I'm about as stereotypical "skinny" as one can get. I have all the genetic factors... metabolism, small frame, lightly muscled, etc. I don't know how much of a "skinny" person you are, but I've found that people who aren't "skinny" have some misconceptions about how we work. Yes, I can get away with eating junk food 24/7 and not gain much fat. But once I get into a regular caloric surplus situation, I can put on the fat pretty easily if I'm not being careful of what I put in my mouth.
As a former stereotypical "skinny" individuals, let me provide some information. Research shows that gaining weight for an ectomorph (thin person) is harder than an ectomorph (heavy person) to lose weight.
With that said, the ectomorph need to basically consume calorie dense foods, be it pizza or something similar.
In weight gain program, you are going to put on body fat. However, with a good resistance training program the majority of that weight will be muscle.
David Barr provides great information on this in "Big Bulking Tips"
[http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=781428]. Also, Dr Lonnie Lowery's "Strategic Overeating for Mass" [http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=07-004-diet] is anothergreat article that follow's Barr's recommendations.
I think your goal would be to first shoot for 3,400 calories a day (every day, you must be consistent).
How did you come up with this number? First of all, you need to find out where you are and where you want to go. It like taking a trip...you plan you trip. In planning a trip you first need to know where you are.
So, the first step is to find out how many calories you consume in a day. One that is accomplished, you then write a plan that increases the number or calores in you daily diet.
If you're not gaining on that volume of food, you can up it some until you do.
Exactly. But first you need to know where you are on this "eating" road map...a three day recall diet will provide you with an idea of the average calories you consume in a day. You then "up it" from there.
Now spread those 3,400 calories out across the entire day,
Why is 3400 calorie per day the "magic" number? Why are you stuck on this number?
and you'll see that you won't often have that "full" feeling.
In a bulking diet, with any meal or snack, you are going to have a full feeling due to the fact you are consuming more calories.
You can eat pizza and convenience foods on occasion, just like you said, but most of your big meals should be centered around (1) a lean protein (i.e., from an animal), (2) some kind of nice complex carb (potato, pasta, rice, something), and (3) vegetables (ugh I cheat here a bit sometimes).
In a bulking, you diet should revolve around calorie dense foods such as pizza. You want to eat meats that provide more calories...so, higher fat meats are preferred.
The bulking diet is not a diet you live on. It is a diet that you implement periodically to increase you muscle mass.
The anedotal evidence shows that this works. Body builders use it in the off season for a reason, because it works.
After bulking up, you then go into a cutting phase in which you stip the fat off. You end up weight more with more muscle mass and less body fat.