As someone who struggled with being underweight for most of my life, I understand the difficulties of trying to gain weight.
I used to think that it was as simple as eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
But after years of struggling to see any progress, I realized that there was more to it than that.
That’s when I discovered meal prepping for weight gain.
It allowed me to take control of my diet and ensure that I was consuming enough calories and nutrients to support my goals.
In this guide, I’ll be sharing everything I’ve learned about meal prepping for weight gain so that you too can achieve your goals and feel your best.
How to Determine Your Daily Calorie Intake for Optimal Weight Gain
In the first section of this guide, we’ll be discussing how to calculate your caloric needs to support weight gain.
Determining Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body burns at rest.
It’s essential to know your BMR to understand how many calories your body needs to function properly.
Factors that affect your BMR include age, height, weight, and gender.
Personally, I used an online BMR calculator to determine my BMR.
You can find a variety of BMR calculators available online, but keep in mind that these calculators are only estimates.
Your BMR may differ based on your individual circumstances.
Calculating Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)
Once you’ve determined your BMR, the next step is to calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
Your TDEE is the number of calories your body burns in a day, taking into account your activity level.
It’s essential to know your TDEE to understand how many calories your body needs to maintain its current weight.
For example, if your BMR is 1500 calories and you have a sedentary job, your TDEE might be around 1800 calories.
This means you need to consume 1800 calories daily to maintain weight.
Establishing Your Caloric Surplus
To gain weight, you need to consume more calories than your body burns. This is known as a caloric surplus.
To establish your caloric surplus, you need to calculate how many calories you need to consume above your TDEE.
A good starting point is to aim for a surplus of 250-500 calories per day. This will help you gain weight gradually and minimize the amount of fat you gain.
For example, if your TDEE is 1800 calories, you would aim to consume between 2050-2300 calories per day.
For example, I planned out my meals for the week in advance, ensuring that each meal had enough calories to support my caloric surplus.
I found it helpful to use a food scale to measure my portions and track my intake using a calorie-tracking app.
By doing so, I was able to ensure that I was hitting my calorie goals and making progress toward my weight gain goals.
Powering Your Weight Gain Journey with the Right Macronutrients
In this section, we’ll be discussing the importance of macronutrients for weight gain and how to calculate your protein needs, determine your fat intake, and the role of carbohydrates for energy.
Understanding the Importance of Macronutrients
Macronutrients are the three major nutrient groups that our bodies require in large amounts: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Each macronutrient has a unique role in our bodies, and it’s essential to consume the right balance of macronutrients to support your weight gain goals.
Calculating Your Protein Needs
Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, making it a crucial macronutrient for weight gain.
To determine your protein needs, aim to consume 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim to consume between 120-150 grams of protein per day.
Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
Determining Your Fat Intake
Fat is an important macronutrient for energy and hormone regulation. Aim to consume 20-30% of your daily calories from fat.
Good sources of healthy fats include nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon.
Carbohydrates for Energy
Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for our bodies, making them a crucial macronutrient for weight gain.
Aim to consume complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
These sources provide more sustained energy compared to simple carbohydrates, like sugar and processed foods.
Personally, I found it helpful to track my macronutrient intake using a nutrition app like MyFitnessPal.
This allowed me to ensure that I was consuming the right balance of macronutrients to support my weight gain goals.
Transforming Your Diet with Effective Meal Planning and Prep Strategies
In this guide’s next section, we’ll discuss meal planning and prep.
This is where you’ll put all the information you’ve gathered about your caloric needs and macronutrient requirements into practice.
Designing a Meal Plan
To create a meal plan, start by identifying the number of meals you’ll be eating each day.
For example, you might have three main meals and three snacks.
Next, determine the number of calories you need to consume at each meal to support your weight gain goals.
Aim to include a balance of macronutrients at each meal, with an emphasis on protein and complex carbohydrates.
For example, a typical meal might include a serving of lean protein, like chicken or fish, a serving of complex carbohydrates, like brown rice or sweet potato, and a serving of vegetables.
