While it’s not as common a target as losing weight, there are a significant number of individuals who have weight gain as their objective. The reasons are as varied as the people but could include things like needing to gain weight for a game, needing to put on a few pounds after rehabilitating from an injury or you are merely underweight and have trouble making the scale go up or your Doctor has asked you to gain weight.
Before heading out on your weight gain travel, I would be remiss if I did not encourage you to visit your Dr. for a checkup first. It may be that you are not even underweight. While I’m not a fan of the BMI, underweight is defined as having a BMI under 18.5. (The press plays a significant part in how we view our bodies and it might just be that you are fine in the skin you are in) However, there may be medical reasons why you find it hard to gain weight and your Doctor will be a good place to start. Then let us look at ways to help you put on some pounds.
Gaining weight will normally follow the same formula as shedding weight-but in reverse. If calories in has to be lower than calories out to eliminate weight, then it stands to reason that the reverse of that is going to have the opposite effect–and it will!
It seems simple and all you’ve got to do is increase your daily allotment of McBurgers right? Well, not so fast. You need to do this thing right and at a healthy way-and slowly. So without further ado, here are some tips to your bag of tricks.
1. Determine how many calories you’re taking in now and how many calories you need based on your everyday activity. You can use a fantastic online tool for this. Whatever the number, it represents the number of calories that you need just to maintain the weight that you are at (I know, I finished my sentence with a preposition-I’m crazy like that) Now you know what the number is, you need to raise you r daily caloric intake by, oh, let us begin with a 500 calorie per day increase. When you gain or lose weight or change your activity level or have changes in health then your caloric needs change so always stay updated with what your caloric target is. Food diaries are a great tool, especially at the beginning.
2. Try to eat more often-YEAH!! If you eat 3 meals a day then try adding a few healthy snacks throughout the day.
3. If you do eat your regular meals, raise your portion size. Then have two yogurts instead. The goal is to try to increase your portion sizes with every meal
4. Concentrate on good foods. Whole grain breads are dense and you can cut thick slices and put on your favourite topping like peanut butter, honey, hummus… Mmmmm. When picking veggies pick those that have less water content. Things like cucumbers have a good deal of water so will make you look more complete whilst taking but you take in less calories… you do not need that… you want potatoes, carrots, corn. Same goes for fruit… select the more dense ones like a banana over an orange (dried fruits are great!)
5. Fats are where it’s at (My momma said I was always good at rhyming words) Fats are so great because they pack 9 calories per gram while carbohydrates and protein only have 4 the losers. BUT… pick healthy fats. And the good thing is that you can add some of these to everything you consume. Cooking eggs? Spread on some hummus… Using a salad or cereal? You can add healthy fats whenever you sit down to eat. Toss some dried fruit onto a salad or granola. Top your potatoes with oil or cheese or go wild and throw some chili on top of them.
6. Drink your calories. There are a number of healthy meal replacement drinks that are great but why not create your own smoothie? Make it with milk, fruit, honey… whatever… then sprinkle in some seeds. You can also try replacing some of your water consumption with juices or the occasional sport drink.
7. Bear in mind, slow profit is the best. To increase your weight too rapidly only increases the chances that the weight you gain will be from fat mass rather than lean body mass. A gain of approximately one half to one pound per week should be your target.
1. You want to make certain you add some lean muscle and that all your weight gain isn’t just from fat. If you include a resistance routine 3 times each week (like body weight exercises or lifting weights) then you are able to get some lean muscle mass and what’s even better… the increased workload might even boost your appetite… WIN!! If you would like to gain muscle mass then add in some additional protein to your meals also. Protein intake that is too low may actually make you lose body mass so keep your consumption to a healthy level. Beans, peanuts, chicken, tuna… all good!
2. Avoid extra “cardio” type workouts such as jogging and just concentrate on resistance exercise.
3. Following a workout, have a light snack that includes protein such as an egg on toast, whole wheat crackers with cheese or just a glass of chocolate milk.
4. Incorporate a stretching routine into your day. OK, this in itself won’t help you gain weight, but with the extra resistance training, stretching will help keep your body free from pain and keep your body moving properly.
**Tell friends and family what your objectives are so they can be involved and help to encourage you in your goals. Join an online group with other like-minded people so you always have somebody to talk to and bounce ideas off of. Do not discount this-having the correct support is important to anything in life.