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Forums > Social Chat > Extremely skinny -> built?

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Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:Im a 22 year old guy, approx 5'8" and ~115lb. Im extremely skinny. At the same time, I dont eat healthy at all. My diet consists mainly of fast food and other supposedly fattening foods. By all medical logic that Ive read on how and why people gain weight eating such foods, I should be huge. Yet, I cant gain a pound to save my life.

Im fairly active considering my daily poi/juggling/roller skating/dancing activities which is great for toning my body but in order for me to gain any real muscle mass Id have to gain some weight first but how?

I was wondering if anyone around here was in a similar boat at one time but found a way to gain weight then transform it into muscle mass? What type of foods did you eat to gain? What type of exercise did you do to build? How long did it take to notice results? etc.

Seems like there is tons of info out there for overweight people to lose weight but none for us twiggy folk to gain it frown

Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.


Adya Miriyana
Adya Miriyana

Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 4th Feb 2005
Total posts: 6554
Posted:There doesn't seem to be any magical way of gaining weight, but having a fast metabolism, I've found its good to eat lots of little meals often. I admit mine aren't extremely healthy either, but I think this 'grazing' works. I used to be reaally skinny, naturally of course, now I'm just 'normally' skinny, I think. Exercise wise, I don't consciously exercise, just a bit of walking to and around uni, and poi.

True, being in the minority doesn't help you trying to find info. Goodluck though.

*passes round some nibbles* hug



Member Since: 17th May 2005
Total posts: 9
as long as your fit and healthy thats all that should matter.
personally i like under weighted skinny guys.. but thats just me. ^_^ by the sounds of things you dfont eat that healthy though and if you were to gain a healthy weight, then you should at healthy foods on a regular basis. and snack often. but not on bad foods.
i had a friend in your situation once, and he thought fast food would make him larger but its bad, all it creates is fat,not a balance of fat and muscle.
just eat healthy and exercise often! ^_^


paranoid of gov't conspiracies
Location: USA
Member Since: 2nd Jul 2003
Total posts: 217
Posted:i found this for you
"Youll put on an average of two pounds of lean body tissue each month by eating an extra 500 calories of carbohydrate a day."

also you can gain weight by eating heavy carbs before you go to bed and/or drink 5 slim plan shakes a day

hope i helped!~


Location: Galveston, TX
Member Since: 9th Sep 2001
Total posts: 2014
Posted:One thing that may help you is drinks like Ensure. I've got the same problem as you. Also, if you are worried about you not being able to gain weight, you might ask your doc to check your thyroid. Having an overactive one can cause you to be really skinny no matter what you eat. However,it does have its drawbacks, but can be easily medicated back to normal.

When I was in college, I took a weight training class. It actually helped me gain muscle without me needing to eat more food, so you might want to look into that.

shen shui
shen shui

no excuses. no apologies.
Location: aotearoa
Member Since: 4th Jan 2005
Total posts: 1799
Posted:same boat, but i eat healthy. lol. im a shade under 6 foot and weigh 68 kg (um. about 150 pds?). and yeah girls like skinny guys... well, some of them do..! <ahem> anyway.. adya speaks truth. many small meals. carbo to protein ratio of 2:1 (i think, lemme check and get back to you).

but really, i think you're beautiful just the way you are, icon. you dont need to change. ubblovehug

those that know, dont say. those that say, dont know.


Altyd Brandend
Location: Orange County, California, US...
Member Since: 23rd Jul 2003
Total posts: 149
Posted:I dunno much about nutrition, but i heard if you eat lots of protein added to your normal diet (not atkins), and work out with big weights untill muscle failure (not too extreme where you hurt yourself), and cut down on cardio. you might gain a pound or two of muscle.

Spinning makes my world go round


Location: Herefordshire
Member Since: 18th Apr 2003
Total posts: 1711
Posted:Icon- I feel your pain dude-
I too have been the impossibly underweight tall skinny guy- When I started Uni I was 20 and I've filled out quite a bit over the last 4 years, particularly the last 2. Admittedly student intake of beer has probably helped but my spinning has also played a part.

I guess what I'm saying is- wait just a bit longer and nature will most likely give that bit extra you're after smile


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: mancunian
Member Since: 25th Nov 2004
Total posts: 3383
Posted:i can only add whats been said and thats is that why dont you try those body building protein drinks as well as your normal (healthy) diest..... they would give the extra calories plus only contain the good stuff wink i dont know that much about them but theres loadsa info on the net. i know guys who drink them (gym guys) and it works for them....

Disclaimer:im not responsible for what i say or do whether it be before,during and after drinking alcoholic substances (owned by BMVC).
Creater of Jenisms(TM)
Virginity like bubble,one prick all gone.


Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:Stay skinny! I love skinny guys. Not everyone likes that pumped up muscle bound guys. hug

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

pineapple pete
pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne
Member Since: 20th Sep 2004
Total posts: 5125
Posted:*waves arm about*

im skinny too!!

no matter how much of whatever i eat, i stay skinny. Not quite sure how much i weigh now, but last time i checked, maybe a month ago, i was under 50kg.

cheers, pete biggrin

"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*

Devil - D
Devil - D

Location: Holland (Deventer)
Member Since: 8th Dec 2004
Total posts: 72
Posted:@ Icon... I'd always the same 'problem', but I' don't think it's a problem though. Since I live on my own I' eat much junkfood and drink more beer than ever. And because I' never take my bike anymore for going to school, and don't do any sport....I' see more phat haha So last time I'm doin agressive inline skating to stay normal. So my suggestion is: Don't move, eat much and drink beer!

Sir Nuggit
Sir Nuggit

....is a liability
Location: playing with traffic
Member Since: 10th May 2005
Total posts: 899
Posted:*another wave*

I'm 25, 5' 9" ish, size 28-30 waste, 32 leg and weigh a grand total of 9 1/4 stone. I used to have a major complex about it and have had my thyroid and metabolism tested, my sleeping patterns tested, seen two dieticians and even went as far as getting my gym instructors qualification so I could be in that environment all the time.

Needless to say, nothing's worked and to be honest, I think it's more to do with the fact that I eat well (some weekends if I'm away playing soldier I eat 3000-4000 calories per day) but am such a fidget! I don't sit still, constantly thinking (your brain uses a lot of energy per day just by thinking) and walk at light-speed. So for me it comes down to being fast-paced rather than anything medical.

Don't get caught out by thinking you can eat what you want when you want because there are other health issues to consider - stick to a healthy diet and be assured that there are people out there of all shapes and sizes smile

Pull my pin out, roll me in to a room and see what happens ubbloco


Location: Bristol
Member Since: 6th Jan 2005
Total posts: 1785
Posted:mmmmmm skinny guys!! ubblove

My boyfriend is super skinny and he works a relatively physical job and eats soooooo much and drinks that build-up stuff.He can't seem to put on any weight. He has to do all of this just to keep some weight on (he's 6'2" and ten stone)

The best place for advice is to goto your doctors, they will be able to help you by sending you to a nutritionalist or helping by prescribing ensure/build-up....there is lots they can do to help.


big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:i'd recommend steadily getting into a fairly heavy callesthenics programme.

do press-up, sit-up, dip and pull-up variations.
do several sets a day.
and gradually increase how many of each you do as your muscle builds.

go swimming too if you have the opportunity/time.

eat whenever you are hungry.

if you feel you need to get into the calory counting thing, multiply your body weight (in pounds) by 15 and this will tell you how many calories you need to eat daily to maintain your current body weight.
if you want it to increase it, obviously you will need to increase this intake.

depending on what type of exercise you plan to do to increase your body mass, different types of food will be more appropriate than others.

if you want to start lifting weights to build weight quickly, i'd recommend going to a gym and getting proper advice first.
even if you are going to be doing the actual training at home, properly balanced training and diet regimes are important.

cole. x

"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Oxfordshire/Wiltshire
Member Since: 10th Jan 2004
Total posts: 3276
Posted:erm... Minimaniac is in the army and he drinks milk with muscle/weight gain powder stuff in to make him bulk out - you could ask him... Im sure he gets it from Holland and Baratt. Or a friend of his uses slimfast milkshakes - they are supposed to be instead of a meal - so contain all the goodness and he uses them as inbetween snacks - so its like eating twice as much. xxx
EDITED_BY: Vixen (1117020563)

tHeReS gOoD aNd EvIl iN EaCh InDiViDuAl fIrE, iDeNtIfIeS nEeDs AnD fEeDs OuR dEsIrEs.

pineapple pete
pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne
Member Since: 20th Sep 2004
Total posts: 5125
Posted:so, how come if only just finding out that so many girls out there like skinny guys.



"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*


The Ladiees Man
Location: near swindon/ oxford
Member Since: 5th Nov 2004
Total posts: 360
Posted:ICoN -

the key is pasta, gym and water! ok i use some high in protein milkshake power before i go to the gym but the simple way to gain weight is to drink alot of water.
when i wake up the first tihing i do is drink a full pint glass of water. then at breakfast drink water/squash or milk. then from there on in depending on how much training you do depends on how much to drink.

