Top 5 Hardgainer Bulking Diet Mistakes

Updated April 18, 2010

Are you a hardgainer and having a difficult time building muscle? Well listen up, because I have 5 tips for you. Stop spinning your wheels, and start adding muscle and weight today.

Muscle building is a science. You can’t approach it randomly and expect to maximize your results. Far too many lifters play guessing games, and have poor results. The truth is that most hardgainers aren’t hardgainers at all. They just believe they can’t gain muscle because they haven’t mastered these secrets.

I can’t say for certain just who is and isn’t a hardgainer, but I do know this: follow these 5 tips and you will gain muscle mass.

Tip 1: Start Counting Calories

Stop guessing at how much you’re eating. You must, must, must start counting calories. Far too many skinny guys are undereating. Yes, it’s true. If you’re not counting calories, you’re probably eating much less then you think you are.

Break out the calculator, and start adding up the stats on everything that is going down your throat. Once you have an accurate gauge of your daily caloric intake, you will be able to make important and necessary adjustments to your diet. These adjustments will make all the difference when it comes to gaining muscle.

Tip 2 – Stop Eating So Clean

Yes, you heard me. Stop trying to eat 100% clean. What are clean foods? Wild rice, plain chicken breasts and broccoli. These type of foods. Eating healthy is a good thing. But eating 100% healthy all the time makes it nearly impossible for hardgainers to get in their daily caloric needs.

Eat healthy 75% of the time, but don’t turn down that piece of cheesecake, a slice of pizza (or three), or those tortilla chips. Om, nom, nom!

A minor amount of “dirty” foods will not kill you. In fact, a 75% clean diet and a hardcore lifting routine will make you bigger, badder, stronger and (just maybe) the king of the gym. So get to gettin’ with that spoon and fork – or that bucket of KFC and piece of cake.

Tip 3 – Eat Calorie Dense Foods

So now that you’ve been told not to shy away from dirty foods, I’m going to give you a list of clean – or healthy foods – to eat. Here goes:

  • Whole Milk. Whole milk is packed with calories but doesn’t weigh you down. And it digests quickly. Don’t fear the extra fat. Fat was put in milk for a reason.
  • Almonds. A handful of almonds has just about as many calories as a candy bar. A very calorie-rich food.
  • Butter. Don’t have a heart attack! Yes, I am recommending butter. Not an entire tub each day, so don’t get worried. A little butter with your rice and veggies is healthy, and good for you. And, of course, it adds calories.
  • Dark Chocolate. Have a sweet tooth and want a semi-healthy food that isn’t 100% junk? Dark chocolate is the way to go.
  • Natural Peanut Butter. Peanut butter is filled with calories, and works well in weight gainer shakes.

Tip 4 – Stop Being A Quitter

Eating enough calories isn’t always easy. I understand that. But you can’t quit. You must continue to try and eat more week by week.

If you require 4,500 calories per day to grow, but you can’t stomach more then 3,000 calories per day, try to build up your tolerance (and your stomach capacity) week by week. Add 300 daily calories each week, and in no time you’ll be eating well over 4,000 daily calories.

By the way, far too many “quitters” are relying on 100% clean diets to fill them up. We’ve already covered this topic, so no need to say more.

Tip 5 – Count Your Protein

Foods are made up of 3 calorie sources – proteins, carbs and fats. These three calorie sources are known as macronutrients. To pack on muscle mass you must become familiar with how many grams of protein you are eating per day. So start counting.

At minimum, to gain muscle you will need at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2 to 3 hours. Eating small, frequent protein meals helps you to build muscle, and maximizes your training efforts.

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