As a young girl I have never been able to gain weight. Even as a child I was always told to eat more. That I’m just skin and bones, fragile and don’t look healthy. It was never really anything that I gave much thought to until I hit my teens. When I was 14, I first started to notice all my girlfriends were developing some body shape, while I stayed the same. That skinny, wiry body stuck, I had the same body shape, just taller, as I did when I was 12.
Other girls would tell me how lucky I was to be so skinny, meanwhile the boys would flock around them and not even notice me. No matter what I ate or how much, weight gain was a real mystery to me. I would sit down every day and binge on Oreo’s and potatoes, as crazy as that sounds. May be I have a fast metabolism, I thought.
It seemed hopeless and that why I decided to study health and nutrition. Now, I understand what works and what doesn’t. I have a great figure and help other girls do the same, but enough back story, let’s get into this!
Gaining Weight For Girls
Bad Advice From Other Girls:
First, let’s forget everything you have been told about your weight. That means any advice on putting on weight, losing weight and metabolism. That’s because, although some of that info may be valid, it won’t work for you. Your metabolism and genetic are most likely different from other girls. Most girls stack on pound very easily and give advice based on doing the opposite of avoiding weight gain.
Here are some examples of advice people give skinny girls that doesn’t help.
Advice to Avoid:
- Eat more junk food
- Don’t exercise
- Eat a lot of bread
- Eat potatoes
- Don’t exercise
Junk food is bad for your overall health. Avoiding the gym is generally not good advice. A Lot of bread, potatoes and high carb foods all the time is a terrible Idea and damages insulin sensitivity. This is the type of B.S that prevented my weight gain for years and chances are it’s doing the same for you, nothing. If you tell the advice giver that you tried those things, they say, you didn’t try enough or you’re lucky to stay skinny. No help.
How To Put on Weight, for Real!:
Great, you tried the rest, now try the best. That’s a generic Pizza slogan if you missed it :). Let’s Go over some points and get you on your way to healthy weight gains. That means avoiding tummy fat, but expect some, more fat on your buttocks and wider hips.
There are two ways we can do this, the fast way or the slower more controlled way (recommended). I wont be getting into the fast way here, but stay tuned if you’re interested. The slow way is my preferred method. If you’re wondering how slow, I would say 3 to 6 months. It’s a small price to pay for a killer body that will stick with you for a ever really.
You’re going to control the amount of tummy fat you gain, may even reduce it a bit. Your butt will become more defined and stick out. You hips will also be more noticeable. This just a general overview that will give you an idea of what to eat any how to train. We will target areas for fat gain, basically adding more fat to your hips, thighs and booty.
I would recommend sticking to this until you have noticeable change in your body shape. After that you’re free to make alterations in your routine and shape your self as you see fit. But never get lazy and decide to take the quick route or decide to skip the workout portion.
What To Eat for Girls with Fast Metabolisms
Ok, this part’s going to through you for a loop. Its also the hardest part to stick to, but it’s key to booty building. Avoid all Carbs for at least 4 weeks straight, that means no soda, sugar, bread, potatoes, cookies, etc,. I would suggest a calorie tracker like “My fitness pal” to keep tabs on this. The goal is to stay under 50gms of Carbs everyday. If you go over 50gms, start over, your back to week one.
You will lose weight, most likely 5 to 10 lbs at first. This is going to be mostly water, so make sure to stay hydrated and drink a litter to a gallon everyday. Don’t worry, drinking that much water is easier than you think. After one week you should be in what known as “Ketosis”. That means your body has switched from Carbs for energy to burning fat for energy.
Read up on Ketosis, there is a lot to learn and a lot of details that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Here’s some quick tips:
- Drink a lot of water
- Up sodium and potassium through supplements or foods ( Avocados for potassium)
- Dramatically increase Plant fats in diet. Avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, Peanuts, etc,..
- Eat large portions of fatty fish once or twice a week
- Include some proteins from meat and eggs daily
- Maintain normal calorie intake, or more
- FIBER!, get lots of fiber everyday. This means greens and supplements if needed.
Ok, your four weeks in and lost weight and hate me now. It’s ok, this is where the fun starts.Your body is primed for insulin manipulation. Any little spike in blood sugar will cause a surge in insulin and nutrient uptake.
This means that when you reintroduce Carbohydrates your body will start to store water, nutrients, fat and increase protein synthesis. So these carb loading days will make a huge difference to your weight gain and where your body stores fat. The Carb days will also mean eating near double the normal amount, but you won’t even notice it.
The Carb loading days will only be following a gym session. The days you don’t work out, you don’t eat carbs.
Exercises for Targeted Weight Gain
Here’s the thing, if you don’t train, your body will store fat where it sees fit. Sure, for us girls that means you get a bigger butt, hips, and thighs, but is also means belly, love handles, back and a few other spots. That’s not the body shape we want. But if that’s what you desire you can skip this part. If you want a smaller waist, flat belly and a bigger butt, read on.
