Gaining weight can be frustratingly difficult for a skinny person. It can feel like no matter what you eat, the numbers on the scales just won’t budge! This post explains how you can gain 10 pounds (5kg) in 2 months.
The average skinny beginner can gain 10 pounds (5kg) in 2 months by consuming approximately 20% more calories than their maintenance requirements. It is also recommended to get these calories from 20% protein, 50% carbohydrates, and 30% fats for healthy weight gain.
Whilst I’ve not tried to gain 10 pounds in 2 months myself, I do have 5 years of lean and dirty bulking experience and gained 40lbs of total healthy weight in 2 years.
I also have an M.S in Biomedical sciences, used to be a skinny guy myself, and have researched extensively on how to bulk up healthily.
Here’s how I would do it myself as a skinny guy.
1) Aim For 10 Pounds Of Healthy Weight Gain In 2 Months
It is possible to gain 10 pounds (5kg) of healthy weight in 2 months by combining a high-calorie surplus with resistance training. The body uses excess calories to gain weight by increasing body fat percentage and lean muscle mass. Resistance training promotes lean muscle gains.
So what is considered to be healthy and unhealthy weight?
Simply put, healthy weight generally refers to lean muscle tissue whilst unhealthy weight refers to body fat.
The average beginner can put on around 2lbs (1kg) of muscle per month, or 4lbs (2kg) of muscle in 2 months.
So by gaining 10lbs in 2 months, you can expect approximately 40% of the gained weight to be from healthy muscle mass and the remaining 60% to be from body fat.
Of course, your exact ratio of fat to muscle gains will depend on if you’re doing resistance training, how effective your workout program is, and the type of calorie surplus diet you’re following.
Below, I detail how to eat and train to not only gain 10lbs of weight in 2 months but to put on as much healthy weight as possible in those 2 months.
2) Establish Your Calorie And Macronutrient Targets
Gaining 10 pounds (5kg) of weight in 2 months requires an individual to consume around 600 calories more than their recommended daily maintenance calories. These calories should come from a balanced macronutrient profile of 20% protein, 50% carbs, and 30% fats to prevent unhealthy weight gain.
Here are the maths behind these nutrient targets:
It takes around 3500 surplus calories to gain 1lb of body weight. So you’d need to eat 35,000 total surplus calories to gain 10lbs.
To do this over 2 months means you’d need to eat just under 600 surplus calories per day.
Surplus calories are calories consumed on top of your maintenance calories.
You can find your maintenance calories on the TDEE calculator.
For example: a 25-years-old 140lb male who trains 3 days per week uses 2500 maintenance calories per day. So he would need to consume 3100 total calories every day for 60 days to gain 10lbs in 2 months (2500 + 600).
Furthermore, those calories should come from a “20/50/30 ratio” of protein/carbs/fats.
This profile gives you a good balance between energy-rich fats and healthy proteins and carbohydrates.
A gram of fat contains 9 calories, whilst a gram of protein/carbs contains 4 calories each.
Based on this, here’s how many macronutrients the 140lb male is recommended to consume every day to healthily reach 3100 calories:
|Calories And Macros||Percentage Of Total Calories||Total Calories||Total Grams Per Day|
This would allow a 140lb male to gain 10 pounds in 2 months, around 40% of which would come from lean muscle gain.
Simply follow the same methodology to calculate your own recommended calorie and macronutrient intake.
3) Eat 4+ Meals Per Day To Gain 10 Pounds In 2 Months
Increasing meal frequency is a good way to reach nutrient targets each day. Total daily calorie and macro targets should be split evenly between at least 4 meals. Each meal should contain a balanced amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
By eating more frequently throughout the day, you’ll make it much easier for yourself to reach your daily nutrient targets, compared to cramming them across just 3 meals.
I’d recommend beginners to do this slowly (eating 3000+ calories per day can be difficult).
Start by eating your 3 traditional main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), with 2 additional large snacks between meals.
Snacks should be rich in all macronutrients.
For example- a peanut butter jelly sandwich is loaded with calories, protein, carbs, and fats. This makes it perfect for an inter-meal snack.
