Ever heard of the GOMAD diet? It’s likely that only the most well informed readers have as it’s not too common. GOMAD stands for Gallon Of Milk A Day. Even though you may have never heard of the diet, it’s one that’s been around for a number of years now. The idea is that you supplement your workouts and diet with… you guessed it… a gallon of milk every day, commonly resulting in 25 pounds of weight gain at the end of the first month! The GOMAD diet is commonly used by actors/actresses that need to gain weight quickly for different roles they may portray. It’s also commonly used in the worlds of MMA and wrestling, helping the athletes get up to the fighting weight they’re looking to compete in.
GOMAD isn’t just for competitive athletes though. If you’re somebody who is struggling to put on muscle or gain weight, no matter what you do, the GOMAD diet might be a legitimate answer to your problems. If this doesn’t sound like something you can relate to, then we’re going to be honest; This article won’t be for you.
Why is the GOMAD Diet Effective?
If you are looking to gain weight, you need to be taking in more calories than you’re burning on any given day. The problem for some of us is that our metabolisms are so effective and so fast, we burn calories at a higher rate than the average population. (For those of us who struggle to lose weight, this seems like a good problem to have, doesn’t it?!) For some others, the problem might simply be that your training regimen is just so intense that you burn a ridiculous amount of calories per day to keep your body in tip-top shape. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been known to consume over 5,000 calories every single day just so that he can maintain his ridiculous physique. Have you ever tried to eat 7 meals every day? Chances are, you’re going to feel like you want to puke the moment the fork hits your mouth around meal 4 or 5.
Rather than filling your gut with actual solid food, a simple alternative is consuming a high calorie liquid like milk. Whole milk has nearly 150 calories per serving. Liquids are naturally easier for your body to digest so the effects of the liquid you’re consuming will be realized much more quickly than those of solid food. Though milk is high in fat, it’s also a really good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The protein and fat content in whole milk will ensure a weight gain but if you continue to get to the gym and hit the weights, you’ll start to notice some serious strength gains. Since you’re gaining both fat and muscle, the weight gains will be pretty substantial over the course of the first month or two.
Once you’ve gained a substantial amount of weight, you might want to lose some, keeping the muscle gained but losing the fat you gained. This is remarkably simple to do. Just stop drinking a gallon of milk every day! The fat will fall off as quickly as you gained it, leaving you with the muscle that you obtained during the GOMAD diet.
Is the GOMAD Diet Safe?
I mean… it’s milk. So long as you’re not lactose intolerant, it is definitely safe. The GOMAD diet is made for just one or two month stints. You’re not going to be drinking a gallon of milk every day for 6 months, 2 years, or the rest of your life. Not only is the GOMAD diet a safe way to put on a few extra pounds, but it actually has some other benefits that aren’t as commonly reported. A high intake of milk has proven to increase the insulin resistance mechanisms within our bodies, fighting off hypoglycemia and helping in the prevention of diabetes .
In addition to the diabetes prevention, ingesting large quantities of milk can help break down kidney stones. As the study reads, “About 30-40% of dietary calcium is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract with the majority occurring in the small intestine. The amount of calcium absorbed in the intestine depends on habitual calcium intake.” In other words, if you are drinking large quantities of milk, you’re promoting the absorption of dietary calcium in the gastrointestinal tract. This will drastically decrease the odds of developing kidney stones .
The Schedule to Follow…
Much like how Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson needs to plan out and schedule all of the caloric intake he has every day, you’re going to need to prepare and plan out how you’re going to down a full gallon of milk every day. One gallon of milk is equal to about four liters, for those of you whom wish to split your consumption in to quarters. There are a variety of ways you can consume your gallon so make sure you pick whichever schedule makes most sense to you. Here are a few options:
a. Drink a cup an hour. You’re most likely awake for at least 16 hours most days. Drink 1 cup of milk on the hour, every hour, from 30 minutes after you wake up, right up until 30 minutes before you go to bed. This will ensure you’re not going to get sick from drinking too much at one time but you definitely will finish your gallon.
b. Try drinking 1 liter during each meal. If you drink one liter or milk with your breakfast, with your lunch, and with your dinner, that’s ¾ of a gallon gone. The last ¼ should be consumed after your workout. Don’t do it prior to your work out, unless you’re a fan of the upset stomach feeling.
c. Similar to option “b” – Drink a liter with each meal but instead of drinking the final liter after your work out, split that in 2. Have a small portion with your mid-morning snack and a small portion with your mid-afternoon snack.
d. Develop your own schedule. It doesn’t really matter how you consume the milk, so long as you’re downing a full gallon in every 24 hour period.