NEVER just eat junk food, it will not put on the type of body mass you are looking for and you will just become worst off !!!!!!

a guide line is;
no training = 4 pints of water
1 hours training = 5-6 pints of water
and add a pint of water to every extra hour of training you do!

if you want to have a more detailed time table and any help just pm me and i will sort out a program for you!

all the best

I'm going to leave the army and run away to the circus

if not i will just become a MI5 agent !!!


Location: London
Member Since: 1st Dec 2001
Total posts: 1810
Posted:I'm suffering with the same problem as all of you frown

At the moment I'm either training with the troupe or working my ass off in the office. I seem to be burning of all that I eat and getting thinner frown I don't like it, I don't like it at all.

Thanks for all the info on this though smile

Love and smiles to you all


A kiss blown is a kiss wasted, the only kind of kiss is a kiss tasted.

I'm a woman. We don't say what we want, but we reserve the right to be pissed off if we don't get it. That's what makes us so fascinating and not just a LITTLE bit scary.



Member Since: 24th Jan 2005
Total posts: 663
Posted:i'm waaaay too skinny it's just not pretty. sitting around all day doing precisely nowt and can't put weight on at all.


the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Okay...since I have done the whole nutrionalist training and such let me add...

Carbs give you energy and sugars, and come in lots of forms. You want complex carbohydrates that you would get from whole grains, potatoes, fruits and even some veggies. Simple carbs from white pasta and sugar will either be used up or turned into fat.

Junk food gives you empty calories, which you obviously burn off.
However, just because you are not heavy does not mean that it is not having a detrimental effect. The fat in junk food can still clog your arteries and cause problem. You can still have high blood pressure from the sodium intake. Thin does not equal healthy just as heavy does not always equal unhealthy. You need to start eating more balance. Junk food is fine...once in awhile.

Water only adds water weight. It doesn't build muscle. It is great for hydration and you *should* drink lots a day and extra when you work out, but water weight will flush out of your system.

Protien. Our muscles are made of it. If you want to add muscle mass (as opposed to weight) you will need to increase your protien intake. This can be done through body building powders..but those are only meant as suppliments to an already balanced diet. You will need to incorporate eggs, lean meats, fish especially, nuts, and beans into your diet. You will want a higher protien to carb to fat ratio for building muscle. This ratio should be about 4:2:1 (protien, carbs, fats).

For counting calories, Cole is correct. You will need to calculate you need and then increase your caloric intake. HOWEVER, there is alot out there filled with empty calories (junk foods), and you do not want to fill your caloric intake with empty calories. You should also see if your dr. can calculate your BMI...Body Mass Index. This will tell you how much muscle vs. fat you are starting with.

Cardio alone will not build muscle. Cardio tones to a degree, but it is meant to burn away the fat, increase your energy through oxygenation and enhanced circulation. In addition to cardio you will need to take up a weight lifting regime. It is generally best to try out different weights to see which you can comfortably, but with some resistance, do 10-15 repetions three times of any exercise. This is a good place to start. Increase the weight and the repetitions as you build up. Exercises which use your own wieght as resistance are good also...sit-up, chin-up, push-ups, etc. Keep in mind that if your muscle feels fatigued, it is time to stop. You will need to do weight training, to start, at least 3 times a week, giving your body a chance to rest between workout days. As you build up, this can be increased.
Cardio should be done every day, of some measure, at least for 30 minutes, preferably in small bouts of 10 minutes, 3x per day.

Eating small meals multiple times a day is good for maintainence. It allows your system a steady flow of nutrients to avoid the energy peaks and valleys that we sometimes get when we eat at scheduled times. Generally, however, a person tends to burn the energy they are intaking by eating small meals all the time. So, you might do best with 3 meals and 3 snacks.

Remember to take a multi-vitamin daily as well. Everyone should actually.

Of course, let me add here, I am not an expert. I do not know you, and every single person is unique. These are general guidelines used for those wishing to increase their BMI. It requires time, lifestyle changes and dedication...which then leads me to...

Yes, we have established there is someone for every body style out there, but ICoN why are you looking to add weight?

Best of luck to you, no matter which path you choose.

Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Location: I wish I knew
Member Since: 12th Jan 2002
Total posts: 529
Posted:It might also be a factor of your metabolism. Sounds like you're in the same boat as me, fast metabolism, which unfortunately makes it very difficult to put on weight. Your metabolism does slow down as you get older, so when you hit your mid to late twenties, you should find it a bit easier to gain weight.

Going to the gym is a good start. I've been going for 4 years (err, with a year long break in the middle redface) and managed to put on 2 stone, though I'm still not exactly built. It is a frustratingly slow process, tho. I'm currently getting slightly annoyed with the whole process, as I'm down the gym usually 5 times a week, yet haven't put on any weight in the last six months frown. I'm hoping this means I'm due for a big gain sometime soon.

