Hardgainers: Add This Snack To Your Diet

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And if you use fake maple syrup I will lose all respect for you

“What’s something you do other people think is insane?”

I love this question. There was a stretch in 2019 when Tim Ferriss asked this on his podcast.

I ask it on almost every first date I go on.

One, because it’s an interesting question. And most people on first dates ask all the boring stuff like what they study or do for work.

I’ve found dating success by asking questions I wouldn’t expect to be asked myself. And I think that’s a decent guideline and just good fundamentals. Don’t be boring like every other bumble date they’ve been on, and go against the expectations they have of you. That starts with your questions.

But, I also love this question because I happen to have one of the best answers to it.

One time I was on a date, ice skating at Bryant Park if you’re wondering, and the woman, catching on to my shenanigans, replied, “you only asked that because you have a good answer for it.”

  1. She was smart.
  2. She was right.

My answer also has to do with what I’ve found to be one of the best solutions for hardgainers to gain weight.

I carry maple syrup with me everywhere.

No, not the fake corn syrup stuff. REAL, maple syrup.

You see, I grew up in the great state of Vermont, where we’re known for exactly five things:

  1. Bernie Sanders (the meme icon)
  2. Ben and Jerry’s (both huge beauties)
  3. Cows (we had more cows than people until 2008)
  4. Skiing
  5. Maple syrup

Real maple syrup.

vermont maple syrup

That’s the good stuff.

And, like most Vermonters, I know that any other substitute is not only inferior, but a disgrace.

For so many reasons I won’t get into here, real maple syrup is infinitely superior to any syrup substitutes. Personally, I think it’s the greatest sweetener on the planet (you could make a case for local honey, but I’m still a maple guy through and through).

When I left Vermont, I realized you can’t just get real maple syrup at every grocery store or even at fancy restaurants. Imagine paying $25 for pancakes and not being offered ACTUAL syrup? What a fucking disgrace. I’m still appalled.

So I started carrying around a small bottle of Vermont maple syrup with me. Everywhere. It’s always in my briefcase or backpack just like my laptop is. 

And so my answer to “what do I do that other people think is insane” is I carry maple syrup around with me everywhere.

Some people think that’s weird. I think it’s completely justified because of how many foods I put it on.

Pancakes (obviously).


Old fashioned (my maple old fashioned is pure GAS)



Milk (maple milk > chocolate milk)

And most commonly, when I’m trying to gain weight: sandwiches.

Particularly Peanut Butter and Maple Sandwiches, or PB&M.

It’s like a PB&J, but better.

Look, if you have a hard time gaining weight, the bottom line is you just need to eat more.


(Warning: I was not entirely sober during the making of this video)

Hardgainers: Just Eat More Food (start by adding PB&M’s)

I know I know, you’ve heard this before. “It’s not that easy.” Trust me, I get it. I’ve been there. Hell, I’m still there. If I don’t have a steady PB&M diet I lose weight.

I know meal prepping six times a day is unrealistic. I know even making three smoothies a day is a pain because nobody likes handwashing blenders. But making extra sandwiches? You do can that all at once in the morning and munch on them throughout the day.


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I stole this off of the desk of @dmcconnell29 Just a reminder to all the skinny folks out there that the only way to gain weight is to eat more calories than you burn. Head to the store and get those PB&J ingredients! Tag a friend who needs to put on some mass!

A post shared by David Rosales – NSCA-CPT (@davidrosalesfitness) on


Another option that’s really easy is to make peanut butter and maple wraps. You just grab a warp, spread the peanut butter, and add some maple for sweetness.

Eat six of those a day and check back with me when you’re 200 lbs.

Oh, and go buy some real maple syrup. No more of that fake crap.

About the Author

David William Rosales is a writer and strength coach. He's the head trainer and editor at Roman Fitness Systems. In addition to helping run RFS, he's also the head editor for, the official website of the Strength and Conditioning Association of Professional Hockey. You can also check out his Instagram, he's pretty easy on the eyes.

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