Undoubtedly, skinny guys have a hard time adding muscle mass. It is partly because of their weak genes and partly due to their poor diet practices. Well, there’s very little that you can do to alter your genes. But, there’s a lot you can do to improve your diet. Read along as I take you through some of the crucial diet principles and a sample ectomorph diet plan to gain weight curated by MyFitFuel Team.

Who are Ectomorphs?

The human body is classified into three types – Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mesomorph. Of all the three, ectomorphs are the skinniest ones. They are usually identified by their small frame, light build, and lean muscle mass. They usually have a flat chest.

Other characteristics of an ectomorph include their inability to gain weight. Apart from this, ectomorphs have a fast metabolism. They are often called as Hardgainers since such kind of people finds it way to difficult to add muscle mass to their frame.


Ectomorph Diet Plan Principles

Now that you know who are ectomorphs and whether or not you fall into this category, let’s move ahead to next section on this article – Ectomorph diet plan principles.

Eat Surplus Calories

It goes without saying that for ectomorphs to gain muscle and put on weight, they will have to start eating more calories than they usually do. Unlike the popular belief, tracking calories is as important for ectomorphs as those on a weight-loss diet. So, how will you do it?

To begin with, calculate the total number of calories you consume each day. You can use Myfitnesspal Calorie Chart for the same. Once you know your gross calorie intake, it’s time to calculate your daily calorie expenditure by using Calorie Calculator. If values of both intake calories and expenditure are equal, then you are going to see almost no gains.

The trick is to increase the intake calories by atleast 250-350 each day so that by the end of the week you are likely to have put on atleast half a pound of weight.

Eat High Calorie Dense Food


Taking a cue from the first principle, an ectomorph needs to eat enough food all day long. Having said that, it’s also important for ectomorphs to consider the calorie density of the food they are eating. Alright, let me make it easy for you.

Being an ectomorph, you may want to skip all the food items with low calorie density aka food items you need to consume in huge quantity to make considerable calorie gains. For instance, a small bowl of cooked oatmeal contains just about 100-120 calories but proves very effective in suppressing your hunger and making you feel full.

Hence, ectomorphs are suggested to avoid such foods and choose high calorie-dense foods like dried fruits, meat, fish and whey protein.

Eat frequently

Well, if truth be told, eating three meals a day won’t work at all. Once you are on an ectomorph diet, you will have to eat atleast 6-8 meals each day and that too at frequent intervals. Out of these meals, have at least 3 major meals and 3 small meals or snacks.

I would advise to keep breakfast, lunch, and dinner as main meals and adding healthy snacks to the routine between each of these meals. This way, not only you will able to keep energy levels high throughout the day but also ease the process of weight gain which may be a difficult task to accomplish otherwise.

Related: A Detailed Indian Bodybuilding Diet Plan to Build Muscle and Strength

Use Protein shakes 

Who said protein shakes are just for elite athletes and bodybuilders? An average skinny gym goer can also use protein shakes for his benefit in many ways. First and foremost, protein shakes especially the ones made with high-quality whey isolate are among the finest ways to increase the protein intake. On top of it, protein shakes can help ectomorphs to achieve their daily calorie target with ease. Along with whey protein, add ingredients like oats, peanut butter, fresh fruits, and yogurt to your protein shake.

Responding to a common query that I receive quite often regarding the use of mass gainers for weight gain for ectomorphs, I would advise you to avoid all sorts of gainers at all cost. Although weight gainers contain a lot of calories, they are fully loaded with sugars and artificial additives.

Relying completely upon weight gainers may prove to be fatal in the long run. Instead of using mass gainers, I would suggest you use a better source of complete protein like whey protein and casein protein.

Related: How to use Whey Protein for Weight Gain

Whey Protein weight gain1

Ectomorph Diet Plan

So, here’s your customized ectomorph diet plan to gain muscle by MyFitFuel Team. This diet plan for ectomorph is divided into six meals with three major meal and three minor meals or snacks.

Meal 1 – Breakfast

  • 1 scoop whey isolate (I recommend MFF 100% Protein)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 large banana
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Cocoa powder or chocolate syrup to taste

Blend all the above ingredients in a blender, and there you have it a calorie dense whey protein shake.

Nutrition Tip – If you ask me, I would recommend using MFF Whey Protein 100% because of its high protein content per scoop of serving. Besides, choose old-fashioned plain dry oats which are very easily available in the market these days. However, always keep in mind not to buy ‘masala’ or flavored oats for this type of protein shake. On top of these ingredients, you can even add a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Blending all the ingredients to a very fine size may take some time. Have patience.

