fatmarineGaining and losing weight are very simple processes, but not always easy ones to accomplish. A large part of it relies on your metabolism, that is, how your body manages fat, calories, etc etc. So what works for one person may not work for another. And like with most fitness related things, finding what works for you is the key.

You must also be very committed and you must stick to your plan and routines. And as always, you have to trust and believe in yourself. Don’t panic and change plans just because you do not see positive results early on. You have to give the process a chance and results can take longer for some people.

Contrary to popular belief, being a Marine doesn’t require giant muscles, but having a solid amount of muscle will protect you from serious injury and make daily life easier. *This is not to say ‘do not lift heavy to build muscle’. Big muscles are not bad, but they should not be your central focus*.

At the end of the day you do not want to end up looking like the Marine in the picture to your left.

Basic Weight Gain Tips

  • Get a scale to keep track of weight gain or loss, if you have trouble gaining weight, it’s important you keep track of even small gains or losses.
  • Eat more, you can’t gain weight unless you start taking in more calories. Try to eat around 3000 calories a day to start and adjust accordingly as you progress. If you want, buy a weight gain powder. These are actually pretty effective at putting on weight quickly and are sometimes essential for you “hard gainers.”
  • Eat “clean foods”. Bulking up by eating everything in sight will leave you with less muscle mass and more fat. Don’t eat everything in site, try to eat lean foods like turkey and chicken, but in larger quantities.
  • If you have access to heavy weights, start a weight lifting plan where you focus on essential moves like bench press, squat, and dead lift,   these are the most important lifts and will give you good amounts of muscle mass overtime. More importantly they will give you muscle mass that you can use, instead of muscle that just looks pretty.
  • As always, ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids. Water is preferred.

Basic Weight Loss Tips

  • Once again, eating “clean” is your best friend. Look at your diet and eliminate the things you know are bad. Don’t think of this as “dieting”, but instead as changing your life style. You don’t need to consume nothing but lettuce and water, this isn’t necessary. Getting rid of fast foods, high fat foods, sweets, and soft drinks will make the difference and by doing just this, you should see weight loss sooner rather than later.
  • Keep a log of what you eat, if you’re not losing weight you can look at the log and count your calories and adjust. Remember, each of you needs to find a plan that works for you.
  • Exercise is important. Doing anything is better than doing nothing, so don’t put off working out until you can get a gym membership or find some fancy workout plan. Find what works for you and do it and most importantly, stick to it.
  • Drink plenty of water.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Should I buy powders and supplements?  No, most of these are overpriced and not effective. In fact some may be harmful to your health. The only things I would recommend ever is a protein supplement (whey powder) and a daily multivitamin. The protein being optional of course, but I strongly recommend vitamins when altering your current diet in any way.
  • Do I have to run long distances every day? Once again no, in the words of former Recon Marine Sgt, star of Generation Kill, and fitness trainer Rudy Reyes, “Long distance running is only good for keeping skinny people skinny.”  Distance running is good when training for your 3 mile pft, but not when trying to gain or lose weight. On both accounts running short distances at a fast pace will be much more effective.
  • Do I need a specific workout plan from an expert? What works for one guy might not work for you, and spending big amounts of money on “specialized, scientific, fancy workouts” is a waste. My advice is look at some popular plans, find exercises that work good for you and build your own plan. You’ll notice really quick if something works or does not work for you. A good mix of cardio, weight lifting, and body weight exercises is what you are after.

Despite what many say about losing weight, the process is different for each of us. When I graduated boot camp I didn’t really lose a lot of weight. I didn’t gain any either. And no matter how much running we did in the USMC, I never really lost weight. I’m just one of those types who will never have a six pack stomach and who will always have a visible layer of fat throughout most of my body. I actually had and still have very strong abs, but you’d never know it by looking at me. A lot of it is due to genetics, so try not to worry too much about your weight if your regime doesn’t seem to be working out for you.

Always remember that change won’t happen overnight and it is important you give your workout a chance. Don’t panic and don’t make unnecessary changes. Keep in mind that the more people you speak to about getting fit, then the more you are gonna change your plans. This can be counter-productive in the long run. Understand that at the end of the day, each of you needs to figure this out on your own. You are not me, so I can’t give you the plan that worked for me since it is made for me. Do you see what I’m saying.

Be sure to read through the comments for some advice and tips about losing or gaining weight from your peers. And if you have anything to add, feel free to do so.

8 responses

  1. I lost about 12 lbs for my sign up weight in 2 weeks, a healthy way i did it was by going vegetarian during the week and eating meat on the weekend, I still keep that same lifestyle now as I drop the last 27 lbs but i also workout 2-3 hours not because i have to but its fun to me anywho. To me healthy eating is a art, I learned cuisines from just about every country my favs are Italian, Chinese, middle eastern, spanish foods these places focus on spices not heavy salt to flavor the food. My point is if you have variety “dieting” will not be as boring. I also learned alot of vegan and vegetarian dishes, you will be surprised how vegan cheese taste just like real cheese minus the fat or seitan taste like beef. Switch it up!! the myth about you needing meat for this and that is false. I guarantee you if you learned other cuisines it 1. will be fun to search 2. fun to challenge yourself in the kitchen 3. get your family involved which can equal more success. Eat natural, process foods should never be your main focus, eating meat is fine but that doesnt mean eat steak 3 times a day, cut out or limit white rice and bread go for brown rice or wheat bread, eat more veggies. You dont have to eliminate sweets just dont over do it, you shouldnt torture yourself that can cause over eating. As you can see my mind is all over the place I have alot more tips that arent coming to at the moment if you have specific questions feel free to hit me up.

    July 25, 2011 at 21:25

  2. Joe

    Stop drinking soda and always hydrate.

    August 2, 2011 at 18:18

  3. Michael

    It’s all about your diet, so eat right and eat healthy when trying to lose that fat weight.

    May 29, 2013 at 19:24

  4. Val Frigerio

    uh, im a 17 year old girl, 5 ft 10 and almost 270 pounds. im fat. my school isnt the best place for healthy food. i also have an inconsistent work schedule. Any advice anyone can give me? i really do want to be a jarhead.

    February 10, 2014 at 15:41

    • Try eating better then you are now and start losing weight by doing some form of exercises. Just change your routine from what you are doing now.

      March 26, 2014 at 20:39

  5. M.America

    Remember, water is essential.

    May 5, 2014 at 12:15

  6. I went to talk to a recruiter already…. He told me my weight based on my height I have to lose about 70 lbs ….any advice? I try to go to Pt on Thursday but I’ve been haveing a weird work schedule….and o don’t necessarily have the most healthiest food choices at school and work…. Help

    May 8, 2014 at 21:02

  7. curtisjl10

    my rule of thumb when it comes to eating “if it wont ruin within a few weeks don’t eat it

    October 8, 2014 at 09:29

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