I have been reading your blog and really like it! I have the opposite problem that most people seem to have. I can’t gain weight and if I am not careful, I lose weight! I am an avid road biker and spin regularly as well as doing other cardio. I eat plenty plus I eat bars, sports drinks and power snacks when I bike and run. What can I do to gain muscle or at least keep what I have?
You are burning more calories than you are consuming due to your very high level of activity. Sports bars, drinks and snacks aren’t always the best form of nutrition so while you may be getting calories, you may not be getting the nutrition your body needs to build muscle and to retain mass. Also you are definitely burning through most of those calories. There are a few quick ideas you can try short of getting a full metabolic assessment (which I would recommend). One thing to consider is to try adding just a bit more protein to your meals and snacks in addition to what you are eating and see if that helps. A great way to add protein is to supplement sports bars with beef, chicken or turkey jerky. Since the commercial stuff is full of nitrates, make your own using a food dehydrator. It is pretty easy to do and makes great jerky. Also trail mix that has nuts and fruit in it is an excellent snack to keep you going when you’re out on the road. The other thing you might do is lift weights using fairly heavy weight. You want to do 4-6 reps to fatigue, lifting fewer reps with challenging weight. A trainer may be helpful to show you what you can lift, help you to do it correctly and to focus on areas where you want to gain mass. Also the trainer could act as a spotter.
Becoming aware of your food intake is important too. You would benefit from writing down everything you eat to see how many calories you are taking in. You will also want to eat quite often, like 4 to 6 times a day.
I would recommend hiring a personal trainer and discuss with them having a full metabolic profile done so you know how many calories you need a day to maintain your weight, or to gain mass if that is your goal.