How To Bulk Using Huel for Weight Gain
Looking to bulk up or add some muscle? Using high-calorie meal replacement and protein shakes is something bodybuilders, powerlifters and athletes have been doing for decades.
In this post, we’re going to share some tips one how to bulk using Huel for weight gain. These tips will work no matter if you’re just starting in the gym, or have been lifting for years.
There is not a single product, meal replacement or shake on the market that will magically make you ‘bulk up’.
Many people, perhaps you reading this, who are underweight strive to bulk up or build muscle. The theory behind this is simple.
Eat more than you burn off. But doing this in practice is a little harder.
Without consuming enough calories - no one supplement will make you bulk up. Meal replacements such as Huel can be used to help you hit the calories you need to achieve your weight gain goals.
Let’s jump into the fundamentals of weight gain, and explain how using Huel can help you bulk up.
How To Gain Weight- The Basics
To gain weight, you need to consume more calories that your body burns off. This is called a calorie surplus. You need to be in a calorie surplus over a prolonged period of time to gain weight.
To add muscle, you must also lift weights whilst in a calorie surplus. Your diet needs to contain enough calories, but also the right amount of protein to allow your muscles to recover, repair and grow back bigger and stronger.
We’ll tell you how much YOU need to eat (and how to calculate this) in this article.
If you don’t provide your body with enough energy (calories), then your body will start to lose weight. Your body does this by burning glycogen and fat stores as an energy source. If you’re trying to gain weight - this is the last thing you want your body to be doing.
Gaining weight is a simple process. But personal trainers and fitness guru’s find it hard to sell ‘simple’.
The difficulty of gaining weight is making sure you can comfortably consume enough calories.
There are many products on the market that aid weight gain. In this article, we’re looking specifically at how Huel Ready-To-Drink can help you gain weight safely and as part of a healthy lifestyle.
How Much Do I Need to Eat to Gain Weight?
To gain weight, you need to be in a caloric surplus. To do this, you need to eat more calories than your body burns each day. To achieve a caloric surplus, you need to know how many calories your body needs to maintain its current weight (based on your current activity levels and lifestyle) then consume more calories than that. Adding anywhere from 300-500 calories to this number for steady weight gain, with 700-1000 for faster weight gain.
Gaining weight too quickly will result in an increase in fat, not just muscle. If you’re really underweight and are just wanting to bulk up, then perhaps you’ll want to opt for a faster and higher calorie surplus.
If you’re looking to stay lean whilst adding some muscle mass, you’ll want to go with just a 300-500 calorie increase over your ‘maintenance’ level.
For each 1lb of bodyweight, your body needs a caloric surplus of 3500 calories (and to lose 1lb, your body needs to burn 3500 calories).
Susan wants to gain 10lbs. She LOVES resistance training and yoga classes. She eats roughly the same kind of food each week, and her body weight stays roughly the same.
Susan is currently eating at maintenance. She would need to eat an extra 500 calories each day if she wants to gain 1lb in a week (a combination of muscle and fat).
A quick and easy way to add these calories would be by drinking a Huel RTD (roughly 400 calories)
As Susan gets heavier, her new maintenance level might increase, to account for the new weight. Once she stops gaining weight, she would need to increase her calories again.
So - how do we calculate our ‘maintenance’ and ‘bulking’ calories?
There are a number of ways to calculate how many calories you need to gain weight;
- Manual calorie tracking
- Bodyweight multiplier
- Harris Benedict formula
Manual Calorie Tracking
This is simple in theory.
Weigh yourself Monday morning as soon as you get out of bed.
Log everything you eat, daily, for a week. Look at the nutrition labels, or scan them using an app like MyFitnessPal.
Do this for 1 week. If your bodyweight is the same, you are eating at a maintenance level.
This is the most accurate method, but most time consuming.
Harvard University created a formula to help people (roughly) calculate their maintenance calories.
Take your current bodyweight and times it by 15. This is roughly the number of calories you need to eat each day to maintain your current bodyweight.
This is for someone who is considered ‘moderately active’ and should only be used as a guide.
Harris Benedict Formula
This is a calculation that helps you find your Base Metabolic Rate. Using a calculator you can work out a (rough) calorie total based on your body type, age, gender and activity level.
You can then add calories to this figure to gain weight.
Eating to gain weight
You need to eat a lot to gain weight. Which is why supplementing your diet with meal replacements shakes such as Huel helps.
When eating to increase your weight, you need to keep in mind that you get all of the nutrients that your body needs. You need to ensure your diet is made up of a balance of fat, protein, carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals.
Establishing when to eat is also a major part of your muscle-building routine. After the gym, you should consume protein to fuel your tired muscles and maintain this after each workout to see any real benefits.
Alongside adapting your diet, to gain muscle you need to ensure that you exercise regularly or you won’t achieve your desired goals.
Partner this with eating enough protein throughout the day and you’re onto a winner.
Macros for weight gain
There are many different kind of diets, that will alter your macronutrient profile (carbs, proteins and fats).
There is no one ‘best’ method. However, it is recommended to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight to gain muscle. On average aim for 0.5grams of fat, then use carbs for the remainder of your calories.
Huel contains a well balance macro profile, making it the perfect addition to your weight gain diet. You can learn more about Huels side effects here.
