Kinobody welcomes guest author, Trent McCloskey (Instagram), who despite being super skinny and always struggled to gain muscle and strength, took his physique to astonishing heights!
Currently, he is running his YouTube Channel to further help skinny guys (ectomorphs) take their physiques to the next level.
In this post, Trent is going to discuss how skinny guys can maintain their diets when dealing with social settings.
Trent, take it away!
Everyone has their set routine. Especially when you're trying to build some muscle. You know when you're going to eat when you work when you need to hit the gym, and so on.
But what do you do when life happens?
What's the point of building a great body if you can't enjoy it?
Greg talks about this a lot and I totally agree. I don't want to be a slave to the gym and kitchen.
In this article, I wanted to go over a few strategies to make every day count and not detract from your diet when dealing with social gatherings, holidays, parties, dates, etc.
When these events come into our lives for us skinny guys, this usually means eating less and moving around more - the perfect storm for us losing weight fast.
The majority of ectomorphs need to be strict every day with eating enough food just to get the scale to budge a little.
If you mess up a few days, this could slow down progress for the week and may even affect training performance the next day.
Only Skinny Guys Will Understand This Article
Skinny guys have the tendency to naturally under-eat. We don't even have to think about it and we'll either maintain or lose weight.
Most people end up eating way too much during a social gathering, the holidays, parties, you name it - but not us!
We need to make sure we have a few things in place to make sure we can easily stick to our diets.
I do believe you need to be strict with tracking your calories and hitting your workouts (especially in the beginning) if you want to see results. This is how skinny guys can gain muscle. It's just the fact of the matter.
Before we dive into the meat and potatoes of this article, let's paint a little picture of a skinny guy's nightmare. This is also from personal experience.
Let's use a family cookout for example:
You wake up and help get a few last things together before having to leave.
You then shower and get ready.
The time before you have to leave (insert event here) is a weird feeling. You don't want to start anything too big because you won't have time to finish. Typically you'll just wait around, checking Instagram until it's time to roll out.
It's also promised that tons of food is going to be there - you'll have plenty to eat.
So you don't eat much that morning. Maybe you get in around 500 calories.
When arriving, everyone is excited to see you so you make your rounds and grab a drink before getting your partner and hopping on the next game of cornhole (bean bag toss).
Mid-afternoon comes around and the foods ready. You built up a little appetite and start to fill your plate.
After eating you're stuffed. And you pretty much feel full the rest of the evening.
The problem is, most of the time, you come up short in your daily calories.
Now, of course, every situation is different. But time and time again I hear about this problem. Let's get into some strategies you can use to help avoid coming up short in your daily calories in any social event.
How Skinny Guys Can Gain Muscle By Planning Ahead
The ideal goal is to be able to enjoy every aspect of your life while muscle and strength gains are on autopilot.
This makes the process easy and less frustrating. You shouldn't be stressing over your fitness regime - it does take time.
And stressing about hitting your calories every day sucks.
Planning ahead is my biggest strategy. The reality is, during a social event, you don't want to think about hitting your calories. You just want to enjoy yourself.
Typically, you have time around the event to eat and get the majority of your calories in.
Think about that above example with the family cookout. All I have to do is treat that as a normal day.
I plan ahead and eat a good bit of calories before and have a small snack planned for when I return home. I would then have a pretty good idea of how many calories I need to eat during the cookout.
I can just eyeball what I want to eat at the event and not worry about hitting my calories because I am pretty damn sure I did. As you continuously track your calories, you'll get better and better at "eyeballing different foods."
Adapting to your new schedule
A social event usually throws off your normal routine. On top of planning ahead, you may need to quickly adapt.
I like doing short fasts in the morning - in some situations, this may mean to start eating as soon as I wake up to get my calories in.
Having default meals and snacks
I believe it's important to have your "default meals and snacks" that you really enjoy eating, because:
1) You enjoy eating them
2) You know the macros you're getting
3) This helps you quickly plan ahead so you can gauge how much you need to eat at the event
And of course, if you plan ahead then end up going over your calories because everything worked out well and the event had awesome food, that's okay too, ha!
During the Social Event
Now that we covered strategies that you can use for planning around the social event, let's talk about the during phase.
I'm referring to the above example again - the majority of the time, we get distracted and forget to eat. Whether that's from playing cornhole, socializing, or what have you.
Of course, don't stop doing these things. Just make an effort to eat if you need to.
Liquid calories and snacks are your best friend. After the main meal, I make sure to keep snacking and drinking after.
You don't have to worry about consuming a little alcohol in moderation either. In fact, small doses of alcohol have been shown to increase testosterone.
The majority of the time, there IS enough food to get your calories in, even if you're a picky eater like me. You just have to make a small effort to do so.
Don't be afraid to go for seconds either - just be polite of course.
Stressful Social Events
I wanted to add this section in here because I know it effected me a ton.
By stressful events, I'm referring to events that make you nervous. Maybe you can relate to this, but I know in stressful situations my appetite gets shut off.
I used to get the "butterflies" feeling in my stomach when going on a date with a girl.
Maybe you have a work or networking event where your nerves are a little more on edge.
I'm sure you can think of other stressful events.
In these situations, I found it very helpful to stick to your favorite meals and also foods that are easy to get down.
Not eating would just be weird.
For example, if you're nervous to take a girl out, maybe take her to get frozen yogurt. That's light and easy to get down.
The Day After
(Learn how I went from skinny to muscular here)
Alright, now we went over what to do before and during social events.
The day after - either you hit your calories or you didn't.
Let's talk about if you didn't.
First, don't beat yourself up about the situation. There will always be times where you truly can't hit your calorie surplus.
I'm coining this "lifestyle cutting," ha! This is how skinny guys can gain muscle while staying lean. Skinny guy problems right? We'll save this topic for another article.
Will under-eating the day before the gym affect your workout? It could. If this happens to you, I recommend getting in plenty of protein and carbs an hour or two before your workout. It will help with training performance (protein & carbs).
This also comes down to not being attached to the outcome of your workout and still giving it literally everything you got. That's how you make consistent progress.
Should you overeat the next day to make up for not hitting your calories yesterday?
If you under-ate more than 500+ calories, I always found it helpful to fill back up the next day. Especially on a training day. Eat your normal calorie number and you can add a little extra ideally from carbs.
How Skinny Guys Can Gain Muscle While Enjoying Life - Final Words
I hope this article offers you insight to help you maintain your diet no matter what life throws at you.
It's definitely an interesting topic, but I know my fellow skinny guys are going through these hardships.
They can make or break your results.
So remember these main takeaways:
- Planning ahead
- Leaving a small amount of calories for the event so you don't really have to think about eating
- Adapting to the event and your new schedule
- Maybe this means not fasting
- Remembering to eat (there is most likely the food to do so)
- Have default snacks and meals
- Eat your favorite meals (especially in stressful situations)
- Get back on track the next day - don't fall off
- Stay consistent
With practice, this whole fitness thing will become second nature. Muscle and strength gains will soon be on auto-pilot.
Building a great body should not take away from the great pleasures of life. Only enhance them.