Gaining Weight on a Budget

Based on the statistics i’m making up in this post, 68% of Americans are overweight or obese. That means 1 in every 3 people have an excess of body fat that borders on unhealthy and at-risk for a catastrophic health malfunction. Before I get into a rant on how unhealthy Americans are, let me get back to the point of my post. 

There is a small number of people out that that can’t actually gain weight. Their genetics gifted them (or cursed depending on your POV) a metabolism that relentlessly shuts down all inbound gains food. When you goal is to gain weight, this sucks. 

A client of mine is in this position. He reminds me of myself in High School – 110# and eager to tack on mass. Couple the high metabolism with the lack of funds for food (college budget), gaining weight is a real challenge. 

First off, we need to examine how to gain weight. 

How to gain weight

Eat a lot. 

You’ll need at least 1g protein to every 1 pound you weight. Equally important is that the protein is absorbed by the muscles and not discarded without use. Consuming more than 40g protein in one serving is literally pooping money in the toilet. Separate your protein consumption throughout the day! 

For you meat heads, go ahead and try and get 1.5g protein per 1lb body weight. 


We went to costco together. Our budget, $!00. We got:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal & Protein Pancakes 
      • High carbs, high protein, low cost. For those of you with deeper pockets, get eggs, veggies & avocado. Breakfast burritos are awesome. 
  • Lunch
    • Chicken, Sausage, Broccoli, Mixed Veggies and Spinach (why am i capitalizing these foods?)
      • Frozen, prepacked chicken is a huge bang for your buck. Pre-thaw the night before, throw on the grill or stove with some veggies or put in the oven with some bacon fat. 
      • Sausage because it’s delicious. 
      • Mixed veggies (carrots, corn and peas) all are considered relatively high on the glycemic index, meaning they are processed quickly. Add brown (or white) rice for additional carbs – he already had rice, so we didn’t buy any here today. 
      • Spinach – good for anti-estrogen, testosterone and fiber. 
  • Dinner
    • Same as above + sweet potatoes 
  • Snacks
    • PB&J baby! Chop up a banana in your PB&J and you just added 400-500 calories between meals. Nice. 
  • Weightgainers / Protein
    • I recommend these for anyone looking to gain weight. We already had some so we didn’t have to get them at costco. 
  • Supplements – yes, but not in the initial stages of weight gain. Use food for the first 1-3 months, then introduce supplements. 

This will most likely last 1 week. The PB&J and Pancakes will last about a month though you’ll have to get more bread and jam. The chicken and veggies are usually the first to go. Cook them early on in bulk – yes, cook in bulk. Some call it meal planning, we call it cooking in bulk. 

Next time you go to costco, send us a picture of the basket and let us know how much it costs! Also, if you find any killer deals or secrets, let us know! 

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