Totals (Approximate)

  • Calories – 630-660
  • Protein – 40g
  • Carbs – 60g
  • Fat – 25g

Meal 2 – Snack

  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon jam
  • 1 large banana

Nutrition Tip – Don’t make a fool out of yourself by choosing white bread or multi-grain bread. Those are just processed garbage. Rather, use whole wheat bread whole grain bread. You can even replace banana with your favorite fruit of similar proportion.

Totals (Approximate)

  • Calories – 500-530
  • Protein – 15
  • Carbs – 80-90
  • Fats – 15

Meal 3 – Lunch

  • 150 gram skinless chicken breast
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • ¼ cup green salad
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Nutrition Tip – To cut down the fat content, I would suggest you purchase skinless chicken breast which is trimmed of fat. If you are buying chicken from a local chicken shop, you may ask the vendor to help you with that. Next up, opt for brown rice instead of white because of its low GI value. Don’t forget to get your greens in this meal. A bowl of salad made with cabbage, beans, onions, cucumbers and carrots.

Totals (Approximate)

  • Calories – 470-500
  • Protein – 40g
  • Carbs – 75g
  • Fats – 6g

Meal 4 – Pre-workout Shake

  • 1 scoop whey protein
  • 1 serving creatine monohydrate powder
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 large banana

Nutrition Tip – The main purpose of this pre-workout shake is to channelize the flow of protein and other essential nutrients so as to create better blood flow to muscles and thereby long-lasting pump during the workout. For better results, it is necessary to purchase creatine with fine particles (best if it’s 200 Mesh Grade) just like MFF Creatine Monohydrate Powder. Consume this shake 15-30 minutes before your workout begins.

weight gain with whey protein 300 1

Totals (Approximate)

  • Calories – 350
  • Protein – 26g
  • Carbs – 60g
  • Fat – 2g

Meal 5 – Post-Workout Shake

  • 1 scoop whey protein
  • 1 serving BCAA powder
  • 1 scoop dextrose monohydrate
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • ¼ cup grapes
  • 20 gram dark chocolate

Nutrition Tip – A post-workout shake is meant to revitalize and refuel the lost energy during the training session. While whey protein and bcaas are going to help you grow and recover, dextrose monohydrate aka fast carbs is going to replenish the lost glycogen stores during exercise. Moreover, fast carbs contain a good number of calories, a key necessity keeping in mind the diet for ectomorph.

Add your favorite fruit to the mix to get extra carbs. A surprise addition to the shake can be a medium piece of dark chocolate which is not only a powerful source of antioxidants but also helps in improving blood flow and soothing the mood.

Totals (Approximate)

  • Calories – 560-600
  • Protein – 27g
  • Carbs – 100-120g
  • Fats – 8g

Meal 6 – Dinner

  • 150 gram skinless chicken breast
  • Or similar proportion of tuna fish
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • ¼ cup green salad
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Nutrition Tip – If you feel bored after eating chicken breast in the lunch, you can replace it with fish of a similar proportion. Needless to say, choose brown rice instead of the white one. One thing worth mentioning here is to try finishing your dinner by atleast 3-4 hours before bedtime. Since you are going to eat a considerable amount of carbs in the last meal of the day; it is not advisable to do it just before the sleep time. Even after dinner, go out for brisk walking. This little habit will not only burn calories but also help you recover faster.

Totals (Approximate)

  • Calories – 450-480
  • Protein – 40g
  • Carbs – 60g
  • Fat – 10g

Totals for an entire day of Ectomorph diet (Approximate)

  • Calories – 3000-3100
  • Protein – 160-180g
  • Carbs – 400-450g
  • Fat – 60-70g

Take Home Message

That is all for this article. Follow the fundamentals and prepare your meals accordingly. The diet plan mentioned in the article is best suited for individuals who prefer to exercise in the evening hours of the day. For those who like to train themselves early in the morning should atleast have one meal either breakfast or pre-workout shake prior to their training. Be consistent and have patience. Gains are on its way.

Like the article? Do share your views in the comment section below. Be sure not to miss out MyFitFuel’s newsletter for comprehensive bodybuilding tips. Subscribe now!


Tags : Diet plan to gain weightEctomorph diet plan
Keyur Malani

The author Keyur Malani

Keyur Malani is a certified content writer who finds his true passion in fitness and bodybuilding. Apart from his contribution to Myfitfuel blog, he also guides people in their diet and training routines. When he's not writing articles and breaking Deadlift PRs, he's learning life lessons on brain pickings and cooking his post workout meals.
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