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All you health masters out there, I apologize for this novice question.

I am trying to gain weight and I have purchased a GNC Pro Performance Weight Gainer powder (3 kgs). It said that I should use three "heaped scoops", so I was using a kitchen spoon for the heaped scoops. Well, I reached halfway through the powder, and I was not finding too much weight gain (too soon to see effects I guess - also please note I am not depending on the powder alone, I am also eating well and exercising as well). In any case, after reaching halfway through the powder, I struck some hidden treasure inside the powder - a spoon!!

However I am SHOCKED by the size of the spoon. By its measure, three heaped scoops from my kitchen spoon is hardly a half of its scoop.

So my question is - am I supposed to use three heaped scoops from this MASSIVE spoon? Have I been doing to wrong all these weeks?

As you can see, I am pretty bad with this...any advice is greatly appreciated!

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    use the scoop provided in the protein powder container, that's the correct measure.
    – Luciano
    Sep 7 at 12:44
  • "[Am] I supposed to use three heaped scoops from this MASSIVE spoon? Have I been doing to wrong all these weeks?" --> Yes. However, most people I know that tried mass gainer for the first time have had a similar reaction. It's a large amount of powder (even compared to protein).
    – C. Lange
    Sep 7 at 13:30
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    @C.Lange - Yes. Which basically boils down to "mass gain = more calories". Eat more is a better solution, but nobody has time for that.
    – JohnP
    Sep 7 at 14:54
  • Good luck on the gainings. As a younger person, I was a hard gainer, and I didn't really understand some of the things I do now, but I was downing anything in the cupboard with calories: baby formula, syrup, PB, etc. My problem is I didn't have a regimen, and I had no concept of how many calories are in so much food, etc. Nowadays, my metabolism has slowed down and I have to be careful. Either way, I'd recommend a calorie tracker. I use one and it probably has a margin of error of several hundred calories a day. Good enough for me, I don't need to measure very molecule I eat. Sep 7 at 22:27
  • The other thing is just to pound food like a beast. Not indiscriminately, mind you, but you can get away with a diet that is a bit more, shall we say, inclusive, than someone like me who is very efficient at making fat. Unsolicited advice, but there you go. Sep 7 at 22:31
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A typical serve of protein powder is 30g, or around 1/4 cup. Weight gainers have larger serving sizes, because they need to fit significant amounts of both protein and carbohydrates into a serving. According to the GNC website, a serve of their Pro Performance Weight Gainer is 182g, which would be about 3/4 cup.

So yes, a serving of this product would be a very large volume of powder, if you were to compare it to typical servings of sugar, instant coffee, etc. But it's 700 kcal per serving, so they're effectively fitting a whole large meal into a single serving, and a whole meal simply cannot fit into a teaspoon.

If you're unsure about the serving size, or the imprecise instructions to use "heaped" spoonfuls, then using a kitchen scale to weigh the serving will guarantee that you are using the correct amount.

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  • I'm not sure about 30g as typical. I'd say it falls within the range of 20-30g per scoop, which range is itself somewhat arbitrary. My unflavored Whey Protein Isolate has a 26g scoop, for example. The product you link has 50g/serving, which is just ludicrous for protein usage since the body can't make use of more than between 20-40ish grams of protein per meal depending on the individual, based on Nippard's videos and the studies he cites and the internet in general (I am not a dietician). Sep 7 at 22:21
  • @MrBoJangles note that I'm talking about the weight of the powder, not the amount of protein in a single serve. A serving of the mass gainer linked is 162g, of which 50g is protein. So a WPC powder might have 22-23g of protein in a 30g serve, and a WPI powder might have 25-26g of protein in a 30g serve. Sep 8 at 1:05
  • that's a good clarification I failed to make clear in my comment. Sep 9 at 22:28
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Yes, you've been doing it wrong ;)

Note that the serving information (for one of the Pro weight gainers) looks like the following:

enter image description here

182g is 0.4 lbs 👏 per 👏 serving 👏.

Weight gainers work by throwing calories at you like the pool at the bottom of a water park log ride.

The nutrition facts and serving size info are there to tell you both how much is considered a serving size, and what is contained in that serving size.

I personally cannot drink almost any weight gainer at its recommended levels. On the rare occasions I've used them I've done a half-serving (or less) twice a day (or more). Partially because I generally don't need that many extra calories, but also because they're gross.

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  • Huh, that's only 380kcal/100 gram. I expected that a weight gainer would be like double of that. That's not even on the level of chocolate. More like lean chicken.
    – Davor
    Sep 7 at 20:23
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    @Davor It's roughly in line w/ other mainstream powders, e.g., 334g/1250cal, 100g/365cal, 333g/1280cal, 230g/830cal, etc. Dark chocolate is 100g/500cal, chicken thigh is 100g/245cal, breast is 100g/195cal. There's only so many calories you can fit in a physical volume--you have to move to "pure" fat sources to get there; bacon fat is 100g/900cal, butter is 100g/720cal. Sep 7 at 20:38
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    @Davor recall: pure protein is about 4 kcal/gram, carbs are also about 4 kcal/gram. Pure fat is about 9 kcal/gram. There honestly aren’t any more calorically dense things that are compatible with human digestion. They effectively can’t beat 400 kcal/100 grams without adding significant amounts of fat. Sep 7 at 23:57
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    @fyrepenguin, alcohol is about 7 kcal/gram, but consuming sufficient quantities for significant weight gain would have side effects.
    – Mark
    Sep 8 at 1:40
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    @J... Labels have been metric-only since 1992; I’ve been watching the metric struggle since the Metric Conversion Act (?) circa 1975. You are, however, roughly correct: consumerworld.org/pages/nutritionlabelprs.htm Sep 8 at 11:25

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