It is not often you can meet people who need to gain weight. Most people are permanently speaking about how to lose weight and fat. Weight gain is as difficult as losing it (especially if you were anorexic and/or naturally thin and/or suffering from serious diseases). Gaining weight is a problem for many people. They complain that they can’t put on any weight (even if they eat properly and use caloric food).
If you decided to gain weight, you will need some time and patience – you cannot gain weight very fast. Gaining weight is a process which includes several steps.
Some people think that losing weight is much more difficult than gaining weight. It is not true. Weight gain could be pretty difficult.
Just remember – to gain weight and your goals are exactly the same as those trying to lose some weight. In both cases the goal is to eat healthy food and reach a normal ideal body weight. It is just as much of a challenge for the overweight person to lose pounds as it is for you to gain them.
Before you start to gain weight, try to understand the main cause of your under-weight. The main causes are:
How to gain weight
lack of physical activity,
genetic reasons (thin parents),
The energy density of foods is important factor to gain weight. Energy density refers to the amount of energy or calories compared to the weight of the food.
Good nutrition, rest, relaxation and regular exercise help in increasing body mass. So be happy and eat healthy food, after all “Health is wealth”.
TIPS to follow to gain weight
Consume more calories than you burn – count your calories
Choose healthy foods to add calories. Calculate how many calories you need to consume per day to gain weight. Add at least 500 calories per day to your daily requirement. If you need 2300 calories a day to maintain your current weight, strive to consume 2800 calories daily. If you engage in any physical activity, add more calories to account for the calories burned through physical activity.
Eat healthy food frequently – eat more
Eat healthy food frequently, 5-6 times a day – 3 larger meals and 3 smaller meals alternately. Separate them by at least 3 hours so you can digest each meal fully. Don’t go without food for 5-6 hours after having a major meal.
Knowing how to gain weight involves consistent eating. Increase your normal portion size. Take a second scoop of pasta, or add two bananas to your oatmeal.
Weight Gaining Food – choose calorie-dense foods
That means eating potatoes, corn or peas instead of carrot sticks. Choose a banana or cranberry juice instead of an apple or orange juice. Granola cereal is more calorie-dense than puffed rice. Read food labels for the serving size and the calories, and make it a habit to routinely choose foods that are higher in calories.
Have a balanced diet – develop good eating habits
To gain weight, eat food with extremely high caloric value. Try to increase your food intake without consuming too much fat and sugar. Regular meals, especially breakfast, are important if you find it difficult to gain weight. Taking your time with meals and making sure you are relaxed is also important to ensure that your digestive system functions properly. Have some fixed timings and avoid eating in between so as to increase the hunger for food.
Drink healthy beverages to add calories – drink more
Drink more water or juice. If you do not like to drink water, choose some healthy drinks like apple juice, orange juice etc. Mangoes are rich in calories and carbohydrates; include them in your diet.
When you have to work late at night, these liquid materials will help you maintain your basic needs.
Avoid Caffeine and Nicotine
Caffeine and nicotine are good stimulants and help to increase the metabolism of our body. Avoid having these stimulants in excess quantity to help your body retain maximum nutritional value from what you eat.
Healthy fats – avoid junk food
Avoid unhealthy, high-calorie foods. Most important is to avoid trans fats, which increase your risk for disease. Foods that are high in trans fats are: pastry products, cakes, cookies, processed meats, margarine, shortening, and packaged snack foods.
Healthy fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Good fats – cold pressed oils (olive, sunflower, linseed, canola, best cooking oil)
Sport and Weight
Exercise regularly for healthy weight gain – weight training
This will not only help convert the additional calories into muscle rather than fat, but it will also stimulate your appetite. The added muscle will increase your metabolism, so you’ll need to consume more calories per day to maintain that weight.
Some thin people think that exercise is not good for them. This is not true, it keeps the metabolism high. Remember that eating alone is not sufficient. You don’t want to gain fat but lean mass, so exercise is important.
Resistance training exercises will help to increase your muscle mass, which in turn will increase your metabolism. Learn to distinguish between weight gaining exercises and weight loss exercises.
Note that if you do not get enough amino acids during exercise, the existing muscle may break down. Amino acids come from protein rich foods.
Take a nap after lunch, at around 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Besides, sleep before 12 a.m. every night. It will be more effective if you have tea time after taking a nap in the afternoon.
Don’t forget about importance of proteins
Protein is the key for the muscle mass. Without adequate protein, muscle gain is not possible because weight training demand for amino acids (which comes from protein).
You should daily eat about 2.2g of protein per kilogram (1g per pound) of your weight. For example, if you are 50kg (110pound), then you should eat 50×2.2=111g of protein spread over 5-6 meals in the day. Include high protein foods in your diet. Your protein intake should be from foods rather than from supplements.
Good sources of protein foods: whey, fish, dairy products (low fat variety), meats, nuts and seeds (almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds).
Milk is one of the best muscle foods
The milk contains two high quality proteins, about 80% whey and 20 percent casein. Whey is quickly broken down into amino acids and absorbed into the bloodstream. Whey is very good to consume after workout. Casein is digested more slowly and provides the body with a steady supply of protein for a longer period of time.
Avoid drinking beer
Some people think that drinking beer helps gain weight. But it is not true; it accumulates in your abdomen, making it fatty.
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.