Once you’re comfortable eating 3 main meals + 2 snacks in a day, you can then increase to 4 main meals and 1 snack (eating once every 2 to 3 hours).
Meal timing is also important.
Pre- and post-workout meals are 2 of the most important times to eat (if you are training).
Here, you want to designate a high portion of calories and protein in particular, where they are most likely to be used to gain healthy weight (i.e. build muscle).
A nutritious morning breakfast and nighttime pre-bed meal are also important. Energy is required to sustain your body weight before and after sleep (a fasted state).
By increasing your meal frequency, and timing your meals strategically throughout the day, you should be able to put yourself into the required caloric surplus to gain weight.
Try to use a food diary to keep track of each meal (record the exact number of calories and macros).
A simple handwritten journal works great. Or you can use your phone notes.
A diary helps you to remain disciplined as well as troubleshoot any issues you have with your bulk.
You can find nutritional data for any type of ingredient by Googling [ingredient]+nutritional info].
4) Eat Nutrient-Dense Ingredients To Gain Weight Faster
Eating nutrient-dense foods is ideal to gain 10 pounds (5kg) in 2 months. These ingredients usually have a very high-calorie content for a small volume of food. This makes it easier to consume large quantities of calories without feeling overly bloated and full during the day.
Here’s a list of my favorite calorie-dense foods:
|Recommended Foods To Gain Weight Fast||Typical Calories Per 100g|
|Fatty cuts of beef||300 cal|
|Chicken thigh||180 cal|
|Peanut butter||580 cal|
|Large banana||100 cal|
|Kidney beans||330 cal|
|Olive oil||900 cal|
|High-fat cheeses||400 cal|
|Cow’s milk (per 100ml)||40 cal|
|Whole grains (oats, pasta, brown bread)||320 cal|
|Weight gainer shakes (per serving)||1000 cal|
All these foods are rich in nutrients. Focusing your diet on these foods will help you to gain weight fast.
Most of these foods aren’t just packed with calories, but they’re also loaded with the important macronutrients described previously.
- Fatty cuts of meat contain a high amount of calories AND protein.
- Beans and whole grains are packed with calories AND complex carbohydrates.
- Fruits like bananas and mangos are a great source of calories AND simple carbohydrates.
What’s more- many of these ingredients can be blended to make a delicious and easy-to-consume smoothie (see next).
You might also be interested in my other post to learn how it’s possible to gain 10lbs in 2 weeks.
5) Consume Liquid Calorie Meals To Gain Weight Easily
Liquid calories are the fastest way to gain weight easily. These types of foods are easy to ingest and the nutrients are rapidly absorbed by the body. This means the feeling of satiety is much shorter-lived and the individuals should find it easier to consume more calories throughout the day.
It’s much easier to down a 1000 calorie shake than it is to eat a full-blown meal with the same calorie content.
You’ll also feel less bloated, and the feeling of being “full” will sit in your stomach for a much shorter duration of time.
You can make a homemade weight gainer shake by blending a variety of calorie-dense ingredients according to your tastes.
Here’s what I usually do:
- Use 200-300ml of cow’s milk as a base (soymilk for vegan alternative).
- Add 1 or 2 scoops of protein powder. I use MyProtein Impact Whey (you can see the reviews here). But I’ve also tried the MyVegan Pea Protein. Both contain around 21-24g of protein per scoop which isn’t the highest. But their thin consistency makes it perfect for blending into a shake. Both are also extremely cheap at $0.30 per serving, and are some of the best value for money protein powders in my opinion.
- Add your choice of carbs and fats. I usually add 100-200g of oats, fruits like bananas and mangos, 1-4 teaspons of peanut butter, honey, and olive oil.
By doing this, it’s not difficult to make a 1000+ calorie shake.
A good blender is essential:
For fast and mess-free blending, I recommend getting a blender that has a minimum content capacity of at least 1L.
I use the Cleanblend commercial blender. It’s not great for blending fruit-only smoothies (too many solids) but it’s cheap and works well when you have at least 200ml of liquids.
