It’s possible to gain healthy weight fast as a skinny person. But a “bulk” needs to be planned and executed properly to ensure the highest chances of success. Below, I explain how to gain 10 pounds of body weight in a month.
Most people can gain 10lbs (5kg) in a month. It requires around 3,200 total calories to be consumed every day for 30 consecutive days. This puts the individual in a caloric surplus of around 1200 calories allowing them to gain weight fast.
5 years ago- I was a skinny guy who was new to bulking, and it took me 2 months to gain my first 10lbs of body weight.
5 years later, I’ve gleaned a lot of valuable experience in how to bulk up effectively.
This is how I would do it.
- Key Takeaways
- How Weight Is Gained
- Why It Is Possible To Gain 10 Pounds In A Month
- 3 Steps To Gain 10 Pounds In A Month
- Meal Plan Example
- Supporting Evidence: It Is Possible To Gain 10lbs In Month
- Is It Healthy To Gain 10 Pounds In A Month?
- Can You Gain 10 Pounds Of Muscle In A Month?
- 10lbs of weight gain in a month is realistic and can be done relatively healthily.
- Aim to consume ~1,200 surplus calories per day.
- This equates to ~3,200 target calories per day (including your maintenance calories).
- Exact calorie targets will vary depending on your gender and maintenance energy expenditure.
- Meal plan to successfully reach your daily calorie target.
How Weight Is Gained
Weight gain boils down to the principle of “calories in vs calories out”.
Put simply, you gain weight if you eat more calories than you burn. This is called a calorie surplus (the more commonly used term is “bulking”).
Eating a calorie-surplus diet is essential for skinny people with high metabolisms to put on weight.
Additionally, weight can be gained in the form of muscle mass or fat tissue.
The ratio of fat and muscle you gain is largely determined by whether or not you’re following a high-intensity weight training program alongside your diet.
Why It Is Possible To Gain 10 Pounds In A Month
The calculation below shows why it is not only possible but also realistic for someone to put on 10lbs in just 4 weeks:
Your body needs 3,500 surplus calories to gain 1lb of body weight. That means you need 35,000 surplus calories to gain 10lbs of body weight (3,500 cal x 10lbs).
To reach 35,000 surplus calories in a month, you need to consume 1,167 surplus calories per day for 30 consecutive days (35,000 cal ÷ 30 days). We can round this up to 1,200 calories.
Note- surplus calories need to be consumed on top of your daily maintenance calories. Your maintenance calories are what your body needs every day to keep your current weight.
Is it hard to consume this many surplus calories?
Speaking from my personal bulking experience, eating 1000-1500 daily surplus calories is difficult but not impossible.
But you need to plan your meals and track your calorie intake to ensure success (see next).
3 Steps To Gain 10 Pounds In A Month
1) Find Maintenance Calories
This is also called your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). You can use an online calculator for a good estimation. Just make sure you don’t forget to account for your training calories (if you’re working out) when finding your TDEE.
The average female and male burn ~2000 and ~2200 maintenance calories every day, respectively.
2) Calculate Surplus Calories
Now you can add the 1,200 daily surplus calories required to gain 10lbs in a month.
For example- if you burn 2000 maintenance calories every day then you should aim to eat 3,200 total calories per day (2,000 cal + 1,200 cal).
Burn 2,200 maintenance calories? Then aim to eat 3,400 total calories and so on.
Depending on your gender and activity level, this means that most people need to eat somewhere in the region of 3,200-3,400 total calories every day.
Now you have your final daily calorie target. This is what you should be eating every day for 30 days to gain 10 pounds in a month.
3) Plan Meals To Reach Daily Calorie Targets
Now that you’ve got your daily calorie target, you need to plan your meals to reach that target (see the next section for an example).
For best results, you should calorie count. This requires you to identify the calories in each meal ingredient (look on the packaging or use the Google nutrition database).
You’ll also need to log these calories. A simple spreadsheet or pen and notebook is sufficient to do this.
The easier- albeit much less accurate- method is to simply increase the number of meals you consume until you find yourself gaining weight. If you follow this method then aim to put on ~2.5lbs per week.
Meal Plan Example
You can see below an example daily meal plan to reach ~3,200 calories:
300ml cow milk,
1 scoop of protein powder,
1 tablespoon honey,
1 tablespoon olive oil,
1 medium banana.
|First Lunch||125g pasta,|
150g jarred tomato sauce.
|Second Lunch||2 slices bread,|
150g pan-fried chicken thigh,
2 slices cheddar cheese,
|Dinner||100g ribeye steak,|
|Pre-Bed Snack||100g cottage cheese, |
3 wheat crackers.
If you’re working out to build muscle then don’t forget to increase your calorie target accordingly. You can add or minus ingredients to adjust your daily calorie intake.
Vegetarians can also substitute meat products with plant-based alternatives.
A 1,000-calorie breakfast may seem crazy. But it’s not as bad as it sounds. I like to blend the ingredients into a high-calorie liquid shake that’s easy to consume.
Supporting Evidence: It Is Possible To Gain 10lbs In Month
Here are case studies and scientific research to further support my claim that it’s possible to gain 10 pounds in a month.
From 10 total responses, 100% of Redditors agreed that it’s completely possible to gain 10lbs (5kg) in as little as 4 weeks (1 month).
The second piece of evidence is this scientific study which found male test subjects could gain up to 6 pounds in 20 days when overeating 1000 surplus calories every day.
This is the equivalent of gaining just under 10lbs (5kg) in 30 days (1 month).
Is It Healthy To Gain 10 Pounds In A Month?
Gaining 10lbs (5kg) in a month is considered to be ok. A healthy rate of weight gain is regarded to be up to 1-2lbs per week. Thus, gaining 10 pounds per month lies in the upper threshold for a healthy rate of weight gain.
Generally speaking- it’s not healthy to store body fat at a rapid rate. The faster you put on weight, the more likely it will be stored as body fat rather than muscle (even if you’re working out).
It’s ok to aim for 10lbs of added weight in a month because it just about exceeds the recommended healthy weight gain rate of 1-2lbs per week.
But avoid extreme bulking programs that, for example, aim to put on 10lbs over a weekend.
Can You Gain 10 Pounds Of Muscle In A Month?
As I mentioned above, fast weight gain usually equates to a higher ratio of fat:muscle gains. And the maximum rate of muscle growth is widely accepted to be around 2lbs per month.
With that said, high outliers exist. These are mainly untrained men who have good genetic muscle-building potential.
Additionally, the “newbie gains” period of accelerated muscle growth can help untrained beginners gain close to 10lbs of lean muscle mass in a month.
It will be a challenge though.
It’s essential to follow an effective workout plan and eat well to maximize your chances of success.
It’s possible for a skinny person to gain 10 pounds (5kg) in a month by following a good bulking plan.
Aim to consume ~1,200 surplus calories on top of your current maintenance calories.
For most people, this equates to around 3,200-3,400 total calories per day for 30 days.
If you’re weight training to build muscle, then do not forget to account for the energy expenditure from your workouts. This will bump up your maintenance calories.
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 (with printables) I used to go from skinny to ripped!