If no matter what you do you can’t put weight on your skinny body, here’s why, and what you can do to solve this problem.

Rigorous exercise is one sure way to increase appetite. 

Raise the body’s energy demands, and it will seek out more energy than it normally uses.

If there’s not much fat (stored fuel) in the body, it will seek it out in food-and hence, appetite will get bigger.

But if food isn’t consumed by the skinny individual to meet a significant increase in physical output, then a catabolic effect will result. The body will feed off its own muscle tissue.

Eat high-glycemic foods. 

Though white rice is not a preferred grain because it’s heavily processed, it really does wonders to induce hunger pangs.


The best bet is organic white rice. Next in line, and healthier, is organic white basmati rice.

Rice is not cheap in calories, and a bowl, eaten with a meal, can cause annoying hunger within one to two hours of finishing the meal.

Though whole potatoes are medium-glycemic, they too, can cause a lot of hunger shortly after being eaten.

High-glycemic foods include: dates, watermelon, mashed potatoes, corn flakes, millet, white bread, rice pasta, puffed-rice snacks, rice cakes and graham crackers. Some people report that hunger becomes intense after eating carrots or onions.

Foods ridiculously high in calories. 

All nuts, but this can be a two-edged sword in that a bowl of nuts may kill appetite for hours. Best time to eat nuts for weight gain, then, would be close to bedtime.

High-calorie foods that are sold in organic, all-natural versions: cheese, jams and jellies, nut-swirl breads, nut butters and peanut butter, flax and olive oil, salad dressing, dark and milk chocolate, some “energy” bars, many cereals (no sugar added), pancakes and waffles (opt for whole-grain varieties), corn, beans, muffins, potato salad, avocado salad, and whole-grain cookies containing chocolate chips and various nuts–just to name a few!

Stuffing mixes, when a canola spread is added (this substitutes for butter) are outrageously high in calories per indicated “serving size.” The whole box prepared can fit a giant cereal bowl: 1,000 calories.

Of course, animal products are usually high in calories, but err on the side of a plant-based diet.

You can still enjoy the cheese-omelet and preservative-free sausage/bacon, and the porterhouse steaks, but these kinds of foods should be eaten sparingly.

There are plenty of healthier ways to put on weight. Whole foods stores also sell weight-gainer shake mixes.

Weight gain is possible without loading up on the more classic high-calorie foods such as gravy, fried foods, fast-foods and pastries.


One giant cinnamon roll, complete with icing, is around 800 calories. Something like this should not be eaten on a regular basis in the name of gaining weight.

Better to get 800 calories in the form of a shake made with weight-gainer’s protein powder, juice, strawberries and a banana, for example. Slurp it up with a straw and it’ll be gone in no time.

For people who have a sweet tooth, whole-foods stores do sell all-natural pastries, ice cream, cakes, brownies and other such items, and these are always better than the conventional versions that are full of preservatives, artificial flavor/color, and other strange ingredients.

But it’s still wrong to load up on these kinds of foods, even in the organic or additive-free versions. Muscles need complex carbohydrates and healthy sources of protein to grow.

Eat six or seven meals a day. 

Ironically, this is recommended for weight loss, but the “meals” are supposed to be small in that case. But some thin people do only eat a few times a day.

Eating more meals (or more frequently) eliminates having to stuff one’s self at a single sitting to get in more calories.

How to Add Calories Without Feeling Stuffed

–        Add the following to vegetable salads that already have high-calorie natural dressings: sunflower seeds or nuts, shreds of cheddar cheese, and croutons.

–        Add a tablespoon of flax oil to most frozen dinner dishes, pasta dishes, casseroles, or any other meal that would taste better with nutty flavor added to it. Some people consume flax oil straight off the tablespoon.

–        Add organic chocolate syrup to organic milk.

–        Add canola spreads, jams, jellies, apple and nut butters to bread.

–        Try peanut butter on an apple or banana.

Reasons People Fail to Gain Mass

• Too many simple carbs, not enough high-quality protein.

• Weight workouts not intense enough to trigger new muscle growth.

• Inconsistency, missing workouts.

• Overtraining. If muscles aren’t allowed to recover, they won’t grow.

• Not doing the very routines (multi-joint) that can really accelerate muscle growth, such as barbell squats, leg presses, deadlifts, bench presses, dumbbell rows and other dumbbell routines.

But these must be performed with heavy enough weight to bring on severe fatigue in 5-8 reps.

• Not doing enough free-weight routines; too much focus on selectorized equipment.

Free-weight routines force stabilizer and synergistic muscles into action; the more muscles worked per routine, the more likely new mass will result.

• Not doing cardio. Three times a week for 30-45 minutes will do the trick, and don’t go through the motions. Get the heart pumping good.

• Doing cardio on the same days as weight-training. Doing cardio before weights will strip the body of energy needed to perform muscle-blitzing routines. Doing cardio afterweights will interfere with muscle recovery.

It’s okay to do brief, light cardio as a warm-up and cool-down, but save the actual cardio sessions for their own days.

• Not getting enough sleep (7-8 hours).

• High alcohol intake.

• Not drinking enough water.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.