“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
Physique transformation is change, and just like any other change, it requires commitment and sacrifice. It pains me when I read an email that goes something like this: “I’m taking so and so weight gainer, but I’m not gaining any weight.”
People have been sold on the lie that they can achieve a goal in their lives without dramatically changing their mindset and lifestyle. Today, I will illustrate how terrible of an idea it is try and gain weight using a weight gainer without changing your diet or having a solid exercise program.
Here is the question that landed on my inbox a few weeks back:
“This is —- From —, My age is — and height is 5.11 inches, according to that weight is only 52-53 Kg , so you can imagine how much i need to increase …., currently I am trying one nutrition since past 6-7 months, but there has no big change …..want to help from your side…can u advice me best..???”
Okay, so dude is almost 6 feet, and weighs around 115 lbs. Yeah, you need to gain weight.
Now, the problem with this question is that dude (let’s call him Dude X), hasn’t provided me with any information on his diet and training. This is kind of like asking someone to help you with your homework without telling them what subject you need help in, and what topic within that subject you need help in.
Either I was intrigued or bored, so I emailed Dude X back. It actually took a few emails back and forth for me to gather the following information:
- He’s a vegetarian
- Takes endura mass weight gainer every night before bed
- He’s not getting nearly enough protein as he should be
I will have to reveal some other info about Dude X to completely answer this question. He’s from India. In fact, he’s from the same city my family’s from, which is why I can understand his limitations.
Here’s what I told Dude X:
“So you are 52kg, or 114 lbs. To gain weight, you should be eating at least one gram of protein per body weight. Let’s figure out how much protein you are eating:
Breakfast: Tea + Two Big chapati ( “Bhakri”)
Lunch: Four – Five small chapati, Vegetable sabji ( Taken Tiffin )
Dinner: Two-Three chapati, Rice, Milk
1 serving of Bhakri has 5 grams of protein, so you are eating 10 grams of protein for breakfast.
1 chapati is 3 grams of protein, so you are eating 15 grams of protein for lunch.
For dinner, you are eating close to 20 grams of protein because of the milk.
Add in endura, which is 15 more grams.
Total comes to 60 grams of protein per day. How do you expect to gain mass if you are not even getting at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight?
Gaining and losing weight is simple math, and also a desire to change and discipline.
I also hope that you are lifting weights, because you have not yet given me your workout routine.
I want you to notice 2 things:
1 – I was able to find out approximate how much protein he was eating just by doing a search on Google. Therefore YOU have no excuse not knowing your macronutrient breakdown. The information is out there, for FREE!
2 – Poor dude was sold a “weight gainer” that only had 15 grams of protein! Even IF you were going to rely on supplements to increase your protein intake, how is 15 grams going to do anything at all?
He also followed up with the following information regarding his weight training regimen:
“I am doing simple exercise in morning and evening…. it around 12-15 pushup , weight lifting 10Kg , Sit Up 10…each time”
Gosh, gosh gosh.
What does “weight lifting 10 kg” mean? I will never know.
So first thing I did was give him a list of high protein vegetarian foods to incorporate into his diet:
- all other types of beans (chana, etc.)
- nuts like peanuts and almonds
Dude X will be able to get up to 120 grams of protein easily if he constructs a diet using the foods in this list.
He followed up by asking if I can recommend any supplements or “special medicine.” And to that I replied: No. Eat real food first, then rely on supplements.
Gosh. Gosh. Gosh.
I never heard from Dude X ever again, but I kept thinking about the question. It is quite hard to be a vegetarian in a third world country and be able to even meet your daily nutritional requirements, much less gain weight without access to a gym or proper equipment.
So I decided to go deeper into the question, and Dude X, if you’re reading this I really hope you consider following the program in this blog post.
Let’s start with the diet. I’ll just take the original diet that Dude X sent me, and add to it until we’re able to get the base level number of protein intake:
Breakfast: Tea + 2 Big chapati ( “Bhakri”)
Lunch: 4- 5 small chapati , Vegetable sabji ( Taken Tiffin )
Dinner: 2-3 chapati, Rice , Milk
Breakfast: 2-Egg Omelet w/ Tea + 2 Big chapati ( “Bhakri”)
Mid-Morning Snack: Handful of almonds or chana
Lunch: 4-5 small chapati , Vegetable sabji ( Taken Tiffin ) with yogurt
Mid-Day Snack: Handful of Almonds or Chana
Dinner: 2-3 chapati, Rice with Dal, Beans, or Mung Beans
Before bed: Protein w/ Milk
These are estimates, of course, but this new diet should get Dude X around 120 grams of protein.
I’m not going to count his carb intake or change anything there, because all that chapati and bhakri is more than enough carbs. He shouldn’t be afraid of a little fat gain at this early in the game.
This is the end of part one. Digest the information, and see what you can use for your own gains.
Stay tuned for part two, where we discuss training recommendations. If you have any questions regarding diet and training, please post them on our brand new Ask Shah section!