Skinny and underweight people often wonder how to put on weight fast. Is it even possible to gain 10 pounds (5kg) in a short 2 to 3 day weekend?
Realistically speaking, it is not possible to gain 10 pounds in 2 to 3 days. 10lbs of added body weight requires approximately 35,000 surplus calories to be consumed. This is not only extremely unhealthy but also unachievable by most people in such a short period of time.
Keep reading to find out why 10lbs (5kg) of weight gain in such a short timeframe is impossible, how fast it usually takes to gain this much weight, and how you can put on weight fast!
- Gaining 10lbs of body weight in 2 to 3 days is theoretically possible (with a large enough calorie surplus), but realistically impossible (most people cannot eat the amount of food required to put on so much weight so quickly).
- Most people require at least 1-2 months to gain 10lbs of total body weight.
- Dirty bulk by eating a 20% calorie surplus to gain weight fast.
- 10lbs of muscle gain in 2 to 3 days is impossible.
Why It’s Impossible To Gain 10 Pounds In 2 To 3 Days
A calculation to show why it is impossible:
There are approximately 3,500 calories in a pound of gained or lost body weight.
Therefore 35,0000 surplus calories are needed to gain 10 pounds of body weight (3,500 cal x 10lbs ).
That’s around 12,000 to 17,000 extra calories you need to consume per day to gain 10 pounds in 2 to 3 days (35,000 cal ÷ 2 or 3 days).
Note- that’s 12,000 to 17,000 EXTRA calories. This means they need to be consumed ON TOP OF what you’re currently eating to maintain your current weight.
Now, let’s assume the average person consumes ~2000 calories per day.
That means you would need to eat around 14,000 to 19,000 total calories every day in order to gain 10 pounds of body weight in 2 to 3 days (2000 cal + 12,000 or 17,000 cal).
To put things into perspective:
The World’s Strongest Men competitors are infamous for consuming insane amounts of daily calories. They typically eat up to 15,000 calories in a single day (combined with extremely intense weight training).
Even for these giants- who are “trained eaters”- eating this amount of food is difficult.
So could you- a normal-sized human being- handle over 15,000 calories a day?
A Realistic Amount Of Weight Gain In 2 To 3 Days
The average person can realistically expect to put on a maximum of 1-3 lbs in 2 to 3 days. This would require an extreme caloric surplus to be consumed each day.
I’ve experienced numerous bulking cycles in my own weight gain journey. And let me tell you, most people struggle to eat more than 1,000 surplus calories per day even with good planning and maximal effort
And eating 1,000 surplus calories per day for 2 to 3 days leads to approximately 1lb of gained body mass.
If we also account for a few extra pounds of water weight, then we can expect somewhere in the region of 1-3lbs of weight gain in a 2 to 3-day period.
Water weight is weight held in the body through the storage of extra water. It usually comes from:
- Glycogen in the liver and muscles. Your body digests carbohydrates and stores them as glycogen. And 1g of glycogen has approximately 3g of water attached to it. So eating a meal rich in carbs can cause you to gain a lot of temporary water weight.
- Excess sodium in your blood. Salt contains sodium. And when sodium is absorbed into the body, water is taken along with it to keep your ion concentrations in balance (a process called osmosis). Therefore eating a lot of salt can also cause you to put on temporary weight fast.
The Shortest Realistic Time Frame It Takes To Gain 10 Pounds
Most people require at least 1 month to put on 10 pounds of body weight. This requires 30 days of consistent overeating and the weight gained will mostly be from fat. Resistance training can also be performed to promote muscle gain.
Based on the previous calculations:
Let’s assume that the average person can consume 1000 surplus calories per day (max).
This means it takes just over 1 month to eat the 35,000 surplus calories required to gain 10lbs of body weight.
Additionally, it’s also important to note that this weight gain will mostly be fat (not muscle).
Unlike fat gain, muscle gain is a slow process and actually has a maximum growth rate of ~2lbs per month.
How To Put On 10 Pounds Fast
Gaining 10 pounds quickly requires you to go on a dirty bulk.
Bulking refers to the practice of overeating. This puts you in a calorie surplus which is required to gain weight.
A dirty bulk generally refers to a calorie surplus greater than 20%. And it’s the best way to quickly put on weight.
A 20% surplus equates to around 500 extra calories for most people. This allows you to gain 10lbs in around 2 months. You can further increase the surplus to gain weight faster.
To calculate the number of calories you need to enter a surplus, simply identify your maintenance calories using an online calculator and then add 20%.
Now you can plan your meals to reach your calorie target (see next section for food ideas).
10lbs of muscle gain is pretty much impossible over a short 2-3 day period. If you’re interested, you can check out my other post on how to build 10 pounds of lean muscle fast.
Best Foods To Gain Weight Fast
Focus on eating energy-dense ingredients to increase your calorie intake for a dirty bulk.
Examples of energy-dense ingredients include:
- Fatty meats.
- Vegetable oils.
- Peanut butter.
I like to blend these into calorie-packed weight gainer shakes. These are simple to make. And liquid calories are easier to consume than solid meals.
This helps you to consume the max number of calories per day.
For most people, it is not possible to gain 10 pounds (5kg) of body weight in 2 to 3 days.
Doing so requires 35,0000 surplus calories to be consumed which is extremely difficult even when you are purposefully bulking.
Most people take 1-2 months to gain 10lbs on a dirty bulk.
Furthermore, it is impossible to gain 10lbs of lean muscle mass in such a short period of time.
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!