We have had considerable success with gaining programs that are based on applying a diet that is rich in complex carbohydrates (about 60-65 percent of the diet), contain moderate amounts of quality protein (25 percent, amounting to about 1 gram per pound of bodyweight), and relatively low in fat (10-15 percent). We apply this diet over four to six smaller meals daily. If our goal is to put on quality lean weight then the great American diet of a large dinner meal makes absolutely no sense. In fact, it makes all the sense in the world to load up on our body's energy sources, the carbs., early in the day when we will use them. Therefore, we employ a carbohydrate tapering scheme such that if bedtime is at 11 P.M. then our last heavy (complex) carbohydrate meal might occur no later than 3:00 P.M.. Meals after this, would be higher in protein and simpler carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables, but not simple or refined sugars.
Obviously, it is impractical for many people to stop their jobs or school to eat this often. The answer to this problem is to substitute, or supplement, some of their meals with a quality high calorie liquid meal, made by adding a high quality "weight gaining" powder to a beverage such as milk or juice. Unfortunately, the problem with the vast majority of these so- called weight gaining powders is that a close review of their ingredients reveals that the same results could probably be achieved with a 5 lb. bag of sugar and Nestle's Quick. It is essential that when you are choosing a weight gain powder (or for that matter a weight loss powder, too) that you avoid products that list soy as the protein source or the simple sugars sucrose, maltose, dextrose, glucose, or fructose. Soy protein has an extremely poor amino acid profile rendering it relatively useless for building quality muscle. In addition, many of these powders will state "sugar-free" while containing refined powdered fructose. The problem with powdered fructose is that while fructose is the quality carbohydrate found in fruits, the refining process enables it to enter the blood stream much faster than in its natural state, leading once again to fat gains. Essential Fitness CARB/PRO - Daytime Meal Replacement and Beverly International's MASS MAKER contain NO ADDED SUGAR or SOY.
Quality gains can be inhibited if the body is lacking in any one of the co-factors involved in either the digestive (enzymes) or metabolic (vitamins and minerals) processes. It is important to remember that vigorous exercise increases the utilization and excretion of some of these nutrients, and hence, attention must be paid to replacing them. With a shortage of fresh foods, and a great tendency to destroy the nutritional content of our foods by over-preparing them, a relatively easy way to ensure that we have covered our body's needs of these co-factors is through the utilization of a well balanced multi- vitamin/mineral pack.
There are several nonprescription catalysts that we have found to be extremely helpful in expediting the quality gain process. These catalysts are employed following an assessment of the individuals background and needs. Following years of employing them with world class athletes from the current Mr. Universe, Bernard Sealy, to college and pro football players, we have achieved great success in overcoming the sticking points, or plateaus, in the gaining process.
Finally, we must recognize that the most important organ in this process is the mind. If we cease to see steady results, a boredom can set in which will guarantee failure. If proper diet, rest, and training is coupled with a quality supplementation regimen it is possible to experience that good feeling that continuous gains produce. Success breeds success.