Aim for approximately 3-400 calories over your maintenance energy intake. If weight gain is faster or slower than you expected, adjust accordingly from here.
This calorie surplus could be achieved through adding 2-3 extra portions of carbohydrates, proteins, or choosing higher fat foods such as nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocado, and dried fruit.
Spread your food intake throughout the day rather than just going for a couple of very large meals a day to maximise muscle repair and growth.
Strength training should be a priority to promote muscle growth and to ensure that as much weight gained as possible is from muscle mass.
Make sure you’re getting an adequate protein intake suitable for strength training athletes. But bear in mind that protein intakes above this are unlikely to promote muscle growth any further.
Choose lower fibre foods – bulky, low calorie foods like wholegrains and salads can be too filling in relation to the calories they provide. Try opting for white rice, pasta, or bread options instead if looking to gain weight.
Fruit juice, dried fruit, and smoothies are all calorie-dense options which may help you increase your energy intake in addition to whole fruits.
Make sure you’re getting adequate rest and sleep between your training sessions. Remember these are key elements to your success.
Don’t overdo it – more than 5-600 calories a day over what you need for maintenance will almost certainly lead to rapid weight gain mostly from fat accumulation
Stick to healthy foods – it can be tempting to add lots of junk foods and processed foods to help bump up caloric intake, however these foods provide little else and you may end up falling short on many micronutrients which could hinder health and performance.