4 GOMAD Tips and Tricks
1.) It’s best to consume all of your food before drinking your milk if you’re going to be having it during meal times. This will make sure you’re not filling yourself on milk and preventing your body from getting the other nutrients it needs.
2 2.) Track your progress. Keep a journal to log your weight and it’s not a bad idea to take some before and after pictures each week. Consider documenting the weights you’re able to work with as a continuation of that log. There is no greater feeling than having written proof showing that you’re actually getting stronger.
3. 3.) Eat often. If you eat every two or three hours, you should never be hungry. The whole idea of the GOMAD diet is to make sure you’re packing on the pounds. Drinking the milk will not be doing you any good if you’re not eating correctly. Eat often and supplement that with the milk for the best results.
4. 4.) Track your caloric intake. See if you can consume the 5,000 calories that The Rock eats. Keep in mind that he doesn’t do the gallon of milk thing, his is straight solid food. You’ve got an edge since a gallon of whole milk is approximately 2,400 calories. Make sure you’re eating at least 2,600 calories to maximize the benefits and reach your weight gain goals.
Mistakes to Avoid
Consuming a gallon of milk every day might sound easier than it is. Life is busy. Things get in the way. Work, school, sports, friends, family, church, clubs, exercise… these are all things that many of us deal with regularly. Since life can be so hectic and busy, it’s easy to forget to drink your milk. That’s probably the number one mistake that needs to be avoided during the GOMAD diet plan: inconsistency. If you’re not drinking a gallon every single day and you’re missing a couple days a week, you’re not going to see the results you’re expecting. Those days that you slack is time that your body works to burn the calories you gained on those other days where you were diligent about your GOMAD diet. Make sure you’re drinking the milk every day for 30 days.
The second serious mistake to avoid? Not drinking water. Just because you’re drinking so much milk all of a sudden, doesn’t mean you can stop drinking your 6 to 8 glasses of water. Keeping your body hydrated is arguably more important during the GOMAD diet than the rest of the time. You certainly don’t want to overheat and collapse during a workout with little but milk in your stomach. That’s going to make for a bad time. Water consumption will also stave off that tired feeling that often accompanies the GOMAD diet. Unfortunately, by drinking a gallon of milk per day you probably won’t feel much like drinking water, too. But get it done!
Make sure you’re drinking WHOLE milk. That’s really important. That’s the only way you’re going to get the 2,400 calories you’re expecting. Skim milk, for instance, is going to keep you hydrated but you’re not going to be gaining much weight. Whole milk is higher in fat, protein, and calcium than skim, 1%, and 2% milk. This is one mistake that people truly seem to make on accident. They’re used to buying the cheaper milk or the milk that their family members prefer and they just continue with the usual. Don’t. Make sure your daily gallon is a whole milk gallon.
Don’t sweat the fat gains. You’re going to get a little chubby. That’s a guarantee. You’re going to have fat in places you’ve never had fat before. That’s okay! The fat will literally fall off of you next month when you stop drinking a gallon of milk each day. Don’t get discouraged because you’re getting a little chunky. That’s the point of all this. Underneath that newfound chunk is a bit of muscle you definitely didn’t have before, especially if you’re keeping up with your workout regimens and usual supplementation. Besides, it’s only going to take a few weeks for the fat to go away once you stop drinking an extra 2,400 calories a day. Don’t get yourself worked up over the sudden chunk. Chances are, you’re too skinny anyway!
Consider Alternating Months
Now that you’ve completed your first month of GOMAD diet, you know it was all worth it. You feel strong, you feel healthier, and the fat you gained is fading away to reveal the bulk muscle you worked so hard to obtain. Take a couple of months off and take a good, hard look at yourself in the mirror again. Compare your current physique with the pictures you took and documented prior to the first gallon of milk you drank. If you think there is more work to be done, simply head to the store and buy a gallon of milk! You can do the GOMAD diet a few months a year without any worry so long as you follow this guide, stay focused, and be mindful of the common mistakes that you need to avoid. Good luck!
- High intakes of milk, but not meat, increase s-insulin and insulin resistance in 8-year-old boys.
Hoppe C1, Mølgaard C, Vaag A, Barkholt V, Michaelsen KF. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Mar;59(3):393-8.
- Calcium intake and urinary stone disease
Mathew D. Sorensencorresponding author Transl Androl Urol. 2014 Sep; 3(3): 235–240.