane doe

about 1 year ago

So idk how this will work with me. In perspective I worked at a McDonald's for about 5months eating breakfast lunch and dinner their for free. In that 5months I gained 8lbs, the day after I quit I lost it all and 3 extra I never dropped bellow 130 but can't even pass 140. I'm 5'9 it sucks

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Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi Shane, yeah McDs is very calorie rich. A "meal" there can easily have over 1000 calories. So you may have been eating 3000 calories per day, every day. I'd make your goal to get back up to that number again (though I'd suggest opting for more healthy stuff to avoid all that cholesterol.)

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Chris Troutman

about 1 year ago

So, I've been trying to gain weight for years.. But I apparently wasn't doing it properly. I also have an extremely fast metabolism, no matter what I eat, when I eat and the quantity, I would not gain a kilo. (I'm Australian, I don't know pounds) But, my issue is, I eat quantity over quality. I am now 21 and weigh 55kgs.. So I'm am TINY. I work out everyday, muscular workouts only, I do not job or anything because I burn calories quick enough as is. Haha. I have actually just recently bought a Mass Gainer, high in protein, calories and carbs. Also a bit of sodium for that absorption. ;) After reading think, I am undertaking a new diet. Going to keep a food diary and a complex game plan. Really happy I stumbled across this, thank you very much. Bookmarked for on the fly reference! I also didn't know about bigger weights, less reps = bigger gains!!!

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Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Thanks Chris! Yes, I'd advise a supplement for you, especially since you're working out. Let me know how it goes!

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kera

about 1 year ago

I am starting my weight gaining today is it true if I have 2000 or more calories a day I will start putting on a couple of pounds?

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Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi Kera, totally depends on your metabolism! Before you start, track what you normally eat each day. I mean everything! Do that for a week and find out your average caloric intake. Then figure out ways to boost that amount by 25% or more. You should see some gains after that.

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Shaun Bourgeois

about 1 year ago

Hey I just starting using the FitBit app to track my calorie intake. It has name brands built in (such as pilsbury, yoplait, etc.) and seems to be fairly accurate. I'm just wondering if the two meal a day theory adds more fat or more muscle when used in conjunction with a solid weight lifting routine. I want to gain weight but also want to look fit.

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Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi Shaun, eating big meals will help, but be aware that intense exercise will increase your metabolic rate too, so track your caloric intake and make sure you're eating way above maintenance. If you're hitting the gym hard, do the big meals and consider adding in a mass gainer shake to your routine, that's my advice!

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Jade Mason

about 1 year ago

I've been trying for years to increase my weight, nothing ever works. I'm gonna use your tips and start a new weight gain mission from today, I hope it works this time :) I'll be coming back to this site to give my results in about a month or so. Thanks Will :)

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spi

about 1 year ago

A good article. I'm also underweight and would like to finally, at least get over 100lbs. So far I am still having trouble and I can't seem to eat more than maybe 800-1,000 calories a day...so I have to work at stretching my stomach. Another helpful thing to have to gain is a feeder. Someone there to help stuff you full and encourage you to eat more and more. A sort of romantic and/or sexual aspect can even be added...it won't make gaining any less hard work, but it can make it fun.

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