Planning for Snacks
Snacks can be a helpful way to boost your calorie intake throughout the day. Plan to have healthy snacks on hand, like nuts, fruit, or protein bars.
Try to avoid snacks that are high in sugar or processed foods.
Time-Saving Meal Prep Tips
Meal prepping can be a great way to save time during the week and ensure that you always have healthy, nutritious meals on hand.
Start by carving out a block of time each week to plan and prepare your meals.
Consider preparing large batches of meals that you can portion out for the week.
For example, you might make a big pot of chili or soup that can be portioned out for several meals.
Invest in meal prep containers to make portioning and storing your meals easier.
Food Storage and Safety
When meal prepping, it’s important to prioritize food safety to avoid getting sick. Always store your meals in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer.
When reheating meals, ensure that they are heated to the appropriate temperature to kill any bacteria that may have grown.
Personally, I found it helpful to set aside time each week to meal prep for the upcoming week.
By doing so, I was able to ensure that I had healthy meals on hand at all times, even when I was short on time.
Fueling Your Weight Gain Journey with a Nutritious Sample Meal Plan
In this section, we’ll be providing a sample meal plan for weight gain.
This plan includes three main meals and three snacks, with a focus on balanced macronutrients and whole foods.
Sample Meal Plan
Breakfast – Oatmeal with fruit and nuts
- 1 cup of rolled oats
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 tablespoon of almond butter
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
Snack 1 – Greek yogurt with fruit and granola
- 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup of mixed berries
- 1/2 cup of granola
Lunch – Grilled chicken with quinoa and roasted vegetables
- 4 oz of grilled chicken breast
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa
- 1 cup of roasted vegetables (e.g., sweet potato, zucchini, bell peppers)
Snack 2 – Apple slices with almond butter
- 1 apple, sliced
- 2 tablespoons of almond butter
Dinner – Salmon with brown rice and steamed vegetables
- 4 oz of grilled salmon
- 1 cup of cooked brown rice
- 1 cup of steamed vegetables (e.g., broccoli, carrots)
Snack 3 – Protein shake with fruit and nut butter
- 1 scoop of whey protein powder
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon of almond butter
Tips for Success
To ensure the success of your meal plan, here are some additional tips:
- Prepare your meals in advance to save time and avoid making unhealthy choices
- Plan for variety to keep things interesting and prevent boredom
- Don’t be afraid to eat out or indulge in treats occasionally. Balance is key!
- Track your progress and adjust your plan as needed based on your results and feedback from your body
By following these tips and sticking to a meal plan that is tailored to your individual needs, you can achieve your weight gain goals and feel your best.
Join me on my weight gain journey with this FREE meal prep plan!
Hey there! I hope this guide on meal prepping for weight gain has been helpful to you.
If you’re ready to take the next step towards your weight gain goals, I invite you to join me on my journey with this free meal prep plan.
This plan includes a sample meal plan, time-saving meal prep tips, and all the information you need to start meal prepping for weight gain today.
It’s tailored to my own personal experience with weight gain and includes a variety of nutritious and delicious meals that will keep you satisfied and on track.
I know how challenging it can be to gain weight, but with the right tools and support, it’s absolutely achievable.
So why not give this meal prep plan a try and see what kind of progress you can make toward your weight gain goals? Let’s do this together!
Does eating 3 meals a day help gain weight?
Make sure to eat at least three meals per day and try to add energy-dense snacks whenever possible.
To gain weight, eat at least three meals per day and make sure to include plenty of fat, carbs, and protein.
Is chicken and rice good for bulking?
The benefits are quite simple, it helps bulk up the body and refuel a lot of energy.
The high protein of the chicken will help rebuild damaged muscle fibers while the carbohydrate content of the rice will replace muscle glycogen levels and refuel.
Perfect for a post-workout meal.
What are the best protein meals for weight gain?
Proteins: Red meats, pork, chicken with skin on (roast or broil don’t deep fry for your health), salmon or other oily fish, beans, whole milk, eggs, cheese, full-fat yogurt.