How do I gain weight and turn it into muscle?

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Jul 23, 2009
I'm sort of faced with a weight gaining problem.
I started gymnastics in June.
So I'm skinny and a little muscular. I want to be like, a thick muscley. haha
I'm just not hungry though. Everyday during the summer, I probably eat 2 bowls of cereal, 3 bagels, some snacks, and soda everyday. Sometimes I make an egg sandwich or something though, with two eggs on it.
My boyfriends telling me that I need to force myself to eat more but that just doesn't sound appealing to me. And I need to know what kind of foods or vitamins will help bulk me up. I've never been able to gain extra weight ever in my life and I have a really fast metabolism. Oh and I'm on zoloft which apparently leaves you with no appetite.
Please help me!
Amy :]
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interesting i am the bulky muscle type. i dont think that eating more will solve you problem i think that more conditioning and maybe running would help you build muscle. an d maybe a change in diet would also help some. maybe adding more protiens and dairy could help you out. and sometimes i think you just have to work with what youve got and you always want what you cant have.
You really need to consult your doctor about it. We don't know you and can't really give advice as it could be as simple as just working out more and burning more calories all the way up to a medical problem. Go and have the doc see you and if they don't find anything they can at least give you some pointers! Also some folks are just built different. look at Nastia she is long and thin, then look at Shawn she is more muscular. Both great gymnasts. Good luck, i hope you get it sorted out!

I have edited the OP's post as we on the CB prefer that those details are kept private. I'd love to see links here on how to build muscle and eat in a nutritionally sound way.

Accepting the body type you have and working to make it stronger is a huge step. Eating more will not help you gain muscle, and you cannot turn fbody fat into lean muscle mass. They are two different things entirely.
You need to talk to your DR and get a nutritionist involved to eat "HEALTHY" forget trying to hit an unrealistic body "type" or "image". Everyone is built different and it sounds like from your post that your type is more a slender "ballet" type. Go with it you know how many girls would kill for that type of body. Try to accept what you have, work out in a normal way and eat healthy. Forcing food isn't healthy.
Idk you could try eating more meals in the day like 8 smaller meals or so. I wish I had a fast metabolism like you. Im more of the short and muscular gymnast i have that bulk look but i personally wish I was like you.=)
I agree.You have a basic body body type that is yours it or not. Everyone is different, and as long as you are eating a healthy ,balanced diet, I wouldn't worry. For example, I have 3 daughters... I was very chubby as a young child but slimmed up naturally as a teen.
My oldest has had weight fluctuations since puberty, my middle, the smallest birth weight started "chuncky" as a toddler ,got slim, got heavy again, and is now slimming down.....again. My youngest, the biggest baby of them all at 9lb 3 oz, stayed VERY skinny as a toddler and is still slim now (wears size 10 slim at 12 years old!)-she is the gymnast by the way.
So, please eat a healthy,balenced diet and don't worry sbout weight or size. I think you are what you are as far as body type, and "healthy" is the most important thing to worry about!!
Your body type is yours. Own it and work with it. Even the very thin girls can put on muscle--look at how strong, say, Nastia & Sam Shapiro are. Thin girls, but strong.

Talk to your doctor about proper nutrition, & follow a sensible workout plan. That's how this whole muscle-weight thing works, especially in those of us who run lean.
My daughter is very thin and isnt a big eater . Her coach told her she gets tired too quickly. SHe told her to eat protein and do alot of conditioning.
I've seen skinny gymnasts that are just as good as the buff ones. Don't try
to change yourself.
Hi there. Okay, so what is muscle made up of? Protein. When looking at your daily food intake, there is no protein! Cereal? Carbs. Bagels? Carbs. Soda? Carbs. Carbs are good for energy, but you are seriously lacking on the protein. What are some good sources of protein? Lean meats- chicken, beef, pork, fish. Milk, yogurt, soy, beans.

When you work your muscles, you create tiny tears in the muscle fibers. The way your muscles get bigger and stronger is when the tears happen, your body rushes new protein to the torn muscle fiber to repair. That's how you get stronger and more "buff." If your body doesn't have much protein to repair your muscles, you just can't get that much stronger.

