One of the most commonly overlooked tools for a hardgainer is also the most crucial for lasting success, Proper Nutrition. The hardgainer diet should be the top focus for any ‘skinny’ guy or gal who is trying to gain weight. While most hardgainers focus on weight lifting/working out; an effective nutrition plan will not only ensure success, but it will increase the effectiveness of any weight training plan. The following tips are a selection of tools that should be included in an overall diet program.
It’s What You Eat, Not How Much: It’s the old adage, quality over quantity. Overall, calories are important, but it’s the make up of those calories that can make or break your success. 3,000+ calories made up of chili cheese dogs and fries will help you gain weight, but probably not the kind you want.
The Funky Cheese (aka Fat Free Cottage Cheese): I know I’m not the only one that has trouble keeping this funky dairy product down. However, as bad as it may taste, it’s an excellent source of protein and should be included in any hardgainer diet. There are tricks to make this special treat more palatable. Two of my favorites; blend with some protein powder or use as a thickener in a smoothie/shake.
Legumes: While they are a great addition to any hardgainer diet; these are especially great for those trying to gain weight and maintain a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. They are an excellent source of protein.
The Great Grain: Oatmeal is typically overlooked as a weight gain staple, since it’s advertised so often as a weight loss food. Keep in mind that a hardgainer diet is not all about protein; you still need to make sure to include quality whole grains and carbs to ensure your body is functioning properly. Oatmeal is great neutral food as you can utilize it dry or cooked, savory or sweet. Try mixing dry oats into egg whites, protein shakes, and protein based muffins. Cooked oats can be mixed with cottage cheese, canned pumpkin, and even tuna.
Nuts: The only negative I hear from hardgainers about nuts is that they can be high in fat. That is true, but I’m not recommending that you make a dinner out of Walnuts. Like anything else, nuts should be eaten in moderation, but their protein value and Omega Acids make them a great source that shouldn’t be overlooked.
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