EHC has been writing a lot lately about ways to lose weight, but what if you are just the opposite? What if you are too thin and need to gain weight? This could be a problem for many people and just eating fast food may not be the solution.
Like in weight loss, weight gain too has to have the right mix of good food and exercise. The basic principle of weight gain is simple: You need to consume more calories than you expend. If you belong to the skinny category or you feel you need to have a more “rounded” personality, you may follow these tips. Your actual caloric requirement can differ depending on your height, weight, activity level, and your body’s metabolic rate.
Eat more and more often. Take in at least three meals each day and a minimum of two large snacks. Increase your portions. Add one additional item to your typical breakfast. Eat a little bit more food during each meal. For example, add a little more cereal to your bowl, a thicker slice of bread for lunch and additional potatoes for dinner. If you want to gain even more weight in 10 days, eat a doughnut or a few granola bars after each meal and as a snack.
Reach for the calories. Eat dense wheat, bran or rye breads and cereals, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, red beets, corn, squash and carrots, beans, nuts and dried fruits such as raisins, apricots and dates. Choose fruits that have higher calorie counts, such as apples, pears, pineapple and bananas. Choose heavy soups with beans or lentils. To gain three pounds in 10 days, you have to eat at least 1,000 extra calories each day.
Sprinkle on additional calories. Nuts, canola or olive oil, avocados, honey, butter, sour cream, wheat germ, protein powder, salad dressing, mayonnaise and peanut butter can be added to food to increase calorie intake. Reach for the soda, milk, fruit juice, milkshakes and smoothies. Skip diet soda and juices that do not contain real fruit. To gain the most weight, replace water with these high calorie options.
Lift weights. It may not seem logical to exercise while trying to gain weight, but exercise will help you to turn the added fat into muscle. Add weightlifting to your exercise routine at least three times per week. Free weights put the most stress on muscles and stimulate the maximum number of muscle fibers. The best weight training exercises for building muscle mass are free weight exercises like squats, dead lifts, bench presses, barbell rows, pull ups and bar dips.
Space out your workouts. If you have a high basic metabolic rate – which means you expend a lot of energy even at rest – you need short intense workouts instead of long periods of low-stress activity.
Protein is important. Increase your protein intake. Your body needs a lot of protein to build new muscle. But since most of the calories for weight gain come from carbohydrates and fats, do not replace them with protein.
Be consistent. It might take a long time, usually a few months, for the weight to actually show. Some people get frustrated and quit when they fail to see drastic results. Your body will only respond to a consistent schedule. No weight gain program will work for you if you are not regular.
Make smart food choices. For example, choose dairy products, fish and meat over bread. Choose eggs over vegetables. Eat foods with high protein content such as beans, pulses and peas, and foods with high starch content such as potatoes, rice and tapioca.
Recap of Tips
- Mostly, skinny people have a mindset that they can’t gain weight. However, experts are of view that such people don’t eat enough to gain weight.
- The first thing you must do to gain weight is to decide what kind of weight you are aiming at. Is it fatty weight or lean muscles. If you have fatty diet, then you are more likely to accumulate weight around your tummy, thighs and hips. Whereas, if you aim for lean muscles then you will get them on the areas you are targeting during workout. In order to gain lean muscles you must do strength and weight training.
- Find out your daily calorie requirement, i.e., the amount of calories your body uses in daily activities. To gain weight you must consume 500 to 1000 extra calories than you burn in a day will surely help to gain weight.
- Make sure that you increase calorie intake through healthy diet rather than fatty foods. You should get those extra calories from healthy, nutritious and calorie- dense food. Oily fish, oats, red meat, nuts, whole grains, dried fruit, potatoes and even full-fat dairy products are healthy food with low calories.
- If you feel that you are not able to meet your calorie requirements through food, then increase your fluid intake such as milk. Fruit juice, smoothie, fruit and milk shakes are healthy and help you skinnies gain weight.
- Drink soy milk or juices with milk. This will multiply the needed calories and help you gain weight.
- To gain weight you need to make smart food choices. Your food must include more carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
- Food with high starch value such as rice, tapioca and potatoes and protein rich food such as beans, pulses and peas must be included in the diet.
It’s all bright days ahead. Fill up your plates and enjoy the taste for you are the few of those lucky guys who can just enjoy eating without worrying about excess!