While it’s not as common a goal as losing weight, there are a substantial number of individuals who have weight gain as their goal. The reasons are as varied as the people but could include things like wanting to gain weight for a game, needing to put on some 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’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to visit your Dr. for a checkup. 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 media plays a big part in how we see our bodies and it might just be that you’re fine in the skin you are in) However, there may be medical reasons why you find it hard to gain weight and your physician will be a fantastic place to start. OK, all cleared by your Doctor? Then let us look at ways to assist you put on a few pounds.
Gaining weight will generally follow the same formula as losing weight-but in reverse. If calories in has to be lower than calories out to lose weight, then it stands to reason that the reverse of that will have the opposite effect–and it does! So the scientific universal formula for weight gain is calories in must be greater than calories out.
It seems simple and all you have to do is increase your daily allotment of McBurgers right? Well, not so fast. You want to do this thing right and at a wholesome way-and slowly. So without further ado, here are a few hints for your bag of tricks.
1. Determine how many calories you’re taking in today and how many calories you need based on your daily activity. You can use a fantastic online tool for this. Whatever the number, it represents the amount 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 that you know what the number is, you need to raise you r daily caloric consumption by, oh, let us start with a 500 calorie per day increase. Food diaries are a terrific tool, especially at the start.
2. Try to eat more often-YEAH!! If you eat 3 meals a day then try adding a couple healthy snacks throughout the day.
3. When you do eat your regular meals, increase your portion size. Then have 2 yogurts instead. The Objective is to try to increase your portion sizes with each meal
4. Focus on good foods. Whole grain breads are dense and you can cut thick slices and place 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 full whilst taking but you take in less calories… you do not need that… you want potatoes, carrots, corn etc.. Same goes for fruit… pick the more dense ones like a banana over an orange (dried fruits are good!)
5. Fats are where it is at (My momma said I was always good at rhyming words) Fats are so good because they package 9 calories per gram while carbohydrates and protein only have 4 the losers. BUT… pick healthy fats. And the great thing is that you can add some of these to everything you eat. Cooking eggs? Cook them in oil… Having toast? Spread on some hummus… Using a salad or cereal? You may add healthy fats whenever you sit down to eat. Toss some dried fruit on a salad or granola. Top your potatoes with cheese or oil or go wild and throw some chili on top of them.
6. Sick of eating? There are lots of healthy meal replacement beverages that are great but why not make your own smoothie? Make it with milk, fruit, honey… whatever… then sprinkle in a few seeds. You might also try replacing some of your water intake with the occasional sport drink.
7. Bear in mind, slow gain is the best. To improve your weight too quickly only increases the chances that the weight you gain will be from fat mass rather than lean body mass.
1. You want to be certain you add some lean muscle and all your weight gain isn’t just from fat. If you incorporate a resistance routine three times each week (like body weight exercises or lifting weights) then you can gain some lean muscle mass and what’s even better… the increased workload might even boost your desire… WIN!! If you would like to gain muscle mass then add in some additional protein to your meals too. Protein intake that is too low can actually make you get rid of body mass so keep your consumption to a healthy level.
2. Avoid extra “cardio” type workouts such as jogging and just concentrate on resistance exercise.
3. Following a work out, have a light snack that includes protein like an egg on toast, whole wheat crackers with cheese or just a glass of chocolate milk. The protein will be building blocks to help repair and build muscle after your exercise.
4. Incorporate a stretching routine into your day. OK, this in itself will not help you gain weight, but with the excess resistance training, stretching will help keep your body free of 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 targets. Join an internet group with other like-minded individuals so that you always have someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of. Do not discount this-having the proper support is key to anything in life.