When you are aware of how many calories you need to consume throughout the day you can plan your meals/snacks. Calorie counting can help you to be more regimented, the NHS has some helpful information here.
Once you start to calorie count, this becomes second nature, and you will become aware of portion sizes and nutritional information, so you don’t need to check every calorie.
Apps make calorie counting easy as they have all the nutritional information and calories available. You can even scan food products to track on the go. A good example would be My Fitness Pal, however there now many available depending on your preferences.
If putting pen to paper is more your style, this would also do the job!
Staple bulking foods
When bulking, it’s important to include the foods that will help you meet your goals in your diet plan.
Some good options would be:
- Dairy including milk, cottage cheese, yogurt and cheese
- Vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus, and peppers
- Plant-based oils
- Lean Meat including beef, pork, and chicken
- Kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and pinto beans
- Plant-based protein
- Seafood including salmon, tuna, whitefish, scallops, and shrimp
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Fruit including bananas, berries, pomegranates, and citrus fruits
- Whole grains such as quinoa, barley, and brown rice
Your diet plan would also include meal replacement shakes such as Huel ready-to-drink which would not only increase your calories but tick the plant-based protein box too!
Foods to avoid would be those that are high in calories but don’t include many nutritional benefits. These tend to be low in protein but high in saturated fats.
How many meals a day to gain weight?
The old-school bodybuilder will eat typically 5-6 times a day. For high-performance athletes, this is optimal for performance to take full benefit of protein synthesis.
For an average person, as long as you’re eating enough calories, with a balanced macro split and consuming enough protein, eat however many meals you like.
If you are trying to bulk up, you could split your calories into smaller meals alongside snacks throughout the day, so that you always feel full and don’t feel overwhelmed eating huge portions.
If you find it hard to consume the number of calories that you need to, you could use meal replacement shakes like Huel ready-to-drink.
These nutritionally balanced meals are perfect for getting calories into you quickly, without having to worry about macros and zero preparation- simply, shake and drink!
Using Huel for Weight Gain
Huel ready-to-drink shakes are the ideal addition to your diet when trying to gain weight, ideally consuming this in a calorie surplus to increase the number of calories helping you to bulk up.
If you are not feeding your body with enough calories it will start to use energy provided in your fat stores and muscles to make you underweight.
Meal replacement shakes can be more effective for underweight people as they cap blood pressure drop and as they can be less filling than solid meals, enabling you to consume the excess calories your body needs to gain weight without feeling too full.
Is Huel Good for Muscle Gain?
Huel includes a balanced amount of fat and carbohydrates, large amount of protein, as well as minerals and vitamins required and is an easy way to increase your calorie intake. Alongside a balanced diet and weight training, consuming 2 or 3 ready-to-drink Huel meal replacement drinks will help you to gain muscle.
Which Huel Is Best for Weight Gain?
Huel Ready-To-Drink is a great product for weight gain, as it includes all of the essential macros, and is prepared for you, great for on the go. All of the calories are calculated on the bottle, so there is no need for you to mix, measure and add up your calories, this is already completed for you.
Huel Ready-To-Drink comes in eight delicious flavours including chocolate, vanilla, banana, strawberries & cream, berry, salted caramel, iced coffee caramel and cinnamon swirl, so you can include a variety of flavours as part of your diet, and you won’t get bored of the Huel taste.
Can you use Huel for bodybuilding?
Yes, you can use Huel for bodybuilding, whether that is for bulking up or cutting. Huel Ready-To-Drink can be used to increase your calorie intake for the bulking up and gaining muscle phase of bodybuilding.
To build your muscles, most of your protein intake needs to include essential amino acids, especially BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids). Due to the BCAAs, Huel restores muscle protein synthesis and the muscle repairing process.
The first phase of bodybuilding is bulking up, from a calorie surplus of around 300 kcal- 600 kcal in addition to your weight maintenance calories, by doing this you can put on weight every week, for example a surplus of 500 kcal every day, would allow you to put on 0.5kg every week.
Huel Ready-to-drink meal replacement drinks provide nutritious fuel to increase your calorie surplus, however this will result in fat gain.
For the second phase, you must decrease your calories to maintain your weight which would involve a balanced diet, nutrition from Huel Read-To-Drink and exercise.
Introducing Huel Ready-To-Drink shakes to your post workout routine will provide you with energy for your weightlifting sessions as well as repairing your muscles.
So, with a combination of nutrition, Huel and the gym, you can increase your weight and muscle mass in no time.
What To Do Next
To summarise, Huel ready-to-drink shakes can help you to fulfill your goals, whether they be to gain weight or to build muscle.
The main steps to take when starting your bulking diet are:
- Eat more calories than you are burning
- Ensure you are receiving all nutritional benefits
- Create a meal plan and try and stick to it
- Don’t miss meals or meal replacements
- Keep hydrated
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise and include this in your plan, seeking advice from professionals where needed
- Consume around 500kcal more than your required maintenance amount per day and adjust when needed
- Take your time and be patient, on route to reaching your target
Huel ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes provide all of the nutritional benefits that you require and are easy to grab and go alongside your busy lifestyle.
Shop Huel Ready-To-Drink.