I agree with everyone here that you should embrace your body type, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best gymnast you can be. And everyone knows that gymnasts are strong. However, they're not all the buff-looking type. Just look at Nastia Liukin! She is lithe and lean like a ballerina, yet no one would argue that she's not strong. However, I bet that she eats lots of protein. :)
Something else I would recommend is to add some fruits and vegetables to your diet. I would also cut out the soda. Soda is junk- even the diet stuff. It's bad for your teeth, and certainly not good for a young athlete's body. Stick with water if you can. The better you eat, the better your body will work. If you give it good fuel, it will just run better- same as a car. You couldn't put junk in your car's gas tank and expect it to win a race!!

And when you add protein and start to eat better, make sure you're giving your body an opportunity to use that protein. :) If you're not a competitive gymnast, ask your parents if you can lift weights (depending on how old you are. In most of the literature I've read, experts seem to think that children as young as 10 can lift weights if they are supervised and lift correctly). If you're too young or you can't have access to a weight room, use your body weight. Do push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, squats, v-ups, etc. If you're already at gym most days, just continue on normally.

So, in summary, you might concentrate on eating well. Lean meats, whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies. I promise that you'll notice you will have more energy and be a stonger athlete after just a little while.
Good luck to you!!
My DD is also very thin. At her check up we talked to the Dr about her possibly burning more calories than she takes in. She also has acid reflux so she eats small amounts of food every couple of hours ( except @ school where she can't). He recommended pretty much what the above poster stated. Protien, milk, yogurt, fruit. She was very happy with his final suggestion - ice cream every day ! Calcium for her bones and extra calories : )

I recommend you make an appointment with your doctor.
I'm guessing you still live at home, so there are a lot of factors out of your control at the moment. Your parents buy the groceries, make Dr. appointments, etc. If I were you I'd talk to your parents about your desire for more muscle and taking command of that through your diet. That would lead to asking them to go to the doctor/nutritionist since their advice is really whats needed for you. They can give you safe, and professional guidance that will help give you the most realistic outlook on what dietary changes can do for you.

Believe it or not, as a growing kid and an athlete, your dietary needs are pretty complex! You'll need your parents on board for whatever changes you make, and good medical advice gives us parentals the confidence we need to make positive change in a such a broad area as diet.
Schism, how old are you again. Mass gaining is different depending on age.

Eating junky stuff will help, but to truly mass gain you need to be eating a lot. For a female, probably 2500 calories a day at a minimum. For a male, probably 3000-4000 and 5-6000 if they are bigger guys.

From what I read at T-nation, you can only eat about 250-500 calories in the plus a day for lean mass gain. You could take in more but it's gonna lead to more fluid weight gain and fat gain rather than lean body mass gain.

If you are a gymnast, you probably do not need to worry about mass gain at all. I would be very upset if any of my gymnasts were.

Find out your basal metabolic rate based on your lean body mass. This is the amount of calories you must intake to keep your body as it is daily. Add in calories needed to recover from exercise/labor and then extra mass gaining calories.

Be prepared to eat. Many people in weight training (like me back then) did not gain any real weight despite hitting the iron because we didn't eat. I didn't know anything about mass gain protocols then. Now, I'd prefer to lean out especially if I want to compete. I will be stronger being lighter and leaning out.

gymmomntc2e6, could you PM me about dealing with acid reflux. One of my gymnasts has it and when he gets it during practice, he is pretty much done with for the day. I've talked to his mom about it and he has looked in it as have I and while he doesn't have celiacs he seems to do better without the grains possibly (which is hard to give up in their family).
Thanks to the last few posts. Really, I think my body is great. I'm asking how to increase my muscle mass, not asking if my body is okay with everyone else. I'd rather get some straight info than telling me I don't need to change my body. I would LIKE to. I want more muscle.
I bought some soy protein powder and will probably buy some creatine supplements.
Thanks to the last few posts. Really, I think my body is great. I'm asking how to increase my muscle mass, not asking if my body is okay with everyone else. I'd rather get some straight info than telling me I don't need to change my body. I would LIKE to. I want more muscle.
I bought some soy protein powder and will probably buy some creatine supplements.

