If you are seeking to gain weight, weight gain supplements and protein powders may have popped up as a considerable option. Many people like to use weight gain supplements in the form of shakes or powders to help increase their calorie intake and/or further build muscle mass. However, if you prefer not to use weight gain supplements, whether that be because you don’t like the taste of them or the price of them, gaining weight naturally can still be done.
Here is how to gain weight without weight gain supplements:
1) Maintain a consistent caloric surplus
To gain weight, it is essential that you are maintaining a consistent surplus of calories. Meaning, you should be consuming more calories than you burn off (through exercise, etc.). If you aren’t maintaining a surplus of calories, you will be consuming an amount that will either cause you to maintain your current weight or lose weight. A good caloric surplus is anywhere from 300-500 extra calories more than what is recommended for you as far as a daily calorie intake. You can find out what your recommended daily calorie intake is by entering your height, age, gender, etc. into various calorie calculators available online.
2) Aim for nutrient-dense and protein-rich food sources
In addition to eating more calories to gain weight, these calories should primarily come from nutrient-dense and protein-rich food sources. Protein-rich foods are good for supplying your muscles with necessary nutrients to help further build mass and increase your overall body weight.
While it may be tempting, it is best to avoid gaining weight by eating junk foods. This will lead to potential adverse health effects in the long run and possible accelerated fat accumulation in undesired areas. There are a variety of healthier foods that can still help you maintain a caloric surplus and gain weight.
Good food choices for gaining weight:
- Nuts and seeds
- Lean cut meats
- Greek yogurt
3) Incorporate muscle-building exercises into your workouts
Another way to increase your body mass and gain weight without weight gain supplements is to exercise. Many people like to use protein powders and shakes for their workouts. However, a diet with an adequate amount of protein will suffice. Strength-based exercises especially benefit muscle growth. As you progress, try to increase your number of repetitions and weight load to further advance muscle growth. Building muscle mass with your workouts will allow you to not only increase your body mass, but also allow you to tone and shape areas where you gain weight.
Good strength-based exercises that will help to increase your body mass:
- Leg lifts/raises
- Dumbbell curls
- Wall sit
4) If you don’t like the taste of weight gain supplements, try making your own
Many people may be turned away from weight gain powders and shakes because of their taste or perhaps an allergy to certain ingredients found in some weight gain supplements. Fortunately, you can create your own weight gain smoothie with just as many calories using ingredients of your own choosing. Simply add a couple of tasty, nutrient-dense foods into a blender and mix them for a generous number of extra calories for gaining weight. This is a convenient and economical way to get extra calories for weight gain and helps to maintain a caloric surplus.