Healthy At Home 6 MIN READ 2362 VIEWS February 24, 2017

Top 8 Muscle Building Foods for Skinny Men

Written By Archana

Muscle Building Food for Skinny Guys

Do you want to go from skinny to muscular? Read this article to know top 8 muscle-building foods for skinny men that will help you to gain weight & build muscle.

Gaining serious muscle mass requires serious calories! Who knows it better than an ectomorph, popularly known as the skinny guy? More important than working out is the diet for such people and gaining weight is very tough for them, as they are genetically endowed with super-fast metabolism. Often, they are small eaters and at times, factors like busy lifestyle, weak digestion also work against them. As a result, those who are in need of extra calories to fuel their muscle gain are usually not able to fill in their calorie surplus and out of frustration, they start eating junk foods. Naturally, instead of building muscle they gain fat

Now, read the good news:

When an ectomorph bulks up, the end result is more aesthetic because he has lower body fat than other body types, an ectomorph or mesomorph. Hence, when an ectomorph works on his diet along with workouts and eats the right calorie-dense foods, the end result is a more chiseled body-type.


  • Skinny appearance
  • Hyperactive
  • Fast metabolism
  • Can eat whatever they want
  • Get full easily
  • Small chest and buttocks
  • Difficulty building muscle
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Low body fat
  • Narrow frame (“pencil frame”)


As an ectomorph or skinny guy, you need to eat high-calorie foods to gain weight, but these calories should come from lots of nutrient-dense foods, like complex carbs and proteins so that you get sustained energy for your muscles. Healthy fats are a must-have addition in the ectomorph meal plan, along with high-quality proteins and slow-acting, complex carbohydrates. Fat has 9 calories in a gram whereas proteins and carbs have only 4 calories in a gram. As a naturally skinny guy, you can’t fall short on your complex carbs and fat allowance, if you want to bulk up and build your physique.


Milk has been the trusted weight gain food for naturally skinny men in the 1950s when there were fewer protein options. With its high protein content and easy to swallow, full cream milk conveniently filled in the protein and calorie need. However, with changing times, bodybuilders moved to skimmed milk to reduce the number of calories without compromising on the protein value.


Skimmed Milk Full Cream Milk
Calories 83 148
Fat 0.5g 8g
Carbs 12g 12g
Proteins 8g 8g

For someone, who wants to get in a calorie surplus situation, full cream milk is a nutrient-rich fat food to gain weight and it is a better alternative than skimmed milk, as it offers more calories.  But, fat has never bothered a hard gainer! You need to have full-cream milk at bedtime so that your body gets a steady stream of proteins throughout the day.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter, the eternal favourite of children is a must-have food to gain weight, because it is high in monounsaturated fat (the healthy kind), and it is also rich in protein. The other nutrients present in peanuts are potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, niacin, vitamin E and folate.

A 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains 188 calories. These calories come from a mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Each serving of peanut butter provides you with 7.7 grams of protein, which helps keep your tissues strong and promotes immune function, as well as 16 grams of fat, a concentrated source of energy. Peanut butter also offers 6.9 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Some of these carbs break down into sugar and fuel your brain, liver and muscle tissue, while 2.6 grams form a heart-healthy dietary fibre. Peanut butter offers 10 milligrams of vitamin E and is a rich source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant and niacin, a B vitamin with a major role in energy production in the body.  You can scoop peanut butter directly from the bottle or whip it with full-cream milk to get a delightful shake and a clean fuel for your growing muscles.

Sweet Potatoes

A bodybuilding meal plan is incomplete without sweet potatoes and for good reasons. It is a complex carbohydrate, an extremely important macro-nutrient for ectomorphs desiring to bulk up. Being tasty and versatile, sweet potatoes offer ample flexibility in a meal plan. If you are trying to gain weight you will need to get carbs. In fact, for most people who are bulking up, the largest percentage of your calories should be coming from complex carbs, as these carbs have a lower glycemic index (GI) and they keep the energy flowing for a longer duration, which is required for intense workouts.


Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, cashews and peanuts are guilt-less snacking options for bodybuilders. They are a rich source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Therefore, as a bodybuilder, you need to make the most of nuts and include them in your foods, salads or eat alone. Nuts

A fistful of roasted, unsalted almonds (22pieces) has

  • Calories: 169
  • Protein: 5.9g
  • Fat: 14.8g
  • Carb: 8.3g

Walnuts are considered brain food. These nuts are a good source of essential fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid.

Serving size of walnuts (14 halves) provides:

  • Calories: 185
  • Protein: 4.3g
  • Fat: 18.5g
  • Carb: 3.9g

Cashews are nutrient-dense nuts. They are a rich source of phosphorus and omega-3 fatty acids.

A serving size of unsalted, roasted cashews, approximately 18 halves offers

  • Calories: 163
  • Fat: 13.1g
  • Carb: 9.2g


If you want to get big and remain lean at the same time, start eating chickpeas. They are a good source of amino acids, the muscle building blocks. Though chickpeas lack all the amino acids, but the shortfall could easily be filled in if you mix chickpeas with whole grains, like rice or wheat.  According to a seven-year survey, the consumption of chickpeas/hummus was associated with higher intake of several nutrients of public health concern, including dietary fibre and potassium, as well as higher intakes of shortfall nutrients for some populations, including vitamins A, E, and C, folate, iron and magnesium. The study also shows that chickpeas also complement grains to form a source of complete proteins for vegetarians or low socio-economic individuals.


Proteins are important in a muscle building diet, but carbs are equally critical because they provide energy for lengthy gym sessions. A nutritious way to get good quality carbs is by eating bananas, one of the best foods to gain weight.  As a bonus point, you will get more fibre, vitamins and minerals.Bananas

You can start your day with a banana at breakfast. A large banana has 121 calories and it can be easily mixed in a protein shake, which will bump the calorie intake significantly.



Including chicken, high-protein food in your diet helps you to gain weight, particularly muscle mass if you combine it with a well-designed training program.


Since your challenge is to get quality calories, you should take 2 roasted chicken breasts or fry them in heart-healthy olive oil, to get 320 calories in a serving.

A chicken leg will serve 475 calories.

To get a mix of good quality proteins and fats, you could use a tablespoon of olive oil with your chicken as it has 124 calories and heart-healthy fats, the right mix of nutrients for someone looking to put on weight and muscle.


A cup of your favourite pasta serves 221 calories, along with a healthy dose of iron and B-complex vitamins. B-complex vitamins are involved in energy metabolism and iron wards off anaemia, one of the main reasons for tiredness in individuals. The mix of healthy carbs and the micronutrients keeps your energy level brimming when you hit the gym. To make it healthier and richer, you need to pair the pasta with a generous serving of protein and drizzle it with olive oil and your meal contains the essential three macros: carbs, proteins and fats. If you wish to make it fibre rich, choose whole wheat pasta, but a cup will serve 174 calories. The plus side is that it will keep the energy trickling for a longer duration, required for those intense gym sessions.

In general, your diet plan to gain weight should aim for 250 to 500 extra calories each day to gain weight at a healthy rate. That will allow you to gain 0.5 to 1 pound (453g) of weekly weight gain. Mass Gainers offer ample calories in drinkable form.  Do remember to make use of the extra energy for intense workouts for sculpting your physique.

Read these next