- The legs are made up with the biggest muscles on the body. Working out legs butt and thighs will burn more fat and demand more energy from your body. This is great news for us girls. By stressing out legs, butt and thighs our body will need to increase energy storage there and reduce tummy storage.
- This is an ultra easy routine, it takes about an hour and you only have to work out 3 a week. You should start very light and at the same time as you start the diet. If done right, the first 4 weeks of training should almost feel like nothing was done.
- Starting from week one, you will add 5 to 10lb of resistance to each workout. Increasing slowly, by the first Carb day, the routine should start to be difficult and require a lot more effort to complete. Basically, start with an empty bar or light dumbbells.
This routine is an “A/B” routine. Do A one Day, than B the next workout day and back to A and so forth. Work out one day, off the next, complete 3 days and take 2 off.
Example would be:
- Monday: A routine (Carb Load)
- Tuesday: Off
- Wednesday: B routine (Carb Load)
- Thursday: Off
- Friday: A routine (Carb Load)
- Saturday: Off
- Sunday: Off
No cardio!, not because it burns too much fat or calories, no cardio because cardio sucks for any sort of gains. Cardio is good for Cardiovascular conditioning, but so is weight/resistance training. My opinion on cardio is leave it for the girls that don’t know better, or do it because you enjoy it.
- Squats – 1 set of 12, little to no weight, 5 sets x 5 reps with training weight
- Sumo Squats – 2 sets x 5 reps
- Lunges – 5 sets x5 reps
- Dead lifts – 1 set little to no weight, 2 sets x 5 reps with training weight
- Legs lifts – 3×10
- Crunches – 3×10
- Sumo Squats – 1 set little to no weight, 5×5 with weight
- Squats – 2×5
- Lunges – 5×5
- Good Mornings – 3×10
- Crunches – 3×10
- Cable Obliq – 3×5
- Leg Lifts – 3×5
As you progress and weights get heavier, take longer breaks between sets but no more than 2 minutes.
Note on Squats – The key to triggering your buttocks is your form. If you don’t feel a burn at your glutes, recheck your form. Always keep you natural back arch, go as low as possible without losing form. You want to keep your your legs up to your knees stationary. The only moving parts should be you knees and butt as you lower down, almost as if your folding.
Keep the toes in front of your shins/knees stick your butt out while lowering.
Putting it All Together: Diet and Exercise for Girls Trying To Gain Weight
Great, so you’re on your 5th week, the weights are starting to get heavy and you’re wondering what and how to re-incorporate Carbs. If you work out first thing in the morning, this should be a little easier. If you train later in the day, you will only have Carbs after your routine.
After your routine eat your usual breakfast, but include health (large)amount of Carbs and fats. You will include Carbs from then until your last meal of the day, keeping your body in storage mode. The following day, an off day, you get back into no Carbs.
Example Carb Day:
- Breakfast: 2 whole Eggs cooked in coconut oil, Half an Avocado, 2 Slices Whole grain or white bread, Pancakes, Banana, Protein shake
- Lunch: Chicken thighs, Salad, Oatmeal Cookies, Ice Cream
- Dinner: Fatty Salmon / Cod or Steak, Salad, Half Avocado, anything for dessert
- Snacks: I love Peanuts, but you can snack throughout the day with anything you want, even sweets.
Keep fruits at bay, you can have a fruits with breakfast only. As the day goes on, Carbs should be from simple sugars. Drink a lot of water, your body will start to retain more water and store fat. You will also notice that most of the weight you lost the first couple of weeks is back. This will be the trend ultimately leading to weight gain.
Carb day is your chance to eat anything you want. From pizza to milk shakes, go for it, there is no limit. Because your body will store all the fats you give it at that time, try to keep animal fats low. But don’t limit your calorie intake.
The next day, you should be back to no to low Carbs and you will know it. No matter how much you eat the drop in insulin will make you feel like you’re starving. That’s a good thing, eat as much as you can and want. Keep it no/low Carb of course, but make sure to get plenty of plant based fats and water. Sodium and potassium intake should not be a big deal at this point. Carb days should help you get in all those extra nutrients.
You may also notice a flatter and more define tummy after the first week of Carb loading. Great, a smaller waist will also make your butt stick out more.
Alternate Diet Plan:
If you don’t feel right eating so much for those three days an alternate would be Carb loading on weekends only. You would only introduce Carbs over the weekend and go back into ketosis for a full week.
This works better for girls that want to lose more belly fat and gain weight through muscle instead of fat. In both cases the majority of weight gain will be in curves and shape.
Why So Eat So Much Fat?
Fat, cholesterol actually is needed for hormone production. Girls today worry too much about fat in their diet. It’s the absence of fats that actually cause unhealthy weight gain/loss. If your body doesn’t receive the fat it needs for hormone production you may not gain weight and if you do, it’s not in the usual womanly areas of the body.
By eating fats, your body creates more hormones, which tell your body where to store the excess fat, your butt, hips and thighs.
Another reason fats are so important, especially plant fats, is phytoestrogens. They act like estrogen in a woman’s body increasing saturation and boosting womanly hormones. Plant fats are also know as good fats that keep your cholesterol levels in check.