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How To GAIN WEIGHT Without Getting FAT

7 Tips For Gaining Muscle
Written by Derek Howes

Gaining weight…way more fun than losing it but you don’t wanna get fat and it’s pretty easy to give in so here are 7 Tips To GAIN WEIGHT Without Getting FAT that have helped me over the years.

  1. DON’T EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT! A common misconception when “bulking” is that you should eat everything and anything in order to gain weight. Whether you have a slow or fast metabolism, over-consuming shit food and tons of calories is gonna make you gain shit weight. Find out out what your maintenance calories are and start by eating 500 calories over that to gain 1 pound a week. In my experience, that’s the safe bet for minimal fat gain when gaining weight. Your maintenance can be figured out by using an online calculator and then eating that amount for 1-2 weeks to see if you gain or lose weight, if it stays the same then that’s your maintenance.
  2. HAVE AN EXTRA PROTEIN SHAKE! This ones for those of you who have trouble eating enough to actually gain weight. If you can’t seem to eat enough food, introduce another protein shake into your diet. 1-2 scoops of some protein powder, 1-2 tablespoons of some nut butter, 8 ounces of milk, a banana, and 1/2 cup of rolled oats…boom 600 calories in 60 seconds.
  3. LAY OFF THE CARDIO! If you can’t eat enough to compensate for the cardio you’re doing like I mention in my Muscle Building Tips video, you’ll wanna lay off it. You don’t have to completely eliminate cardio since it’s great for overall health but switching to low intensity stuff will mean eating less to gain weight. Other perks here are that you’ll save money and time. If you don’t work a desk job though you might think about completely eliminating for awhile.
  4. DRINK LESS WATER! I bet that’s not something you expected to hear from someone who promotes healthy lifestyle so let me rephrase that…drink less water BEFORE MEALS. You won’t be as full which = more room for food.
  5. STOP USING LOWER CALORIE ALTERNATIVES! Not only will they taste better but they pack a ton more calories in a lot less food. Use full fat cheeses, whole milk, real butter, and so on.
  6. EAT LESSif you’re gaining weight TOO FAST! The last thing you wanna do is put on a ton of fat. If you’re like me, it’s super easy to gain weight but it’s also REALLY easy to gain fat. One of my first attempts to gain weight when starting out I decided to “dirty bulk” which if you’re not familiar with the term basically means to eat whatever you want and trust me, I did. I put on 40lbs real quick (seriously, we’re talking a few months here!) and a majority of that was fat that took FOREVER to get rid of. Gaining weight the right way, in moderation, is like separating the colors of one bag of M&M’s at a time whereas dirty bulking is like doing a whole box. Unless you have crazy good discipline it’s seriously not worth it.
  7. GIVE YOURSELF MORE OPTIONS! It’s not possible to gain 100% “good” weight, they’ll always be some fat gain even if you’re spending $500 a week on all natural, organic, cage-free (or cafe-free like the video states), grass-fed, imported, hand picked & washed, alien-grown food. Have a sub, pizza, some ice cream, a heavier dressing, whatever you want every now and then. The key is moderation and when you’re trying to gain weight that moderation can be a little bit more flexible, just make sure you’re not overdoing it by doing your best to track your calories.

and if all else fails, grab a spoon and some peanut butter.

So there ya go, a few tips I’ve learned a long the way through trial & error. Hopefully at least one of these tips helped you out and if it did let me know which one in the comments below! Stay healthy!

About the author

Derek Howes

Derek Howes is a personal trainer and chef with over a decade of experience in the gym and kitchen. Derek, who is also known as The Protein Chef on his blog and YouTube channel shows his viewers every week that food doesn’t need to be boring or repetitive, it’s all about balance, moderation, and having the knowledge to change things up. His recipes which have been featured in the news, magazines, and on TV are cheap, quick, AND delicious! His motto in life is “everything in moderation” and is without question the most important habit he follows.

1 Comment

  • The hilarious thing is that people think that if they’re eating nothing but chicken, eggs, veggies, and sweet potatoes; it’s impossible to gain fat…that all the weight they gain will be muscle. Conversely to that, they think that a Pop Tart or a couple cookies will WRECK their diet for a week.

    Cliffs Notes: If your maintenance is 3000 Cals, you WILL get FAT from eating 5000 Cal/day of “Clean” foods. If you have 200 Cal left in your daily Cals to stay under your fat loss Cal target for the day, you can have a cookie or 2.

    Derek, you might want to add an addendum: no way should a woman eat 500 Cal/day over her maintenance. Their capacity to partition those calories to muscle is far less than men, hence they run the risk of gaining fat a lot faster because they don’t have the androgens to help.

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