While the weight loss industry generates millions of dollars a year in revenue and not to mention produces a wide array of programs, supplements, and diet plans that help to promote weight loss, there are many others who desire the opposite and seek to gain weight. One may wish to put on a few extra pounds because they are underweight and want to attain a better state of health. Or, some may wish to gain weight simply out of personal preference. Regardless, just like with losing weight, gaining weight must also be approached in a healthful, steady manner. In this list we have complied 10 different do’s and don’ts of gaining weight to keep in mind:
Here are the do’s and don’ts of gaining weight:
DO: EAT MORE CALORIES THAN YOU BURN OFF
If you want to gain weight, it is necessary that you are consistently eating more calories than you burn off. This is otherwise known as maintaining a calorie surplus. A caloric surplus will allow you to retain calories and thus encourage steady weight gain. The number of calories you need to consume to be at a caloric surplus varies from person to person.
To find out a general calorie surplus recommendation for you, you can try out different calorie calculators available online. These calorie calculators may require you to enter your gender, height, age, activity level, etc. in order to determine a good calorie count for you to be at a surplus.
DON’T: HABITUALLY SKIP MEALS
To gain weight, it is important that you are eating at least three meals a day. A healthful breakfast, lunch, and dinner will provide you not only with a large source of calories, but a nutritious meal can provide you with a variety of necessary nutrients that your body needs to keep steadily functioning.
Additionally, it helps to consume a couple of snacks throughout the day, as this can be an opportunity to receive extra calories to aid in the promotion of weight gain. If you skip meals on occasion, try to avoid doing this if you want to gain weight. Talking with a nutritionist can help as they can arrange an easy meal plan for you.
DO: GO AT A STEADY PACE
Another tip to add to the do’s and don’ts of gaining weight, is to do go at a steady pace. If you don’t regularly exercise or perhaps have a certain diet that you have been long abiding by, don’t try to switch up everything all at once to gain weight. You should begin slow and steady when starting new things and when it comes to trying to gain weight, the same applies. Weight loss can be difficult for some and for others so can weight gain, often due to a fast metabolism.
So, it is important that you go at a steady pace along your weight gain journey. Take progress photos, download a fitness tracker app – anything to help keep you on track. It also helps to come up with a routine. Select a few of days out of the week to workout at home or at the gym and leave a couple of other days free for rest and recovery. This will make achieving your short-term and long-term goals much easier.
DON’T: TRY TO GAIN WEIGHT FAST BY EATING A LOT OF JUNK FOODS
To continue the list of the do’s and don’ts of gaining weight, do not try to gain weight quickly by eating a lot of high-calorie junk foods. While this may cause you to gain weight, eating a lot of junk foods can also lead to various adverse health effects, both short-term and long-term. Many junk foods are empty-calorie foods, meaning they provide little to no nutritional benefit. So, it is key that you are consuming primarily healthful, nutrient-dense foods in the effort to gain weight the healthy way.
DO: CONSUME PRIMARILY HEALTHY, NUTRIENT-DENSE FOODS
To gain weight, it is not only essential that you are consistently consuming more calories than you burn off, but it is important that most of the calories you eat come from nutritious foods. Nutrient-dense foods can supply you with a variety of key vitamins and minerals, along with other necessary nutrients.
In addition, nutrient-dense foods can help keep you energized via the delivery of healthy carbohydrates, which can in turn benefit your workouts. There are also a variety of healthy foods that can provide a generous number of calories. Some of these healthy yet higher calorie foods include nuts, raisins, avocados, plus more.
DON’T: GO WITHOUT THE EXTRA TOPPINGS AND CONDIMENTS
An easy way to get a few extra calories in your diet to benefit you in gaining weight, is to make use of condiments and extra toppings with your meals. If you are at a restaurant, go ahead and add some ketchup or mustard as a dipping sauce. This simple trick can easily accumulate a decent number of calories and help contribute to maintaining a caloric surplus.
DO: CONSIDER TRYING WEIGHT GAIN SUPPLEMENTS OR SHAKES
Some individuals may find maintaining a calorie surplus in their diet somewhat difficult maybe due to a busy schedule or lack of appetite. Fortunately, there are ways to supplement in those extra calories and benefit you in the effort to gain weight. There are a variety of pre-made weight gain supplements that come in the form of powders, shakes, and more. These weight gain supplements feature hundreds and even thousands of calories and other essential nutrients that you can blend to create a tasty, high-calorie shake.
On the other hand, you can even try making your own weight gain shake or smoothie using ingredients found right at home. Nonetheless, in the effort to gain weight, don’t be afraid to explore different weight gain supplements that can help. Just be sure to do your research and review the ingredients on the product label. Discuss with your health professional as well before making any significant dietary changes.
DON’T: HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Everyone’s body is different. People live different lifestyles and have different genetics. We all come in different shapes, sizes, heights, etc. When seeking to gain weight, these factors can all play a role in how you attain your results. Someone who is shorter in height may notice results with weight gain much quicker than someone who is tall, as the body mass composition is different. So, as you move along your weight gain journey, it is important to have realistic expectations and make the necessary adjustments that best fit you and your lifestyle.
DO: EXERCISE IN THE PROCESS TO FURTHER ADVANCE YOUR RESULTS
As you consistently maintain a surplus of calories in your diet, you can start to notice steady weight gain. However, it is necessary that you are still exercising in the process. Exercise is not only essential to maintaining overall good health, but it is highly beneficial for those who want to gain weight. Exercising can help to further advance your overall results for weight gain by building muscle mass and thus further increasing your total body mass.
There are a variety of exercises that target different areas of the body which can help you to tone and shape where desired. Strength exercises are especially beneficial for those trying to gain weight as these types of exercises help to efficiently build muscle mass.
DON’T: GO WITHOUT AN ADEQUATE PROTEIN CONSUMPTION
One key nutrient that can benefit you in trying to gain weight is protein. Protein consists of essential amino acids that are used by the body for various functions. These amino acids from protein also contribute to muscle growth and development, which can be advantageous when exercising.
High-protein foods like meat, beans, eggs, etc., can also provide a decent number of calories which can benefit you in the effort to gain weight. Getting an adequate protein consumption in your diet supplies your muscles with the nutrients they need and can help to produce more efficient and noticeable results when exercising.
BONUS – DO: TALK WITH A NUTRITIONIST OR OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
Before making any significant changes to your lifestyle and / or diet, it is important that you first speak with a nutritionist or other health professional. When it comes to gaining weight, a nutritionist can recommend a more detailed diet plan that accommodates your lifestyle. You may also want to review certain weight gain supplements you are interested in with your health professional to make sure it is compatible with your current state of health.