As others have mentioned, sorting out your diet is also important. I'm not convinced by the weight gain protein shakes, though. I tried those for two months and absolutely nothing happened. I think they're probably intended as a protein supplement to your diet, so wouldn't work if you already have a reasonably high protein diet?

Please remember it is (for most of us) a slow process. It took about a year for any real visible effects for me, though I was doing a [censored] load of cardio work (on average, 2.5 hrs a day) for the first 9 months, which can't have helped.

Good luck!


If you're not confused, you're not thinking about things hard enough.

Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:For nutrition, please refer to the above posts. Basically, eat protein since that's what muscle is made of. PLEASE establish healthy eating patterns now because otherwise it WILL come back and kick you in the [censored]. And while it seems an awful long way off, it does come more quickly than you think...and you'll be the same guy then that you are now. Believe me, the 50-year-olds I've seen coming in having heart attacks had no idea it was coming. They still were thinking of themselves as healthy young men when it happened.

So if you want to build muscle you can't just eat it on. The secret to optimizing whatever build you're given (and we're all given a build and are limited to working within the confines of that build) is a mixture of aerobic exercise combined with weight training. If you're of a thicker, heavier build, like me, then you need to focus more on aerobic exercise and less on weight training. If you're of a more slender build, like you, then the opposite is true. However, aerobic exercise is always important because it keeps your heart healthy and it will prevent heart disease.

If you've never done any weight training before, join a gym and spend a few sessions with a trainer to learn proper form so you don't hurt yourself and proper training technique (so as to get good, lasting results). It helps to have some lifting buddies to go with to keep you motivated.

During the first six weeks your muscles will get stronger, but they will not increase appreciably in size. This is because the first adaptation to increased workload is to increase the number of nerve terminals leading into the muscle. After six weeks, the muscle fibers will begin to increase in size ('hypertrophy') and you will begin to notice a GRADUAL increase in muscle mass. You have to fuel this with adequate protein and carbohydrate intake (some people use powdered shakes from stores such as GNC, but these are unnecessary as simply eating healthy is sufficient), of course, and not just fast food, which goes nowhere but your liver.

Ultimately, you will NEVER be built like Arnold Schwartzengger because you don't have the build. But believe me, a slender, athletic, muscly guy is HOT. Trust me, I know these things. wink You do have to accept that you have limits and resist the temptation to start using steroids. Even creatine has unknown risks, including possible kidney trouble. Let your body tell you when it's at its limit and don't try to force it to do the impossible or unnatural.

But you're young, so start working on establishing healthy living habits now and enjoy the next 50-60 years of your life in good health...instead of only half that time.

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura


Location: Perth, West Australia
Member Since: 29th Jan 2004
Total posts: 195
Posted:Gaining weight...ugh, be careful!
It is healthy to have some fat on your body, but gaining weight in the form of fat generally isn't a good idea!
it is healthier to be chubby and fit, than skinny and unfit.
I'm assuming you want muscle mass? The benefit of your situation is such that when you do gain weight, it will be in the form of muscle, and you will look very fit & muscular instead of smooth & 'fatty'
If you want to be more athletic, exercise for longer periods of time under less stress. If you want bulk, exercise for small periods of time, but with much stress. and REST! DO NOT EXERCISE EVERY DAY! Your muscle needs rest time to recover. If you exercise before your muscles have recovered, you will infact be doing more harm than good.

Regarding muscle growth... One very important point is not to 'overexercise.' It takes about 32-36 hours(please do not quote me on this - i simply cannot remember the exact time taken) for your muscles to recover from exercise, and to rebuild/regererate themselves to a fitter/stronger state. If you exercise them again before this period is up, you are infact stopping your muscles from growing & sabotaging yourself. It's better to train 2-3 times a week, with 48 hours rest between stints, than everyday.

Search for a guy called Arthur Jones. He did some pioneering work regarding muscle development. Important stuff regarding muscle gain.

This is a bodybuilding website, so it is 'very' inclined to muscle development & gym-work & some practices may be considered 'extreme'. An article on increasing your mass to get you started. :-)

We don't stop playing because we grow old,
We grow old because we stop playing.

Fire Taiger
Fire Taiger


Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 105
Posted:i feel your pain. i was freakishly underweight for a while. i still (and never stopped) eat unhealthy. once i started doing contruction work for my dad i just kinda got less freakishly skinny. i am still very skinny do to my fast metabolism, but my muscle mass has increased dramatically. i went from 118 to 150. advice just workout.

The quest for poi perfection may bring much enlightenment...
and burns

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