If you're looking to add some muscle to that skinny frame, this guide will help you skip some of the eating errors your fellow gym rats have undoubtedly made.
Step 1: Track everything Track every gram of fat, protein, carbohydrate, and calorie you consume. Keep a nutrition almanac and a calculator in the kitchen to help you stay on track.
TIP: Stay away from the scale as a measuring device for your progress and instead use your eyes, a mirror, and a measuring tape.
Step 2: Remain consistent Remain consistent. A haphazard approach to any diet, whether to gain muscle or lose fat, kills any chance of success or quickly discourages any motivation.
Step 3: Eat clean Avoid processed sugars and saturated fats, and get the calories you need from clean foods like chicken, fish, and turkey -- don't forget the fruits and vegetables. Shoot for one and half grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
Step 4: Eat enough Calculate your basal metabolic rate using your height, weight, and age. Multiply that number by 1.9 to determine about how many calories you should eat per day.
TIP: Eat enough to give your body the building blocks it needs for repair, but don't overeat, or your risk converting calories to fat rather than muscle.
Step 5: Opt for good fats Opt for good fats found in fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil as these help maintain hormone levels. A completely fat-free diet can actually inhibit muscle growth.
Step 6: Use supplements wisely Use supplements like creatine and whey protein powder wisely. They can't take the place of hard work and dedication, but they can help boost performance in the gym and facilitate muscle repair and recovery.
Step 7: Be patient Be patient with your diet and avoid drastic changes. Ease into things over a few weeks, adding more calories and supplements until you start seeing results.
FACT: Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese-making process and was routinely discarded until scientists realized its high-protein, low-fat properties made it a perfect supplement for weight lifters.