Alternatively, you can just go for a weight gainer powder like this Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass. Each serving is quite pricey at US$3 but gives you a complete shake packed with 1250 calories and 50g of protein.
Aim for 1 or 2 shakes a day. I usually have mine in the morning for breakfast and another as a mid-day snack or pre-bed meal.
Whilst convenient, please remember that shakes should be a supplement to your other meals and not an outright replacement!
You can check out my other post for more tips on how to gain 10 pounds with a fast metabolism.
6) Make A 2 Month Strength Training Program To Build Muscle
Strength training is important to maximize healthy weight gain. Free weight, resistance band, and bodyweight exercises can be performed at home or a local gym. Doing these at a sufficient intensity will promote muscle growth on a weight gain program.
Fat gain is inevitable when you’re trying to gain 10 pounds in 2 months (which is considered to be a relatively fast rate of weight gain).
But the aim is to skew your fat:muscle gain ratio as much as possible to muscle gains.
I found dumbbells to be the most affordable and effective way to train at home.
They’re a bit pricey, but honestly, they provide the best value for money for beginners. Each dumbbell has 16 weight settings which are enough to train each muscle group on the body for at least your first 2 years of progression.
Focus on these 5 big compound lifts:
- Bench press (or floor press without a bench).
- Shoulder press.
- Bent-over row.
Do 3 full-body workouts per week (don’t forget to account for this in your maintenance calories)
Each workout should consist of each exercise performed at 4 sets each, 8-12 repetitions per set, using a weight that challenges you for those reps.
Take a 2-3 min rest in between sets.
This should give you a 1-hour workout.
Apply progressive every 1-2 weeks by increasing the weight by 5-10% to keep your muscles challenged.
Cardio in moderation is also fine.
But remember that excessive cardio will reduce your calorie surplus and this is counterproductive in your efforts to gain 10 pounds in 2 months.
If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest and most convenient way to build muscle at home, then the Undersun resistance bands are highly recommended.
You might also be interested in my other post for 17-essential steps to gaining 10lbs of lean mass.
7) Keep Track Of Your 2 Month Weight Gain Progress
People aiming to gain 10 pounds (5kg) in 2 months should aim for a weight gain rate of 1.25 pounds (0.75kg) per week. Keeping track of weight gain progress helps to minimize the risk of gaining too much weight. Weekly progress tracking also increases the likelihood of successful weight gain.
Take weekly bodyweight averages to avoid the effects of natural weight fluctuations from skewing your measurements (these happen as a result of bowel movements and water weight shifts).
You can do this by weighing yourself every morning immediately after going to the toilet.
Then take the average for 7 days (7 days total / 7).
Any digital scale that records in pounds to at least 1 decimal place will do the job.
If you don’t have one, you can get one delivered cheap and fast from Amazon here.
I also use the Lightstuff skin caliper to keep track of my body fat levels.
Your body fat percentage should not increase by more than 3% per month (or 0.75% per week).
The Lightsuff calipers come with an easy-to-read chart that helps you to determine your body fat percentage.
It’s not the most accurate, but it’s cheap and perfect for giving you a ballpark figure.
If you find yourself gaining too much weight or putting on too much fat, you can reduce your daily calorie intake from fats by around 100-200 calories.
This helps to ensure that you gain 10 pounds in 2 months in the most healthy way possible.
If you want to gain weight as fast as possible and don’t care about it coming from fat, then you may be interested in my other article to learn how to gain 10lbs weight in 7 days.
I’ve shared a 7-step guide on how to gain 10 pounds (5kg) in 2 months.
Ultimately, gaining 10lbs in 60 days is a feasible goal.
It requires you to put yourself in a calorie surplus by eating calorie-dense foods and learning how to keep track of your weight gain progress.
If you follow the steps outlined, you should be able to gain 10lbs at a relatively healthy ratio of 40:60 muscle:fat.
Performing regular resistance training alongside your bulk will help you to maximize healthy weight gain from lean muscle mass development.
Will you be trying to put on 10lbs in 60 days?
Let me know in the comments!
You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition I used to go from skinny to ripped!
Thanks for reading guys!
(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)