[Fitness&Nutrition] Weight-gain journey as a PM
In this post, I want to discuss my weight gain journey. I learned a lot from the experience and I thought it’d be useful to share.
It generally entails how I was able to healthily gain 35 pounds in 3 months.
Note that before I started this process, I thought I was one of those people that no matter what I did, I couldn’t gain weight. Unless you have some rare medical issues (FYI, Thyroid problems play a negligible role in weight), this is not the case for you! If you have trouble gaining weight, I hope you will find this post useful.
Starting Weight: 107 lbs.
I’ve always had trouble gaining weight my entire life. I ate a lot, drank a lot of beer and didn’t exercise much. I played the occasional basketball and tennis with friends but overall, I wasn’t really active. I knew I had to change something if I wanted to gain weight. I started reading some research papers, proper nutrition techniques and fitness techniques. I learned that I was an ectomorph.
I started counting calories seriously and learned that 3000 calories was not enough for me to gain weight. If I ate below 3500 calories, I lost weight!
I was the outlier that actually needed to eat around 4000 calories to gain weight. (I don’t know why but as I said above, it’s not my thyroids, according to the American Thyroid Association).
Supplements I purchased:
Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer Protein Powder, Vanilla Custard
MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Meal Replacement Bar, Super Cookie Crunch
For the protein powder, I used 2 scoops and mixed it with Orange Juice. It tasted like a creamsicle and it actually wasn’t too bad. 1200 calories gained easily!
I also ate the protein bar twice a day: 800 calories covered!
And with the above two supplements I was able to consume 2000 calories easily (it actually was incredibly difficult when I first started. I felt so full after the protein shake that I couldn’t move and the protein bar tasted like brick).
I also ate a lot of real food! I cooked a giant juicy piece steak almost everyday and ate it with mushrooms and corn (also occasionally added some sweet potatoes that my roommate baked)!
When I went out to eat with friends, I usually ate two meals. At In-N-Out, I had 2~3 burgers, 2 fries. At Chipotle, I had two bowls of double chicken and guacamole. GAINING WEIGHT WAS NOT CHEAP. But I was so determined.
However, eating like a pig wasn’t the only way to gain weight.
I went to the gym 4~5 days a week and did a workout called GVT.
I made sure I was consistent, followed each workout carefully with proper form. I didn’t lift heavy but I did all the sets and reps. I didn’t cheat.
Because I started at such a low point, I was able to notice change in my physique pretty quickly.
After 3 months of being consistent I was able to fulfill my goal of hitting 140 lbs.
End Weight: 142 lbs.
- Use Reddit for motivation. I read /r/gainit/ religiously.
- Consistency. The high-calorie diet will make you feel bloated constantly. Your stomach will not be happy at times. You really need to endure this pain. No pain no gain is actually a true statement, and it applies not only at the gym but also at the kitchen. I watched competitive eaters to motivate myself to eat more. Check out Matt Stonie – he was my inspiration. I learned how to push myself to eat more by watching his videos. I’m one of those people that will lose weight immediately if I stop eating. I had to keep up.
- Psychology. I actually believe there’s a big role that psychology plays when it comes to fitness and nutrition and there’s also been research to back it up. As mentioned earlier, I used to think it was impossible for me to gain weight. But then I started reading reddit and saw pictures of people that looked like me that was seeing success. As cheesy as it sounds, I truly believed in my goal.
One tip I want to give to people is do your own research during your journey. Someone once told me that we know less about nutrition than we know about outer space. Nutrition and fitness are complex subjects and sometimes highly personal. What works for someone else might not work for you. Read research papers and articles to acquire knowledge and apply them in a way fits into your lifestyle and goals. One website I personally like is Examine.com.
How I was able to achieve my goal using what I learned as a PM:
- Social Media analysis
- Meal planning (roadmap)
- Cost vs Value analysis (expending cost to gain high value)
- Tracking metrics over time (my weight and my overall health).
The PM thing is joke. Sorry if it’s lame.