Bulking is a tricky thing. And finding the best high calorie snacks for bulking was no easy task when I started on my journey.
For those that don’t know, bulking is when you eat more calories than you burn on a daily basis, and do weight training alongside that. Over time, you will build a solid muscle foundation while gaining weight the whole time.
The main reason that people bulk is because they want to put on muscle. You cannot build muscle while in a caloric deficit. If you are new to this concept, I recommend learning how to calculate your maintenance calories before you get started.
I used to be ridiculously skinny. Of course, my body frame was a major source of insecurity and self doubt. Ultimately, I was able to crawl out of that mental state by bulking up and becoming way more comfortable in my skin.
The only way that I ever would have been able to do this is if I had calculated my maintenance calories and therefore ate at a caloric surplus.
I did just that and I was shocked at how many calories I would need to be eating in order to bulk up. That number for me was 3,600 calories per day. I know people who maintain at 5,000 calories, and those who maintain at 1,800 calories.
Every person is different. But if you are reading this article, I assume that it means you have struggled to put on weight, just like me. I have personally used everything on this list to help me bulk up in the past.
Now for the best high calorie snacks for bulking.
1000 Calorie Protein Shake (1000 Calories)
The 1000 calorie shake is my personal favorite. In fact, you can get the full 1000 calorie protein shake recipe here. This shake is exactly what it promises. A 1000 calorie behemoth of a shake.
I know what you are thinking. 1000 calories is a ton of calories to be eating in one sitting. But consider this, a burger and fries from 5 guys is over 1000 calories in a sitting.
Instead of eating a greasy burger and fries, which won’t be in line with your goals, you can just drink your shake down and take that protein in.
When I first started my bulking journey, I drank a 1000 calorie protein shake in the morning, and also one at night. I filled in the rest with eating.
This changed the game for me completely. I used to struggle to eat my 3,600 calorie per day goal. That is until I started drinking 2 of these per day. The gains came easy after that.
I personally still drink a 1000 calorie protein shake every morning for breakfast. It has a ton of nutrients and protein in it. I get my daily requirement of fruits. And it has plenty of healthy fats.
MET-Rx Colossal Protein Bars (410 Calories)
The name says it all! Colossal protein bars. If the name wasn’t enough to sell you on how important these bars can be on your diet, let the flavors do the talking.
My personal favorite is the super cookie crunch. If you are a fan of any cookies and cream flavors, this will probably be your go to. How about peanut butter pretzel or vanilla caramel churro?
I have never personally tried the churro flavor, but I can assure you that the peanut butter pretzel is great. And I am sure the vanilla caramel churro is great too.
You will find that this is the only protein bar on this list. Why? Because I find that most protein bars are not suitable for bulking. I figure if you are going to eat a protein bar to begin with, you might as well make it count.
When you are bulking, every calorie can make a difference. Most protein bars are between 150-250 calories. You might as well make sure your gains happen with a 410 calorie protein bar!
S.O.S. Rations Emergency Food Bar (3690 Calories)
What in the world is this?! A 3,600 calorie bar? This is actually a package of 9 bars at 410 calories each. These were originally made for soldiers to be able to survive in the wilderness during tough conditions.
It is important to note that these are not “healthy” in the traditional sense. When I bought these, I was so skinny it was unhealthy. So I had to go ahead and choose my path here. Do I want to be skinny the rest of my life, or do I finally want to be able to put on some size? I chose the latter.
I would eat one of these if I was having one of those days where I was struggling to eat a lot of calories. These things have high fat and high sugar, so they are very easy to eat.
Remember, that you cannot gain muscle if you are eating at a caloric deficit. Once I realized this, I would do anything to make sure that I was eating enough calories each day.
And of course it worked. Every single day I would eat at my 3,600 goal. And every week that scale would keep ticking upwords. Until one day I looked at an old picture of myself and looked at myself in the mirror and realized how much muscle I had put on.
It was an incredible moment to see that what I had been doing was working. Here are 3 tips for going from a thin body to a muscular body.
Lenny & Larry’s The Complete Cookie (420 – 460 Calories)
When I found out about protein cookies, I was blown away. The thought of eating a cookie and also hitting my protein numbers was something I wasn’t used to.
Lucky for us, the options are plenty when it comes to the best high calorie snacks for bulking. We live in a world where a single cookie can have 16 grams of protein in it. You cannot beat that!
Another great thing about these protein cookies is that there is a wide variety of flavors. My personal favorite is peanut butter. But I am biased, because I will pretty much eat anything with peanut butter in it.
They also have unique flavors like lemon poppy seed. I have to admit, this was the last flavor I tried, but now it is in my top 3. It is just so unique and different from what I would normally go for. And that makes it stand out to me.
If you are looking to try something new I recommend these cookies. They will satisfy your cookie craving, and provide you with the protein that you need.
Ensure Plus Nutrition Shake With Fiber (350 Calories)
When it comes to quick and easy, Ensure is probably the best way to get some extra calories. When I was bulking, I would always keep a few of these in my fridge.
Why? Because when you need an extra 350 calories and you don’t have time, you can just chug one of these and be done with it.
With 16 grams of protein, it’s a no brainer for quick snacks.
Out of all the snacks on this list, I will admit, these are my least favorite. But they serve a purpose. And if you want to put on weight, these might be a necessity.
Main Point: Best high calorie snacks for bulking
As you can see, there are some great options for the best high calorie snacks for bulking. Don’t let being skinny be an excuse for not hitting your goals. There is no such thing as forever skinny. The same way there is no such thing as forever overweight.
Have you ever heard of an ectomorph? It is a term that people use to try and justify the thought that they will be skinny forever. If you categorize yourself as an ectomorph, I would read why is it hard for ectomorphs to gain muscle. Long story short, if you think you are an ectomorph, you probably just are not consuming enough calories.
Remember, every single person has a different maintenance calorie number. Which is why I shy away from any blanket statement about gaining muscle. Your maintenance calorie number might be 4,000 while your muscular buddy might be 2,200.
Some people just seem to be gifted with big muscles. Chances are, they just have a more manageable maintenance calorie number that is easier to access. Honestly, they probably don’t even realize what that number is.
When you get your calories dialed in, and you start eating at a caloric surplus, you will find that the muscle comes soon after.