Metabolic Health

Strategies for Gaining Weight with a Fast Metabolism

Parul Dube

October 24, 2022

The standard narrative in the digital space is all about losing weight. However, some people are also seeking ways for weight gain to support their health and wellness goals. Like weight loss,  gaining weight is also a gradual process. However, it is more complex when you have a fast metabolism. Since a rapid metabolic rate makes you burn calories much faster, gaining weight can be slightly challenging. However, if you plan it right and start your weight gain journey with smart apps like the expert HealthifyMe, you can overcome the challenge, leading to healthy weight gain.

Your metabolic rate tells you how many calories your body burns while performing essential metabolic functions like respiration, blood circulation, hormone synthesis, waste removal and other vital bodily functions. Unfortunately, most underweight people with high metabolic rates often experience that no matter how hard they try, they do not get effective weight gain results. If you share the same experience, do not worry! Almost every individual with a fast metabolic rate experiences the same. Simply put, people with a fast metabolism need to modify their eating habits and lifestyle more carefully and precisely than others to favour their growth goals. 

Scroll down to discover more about gaining healthy weight and building muscles even with a fast metabolic rate.

Metabolism and its Effect on Body Weight

Research shows that individuals with body mass index (BMI) lower than 18.5 are considered underweight, which increases health risks, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, heart attack, osteoporosis, and so on. 

Metabolism is a chemical process that uses energy from the foods we consume to help the body function to its optimum level. Hence you need to keep up with it. Nonetheless, if you have a high basal metabolic rate (BMR), your body tends to burn calories faster, preventing storage, weight and muscle gain.

A faster metabolic rate means either your body requires more energy or your body burns more calories due to higher activity levels. 

The HealthifyMe Note

People with fast metabolism have higher energy expenditure per day, making it harder for them to gain weight and promote muscle growth. The general thumb rule in one’s fitness goals is to consume a calorie-deficit diet if it’s about losing weight and a calorie-surplus one if you want to gain weight. Besides eating the proper diet and the number of calories, performing the right exercises also play an important role.

Simple Strategies to Gain Weight with a Fast Metabolism

Embarking on the journey to gaining weight can be exhausting. If you are struggling to catapult your mass gains, you need to re-think your approach to ‘outsmart’ your metabolism and grow in the way you want. 

Here are some practical tips for gaining weight with a fast metabolism.

Calculate Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)

The primary strategy should be calculating your basal metabolic rate before planning your weight gain strategy. The BMR will tell you how many calories your body burns while performing basic metabolic activities like respiration, pumping blood etc. Once you know your BMR, you can easily plan how many calories you should consume to meet your body’s requirements.

You can use the BMR calculator on the HealthifyMe app to help you calculate your BMR effectively.

Create Calorie Surplus

A calorie surplus is about maintaining a positive calorie balance. It means the calories you consume should be higher than the calories your body burns for the day. Simply put, eat more than you burn. Make sure to add an excessive amount of 250-500 calories to the average level. Using a calorie calculator will help you in tracking your progress. 

Eat More Often

When you have a fast metabolism, your body burns calories rapidly. Hence to have better results, eat nutrient-dense foods multiple times a day. For instance, you can eat six smaller meals or three larger meals with two snacks daily. It will make consuming excess calories easier without making yourself sick.

Portion up the Protein

Embracing increased protein is one of the quickest ways to improve your body mass when you have a fast metabolic rate. However, also remember protein foods are filling and can lower your appetite. Hence, consume them in moderation but often with every meal to gain weight fast. Protein-rich foods include lean meats, eggs, nuts, oats, lentils, legumes, broccoli, and quinoa.

Choose Energy-dense Foods

Instead of focusing only on calories, ensure to opt for energy-rich foods if you don’t want to achieve your weight gain goal at the expense of your health. Avoid consuming junk foods since it will ultimately lead to an unhealthy weight. Alternatively, to scale the number, aim to consume a balanced diet loaded with healthy lean proteins, yoghurt, peanut butter, eggs, dried fruits, and milk.

Increase the Intake of Carbohydrates and Healthy Fats

Carbohydrates and fats play an essential part in weight gain. You can’t build muscles if you limit these macronutrients in your diet. As the primary energy source, consuming a well-balanced distribution of carbs and fats will help you keep things healthy and consistent. Moreover, dietary fat helps you in digesting and absorb fat-soluble vitamins. The inadequate level will make weight gain difficult and might cause nutritional deficiency.

Engage in Strength Training

In your attempt to gain weight, performing cardio exercises and aerobic exercises will burn more calories, negating your intake of extra meals. However, if you engage in strength training, like lifting weights with fewer repetitions, your body will use those excess calories you consume to build muscles. The best part is you will get a well-built and healthy physique.

Adapt to Simple Lifestyle Changes

Your lifestyle has a significant role in your metabolism and overall fitness.  Incorporating slight changes in your day-to-day lifestyle will help you have a healthy metabolism and acts as an optimum way to gain weight.

  • Stay Hydrated: Healthy weight gain means drinking more water. A healthy hydration level will aid in building muscle mass, processing your calories, and ensuring a strong immune system.
  • Sustain Quality Sleep: Poor sleep can lead to obesity and unhealthy weight gain. Hence, maintain a quality sleep pattern that lasts the night.
  • Unwind Stress: Stress can negatively influence your digestive system and affect your ability to proper metabolism. Unwinding your stress level will decrease cortisol levels, making it easy to increase muscle mass.

The HealthifyMe Expert’s Take

Gaining weight is not easy, especially for individuals with a fast metabolism. However, it’s also not impossible. So, through sincere dedication to lifestyle change, ensuring the quality of food intake and following a regular fitness regime, one can achieve the so-desired muscular physique and tone. Of course, moderation is key to everything, so do not go overboard with the protein or the workouts, take the recommended portions for the chiselled look.


A healthy weight is an ambiguous factor, and metabolism is often to blame. Being genetically carved with fast metabolism might make some people envy it. But it poses a constant challenge for people who want to gain muscle mass and maintain an ideal weight. Eating the proper food sources loaded with nutritious calories, supplementing your diet, following perfect compound exercises, and ensuring plenty of time to rest will help you put on weight naturally.

Remember, weight gain is also a slow process with its challenges. It takes a lot of discipline and consistency to tame the fast metabolism healthily once and for all as you start to sculpt the figure you have always desired.

About the Author

Parul holds a Masters of Medical Science in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and has worked across the globe from the U.K to New Zealand (NZ) gaining her License with the Health Professionals Council (HPC, UK) and the NZ Nutrition Council. From being a Gold medalist in Clinical Nutrition to being awarded an internship with World Health Organisation (WHO, Cairo, Egypt) and Contracts with CDC Parul has had a wide spectrum of work experiences. She is very passionate about Nutrition and Fitness and holds strong to her guiding mantras ‘ Move more’ and ‘Eat Food that your grandmother can recognize’!

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