It doesn't work. You only get one set of kidneys. One. To last your WHOLE LIFE. Creatine isn't something to be taken lightly. Studies have also shown it's ineffective unless you have a creatine deficiency, which is an inborn error of metabolism. It'd cause actual problems, of the sort you'd have all sorts of medical testing for. Worst case scenario, those supplements (which aren't for use in children and teens, aren't regulated, and aren't effective) do some permanent damage. The best case scenario, as a wise man I knew once said, is very expensive pee. The only way to get stronger is to exercise. That's the way biology works. Don't do something that can hurt you forever as a wild shot at a short term gain. It's not worth it,
Thanks to the last few posts. Really, I think my body is great. I'm asking how to increase my muscle mass, not asking if my body is okay with everyone else. I'd rather get some straight info than telling me I don't need to change my body. I would LIKE to. I want more muscle.
I bought some soy protein powder and will probably buy some creatine supplements.

The thing is it's too hard to give you straight info that will suit you without knowing you. General muscle gain info can be found anywhere Google takes you, that doesn't mean it's right for you personally. Supplementing should be done under the supervision of a coach or doctor that knows what they're talking about, do you have this guidance? If so then it looks like you found your answer. If not then all anyone can do is urge you to find it.
Thanks to the last few posts. Really, I think my body is great. I'm asking how to increase my muscle mass, not asking if my body is okay with everyone else. I'd rather get some straight info than telling me I don't need to change my body. I would LIKE to. I want more muscle.
I bought some soy protein powder and will probably buy some creatine supplements.

you really should contact your parents, your doctor and a nutritionist before taking any suppliments. Depending on your age and stage of development you could do some serious damage to your body. having your parents in on what you want to do can help alot. They can get you the information you need as well as the diet that will help make your stronger (not necesseceraly bulkier).

You DO have to take into account your body type. If your body type isn't the type to have those bulky muscles then even though you gain muscle mass it may never look the way your hoping for it to look. Being strong is more important than muscles looking bulky.
I have to agree with everything said above. You really need to talk to your doctor then possibly a nutritionist.

Cut the soda out now. And as said above you really need to get some protein in your diet. A nutritionist will help determine the right kinds for you. From there it really comes down to how you work out. What kind of strength training are you doing? And where do you want to gain the muscle?

What is it that you feel you need more muscle mass for anyway? It is possible to be incredibly strong and yet very thin.

I had to put on 30 pounds of muscle after high school at the insistence of my hockey coaches and it really came down to the above. I had a nutritionist and a trainer help me develop both a diet and workout.
Creatine is one of the most tested supplements out there. There have been issues with liver and stomach ailments that mainly were a culprit of inferior creatine products laced with other fillers. Very common when it was starting to come out of China.

However, creatine goes through your system very fast. I never was impressed with using it during a workout but I did not try to take it more than just before the workout ( in hindsight I should have taken a dose before and halfway into training since it will burn out in about an hour ). How much creatine is in your body is simply a matter of how much protein you eat.

Until your nutrition methods are nominal, supplement use should be at a minimum. Good idea for anemics or vegetarians who need B12/Iron. Omega 3 fish oils are probably good for everybody from infact to elderly. Not so much an issue if you are getting a lot of a grassfed meats and eggs or dairy. There is probably still some omega3's in typical meat and eggs and dairy, just nowhere near as much.

I don't like the soy protein. They really have to process the soy heavily with many chemicals to get it into a product such as soy protein. More than likely why soy protein and soy products show high levels of estrogen when taken. Some studies have shown soy to be equal to the "pill". Whey protein is pretty much the best unless you can't digest the lactose ( in which you can get obtain whey protein without nearly all of the lactose ).

Other issues to look for when it comes to not getting your nutrtional needs are enzyme products or probiotics. Ya can't digest food without a healty gut full of bacteria.

Some gymnasts and athletes may need some hypertrophy in their muscles ( more muscle mass ) to be more powerful. It's a very precarious balance of not enough muscle or too much muscle or sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar hypertrophy.
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